View Full Version : Joystick controll of 2 servos x and y axis

02-20-2007, 01:54 AM
Hello there..
This is my first post at this forum, and im not shure im posting this the right place..

But here goes.

I want to make a robotic head move with commands from a regular joystick. This head is gonna be attached to the computer, so no need to worries about cables.

I need a controller card/ I/O card, and software.
Does anyone know of a easy solution?
Id guess someone have allready done this, controlling stuff with their Joystick... IE sevos to a chair with Flightsimulator, for movement, or some other stuff.


02-20-2007, 09:13 AM
Hey Frode,

Welcome to the community!

The word "easy" is rather subjective, but if you're asking if there is something pre-built intended for an end user, then your looking in the wrong place. If you're into Flight Simulator stuff, then I recommend checking out MyCockPit.org, and post in the Phidget forums:


Check out Alan Dyer's FS2Phidgets.

However, if what you mean by "easy" is a rather easy programming task and you like to tinker around, figure things out for yourself, then you've come to the right place:)

just let us know either way, and give us a little more to go on with your project.

02-20-2007, 01:06 PM
Hello, and thanx for reply.

"easy".. well everything is easy, when you know what to do.
Im gonna make a head attached to my computer case, and i want the head to be able to "nod" and to "shake"/tilt and pan.

This would be fun to with a Microsoft Sidewinder pro, since ive got a few of those joysticks.

Id like to use a I/O card like http://www.pontech.com/products/sv200/index.htm
or the
phidget servo-1.*edit* yes.. i know this is one servo I/o board.
My problem is more of the programing skillz.
Ive need help to find a program, that allowes me to controll the Tilt and Pan with a joystick, and let the head stay at the current spot, when its centered again.
-So the head, dont go back to center as the joystick will.
I need a way so when you center the youstick, the "servo signal" stops at "current position, and not joysticks center.
Hope you understand more what im after with this post.

(sorry my bad English/American, but not all of you would do too good in Norwegian either :rolleyes:)'

Ive googled for this, and found loads of questions about this, but no answers.

02-20-2007, 01:24 PM
Actually, I forgot something. I built something like what you are describing quite some time ago, but it works great! It uses a 4-motor Phidget Servo Controller (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/3190-4-Motor-Servo-Kit.aspx), a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=2225,CONTENTID=9069) and Visual Basic Express (http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/vb/) (which is free). The base of the pan and tilt that I used doesn't exist anymore, but you'll probably need something heavier anyway. Have you seen Servo City's Pan and Tilt yet?


Here is the downloads page of it:

The one I'm talking about is "P&T USB Joystick Basic and SP".

All that aside, the one thing that you really need to look into is the weight of what you are planning on moving around on this pan and tilt. Dependent on the size and weight of this head, you may need some extremely heavy duty servos and pan and tilt system.

02-20-2007, 03:32 PM
Thanx alot for replies, and links.

servos is not a problem..
been playing with helicopters, planes, and 15kg cars ;)
so ive got a few different servos "in stock".
Im just trying to keep this build at a reasonable cost...
So im looking for the best bang for my bucks.

02-20-2007, 04:00 PM
Well, if you do end up going with the 4-motor Phidget Servo controller, just be aware of the current consumption of the motors you plug into it. If they draw too much, you will end up frying the board, voiding the warranty. If they do draw a lot of current, hack the power cable on the servo and power them externally.

02-22-2007, 01:04 AM
yes.. i know..got the same problem on my RC FGmonster car.
im using a Y-cable and powers it directly from the battery.

Think the only trouble ive got atm is the "software" / Driver issue.

As previous posted, i want the servo to stop at last postition.
when i center the youstick, i want the servo to stop, regardless of position of the servo.

02-22-2007, 08:39 AM
even with the Y-cable though, if it's the same one that I'm thinking of, it is still connected to the controller, so it will still draw power/current. You will have to disconnect the power lead from the controller.

I don't mean to "state the obvious" or anything to you, so please don't take me that way. It's just that I've seen many customers burn their servo motor controllers out with these high current servos, because they "thought" they knew what they were doing. Then they got upset at us because we can't exchange their board they burnt out and their stuck with a $68 device that is even too light to be used as a paperweight.

All that aside, like I previously posted, the program that I introduced you to will do exactly what you want. The same results can be accomplished with a less expensive joystick. All you need is one that can be used in Direct X 9.0.

I don't have any experience with the board you linked to, so I doubt I can help you much with that one. It looks like a nice board and all, and possibly we may carry it someday, but till then, maybe somebody else in the community can help you out with it...