Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?

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I'm after a place that can do low-ish cost membrane keypad prototypes and
small qty (100's).
Not actually membrane with the flex cable, but the simpler polydome (or
tact) variety that sticks directly onto the PCB.
I've been quoted $600+ for tooling locally, just wondering if there is
someplace cheaper?

Thanks
Dave.



Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?
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Hi Dave,

Have you tried Permark? They are usually very competitive on pricing.

Andy

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   Would it be possible to sandwich some 0.6mm FR4 with holes punched in
it over the PCB board contacts and then another layer of 0.6mm FR4 or
mylar with thin carbon rubber dots glued to it. Then it would be a
matter of getting the top layer screen printed with the characters of
the buttons or the copper layer etched and plated with the numerals.



Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?
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Why would this be better than a plastic top cover with conductive
pads?  PCB toolings would not be much cheaper than printed plastic
covers.

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   Dave's talking about a complete custom membrane keypad for very small
quantities, doing it all as pcbs will save the 600 buck tooling cost.

Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?
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You can print flat plastic cover at very low cost.  Tooling is
necessary only if you make doomed contact area.  PCB (FR-4) is too
rigid for doomed contacts and can not be printed with color.  FR-4 is
generally more expensive than plastic.  I would use as small as
possible FR-4 between bigger plastic cover and base.

Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?
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600$ seems already a good pricing. Alternatively capacitive sensing can be a
zero-tooling solution, as it could allow to design your keyboard as a simple
PCB and overlay it with any kind of decorative layer (laser-printed, etc).
See solutions from Cypress (capsense), Microchip and others.

Friendly yours,
Robert Lacoste
www.alciom.com



Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?

"Robert Lacoste" <see-alciom-dot-com> wrote in message
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Thanks.
Yes, I was already considering the Atmel Qtouch, but the keys are densely
packed (6mm spacing) so although it might work, I suspect there might be
quite some development to perfect it, and then there is the possibility of
some people having issues with it.
Anyone have any experience with touch technology at that spacing?

Thanks
Dave.



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6mm spacing will definitevely be challenging...



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6 mm from key to key? Isn't that, like, 1/4"? I know of people whose
fingertips are bigger than that.

Good Luck!
Rich


Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?

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Yep!

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Yep!

But in the case of my project such a spacing is a necessity.

Dave.



Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?

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I've used Entech a lot in the past. Quality has always been good. Pricewise
they seem to be in the middle.

http://www.entechelectronics.com.au /




Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?
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I have used:
http://xymox.com/stockswitches.php

I printed my own overlays and used:
http://www.xyronpro.com/enUS/Home/default.html?WT.mc_id =/

to attach it to the keypad.

I would not use this for a permanent solution, but its looks good for
prototypes.

don

Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?

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You could just put individual tact switches on the PCB; it'd be quite
labor-intensive until you go to pick&place.

Cheers!
Rich


Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?

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Yeah, thought of that, but then I need the graphic overlay anyway, as I
don't really have space above the keys on the PCB silkscreen.

Dave.



Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?
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A graphic overlay is almost trivial - a piece of plastic and a silk-screen.

Cheers!
Rich


Re: Low cost membrane keypad prototypes?
Thanks for the manufactuer links everyone, will check them out.

Regards
Dave.



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