Making a processing controller

hello,

i want to build a hardware controller for my processing sketches for testing purposes. i was thinking about using all analog inputs with pots, and all digital pins a combination of switches, buttons and leds.

the coding doesn’t seem too difficult as it’s only basic stuff, i was rather wondering about the electronic side, because i’ve only been making prototypes yet, i have never soldered or built anything before. i guess i will need linear 10kOhm pots with pins for prototyping, and the same with solder lugs for the final controller, some not-too-thick wood box…

i also wanted to easily plug/unplug the arduino from the box, i though about getting that kind of connectors, but with wires instead of the female side, don’t know it it exists.

if you know of anything a noob has to learn before starting this project, please share!

thanks in advance!

but with wires instead of the female side, don't know it it exists.

Yes these are called pin headers.

This project:- http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Hardware/Crazy_People.html uses RFID readers and reports the numbers back to a Processing sketch, maybe you can pick up some hints from that.

Thanks. So I'll have to get pin headers the right size and solder the wires myself? I can't get a ribbon cable with male pin headers that would fit the Arduino headers? The google searches return so many results it's hard to filter them with my little knowledge...

The headers that attach ribbon cables are called IDC - insulation displacement connectors - they are normally two rows of 0.1 pitch, so are not suitable for a single row. Also they have a shroud round them so they would not fit in a single row of the arduino. So I think you will have to learn how to solder.

Alternatively, you could plug your Arduino into a breakout shield and connect your switches/sliders/LEDs to that. If you plan to mount this in a box I imagine you would want to mount your switches/sliders/LEDs on the box and then wire them to the breakout board (or direct to connectors that will do straight to the Arduino headers, if you prefer not to use a breakout shield). Having a breakout box with screw terminals would reduce/eliminate soldering, and also make it relatively easy to move things around later on.

Grumpy_Mike: The headers that attach ribbon cables are called IDC - insulation displacement connectors - they are normally two rows of 0.1 pitch, so are not suitable for a single row. Also they have a shroud round them so they would not fit in a single row of the arduino. So I think you will have to learn how to solder.

Thanks! I will need to anyway eventually, if I want to make all my ideas come true. I just wanted to keep the difficulty as low as possible for a first project.

PeterH: Alternatively, you could plug your Arduino into a breakout shield and connect your switches/sliders/LEDs to that. If you plan to mount this in a box I imagine you would want to mount your switches/sliders/LEDs on the box and then wire them to the breakout board (or direct to connectors that will do straight to the Arduino headers, if you prefer not to use a breakout shield). Having a breakout box with screw terminals would reduce/eliminate soldering, and also make it relatively easy to move things around later on.

You imagined pretty well what I want, that's an interesting alternative but I think it'll be much cheaper to use pin headers rather than a breakout shield (I could only find one from makershed.com btw), especially if I make several boxes, what kind of headers would I need then? Basically I want to build some sort of ribbon cable, if that's feasible for a beginner solderer... I doubt I can solder wires into the headers I posted: Or do you think it's a stupid idea? Thanks a lot for your time :)