Introduction: DIY Macropad

About: Mechatronic guy




-Diode Zener

-Arduino Pro Micro

-Shift register 74hc595



-Soldering Iron




A macropad is a keyboard with programable keys.

Step 1: Explaining a Matrix

Keyboards usually are wired as a matrix, matrix scanning is a common technique used to expand the number of inputs or outputs beyond the number of available pins. If you want to know more visit this site:

Step 2: Cherry Switches

The switches used in mechanical keyboards are called Cherry MX switches.There are 4 major types of Cherry MX switches - red, black, brown and blue.

Cherry MX Red

Actuation force: 45g

Feel: Linear

Preferred use: Geared towards gaming

The most popular type of mechanical switches, Cherry MX Reds are mostly used for gaming. They are light to press, which is up to personal preference.

Cherry MX Black

Actuation force: 60g

Feel: Linear

Preferred use: Gaming.The high actuation force helps prevent accidental key presses.

Cherry MX Brown

Actuation force: 45-55g

Feel: Tactile bump

Preferred use: Mix of typing and gaming. Considered a middle ground between typing and gaming switches.

Cherry MX Blue

Actuation force: 50-60g

Feel: Clicky, tactile bump

Preferred use: Great for typing! have a tactile bump that can easily be felt, with the resistance being similar to your average keyboard.

if you need more information about the switches visit this page

Step 3: Design

We recommended to use Eagle.

You can follow this tutorial step by step.

Step 4: Add Libraries

Required libraries

Cherry MX Eagle Library

Adafruit Library for Eagle

Step 5: Design an Schematic

Add your stuff to play.

First you have to open a schematic in Eagle, then create a grid and choose the units of measure to be used in the project.

Then, the buttons and components that will be used are added and ordered as desired. Parts are renamed and unnecessary labels are removed.

Subsequently, the components are correctly connected, being careful to order them properly.

Step 6: Create a PCB Layout

Once you are done with schematic, create a part PCB and order buttons.

When the PCB design is finished it is sent to print.

Step 7: Add Some Nice Render

Here you can learn how to edit a PCB, add a render and so.

I got the .step from GrabCAD

Step 8: Components

It is recommended to test all components before soldering.

Having the PCB printed, and after testing the components to ensure the operation of each one, we proceed to solder them to the PCB.

Step 9: Add Keycaps

You can use any keycap designed for cherry MX.

Step 10: Upload Code

In this project we use Arduino Pro Micro wich is a variation of the Arduino Leonardo.

For this project, keys are sorted as

ctrl,d.f.b. spacebar

you can put any character you want including macros.

Step 11: Enjoy the Keyboard

You can test your keypad with notepad or similiar, we suggest to try before gaming , sometimes you need more dalay or faster reaction. and happy making!

PCB Design Challenge

Participated in the
PCB Design Challenge