Hall Effect: The Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs, of Switching Over


The utilization of a joystick with Hall effect technology entails changing over from a basic mechanical controller into an electronic system. It’s not easy; going from potentiometer to Hall effect is a quantum leap manufacturing and capability.

js8You can set a potentiometer with an ohmmeter or by testing the voltage going through it. For proper setting of a Hall effect device, which is configured in the electronics, you must configure automated setting parameters, testing parameters, and calibration parameters. This is all done by a computer in order to double-check and record that it’s been done and done properly. We are always looking at the overall production process in order to streamline, make it more efficient, and find what else can be put into a board now that the footprint of the potentiometer has been reduced to a chip the size of a pinky nail or smaller.

However, old habits are hard to break. Certain manufacturers say their customers want to “feel the oil,” feel the control of the machine. Truth be told, it’s not really there in our products, because electronic joysticks don’t have the stiction that oil joysticks have, but they can be modified so they feel tougher and stronger to move. Stronger springs for individual joystick directions, detents, friction mechanisms and our latest a haptic feedback device can even be installed inside the handle to give the customer that buzzy feeling towards the end of travel. So there are even more technologies that are coming through that can be incorporated into OEM's products to alleviate that nervousness of changing from oil to electronic.


We here at OEM Controls are not the only supplier of products that incorporate Hall effect technology. As it’s becoming more standard in the controller industry, as many of our competitors have developed offerings. What distinguishes us is that it's carried through on many, many levels. In products ranging from very small push-button micro-controllers all the way up through our giant JS-8 and JS-26 joysticks. 

Another differentiator is our ability to customize our products. Some engineers will simply install a sensor “out of the box” for the capacity it offers, say 5 volts. We can provide redundant sensor outputs with redundant signal outputs and allow up to 48 supply volts; retaining that one single output, but doing all the mathematical magic on the board in-house. We currently offer ten varieties of the Hall effect board for each one of our joysticks, our competitors maybe three or four. It just comes down to bringing the core of Hall effect technology into all of the electronics, the handles, the joysticks, and the components that we manufacture. That value-add is our competitive edge. 


It is OEM's vision and conviction that all the industries they serve, one way or the other, will eventually go fully electronic. This is due to the capabilities and the potential power to make a machine work better, more efficient, safer, and longer-lasting. Through our core capabilities and 50+ years industry experience, we are prepared to offer what is available today and the custom solutions for tomorrow.

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