Test the leads by touching their 2 ends together and
confirming that the character you want appears in
Notepad. When they’re all working, consider gluing
them down with hot glue.
Now for the “stick” part. Mount 8 momentary
switches in a circle, 45˚apart, to some surface that
lets you wire them to the PC board underneath.
If your switches have metal levers, remove them.
I arranged SPDT microswitches around a hole in
a piece of Formica, and they all just touched in the
middle (Figure M). I mounted them with hot glue,
which is fine for microswitches. For a ninth Enter/
Esc switch, you can add it in the center.
Solder the leads from the circuit board cable to
the appropriate switches. If you use SPDT switches,
be sure to wire to the common (C) and normally
open (NO) legs, leaving the normally closed (NC)
Plug the joystick into the Winamp computer. It
should emulate the 8 hotkeys you’ve selected. Of
course the computer’s keyboard should also work
normally, like for entering song titles.
Make a box to hold the circuit board and support
the switches, and cover the switch push buttons with
a colorful “function circle” (Figure N). I printed mine
on heavyweight photo paper and then laminated it.
Larry Cotton is a semiretired power-tool designer and
community college math instructor. He loves music and
musical instruments, computers, birds, electronics, furniture design, and his wife — not necessarily in that order.
makezine.com/23/favoritegadgets for my printable designs. The circle must be flexible enough that
when you press one of the sectors, only one switch
To keep the circle fixed and centered over the
switches, I glued a short wooden dowel in the
middle underneath, so it hangs down between the
switch bodies. You may want to wrap a few turns of
tape around the dowel to make it a light press-fit
within the switch bodies; also consider double-faced tape to stick the bottom of the function circle
to the switches.
I love the Winamp skin Nucleo_NLog_v102
(Figure O), which seems appropriate for my
ThinkPad Winamp player, or sometimes I use the
Wurlitzer_v2 skin (Figure P), which complements
the 1966-vintage Wurlitzer jukebox I have in the