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connecting a pot to USB

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by steveh2112, Jan 26, 2015.

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  1. steveh2112

    steveh2112

    2
    1
    Jan 26, 2015
    hi all, i want to make rudder pedals for a flight simulator and need a bit of help with the electronics. the pedals will turn a rotary potentiometer so i need to find an easy, cheap way to interface that to a UBS port.

    i've seen a few cheap USB analog to digital converters on ebay for digital audio, etc but i doubt they will work on DC (which is what i'll be getting most of the time since the pedals don't move that much).

    i can't find any low cost, general purpose USB analog to digital converters on ebay, perhaps someone could suggest a part number and supplier that will ship internationally at low cost?

    thanks, steve
     
  2. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    Steve, in a world where everyone and their dog says "Arduino".. in this case I agree.
    Take a look at the 'Trinket' or other small Arduino device that can run a USB stack.
    https://learn.adafruit.com/trinket-usb-keyboard/overview

    It is possible to make your own keyboard, joystick, gamepad, etc. simply by connecting a few buttons, dials, and modifying some provided example code.
    This may seem like overkill for one simple dial, but give you the option to expand and add additional buttons or dials at the same time. The cost won't break the bank either. What do you think?
     
  3. steveh2112

    steveh2112

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    1
    Jan 26, 2015
    thanks, i am somewhat familiar with arduino but i was hoping for something more off the shelf.

    anyhow, as it turns out i had an idea. my joystick has a twist grip control for the rudder. i can open it up, cut the wires to the twist grip pot and take them out to the pedals i'll build. then i put an identical pot on the pedal system, and there i have it. the flight sim software doesn't need tweaking or anything
     
    Gryd3 likes this.
  4. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    875
    Jun 25, 2014
    Sounds good. Modifying existing hardware is always an excellent idea.
    Once you get it out, measure it with a multimeter or determine what the range is. You can use a compatible pot, it does not have to be identical. ;)
     
  5. Calmore

    Calmore

    28
    9
    Jan 19, 2015
    We aware that the pot can become noisy with use. I imagine in the application cited, it will get far more use than in a more conventional volume control application. The track can wear through and become noisy over time.

    For long term reliability buy an expensive pot (But a cheap one maybe for prototyping!)!
     
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