Energy & Sustainability Technology
How-To: Joystick from scavenged parts

From the MAKE Flickr pool

Eschlaep shares details on building a 2-axis joystick from scavenged VCR and computer mouse parts –

Well, the other day I found another idler wheel from the same VCR, and I decided to share the construction technique so that you can make one too. It’s pretty simple and takes an hour or two. You will need a VCR idler wheel that looks like the one in the picture below, four microswitches (you can scavenge these from an old computer mouse), a spring, and a piece of sheet steel to mount the whole arrangement on. The sheet metal must be steel for reasons I will discuss later.

Fashioning compnents like these from scrap can be uniquely satisfying – and of course economical. Catch the full how-to over @ Tube Time.

2 thoughts on “How-To: Joystick from scavenged parts

  1. Some time ago (years) I made a little 4 way joystick as a ‘hat’ on a normal stick. I made a small circular circuit board and mounted four little push buttons (PCB mounting types) on it in a cross arrangement. A machine screw as a shaft ran through the middle. This went though a hole in the top of the joystick housing into which was mounted a rubber grommet. Nuts held the screw tight to the grommet but the grommet let the whole thing pivot. When you moved it it would tilt the little circuit board which would then cause one of the switches to press against the housing (so against the top of the inside of the housing) turning it on. This worked very well. The only trick is if you tilt the switch left the right switch is activated and up activated the bottom switch, etc.

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