This funky user interface element is reminiscent of the original clicking scroll wheel interface on the first iPods. It's a fancy mechanical kit but has an intuitiveness that is hard to argue with - everyone knows how to use this kind of rotary encoder to scroll and select.
This product is just the encoder/button wheel element. The pin-out is a little odd, but, you could solder to the pins if you like.
There are 5 buttons (up down left right center) and a rotary encoder wheel in the center. Use with any microcontroller that can read pulse-code rotary encoders!
To deal with the odd pinout we made a handy breakout board that converts the funky pin set into a straightforward, breadboard-friendly header strip.
There's no pull-up or pull-down resistors on this PCB, and of course you'll need to solder the encoder onto the breakout. Then use your microcontroller's button and rotary encoder library/hardware support to interface with the pins.
You'll need 7 GPIO total: 5 buttons and 2 rotary encoder pins. There's also two COMmon pins, which you can set to ground or VCC - usually ground so that you can use the microcontroller internal pull-ups for the button/encoders. Note: to make our wiring simple, our example code uses GPIO to the COM's and then sets then to outputs, but you can just wire them directly.