The only thing better than a nice mechanical key, is one that also can glow any color of the rainbow – and that’s what the Adafruit NeoKey Breakout will let you do! This little 0.75″ x 0.95″ PCB can fit one Kailh CHOCor compatible switch and make it easy to use with a breadboard or perfboard.
The breakout has a Kailh CHOC socket, which means you can plug in any CHOC-compatible switch instead of soldering it in. You may need a little glue to keep the switch in place; hot glue or a dot of epoxy worked fine for us. We also place a 1N4148 signal diode in series with the switch, so you can create key-grid matrices without worrying about ghosted keys.
Each breakout also has a single reverse-mount NeoPixel pointing up through the spot where many switches would have an LED to shine through. The input and output of the pixel are broken out so you can ‘chain’ these boards together and control them as one NeoPixel strand.
There’s plenty of flexibility for any kind of use; each board has the following pin out:
VDD (+) The power pin for the NeoPixel; provide 3 to 5VDC
GND (-) The ground power pin for the NeoPixel, connect to ground
In (I) and Out (O) The input and output to/from the NeoPixel, for chaining
Switch Anode (A) – The ‘positive’ side of the switch+diode. If you’re using the switch with a pull-up resistor, connect this pin to your microcontroller. If you’re using a pull-down, connect this pin to your logic level power pin.
Switch Cathode (C) – The ‘negative’ side of the switch+diode. If you’re using the switch with a pull-up resistor, connect this pin to ground. If you’re using a pull-down, connect this pin to your microcontroller.
There’re two rows of 5-pin contacts on a 0.1″ grid on both sides. Solder in both sides for mechanical stability; the two sides share the same pins except for one side is NeoPixel in and the opposite side has the out pin. For side-by-side wiring, we also have the cathode pin broken out on the sides, and another set of NeoPixel In/Out pins.
Please note,each order comes with one assembled PCB and a small stick of break-off header. Soldering is required to attach the header for breadboard use. A mechanical switch and key cap are not included! Use any CHOC-compatible switch. Note that Cherry/MX switches are not at all compatible with CHOC sockets.
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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, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, 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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