Here is the second half of my DIY joystick build. I picked up an actual ww2 NAF 1173-2 control grip on etsy.com for $60+$12S&H. Originally
I wanted a B-5 grip (the type typically used on the P-51 and other USAAF figthers but the cheapest I have found those is $350+) so I went with the navy style grip.
The stick tube is one inch copper pipe. The diameter of the hole on the bottom of the grip is 1 1/8 inches but since plumbing pipe is
measured from the inside diameter the wall thickness makes it fit perfectly.
Here is a shot of the assembly:
Here is a close up of the stick, clearly marked NAF 1173-2 on the side. It is in remarkably good, almost like new, condition:
The top button is marked with a large B, I assume it is for bomb:
While the grip does fit snuggly on the copper pipe it is attached through the grip with a bolt. The bolt is 5/16 in. diameter at the rear
and then steps down to 3/16 in. at the front. Here is a shot of the stick at the front and back. The seam that runs up and down the grip
must be left over from the molding process, the grip does not split in half left-to-right:
The pull of the trigger and push of the bomb button are much stiffer than what you find on a commercial joystick. It is consistent with the
high quality component feel of real aviation components, once you get used to it the $30 off the shelf product just won't cut it anymore.
I'm not sure how it would feel compared to a more expensive stick like a G940 or warthog HOTAS as I have never used a really expensive stick.
Here is a shot of the internal make up of the switches:
When you depress the trigger it pushes two contacts towards the outside of the switch. Here are two shots that show the circuit opened and closed respectfully:
Here is a shot of the top of the grip in both the open and closed position. It is a little harder to see because in the closed position the top
B button swings the contact arm to the right. It does not, however, make contact with another part of the top portion of the grip. Instead it
makes contact with a portion of the trigger grip (the part that sticks out to the right in the photo, which would be to the top when the switch is
installed in the grip):
From this I deduced that the top contact of the trigger assembly, which completes the circuit for both the trigger and the bomb button must be the ground.
So that is how I connected it to my BU0836X card and low and behold it worked! I bought a 19mm socket which fits snuggly into the bottom or my 1 inch copper
pipe and that snaps into the top of my joystick base assembly. Preliminary testing is good though I think I will need to shorten the length of the pipe from
24 inches to a more realistic 18 inches or so in order to make it more user friendly. 18 inches is about what the stick grip length is from the blue prints I
have on the P-51, but i figured it is easier to cut the pipe later than it would be to make it longer if I cut it too short.