Parts: Tactile switches for your next project

Electronics parts can be a pain to choose. It’s often hard to tell from manufacturers’ datasheets if a part will fit your design. We auditioned six different tactile switches to find a cheap button to use in upcoming projects. A tactile switch, also called a momentary button or push-to-make switch, is commonly used for input and microcontroller resets. This type of button creates a temporary electrical connection when pressed.

Footprints for most of these buttons are available in the Cadsoft Eagle library switch-tac, or in the Sparkfun parts library under TAC_SWITCH. Buttons in the image above are discussed from left to right. Continue reading “Parts: Tactile switches for your next project”

Xbox 360 controller remixed for optimized FPS play

[F00 f00] of Acidmods was not satisfied with his first-person shooter gaming experience, so he modded an Xbox 360 controller so that A, B, X and Y buttons are on the underside of the controller, on the inside edges of the wings where the player’s fingertips usually go. He also moved the right thumbstick up a bit so that it would be level with the left one. He designed it to improve his ability to play first person shooters, but the advantages go beyond one genre of game. The right thumb is free to remain on the right thumbstick, and the colored buttons can be pressed by four fingers instead of just the right thumb. We love this mod for it’s simplicity and effectiveness, and we’re eagerly awaiting the internal photos he promised.

[via BB Gadgets]

Tips on picking the right case

Finding the right enclosure to house your latest project can be tricky, so Sparkfun wrote up some handy tips on the how to pick the right one.

The most important tip is to have your components measured before acquiring a case; even being a few milimeters too small can put you back at square one. To do this right, it’s useful to look at the dimensional drawings of prospective cases to get a sense for the size. These typically include recommended shapes for PCBs too.

You may find a case that meets your dimensional needs but doesn’t have the appropriate mounting bosses. To get the placement right, screw some plastic standoffs to the PCB, then use super glue to attach them firmly to the case.

Tips on button choices, hole drilling, and other typical issues with case modification can also be found in this guide. If this is something that’s been stumping you, give it a look.