Button Box 30 inputs and Nano for PC game

Ok, so I've already done the example 'blink' project for beginners and soldered up my matrix grid for a 6x5 matrix of push buttons and toggle switches (ON/OFF sort of stuff). No rotary encoders.

I can't find info about being able to use an Arduino Nano (or rather an Asian copy of some sort) with this setup. But I have found numerous sources pointing to the Pro Micro board (and especially amstudio's project) as the go-to board.

Question subset 1: Why is that? The Nano won't do matrix grids? Or a PC won't recognize the Nano being the controller in a matrix grid? Will a Pro Mini work? (assuming a USB-TTL connector gets hooked up?)

Questino subset 2: In the left-over I/O pins, would it be possible to hook up 4 individual LEDs that will flash on when 4 specific buttons are pushed? Or maybe whenever any row or column is engaged?

*Button box for ATS/ETS2 stuff and probably future racing, Elite Dangerous, etc, etc

1) a Pro Micro is an Arduino stripped down to the bare basics. This makes the modules small, low power and inexpensive. Great for permanent projects. The microcontroller is the same (ATmega328P) so abilities are the same as well.

2) Yes.

Alright. Info in-hand and got some answers! Thx.

I think there might be some misunderstanding here. The Leonardo which is in the UNO format and the "Pro Micro" which is in the Nano format, are essentially the same device but use a different processor which has native USB capabilities and can therefore emulate a keyboard, mouse or game controller.

The UNO and Nano as such, or a Pro Mini plus an adapter, implement a USB serial port, not a USB HID. The UNO - a real UNO which has a ATmega~~32U4~~16U2 USB interface in distinction to the majority of fakes which use a USB serial interface chip instead and as such are not UNOs but merely variants of the earlier Duemilanove - an actual UNO can have the 32U4 programmed as a HID but this is rarely done and if you need that capability, you might just as well use a Pro Micro.

wvmarle: 1) a Pro Micro is an Arduino stripped down to the bare basics. This makes the modules small, low power and inexpensive. Great for permanent projects. The microcontroller is the same (ATmega328P) so abilities are the same as well.

You are mistaking the Pro Micro for the Pro Mini. ;)

Paul__B: The UNO and Nano as such, or a Pro Mini plus an adapter, implement a USB serial port, not a USB HID. The UNO - a real UNO which has a ATmega32U4 USB interface in distinction to the majority of fakes which use a USB serial interface chip instead and as such are not UNOs but merely variants of the earlier Duemilanove - an actual UNO can have the 32U4 programmed as a HID but this is rarely done and if you need that capability, you might just as well use a Pro Micro.

Actually the Uno has an ATmega16U2 (not the 32U4) as its USB interface (besides the obvious 328P as main microcontroller).

The boards that natively implement HID are the ones based on the ATmega32U4 as its microcontroller: Arduino Leonardo, Arduino Micro, Sparkfun Pro Micro, etc and any of their clones. Any of these can esily be recognized as a gaming device (joystick) in a PC. To the OP: if you have enough IO pins in a Pro Micro, go for it. Otherwise a Micro will have a few more. The latter is also somewhat nicer for development and debug steps as it has a dedicated reset button and a pin 13 LED that the Pro Micro misses.

Whandall: You are mistaking the Pro Micro for the Pro Mini. ;)

They really should come up with a bit more sensible names... Indeed the micro has a somewhat different pinout and processor, but the dimensions of the two are very close!

escaner: Actually the UNO has an ATmega16U2 (not the 32U4) as its USB interface (besides the obvious 328P as main microcontroller).

And it originally was another one again with even less capacity.

Wow. Thanks for the replies.

Although the first answer wasn't super super clear, after some research I understood Nano and Mini won't work as a keyboard/joystick, where the micro will.

I've since gone with the Micro for the button box, and it works!

...well except for a single toggle switch (which works on its own), but when left in the 'on' position it causes two other buttons to simultaneously turn on when either one of those other two buttons gets pressed while the toggle is on. Probably a short circuit, will get it sorted.

One more question with LED incoming...(in a separate thread).

Thanks again!

Grizzlie: ...well except for a single toggle switch (which works on its own), but when left in the 'on' position it causes two other buttons to simultaneously turn on when either one of those other two buttons gets pressed while the toggle is on. Probably a short circuit, will get it sorted.

It's not a short circuit, in the normal sense, you didn't wire anything wrong or mess up when soldering. It's an effect that's bound to happen because of the way you built your matrix, I think. You should have placed a small diode in series with each button. This prevents the "ghost button press" issue you described.