Introduction: Simple Wired 2 Motor Control Joystick

Picture of Simple Wired 2 Motor Control Joystick
i wanted for a long time to have a control joystick(control box), wich can easy change the directions of 2 motors. so i made one. it's not hard to build and works perfect. the costs vary between 2 and 4 euro. feel free to change/improve the project using creativity and better parts. share your experience! i hope my bad english won't be an obstacle ( i have a lot of pics though :).
so have fun building the two motor control joystick!

Step 1: The Idea

Picture of The Idea

on the schematic i use 1-pole pushbuttons (0.20euro/unit), but that's only because the 2-pole ones were too expensive (3euro/unit). so i had to group them to change the polarity. i also used a bit different schematic, but only because i didn't know, that these pushbuttons have 4 usable pins(you'll see what i mean on the 3th step). this schematic work too, but it can be a bit more complicated to build.

Step 2: Parts

Picture of Parts

1. breadboard
2. 8x 1-pole pushbuttons or 4x 2-pole push buttons
3. wires
everything else depends on your scrap collection :)

Step 3: Soldering

Picture of Soldering
1. cut the breadboard in a shape you like, but so, that there is enough space to cut a hole in the middle.

2. put the pushbuttons on the breadboard, like on the picture. the distance between 2 oppisite pairs of buttons depends on the size of part 7*. part 7 shoud barelly touch the buttons, when it's in the middle.

3. solder the push buttons

4. solder the wires on the back side(pic 2).
you have to test the pins first and find the best way to connet them after you are sure what every one of them do. feel free to ask, if you don't get the idea

  • part7 - sorry, but i don't know the word (look step 2)

Step 4: Connecting the Buttons

Picture of Connecting the Buttons

1. stick hard plastic, metal or wood on the top of every to pairs(thay have to be pushed together) (pic 1)

2. stick small nails in the middle (use super glue) (pic 2)

3. make holes on the breadboard for the screws (pic 3)

4. connect the wires to the OUT and IN connections. i used 2 of the screws for IN and part11(pic5) for OUT (pic 4)

Step 5: Making the Basis/box

Picture of Making the Basis/box

find some box or use a piece of wood, metal or hard plastic for basis. drill holes in the same distance like on the breadboard. put the screws in them and stick part7 over the main hole

Step 6: Last Step

Picture of Last Step

1. attach the breadboard (pic1)

2. use the second part7 to make the stick (pic 2)

3. put everything together

4. you are done! now you can control every toy which uses 1 or 2 motors(cars, small robots, etc.).

it's not a bad idea to test the schematic before you put everything together. it saves time! :p
have fun with your joystick!


wethecom (author)2009-02-12

simple an effective i like it
back in the day of commodores "really old computers just in case your to young to know" i would buy controllers for them they were similar to atari controllers
and this is the part that may help you out a bit
they actually used tire stems for the joy sticks ..bonus part is you can buy cool tire stem caps that look really cool
check it out ...when you see it i bet it clicks in your head what im talking about

little_spiro (author)wethecom2009-02-13

hey, thanks for the idea, but it works perfect for me like this, because the short "stick" allows me to control it just with one finger.. ;)

Derin (author)2008-09-07

this is constructive criticism,btw. item 7 is called a washer

Fred82664 (author)2008-09-06

hummm one could use a hollow tubing and insert a small POT with a wheel on top of the stick and run it in series with the push buttons thus would make the output variable. the stick could be made from a short length of Automobile brake line. cut threads in to the OD and still use the nut and washer method to mate the push button switches. never the less this is a cool project and would be vary useful for manual testing on individual robotic system (s) parts of a single robot or other testing applications

Lftndbt (author)2008-07-27

Interesting.... I may have an application for that at the moment.

I would be interested to see you try this setup out on a future project...

