Instructables
Picture of Make an Easy Button Wireless
primaryWiring.jpg
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Ah, the ubiquitous Staples "Easy Button."  There are other big-dome buttons, but the Staples button has the distinction of not needing a panel to be mounted in.  It just has a nice flat base.  So why not free it entirely from any panel, desk, or other attachment to the outside world entirely?

The XBee node -- a popular implementation of the Zigbee protocol of 802.15.4 wireless devices -- is not by any means the cheapest way to create a wireless link to an Arduino-based (or similar) project, but it certainly seems the simplest.

And thus this Instructable -- a rather long telling of a rather simple project.
 
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Step 1: Take it Apart

The Easy Button is designed to be hand-assembled -- and taken apart.  There are no snap-fit, no epoxies, nothing but screws, solder, and a bit of hot glue.

Pry out the four rubber feet on the bottom and remove the four screws there.  Pull the dome and surround off.  Unscrew the two screws holding the circuit board -- keep the screws in order; the screws holding the board are the long ones.  Pull out the spring plate.  Unscrew the last four screws and remove the last big chunk of plastic.

For this project, we need to tear down a little further.  De-solder all the components on the circuit board.  Desolder and discard the wiring harness.  Work the speaker free gently with a screwdriver, cutting some of the glue first with a hobby knife if necessary.

And now we come to the first picture (seriously, if you can't take apart a plastic toy without pictures, you probably shouldn't be trying to wire up an XBee node.)  To get a nice space for the parts I wanted I needed to remove the lump of plastic in the center of where the speaker sat.  My Dremel made short work of that.
nomuse (author) 1 year ago
Yes, I'm commenting on my own Instructable in lieu of doing a proper edit.

I have written a basic Processing application that reads the serial stream from the XBee and generates a MIDI signal internally on the laptop. This means the only thing needed outside of the Wireless Easy Button is a second XBee node on a USB Explorer (or other serial-to-USB connection).

When the software is looking nicer I may post it here.
I'd love to see the MIDI code, when available. Thanks!
nomuse (author)  orange_seeds9 months ago
The Processing, or the Arduino side?

I've got a basic overview of MIDI and my hand-rolled version on the Arduino on my blog here: http://brian-the-techie.blogspot.com/2011/12/midi-and-arduino-part-i.html

And the code for going the other direction (sending MIDI from QLab, using Processing to relay that to an Arduino, and using the Arduino to switch a relay), here:

http://brian-the-techie.blogspot.com/search/label/MIDI

If those don't help, feel free to ask away!