Sanddrag once posted this link http://www.ifirobotics.com/accessories.htm for buying the pre-2004 joysticks (CH Flightstick). Does anyone know where to still get them for roughly $30 from FIRST? Or some other supplier? Thanks.
For flightsticks, eBay is your friend.
Here is a link found using Froogle and this picture is the one, but no gaurantees what is in the picture is what you will get. http://www.cmishop.com/store/ShowDetails.asp?txtProductName=200502BL-BX&txtMfgPartNo=200502BL&nCategorySubID=125&txtSiteTrack=FG
ch prodcts made a newer version of the joystick that is still ported to a game port heres a link : http://www.chproducts.com/retail/j_fighter_pc.html
Be aware that CH Products makes two interface styles: USB, and original PC Joystick (low density DB-15M style connector on end of the cable). You ONLY wish the original PC Joystick style, and NOT the USB style.
Be careful! This link will yield sales of BOTH interface styles. Before you bid on one, be SURE you are bidding on the original PC Joystick interface type.
Other used stick sources: Garage sales, indoor consignment-style mega-fleamarkets, Salvation Army / Purple Heart stores, ANY resale shops that include computer stuff, and Used Computer stores. Joysticks are a very common item at all of them. Typical price in my area for them is around $5/each. (YMMV)
Often, a town’s local newspaper has a “freebie-wanted classified” area, where you can quickly ask for something for $1. I’ve successfully found those joysticks in my community for only a few dollars by using that kind of ad.
Be aware that since most teams are associated with a school, and donations to them are tax deductible, if you can connect with a local seller you can often get them for FREE. Simply get your school to offer them the tax write-off for donating them to your school’s robotics program. They write off the FULL value of the stick (a lot more than your poor offer for it) , and your team gets it for nothing…
I hope this helps!
froogle is your friend!
Just a warning - even though a joystick may physically have a 15-pin D-Sub Gameport connector, you shouldn’t assume it’s compatible with the Operator Interface. Some 15-pin joysticks, including the updated CH stick listed above, have numerous hat switches and pushbuttons and internal electronics that permit programmability of all the joystick features. The circuit board requires external power to operate, and since no such power is available or legal during a FIRST event, chances are, this kind of stick will not work with the OI without some internal rewiring to bypass the electronics. Unless I am mistaken, there is nothing in the Robot Rules, rule <R55> specifically, that forbids internal rewiring of game controllers this year, so you could try to bypass the circuit board completely and wire the joystick’s throttle, x and y axes, and digital switches directly to the 15-pin connector to make the stick fully compatible with the OI.
Your best bet for a replacement joystick that “works” out of the box - if the joystick in question has a 15-pin connector and at most four pushbuttons (a trigger, a top button, and up to two other buttons), with an analog throttle wheel and possibly an analog hat switch (like the Kit joystick has), you should be good to go. Remember, the OI supports a max of 4 analog inputs and 4 digital inputs on each port.
With everyone looking for old controllers I am assuming that the old black controllers are still legal right?
Right. They are still legal.