DIY Button Box questions


Dec 22, 2009
I have an old Logitech Formula GP that I use for extra pedals - my main wheel is a DFGT which only has 2, so I use the Formula GP's throttle for clutch, and the brake pedal just sits there not doing much.

The formula GP's pedals plug in through the wheel, so to save some space on my desk I decided to disassemble the wheel and stick it in a smaller box.


With the wheel gone, this is the circuitry left over - a rotary encoder with 220 degree input and 6 buttons on 2 little circuit boards (they have a common black wire and 6 separate +s, simple circuit at that end).

For now I've just got them all shoved in a box to keep them out of sight.

Anyway, on to the questions.
First, it seems like it's all the tricky parts done for me - it identifies as a USB device and interprets the signals into button pushes. I should just be able to swap in some bigger push buttons and be done, right? There's no 'only some buttons send the right current' concerns?

Second, where do you guys end up putting a button box? Just sitting on the desk next to the wheel? Do you clamp it into place?

Third, what good is the rotary encoder? I'm not sure what games offer extra axis-controllable inputs beyond the steering & pedals, or which of those are actually useful while driving. And like I said, it's not that great on resolution, its signal only changes about every 5-10 degrees. Should I just buy a new one? (again, any electrical concerns in buying that?)

Fourth, is 6 more buttons even worth it? The DFGT has 25 mappable buttons (albeit not all that easy to find) and I'm not using them all right now. But eventually I might.