Let's Make Robots!

Special Black Box Joystick Remote


If your ever bored, it would be great to see an overview of the joystick remote you made.




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I am sorry, I know.. i have some 2-3 projects that I am behind - this being one of them.

I will make a complete tutorial one day.

In the meantime, to put it short - and please ask specifically if there is something that is uncelar / you need help with:



  • Old Joystick from good old days, or new joystick bought in any toy-store (with chips inside, that you take out)
  • Battery-clip
  • Some sort of a project-case "Black Box"
  • 2 Easy Radio modules - dual, both send & recieve (Called TRS, no? TRS09, I think)
  • 1 Picaxe 28-board with 1 picaxe 28 fitted in
  • 1 LCD that can get it´s signal from the picaxe (Serial or i2C)
  • 1 on/off switch
  • 2 potmeters (up/down/volume-turn-knobs)
  • heat-shrinking -thingeys, wires, solder

Take one Easy Radio, and add wires to it and cable-connectors, so it can easily just be added onto any board with +/-, send & receive. Stick this onjto anything you'd like to remote


In the black box, stuff everything apart from the Joystick and the LCD

Mount LCD outside black box, and the joystick on top.

Drill holes for Picaxe board-jack, on/off switch and 2 potmeters - and mount these so they stick out to be interacted with from outside.

Hook everything up so that Picaxe can send to LCD & Easy Radio (serial /i2c out), and get power from batteries (switched on / off by the switch).

The (usually 6 + ground) cables from joystick goes to the inputs of the Picaxe.

The 2 potmeters goes to the analouge inputs of the Picaxe.

.. There you go:)


Now tun on the switch, insert the jack, start programming:

Read joystick, read potmeters.

Say potmeter is turned to value 156:

Send text to LCD, like "Lift arm to 156" - where "156" is a variable.

Send "LA156" to the Easy Radio

On your remoted robot, listen for "LA", and if something comes in, then read the number"156", make robot lift arm to 156


There is of course A LOT to set up, a lot of strings to do correct, baud-rates, soldering etc etc.. But- it is WORTH IT!

Because I did this thing once, I can now just hook up any robot with a Easy Radio (just plug it on), enter the code for the robot, where I would like parameters to be send from the joystick, and what to do with them (or what I would like transmitted to the black box's lcd)

Then I enter the standard code for my box, change a few variables, perhaps alters the text-strings send to my LCD.. and voila!

It takes only a couple of minutes to make any of my robots remote-controlled :)


.. And you can also insert tricks into the joystick; Say if you press both "Fire", and pulls joystick down, then send not only one string to the robot, but send a "complete dance".. That way you can actually program your robot to do all sorts of tasks - straight from the joystick.

Dance faster? Turn a knob on the joystick :) 


If you are making a walker, you can move leg by leg by turning a knob, read values on LCD, insert them into your editor, so it can get really fast to tweak servos to absolutely right positions that you want.


/ Fritsl