Feb 252008
 

So… with the screen strapped to the back of the craptop, I’ll need some way to control the jukebox. Cheap momentary pushbuttons from RadioShack seemed like a good way to go. This picture isn’t a finished piece, but it shows the buttons wired up into a spare piece of plexiglas for testing.

The buttons do no good without something to connect them to. So I dismantled a keyboard, de-soldered the connectors, and soldered a ribbon cable into the holes. I connected the other end of the ribbon cable to a terminal strip so it’s easier to wire up the buttons.

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Having a terminal strip wired up to a keyboard encoder doesn’t do any good if you don’t know which pins to short together to create a keypress. I dug out my scanner and scanned both layers of traces for the keys. I then used my image manipulation program of choice and made the traces colorful and figured out which key shorted which pins.

The keyboard encoder pinout is probably different between different models/brands of keyboards, so there isn’t much point for me to post that here. Another method of figuring out which pins go where is to partially disassemble the keyboard and use a multimeter on continuity test with alligator clips to figure out which key shorts which 2 pins. Yet another method is just plugging the keyboard encoder into the computer and shorting pins and seeing which keypress it caused.

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