BU0836A 12-Bit Joystick Controller

Price: 24.99GBP



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A small USB joystick interface board with pin header connectors to connect buttons, potentiometers, sensors, rotary encoders and switches to a PC or Mac.

Build your own gaming device, whether it be a flight panel, button box, pedals, joystick, robot controls and more......the list is limited by your imagination.

Also suitable for converting gameport devices or connecting real life controls to turn them into a USB device suitable to be used by almost any simulation or game software without the need of installing any drivers.

Current Firmware version 1.26


8 analog inputs with 12-bit (4096 steps) resolution each
32 button / 16 rotary encoder inputs
8-way "point-of-view" hat switch input


Length 2.2" / 55mm
Width 1.25" / 32mm
Height 0.57" / 14.6mm
Recommended Wire Size 24AWG to 20AWG
Mounting Screw Hole Size M2.5 or #3-56 - DO NOT ENLARGE THE MOUNTING HOLES

Connection to PC
The PCB has a standard USB B type connector for connection to PC or Mac. No drivers are required. Plug it in and use straight away.

Fully self-contained interface

Natively supported by Windows  10/ 8/ 7/Vista/XP/2000 32/64 bit and Mac OS X. Also works on Android devices via USB link. - Forget drivers - just plug it in and it's ready to go.

Unique serial number helps Windows remember each device - Ever unplugged a joystick and had Windows lose calibration settings? This controller retains settings even if plugged in a different USB port or if you use two and swap them over.
Also allows you to connect and use more than one at a time.

Analog inputs filtering - Digital processing removes noise from axes position reports while preserving extremely fast response.

Powered by USB bus (+5V - 500mA) so no external power supply is needed

Full-speed 12Mb USB connection.

Compatible with any game that can detect and use generic joysticks - MS Flight Simulator, X-Plane, rFactor, iRacing and other driving Games etc.

Proudly designed and made in the UK.

Operating Instructions

Firmware upgrade Instructions

Pin Header Connection

Eight 3-pin and two 6-pin connectors are included with each controller to solder your wires to (to save soldering directly to the pins on the PCB) or connect using our 3-pin and 2-pin cables. Pin header has standard 0.1" (2.54mm) pitch.

32 digital inputs for buttons and switches via wiring matrix

We recommend ready-made matrix add-on board for easy matrix wiring.

Connects to six ROWS and six COLUMNS pins on the controller. Looking at the diagram below you can see connecting two wires from a simple push button to Row 1 and Column 1 would activate S1 (Button 1), Row 1 and Column 2 activates S2, Row 2 Column 1 activates S7 etc. There is no need for any ground pins to be connected however diodes are required if there will be 3 or more contacts activated simultaneously. Most diodes can be used - 1N4148 or 1N4004 are good ones and can be found at most local electronics supply stores.
First 32 buttons are standard buttons. Last 4 contacts make up 8-direction point-of-view hat (coolie) switch.

Simplified Direct Button Connection

Connect up to 12 buttons or switches without wiring in matrix. No diodes are needed even with switches or toggle buttons. Connect each switch to the board using one GND pin (from analogue input pins) and one of the 12 input pins (rows and columns). GND wires can be shared(daisy chained) between buttons and/or potentiometers.

Support for up to 16 rotary encoders

A pair of digital inputs can be connected to a rotary encoder. All main types supported (1, 2 and 4 pulses per detent. Check the datasheet of your encoder to find out which type you have). Once connected, download our encoder software in the product downloads tab and set the pair of inputs to the encoder mode you require. Always use negative number for the first input, ie. 1-2, 3-4 etc.

Wiring encoders into the button matrix example:

8 analog inputs with true 12-bit resolution and independent wiring

You must only connect potentiometers with the USB cable unplugged from the device.

4096 steps of resolution. Even 1/4 of this range is still 1024 steps!
To support true 12-bit performance each analog inputs has independent set of +5v and GND terminals, oversampling and sophisticated signal filtering.

Simple potentiometer wiring example:

8-direction POV hat switch.

Connect a hat switch like ours - (click here), third party hatswitchs or even make your own by connecting any four buttons of your choice. Diagonal directions are made by pressing two directions together ie, UP and LEFT = NW. (the hatswitch inputs are only accessible if using the wiring matrix. Diodes should be used if connecting other buttons in the matrix.)

PUSH - Any other button input (only columns 1 or 2 if no diodes are used)
COM.(Ground) - ROW 6

Example Hatswitch Wiring in Button matrix.

Can I be turned into keyboard or other device? - Mapping button presses or potentiometers to other functions such as mouse/keyboard or hat switch controls can be done emulated using third party software such as Joy2Key. Look in the downloads tab for alternative software solutions.

Check data sheet of component you wish to connect for the correct pin out - The PCB is labelled clearly to show where each pin from your component should connect.

Once you have connected everything you need - Connect to a PC or Mac using a standard USB A to B cable and the device will be recognised as a generic game device named - BU0836A. You can then either calibrate or assign your controls using your chosen game or software as you would with any other game controller. That's it!

Construction tips

What to do with unused inputs?
Unconnected buttons will appear as not pressed - just ignore them
Unused analog inputs are automatically disabled. They will appear 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, get 10kOhm ones
Use linear pots (taper B.) Avoid non-linear, log pots with tapers A, D or Y used in audio level controls
Any pot would work but the best ones are industrial quality Spectrol (Vishay) and Bourns. They have life expectancy of few million shaft revolutions.
Good wiring helps. For ultimately clean signal use shielded wires and ground the pot's case if it's metal
Try to use as much of pot travel range as possible.

BU0836A Configuration

Encoder Configuration Software

Standard Firmware - v1.26

Renaming Firmware - BU0836A_1 to BU0836A_10, plus original

DIView.exe - For Accurate Calibration

PCB Template in .dxf format

Specialised firmware

High update rate for Data logger applications

Sine / Cosine potentiometer input

Recommended Third Party Software

Keyboard and Mouse Emulation / Scripting Software




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My Board has stopped working and is showing up as 'Boot' or 'Bootloader'

The boards firmware has become corrupt and needs to be re-flashed. Bootloader is the default fail safe mode of the board. The firmware files and instructions on re-flashing the firmware can be found in the downloads section. If the board can't be re-flash, please contact us.

Will a 100k potentiometer work?

Yes, any potentiometer between 5k and 100k will work.
10k is the ideal value to use.