Finding the perfect ruggedized joysticks requires a lot of consideration. This is because not every joystick out there will meet your needs. There is also the case of the market being flooded with all manner of joysticks. With this in mind, what can you do to end up with the best industrial joystick? The answer is to consider these three crucial features.
Type of sensors
The ruggedized joysticks you purchase will only be as accurate as the installed sensors. The sensors are the internal components that detect manual input and calculate the right amount of output. If the sensor is unreliable, your joystick will also be unreliable.
There are two main types of sensors available. The first is the potentiometer. These are traditional sensors that make use of a conductive plastic or wire-wound. Unfortunately, since they rely on direct contact, they tend to wear out pretty fast. This means the accuracy of your industrial joystick will decline over time. It is, however, important to note that steps are being made to improve the reliability of these sensors. One of those steps is the introduction of the programmable potentiometers.
The second type of sensor is the hall effect. This is a contactless sensor that is considered to be more accurate and more durable. These sensors are quickly replacing traditional potentiometers. They do, however, have some drawbacks.
Position hold or spring return
The second thing you have to do is decide on whether to go with a position hold or a spring return joystick. The spring return joystick has a spring which centers the lever as soon as you let go. On the other hand, the position-hold joysticks are able to keep the lever in a fixed position until you return it back to center. Both options have their pros and cons. Your choice will depend on how you plan on using the joystick.
This is the motion type. Thanks to the many applications of joysticks, numerous products are available in the market. Joysticks come in many sizes. This has led to there being many motion types. Industrial and commercial joysticks’ most common motion types include finger, thumb, hand grip, and switch-only controllers. The motion type you select will be influenced by what you need the joystick for.
As you can see, there are many things you have to think about when choosing a ruggedized joystick. Identifying your needs is the key to finding the joystick that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to seek expert help.