PC Shortcut Knob Input with Lock Key Indication

Rotary PC input features lighting for caps lock, num lock, and scroll lock, and "stay on" function.

Jeremy S. Cook
22 days agoProductivity / 3D Printing

As a maker and technology writer, I’m always looking for ways to make myself more efficient. I also often listen to instrumental music in order to help me concentrate, which often needs to be paused in order to take in a YouTube video. For this purpose, I built a rotary shortcut “keyboard” which can modify volume with an encoder, as well as play/pause what I’m listening to, and even skip and rewind songs with the press of a button.

This has worked well for close to a year, but another problem I—and probably you—have is that I’ll often hit the caps lock key unintentionally, plus I never really know if num lock is on. For this purpose, I took the NeoPixel ring already embedded in the fixture mostly for looks, and transformed it into a display that shines blue if caps lock is on, pulses red if num lock is not on, and goes green if scroll lock is activated (for what that is worth). Additionally, hitting both yellow buttons at once takes it into a mode that intentionally hits the scroll lock key in order to keep the computer awake as needed.

Electronics were taken from the previous revision, and include a tiny Pico board that acts like an Arduino Leonardo, along with an I2C encoder that takes care of scrolling so the main board doesn’t have to.

More details on the build, including code and print files are available on GitHub, and there’s a write-up on the previous (and physically very similar) project here on Hackster.

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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