Hall Effect Versus Potentiometer Desktop Controllers

As the need for reliable desktop controllers continue to increase, designers are working round the clock to build better devices for their picky clients. The requirements or joysticks include accuracy, sensitivity, smoother operation, low power, multi-function features and custom size. These requirements are particularly important in industrial environments where proper control is critical to prevent losses and injuries.

When shopping for desktop controllers, one of the most important considerations you will have to make is that on the type of sensor the device uses. There are two main options available; hall effect and potentiometer. Let’s take a look at each option to help you make a more informed choice.

Potentiometer Joysticks

The industrial electric potentiometer joysticks have been around for the longest time. The use the Ohm’s law to offer a proportional analog output. The system has several components which when moved either increase or decrease the level of resistance in an electronic circuit.

The potentiometer joystick is considered ideal for applications which call for precise movement of equipment or moving machinery. However, while these sensors offer great performance, they do have a range of limitations. This is more so when you consider their durability. The sensor uses moving parts. This means it is more prone to wear and tear. Consequently, reliability issues will be noticed over time.

Another major issue is susceptibility to radio frequency and electromagnetic interference. This is more so when it comes to the wire wound potentiometers. If you must go for the potentiometer industrial joysticks, opt for the conductive plastic types that have a smooth electrical track which eliminates friction and increases the lifespan of the sensor.

Hall Effect Joysticks

Unlike potentiometer joysticks which rely on electronic circuits, the hall effect joysticks use a magnetic system. They offer a major benefit over potentiometer joysticks because they are contactless. They don’t suffer from wear resulting from physical contact. While they are used in the same way as potentiometer joysticks, hall effect industrial joysticks excel in areas with excessive shock or vibration. They are thus commonly used in backhoe loaders, mining trucks, excavators, cranes and diggers.

Although hall effect joysticks offer many advantages over potentiometer controllers, they too have some downsides. For one, the available voltage supply will be a limiting factor. Hall effect controllers need a 5VDC whereas the potentiometer joysticks can work with a range of voltages. Second, the magnetic field that these sensors use will change over time and can be affected by extreme cold or hot temperatures. The variance in magnetic fields will cause the sensor to drift and the output voltage will be affected.

Desktop Controllers