How I build Kerbal space Controler without programming skill.
Well, all started when I saw these cool looking, custom, Kerbal controllers. I want one of these, I said myself and opened the first book about Arduino programming..... and close it a few minutes after...
I don't want to say Arduino is bad .... it is amazing and I will do my next controller with it. (I'm actually already working on it.) But back then, I wanted to start working on controller soon as possible, so I went a different way.
By that time I moved into "large city" with my girl and there was one problem, I was used to working on larger projects in my parents' garage. Well, I was desperate to make something fun and grinding steel bars inside small flat was not the right way. So my girl gives me a gift. Soldering station. That day I started working on my controller.
Common, scrap that story and say about the project, RIGHT?
Well, how do you make a custom keyboard without programming skill? FROM ANOTHER KEYBOARD.
So, I disassembled keyboard I had to put away because it was too noisy for my girlfriend.
The target was to map keyboards membrane and solder keys on new locations to the panel. Easy. For someone who does not have any soldering skill at all. I destroyed that keyboard in the process of soldering.
NOBODY TELL ME I NEED SOLDERING FLUX FOR THAT.
I learned hard way when I was googling why my soldering suck. By now I should point out new name of project "Kerbal space Controler without programming and soldering skill". Guys and girls, if you doing something you don't understand and "frak" for the first time without letting other people help you. Well, what did you expect? I should listen to my older brother. And learn before doing something. But no... when I was young we were both building each, the same paper model. While he was in the middle of the process of building his model I was about to set on fire my own because I didn't put inside support structure. It was in manual... and that I didn't read. And even later when I learned how to read I dint read manuals. I learned all by trial and error. And to be honest it was fun, but it sucks at the same time.
Back to project from another flashback to justify this stupid thing I made
With soldering flux, I was able to connect cables with keyboard controller board. So next thing I needed was to decode membrane.
I scan each layer and color each connection with different color. Everything should work, but when I connected cables that should write "W", all I got was a different letter. Guess what ... I used keyboard controller board for few last days upside down. At last, I noticed it when testing multiple key connections and found a hint that things are mirrored.
OK, simple keys are easy. Like put the key that will be turning RCS on and off for key "R". Easy .. but how about speed? I was unable to use a potentiometer for speed control. So, I put four keys on top of each other. On the bottom shut down the engine, other two was throttle up and down and key on top was "maximum power". Ok, that suck but I was not able to find anything better.
Next one. How do you make a key that needs "shift" to be pushed at the same time, when panel key has only two connections? Pushing two keys at the same time wasn't fun so I bought small lever switch.
If you switch it you actually pressing "shift" down. It is fun to switch lever and push button, then switch lever back. I was satisfied there.
One last thing was needed to be solved. How do I make joystick? Normal ones use a potentiometer. That was something I cant use...
I disassemble old joystick, with the game port, I cannot use anyway and extract rotary potentiometer. Then I replace it with the stereo potentiometer. Each resistor track for each key. "W" and "S" for one axis and "A" and "D" for other. I had to cut resistor track exactly in the place where I wanted to joystick start "writing" right key.
In the end, it is kind of key stick :D.
So, I put it all together and here is the result.
Is it Good?
YES, but the key stick is sometimes hard to control. Good for RCS control, bad for planes.
Was it fun building it?
Do I use it?
NO. I'm looking forward to another one I'm working on with Arduino.