Special Effects

October 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

Finally after 7 months of off and on work I have finished a joystick that will open the doors for new custom effects.  This started back in February with a request for something special from a customer.  Adam wanted a joystick that would have the quality of some of the guitars he has owned over the years.  Curly maple being his favorite.  He contacted me when I had some dyed curly maple cases for sale.  He started out wanting to purchase a green blank case that I had up for sale.  However the figure on the case was not wild enough and the green was too bright.

As we discussed what he really wanted in the joystick we decided on starting from scratch.  I acquired some highly figured maple that could only be described as tiger maple.  Next I formed the case.  Using some of the off cuts I made a test piece with the colors he was looking at including a combination that I had come up with.  Adam went with the custom color.

Case Frame assembeled

Standard Dye ColorsCustom Dye Color

Case Dyed

The next task was to finalize the lighting effects he wanted.  This is where it got complex and took the most time to accomplish.  I ended up spending time learning how to program microcontrollers.  This was a real stretch for me at the time.  With the help of a friend and a forum full of experts I was able to get the task done.  Each effect that you’ll see, and there are three is run by a separate microcontroller.  The button lighting was something I had done before using a logic chip so that was not all that difficult.  I’ll let the videos speak for themselves.

Video 1

Video 2

The final assembly uses a Cthulhu control board, XBox 360 game pad and a Imp board to choose which control system to use.  The center button on the side of the case if pressed when the joystick is plugged in will give control to the XBox 360.  If the button is not pressed it defaults to the Cthulhu board which comunicates with a PC or PS3 system.  Here are some final pictures of the case.


Entry filed under: Joystick.

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He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
– St. Francis of Assisi
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