Building a small keypad for strategy games

A month ago [Andreas] started playing Starcraft 2 again. As he was not comfortable with the default hotkeys on a normal keyboard, [Andreas] decided to build his own.

He started by salvaging keys from an old keyboard he had lying around, then 3D printed the case you see in the picture above to fit them. The keyboard electrical design is a simple matrix and it appears that he etched the PCB himself. To provide the required USB connectivity, the Atmega8U2 was chosen. It comes with a pre-programmed USB bootloader that [Andreas] chose to activate when the left key is pressed at the system startup. The HID class was implemented using the LUFA-USB Framework and the final product is definitely good looking.

All the files required to duplicate his design can be found here. You can also checkout another starcraft keyboard and an ergonomic keyboard that we previously featured.

Comments

  1. mnlgarbe says:

    Strategy games or CAD software ;)

  2. dALE says:

    Wow, nice job buddy.

  3. Hack Man says:

    http://xkeys.com/xkeys.php

    Commercial offerings.

  4. kdm says:

    please add “keyboard” as a tag

  5. Mike says:

    Also great for macros on your programming IDE.

  6. Protolamer says:

    “Now where should I place the screw holes? Oh I know, everywhere!”

  7. Wait. Why are the keys reversed?

    • kaidenshi says:

      It’s explained in the article:

      “The grind hotkey system seems a good idea, but it if you think about it, there is a serious design fault. As a right-handed person you have to use the left hand for the hotkeys. The grid on the screen is on the right side and the most used keys are on the left. This means you have to use your little finger for the most common actions – that’s not very comfortable. “

  8. Greenaum says:

    More interesting in the picture, what are those glowing buttons in the bottom-left of his desk!? They’re lit up different colours on a what looks like a flap you lift up. I’m betting it’s the entry panel for the self-destruct button.

    His desk’s surrounded by lights, too! I just bet he can do Knight-Rider style trails in any colour he likes.

    I also quite like his s00per-delux joystick-mouse thing just nearby, but that’s something you can buy commercially.

    Anyway. Sod his keypad (although the single-unit keys donated from the Cherry keyboard are niiiice), I wanna know how he made the desk!

  9. Addidis says:

    Woah nice work. I actually use a g13 for the mmo’s and cad aps. But Ive often considered making my own. Hella nice finished look.

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