The current, final assembled volcon.

This project began as an experiment when I inexplicably decided to learn how an optical rotary encoder worked (FYI, 2-bit Gray code).

It transformed into a learning experience around USB - specifically the HID protocol. Ultimately I ended up with a simple gadget that now sits on my desk and allows me to control the PC volume.

A salvaged optical encoder was used to detect rotation along with a reclaimed head drum from a VCR which was repurposed as a control knob. I very much like the smooth bearings combined with the heavy mass that let the drum spin forever.

Key concepts for the project were:

After some time (about six years!) of having this device in-use on my desk, I finally got sick of the simple (gross) stained pine wood enclosure. With some scrap spotted gum and a router (with a Roman ogee and a roundover bit) I made a slightly nicer enclosure for volcon.