When shopping for a joystick, you want one that will be both durable and accurate. The hall effect controllers offer the best of both worlds. These joysticks are similar to the traditional potentiometric joysticks in that they both provide proportional electrical output signals that match the position of the joystick lever. The main difference is the operating principle. A hall effect joystick uses contactless technology. A magnet under the moving joystick lever affects the electromagnetic field that is generated by the hall effect sensor below the magnet.
Compared to the potentiometric joysticks, the hall effect controllers offer some remarkable advantages. Contactless technology means there is no contact between the moving magnet and the sensor for starters. As a result, the sensor element doesn’t wear out due to repetitive movements or due to heavy vibrations. This, in turn, leads to a long life expectancy of a hall effect controller.
Other advantages include the following:
- The hall effect controller is not sensitive to heavy vibrations
- The technology makes the controller ideal for safety-critical applications thanks to the redundant output option
- Pre-programmable analog outputs
Hall effect joysticks have many industrial applications. Thanks to their ability to hold up against high vibrations, they are preferred on backhoe loaders, mining trucks, diggers, cranes, excavators and other equipment that experiences a lot of vibrations.
While the half effect controller has many remarkable benefits, it does come with some drawbacks. The first drawback is the available voltage supply can be a limiting factor. Unlike the potentiometer that can use a range of voltages, most hall effect controllers need a 5VDC. Another drawback is that the ferromagnetic material used on these controllers means the magnetic field will change over time. The magnetic field is also affected by extremely cold or hot temperatures. However, the good thing is there are mechanisms in place to protect the sensor. Ensure the controller you choose protects from extreme temperatures and magnetic fields.
Before selecting a hall effect joystick or controller, there are some questions you must answer. The first is where the controller will be used. If you plan on using the joystick in an environment with extreme temperatures, you need to ensure the joystick you select has Ingress Protection. You also need to take a look at the life expectancy of the joystick. How long will you be using the joystick per day? Compare this to the life expectancy of your target joystick. Last but not least, you have to consider your project budget. Consider how the investment will improve operational performance as well as prevent maintenance and replacement costs.
Hall Effect Controllers