My older girls love helping me build and play our breadboard-based Arduino projects - Especially the retro games we have made. However the joystick modules are too small and fiddly for little hands and storage is an issue too.
During a recent build we put our heads together and came up with the jam jar joystick hack as a solution - In our house old jars get used to store just about everything from craft supplies to plant seeds and nuts and bolts so it was the logical next step!
This was a simple build and my 4 and 6 year old girls did most of the work.
Using a glass jar helped the girls understand that electronics modules and components are fragile and need to be treated with care.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- A clean jam jar with a tin lid
- 8 x M3 6mm bolts
- 4 x M3 15mm tapped metal spacers
- Joystick module for Arduino
- Permanent marker
- Screw driver
Step 2: The Build
- Place the module in the centre of the underside of the jar lid.
- The joystick module comes with pre-drilled holes in the corners.
- Use these holes as a stencil and mark where to drill the holes with a permanent marker.
- Drill the 4 holes - The girls needed a bit of help with this
- Put the screws through the holes in the lid with the screw head on the top of the jar
- Screw the M3 metal tapped spacers onto the underside of the lid
- Place module on the spacers and use remaining screws to secure module to the jam jar lid stand
- The jam jar joystick is now ready to be connected and used for some epic Arduino Pong games
Step 3: Pack Up
When toddlersaurus wakes up the joystick module can be quickly disconnected, screwed onto the jar and placed on a high shelf for storage