As the electronic automation industry grows and the increasing demand for electronic controls, the designer is presented with a greater challenge to meet many requirements without increasing the cost of the product. These requirements include, but are not limited to, sensitivity, precision, low power, operating feel, size customization, etc.
In industrial applications, precise control of heavy equipment plays a critical role in preventing workplace injuries or loss of productivity. We need to understand the critical role of joysticks in machines and equipment. Therefore, it is important to know about the two main types of industrial joysticks - Hall Joystick and Potentiometer Joystick.
A potentiometer is a variable resistor that uses brushes to slide and thus change resistance. Potentiometers are commonly used as analog voltage dividers, providing a voltage output signal and using several materials such as carbon and cermet to manufacture the electrical components. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, however, losses in potentiometer use are unavoidable due to the sliding friction of the brushes. As a result they have a low life expectancy, so carbon potentiometers are not commonly used in industrial joystick applications and are best used for less intensive environmental operations such as equipment function panels.
Hall effect industrial electric joysticks use non-contact devices to detect magnetic fields. By controlling the voltage output based on changes in the magnetic field, the Hall effect sensor acts like a potentiometer and eliminates the element of life loss because there is no need for sliding contact brushes. The magnet is coupled to the end of the joystick and is placed close to the Hall effect chip, but never in contact. While Hall joysticks can extend life, there are other factors to consider, such as temperature variations or available supply voltage.
Therefore, the environment of use is an important reference when choosing the type of electric joystick.