VKey Voltage Keypad Hookup Guide
Contributors: Byron J.
If you need to add a keypad to your microcontroller project, but don’t want to use up a lot of I/O pins to interface with it, the VKey is the solution for you. It outputs an analog voltage to encode which key has been pressed, which can in turn be read by an analog to digital converter on a microcontroller.
VKey Voltage Keypad
Traditional digital keypad interfacing techniques can require a large number of digital I/O lines. One common arrangement uses N digital outputs and M digital inputs to interface with an N*M array of keys, as described here. On a small controller, there may not be many I/O pins left for other tasks.
The VKey board has 12 pushbutton switches and some supporting circuitry. It outputs an analog voltage that represents which of the keys is being pressed. This output can be sampled using a single channel of ADC, allowing 12 keys to be scanned using a single analog input pin.
Covered In This Tutorial
This tutorial will guide you through connecting the VKey to an Arduino, and it introduces a library that tells the application which key is currently pressed.
- VKey Voltage Keypad
- Arduino, RedBoard or any Arduino-compatible board.
- Male PTH headers or right angle PTH headers.
- Jumper Wires
- Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm’s Law
- What is an Arduino?
- Switch Basics
- How to Solder
- Working with Wire
- Analog to Digital Conversion
- Voltage Dividers