Qwiic Keypad Hookup Guide

Contributors: QCPete, santaimpersonator
Favorited Favorite 0


Keypads are very handy input devices, but who wants to tie up 7 GPIO pins, wire up a handful of pull-up resistors, and write firmware that wastes valuable processing time scanning the keys for inputs? Let’s make the development process easier! The SparkFun Qwiic Keypad comes fully assembled and uses the simple Qwiic interface. No soldering, no voltage translation, no figuring out which I2C pin is SDA or SCL, just plug and go!

SparkFun Qwiic Keypad - 12 Button

SparkFun Qwiic Keypad - 12 Button


The Qwiic Keypad reads and stores the last 15 button presses in a First-In, First-Out (FIFO) stack, so you don’t need to constantly poll the keypad from your microcontroller. This information, then, is accessible through the Qwiic interface. Qwiic Keypad even has a software configurable I2C address so you can have multiple I2C devices on the same bus.

Required Materials

The SparkFun Qwiic Keypad does need a few additional items for you to get started; a Qwiic enabled microcontroller and a Qwiic cable. You may already have a few of these items, so feel free to modify your cart based on your needs.

SparkFun Qwiic Cable Kit

SparkFun Qwiic Cable Kit

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board

SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board


SparkFun Thing Plus - ESP32 WROOM

7 Retired

Suggested Reading

If you're unfamiliar with jumper pads or I2C be sure to checkout some of these foundational tutorials.

Logic Levels

Learn the difference between 3.3V and 5V devices and logic levels.


An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

How to Work with Jumper Pads and PCB Traces

Handling PCB jumper pads and traces is an essential skill. Learn how to cut a PCB trace, add a solder jumper between pads to reroute connections, and repair a trace with the green wire method if a trace is damaged.

RedBoard Qwiic Hookup Guide

This tutorial covers the basic functionality of the RedBoard Qwiic. This tutorial also covers how to get started blinking an LED and using the Qwiic system.
Note: For a greater understanding of how the firmware works to multiplex the keys, check out these tutorials.

Button Pad Hookup Guide

An introduction to matrix scanning, using the SparkFun 4x4 Button Pad.

Multiplexer Breakout Hookup Guide

How to use the 74HC4051 multiplexer breakout to drive eight LEDs, read eight button inputs, or monitor eight potentiometers.

Arduino Kepad Tutorials
Arduino Keypad Library
Arduino Keypad Tutorial

Qwiic Connect System

The Qwiic Keypad utilizes the Qwiic connect system. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the Logic Levels and I2C tutorials (above) before using it. Click on the banner above to learn more about our Qwiic products.