Thursday, December 4, 2008

Home made arcade style joystick - Soldering and Sawing Guide and Tips

Making the joystick needs to be done in a few different steps, such as soldering wires to the PSone controller, making the box, wiring of the joystick and the buttons etc.

Soldering wires to the PSone controller

This is my first time doing soldering -_-''. Searched around the internet for guides on soldering and found this GREAT video on YouTube!

  1. Use a lower powered soldering iron, 40W and below for the soldering to prevent peeling out the copper contacts.
  2. ALWAYS tip your soldering tip with some solder before soldering.
  3. Some of the contact points are covered with a black layer that cannot be soldered on. Just simply scratch the black layer off GENTLY with a flat surface like a screwdriver or the back of a penknife until the copper layer is revealed.
  4. ALWAYS use solder with flux in them and have a piece of wet sponge beside you when soldering to clean the soldering tip from time to time.
With the knowledge gained, I'm all set to solder my PCB board!

Clockwise from top-left: The PCB board from the PSX controller; me tipping the soldering tip before soldering; soldering in progress and the finished soldered PCB board.

You can use a hot glue gun to secure the soldered points in place if you want to to ensure that the wires stay soldered to the PCB.

(Note: In the end, this PCB cannot be used as it conflicts with my USB-PS2 adaptor and I had to use an analog PSone controller PCB instead)

Soldering wires to the PCB is done! ^_^

Sawing of the wood fiber board for the controller box

I used the jig saw for cutting the fiber board as it is much faster than using the hacksaw.

  1. Use a fine cut saw blade like the Bosch T101B for a finer cut to lessen the need for filing the edges after cutting.
  2. To ensure a straight cut, use a guider (something long and straight, held in place by F-clamps or G-clamps) to guide the jig saw to travel a straight path during cutting.

  3. ALWAYS include the distance from the edge of the jig saw metal piece to the jig saw blade when measuring and sizing the wood for cutting.

    For my jig saw, this distance is 34mm. Hence, for example, if I want to cut a piece of wood that is 70mm wide, I'll need to measure a total of 104mm from the edge of the wood to place the guider so that when the jigsaw cuts, I'll get my piece of 70mm wide wood (see below for example).

    Red rectangle: The piece of 70mm wide wood I wanted
    Blue rectangle: The whole wooden plank
    Brown rectangle: Guider placed at the 104mm mark.
With all the tips in mind, time to cut.

Clockwise from top-left: Me and dad outside my house's corridor; my dad guiding me on the cutting method; me cutting the wood; cut pieces of the wood.

To be continued...

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