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USB Joystick w/Top Hat Switch  
(Model #2180) 

  Updated 08/25/2009


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Thank you for your purchase of our Model 2180 USB Joystick Adapter with 8-way Top Hat Feature.

If you have any comments or need additional information on the use of the 2180 Board, please write us at:
We have received a number of email asking us to come up with a circuit board for the Flight Simmers interested in Helicopter Joysticks. So I said, Why Not! So here is our 2180. Combining all the features needed by the Helicopter pilot; Eight 10-bit Analog inputs that include the X/Y Axis; 8 Digital inputs for all your push buttons and a new addition to our product line; The 8-Way Top Hat Switch; you have the making of one mighty-fine Helo.  So lets continue with the Installation of your NEW 2180 circuit Board.



Installing the SUPER Encoder Board requires very little time. All you need is an unused USB Port. Additional Ports can be added to your computer by using a device called a USB Hub. These Hubs can be purchased for as little as $20.00 in the Internet.

Just plug a USB Cable Series "B" into the jack on the 2180, then into the USB Port on your computer. The computer will sense the Adapter and load the required software for its proper operation. The 2180 will be sensed as "USB Joystick/Top Hat Model 2180". That's all there is to the installation.

To verify that you computer has accepted the Interface, you can goto the "Game Controller" window. To do this, just click on "START" (located in the lower left hand corner of the computer's monitor); then click on "Control Panel"; then "Game Controller". Your computer should display the following:
Highlight "USB Joystick/Top Hat Model 2180" then click "Properties"

To make the interfacing of your Analog Potentiometers and Push Button Switches as painless as possible, we have included Eight 3 pin and two 6 pin Female Connectors. Just solder the wires (as shown below) from your switches to the connectors and place them on the 2180.

What could be easier?


Wiring the LINEAR Potentiometers


So you want to design a Throttle Quadrant? Well, you came to the right place. You can make your own Throttle by starting with the purchase of a 100K Ohm Potentiometer, Make sure ist is a LINEAR type. Audio taper will not work properly. Luckly, Desktop Aviator has the Linear Potentiometers available HERE.

To the left is a 100K Ohm Linear Potentiometer with a short shaft (0.5in). Wiring of this pot is the same as the Rotary Switch seen above. This time, you can wire up to 8 potentiometers for one 2180 Board.
If you want to update an old Joystick; these potentiometers are located inside the joystick's base. Just wire these pots to the 3-pin connectors as shown and connect these wires to the 2180's X and Y Axis.




Wiring the 1090 Slide Assemblies

If you purchased the optional Cessna Style Push/Pull Slide Assembly; read on. Just like wiring the 100K Ohm Potentiometers as seen above, wiring the Model 1090 Slide Assemblies is just as easy.
To the left is the schematic on soldering the 3 wires from the slide to the 3 terminal connector.
Terminal #1 from the Slide is soldered to the Right terminal on the connector; Terminal #2 from the Slide is soldered to the Center terminal of the connector;
Terminal #3 from the Slide is soldered to the Left terminal of the connector.
Note that the 1090 Slide has TWO #2 terminals. This just means that these 2 terminals are connected internally. Use the #2 terminal that is the closest to
the Slide's Mounting Hub.
If you plan on designing a Throttle Quadrant for the Cessna 172, you will need 2 of these Slide Assemblies. One for the "Throttle" and the second for "Fuel Mix". For the Skylane, you would need three; One for "Throttle", the second for "Prop Pitch" and the third for "Fuel Mix".

If you wish to purchase additional 1090 Slide Assemblies, you can goto:
If you wish, you can purchase your own 100K Ohm Slide Potentiometer.
Just make sure it is a "LINEAR TYPE"; Audio Taper will not operate correctly.

What Do I Do With All This Wire?
Lets start with the Analog Input TABLE. When the 2180 is connected to your computer and viewed on the "Control Panel",  you will see the window shown above (See Table 1). From this Table, you can see that the 8 Analog Inputs have names. X/Y, Z Axis, Y Rotation ect.
The X/Y Axis is usually associated with adding a Joystick. Joysticks can be purchased over the Internet for a few dollars and this is where it is connected to the 2180 Board (X Axis - Position #1 & Y Axis - Position #4). But you may ask; Where is Position #1? From the photo seen below; the #1 Position for the Analog input is indicated by the "Orange" horizontal Bar.
Say you want to use the "Y Rotation Axis" for one of your Slide Assemblies (any position can be used). Just place the 3 terminal connector (horizontally) into Position #7. Fuel Mix can be connected to Position #8 (Z Rotation Axis). X/Y inputs are at Positions 1 and 4 respectfully. And so on.

Analog Input Designations

Position #1 (Top) X Axis
Position #2 Dial Axis
Position #3 Slide Axis
Position #4 Y Axis
Position #5 Z Axis
Position #6 X Rotation Axis
Position #7 Y Rotation Axis
Position #8 (Bottom) Z Rotation Axis
The Analog Connections for the 2180 can be found on the right side of the board.
NOTE the "GREEN" oval on the photo above.


Adding the Push Button Switches


Adding the push button switches is a bit more complex, so I added the photo to the left. This depicts how the spring return buttons are wired to the 8 Digital Inputs. This time using the Two 6-pin female connectors, you can easy solder the two wires coming from each switch.

Note that there is a wire COMMON to ALL Push button Switches as well as the Top Hat.

Also note the layout of the male connectors on the 2180's board. From the TOP down and Left to Right, you will find the pins needed to light the first "RED" Button as seen on the Calibration window (See TABLE 1 Above). When this pin is shorted to the COMMON wire (the common wire is the GDN hole on the board, or one the center row of pads can be used).

To the right of SW1, you will find the pin that needs to be shorted to GND to light the second "RED" Button. This continues until you reach SW8. These buttons can be any spring return push type or the buttons already located inside an old Joystick you wish to modify.

The four remaining pins are used to control the 8-way Top Hat switch. As seen on the photo, you have the UP, DOWN, LEFT and the RIGHT. Shorting these pins to GND will indicate (on TABLE 1) a small red Arrow in the NORTH, SOUTH, EAST and WEST directions. To get the remaining directions, all you need do is to short a 2-pin combination. Example, to get the Arrow to point in the North/West, all you need do is to short the UP (North) and the LEFT (West) to GND at the same time. South/East is just as easy. All you need do is to short the DOWN (South) pin with the RIGHT pin to GND at the same time. The Calibration Window Top Hat icon will indicate the small RED Arrow pointing to the lower/right or South/East. DOWN/LEFT will give you South/West and UP/RIGHT will give you North/East.

If you are updating an old USB Joustick, these wires are already provided for you. All you need do is to use an Ohm Meter to figure out which wires go to which joystick button.

With the wiring of your 2180 complete, you would need to calibrate the X/Y Analog. This can be found in the Windows Calibration Window. TABLE 1 shows the Properties Window. To enter the Calibration window, just click on "SETTINGS" and follow the on-screen instructions.

Then all there to do is to run you favorite Flight Simulator Program and Assign the appropriate  functions you need for a SAFE Flight to your favorite destination.


Purchasing Information for the Model 2180, can be found at: