A Couple Buttons Short of a Panel…

is not what I want on my tombstone. It does describe my progress this weekend. I planned, cut out, drilled and primed a control panel for the traverser. This seems early since I don’t have the prototype control system and firmware done but the quantity fo buttons and all flapping about on jumper wires would get a bit out of hand. By the time I tied it all down to a plank, I might as well just build the panel. The current plan is:

  • One button for each of the five traverser positions. Moving to a position will be just a single button press.
  • To make non-routine actions like testing and programming user friendly, I decided to splurge on a 4×20 LCD screen. (4 lines x 20 characters per line).
  • A sixth button for non-routine actions like panic stop and invoking a menu system.

Here is the panel with 4 out of sixth buttons installed and the LCD friction fitted in place. I need to pick up some standoffs to attach the LCD to the panel. I am mildly irritated to admit that I also need to pick up two more black pushbuttons. I am sure I have more but I couldn’t turn them up. And they come in pairs so there is at least one adrift somewhere.


The LCD is backlit so it is easy to read when powered. I have also got as far as a basic “Hello, World” hookup of LCD board to Arduino board via I2C. The coding is, as usual for Arduino, dead easy. The minor challenge was in figuring out which wire went to which pin. I will need to find an app for creating circuit schematics so I can document the hookup.


The lit LCD confuses my camera phone since this shot was taken in a lit room.

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