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Keypads are very handy input devices, but who wants to tie up seven GPIO pins, wire up a handful of pull-up resistors, and write firmware that wastes valuable processing time scanning the keys for inputs? The SparkFun Qwiic Keypad comes fully assembled and makes the development process for adding a 12 button keypad easy. No voltage translation or figuring out which I2C pin is SDA or SCL, just plug and go! Utilizing our handy Qwiic system, no soldering is required to connect it to the rest of your system. However, we still have broken out 0.1"-spaced pins in case you prefer to use a breadboard.
Each of the keypad's 12 buttons has been labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, *, and # and has been formatted to into the same layout as a telephone keypad with each keypress resistance ranging between 10 and 150 Ohms. The Qwiic Keypad reads and stores the last 15 button presses in a First-In, First-Out (FIFO) stack, so you don’t need to constantly poll the keypad from your microcontroller. This information, then, is accessible through the Qwiic interface. The SparkFun Qwiic Keypad even has a software configurable I2C address so you can have multiple I2C devices on the same bus.
The SparkFun Qwiic connect system is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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This is pitched as a "easy to integrate" board, but it is anything but! You're probably better off finding any of the other keypads on the market and using the abundant documentation to connect them to your project. The documentation for this project is wrong in important ways and incomplete in others.
It probably took three minutes to go from opening the package to having keypad input in my project. I just wish there was a Qwiic version of the 16x2 LCD!
Example code makes it easy to get up and going quick!! Qwiic connection is convenient