Cherry MX keypad


Dan Watson documented on his blog an open source Arduino-compatible Cherry MX keypad he designed using the ATmega32U4 microcontroller:

The board that I designed includes four Cherry MX keys. I used MX Blues, but it is also compatible with other types such as Brown and Red. It’s simply a matter of soldering on the ones you want. The keys are backlit by 3mm LEDs that sit in recesses in the sides of the keys. They are controlled via PWM to allow changing the brightness. The microcontroller running the show is an Atmel ATmega32U4. This is the same microcontroller used on the Arduino Leonardo. In fact, this board looks like a Leonardo to the Arduino IDE for programming. There is an ISP port for burning the bootloader with a programmer (Atmel ICE, USBtinyISP, etc), but you only need to do that once. Afterwards simply connect the board to your computer using the Micro USB connector for programming and normal usage.

More details at The Sync Channel blog. Project files are available on Github.

Check out the video after the break.


MIDI controller – Tannin 2


Shantea has a nice build log about the DIY MIDI controller he built:

For second revision of Tannin controller, I decided to use PCBs crafted specifically for Tannin 2, instead of using OpenDeck reference board. This proved to be a very challenging task, as I literally had to do everything from scratch. The main premise behind designing electronics for this one was that I was going to use ATmega32u4 as microcontroller. In the past, I used either Arduino Nano or Arduino Pro Mini. Both of those boards are fine on their own, however, the biggest drawback to using them is that they have no native USB capabilities. In practice, this meant that I had to use serial-to-usb adapter to program them and couple more layers of software to make them talk MIDI. In my commercial designs I also used those boards, but in addition to main board I used USB MIDI board which translated serial signals from Arduino to USB MIDI.

Full details at Shantea’s blog.

Check out the video after the break.