The nature of the dial allows for almost instantanious switchs.My finger model

I'm going to try your idea out now... Thanks heaps!!

little_spiro (author)Lftndbt2008-08-03
here you are

AngelN45 (author)2017-08-22

Hola pense que esto era gratis

WELLINGTONS11 (author)2016-03-26


MRUDUL18 (author)2016-01-15

how have u placed the wires in the 3rd step?

little_spiro (author)MRUDUL182016-01-15

exactly as it is shown in the picture in step one

axeman911 (author)2011-07-02

is there some way to make so that u can make both motors run at the same time, or some way to use it to control a tank with individual left right motors??

little_spiro (author)axeman9112011-07-03

both motors are running(with half speed tho) in every diagonal direction(see video)
If by building you turn the whole schema 45 degree it will work perfect for your tank

axeman911 (author)little_spiro2011-07-03

thanks would an h-bridge also work link:

little_spiro (author)axeman9112011-07-03

ask tomtom4388

myxpykalix (author)2010-04-01

Hello! Could you tell me the title and artist of the music you used in the background? Good instructable thanks!

little_spiro (author)myxpykalix2011-07-03

Udon (author)2010-11-09

This is very, very cool.

Opens up all kinds of possibilities.

tomtom4388 (author)2010-04-02

this is actually an h-bridge
nice idea, but you have to be careful, if you press back and forward buttons at once you short-circuit your power source
when using small batteries not too much trouble, but when using an big power supply you risk burning your switch or wires

kcls (author)2010-03-31

I've been looking around for something to control a mini prize claw. This would be perfect! Thanks for the great 'ible!

punkhead58 (author)2010-03-31

By any chance, could Part 7 be a washer?

Patented (author)punkhead582010-03-31

thats what I am thinking..

fruitkid101 (author)2010-03-31

You could use this to control a 3axis milling maching with regular motors instead of steepers. BTW what kind of motors are the ones you use. DC?

little_spiro (author)2009-10-21

i'm working in bulgaria right now, but the next year i'm moving to germany.
do skoro ;)

thor44 (author)2008-07-30

Nice...if i wanted to do this with a higher battery voltage, say a small 12v battery, would i need to change anything, like the wire gauge or etc..

omnibot (author)thor442008-10-13

I'd say the easy way would be to just scale up, use switches and cables for 12 volt. The cool way would be to use relays closer to the motors.

godfreyandthandi (author)omnibot2009-03-14


bombmaker2 (author)2009-02-12

could u upload a new schematic like the one u used

little_spiro (author)bombmaker22009-02-13

ah, ok, i got what you mean by "the one u used" . it's actually the same schematic. u just have to test which 2 pins make contact and leave the other two... that's all. you can see better what i mean in step 3, pic2. have fun! (and ask, if needed)

bombmaker2 (author)little_spiro2009-02-14

k thanks

little_spiro (author)bombmaker22009-02-13

i don't understand where is the problem in this one.. ok, it's not like the schematics you get from radioshack, but i think it's clear enough.. i can't make better one, but i can answer a specific question, when you have one ;)

falcotheimpaler (author)2008-12-18

this puts every idea i've had on this manner to shame. it's better than an h-bridge, and simpler than a microcontroller.

mario59 (author)2008-08-08

Your INSTRUCTABLE is really *NEAT* !!!!
I love simple idea to solve otherwise a bit complicated problems.
I have to say I NEVER THOUGHT about such circuitry before!
I think, if not patented, it should!!!

dchall8 (author)2008-07-23

Not to take anything away from your project, but I like to plant this seed where it seems to fit. I'd like to see some electronic genius convert a $30 game controller into a real radio control device.

Lftndbt (author)dchall82008-07-27

I will be soon, but seems a tad overdone on the net of late. Would be good to see one at Ible's though. ;)

frollard (author)2008-07-23

That's a neat little project - It looks at first like its variable speed - but thats just the motors spinning up.

little_spiro (author)frollard2008-07-23

sorry, but the speed is constant :(
i have a simple 4 motor robot arm looking for a new controller, so i have to make one more. i plan to use variable speed there..

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