Three considerations that will expedite your hand controller specification

You want the specification process to be as quick and painless as possible, especially if you need a fast turnaround on your hand controller.

The configurations available to engineers are varied and complex. So, how can you make sure you will receive exactly what you need?

Factoring in these three elements ahead of time will help streamline the specification process and ensure your hand controller is user friendly, robust and fit for purpose.

1.     Your environment

It’s not always possible to know exactly what you need, but considering the environment in which your controller will be used will greatly assist your manufacturer in meeting your technical requirements.

Understanding your environment is of great importance when specifying military joysticks as the final setting can be particularly demanding. Consideration needs to be given to ensuring the end product is combat proven, and factors, including the impact of vibration, temperature variations and EMC requirements, are accounted for. If you’re unsure of all the details upfront, even a general statement – such as one of the environmental conditions from MIL-HDBK-217 – can provide a great starting point.

For example, if the environment is high vibration or high shock the hand controller needs to be developed taking severity levels and any predominant vibration frequencies into account from the likes of drive shafts, gear boxes or rotors. In the case of a semiconductor strain gauged (force sensitive) product, the output will inherently vary in such an environment – it’s a fact. However, your hand controller can be engineered so that the variance is predictable and controlled (options include the use of a central and/or full scale dead band, mechanical dampening and also electronic filtering).

Space claim is also key. Do you know the maximum space you have available? If you are upgrading a system, perhaps start with the dimensions of your previous controller?

2.      Mounting your controller

You also need to give the mechanical interface some thought to ensure your hand controller, once in-situ, operates to its full potential.

There are several questions you need to consider. How and where is your controller going to be mounted? Is the mounting from above or below, by what means and how much of this is already frozen in your system design? Is the mounting to provide a means of electrical bonding for safety / EMC purposes to levels of less than 2mΩ? And how is it going to be connected to your system? By means of a suitably screened lead (of what length) or a connector (and do you have a preferred connector type)? Where do you want your hand controller’s scope of supply to start and finish?

3.     Electronic interface

Moving on from the mechanical interface, how do you want your controller to communicate with your system? Do you want a simple analogue output that you will process or a serial output, be that custom or industry standard or indeed some combination of the two?

Again, where do you want your hand controller’s scope of supply to start and to finish?

These are the types of questions your supplier will be asking to ensure your product is manufactured to the highest standard and meets your requirements. Having these details to hand will also assist your manufacturer in delivering a short turnaround, if required.

Need some help sourcing a supplier that’s on your level? Here at Daco we have no predefined barriers as to where our scope of supply should start or finish. Read our blog to find out the four important points to address during the tender process.

Find out more about how you can benefit from our services today. Contact us online or via telephone +44 118 981 7311 (UK) or +1 248 982 3266 (US).

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