Ultra Precision Joystick Controller BU0836A

True 12-bit resolution

8 analog axes, 32 buttons, hat switch

Accuracy, sophistication and speed. Simplicity and value.
BU0836A PCB image

Joystick controller with 12-bit (4096 step) analog inputs.

Suitable for converting gameport devices to USB, retrofitting existing gaming devices or building your own from scratch.

Fully supported by Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.


  • 8 analog inputs with 12-bit (4096 steps) resolution each
  • 32 buttons
  • 8-way ‘point-of-view’ hat switch
  • Very compact - 2.2"×1.25" (55×32mm)


  • Supported by Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000, Linux and Mac OS X
      Forget drivers - just plug it in and it's ready to go.
  • Unique serial number makes Windows remember each device
      Ever unplugged a joystick and had Windows lose calibration settings?
      This controller keeps settings even if plugged in a different USB port.
      Or if you use two and swap them over. Or 10 of them!
  • Analog inputs filtering
      Digital processing removes noise from axes position reports while preserving extremely fast response.
  • Powered from USB bus
      Simply attach pots and/or buttons and plug in USB cable
  • Full-speed 12Mb USB connection
      500 position updates per second for each input and button

   How to use

  • Buttons and switches are connected either as...
    full 6x6 matrix
    • connects to six ROWS and six COLUMNS pins on the controller...
    • ..with diodes if there will be 3 or more contacts activated simultaneously, e.g. if you use ON/OFF switches
    • ..no diodes if buttons used only momentarily like most joysticks
    • First 32 buttons are standard buttons
    • Last 4 contacts make up 8-direction point-of-view hat (coolie) switch
    • Literally any diodes can be used - 1N4148 or 1N4004 are good ones
    or simplified direct connection to any of GND pins
    • connect up to 12 buttons or switches
    • no diodes are needed even with switches or toggle buttons
    • no configuration needed to use either connection method
  • Compatible with any game that uses joystick - MS Flight Simulator, X-Plane, rFactor, LFS, etc
  • Uses standard Windows gaming device calibration. If necessary, curves and deadzones can be tweaked with DIView
  • Feel free to use two or more devices if 8 axis or 32 buttons is not enough
  • Use other sensors with 0..+5v output, e.g. ratiometric magnetic Hall sensors. You may use spare +5V and Gnd pins for power (up to 100mA)
  • Eight 3-pin and two 6-pin connectors are included with each controller. Pin header has standard 0.1 inch (2.54mm) pitch
  • Simple utility allows to invert axes and increase resolution for pots with small movement range
  • Please use support forum or email to ask questions

   Construction tips

  • What to do with unused inputs?
    • Unconnected buttons will appear as not pressed
    • Unused analog inputs are automatically disabled. They will reappear as soon pots are connected and BU0836A is powered up. In other words, if they are not connected - you will not see them
  • Which pots are the best?
    • Any value from 1kOhm to 100kOhm will work fine. If you don't know where to start use 10kOhm
    • Use linear pots (taper B.) Avoid non-linear, log pots with tapers A, D or Y used in audio level controls
    • Any pot will work but pay attention to its quality and life expectancy. Industrial quality pots have life expectancy of few million shaft revolutions. Consumer equipment ones - 50,000 or less. This makes a lot of difference in continuous use application like steering wheel.
    • Good wiring matters. For ultimately clean signal don't share +5V and GND signals between pots. Connect each pot with its own set of three wires.
    • If you can vary your mechanical construction try to use as much of pot travel range as possible.


Windows Joystick applet

BU0836A Hardware Found

Pot connection
Scan matrix for buttons
Button matrix (diodes are optional)
Direct connections for buttons
Simple alternative connection for up to 12 buttons or switches. No diodes needed.

BU0836A Configuration Utility
Simple configuration utility. Download

Zoom Mode Details
Analog input modes

Image  of BU0836A PCB
BU0836A controller is only 2.2"×1.25" (55×32mm) in size

PCB  pinout diagram
       Connector layout

© 2006-2013 Leo Bodnar
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