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Rubber button group buy?

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Yo!  I was wondering if anyone would be interested in a group buy of the spark fun 4x4 button pads.

I'm sure everyone has been lusting after these for their latest midi contraptions as I have been too.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=7835#

Any takers?  I don't know if I really want to be the one organizing this, someone else is more than welcome to take charge.

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Why not email them and ask if they do price breaks on bulk orders?

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Hi,

no need to ask ;)

...quote from the site:

Button Pad 4x4 - LED Compatible

SKU#: ButtonPad-4x4

Price: $19.95

10-99: $17.96 each (10% off)

100 or more: $15.96 each (20% off)

I'd be really interested, but I think 16$ (if we ever get > 100) + PCB + shipping to Europe would be... well... I'd have to think about it, but in general I'd be interested!

Would you also buy the PCBs or would you organize these seperately (maybe bulk order at some PCB-service?)

Regards,

Michael

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i've been thinking about the pcbs...

"What if, and belive me, this is sooo hypothetical" (office space)

I (or someone) created a pcb design for the buttons using all SMD components?

The backside would have all the DIN and DOUT modules on it and the frontside would have the button contacts as well as places for smd leds.

This would be a fairly cheap board since it could be made with no holes what so ever...

The boards could either be 8x8 or 4x4

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The backside would have all the DIN and DOUT modules on it and the frontside would have the button contacts as well as places for smd leds.

That would be (hypothetically ;D ) more than delicious! 8)

Unfortunately I never created a PCB design, but maybe someone else here likes the idea?

Just in case, here is the link to the original pcb for these button pads:

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8033

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That would be (hypothetically ;D ) more than delicious! 8)

Unfortunately I never created a PCB design, but maybe someone else here likes the idea?

Just in case, here is the link to the original pcb for these button pads:

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8033

Yo, audiocommand, do you have aim or msn?  if so can you hit me up with your screenname in a PM?

Thanks!

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Why would somebody go for the bad feeling of rubber pad buttons? - To break down production costs! But for this price (100 pads = when you order 1600 pcs. of switches) you get decent switches with a nice tactile feel.

Greets, Roger

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Why would somebody go for the bad feeling of rubber pad buttons? - To break down production costs! But for this price (100 pads = when you order 1600 pcs. of switches) you get decent switches with a nice tactile feel.

Greets, Roger

I happen to really like the feeling of rubber pad buttons.  I think the other upshot to this is that you can place leds behind the buttons as indicators to what it is doing and color codes to show what channel it is modifying.

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Why would somebody go for the bad feeling of rubber pad buttons?

I've been wondering that as well, but I have no idea what these particular ones feel like. ???

Has anyone here played on a Monome,etc.? I know there are "good" rubber membrane switches and bad ones, but for any performance type use or drum/sequencer input, it would seem pretty important.

Take Care,

George

PS- My Alesis SR16 buttons get me so frustrated sometimes I feel like playing it with a hammer. ;D

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Hi Screaming_Rabbit,

I strongly disagree!   ;)

There are rubber button pads on my mikroKONTROL and there are rubber buttons on my Electribe. All of these are nicely to touch, easy to trigger and provide a good haptic feedback.

The switches I used to build in various DIY-stuff really suck. They are expensive, even more expensive with visual feedback (LEDs), they begin to make noises somewhen (quieek! ...no joke: LED-Switches for 4,- EUR each), they're ugly, you have to concentrate to get the position, because they are tiny and the distance to the panel is too long, that is, you cannot easily "flow" over the panel with your fingers... let's say the rubbery ones remind me of a modern computer keyboard, while the others are like industrial typewriters.

Of course I don't know how these matrix-buttons feel, but looking at the backside, I expect them to have a nice feeling (and looking at the price, I expect that, too ;D )

But I agree with Jidis, it would be interesting having someone around here who has a Monome or maybe worked with this Button Matrix!

