Wiring Mini Joystick

Joystick Wires

Each potentiometer requires three wired connects, power, ground and signal. With a total of six wires, power and ground can be shared among the two pots. Measure the wire so that it's long enough to each the arcade bonnet – about 1.5 inches (38mm) is suffice. 

Heat Shrink

Pieces of heat shrink tubing can be used for keeping the wires nice and tidy. This stuff is great for wire management and really easy to use. Cut off a small piece and slip it over multiple wires. Apply heat to shrink the tubing in place. The smallest diameter heat shrink will work best for 30AWG wires.

Prep Wires

Using wire strippers, remove a bit of insulation from each tip. You can tin the wires by applying a small amount of solder – This helps prevent the strands of wire from fraying when connecting them to the pins on the arcade bonnet. I suggest using a pair of helping third hands to keep the wires in place while soldering.

Prep Joystick

Before we connect our wires to the pots on the joystick, it's a good idea to tin them with some solder. To make this easier, I found a panavise very helpful – Place the body of the joystick in between the jaws and tightly secure it in place. 

Connect Wires to Joystick

With the wires and terminals now tinned with solder, we're ready to make our connections. Since I'm sharing ground and power between the two pots, I soldered two wires to the ground and power terminals on one of the pots, first. The most left terminal is ground, right is power and the middle is signal. 

Connecting Wires to Joystick

With the first pot wired, now we can connect the remaining wires to the second pot on the joystick. Reposition the joystick on the panavise and secure it so the second pots are facing up. Tin the terminals and solder the second power and ground wires. Make sure the connections are consistent with the first pot. Left is ground, right is power and middle for signal.

Connecting Joystick to Arcade Bonnet

Next, we're work on connecting the Joystick to the Arcade Bonnet. Before we do so, it's a good idea to straighten out the wires and adjust the wire lengths if necessary.  Since this project will have lots of wires, it's a good idea to keep them consistent.

Analog Joystick Wiring

Taking a look at the Arcade Bonnet, we can see the dedicated pins for hooking up an analog joystick. You should see the label "analog" and four pins, 3V, X, Y and G. It's a good idea to map out our wires and see where the connections will go. The power wire will go to the 3V pin. Ground goes to the G pin. The signal wire from the two pots go to either X or Y – These are the two axis' that make up our directional left, right, up and down controls. 

Wire Joystick to Arcade Bonnet

Now that we've planned out our wiring, we can connect the analog joystick to the arcade bonnet. Securing the PCB to the pana vise makes wiring the connections easier. I suggest tinning the pins with a bit of solder first and then insert the wires to the pins while the solder is molten. 

Wired Analog Joystick and Arcade Bonnet

And now we have our joystick wired to the Arcade Bonnet! Double check your work and thoroughly inspect your wiring. If you're using different colored wires, that will help tell the connections apart. In retrospect, I wish I had used different colored wires for the signals =] 

This guide was first published on Jul 26, 2017. It was last updated on Jul 26, 2017. This page (Wiring Mini Joystick) was last updated on Aug 23, 2019.