rotary encoder/alternative ideas! unconventional suggestions welcome

hello. i’m looking for recommendations for a rotary encoder/replacement sensor for the following application:
the programmer who develops an operating system for this musical instrument (seen below) has introduced functions by which the instrument can be navigated and controlled over MIDI. this is excellent, as the factory rotary encoder is of poor quality. the tact switches, too - it’s all just too “clicky.”

therefore, i want to use arduino to build a better control surface for the MPC1000. this means 35 tact switches, 2 slide pots, and a rotary encoder. the developer allows incoming midi notes to act as “DATA WHEEL LEFT/RIGHT” commands, so it’ll be very easy to program.

i’e considered the rotary encoders from inside a PS2 mouse, but would like something more exciting. this sensor will be expected to allow me to quickly skitter around this machine as i’m very quick/hard on it (i’ve had to replace the rotary encoder twice already). i’d prefer to DIY/recycle/discover a robust encoder to use, but i would consider purchasing a couple encoders if you have a model you’re strongly recommend.

thanks for your time and suggestions. please let me know if you have any questions that would help you understand my intentions.

Build your own using something like - http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=102-1307-ND Very robust, is meant for measuring shofts in motors. It has a high resolution that is configurable.

From looking at some of our other posts I'm guessing you're using a standard Uno for this project?

Maybe take a look at the Mega 2560? That you you'd have more than enough inputs to do the project without needing to worry about muxing. Maybe even add some extras to your new control surface like being able to backlight your buttons if you're at a gig (turn on and off via the arduino) or an enable/disable button for each of your sliders..

hey, thanks for the suggestion. the encoder you linked me to looks nice. robust, customizable. a tad pricey but certainly something to consider if i want to go this route. thank you!

daneel, i use really bare bones arduino. i prefer to take the cheapest route as possible most the time. most of the stuff in my projects is found/salvaged. i'm actually building this controller inside two adjacent holllowed out CD-ROM boxes.

just last week i got my 4051 mux working and i am anxious to use them in an actual project.

Hey Guys,

Not sure if this is relevant but here's a breakout board that I designed for use with Sparkfun's Push Button Rotary Encoder. Handy for prototyping but also has holes for mounting on your project's interface panel. http://www.inmojo.com/store/disassemble-reassemble/item/rotary-encoder-breakout-pcb-only/

Regards,

Dan.