Best regards,

Michael

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Hi Screaming_Rabbit,

I strongly disagree!   ;)

There are rubber button pads on my mikroKONTROL and there are rubber buttons on my Electribe. All of these are nicely to touch, easy to trigger and provide a good haptic feedback.

The switches I used to build in various DIY-stuff really suck. They are expensive, even more expensive with visual feedback (LEDs), they begin to make noises somewhen (quieek! ...no joke: LED-Switches for 4,- EUR each), they're ugly, you have to concentrate to get the position, because they are tiny and the distance to the panel is too long, that is, you cannot easily "flow" over the panel with your fingers... let's say the rubbery ones remind me of a modern computer keyboard, while the others are like industrial typewriters.

Of course I don't know how these matrix-buttons feel, but looking at the backside, I expect them to have a nice feeling (and looking at the price, I expect that, too ;D )

But I agree with Jidis, it would be interesting having someone around here who has a Monome or maybe worked with this Button Matrix!

Best regards,

Michael

Well, this might be a matter of taste. The feel of the rubber pads gets better and better but still not as nice as an EAO switch (and those are available with RGB LEDs and never squieek).

How about reliability? It took years for the industry to develop a PCB coating which ensures contact while beeing physical resistive to erosion and corrosion over years... and you think you're just doing it with some blanc copper or tin? :-\

I agree about the design aspect

I don't wanna disturb you guy's creativity... just throwing in some arguments... I like doing that  ;D

Greets, Roger

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Hi Roger,

I appreciate your arguments!  :-*  ;D

I'm sure, these EAO switches are great, but I want to note, that illuminated EAO-Switches are priced from ~7 EUR to ~40 EUR; most of them ~20,- EUR each!

...so we're talking about a button matrix of eg. 8x8 buttons, we got:

64 switches (let's say for 18,- each): 1152,- EUR (!)

even if there would be switches for 8,- EUR this would still be 512,- EUR...

A complete stuffed Monome is 500,- $!

64 rubber-switches by using 4 of these Matrixes: 80,- + 68,- PCBs = ~ 150,- $

Anyway, I have to admit that I haven't thought of erosion/corrosion problems... :-\

However, I just saw that the PCBs are out of stock  :'(

Cheers,

Michael

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Just my 2c... I got the dick of mucking about with crappy components that aren't just right... I'm in the process of ordering a whole lot of military specification knobs and switches and connectors etc. It's costing 3-5 times as much, and researching the mil specs has taken weeks, but it saves me the hassle later on, and it should still function after being dunked in water or scorched by fire so nightclubs and spilled drinks are not a problem heheheh

I'm not saying that's the right way for everyone to go, but just my perspective on the price vs functionality 'debate' :)

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Hi Screaming_Rabbit,

I strongly disagree!  ;)

There are rubber button pads on my mikroKONTROL and there are rubber buttons on my Electribe. All of these are nicely to touch, easy to trigger and provide a good haptic feedback.

The switches I used to build in various DIY-stuff really suck. They are expensive, even more expensive with visual feedback (LEDs), they begin to make noises somewhen (quieek! ...no joke: LED-Switches for 4,- EUR each), they're ugly, you have to concentrate to get the position, because they are tiny and the distance to the panel is too long, that is, you cannot easily "flow" over the panel with your fingers... let's say the rubbery ones remind me of a modern computer keyboard, while the others are like industrial typewriters.

Of course I don't know how these matrix-buttons feel, but looking at the backside, I expect them to have a nice feeling (and looking at the price, I expect that, too ;D )

But I agree with Jidis, it would be interesting having someone around here who has a Monome or maybe worked with this Button Matrix!

Best regards,

Michael

You mentioned visual feedback...

I have yet to build a midibox but i'll be ordering some stuff from smashtv later on.  Are you going to be using midiio128 or something else?  I'm just not sure exactly how we'll get the visual feedback from the program to work properly :-/

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I'm more thinking about in a long term...

I would develop a new software!

