Author Topic: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board  (Read 6527 times)

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Offline donutcat

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[IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« on: Fri, 20 March 2020, 05:22:24 »
Keeping this sweet and simple for the time being so that this has room to be flexible in how I choose to pursue it.


https://imgur.com/a/9LnSZaP

This is a little nine-encoder project that you may have seen floating around, with a build album link included. This one is hand-wired to a ProMicro as a test piece running off QMK, and is using a printed case and knobs. My main goal right now is seeing if people are interested in a small, budget-oriented, encoder-only project board as just something nifty to have. I'd also like to hear suggestions to what you personally might want out of a little board like this

Offline riterdando

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 21 March 2020, 15:53:32 »
Interesting project. I would like to have a set of rotary encoders for various settings I use quit often.
If it ist not too expensive I will buy it.

Are the encoders just usable with rotating or can you press them?


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Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 21 March 2020, 17:54:43 »
Interesting project. I would like to have a set of rotary encoders for various settings I use quit often.
If it ist not too expensive I will buy it.

Are the encoders just usable with rotating or can you press them?


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These here all have a pushbutton built into them. As I'm using them I've got them setup with commands for each direction, a push command, and a long push command, all via QMK.

Offline growler

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 22 March 2020, 05:53:36 »
Other than volume, and brightness, what do you use them for, just out of interest?
I can see for musoc/video production a specific use case, but am sure there are others that are more imaginary!

growler

Don't just stare at it ...

Offline eriatilox

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 22 March 2020, 06:06:16 »
Other than volume, and brightness, what do you use them for, just out of interest?
I can see for musoc/video production a specific use case, but am sure there are others that are more imaginary!

growler
I use them to switch between windows/tabs.

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Offline x86ect

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 22 March 2020, 08:12:48 »
Yes!

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 23 March 2020, 18:40:54 »
Other than volume, and brightness, what do you use them for, just out of interest?
I can see for musoc/video production a specific use case, but am sure there are others that are more imaginary!

growler

A little copy-paste here from where I previously talked about it:


"I'm just using AHK and [NirCmd](https://nircmd.nirsoft.net/) with a relatively simple script that's just running a nircmd function when it receives a keypress.



The "changeapp(or sys)volume commands are changing volume in 2.5% increments, muteapp(sys)volume is toggling mute on/off, and setapp(sys)volume sets volume to 50% for when I want to re-reference them. All the stated keypresses are "wrapped" inside a F24 keypress so that AHK can suppress the presses from being picked up by other running apps. This functionality is borrowed and adapted from Taran of LTT and his scripts at https://github.com/DonutCables/2nd-keyboard/tree/master/HASU_USB.

Eventually I'll be moving to using AHK's "hotstring" functionality and sending probably 20 character strings that will include info on what board, switch position, and layer the press was sent from in that identifying string. It's gonna be super overkill, but I'm trying to setup my personal use case to be able to handle expansion in the future to utilizing stuff like a ScrabblePad as a function board while not worrying about running out of easily accessible addressing for my function usage.

I know lots of people won't want to or can't work with AHK and another app, so that's the benefit of QMK giving as many options for assigning commands as you can work with."

Offline growler

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 23 March 2020, 19:13:41 »
Comprehensive, maybe that's the word I'd use!

Defo overkill for me, but am still intrigued, maybe I can think of something.

growler

Don't just stare at it ...

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 21 November 2020, 14:56:40 »


Been getting a little more work done up on this project lately, just needing the motivation to poke at it after hitting a bit of a wall on it. Hoping to get some proto PCBs soon that'll allow me testing with a few diode configs to see if that helps the intermittent crosstalk I was getting in previous tests.

Also would appreciate some feedback ala https://www.strawpoll.me/33187102

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 01 December 2020, 19:21:39 »


Proto PCBs received, gonna get to do some testing for a couple different things I'm looking into on these before my next revisions happen. A few of these are extra since the minimum I could order is 5, so if you're looking to snag one hit me up and I'll get back to you once I make sure they're completely functional.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 02 December 2020, 19:51:03 »


Good news, the boards work! I managed to get silkscreen backwards for one of the diodes, but no biggie there. Gonna order another pack of encoders so I can fill out the board and do some testing with debounce circuits in case that helps with some of the other downsides to the matrix layout. I'm playing with case design stuff including SLA considerations, and planning to look more at Bourns encoders for my future needs, including this eventual GB, as I can find the models I like much easier than Alps.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] Small rotary-encoder-only board
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 09 December 2020, 16:56:06 »
Couple more small updates via pictures:



Current build vs previous build

Far as I can tell my PCB behaves as I expected it to, but nothing more. This is good in that my transcription from handwire didn't introduce any weirdness. This means I can focus on features now over any troubleshooting.

What's next:
 - Case design: The original case won't fit the PCB or discrete controller setup, so obvs I'll be needing to work on that I'd also like an improved bottom retention piece since my previous one was functional but lackluster. I'm also exploring options for doing the cases via SLA to look extra cool, like so:


 - Small version: One of my original ideas was having "breakaway" portions of the board so people who didn't need 9 encoders could go down to a configuration of 6 or 4 with a smaller footprint, but keep the same board design for that volume efficiency. I'm still onboard(hah) to try this, but also trying to make it so the PCB edges after doing so aren't scuffed af with potential clear cases.

 - Bourns encoders: Alps may be what everyone's more familiar with, but they're also a pain and slightly pricey to source. Meanwhile I was introduced to the fact that Bourns' datasheet actually makes it super easy to nail down the exact model of encoder you want and *then* you can actually find them available for a decent price. When this hit's GB these will be what I'm offering alongside the other components.

 - Other fancy bits: Obvious the design of encoders having a large bit of casing under the plate surface leaves a lot of room inside of the case, so I'm always looking at bits to fill that if. If anyone has any suggestions for stuff to put in here like OLEDs or such, hit me up.