Just need some membrane keypad now!

Here’s my progress on a project:

All looks good. I just need a membrane keypad front panel. I’ve searched the internet a bit. Seems even one custom-made pad will cost hundreds of USD. Any suggestions how I can make this prototype more attractive? Maybe a generic keypad but I can’t find one. Found one on Farnell:

http://export.farnell.com/apem/ac3559/keypad-membrane-4x1/dp/1774829

But I will probably not like the shipping to US.

Any suggestion will help!

BTW, I’m trying to print on a self-adhisive sticker as front panel but I’m afraid it’ll make the prototype make cheesy and cheap looking.
:-[

Won’t last also.

http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?lang=en&site=US&WT.z_homepage_link=hp_go_button&KeyWords=membrane+keypad&x=0&y=0

these seem fairly reasonable in price and most of them have a area where you can slide a printed card tween the top layer and the keypads

Thanks Osgeld. I'll give the first one (4-buttons) a try.

be sure to look at the connectors, its that plastic ribbon stuff

Is this a prototype or "one off" project? Do you care about buying surplus? How about:

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/KP-23/16-BUTTON-KEYPAD-4-X-4//1.html

Thanks cr0sh. This is the prototype for my teaching equipment I mentioned a while back. I want to make these in small quantities but for a prototype, I don't care if a part is surplus. The 7805 is used by the day.

BTW, it just blew a diode. I start to hate concentric connectors like stereo plugs (3.5mm). They short all the time. I'll have to start my next revision.

Interesting. I'm not sure if I can afford a custom keypad since I haven't found any company that showed interest in this device. Do you sell generic keypads besides custom-designed ones? You can send me a PM.

http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/sealed-membrane-44-button-pad-with-sticker-p-668.html?cPath=119_120

maybe a bit large?

Same as what Osgeld suggested I think but from Farnell.

http://uk.farnell.com/apem/ac3559/keypad-membrane-4x1/dp/1774829?Ntt=AC3559

Also try these guys

http://www.satistronics.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&inc_subcat=1&search_in_description=1&categories_id=&keyword=membrane

A friend of mine has used them (satistronics that is, not the keypad) and is well happy with the service.


Rob

Here's one for inspiration:

http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1243954889

Yet another DIY possibility is to use a touchpad/digitizer such as this one:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14887

You would print your keypad/artwork on photo paper and stick the digitizer on top. Some kind of top frame would be needed to seal everything in place. The touchpad interface requires 4 ADC lines. Upside is that you can program touch sensitivity (how much pressure before you register a key press) and you can handle pretty much any number of buttons and shapes as you see fit.

A project like yours could also benefit from using a QVGA LCD display with touchscreen. This would take care of both data input and output with modest space requirements. One such display might be:

http://iteadstudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=55

Thanks BenF. Right! I can use a touch screen. Good idea!

I can personally vouch for the NKK switch membrane keypads available from Digikey; these look very professional, and are easily obtained from a supplier situated in North America.

On the other hand, I think that I am in love with the enclosure case, and I am wondering where you obtained it. Who is the manufacturer, and is there a local distributor?

nkinar, I bought the box from allied electronics. They took 2 weeks to back order the box. Search box enclosure on their website.

Thanks, liudr: this is greatly appreciated. I think that one of these NKK switch membrane keypads with the box from Allied would be a nice fit for my project as well.

JohnCena83: thanks, Rose/Bopla looks very interesting!

I can help you with this! Please take a look at www.RapidKeypads.com I would love to help you with your project. We make custom capacitive touch keypads. You don't even have to cut holes in your nice plastic enclosure. The buttons can sense through any non-conductive material!