Sherbet Custom Game Pad Is Smooth And Sweet

When [Billiam]’s beloved Logitech G13 game pad went to that great spectate room in the sky, he decided to pay homage by designing a custom, more ergonomic replacement from the desk up. Grab a spoon and dig into the story of [Billiam]’s journey toward Sherbet, because it’s a sweet ride.

Here’s the scoop: like a lot of DIY game pads and keyboards, Sherbet is based on the Teensy. We often see the micro USB coming straight off the Teensy, especially in clear acrylic builds, but [Billiam] added a USB breakout board so there’s no direct stress on the Teensy itself.

One of [Billiam]’s design challenges comes from the game pad placement — he has a tall desk and uses a keyboard tray, so it has to fit the space and leave enough room for his hand. Fortunately, there are low-profile mechanical switches out there, although the keycap options are strongly limited. We love that [Billiam] embedded a tiny ceramic bearing into one of them to use as a homing bump, because that’s a great idea.

If you want to take a crack at this project, [Billiam] has all the goodies laid out. [Billiam] wanted to use QMK firmware, but they didn’t have joystick support yet, so he’s got an Arduino sketch running in the meantime.

We love a good custom game pad around here, especially if they can reprogram themselves.

23 thoughts on “Sherbet Custom Game Pad Is Smooth And Sweet

    1. I buy Teensy even when there are cheaper options because I like supporting Paul. When I support Paul, it means Paul can continue to improve and innovate. I can also ask Paul questions about the things he makes and have a reasonable chance at getting a useful answer. It also allows Paul to be able to spend time writing great libraries for his hardware, most of which works and is free to use for other hardware too.

      I also like how fast Teensy boards are. For a lot of my projects that matters enough to make it worth paying more.

      I also like knowing that if I buy 5 units, the odds of all 5 units working are almost 100%. And if there’s a dead one that it’s easily solved by letting Paul know. If I buy 5 cheap Chinese knockoffs my odds of having all 5 work are considerably lower (based off of my own experiences). Getting the dead ones replaced? Not gonna happen. It’s cheaper to just buy more. So eventually I end up buying way more than I need to avoid the DOAs and time spent waiting for replacements, and in the end, they’re not so cheap any more.

      As long as there are plenty of us who support people like Paul it allows people like you to buy the cheap Chinese knockoffs that leverage the work of people like Paul.

      But that’s how it goes right?

    2. I always do such projects with an stm32f103c blue or black pill. It’s $2 and way faster than the pro micro (72mhz). Sometimes you do get a fake stm chip, but then you can get a partial refund and the project is even cheaper as long as you can fit it in the possibly smaller memory.

  1. I LOVE this design! I wanted to build something almost exactly like this as an FPS controller for the longest time but many games do not support keyboard and gamepad controls at the same time… Such a shame. Maybe that changed? Did that change?

      1. but FPS are usually happy with keyboards, and QMK and others will make things into a keyboard for you. only thing stopping the dude in the article is that he wanted an analog joystick… but if what you want to control doesn’t work with analog joysticks, doesn’t seem to be a thing that’s in your way.

    1. I play a lot of AAA FPS and most of them seem to support both mouse and game controller at the same time. I like thumb stick for movements and mouse for aim. It gets messy when I need to use the controller buttons and mouse at the same time.

      1. Which is why this solution is so elegant!
        Thanks for confirming! Very motivating to potentially start a similar project. I’m beginning to feel a keyboard build for a PC nerd is like the light saber build for a Jedi :)

        1. IMHO, this mod bring the worse of both worlds – painfulness of using keyboard for movements and the inaccuracy of thumb stick for aiming. YMMV.

          I still think my se of thumb stick for movement, mouse for accurate aim and consistent gampad keys make gaming more enjoyable.

    2. Some games still don’t, though most do. For the ones that don’t, REWASD works great. Among other things, it unmaps the joystick axis’ so you don’t get joystick input, but then re-maps those inputs to keys so it appears to the game that you’re only using a keyboard. Works great for me when I want to left-hand a controller and right-hand a mouse.

  2. I’m working on a similar project with no joystick though support is available. I’m using the Teensy LC as well since i had some in a drawer. Spending most of my time now working on a python based config utility. I’m modeling mine after the Dark Matter keyboard. I feel this dudes pain. I’m building mine for the same reason. My G13 died as well and a new replacements is 3 to 500 bucks which is ridiculous. I’ll post my project once all is finished.

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