This is a miniature joystick made from a few switches and a ballpoint pen. An optional fire button can be added if your pen is the clicker type. The action is very smooth and responsive. A bit of back story follows so feel free to skip it and get right into building.

Most projects start with an idea and then you source components to build it. This one started from a simple component which turned into an idea.

I had made a purchase from the Electronic Goldmine and got a free surprise box with my order. The box contained around 50 right angle switches amongst a lot of other goodies so I started thinking about what I could do with them.

It didn't take long before I came up with the idea of mounting four of the switches around a center point and using something to control them like a joystick. But what to use as the joystick? I rummaged through my junk pile and found half of an old pen, perfect.

I prototyped it out and it worked okay. The first thought was that it would be cool to have a button at the top of the joystick. I needed a better pen, the retractable type with a clicker. I built another version with the same electronics and a new pen. It was close but there were still some issues to work out. The third time was a charm and I'm very happy with the results. So let's get started.

Step 1: Gathering the Parts

What we'll need:

1) A pen, preferably the retractable type but just about any pen will do.
2) Four right angle push button switches.
3) A long screw, the smaller the diameter the better, and a nut to match. I used a 4-40 at 1-1/2 inches long. A 2-56 at the same length would be even better but I couldn't find one at the local hardware store.
4) A small piece of proto board.
5) Some hook up wire. The thinner the better.
6) Headers of some sort.
7) A small grommet (optional).
8) A round push button switch (optional, not pictured).
I was amazed how simple ii can be. Your instructable inspired me soo I made one myself. Thank you for sharing the idea! Here is link to my mini joystick: http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Joytick/
Cool, nice mods to make it work with what you had!
thank you for the instructables but can you give me a schematic diagram for this? i'll appreciate your kindness thank you :D <br>
I Like your project. Thanks for share your ideia with us!
Hm, how did that go again...<br /> <br /> UP&nbsp;UP&nbsp;DOWN&nbsp;DOWN&nbsp;LEFT&nbsp;RIGHT&nbsp;LEFT&nbsp;RIGHT&nbsp;B&nbsp;A&nbsp;START.<br /> <br /> Hey, why is my arduino glowing?<br />
It's funny you say that because back when I wrote this Instructable I took a video of the test circuit while entering the Konami code. I guess I should post it!
Yeah, that would be cool. Alas, most game developers nowadays are aware that the Konami code is no big secret, so they for the most part stopped using it as a cheat. Or worse, it gets you killed when you try it (I heard that trying to enter it in Metal Gear Solid II gets you jack squat <em>and </em>solid snake mocking you for being a cheater).<br /> <br /> -Y<br />
This would be great for my laptop as a mouse. I can't stand the touchpad which randomly decides it doesn't want to work. Like an IBM.<br />
&nbsp;do u mean this could be used in the same way as IBM's Trackpoint?<br /> this is digital, not analog like the Trackpoint.<br /> or do u mean IBM's Trackpoint randomly doesn't work?<br /> if ur Trackpoint doesn't work, replace it.
That is completely opposite from what I said. <br /> My laptop does not have a Trackpoint, this is almost like a Trackpoint, my touchpad sucks and never works.<br />
Great work and great design maybe next time a Analogue ;) also very clean work.
Nice design, the end results look very clean! Did the surprise box come as packed as the one in the picture? If so that's quite impressive!
Yep, pretty much. Here's a photo of the full contents after sorting most of it.
besides hard wiring this to a keyboard or mouse, is there a way to wire it to pc?
answered my own question... ppjoy<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.geocities.com/deonvdw/Docs/Diagrams/CHAMPgames.htm">http://www.geocities.com/deonvdw/Docs/Diagrams/CHAMPgames.htm</a><br/><br/>this is the best matching schematic for this kind of joystick. just replace the db9 with the pins that you made, and install the ppjoy driver.<br/><br/>hopefully, ill be building one soon, but im going to put my own spin on it.<br/>
I was thinking about ordering from them, do you think the extra shipping is worth it for the surprise box? How did you get it for free?
They give away free gifts when you spend more than $25. The surprise box is just what it happened to be at the time. I always have a hard time paying $7-8 for shipping no matter where it is. I don't think it's worth it for just the surprise box but it might be worth it for a larger order. I wrote a blog post about a few other places to <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.bitnibblebyte.com/blog/electronics/sourcing-electronics-components-39.html">source electronic components</a>.<br/>
ok becaused on a regular order, once you add the surprize box shipping goes from $7 to $10
i can say only one thing about this project, and that is WICKED!!!!
now just wire it up to the space bar and arrow keys of a keyboard and you can use it to control ur favorite pc game!
Yeah but using the joystick is pretty much the same as using the arrow keys
Or WASD keys...
Nice! Old times! :p
Great project!
I heart Electronic Goldmine
it is a great place
OH shiiii, street fighter 4 - SHORYUKEN EX CANCELL TO THE ULTRA!
Atari 2600 joysticks all over again :)
Nice instructable!! Keep up the good work! Jerome

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