What are the best tactile buttons for homemade?

What are the best buttons? What would be the best buttons to include in an Arduboy kit for a mixture of, easy to solder and feeling good. Is it OK to just use normal surface mount tactile switch? They aren’t my favorite but they are sturdy, easy to solder and easy to source.

image

Standard through hole tactile button. Common, cheap, easy to solder but they don’t feel good to press and the back side can poke you.

image

Surface mount tactile button. Still common, pretty cheap, but a little more difficult to solder. They feel the same as through hole but don’t poke you on the back side of the pcb.

image

Soft tactile button. Too squishy feeling.

image

The SKPM switch, it feels great. It’s tricky to solder and it is also not sturdy, it can get ripped off the PCB somewhat easily.

image

Anyone tried an SKPF switch? It’s supposed to be soft feeling. Still has pokies.

image

Also found the SKPG, it only has 2 posts but at least they are easier to solder. Both these last two are probably hard to find.

Any suggestions? Should I do through hole and just have second PCB behind the pokies? That would be easier to solder… You’ll probably end up with through holes anyways because of the display module.

Also, if going the standard 6x6 tact route, how tall should the button be?

tried a lot of buttons but this SKPM are the best
it’s easy but tricky to solder but fastened well and reliable work

this one is also ok
tough enough but sharp action and clicky
Снимок экрана 2020-06-07 в 22.38.02

Just used exactly this ones in my build. But as i took the wrong screen i was not yet able to test. New screen should arrive tuesday then i might be able to update about the feeling. I think without hard button covera they might really be too soft

The SKPM also feel really good.But had not to solder them.

Yeah I really like the SKPM but I don’t think that I can say they are good for a beginner to learn on. Through hole or even the surface mount with a foot is ok.

SKPM. I’m not an expert in buttons but maybe worth thinking about these points for a kit:

  • Are you getting people to solder anything fiddlier than the SKPM? If so they may not be a big deal. If not, this may be the part which puts people off trying.
  • The ripping off issue might be mitigated if there were a well-toleranced front cover. Were you planning on including such a cover in the kit?
  • If you do include a cover, it would be hard to have close tolerances with the buttons as the SKPM doesn’t have a locating pin(s).
  • I think you could reduce the rip off risk if you can spare some extra space for tactfully placed vias nearby to encourage the edges of the pads to stay attached to the substrate.

Edit - that’s not a vote for SKPM, more some hopefully useful considerations.

They are really, really hard to solder. I’m pretty decent and I have a tough time with them.

Solution: The kit will come with the common surface mount tactile buttons, but will also have the footprint for the SKPM, but the switches wont be included since they are an order of a magnitude more expensive.

Also, the pcb will have a footprint for a lipo charger and the flash chip but those won’t be included.

Maybe I’ll stock some of those parts and make them an optional extra.

Good Topic!!
I’ve tried to some switches for my DIY game console.

I’v tried to SKPM, Soft tactile button, some through hole tactile buttons and surface mount tactile buttons.

As you said SKPM is tricky to solder. In adition I think this is not good because there are many times that I press the button but not recognized. (meybe it does not have click feedback)

As you said soft tactile button is too squishy feeling.

My recommend is use simple tactile button( either through-hole or surface mount).
I’ve tried to some tactile buttons. It is vary each models.

In general, light touch tactile button is good for game console but it is too expensive.
But I found the best tactile button in LCSC.

Another solution is use a cap for tactile switches like below.

This is good for too clicky buttons.

Ping to @Ampersand what about making your peanut official?

1 Like

yes 100gF is a good weight, I would want to make them light touch like that.

I really like the peanut, maybe it should become the official Arduboy peanut.

1 Like

SKPM soldering problem could be solved by making soldering plates a 2-3mm larger in vertical direction
it makes easy to heat the platform by soldering iron and thus easy solder the button
SPKM

1 Like

It surprises me that nobody has created a d-pad for maker projects, there is obviously a need for one. Something that would work much the same as a regular game controller, with the silicone contacts etc.

3 Likes

The Peanut is based on a SparkFun Pro Micro, so Arduboy games would have to be re-compiled for it and compatibility would be an issue for some games due to not all Arduboy features being supported.

1 Like

I suppose the natural question that follows is:
How easy would it be to use a Leonardo (or similar 32u4-based board) instead of a Pro Micro?

Not for something the size of the Peanut.

100gf is what I settled on too. Has the right feel (as far THT tactile switches go). I use the B3F-1020.

Ya well, that is what happens when you buy the kit, if you don’t want that hurdle then buy the Arduboy.

I don’t see a way to do it otherwise, unless using an even less common module for the build.

You would have to make like 100,000 to a million units for a switch factory to even be interested.

And I think what happens is if anyone has any serious reason to make good buttons then they will actually make a whole product, like what I did.

Here’s the custom one Sudomod had made for the mintyPi

I also sourced some injection moulded ‘joystick’ caps for Peanut.
Rubber membranes for the DS Lite or Game Boys are useful too.

Peanut has run all games without anything extra needing to be done.
Pro Micro is a cheap and readily available module, which seems to be what Kevin is looking for.
Peanut is missing the RGB LED to reduce the overall cost and the number of things that need to be soldered.

I think a lipo charger is a fairly important part for a battery powered handheld. TP4056 modules are cheap, but you need to swap a resistor to make them safe for the battery you’d be using.

2 Likes

I confess I hadn’t realised just how big the Leonardo actually is,
but I also hadn’t realised that a pro micro also uses a 32u4,
which makes my question slightly redundant.

One thing to note about d-pads is that if they aren’t designed properly they can put unnecessary stress on their housing.
The d-pad from my DSi wore out 3 of the 4 corner pieces holding it in to the point where they fell out, so now it’s only being held in by a single corner piece.

It uses the ‘standard’ wiring with OLED chip select and the 2nd speaker pin connected to GND.

This works fine with existing games. But OLED chip select connected to GND will cause a problem with flash support. However when getting the pro Micro with the bigger chip, pins can be broken out. But requires more soldering expertise and costs a bit more.

I like those little joystick caps. Are these available somewhere?

3 Likes