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Something that I just found.

posted May 26, 2012 20:57:31 by malaclypse2317
I was thinking about my bridge console construction. They will all be powered by custom-built (by me) AMD Fusion A4-3400 on a Biostar mini-itx motherboard in a very small case that I found a while ago by a company called Mini-Box (mini-box.com).

There's a picture of one attached to the back of a monitor for size comparison at the bottom.

Well, I was trying to figure out how I would give my stations, mostly helm and engineering, access to their hot-keys without the us of large keyboards cluttering up the consoles. I did a search for programmable keyboards and, oh dear lord, my dreams were answered.

http://www.fentek-ind.com/program.htm

They are a tad on the expensive side, but I'm going to pick one and try it out when I get my first console together. Probably the 6-key setup for the helm programmed with the four warp settings, dock and full stop. Maybe later I'll get crazy and try the foot pedals for starboard/ port helm control. That would be pretty sweet.

Let me know what you guys think and I'll get back to you after I get one and try it out.



[Last edited May 26, 2012 20:58:34]
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6 replies
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RobertJacoby said May 27, 2012 09:25:00
very expensive for just 6 keys... you get small touch screens for that price and with a small touchscreen you could customise the screen by you self. I bought a 7" Tablet with Android on it for rough 99$ and use YHTK app on it. you can see my LCARS profile HERE.
but you MiniBox would be great as sever and station host.
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malaclypse2317 said May 27, 2012 10:38:37
Hmmm... I was kind of liking the idea of having physical buttons on my consoles to make them look more functional, but I see your point. The appeal of insetting both my touch monitor and android tablet into the console and then surrounding them with LCARS kind of makes me giddy.

Now I need to find a picture of the Defiant's bridge so that I can design our bridge along those lines. Google, here I come.
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JohnnyVoruz said Jun 05, 2012 04:39:48
Wondering how these mini-cases are going? I'm totally ready to build my own bridge now!
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malaclypse2317 said Jun 27, 2012 20:55:02
The mini cases are actually really nice. The only issue is, there are not too many motherboards available for a reasonable price for the FM-1 chips. The Biostar that I bought for my consoles has the processor socket towards the middle of the board. This kind of interferes with the hard drive mounting bracket that attaches to the case above the board. I have even bought low-profile heat sinks and fans for my systems, but it is still a tight fit. It works, but it's tight. The systems themselves work great, however.

If you do buy from Mini-Box, make sure that you put in the comments on your case order that you want the new version that allows you to use the 4-pin power supply connector. This will allow you to use up to the 192w AC-DC power brick that they offer. They call it something like miniDin. It's on the site under the description of the new feature. I think you may have to click on the link under the picture of it to get the exact wording.

I, unfortunately, have not had much time to play Artemis lately, but it's always there in the back of my mind.
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GeorgeC.Bragg said Sep 06, 2012 04:04:09
If you're only going to have a 4- or 6-key keyboard, why not build your own?

Get a cheap USB keyboard (I paid $10 for one), and pry it apart. The main circuit board is a little board with leads on one edge. The one I pulled apart even had them labelled R0 through R7 and C0 through C17. The intersection of an R and a C makes a keypress, so it's just a matter of mapping what's what and then wiring some momentary-on push buttons through a frame. My local electronics surplus store even sells old arcade cabinet buttons - nice big red ones for "FIRE". :-)

Let's see if I can post a link:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Hacking-a-USB-Keyboard/
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zalo.torin said Dec 01, 2012 02:34:41
Or, cheaper yet, one of those USB number pads... >.>
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