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Do you use a "Homebrew Joystick"? - Post your pics!

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attachicon.gifDSC09900.JPG

 

This device started life as the controller for a FORTRESS power chair (motorized wheel chair).

 

I'm calling this definitely one I built.

I assume the wheelchair joysticks used analog feedback mechanism. How does it feel rotating it? Is it stiff? Can you manipulate it back and forth rapidly?

 

I have seen various pot-based industrial joysticks that could potentially be used for a pad hack project. 5200 is out of the question as it uses an RC time-delay circuit which is critically dependent on the exact pot values. However modern joysticks which use an analog thumbstick as a pot that inputs an analog voltage to a ADC could in theory substitute any pot value from 5k to 50k or so and still get accurate readings. It's also plausible a 5200 controller could be built by using a 555 timer in one-shot operation, but it would need to get a reset signal from somewhere with each josytick poll. Hall effect and others designed for MAME are equally useless without a detailed schematic and a lot of hacks.

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To lighten the mood a bit, while I don't have photos of my WIP "Ultimate 16-bit Joystick" at this time (the thing is a rats nest right now), I discovered a really nice use of a couple spare Hard Candy balltops I had laying around:

post-33189-0-99949600-1446105555_thumb.jpg

 

The NES Advantage and Super Advantage both have threaded shafts compatible with Sanwa replacement balltops!:grin:

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Stardust - The feel is the same as an EPYX 500XJ. The "throw" of the stick is so short that you wouldn't notice any stiffness (I think).

 

Owen - I'm glad you like it.

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With a help of a guy we designed a steel case in AutoCAD (after noumerous test with paper box to find the proper sizes,distances, ergonomics :) ).

 

It consists of two parts that come together with just for four screws.

 

Once finished, I took the file into a company that cuts steel and had it ready in 5 minutes.

 

I prefer steel to wood because it is robust, has the correct weight and you can build an arcade stick of less height, so more relaxing while playing.

 

I have painted it with electrostatic paint and fitted with anti-slip pads.

 

Since the holes are of universal standard I can put whatever buttons I want and also most Seimitsu and Zippyy sticks fit.

 

Two pics

gallery_11724_1536_38548.jpg

 

gallery_11724_1536_14537.jpg

Edited by Pyjamarama
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With a help of a guy we designed a steel case in AutoCAD (after noumerous test with paper box to find the proper sizes,distances, ergonomics :) ).

 

It consists of two parts that come together with just for four screws.

 

Once finished, I took the file into a company that cuts steel and had it ready in 5 minutes.

 

I prefer steel to wood because it is robust, has the correct weight and you can build an arcade stick of less height, so more relaxing while playing.

 

I have painted it with electrostatic paint and fitted with anti-slip pads.

 

Since the holes are of universal standard I can put whatever buttons I want and also most Seimitsu and Zippyy sticks fit.

 

Two pics

gallery_11724_1536_38548.jpg

 

gallery_11724_1536_14537.jpg

Nice! Another right-hand joy guy. I am right handed but prefer a lefty stick. Neat the choice to work in sheet metal. So industrial, though I think wood is much easier to work with in a home shop environment. I'd be afraid of sharp burrs or edges when working with steel.

 

 

I once mis-calculated a joystick mounting plate screw hole drill in one of my Atari joysticks by a couple millimeters or so, so rather than widen the hole in the wood, I attempted to widen the hole in the steel mounting plate --- using wood drill bits! :dunce: Working out on the patio, the bit jammed and I increased the torque until my drill threw the plate clear across the yard, cutting my hand in the process. Also chipped an otherwise perfectly good 5/16" drill bit. I am lucky it didn't sling it the opposite direction into the safety glass on the French patio doors! That would not have ended pretty. Finally had to grind the hole out with one of those cone-shaped dremel grinders. My hand was fine though. Kept right on working with zero first aid treatment. Healed nice. Like the knight in Monty Python, "it's merely a flesh wound..." :o

 

monty-python-flesh-wound.jpg

 

I gotta post WIP pics of the "rats nest" in my 16-bit ultimate stick. Been procrastinating on it. School is more important though but I'm pretty much done for the semester at this point. :cool:

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You shall not pass! hahahahahaha (Monty Pythons rule big time)

 

Nowdays the CRC machines (I think that is what they are called) make these constructions easy (and cheap).

 

I do not like screewdrivers, saws and drills :) (OK it may take away the pleasure of building it by yourself...)

 

My approach was to use cardboard boxes to test the ergonomics (I used a lot of them until I settle!). Once I settled to a design, I created it inside AutoCAD*. I saved the file in a USB stick and took it to a company that has these laser machines that cut and fold metal...and believe me...the metal, the cutting, the folding and the paint cost me less than ordering wooden parts! (Wood is not very cheap here anyway).

