Introduction: Amiga Joystick - USB Camera Cable Release

How to convert an old Amiga Joystick into a USB cable-release switch for Canon cameras equipped with CHDK. (

Step 1: Dismantling the Joystick

The joystick can be pulled apart by undoing a couple of screws on the side of the handle.

Step 2: The Switch Assembly

Remove the boards with the switches from inside the joystick.

Step 3: Constructing the Circuit

The circuit diagram for this step can be found here: <credit: Pixeldoc2000 >

To construct this circuit you will need:
- 3V (flat) watch battery
- USB Type-A to Type-B Cable
- A short piece of wire
- Soldering Iron and third-hand
- Electric Tape

Step 4: Preparing the USB Cable

Snip-off the type-A connector from the USB cable and strip off the rubber coating.

There's a lot of metal sheathing beneath the rubber....the outer layer is composed of a large number of thin wires and the inner layer is a foil coating....both these layers need to be removed (it's really easy with a pair of scissors)

you will need to have about an inch of wiring stripped of all rubber and metal sheathing.

At this point we are interested in the GND (black) and V+ (red) lines of the USB cable. Strip off a small part of the rubber coating from the black and red wires.

Step 5: Hooking Up the Switch and Battery

1) Solder the red wire of the usb cable to one of the terminals on one of the switches in the joystick.

2) Attach some electric tape to the black wire of the usb cable

3) stick the black wire to the '-' side of the battery, using the electric tape.

4) strip the ends off a short piece of wire. bend one end of the wire and place over the '+' side of the battery.

5) Cover with the same piece of tape used in step 3 and press firmly to make sure that there is a good contact between the wires and the battery terminals.

6) Solder the other end of the wire (now connected to the battery's '+' terminal) to the other terminal of the switch used in step 1

Step 6: Re-Assembley

This is the easy bit....just position everything neatly inside the joystick and re-assemble.

You can pass the usb cable through the opening at the bottom of the joystick.

You can then use this set-up to trigger the focus and release mechanisms of any canon camera which has a USB port and is loaded with CHDK software.

for more information on CHDK click here