Traveling with a laptop and playing simulators is not a good mix and while I missed my HOTAS setup back home I thought of building a mini HOTAS I could easily take with me and not take up too much room yet still be easy to use. Connects with USB to computer and uses standard drivers, no extra drivers necessary.
So I gutted an old RC transmitter and combined its gimbals with trim pots, some switches and toggles. Everything is powered using a Leobodnar BU0836A 12-Bit Joystick Controller and matrix board. Very easy tro use and install. The CC between mounting holes is 40mm hence the name Mini HOTAS 40.
2pcs gimbals CC40mm
8pcs 7mm momentary push switches
4pcs 3-way flip switches
6pcs 10x2mm rare earth magnets
6pcs M3 screws
6pcs M3 knurl nuts
1pcs USB-cable (A-connector and open ended), length depending on your need. For use with laptop I have only 60cm.
1pcs Rubber grommet suitable for USB cable
1pcs zip tie
1pcs BU0836A 12-Bit Joystick Controller: http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=94&products_id=219
1pcs BU0836A Break out Matrix board: http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=94&products_id=274
Note: I've also designed a larger version for CC45mm gimbals: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2569465
Step 1. Print the box.
Step 2. Mount the knurl nuts in place using a solder iron. Make it hot and let it melt into the correct position.
Step 3 (optional). If you want to make the box nice spend some time to sand and plaster it smooth before applying paint.
Step 4. Glue magnets to box and supports. I use CA-glue with accelerator
Step 5. Insert a USB cable through the center hole of the box and solder to the BU0836. I use a rubber grommet to reduce dirt coming into the box.
Step 6. Solder USB cable to BU0836.
Step 7. Solder the BU0836 cards.
Step 8. Attach controls; joystick gimbal, switches and pots to the lid.
Step 9. Solder cables to the controls, twist them to reduce interference and make sure they are longer then you need.
Step 10. Trim cables with some extra cm to spare if the BU0836 is on the center bottom of the box.
Step 11. Solder controls to the BU0836 cards.
Step 12. Position BU0826 card in the bottom center of the box and pull on the USB cable so you have a few cm spare cm inside the box and attach the zip tie between the BU0826 and rubber grommet where it'll work as a strain relief.
Step 13. Hot glue the BU0836 cards (two dabs on either side so it is easy to detach if necessary).
Step 14. Use M3 screws and attach lid to box.
Step 15. Setup as a standrad joystick inthe simulator of your choice! :)