Categories for Personal

Updated 3D-printed gimbal and throttle design

Here’s version 2 of my joystick mechanical bits. Improvements:

  • Metal control stick
  • Hall Effect sensors
  • Ball bearings
  • PETG filament
  • Adjustable throttle resistance

The metal pipe is what caused the new iteration. Not only is it much more solid, but because the wall of the pipe is much thinner without a change to the outside diameter means more wires can go through.

The change to A1302 Linear Hall Effect sensor was a logic move after the use of the same sensor in the foot controller proved very reliable.

Also I move from 3Dprinting with PLA to PETG. My Vertex K8400 give much stronger and consistent parts now.

With the use of ball bearings everything feels solid and absolutely free of any kind of play.

Gimbal_v2_explode Throttle_v2


IMG_2708 IMG_2928

Oh Joy-stick. Designing the button grip

On top of the slightly basic handle I’m putting a ‘button block’. I have no other word for it yet but it sounds like a nice working title. The concept is that during this 1st prototype I am designing stuff one step at a time. Like little LEGO bricks I stick’em together until I’ve worked out a better solution.

So here are the bits that I’ve got working and finished:

  • Throttle level mechanics
  • Yoke mechanics (X/Y)
  • Yoke spring centering mechanism
  • Mounting plate
  • Throttle centering latch
  • Wiring board A (inside the yoke)
  • Wiring board B (just a breakout board to connect all the wires to a detachable connector)

So today it’s down to the button mayhem. Even though I’ve written earlier about using motorcycle parts, i’m decided to drop that thought. After playing in SketchUp for like maybe 12 hours the solution struck me, and I may have come up with the most challenging SketchUp component of my entire life:

Flightstick YokeFlightstick Yoke Rear

On the pictures you see the SketchUp design of the mounting head and the front plate for a thumb joystick sourced from an XBox360 controller. I chose a mounting head that allows me to try/attach different front/back plates. This allows me to use the same design for left and right but with different button layouts (probably just mirrored). On the rear side there is room to put trigger buttons or other index/middle finger functionality. There’s plenty of room and it looks pretty nice.

printing the button head button head 1st print

Yes, I need to do more sanding.


Here’s a few lessons I learnt during my DeClock project:

  • Don’t change the design between prototype and production. Don’t.
  • Don’t assume the schematic is right. Verify that is it right.
  • Don’t assume your memory is correct. Verify with documentation.
  • Use a versioning system. Put a version on everything like printed documents and schematics. Commit often. GIT is my weapon of choice.
  • Document everything. Update existing documentation.
  • A P-Channel MOSFET is not the same as a PNP transistor. Not even close.
  • The display is always greener on the other side.
  • Have a backup plan.
  • Stock spare parts.
  • You need experts. You don’t know everything.
  • You need time. Take your time. Don’t rush.
  • You need to push through. Everything will fail.
  • You need to enjoy more. Step back from the project ever so often.
  • Communicate.

I mean it.


It’s been a busy week. Working on projects, clock assembly, wordpress migration, synology configuration, making pizza, loads of stuff!

All the migrated content has to be hand trimmed to get rid of the weebly tags. Also all of the images and attachments had to be moved. After that was all done, i could finally pull the plug on Weebly. Not that Weebly is a bad product, no it is actually great. I just simply grew out of it. I couldn’t do everything i wanted to do with their tooling.

Finally, if you have the time, check out my project Aduro, it is a custom led strip /software combo to light up your desk.

Move over!

I’ve just switch from a hosted server to a WordPress blog site. All content was imported from the old site but got a little dented on the move. All errors will be cleaned up in the coming days.