Karma Controller Makes Reddit A Game


[Will] likes Reddit so much he built this dedicated controller that lets him play the social website like a video game.

He calls it he Karma Controller. In this case, ‘Karma’ refers to ability to accumulate a large number of net up-votes on a Reddit post. The device features seven buttons which are all it takes to up and down vote, navigate up and down on the Reddit listings, toggle images, as well as open and close new tabs for the comments section. We’re wondering if it allows you to follow a link to the post source too?

One of the reasons that we’re featuring this is that it’s only [Will’s] second electronics project. If you’re still reluctant to get your hands dirty we hope this acts as inspiration. He started by building the first version on a hunk of protoboard. The Digispark microcontroller seen at the top reads from his button network and communicates with the computer via USB. Once the design was proven he had some help etching this circuit board which is version 2. He shows it off in the clip after the jump.

If you just want some buttons for voting you should take a look at this project which includes a 3D printed enclosure and button covers.

23 thoughts on “Karma Controller Makes Reddit A Game

    1. Fun (for some definition of fun, certainly silly in a good way!), inventive, clever, and while not specifically repurposing anything, still a useful bending of doodads to make interacting with something better. Plus, he’s trying to spread the gospel by getting kits together!

    2. With the buttons he theoretically will have exhausted the available content sooner and will have no other recourse than to go elsewhere for a while.


    1. Will is the lord over all of us you know. Remember that most of the hacks here are his…. Wait…. Will has no hacks here…..

      We should re assess voting Will as out supreme leader….

    1. The “copper on top” is a ground plane. A ground plane, or copper pour, is a large area of copper which provides a low-inductance return path for all the ground currents. Rather than trying to lead a separate single trace for ground to each component, you simply connect to the ground plane.

      Here’s a good example: http://www.parallax.com/Portals/0/Resources/Parallax%20Projects/multicontroller_08_L.jpg

      You can see all the connections from each component to the ground plane. Note the four little thin traces going from each pad to the ground plane – these are “thermals” and prevent the plane drawing heat away from the joint when you’re trying to solder it.

      1. I understand the concept of the ground plane, etc, but thank you. Your post was very informative.

        I guess the take away for me is that I need glasses. There must be some small break on one side of all these componnents that I just cant see.

  1. Based on the number of buttons and the layout, this would have been awesome if it was made to fit in a NES controller.

    Or even better, if it was an adapter to convert an original NES controller’s signals into the required USB keypresses

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