Gamepad Joystick Keypad Shield
Gamepad Joystick Keypad Shield – This shield is really great for several projects. Here is some of its features.
- NRF24L01 connection for 1km operation. RC planes, boats or cars maybe even a robot.
- Nokia 5110 screen connection for a status report from your plane’s battery or maybe your own game.
- Bluetooth BLE connection for communicating with your phone or computer making your own game controller the gamers in our community
- I2C interface connection for other devices using interface making for endless possibilities.
- 3.3V or 5V opperation.
In addition to playing games, joysticks have several usages in hardware projects.
This includes controlling actuators and output devices, such as motors and speakers, or controlling pixels on a screen.
In this article, I will introduce you to the best 5 Arduino joystick shields.
Arduino joystick shields usually have at least one analog joystick with some digital buttons.
But they differ in specifications and additional features, like size, number of buttons, and supported protocols.
So let’s start discovering the top Arduino joystick shields in the market.
1) ITEAD 4-Button Arduino Joystick Shield
The first Arduino joystick shield I will talk about is the smallest one and similar to Nintendo joystick. It has the size of Arduino Uno board and consists of a two-axis joystick with 7 push buttons, 4 large round buttons and 2 small buttons plus the joystick select button.
It is compatible with a wide range of Arduino boards, including Uno and MEGA, Iteaduino boards, Seeeduino, and others.
While it reserves only 7 digital pins and 2 analog ones, you will not be able to use other pins because the shield is not stackable.
However, But you can keep other pins free and accessible by using the jumper header.
ITEAD Arduino joystick shield operates at 5V and 3.3V
This shield is an open source shield and you can get the schematic design, datasheet, and Arduino library with more details on its wiki page.
2) SparkFun Arduino Joystick Shield Kit
The next shield we have is by Sparkfun, which provides it as a kit that you have to assemble by yourself before using it.
It has a larger size and sits on top of your Arduino.
However, it allows you to access all Arduino pins with its pin headers.
Similar to the previous Arduino joystick shield, the digital momentary buttons connect with the digitals pins.
They utilize the internal pull-ups of Arduino by pulling the pin low when pressed.
And also an analog pin will receive each of joystick’s horizontal and vertical movement.
Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with soldering, just follow this tutorial and go on.
The PCB has extra free drills, so you can add your own elements if you need.
Sparkfun has also open sourced this Arduino joystick shield, and you can find design files with libraries and samples.
3) DFRobot Arduino Joystick Input Shield
DFRobot shield is also larger than Sparkfun’s shield, but it brings wireless support to increase the range of possible applications.
It comes with an interface that supports XBee and APC220 Radio Data modules to achieve wireless functionality.
The package costs about $15 and contains only the Arduino joystick shield, without XBee and APC220 modules.
It reserves 3 three analog pins for joystick movement plus the down button, and 3 analog pins for other buttons.
Its design facilitates stacking it on the top of Arduino board and keep the accessibility to all Arduino pins.
The Arduino joystick shield is also compatible with OLED2864 and OLED9664 display modules, and there are two special headers for them.
You will see the open source hardware logo on the top of its PCB, so you can get all the sources through the website.
4) Funduino Arduino Joystick Shield V1.A
Back to a smaller size, version 1A of Funduino Arduino joystick shield has the same size of the Sparkfun shield but with more features.
It includes Bluetooth and nRF2401 RF interfaces and supports RS232 and I2C.
The most important thing is Nokia 5110 LCD interface, which allows you add a screen easily to your project.
The only problem with the Nokia LCD is that the Arduino provides only 50mA current on 3.3V supply, while the LCD need more current to work.
To solve this you may need to use an external power source for the LCD or use another Arduino board.
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