Adjusting Joystick Deadzone Pots



Introduction: Adjusting Joystick Deadzone Pots

About: learning, creating, sharing

I have this logitech joystick that I keep having to adjust the threshold/deadzone in the software and it finally bugged me enough that I figured I'd tear it apart. You could tell the potentiometers were not seated right because the deadzone for the X and Y were off (you'd move forward while sitting still). If you tried to adjust it in software, you could for example set, "Y forward" to be fine, but you'd have to pull back extra far to get the "Y reverse" to engage. This told me the pot was positioned incorrectly rather than broken.

You will need:

- Screwdriver (probably a phillips jewelers screwdriver)

- Hot glue gun (maybe superglue, but thats going to be a lot more permanent)

- Cutters or razor knife (depends on your setup)

Step 1: Open It Up

Yours will probably be different, but the idea should be the same. Find the screws holding it together and remove.

On mine I had to remove the screws in the base to get the top plate to come off so I could get at the potentiometers.

Step 2: Handle Screws

Then I had to take the handle apart in order to lift the plate away...

Step 3: More Screws

A couple more screws hiding under the boot at the base.

I should warn you at this point that the buttons, trigger and POV board are likely to come flying apart if you tear into this too aggressively.

I should also mention that if you have a short temper, you may just want to button this back up now and forget about doing any work on things like this. Each piece is carefully positioned and all wiring is placed just right to avoid all standoffs and other mechanisms. If you aren't patient and have some fairly good manual dexterity, you may never get this back together. You have been warned!

* Tip - Take pics along the way so you know what goes where!

Step 4: Finding the Pots

These are the things you're looking for.

I'll be dealing with the one on the white casing.

Step 5: Examine and Calibrate the Pot

So what you'll probably find is some kind of trap for the potentiometer or some leg of it. You can see here that the joystick moves the center of the pot and the rest is held stationary by the little leg on the right. This was the problem with these joysticks. The trap was lose enough that the pot could be moved around a little.

My Y Axis was so far off that I had to clip off the top piece of the trap in order to move it enough to get it to stay still.

Warm up your glue gun.

Step 6: Gluing the Pot

So here's the next tricky part. You're going to want to start up a game and find a large open area where you can drive, walk or fly for a long enough distance to give you time to make your adjustments.

Remove or lower all the way, any software threshold/deadzone adjustments.

VERY gently move the pot back and forth until you find the perfect dead zone.

* Keep the game running

After you're happy with the position, VERY carefully squirt some glue on the leg of the pot.

DO NOT try to clean off the stringy hot glue or mess with it in any way like you normally might with hot glue. Get the gun away from you and wait for it to harden up a little bit.

When the glue is partially solid (still gummy) you can try moving the pot a little bit to see it it's still in position. This is just to verify you didn't move it when you glued it.

After the glue has cooled and hardened you might find that it still wiggles a little bit. Apply some more glue.

* Gross Pro Tip - If you lick your finger and touch it, it'll often still stick, so get a lot of spit on your finger and just smash the glue into where it needs to go! If you watch pro electronics people and anyone who uses hot glue a lot you'll see them do this. Yum!

Step 7: Wrap It Up!

After you have it glued solid and tested, now you get the fun part of trying to put this crazy mess back together.

Be patient and don't force anything. Sometimes tape can help you hold a few things in place as you get the rest together.

Just think that somewhere this is someones job and they can probably assemble one of these in seconds...


You can find more invention, manufacturing and video tutorials on my YouTube channel
.dissonance on YouTube

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