With their new, heavy duty, single axis joystick JS, elobau has managed to combine the robustness of diecast with the lightness of innovative plastic and still pack a punch in terms of reliability and functionality.
Based on their existing J7 joystick, the updated JS has a new glass fibre reinforced polymer which has been designed to give an impressive weight reduction of 300 grammes from diecast versions, with the JS weighing in at a lightweight 500 grammes. Measuring in with a width of only 49mm, this is a compact joystick that is robust enough to handle any extreme operating conditions.
One obvious benefit for manufacturers of off-highway vehicles is that the compact and lightweight construction of this joystick means it is ideal for installation in cabs that have limited installation space and weight requirements. Although the handle itself is ergonomically designed for fatigue-free operation and the comfort of the operator, the narrow width of the joystick base allows for the installation of multiple joysticks in an armrest to simplify the control of multiple functions. The electronic interface is designed for easy connection to the main electronic Controller.
Primarily designed for installation in off-highway vehicles such as construction and earth-moving machinery, as well as agricultural and forestry machinery, as with all joysticks from elobau, the JS is multifunctional and can be customised by the off-highway vehicle manufacturer to suit any application as required for a particular function. On a paving machine for example, a single JS could be used to control the steering, or on an excavator for blade control. On a wheel loader, a combination of three or four could be positioned side by side for the operator to control the boom and the shovel.
The JS is also ideal for other applications such as controlling the rotating mixing drum on a concrete mixer, as well as for use on vertical drilling rigs where numerous functions need to be reliably controlled. KLEMM Bohrtechnik GmbH from Drolshagen, a leading manufacturer of drilling rigs for special foundation industries, use up to 22 of the J7 joysticks on their long reach KR 801-3GK drilling rig. Like the J7, the drilling rig is compact, robust and multifunctional. Each function requires precise and reliable control, and each joystick controls a different function such as slewing the boom. Using multiple J7’s enables dual lever operation for the simultaneous control of various functions.
Options to customise the JS include choosing various from mechanical options such as a friction brake, adjustable torque profile and also soft or latching detents. Up to 3 push buttons with a choice of symbols and colours can be added to the various handle options. There is also a choice of outputs, with it being available as either an analogue output, with or without a redundant signal, or with a CAN output signal as either CANopen or SAE J1939.
The shielded, contactless Hall technology means the Joystick operation is highly reliable with a mechanical life of 4 million cycles. With an IP67 protection class, an operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C, and being able to withstand forces of up to 1000N along the X and Y axis, this really is a knockout solution for the cabs of off-highway vehicles.