Gamepad - How It Works (Part 2) - Simple Analogue & Inside micro switches

5/25/2012 5:55:07 PM

Simple Analogue

Micro switches are still used in high-level controllers, but the large size and cost of them compared with simple contact switches means that they are not popular in family game controllers any more. Another reason for their demise is the appearance (from the mid of the 90s) of buttons and the joystick can realize many degrees of movement of different pressure instead of on/off report.

Description: Simple Analogue

Inside micro switches

Micro switches work by connect two springs together to control an electric contact, with a flat spring as contact role. In resting state, the bent spring is over the flat spring; keep the contact (A) close close and other contact (B) open. Using forces for an actuator (1) raise the bend level on the flat spring till its efforts to be a brake win the ability to keep the point in its position of the bend spring.

When the head of the flat spring begins to move down, the geometry of the switch changes, reduces the efficiency of the bend spring and makes the switch off simply. The release of the actuator (2) decreases the bend level on the flat spring till it can’t pass the flat spring. When the flat spring starts to move down, the bend spring becomes more effective, makes the contact point turn back the original position. Closing between positions for the switch is clear and ensure that each contact point always open or closed.

Additional information received from “analogue” controllers are valuable to drive and control more precisely or move in other ways, enable to control games better.

Most analogue controllers really use analogue devices to measure movement; one of the most common types is the voltage meter. A typical voltage meter have input and output contacts and a rotating shaft; voltage across contacts increase from minimum to maximum when the shaft moves through Its road of motion. An analogue joystick as being used in DualShock controllers of Sony has a voltage meter connected with its horizontal and vertical shaft; measuring the voltage each shaft will reveal the postion of joystick. However, the rudder control just needs a voltage meter on shafts of the wheel and a voltage meter on each pedal.

Several popular hand controllers have analogue buttons, some deploy the voltage meter. Another lightweight and cheaper option, used on DualShock 2, transfers current through a conductible strip with high electrical resistance. At bottom buttons arranged above the strip, there is a lid made of materials with lower resistance. Pressing the button will make the lid contact with the strip, allow the electricity to run through the lid and pass a part of the strip which reduces the resistance from this side to another of the strip. Pressing more will increase time of the strip which the lid passes and reduce the resistance more as well. Measuring the electrical current from a side to another of the strip shows that how strong the button has been pressed.

Analogue signal gives precise control but because contronllers have different designs and outputs, game joystick or PC may not know what to do. Therefore, controllers often include analogue-to-digital circuit to convert analogue signals to digital analogue which can be processed before being sent to the server. In some cases, “analogue” controllers use digital technology from the beginning. The analogue bar in N64 controller of Nintendo uses motion models of LED and light sensor and works in a similar way with the the ball mouse.

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