Choices Header Image

Downloads: Choices v1.1 Manual
Choices - Front View

Technical Specifications:

Module width: 14hp
Supply Voltage (min –> max)±9V –> ±15V
Supply Current (max draw @ ±12V) +12V: 14.1mA –12V: 13.7mA
Input Voltage (@ ±12V) -Vsupply—> +Vsupply
Output Voltage ±Vsupply
Input & Ouput (I/O) coupling Direct
Output Impedance 1kO
Scaling 0% –> 200% / Vsupply
Offset range ±5V
Gate output Off: -Vsupply On: +Vsupply
Trigger output Off: -Vsupply On: +Vsupply
Trigger duration <1.5ms
Mounting Depth 36mm
Minimum joystick clearance (for briefcase systems) With knob: Without knob:
25mm 18mm
Documentation: Choices 1.1 Manual

What does it do?

First, this is a basic joystick. It is not a precision device. Of course, if you are looking for a precision control interface, a joystick should be the last option on your list – if at all. A regular control potentiometer has 310° of rotation, while the standard joystick has only a 60° arc of travel to cover the same amount of resistance, that’s 1/5th of the resolution! But we can do better than that: Choices uses a joystick assembly that has 90° arc of travel, and is the smoothest-feeling joystick I have ever found.

The Choices joystick module was designed to pack as much utility as possible in as little space as possible while keeping the price as low as possible, keeping with the design philosophy of f(h). Here are the basic features and uses:

  • Moving the joystick operates two 100k potentiometers simultaneously, providing a buffered DC Control Voltage (CV) to the outputs; the X output varies with horizontal motion, the Y with vertical motion.
  • Switched phone jacks disconnect the internal control connection from the power supply to the jack when an external signal is connected to an input.
  • Handles both DC and AC signals: Each axis has a toggle switch to set the reference calibration for either type.
  • Scale control to adjust output magnitude, from 0 to 200%.
  • Offset control – A.K.A. Bias – to shift signal DC level by up to ±5V.
  • Separate Gate and Trigger outputs.
  • Dual trigger buttons, so that one is in easy reach no matter what orientation the panel is in or whether you are left- or right-handed.
  • User-accessible trim pots to allow you to fine-tune the biasing to your needs.
  • Adjustable joystick pre-load, meaning that you can adjust the amount of force required to move the joystick around. But, just in case you think this is some magical feature, it means I decided not to put thread fixative on the three bolts that hold the joystick to the panel. Everyone has a different opinion on how tight or loose a joystick should be, so I leave that up to you!
  • Joystick ball joint lubricated before being attached to the panel. These joysticks arrived completely dry, so a clear silicon-based electrical grade dielectric grease is applied to each ball joint – it’s even FDA approved! (but don’t lick it, please. The FDA apparently chose to approve that it “may be harmful or fatal if swallowed”, so don’t do it, k?)

Why is it called Choices?

Because that is the whole idea behind a joystick, to be able to quickly and easily experiment so you can choose what you like. It is a controller, to put you in control.
The main reason, however, is that you can choose how the Choices module is oriented in your system. The playing-card style layout is so the Choices can be positioned with joystick at the top or bottom and be comfortable to use and read either way:

Choices Joystick Orientation Image

The Choices module provides for the greatest range of joystick control available in the Eurorack format. It also makes a wonderful companion to the ‘Joystick Axis Generator‘, manufactured by Malekko Heavy Industry. Below is a fantastic demonstration video showing joystick control over a JAG module from YouTube user ‘deadlover73’.

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