Elite dangerous control board - No coding or ardiuno

Hello commanders o7

I want to build a control board like this
https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Custom-Control-Panel-for-Elite-Dange/

You need to buy Arduino and code it. With the link above, you can do it easily, the maker explained every step and gave the pdf files of blueprints. The principle behind this control board is easy, it acts as a keyboard. So basically, it is just a keyboard with custom keycaps.

If it uses arduino as a keyboard, why bother with arduino anyway? Standard keyboards have the board like this (i know it's from a calculator)
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When you press a button, silicone-like stuff make the circuit closed so a signal goes to computer indicates which button is pressed. What if we solder two wires to a buttons two ends and attach a button to it. I think it will work.
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I don't know anything about electronics, well not much, but you know some stuff and think it will work, or unsure about it. I will try it. We can do even wireless control boards!
I will upload schematics, images, pics, intructions about it when i'm finished.


p.s. the first image (control board) have two red and one black guarded switches, i couldn't find them at first, but they sell the caps seperately (at least in my country). I don't think the power from usb power whole buttons, so i will use external power source for it. but i will try the usb power source first.
 
Maplin is now online. This is not an advert Some bright will set up an instore demonstration like Games workshops to give enthusiasts ideas. There needs to be a return to pre industrial revolution time where crafting was a skills. Knowledge is being lost.

Can anyone answer how a generation who all they had was a pencil paper and a stick invented the future. But the generation with everything cant get out of bed.
 
Okies... A lot of waffle incoming..

Firstly, there are a myriad of options already available online to do most of this. Anyways, I'm assuming you're more interested in building your own.

A keyboard is not 'just a keyboard' it is, in electronic parlance, a HID, Human Interface Device.

The reason for the arduino is to supply the USB interface and the HID interface, so when connected to windows, it appears as another HID, which you merely assign in controls panel in ED.

Simply connecting 2 wires and treating it as a switch will not work. You will get variances of resistance and bad readings from the connection. So to compensate for that, we use resistors to positive or negative drop/raise the resistance. What that actually means is that when the wires connect and disconnect you only get 1 reading. Which of course you assume as a on/off switch.

I say 'assume' above, because, frankly, you can do whatever you want, and use the variance if applicable to do other things.

Imagine you wanted to use a pedal/accelerator rather than your joystick? You'd need to measure resistance variance.

Then we come to your idea of the control panel. How are you going to know which switch was pressed/released? bear in mind a switch can be momentarily on/off or fixed on/off. To cope with that we use a resistance matrix. I haven;t looked at your indestructible, but I'm betting it's a matrix.

Edit: Checked. yes, a basic matrix. The 220ohm resistor is a pull-up resistor.

Why pick the Arduino? Which Arduino to pick?

The choice of controller is mostly down to capacity to handle the job tasked, size, price, ease of use, benefits. For example, an Arduin UNO will handle all the above, but a bigger Arduino gives you more options; More keys; Sensors; Ability to easily attach boards; But is more expensive.

One tip I will throw out right now is to provide a separate power supply to the Arduino, rather than relying on the USB. Doing this will immediately free you from the dreaded (Am I pulling too much current across the USB)

I would highly recommend attacking this project. But beware it may lead to more idea, spending and learning :) I ended up developing a complete sensor package with LED displayes to operate my Nikon and flash guns.
 
Hi Molecular.biologist,

This subject has been covered some time ago. I don't know how you would access the archive before the site got revamped, but this is one I contributed to:-
The route I am taking is to avoid trying to create the electronics or use an Arduino, but to use the USB card and cable from a donor keyboard and wire it up to a custom layout switch panel. It's a work in progress, but when I have a layout I am happy with and have the graphics for the button caps, then it is over to the local maker space to laser cut the panel.
LayoutTrialWIP.PNG
 
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