number of joysticks

hey all. im the team captain from newtown h.s, and this is our first year doing first. im really excited about the competition and naturally as any rookie i got tons of questions. my first major problem is the amount of joysticks being used. i tried searching the forums and ive gone through the rule book and unless im blind and missed the answer, it just wasnt there. so, if anyone could help out, how many joysticks are being used to control the robot? and are we allowed to change the amount of joysticks we use? thx everyone :slight_smile:

As many or as few joysticks as you’d like. There are no rules regarding them. You could buy a completely different joystick if you wanted to.

ahh thx a lot :slight_smile:

Not that you asked this, but depending on the design our drivers have always found it handy to have several panic buttons on the control panel besides the joysticks and joystick buttons.

The “panic buttons” cause the robot to reset to some predetermined config. For example if you have a lift arm this year, one button could reset the arm angles to the grab tetra position (low) for instance. We found this to be helpful to have a big red button on the panel instead of remembering that button 3 on the joystick will do the same thing. In the panic of the competition it is good to have a few simple control points.

I will also second the other answer on changing joysticks and number of joysticks.

Does FIRST say anything regarding the restriction of an Xbox controller? Many team members have experience with those things :smiley:

I’m pretty sure I read on the Q& A forum that it is legal, but if it doesn’t work, FIRST won’t help you.

it runs off a cat5e cable, wouldnt you need to make a lil converter box?

you may want to check out this post about converting an xbox contorler. Its pretty much out of the question, unless you completely gut the entire thing. (which our team may actually do this year :smiley: )

you may want to check out this post about converting an xbox contorler. Its pretty much out of the question, unless you completely gut the entire thing. (which our team may actually do this year )

On a quick sidebar, consider a PS2 controller unless you’ve really got your heart set on an Xbox controller. We found that to convert it all you need to do is cut the plug off and solder the pins into the corect config. for the OI plugs. Word of advice though, having driven all four of our robots, I prefer a joystick to a gamepad. (That the KoP joysticks are only for right-handed people and I am…erm…was left handed is a completly different story).

definitely agreed, we could have done the ps2 controller last year, but unless you need about 8 buttons, there really isn’t that much of a point, i still prefer the old black joysticks over anything else.

I am on a rookie team this year and we have had some problems with our joysticks that came in our kit. We are having problems because the joystick is very loose and so it doesn’t come to a complete neutral position. Also the calibrators on the sides move when you move the joystick. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks a bunch! Would you suggest using the ones that came in the kit or get new different ones?

Yeah first used to give out joysticks that were better. They switched last year to the ones now in the kit. They don’t center very well and are for right handed people only. You can always go out and buy any analog joystick for a computer and it will work. you just have to figure out how it outputs and get the pins correct. (i’m pretty sure its standard on all joysticks though.) The problem is that most joysticks now are USB which won’t work.

As for how many joysticks, most teams use two joysticks in a tankdrive set up. One joystick controls the forward and backward motion of the left side of the bot and the other joystick controlsthe forward and backward motion of the right side of the bot. You can do it with just one joystick though. Whatever is easiest for your drivers i guess.

Well the real problem is that those white joysticks are HORRIBLE , there were alot of people last year who put in tighter spring and all in an attempt to make them better, but it doesnt help to much. Your best bet is to buy new ones in the past we were given joysticks from CH PRODUCTS the problem is the one they used to give us is no longer made. The newer version of it just has more buttons including a directional hat. Heres a link:
the good thing is theyre only $20 a piece

But again you can use any joystick you like aslong as you know what the buttons map out to.

We’ve always used 3 joysticks, two for drive, one for peripherals (Though we usually set it up so you can toggle between tank drive and single-stick drive). One slight problem is that all joysticks are righty. however, especially since we need a left handed one all the time (not just for our left handed drivers) since we use tank drive. We got around that by using an old FIRST joystick though.

The joysticks FIRST give you are not too bad, just make sure you trim them first and program a nice hole in the center where no movement takes place. If you have trouble with knocking the trim off while its being unused - hot glue them in place.

Now you guys are talking about XBox and PlayStation 2 controllers, etc. and you say you need to just change the plug. But Anchi is right, you need to convert the signal from digital to analog, not just change the plug. (You could however use a Nintendo, Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis controller by just changing the plug I believe.)

To throw my opinion in, I think it is better to use joysticks, its easier for most people to get used to while controllers it would only be good for people who like that controller. Like if you’re thinking of using an XBox controller, would you use the S-Controller or the “Original” Controller? Personally I hate PlayStation 2 controllers so if you’re using that, how am I supposed to drive? Joysticks are the most generic and user friendly when you take everyone’s opinion into account, I think.

I got a question conserning the joysticks. When we were reading the manual for the Operator Interface it said that we had to use the joysticks that FIRST provided us with, but in the FIRST rule book we can’t find nothing about it can anyone help with this and let us know?

The rule book overrides the documentation, and if there is no rule prohibiting it than joysticks should be quite legal.

Any amount u want. Personally, I suggest 5…if u have an alien on ur team that has a few more appendages than u.:smiley: actually, 3 maybe. 2 for the drive and 1 for an arm or other appendages.

You are allowed to use any joysticks that you want for the competition, so long as you can get them to work. Which is at best a very tedious process unless you know what you’re doing.

I have a question:
Are these ones Serial? Cuz they look really good.

Thanks in advance

They are 15 pin gameport, just like the joystics you recieved in your kit and just like will plug into the operator interface.

Our team has been looking for compatible joystics for a bit now and are probably going to be ordering these - thanks to Xufer for providing the link.

One quick question for teams who have used these before - do the joysticks have yaw control as well? I have examined the CH site and have found no specifics mentioning yaw control.

Thanks, Jeff