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Button Pad Controller USB

Replacement: None. We're no longer making this board, but check out our other buttons and switches. This page is for reference only.

Connect ALL the buttons! The Button Pad Controller USB was designed to control an entire multi-board system of Button Pad Controllers through an easy to use API over a USB connection. The board is 4”x4” and has 16 tri-color LEDs and 16 corresponding button pads (i.e. The button pads surround each LED). The USB Button Pad Controller is designed to communicate with up to 9 other Button Pad Controller SPI boards. The default firmware uses a 24 bit color scheme for each LED. Each board comes configured to work as a standalone unit and must be reconfigured for multiple board systems.

We do not sell the frames shown in the photograph. We put those together for our own use as a demonstration of what two units (USB unit and a SPI unit) look like, boxed up together.

Unit comes fully assembled and tested as shown. Unit does not include top button pad (listed below).

Note: If you want to use this as a slave board, you will need to use an AVR programmer to erase the master ATMega328. Use the 'Master Prog.' ISP header to do so.

Note: We're using new RGB LEDs which have the blue and green pins swapped. When setting the LED color, you'll need to swap the blue and green values in the command structure. Visually, nothing on the board has changed.

  • 4 x 4”


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • if anybody is interested here are some details on how I made a monome clone using these boards: tomashg.com

  • If i want to have or create this product, what is sparkfun's advice? What I must buy in your store to make it? Thanks

  • The bare breakout PCB version of this has four holes in the center, which make using the 2x2 plastic bezels an option. I bought this one for the easy of USB, along with 4 of the bezels, and the 4x4 button pad. Unfortunately, without holes in the middle of the board, the center where the bezels meet just sticks up and isn't very secure.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see a 4x4 bezel option (because the 2x2s can interlock), so without the four holes in the center like the bare PCB, it's not clear how to get a secure bezel on this.

    Any ideas?

  • I am interested in making an interface consisting of 32 seperate buttons, each illuminated by an RGB LED. However, each will be on an individual pc board. I want to connect these to an arduino using SPI.

    I saw this product and I figured with two of these, I could replace the LED and button pad with 6-pin headers, then route these to each board.

    Does this sould like a good idea? Or do you know of a better solution that doesn't involve hacking a perfectly good board? Some expert advice is always appreciated!

  • Is there a link to the old version where maybe there is some help in the comments?

  • "through an easy to use API over a USB connection"

    "The simplest way to do this is through a Virtual Com Port on your computer using a terminal program."

    I've spent three days researching and installing just about everything and have had no love with a Virtual Com Port. D2XX, LadyAda's tutorial, the HackaDay guide. I've dug through every tutorial that is on the Sparkfun Site, including http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/40

    I am on a Mac running 10.7.3. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • can this be used as an SPI as well? because the USB API has so much latency that it's barely of any good use..

  • what is the difference from the previous usb controller? I just ordered one few days ago and it got retired..

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