While you’d be hard pressed to find a Hackaday writer that feels any nostalgia for the DRM nonsense the iPod helped to introduce, we’ve got to admit that we miss that click wheel. Spinning your way through long lists was a breeze, and the tactile response made it easy to stop exactly where you wanted. These days, we’re stuck fumbling our way through touch screen interfaces that make simple tasks like seeking to a particular spot in a song or video all but impossible to do with any kind of accuracy.
If you too yearn to once again feel that subtle thumping under your thumb, then check out this project from [landonr]. Technically the handheld gadget is intended to be used as a wireless remote for a home automation system powered by ESPHome, but that’s only one possible application for this particular combination of off-the-shelf components.
Building your own version of the handheld device is a simple as mounting a LILYGO ESP32 T-Display TTGO, an ANO Rotary Navigation Encoder from Adafruit, and a battery pack to a scrap of perfboard. We’d probably look into 3D printing a case to make it a bit less…pokey, but that’s up to you. The result actually bears quite a resemblance to Apple’s iconic media player, but without that pesky walled garden to hold you back.
As mentioned previously, [landonr] wrote the firmware with the intention of controlling a home automation system. So there’s a lot of stuff in there about turning on lights and such. But there are also functions for media playback that look very promising. Whatever software you end up running on it, one thing is for sure: running through the menus is going to feel like a dream.
We’ve covered several other home automation remotes over the years. This handsome wooden model kept things simple with just a few physical buttons, while this somewhat more whimsical approach repurposed Nintendo’s Zapper light gun.
Thanks to [Tushar] for the tip.
5 thoughts on “Scroll Through ESPHome With IPod-style Click Wheel”
The real question is, can this fit in an iPod enclosure?
tried to get this to work couldnt get it working on arduino uno wanted to use the uno to emulate the clickwheel into a rotary encoder and buttons
The original iPod didn’t have DRM, that’s the the iTunes music store you’re thinking of. You could load up all the DRM free MP3’s you liked from your own library
I plan on putting a few hard wired wall plate versions of this in my house when I get the chance to work on my system again. I think it’s a better solution than HAswitchplate
thanks for featuring my project! I’m working on a case and a new version with a larger screen
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)