Button PCB

CNC Milled PCB

The button PCB was machined using an Bantam Tools CNC mill (formally Othermill Pro) using single sided FR-1 copper clad. The PCB was designed in Autodesk Eagle and available to download – Included is the library part for the 8mm soft tactile switch.

 

The milling process can be watched in our YouTube video linked below.

3D Printed Button PCB

Optionally, you can 3D print the button PCB. The 8mm soft tactile buttons snap fit into the pin holes. You'll need to wire the ground connections together and avoid melting the 3D print (the soldering iron tip is hot!).

Solder Buttons to PCB

The buttons are installed to the non-copper side of the board and should hold in place. The terminals of the buttons are then soldered to the pads on the copper side. 

Buttons Wires

We'll need five wires to connect the buttons to the Adafruit Feather. I suggest using different colored wires to help distinguish the connections. These wires should be about 9cm in length. A piece of heat shrink tubing can help keep the wires together. 

Tin Wires

Using wire strippers, remove a bit of insulation from the tips of each wire and apply a small amount of solder to them – This is called "tinning" and will prevent the strands of wires from fraying. A third helping hand tool can assist in the process as it helps hold the wires in place while soldering. 

Solder Wires to PCB

Now we can attach the wires to the pins on the button PCB. You can follow the traces to determine which pins are connected to their respective buttons. The common ground has two available pins. I tinned the pins on the PCB before soldering the wires. If you're using different colored wires, you'll want to take note and keep track of these connections when soldering them to the Adafruit Feather. 

This guide was first published on Oct 04, 2017. It was last updated on Oct 04, 2017. This page (Button PCB) was last updated on Sep 14, 2019.