Joysticks are the most suitable hand controllers for dynamic applications such as remote vehicle operation and camera tracking systems, and displacement joysticks are the most common type. Our modular displacement joystick range has been developed specifically for applications that require robustness and reliability combined with optimum accuracy and a user-friendly feel.

Force applied to the handle causes the joystick to move, usually between 20° and 30°. This movement is detected and converted to an electrical signal. For applications that require a proportional output we use conductive plastic (not open track or wire-wound) potentiometers or specialist Hall effect sensors (as you prefer) to sense displacement.

In our modular products with potentiometric sensors, the outputs are referenced to centre taps to remove any offsets and give stability, ensuring that, at zero deflection, the outputs are not affected by the supply voltage. Direct coupling of the sensors to the gimbal mechanism totally eliminates backlash.

Based on our 30 years of experience in engineering joysticks, we have selected the strongest commercially-available gimbal mechanism. Its components are machined from steel or aluminium and are supported by sealed stainless steel ball races mounted in a machined solid frame. The use of stainless steel and anodised aluminium also provides excellent corrosion resistance.
Rising from the gimbal mechanism is a hollow inconel alloy central shaft used to mount a grip. The bore of the shaft can accommodate up to 24 AWG wires for attachment to switches, triggers or force-operated joysticks. We can even increase this if your applications allows the use of 30 AWG wires. This gives you a choice of many different handgrip configurations based either on our MG1 modular control grip or on a fully customised configuration.
The hollow shaft then passes through a sprung plate that acts as a return-to-centre mechanism. The design of the plate is such that the force required to operate the joystick is the same regardless of the direction of movement.
Full-scale output on our modular displacement joysticks is provided from the X and Y axes simultaneously through the use of a square gate. The Z axis is operated by rotating the grip. All axes can be operated together, and all provide ±20° of movement with a return-to-centre action. When the joystick is mounted into a panel, a gaiter – manufactured from EPDM rubber – gives sealing to IP66 while remaining flexible over a wide temperature range.