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Button Boxes

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Brian Clancy, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Okay Guys..

    I'm gonna start this thread off with some details of my latest atempt at a button box :cool:. 100_1073.jpg I made this stand alone panel out of some 3mm perspex sheet, it utilises a Leo Bodnar BU0836 USB 'joystick' controller to connect the buttons and rotary encoders to the PC. Once all the holes were drilled, the panel was trimmed with a 3M made Dry Carbon look Vynil. Its suprisingly realistic and looks even better than it does in the pics!:cool:
    All the switches are readily avilable from E-bay as is the 20x4 LCD panel and not as expensive as you might at first think!

    100_1075.jpg Its suprising how helpful it is not having to look for buttons on the keyboard mid race as the switches on the button box fall to hand much easier! If enough people ask, I will write a comprehensive tutorial
  2. Abdul Al-Amry

    Abdul Al-Amry
    2011 RD Indy 500 Winner

    Brian this is great stuff. A comprehensive tut will be great as I have been contemplating to advance my sim cockpit atmosphere :). Looking forward to the progress.
  3. :cool:Thats great to hear! I'm just hoping to get this off the ground! It could be a really good resourse and encourage others to have a go!

    I will be doing the first Tutorial in a week or two, I think a simple button box is the best subject (But I'm up for suggestions) and I will try to make it as comprehensive as I can with soldering tips, marking out for drilling, design, components and of course the build and finishing touches such as Carbon look finishes ect......:D
  4. Looks nice, when I grow up, I'd like to have something like that.

    Any tutorials for the USB controller? Not that one, since it's a commercial product, but has anyone else tried to do it alone?
  5. Hi Senad:)

    Thats a bit beyond my skills and to be honest, at about £15 for the board (and its a really good item, very powerfull and well made, easy to use) it seems a waist of time and money to even try, although it would be intresting..........Hmmmmm:wink:
  6. I like to tinker with electronics. Nothing as fancy as that, simple stuff, but enough to make me want to see how it works, and eventually try to do it alone.
  7. I'll be interested in your tutorial :)
  8. Its great to be getting some feedback and intrest in the tutorials!:D
    I will start the tutorial on a simple 'button box' soon!
  9. I will follow you step by step m8, i can't wait to built my fist button box :D I am thinking about it for over 2 months now but couldn't find a proper tutorial.
  10. Right, first part of the button box Tutorial is up in the TUT thread, enjoy and leave all your questions, feedback etc here guys:cool:
  11. Abdul Al-Amry

    Abdul Al-Amry
    2011 RD Indy 500 Winner

    Absolutely n brilliantly done with the intro tut to getting this up and running. I am about to order BU0836 and Rotary encoder, the rest will come from Ebay and other places like my brother's friend has a car spare shop :).

    Brian With the tut will it also advance to the one of the wheel you have made? I would like to have the one for the G25.

    Great start to this amazing project. Thanks Brian
  12. :cool:Yep, wheel mod tuts are a coming lol! Post any suggestions like that in the 'what would you like to see here' thread!
  13. Fantastic work Brian so far on the tutorials. Just a few questions;

    • Please can you tell me what each of the switches does for you button box?
    • How much in total (including P+P / Carbon Vynil etc) did you spend?
    • What tools do you need (I.e. Soldering Iron etc) These of course I presume will be in your tutorials but I wouldnt mind knowing now before I get too excited :)

    Would love to do one of these (maybe A5 sized though, something that could just fit nicely on my desk). Or if that goes well a flightsimulator one for example. :)

  14. Ok Dan mate:

    Buttons on my box inc: starter, ignition, lights, TXT chat, Vote yes/no, ping, screenshot, horn, Traction control, rotarys do: Seat positions, fore/aft and up/down. I have a wheel with more buttons, but your box could include Pit in, brake bias f/r (rotary), pit limmiter, boost/mix, temp boost and loads more!:tongue: just look at the button assignment in rFactor or whatever you use!


    USB board (approx) £20 inc delivery
    rotarys £3 ea
    Switches from 25p to £10 each, your choise
    wire n sundries say £5
    perspex say £5
    3m dry carbon covering £8-10

    Guess, on the cheap, £50-60


    Soldering kit good, but you may be able to crimp connections, but not really a good idea
    drill n bits
    pens ruler
    saw or better a jigsaw to cut perspex
    sharp knife

    All guessed on the 'Hoof' but gives you an idea! Hope that helps!:cool:
  15. Great Thanks mate :) I shall partake :p

    EDIT: But not with cheap things, like you say in tutorial you get what you pay for and If im going to spend £80-100ish then I want it to look right
  16. TBH I think your right about that! I would use a total of 12 inputs (the board can handle over 30, but then you have to wire in a matrix and 12 is simple wiring!) Say use two rotarys, one for brake bias and one for boost/mixture or whatever you like lol and that leaves you with eight inputs left for buttons (rotarys use 2 inputs each). That way you can afford to buy good quality, nice looking/feeling switches without spending a fortune!:wink:

    Also remember, if you decide to make a better second unit later, you can re-use the board/switches/rotarys, just adding the 'extra' components you want. That way your only dumping some cheap perspex/wire and a bit of covering (good tip eh lol) :D
  17. Great tips Thanks, my idea is;

    Brake Bias
    -Not sure yet- Maybe Menu Left/Right rather than buttons below

    Pit Request
    Voice Chat
    Menu 1
    Menu 2
    Menu 3
    Menu 4
    Menu 5

    Also if I added an LED shifter (A big attraction to me) how many inputs would that take up? Im also guessing that it will be hard to wire (total novice here of course). I may just leave space for it and add it later if/when my skills are better.

    EDIT: Also where in Yorkshire mate? Barnsley for me :D
  18. http://www.leobodnar.com/products/SLI-M/ shift lights are another unit (stand alone, but they have a button controller built in that will handle 12 inputs I think and rotarys) so think carefully, maybe better to buy an SLI-M instead of a BU0836

    EDIT:Oh, yeah, soz, I'm near Huddersfield mate lol
  19. Nice one Brain, can't wait to follow your guide.
  20. ok thanks, will get that instead of joystick controller get shifter and it will basically be same apart from have an LCD row + number on it. :D cant wait