In search of smooth-spinning hardware to use as a rotary input device, nvillar made use of an old hard drive – resulting in a sweet controller with excellent aesthetics –

We admired the quality of the bearings in the motor that drives the disk plates, enjoyed the fact that even a soft flick would get it spinning for a long time, and wondered whether we could sample an output from it when it was spun by hand, in much the same way that an electric motor, when turned, acts as a dynamo and outputs a voltage.

The answer is yes – and it’s a very simple process to turn a hard disk into a rotary input device that has some unique properties. All you’ll need is an old hard disk drive, a few op amps, resistors and a programmable microcontroller of some kind.

Nice pushbuttons! See the instructable for all the project deets – HDDJ: Turning an old hard disk drive into a rotary input device [via Hack a Day]