ForumsDIY ← Joysticks and XY axis (or even XYZ touch sensitive)

Hey folks,

I'm trying to build myself an controller an would like to add an joystick (2 x pot based not fixed axis) and/or a XY/XYZ small surface.. I'm connecting them to Analog and Digital inputs so if anyone could direct me to some choices?

I found some Alps Joysticks in my country but it has 100k or 50k and I may have to get them to work at lower values or find other ones (this one is also expensive)

and for xypads i found some trackpads but I don't know how to connect them to the A/D inputs..

So any advice would be godsend.. cheers

I probably cannot offer all of the help that you need, but I do have some comments.

For the joysticks or any pots, 100k or 50k will be just fine. Actually, larger values are better because they draw less current, and with today's low-power devices this translates into longer battery life. If you have troubles with your existing A/D inputs, then you might want to add a fast op-amp voltage-follower circuit between the wiper of the pot and the A/D input. This will allow the A/D to track the input without causing the voltage to droop during the conversion. Some A/D chips already have this built in, but others leave that to the circuit designer.

Trackpads may work something like a pot or joystick, but you will need specifications and wiring diagrams from the manufacturer to be sure. That, or you'll need to do some investigation on your own!

Good luck with your projects, and hopefully you can find one of the many online circuit communities where perhaps people are already doing the same. I remember seeing some interesting hand-made controllers over on the Livid Instruments Forum, but I don't know whether any training is provided by those folks.

In any case, be safe!

@rsdio Thanks for the input! I will take your advice in consideration.
It'll be USB powered so yea I have to eat as less power as I can..

If anyone else has more suggestions don't be shy to chyme in... i'll start building it soon enough so it could help..

@dsk if you want to minimize the amount of work that you'll have to do for the controller itself, then you might consider the Livid Instruments Builder Brain.
It's certainly not the cheapest USB-MIDI DIY kit, but it has 64 analog inputs, so you'd be able to set up as many as 32 joysticks without writing a line of code. You'd still need to provide a case, joystick, and mechanical skills to put it all together, but the rest is basically done for you.
The Brain is something that I designed for Livid as a base for all of their products, and it's completely different from the Soundplane.


I like Livid Instruments I was a bit aware of the builder... but slipped my mind..

mainly because I'm thinking of using a monome base kit that has 8 ADC inputs and making modules that I can connect to it...

Also good job on The Brain!!!