There are hundreds of keyboard models on the market these days. There are keyboards with mechanical and dome switches, models with and without a numeric keypad, and keyboards with card readers and trackpads. But there are no modern keyboards with vintage rotating phone dials that act as numeric keys. But apparently it’s possible to build it yourself.
of rotary keyboard Project by Squidgefish (via MiniMachines.net) is not precisely intended to enable new features or improve productivity, nor is it intended to play an April Fool’s Day prank. , it also doesn’t have a number line to make the prank really work.
Arguably the biggest challenge in fitting a vintage rotary phone dial to a modern device is that it is analog and produces a pulse train instead of a signal.Modern keyboards, by contrast, are digital. Therefore, there is no way to make the dial work without installing additional parts.So the squid DFRobot Beetleboard It has 10 digital pins, 5 analog pins and 4 pwn pins and is based on the ATmega32U4 chip which can be easily programmed to read pulse trains while maintaining compatibility with standard USB interfaces.
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Physically attaching a rotary dial also looks very difficult as it requires cutting the printed circuit board without knowing which traces are where. Still, after a few attempts, the modders managed to get things working.To make the keyboard look more or less aesthetic, Squidgefish has the dial and what it takes to make the dial worthwhile. Some parts had to be 3D printed, such as replacing the number row that was
The end result looks weird, but it works. You can enter numbers and symbols using the dial. It has nothing to do with steampunk keyboards with typewriter-style keys, but that wasn’t the point of the project anyway.
The total cost of the project was probably less than $30, but it certainly took quite a while to get it up and running.