In this project, Milos tackles the challenges of gaming keyboards in Sim racing. As a passionate gamer, Milos kicks us off by sharing his preference for a dedicated gaming keyboard, particularly for Sim racing games. He identifies limitations in the binary control of his current setup, highlighting issues with precision and responsiveness. Milos aims to overcome these challenges by developing a custom analog keyboard that can offer proportional control for a more immersive gaming experience.
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The heart of Milos' project lies in his quest to measure the force behind every key press on the keyboard. He delves into various methods to achieve this goal, including using commercial switches and load cells. Ultimately, he settles on using Force-Sensitive Resistors (FSRs), due to their simplicity and effectiveness. Milos explains that FSRs change resistance as pressure is applied, enabling precise force measurement. He takes us through the layers of an FSR, illustrating how the resistance changes as the carbon layer gets compressed under pressure.
The construction process comes next. Milos guides us through the assembly of his custom analog switch, combining components like the keycap, key switch, FSR, and silicon foot, He demonstrates the process with great attention to detail, providing tips on how to secure components effectively. He also elaborates on how he connected multiple FSRs to a Raspberry Pi Pico using an analog multiplexer to manage the input effectively.
As we delve into the software aspect of the project, Milos walks us through the code that enables the analog keyboard's proportional control. He emphasizes the use of the Pico Gamepad and Fast LED libraries for managing the addressable RGB LEDs, a staple of gaming equipment. His code snippet showcases how he mapped the analog input to joystick movements, granting the player smooth and intuitive control.
Milos concludes by sharing his hands-on experience with the custom analog keyboard in a Sim racing environment. Through his testing, he demonstrates the advantages of proportional control over binary control, showcasing a smoother driving experience. He acknowledges the challenges he faced and the physical toll that extended gaming sessions can have on his fingers. Nevertheless, he proudly presents his finished custom analog keyboard as a successful project that enhances the gaming experience.
In this comprehensive video, Milos takes us on a journey from identifying gaming keyboard limitations to creating a functional and exciting analog keyboard solution. His technical explanations, practical demonstrations, and candid insights provide both gamers and tech enthusiasts with a deeper understanding of this innovative project. If you're a Sim racing enthusiast looking to elevate your gaming experience, this episode offers a wealth of insights and inspiration.
Bill of Material:
|RASPBERRY-PI Raspberry Pi Pico Board, RP2040, 32 bit, ARM Cortex-M0+
|OHMITE Force Sensitive Resistor, Round, FSR Series, 15 g to 5 kg, Connector Housing
|SEEED STUDIO LED Strip, Waterproof, WS2813 RGB, 60 LED/m, 1m, 5V, Seeedunio, Arduino+BaseShild Board
|AMPHENOL COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTIONS USB Sealed Connector, USB Type C, USB 3.1, Receptacle, 24 Position, Panel Mount, IP67
|AMPHENOL COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTIONS
|M3 screws and nuts
|Passive components like resistors, capacitors
|Keyboard MX Switches
|Silicone feet for furniture