After the release of star wars squadrons, I wanted to build my own budget 3 axis joystick and throttle. It needed to have all the needed controllers and buttons for the majority of flight sim games, along with great feel and precision. It also must be easy and cheap to create for the average person who owns a 3d printer.
While this was a very good start to this project, it requires a lot more work in order for me to call it "complete" and release all the files. Here is a picture of V1.
For the joystick gimbal I have decided to try and use a cheap 3 axis thumbstick off of amazon. This worked very poorly for many reasons. The first was that the joystick I received was broken so the 3rd axis did not work. The 2nd is that it was not designed to have the weight of a joystick on top of it. The springs were simply far to weak so it did not stay in the center and had an awful feel. Because of this, I have decided to modify the popular Olukelo Gimbal in order to have better tolerance's, and a 3rd axis.
The files for the joystick were bought off cults 3d for $15 dollars. You can find them here. I know a lot of people wont be excited about having to purchase files, but this joystick is incredibly designed and worth every penny. I might make my own in the future and release the files for free but that is just an idea and not for sure.
The buttons for both assembly's can be cheaply bought, and are commonly available on sites like ebay, amazon, or aliexpress. For the controllers there are a ton of options. I would recommend an Arduino pro micro as it is commonly available and cheap. The downsides of this is it is much more complex to use and involves a lot of soldering. The Arduino joystick library contains tons of options and cool features. The other option is a Leo Bodnar board. These are incredibly easy to use and require no soldering to the board itself. The downsides are that it is expensive at ~$70 shipped. I personally bought one of these boards for the joystick, but wish I just bought a 2nd pro micro like what was used in the throttle. I have very little Arduino experience, but even if you have non I think you should at least try it before purchasing the more expensive board. I will release wiring diagrams and code to make this prosses as easy as possible. These boards allow the whole system to be far cheaper than a store bought HOTAS assuming you have a 3d printer. He is a picture of the wiring for the throttle to give you a basic idea.
And a picture of the wiring of the joystick.
Version two is in the works and should (hopefully) be finished in a week or two. Some major changes include a completely redesigned throttle which will use a linear rail for maximum smoothness, strength, and reliability. It will also include a Gimbal with bearings and cams for maximum smoothness. I will change from using potentiometers to using hall effect sensors for increased precision and simplicity. Thanks to the makers of these original files for the inspiration that will go into version 2. Sorry for any grammatical errors. I promise I put a lot more work into the project than these write ups. See you soon!