USB Media Kick Switch

As an aspiring YouTube Chef™ I depend heavily on my kitchen computer for guidance, both functionally for the recipes themselves and spiritually for the music.

The touchscreen monitor is great but when your hands are covered in raw chicken a hands-free solution is preferable. I briefly experimented with Cortana but found it to be next to useless, so some type of foot control seemed like the best option.

Tired early 90's kitchen

I originally ordered the giant push buttons from Sparkfun for a different project, but they were almost perfect. They're nice and big (duh!) which makes them easy to feel with your feet, but unfortunately their outside diameter makes them just a bit too big to fit underneath the cabinet. They're also convex (dome) so I find I accidentally bump them, so if you're looking at making something like this yourself I'd recommend choosing a different button that's a bit lower-profile.

Lighted buttons in front of the sink

Arduino, 12V power supply, and RJ45 jack

The code is based on this project from p_leriche, which in turn uses this library by Nico Hood. Both are well-documented, so within an hour I was able to hack together my own version customized for the four buttons. Improvements could definitely be made in terms of proper debouncing and whatnot, but so far I've found this to work quite well as-is.

The way I have it set up the functions are (left to right):

  • Yellow: Skip back

  • Green: Volume up

  • Red: Volume down

  • Blue: Skip next

On the hardware side:

Arduino "Pro Micro" (ATmega32U4)

5V to 12V boost converter (not the exact one that I used, but similar)

COM-09181 Big Dome Pushbutton - Red

COM-11273 Big Dome Pushbutton - Yellow

COM-11274 Big Dome Pushbutton - Blue

COM-11275 Big Dome Pushbutton - Green

2.54mm 12-pin female header pin sockets (qty 2)

10kΩ resistors (qty 4)

Small section of prototype board

2.54mm right-angle header pins

6-pin 2.54mm header pin strip

6-pin MTA-100 connector or equivalent

Commercial Electric 8P8C RJ45 Jack (qty 2)

M3 nylon washer (qty 4)

M3 x 10mm nylon machine screw (qty 2)

M3 hex nut (qty 2)

CAT5E cable (run through the wall)

The Arduino code should be attached below. There's really not too much magic going on, but it is reasonably well commented.