Modular Controllers You Can’t Wait To Show Off To Your Friends

Let’s get this straight, [Alex] is going to show us how to make controllers like this one? Where do we sign up? Even without seeing it in action we want one, but the urge to build is even greater after he shows it off (check the clip after the break). He’s a design student who made an open source project aimed at making it easier to build hardware controllers that pair with just about any software application.

The need for external controllers is on the rise, starting with music-based applications like DJ tools, and Midi controllers for musicians (we’re thinking Monome clones). But anything that can take input from a USB HID can be controlled with something like this. That’s because [Alex] is using the Teensy controller board as an interface. Just select the input types you want – sliders, potentiometers, buttons, switches – then wire them up to the microcontroller pins. If you start to run out of inputs he also discusses some add-on chips to use as port expanders.

Of course there’s a lot to be said for the physical appearance as well. Even though he used point-to-point connections for all of the controls, that wiring is hidden behind the aesthetically pleasing laser-cut dashboard. Follow his advice for layout and find a friend with access to a sweet laser cutter and you’re in business.[youtube=]

12 thoughts on “Modular Controllers You Can’t Wait To Show Off To Your Friends

  1. Nice work, with that level of precison in the laser-cut dashboard might I suggest turning all of the visible phillips-head screws so they are straight. Anal, yes, but I think when a project looks this clean they stand out. I’ve known electrical inspectors to sign-off on a house the minute they see the wall plate screws all aligned.

      1. Would some one tell me how in the hell you align the screw slots holding electrical device covers, without stripping the threads on one or both screws? Save for tool joints mass produced threads make up is random, and unpredictable, making up where they make up. Unlike the water well sucker rods I have seen sucker rods used in oil production use tool joints as well. Thanks…

      2. @nollk

        most covers have a little bit of flex or play to them, and with standard outlet/switch plates the thread angle is rather gentle.

        This means that you have about a 1/4 turn of freedom for adjustment.

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