One thing I miss from my old stereo system is the big volume knob, maybe you wish your computer or laptop had a volume knob too, too? This tutorial will show how you can build a little desktop toy that lets you quickly set the volume without having to open up iTunes or your control panel or run amixer

If you have a rotary encoder with a built-in switch, you can even extend this project to turn it into a volume/mute control

How it works!

The Trinket's USB port is used for uploading sketches, but you can also use it for some basic USB 1.1 devices. For example, under USB 1.1, you can make low speed USB devices such as...
  • HID devices
    • mouse
    • keyboard
    • joystick/gamepad/flightsim
    • many more... the drivers come from the operating system
  • MIDI devices (input notes from sensors, or generate outputs from notes, etc)
  • Custom devices (you have to write your own driver though)
  • There are a few more rare applications
However, USB 1.1 cannot do stuff like virtual serial ports or mass storage devices, these require USB 2.0, sorry.

The easiest and most useful are HID devices. Such as a USB keyboard (link to another tutorial).

Today, keyboards have multimedia keys, such as play/pause or volume control. I will show you how to combine a Trinket and a rotary encoder to create a USB volume control knob.

This guide was first published on Oct 10, 2013. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Oct 10, 2013.

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