Main Restorations Software Audio/Jukebox/MP3 Everything Else Buy/Sell/Trade
Project Announcements Monitor/Video GroovyMAME Merit/JVL Touchscreen Meet Up Retail Vendors
Driving & Racing Woodworking Software Support Forums Consoles Project Arcade Reviews
Automated Projects Artwork Frontend Support Forums Pinball Forum Discussion Old Boards
Raspberry Pi & Dev Board controls.dat Linux Miscellaneous Arcade Wiki Discussion Old Archives
Lightguns Arcade1Up --- Bug Reports --- Site News

Unread posts | New Replies | Recent posts | Rules | Chatroom | Wiki | File Repository | RSS | Submit news

  

Author Topic: Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?  (Read 450 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

DrakeTungsten

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 287
  • Last login:June 19, 2019, 01:18:29 pm
  • I effed with the wrong person!
    • No Quarter - a basic FE, WIP
Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?
« on: April 19, 2019, 11:07:52 am »
I've seen cheap keyboard encoders dismissed in these forums, and I understand you get what you pay for. But I don't know in what way cheaping out hurts you. I'm building a music-playing dingus which will have only four buttons - pause, stop, next song, previous song. These buttons aren't going to get a lot of use, and certainly won't be used simultaneously like happens in gaming. Would I be OK using a cheap encoder for this purpose? 
No Quarter - a basic FE, WIP

PL1

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7279
  • Last login:Today at 03:40:59 am
  • Designated spam hunter
Re: Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 12:00:22 pm »
Would I be OK using a cheap encoder for this purpose?
Absolutely!  A knockoff Arduino Pro Micro like the $5 - $9 ones on eBay or Amazon will work just fine.

Use either a keyboard encoder sketch if you can do simple coding or a firmware like KADE miniArcade 2.0.


Scott

DrakeTungsten

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 287
  • Last login:June 19, 2019, 01:18:29 pm
  • I effed with the wrong person!
    • No Quarter - a basic FE, WIP
Re: Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2019, 12:07:57 pm »
Thanks Scott.

As long as you're willing to give basic Arduino advice, I have a follow-up question. I've already got an Arduino NFC shield which is going into the dingus, which is what I'm using to select albums to play. My initial research makes it look like I should be able to stack another Arduino shield, like one of those encoders, on top of this shield. Is that something an electronics beginner should be able to tackle?
No Quarter - a basic FE, WIP

PL1

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7279
  • Last login:Today at 03:40:59 am
  • Designated spam hunter
Re: Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 12:57:55 pm »
I've never worked with an NFC shield, so no idea how to modify the code so one Arduino will act as both a 4-input encoder and NFC reader.   :dunno
- It should be possible for even a mildly-talented Code Monkey to do that -- too bad I've only evolved to the level of Code Paramecium.   :lol

It would be a lot easier to have the NFC reader Arduino on one USB port and an encoder Arduino on another. (separate, not stacked)

As long as the music-playing software you're using is looking for keystrokes, the two Arduino approach should work the same as plugging two keyboards into a computer.


Scott
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 01:03:27 pm by PL1 »

meyer980

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 153
  • Last login:Yesterday at 10:10:29 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 04:35:24 pm »
Thanks Scott.

As long as you're willing to give basic Arduino advice, I have a follow-up question. I've already got an Arduino NFC shield which is going into the dingus, which is what I'm using to select albums to play. My initial research makes it look like I should be able to stack another Arduino shield, like one of those encoders, on top of this shield. Is that something an electronics beginner should be able to tackle?
I've
I was in the planning stages of doing something very similar - except using RFID and a pi. Are you writing the player code yourself? Or using an existing project? I've been thinking of using this: https://github.com/MiczFlor/RPi-Jukebox-RFID

But would love options!

DrakeTungsten

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 287
  • Last login:June 19, 2019, 01:18:29 pm
  • I effed with the wrong person!
    • No Quarter - a basic FE, WIP
Re: Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 08:00:52 pm »
I wrote the player myself. I used the Bass library, which was easy enough to learn. I also found the Arduino fairly easy to code for. I'm usually one to complain about inadequate documentation, but still found both of these things relatively easy to just get done what I want without needing to hunt through too many sources for direction.

The NFC interface is one of three I'm using. It's purpose is, unsurprisingly, for starting an album when I'm not at my PC, or for a guest to easily play an album. When I'm already at the PC, though, I have a browser-based interface and a more command-like interface.

Thanks again to Scott. Sounds like I'll go for two discrete devices. I toyed with the idea of using NFC for the control functions as well (instead of buttons - something like a cube whose faces activate different functions when held to the NFC reader), but that seems more like using NFC just because you can, not because it's the best option.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 08:06:15 pm by DrakeTungsten »
No Quarter - a basic FE, WIP

PL1

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7279
  • Last login:Today at 03:40:59 am
  • Designated spam hunter
Re: Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2019, 09:27:26 pm »
Glad to assist.   :cheers:

If you want to do something a bit different for the four buttons, how about some LED triangle or square/rectangle buttons with custom printed inserts?
- For previous song, a triangle button pointing left with a "<<" icon insert or a square/rectangle button with a "|<<" icon insert, etc.

If you don't have the depth behind the panel for LED buttons, perhaps some 24mm or 30mm Seimitsu PS-14-GN-C buttons?
- Wide variety of colors to choose from and they have a clear plunger cover to protect printed inserts.


Scott

DrakeTungsten

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 287
  • Last login:June 19, 2019, 01:18:29 pm
  • I effed with the wrong person!
    • No Quarter - a basic FE, WIP
Re: Are Cheap Encoders OK For Non-gaming?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2019, 09:34:50 pm »
I don't have the housing built yet, or even a design definitively decided on, so yeah, button choice (and encoder) is in my next step or two.
No Quarter - a basic FE, WIP