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MacroPact Is a Raspberry Pi Pico Macro Keyboard

MacroPact Is a Raspberry Pi Pico Macro Keyboard

from hackster.io

The keyboard/mouse combo has worked well for many years, but with the availability of HID-capable microcontrollers, 3D printing, and custom-made circuit boards, it’s possible to buy or construct your own third interface device: a macropad.

These auxiluary keyboards can be programmed to do all sorts of tasks in an instant that cost you precious seconds before. Some even include an encoder (or two) and perhaps an auxiliary interface screen.

Few of these devices, however, look as pretty or functional as Sean Yin’s Raspberry Pi Pico-powered “MacroPact." Along with an array of switches, the MacroPact features two rotary encoders and a full-color 1.3” IPS screen.

These electronic elements are complimented nicely by its white and orange-gold 3D-printed housing, with a translucent section that allows light to shine through in a specified area. All this is finished off with a pair of silver encoder knobs, which should make it a pleasure to crank the volume to "11," or perform any other rotary interface tasks.

The Pico board inside connects to a computer via a USB-C breakout, and the system is programmed using CircuitPython. The unit's 17 keys, and buttons on the encoders, are laid out in a diode matrix to accommodate this multitude of inputs.

With these extra keys, plus encoders and a screen, the input options are practically limitless!

For a somewhat simpler macro/rotary encoder setup, you might also check out the JC Pro Macro, covered here previously. It uses an Arduino Pro Micro to interface with a computer, and breaks out several IO pins for a variety of expansion possibilities.

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