As I like the idea of the Monome, but don't like the idea of having no MIDI I/O but only USB, I'd be intrested in developing an intuitive input interface for Midi, where the program itself isn't running on a PC but on the PIC.

Basically I'd have a 64 button-matrix (as the monome), and maybe additionally somewhere decently placed, one or two buttons / encoders / dunno to select different programs, switch functions/modes, shiftmodes (0-63/64-127) and so on... maybe one large linear position sensor (eg spectra softPot) or something like that...

have you seen this one:

http://www.youtube.com/w/Toshio-Iwai-(TENORI-ON)-@-Artfutura05?v=WQq2aXvIsz4&search=japn

Basically it does not use buttons, but an LED-Matrix that is used also as button input (there should be a thread here somewhere about that; I don't think the concept itself developed further, the knowledge on how to use LEDs as LightSensors is quite old...)

Anyway, I don't have a special plan right now, I'd just be interested in having a universal controller with a nice button matrix... :)

However, I think I'd have time to develop something next year soonest, so... :-\

let's see...

Cheers,

Michael

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I have to admit that I haven't thought of erosion/corrosion problems... :-\

That's what I'm guessing my gripes are with the buttons on my Alesis. When it was new, they weren't nearly that bad, and they've barely been used (or abused). Now, it's like you have to "peck" at them really hard with the tips of your fingers to get an accurate trigger.

If anyone has any good tips (or threads/links) on cleaning or protecting that sort of switch, I've been planning to take it apart and see if it gets any better.

Thanks! 

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That's what I'm guessing my gripes are with the buttons on my Alesis. When it was new, they weren't nearly that bad, and they've barely been used (or abused). Now, it's like you have to "peck" at them really hard with the tips of your fingers to get an accurate trigger.

If anyone has any good tips (or threads/links) on cleaning or protecting that sort of switch, I've been planning to take it apart and see if it gets any better.

Thanks! 

... Some thoughts about the PCB (possibly not related to your Alesis gear but for the pads mentioned in this thread).

I wuld do tests with some graphite-powder mixed with 2 compound glue (like "Araldit"). Try a mixture with as much graphite you can get into the glue while the glue will still stick well on the copper pads (i think it will be possible to get about 40-50% of graphite-powder into it).

Apply a drop on every copper pad and when it's dry, stick a sanding paper onto a table and sand the drops down to about 0.2-0.1mm so they are as thin as possible and have a nice flat top. - I think this could work out.

Greets, Roger

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I have heard that to clean the conductive carbon pads (Alesis style ones, like one typically has in a remote control, etc.), that you use two products.  (1) alcohol to clean the oxidized contacts on the PCB, make them all nice and shiny again, and (2) a chemical product to put new conductive material on the pads.

For the second one, I have heard that Chemtronics CW2605 or CW2610 works well - http://www.chemtronics.com/products/product.asp?id=32

Unfortunately I was unable to get this product shipped to Canada, so I ordered CaiKote 44 (a similar product, I believe) from my local shop - http://www.rpelectronics.com/Default.asp?Main=/English/OnlineCat.asp?Menu=/English/Content/Categories/CatM_85.asp%26Detail=/English/Content/Items/K-CK44-2G.asp

I haven't had the time yet to use the stuff, but it sounds like it should work well.  Hmmm, the shelf life is about to expire, I'd better get off my butt.  Hopefully I can do my MMT-8 and HR-16 with one container.

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I had an mmt8 that had that problem, I used a pencil eraser to rub the gunk off, and them wiped it with alcohol. It worked fine.

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I have the impression that the button pads at sparkfun are now cheapter than before?

4x4 Rubber Button Pad 10,- $

4x4 Button PCB 15,- $

jipee, this is my first crosspost ;D

(thanks to stryd who pointed me back to this old thread)

I think you might be interested to hear that.

25$ for 4x4 buttons incl. PCB sounds like a fair pricing to me...

chers,

Michael

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