During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people interested in streaming on YouTube and other social media platforms grew significantly. The Elgato Stream Deck is a fantastic tool that allows makers to easily control any aspect of their stream with a single button press. Unfortunately, the high demand led these devices to either be sold out everywhere or being re-sold for a crazy markup. To help people go live online, I decided to build an open-source version of the Stream Deck, which not only improves the functionality of Elgato's version by adding knobs to make the device useful for video editing but also hopefully helps those who are interested in this project to explore the world of DIY electronics!
The DIY Stream Deck is an Arduino-based macro keyboard with an LCD screen behind the buttons. Each button can be mapped to customizable keyboard shortcuts, which can then be used to control various pieces of software, like OBS Studio, Adobe Premier, Adobe Photoshop, many others. The project uses two Arduinos, one for running the LCD screen and displaying graphics and one to emulate a USB keyboard. The device is powered by a single USB cable and registers as a human interface device, so no drivers are required to start using it.
This was my first time designing a project that was intended for wide release. While I have published the design files and code for all of my previous projects, my intention had been to walk people through the creation process step-by-step and hopefully teach them bits of information that they could use in their own builds. The DIY Stream Deck, on the other hand, was intended to be a full walkthrough of a project that anyone could build, regardless if they had electronics experience or not. This limited me to sourcing affordable, easily available parts, and designing around easy-to-solder components, which was an interesting project. Since publishing the video, I have seen that several people have built their own version and modified my original design, which makes all the effort that I put into the project worth it!
Multiple people have built their own version of this Stream Deck using my instructions. Feedback has been extremely positive and it seems that this project has helped individuals start to explore the world of hobby electronics, PCB design, Arduino, and 3D printing. Personally, this project showed me that creating projects like this is extremely rewarding and has given me the drive to build more of these widely appealing projects in the future. (In fact, I am working on two new projects right now!)