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New Project! Circuit Python Keyboard Emulator

Learning Guide: Arcade Button Controller Box

When this box is connected to your computer, it behaves like a USB HID Keyboard. Press a button and it types a letter! It’s really simple and easy to manipulate the code so you can output single characters or string multiple characters together to execute commands! The LEDs also light up each time you press a button.

If you remember the Desk Of LadyAda stream on May 23, 2017 you may remember this project. Phil originally wanted a way to switch between scenes in WireCast using a custom trigger controller. Limor had the idea to prototype this using Circuit Python and an Adafruit Feather M0 Express.

Circuit Python Keyboard Emulator

You can watch Limor walkthrough the development of the software and explain how everything works. The CircuitPython HID Keyboard library is by Dan Halbert and Scott Shawcroft.

I designed a simple enclosure to house a few 24mm arcade buttons (with built-in LEDs!) and the Adafruit Feather M0 Express. I made a few different layouts, ie. two by two, three by two, four by four, etc. It’s parametrically driven so it’s really easy to make custom layouts. I put together a Layer by Layer tutorial that demos how it works. I think it’s pretty neat. Hope you find it useful for your projects.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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