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Something better than X keys

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  • Something better than X keys

    I found this solution cheaper than x keys.

    Get as many cheap mounted switches and mount on wood.

    Get an ardoino board.

    Connect wires from board to switch
    Program pins of ardoino board which is easy.

    Connect board via USB

  • #2
    Originally posted by Johnallen View Post
    I found this solution cheaper than x keys.

    Get as many cheap mounted switches and mount on wood.

    Get an ardoino board.

    Connect wires from board to switch
    Program pins of ardoino board which is easy.

    Connect board via USB
    Do you have a source for switches? I've been looking and have not found any. You say programming the Arduino is 'easy' ... some of us need more than that to go on. Can you be more specific as to what you program the switches to do?

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    • #3
      Arduino's strength is it's community support, not ease of programming. BASIC Stamp might be easier for a beginner but there's still a learning curve.

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      • #4
        Details man, we need details and photos! Since the Xkeys unit is "only" $99 for 16 keys, how much cheaper is your solution if you need to buy the switches, power supply, Arduino board, USB cable, etc.? Seems like you need to count your labor time rather cheap. And for those of us who have not programmed an Arduino before, what more do you need to buy for software or other support items to do that? What's the learning curve for those who have programmed in other computer languages in decades past?

        The one thing that would make me want to go down this road is if I could generate custom SysEx messages via a MIDI connection, not USB, when I push a button. Units I've seen that do that are much more expensive than $99 and several that I've looked up are now obsolete items from their manufacturer.
        Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

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        • #5
          The Arduino solution is great for those who can do it.
          FYI, we also make an X-keys board which supports DIY switches and is just under $60. http://xkeys.com/PIComponents/USBEncoderBoards.php

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          • #6
            I'm asking a technical guy who is helping me. As i'm in South Africa I use DIY electronics and can make 54 switches on Arduino due for R1000 which is about $90 if not needing so many switches arduino m0 is also an option. The knowledge is not high end. There is prebuilt libraries to detect buttons. Can be found on google.

            Switches try Amazon or Ebay.

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            • #7
              I have a number of free PCB designs at https://oshpark.com/profiles/jkinkennon that work with the Teensy 3.6 board. If anything there looks interesting I'm always happy to send a schematic or provide additional information. The X-keys approach is certainly a great solution at an attractive price, but those who want to do their own programming could run a fully functional MIDI console including stops and pistons using the Teensy 3.6 which is basically a blazingly fast Arduino (Teensyduino).
              Last edited by John Kinkennon; 08-23-2018, 11:11 AM. Reason: typo
              http://www.nwmidi.com

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