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First Project Advice
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

First Project Advice

by drewmillrs on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:49 pm

I've been reading the site and forums for a couple of weeks, and while I feel that I'm closer to having the knowledge to build my project, I wanted to reach out to the community for some guidance. There appear to be many micro controller boards that will accomplish my goal, and I'm a bit confused on how to proceed.

I want to build an external box with 6 arcade buttons that I can plug into my PC (via USB) and send custom keyboard commands. The keys would be mapped to the up, down, left, and right arrow keys, the "M" key, and ideally the 'Shift & Ctl-Up arrow" keys. From my understanding, I can import a keyboard HID library, and write the code that will send my desired keystrokes.

I've been reading about the Adafruit Trinket M0 micro controller and the Itsy Bitsy 32U4 micro controller. Would those be suitable for my project? Or is there another micro controller that I should consider?

This is my first electronics project, but I'm fairly comfortable soldering and doing other DIY projects.

Thanks for any input!

drewmillrs
 
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Re: First Project Advice

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:14 pm

Either the M0 or the 32U4 would be capable of keyboard emulation. The M0 has more speed, memory and flexibility going forward if you want to expand the capability beyond that in the future.

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Re: First Project Advice

by drewmillrs on Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:13 pm

Thank you, Bill!

Will the Trinket M0 allow me to connect 6 buttons? Or does it only support 5?

Also, I neglected to mention that my arcade buttons have lights in them, so my plan was to leverage a board that had 5v output.

And I would need to purchase a micro-usb adapter to convert the connection into usb-type a for my computer, correct?

Does that change your recommendation?

drewmillrs
 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: First Project Advice

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:34 pm

The Trinkets are designed for minimum size and are limited to just 5 GPIO pins. The Feather or ItsyBitsy versions of the M0 both have plenty of pins for your application.

For driving the LEDs in the pushbuttons, you will need 6 more GPIO pins. The 32U4 is the better choice for driving LEDs also.

And yes, you will need a micro-USB cable to connect them to your computer.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.