Home Brew PTT from a Joystick

PTT Joystick

There is no end to useful home brew projects for use with amateur radio. This PTT (Push To Talk) switch is a fine example of ham radio ingenuity, solving a problem with intellect and drive instead of with dollars. This article shows how one radio amateur built a one of a kind PTT from a game controller joystick to trigger his HF radios and is written by Direct Dirt guest writer Weymouth “Wey” Walker K8EAB.

PTT Joystick

Most of the “Pistol Grip” or push-button PTT switches I’ve seen lie on your desktop and get covered up by other clutter on your Ham-Shack desktop.

Heil PTT Handswitch

PTT Thumb Switch

Recently I saw this PC joystick game controller lying in the basement and thought it would make a very useable PTT switch for my headset/boom mic. Few things can take more abuse than these PC game controllers.

I took the joystick apart, found the wires going to each switch, and wired them in parallel to a 6-foot wire with a 1/4-inch mono plug on the end.

The finished PTT Joystick

Completed PTT Joystick

I can wrap my hand around the joy-stick and “pull the trigger” or push the button to activate the boom mic. The 4 suction cups keep the controller in place on the desktop but still allow it to slide to a convenient position.

Pretty sure I bought this device at a garage sale for a dollar.

We hope guest writer Wey Walker K8EAB’s article about the PTT Joystick is inspirational to you. Be sure to sign up to follow Direct Dirt by e-mail, RSS, Facebook or Twitter for more useful project you can build for yourself.