The Jam Jar Joystick Hack

About: As a kid my favourite book was the Australian classic "Dick Smith's Fun Way into Electronics"...

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
  • Drill
  • Screw driver

Step 2: The Build

  1. Place the module in the centre of the underside of the jar lid.
  2. The joystick module comes with pre-drilled holes in the corners.
  3. Use these holes as a stencil and mark where to drill the holes with a permanent marker.
  4. Drill the 4 holes - The girls needed a bit of help with this
  5. Put the screws through the holes in the lid with the screw head on the top of the jar
  6. Screw the M3 metal tapped spacers onto the underside of the lid
  7. Place module on the spacers and use remaining screws to secure module to the jam jar lid stand
  8. 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



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