creating input devices

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by somenos, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. somenos

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 21, 2010
    I'm a beginner with electronics.

    Is it feasible to create your own mouse, keyboard, joystick or even tablet with components you can order online? What kind of knowledge should someone have to try something like that?
  2. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    A lot of knowledge I must say.
    Something I even don't think is easy
  3. Potato Pudding

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
    It could take you months and cost you hundreds of dollars to build a set of Keyboard and Mouse.

    You can buy some used peripherals quite cheaply and tinker with them because there are some good things you could learn from them.
  4. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Given the time and materials I could probably build a set of tires for my car but one has to draw the line in the point of practicality at times.

    It is of benefit though to learn HOW a keyboard works through multiplexing and serial communication just as it is with how a mouse works. The principles involved in both products are used in lots of other circuitry in many other ways so it's definitely good knowledge to have but not anything I'd spend much time or any money on unless you needed something that was highly specialized.

    BTW: Building a mouse would be the easier of the two for obvious reasons, however I still think you'd have just as much fun and learning enjoyment from tackling something else. Most people start with a a bench power supply project, something you'll be able to use as you move on to more complex circuitry as you learn more and more.
  5. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    About as basic as you can get, here's a project to start with which can later be expanded by adding a regulator, then an adjustable output as well as voltage and current meters. All the parts would be available from most any Radio Shack or mail order supplier, some could even be scrounged from old electronics.

    Simple unregulated 12V DC power supply:
  6. DangerousBill

    Active Member

    Jul 21, 2010
    It's not practical. A company might spend millions of dollars and months or years to develop a product that will sell for $15. It isn't just the mechanical challenge; it's integrating your device into the software of a computer.

    That said, the best way to learn electronics is to build something. I just wouldn't choose anything mechanical to start with.
  7. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  8. hgmjr

    Retired Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    It is admirable that you would like to tackle these different techonlogies.

    Maybe what you could do is start off with a less ambitious project that involves building up one of the basic elements of a keyboard. You could build up a bank of switches and then work on the software that detects when the switches are pressed or not.

    Nothing can dampen ones enthusiasm for a new interest more than undertaking too much before ones knowledge is up to the undertaking.