Tri-axis Analog Joystick

I’ve been looking for most of the day on a way to use a three axis joystick… and no dice…

This could be done in one of three ways:

  1. Convert the signal of a digital tri-axis joystick to analog.
  2. Modify a digital tri-axis joystick to by pass digital encoding (if it uses pots).
  3. Find an analog tri-axis joystick.

Number one would be pretty hard, because it would require sniffing of the packets using a program, and then it would require design of a custom circuit (fpga, multiple DAC chips, etc). This is obvously not in the scope of the remaining 5 weeks of build time, but this could possibly be done during the break between shipping and regonals (Is this allowed? It is OI work…)

Number two would require a tri-axis joystick that uses 3 100k pots and some minor wiring… Yeah, but how do we find a candidate?

Number three would require pretty much no “work” but allot of research… The MS Sidewinder 3D Pro (a very, very old dual mode triaxis stick) Does anyone have this stick? Does the third axis work in analog mode?

It looks like there are a couple of those joysticks around:

If you get it working, let us know.

you know, you could just cut the main ‘stick’ part off of the base, and glue a pot inbetween so you can turn it. (are we allowed to modify the joysticks?)

I have an older logitech equivalent of the sidewinder 3D, it is an excellent stick, and all three axis + the throttle are analog.

Yes, you are allowed to modify joysticks. In fact, there are not many rules regarding the OI side of things. There are rules, and you can consult the manual for them, but as long as its not going to catch on fire or hurt anyone, and isn’t computer controlled, it’s probably legal.

If it works or not… well, there have been lots of really brilliant control ideas that just plain never worked in the end. It’s hard to beat a good old fashioned CH flight-stick from a few years ago.

Your idea of hacking up a joystick could work from a legal standpoint and I think a practical standpoint. It might require a bit more work then you might first think though, especially if you wanted a spring return or any sort of damping in it.

My suggestion would be to find a digital 3 axis stick, and simply bypass the internal circuitry. You’ll have to wire each pot to one of the 4 analog inputs on any given port, and do the rest in programming. It’s a little bit of surgery, and you’ll need to make your own connector, but it’s nothing terribly complex. I imagine it’s already been done.

Interestingly, a lot of the CH joysticks are already 3 axis, with the third being the throttle wheel.

Just make sure that the pots in the joystick you are using are 100k!

-Andy A.


How exactly are you thinking this will happen? if the pots are disconnected from the pcb you have a single (twist) axis joystick… I’ll need to open up one of the righthaned beige 04+ sticks.

Also, I’d need a 100k ohm spring return pot. Havent found (m)any, also, the driver, might break the stops of such a pot, so I guess a mechanical stop outside of the pot would be very good…

Does this stick work with the OI? basicly, if the pinout is that of a CH FligthStick, one of the extra axes used for uh… throttle? and somthing else… will be the z (twist) axis…

Also, what model is this? Do you still want it?

AFAIK, all modern and most digital sticks are OPTICAL! :frowning: