These thumb joysticks are wonderfully simple, and have a select button along with the X and Y axis outputs; they're just like the analog controls on your playstation controller (quite possibly the exact same part, actually). Fully interfacing to one with the imp takes just three signal wires (X, Y, Button), 3.3V from the Electric Imp Breakout Board's regulator, and ground: 5 wires. The hardest part about the whole thing is just getting the whole apparatus packed up attractively in a box.
Once you've got this project all set up, you've got an internet-connected X-Y control with a select button - twice as powerful as the controlBox + a button!
Step 1: What you'll need
- Electric Imp
- Electric Imp breakout board
- Enclosure: I used a Hammond 1593PBK hand-held instrument enclosure with battery holder
- A bit of perfboard. Plated is easier to solder.
- A SPDT switch (for power)
- Some 4-40 screws (4 of them, actually)
- Some foam tape
- A bit of heat shrink tubing
A drill. You'll need a few important bits:
- A center punch and a small hammer for marking and starting holes
- A 1/8" drill for starting holes and drilling mounting holes in your perfboard
- A drill sized for your SPDT switch. Mine was 3/16"
- A hole cutter, 1" , to make a hole for the joystick
- A 4-40 tap and tap handle for threading the mounting holes for the joystick.
- A dremel or similar for cutting a slot for the imp and cutting down your perfboard
- A respirator or mask - don't cut FR4 (the material your perfboard is made of) without one! If you're not cutting FR4, you won't need this.
- Soldering iron and solder
- A heat gun for shrinking heat shrink. A hair dryer will do in a pinch
- Angle cutters and wire strippers
- Adjustable wrench
- Philips-head screwdriver
- A smartphone running the free electric imp app to "blink up" your imp onto your network
- A computer to access the electric imp planner (http://plan.electricimp.com)
- A free electric imp developer account for planner access (just sign up and you're good to go)