What Makes Hall Effect Joysticks Different?

The hall effect joysticks are similar to traditional potentiometric joysticks. Both joysticks give a proportional electrical output signal which corresponds with the position of the joystick lever. The difference between the two joysticks is their operating principles.

The industrial hall-effect joystick uses contactless technology. While most joysticks work by measuring the position of the joystick lever mechanically using encoders or potentiometers, the hall effect joysticks work by measuring magnetic fields. As a matter of fact, only a very small number of high-end joystick models use hall effect sensors.

Hall effect technology offers a number of remarkable benefits over the potentiometric or encoder technologies. For starters, this technology means there is no contact between the moving magnet and the sensors. As a result, the sensor element will not wear out after repetitive use or due to heavy vibrations. This unique feature gives these joysticks a long life expectancy.

You can find hall-effect joysticks as 1-axis, 2-axis or multi-axis. Multi-axis are joysticks with more than three axes. Your choice when it comes to the number of axes will depend on how you plan on using the joystick. If you need a joystick for moving machinery back and forth, a single-axis joystick will be sufficient.

Now that you understand what makes the hall effect technology unique, let’s take a look at the key advantages. They include the following:

  • Long life expectancy. This is all thanks to the contactless operation. The sensor will give accurate outputs throughout the life of the joystick.
  • Not sensitive to heavy vibrations.
  • Ideal for safety-critical application. This is thanks to the redundant output option.
  • Miniaturization
  • Pre-programmable analog outputs
  • Cost-effective

Hall sensors are able to measure a variety of magnetic fields and are sensitive to both orientation and magnitude of the field. When they are used as electronic switches, these sensors are less prone to mechanical failure because they do not suffer from physical wear. You can use the sensors at higher frequencies too than the mechanical switches.

The drawback with hall effect sensors is that they are not ideal for areas with high external magnetic fields. They can be affected by thermal drifts thanks to changes in environmental conditions. Over time, they may tend to drift.

When you need a joystick that will serve you reliably for years, the joysticks with the hall effect sensors make the best choice. They are not only accurate but also last longer than mechanical joysticks. You will, however, need to buy the joystick from a reputable manufacturer. Not all hall effect joysticks are built the same.

Hall Effect Joysticks