 

I have fitted a zeroDelay pcb and play in my PC. I have build another one (painted blue and put a vinyl sticker) and fitted an XBOX1 pcb to use it in my XBOX emulators. I am building a third to use with my Spectrum/Amiga.

 

*AutoCAD alone can make the design left-handed by a mouse click! (it can symmetrically relocate the holes in the two axis)

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Apple //e perhaps? I seem to recall it has a 9-pin analog input, but I'm too lazy to actually look it up. Perhaps it was the IIc, or both.

 

There also were the joysticks of the Fairchild Channel F and later editions of Odyssey^2 / Videopac G7000 which are digital, but different than Atari. Also the TI-99/4A joysticks belong in that category. I think also the Vectrex uses a DE9 with analog inputs, but it uses so many buttons that replacing the original controller with something like in the diagram would probably not suffice. A friend of mine built a replacement Vectrex controller from a cheap analog PC gamepad a couple of years ago, so it has been done.

Edited by carlsson

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This has been tested an atari 800xl, it should work on all 8bit systems, in theroy.

 

The thumb stick is from a xbox controller. The x axis is paddle one, the y axis is paddle 2. The pistol trigger is button one, the push down is button 2, the other three buttons i have no fucking clue.

 

Still confused? Tough

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Here's my little homemade wonder. I'm not too great at woodworking and soldering, but I can get by.

 

Excuse my crappy phone camera:

post-304-0-13921100-1458612942_thumb.jpg

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I hope you don't mind, I tweaked the image a bit...

 

Not a bit! Thank you! How'd you achieve that?

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Just a photo editor program. I tweaked the contrast, brightness, focus, and the coloring slightly. To view more "good stuff" I cropped out the bottom, which makes the viewable portions larger on screen.

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Heh, here's my first attempt. Not a "joystick", but a controller anyway.

 

I always wanted a button-only controller for steer and thrust games like Gravitar. I thought it would also be useful for the player 2 joy on Stargate and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

I tested on Gravitar and it worked quite well. These games are unplayable for me with the joystick but this button controller is just like the arcade. .. Gravitar is a pretty exciting game and it didn't take me long to jam the thrust button into the controller body. Turns out styrofoam is not a permanent solution.

post-31910-0-96921500-1471651819_thumb.jpeg

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Turns out styrofoam is not a permanent solution.

You should try concrete next time. :)

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Heh, here's my first attempt. Not a "joystick", but a controller anyway.

 

 

Nice proof of concept! I've use Styrofoam and cardboard many times while designing an item. In fact my wooden joystick started out life as a cardboard cutout.

 

Have you given any thought to what you are finally going to use for the finished product?

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Yep easy to deal with material is great when seeing of something works

 

If it does move it over to something more robust

 

If it doesn't you didn't spend 175 hours machining stainless steel just to toss it in the bin heh

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Looking at your idea, I'm thinking a nice piece of oak or walnut... smooth the edges with a router and pad sander, drill some holes and recesses for the buttons, and make some channels for the wires in the bottom with a Dremel. You could use a nice piece of vinyl, felt or rubber glued to the bottom to hide everything.

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Actually concrete was one of the things I was considering! Well I think I would use mortar mix with concrete bonding adhesive added, for a smoother consistency.

 

I originally thought wood and I started mangling a piece of wood before I resorted to styrofoam. I'm sure I don't have the tools for this on hand currently.

 

.. I've also been looking at blocks of solid aluminum online.

 

How do you drill a 30mm hole?

 

.. These buttons are push fit with tabs, rather than the threaded type that tighten down. I chose them because they are more shallow than everything else I saw. My real goal is to make a HANDHELD arcade stick, so space is a factor. The button-only controller is kind of for practice, but it might be the only one I ever get around to.

Edited by gliptitude

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Someone in another thread used a cigar humidor for a joystick enclosure. Very crafty! I may consider scouring the thrift shops or antique dealers for an old wooden cigar box I could turn into an enclosure for one of those 5-button Thruster joysticks...

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If you like the design, look for a Starplex Deluxe Controller, a BC Blaster or perhaps a Sansei Super-Controller, some of those who mimiced the Asteroids arcade layout. The Starplex probably is by far the most common, and very sturdy. I've used mine for more than 30 years, and although I have rewired it entirely inside, junked the autofire function and replaced the joystick cable, the buttons still register as well now as in the 80's, despite a lot of action over the years.

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If you like the design, look for a Starplex Deluxe Controller...

 

For those unfamiliar with the Starplex...

gallery_35324_1027_107541.jpg

 

 

 

It's no cheap, but there is even one on Ebay << HERE >> at the moment.

s-l1600.jpg

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