I am working on hacking an RC remote controller I own. What I intend to do is open it up, and tap into the potentiometers. I want to read the analog values delivered by the potentiometers, and send the signals to my PC. Essentially, I want to re-purpose it to work like a joystick with the HID USB interface. Of course, the HID interface is not necessary, but I believe it is the best way to go about this.

I am quite familiar with the AVR microcontroller family, so I initially though I could try something like V-USB with an ATMega8. At the same time, I began to think that it may become unnecessarily difficult. Is there any easier way to achieve such connectivity without breaking the bank?


2 Answers 2


The dead-simplest way is to buy an Arduino Leonardo.

I actually just did what you are talking about. In my case, I was converting an old arcade-style game controller to USB.

See the writeup I did here.

Anyways, here are my modified files you would need to turn your own leonardo into a joystick. These files support an 8-axis joystick, with two hat-switches, and 32 buttons. If you want fewer buttons/axes/whatever, you can either just ignore the things you don’t need, or modify the HID descriptor yourself. As it is, for everything the HID descriptor currently specifies, it only needs 12 bytes per PC-update, so I’m not too worried about the extra axes causing issues or slowing things down.

enter image description here

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your write up seems to have disappeared. Was it still accessible somewhere? \$\endgroup\$
    – toxaq
    Commented May 27, 2016 at 4:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nope. I really need to set up my website again (I moved hosts). \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 28, 2016 at 8:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ConnorWolf: Any update on that? Don't tell me the article is forever lost! Would love reading it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nepho
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nepho Internet Archive to the rescue: web.archive.org/web/20150425224409/http://… \$\endgroup\$
    – Adrian
    Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 2:52

Check out this project: http://generichid.sourceforge.net/

Should be exactly what you want.


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