Cheap USB joystick taken apart

I haven’t taken apart a joystick in over 10 years so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect to find inside a cheap USB joystick these days. The victim here is a commonly available Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick.


From different angles

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X- and Y-axis potentiometers

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Nothing special here. Potentiometers as a voltage divider. The voltage going to the potentiometers is about 4 V and the output between 0.4 V and 3.6 V. The potentiometers have been attached straight to the ends of the axles of the mechanism without any gears and the handle moves about +-18° so the potentiometers move only about 1/10 of a full circle. Can’t predict very long life for small cheap potentiometers this way. Potentiometers could be replaced with better potentiometers or with hall effect sensing.

Handle buttons


The switches for the buttons and the 8-way hat look to be a common type so they could be replaced with better quality switches when they break.

Overall it doesn’t look as bad as I thought it might be. The potentiometers might not last long but if replaced with hall effect sensing for example things should be better. Also the mechanism in the base is about 7 x 7 cm so it could be placed in a smaller enclosure.

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