Teamspeak button uses tattoo machine foot switch

As an avid gamer, [Pat Norton] uses Teamspeak with his friends when playing World of Warcraft. [Pat]‘s friends were annoyed with the voice-activated option for Teamspeak and the constant squeaking of dog toys, and [Pat] was annoyed with the questionable usability of a push-to-talk key. Dissatisfied with his options, [Pat] built footswitch-controlled teamspeak button using a Teensyduino and a broken tattoo machine foot switch.

The Teensyduino is an incredibly small Arduino compatible board that was perfect for this project. Since the teensyduino can operate as a USB Human Interface Device, it’s very easy to have the board appear as another keyboard to the computer. After borrowing some code from the hardware button of a DIY photobooth, [Pat] hooked up the foot switch to two pins of the board. From there, it was very to adapt the code so the foot switch would act as a third ‘Control’ button. The results look very professional, like a factory-made game controller. We’ve seen a few foot switch keyboard devices before, and while this probably isn’t the most efficient way to have a foot switch button control something on a computer, it’s certainly the smallest we’ve seen.

Comments

  1. Alex Parting says:

    A teensyduino isn’t a thing, it’s libraries to make the arduino IDE compatible with Teensy’s.

    On top of that there’s more than one teensy both which can be used with teensyduino and some of which are huge….

    http://pjrc.com/teensy/index.html

  2. Nick says:

    “and while this probably isn’t the most efficient way to have a foot switch button control something on a computer, it’s certainly the smallest we’ve seen.”

    Why don’t you just wire it up to a serial port? That would be smaller…

  3. deef says:

    I think this would be much cheaper:

    http://blog.flipwork.nl/?x=entry:entry081009-142605

  4. EccentricElectron says:

    Why not just wire the switch in series with the mic? Sledgehammer, meet nut – actually, scratch that, this is just nuts.

    • Eldorel says:

      Because with a powered/amplified mic (like your Pc uses) breaking or connecting the signal lines causes a loud popping noise.

      You think other chat users don’t like the dog toys, try a 15db snap every time you try to speak.

  5. Chris says:

    There are other, cheaper and more expendient ways of doing this.

    But *this* is done right. Works just like a real computer peripheral, and it doesn’t even require software or drivers on the PC.

    Back when I was heavy into gaming and used Teamspeak, had I seen one of these, I would have built/bought it. It’s a great idea.

  6. Masta Squidge says:

    Wait… a third “Control” button?

    Idk about this guy, but ctrl is used in everything I do on wow. That seems like a good way to create all manner of interference with the controls in the game. Ideally you would want to use something that is useless in game… like perhaps the home key.

    Just make sure its not mapped in game to anything.

  7. Wiregeek says:

    I’m with Masta Squidge – Awesome idea, awesome execution, but I’d really map it to something less likely to be used.

    I’m thinking Ctrl-Shift-Insert

    come to think of it, ‘Insert’ would work just fine.

  8. Chris says:

    @Masta Squidge: You’re right, I remember that was a problem with some games. I’m sure changing a single line of code would let you send another keystroke if needed. If Teamspeak can be configured to read it, you could use Scroll Lock; that never interferes with anything. :)

  9. Anonymous says:

    I did something similar with a Staples Easy Button and a $5 USB joystick from Goodwill. I don’t know if Teamspeak works the same way, but Ventrilo picked it up as a separate device so there are no keyboard conflicts.

  10. tiny says:

    Nice boots.

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