Desktop controllers’ worst enemy is dirty. The worst part is we cannot all work in a cleanroom. In industrial applications, joysticks are used in some of the filthiest environments. However, even with a ruggedized joystick, you will at one point in time start facing performance issues due to the accumulation of dirt. One of the most common problems with joysticks is sticky buttons. If your buttons are sticky, this does not necessarily mean you have to buy a new joystick. There is a way of fixing this problem.
If you spilled something on your desktop controllers, you might notice that the face buttons are somewhat sticky. The buttons may also feel mushy and not press properly. In some cases, the buttons may be stuck completely. Needless to say, this issue will keep you from being productive. While you can open up the controller and try to fix it, there are a couple of things you can try to do first. The best solution is to clean the joystick.
The first thing you have to do before cleaning your desktop controller is to make sure it is turned off and disconnected. If the joystick is battery powered, make sure you remove the batteries. That way, you will avoid the risk of turning on the controller when cleaning it.
You will need a Q-tip and isopropyl alcohol. First, dip the Q-tip in the alcohol. Alternatively, you can spray a small amount of the alcohol solution around the edges of the sticky buttons. Next, use the Q-tip to clean the grim areas around the buttons. Make sure you press the buttons frequently to allow the alcohol to get to all the stuck grime and loosen it.
When you are done cleaning, you should allow the desktop controller to dry. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate. Next, test the buttons and repeat the process if some buttons are still sticky.
The above tips will help fix sticky buttons if the issue is dirt. However, if the buttons are sticky because you were too aggressive when using the desktop controllers, you may have to get a new controller. It is good to let a technician look at the controller before you decide to replace it. The buttons may also be sticky because you have had the joystick for the longest time. In this case, the solution will be to get it replaced.
Be careful when buying a new desktop controller. For industrial use, focus on ruggedized joysticks from reputable manufacturers. In addition, the controller you buy should be designed to withstand the conditions you plan on using it in. For example, if you need a controller for outdoor use, make sure it has dust and water protection.