ROVsim Hand Control Mk II

ROVsim Hand Control Mk II


ROVsim supports input from a wide variety of Microsoft Windows compliant devices including joysticks, gamepads, touchpads, touch screens, mice and keyboards. By way of utilizing Microsoft’s Human Interface Device (HID) standard, custom input devices are also supported. Marine Simulation, as well as other companies, offer custom surface control units that utilize this standard. This document provides some basic guidance for those interested in designing and building a custom input device for use with ROVsim.

Required Skills

Basic understanding of electronics as well as basic soldering and fabricating skills.

Required hardware


The BU0836A by Leo Bodnar

1. A Microsoft Windows compliant HID controller with USB interface. This is the key component in building a custom input device.  Here’s a partial list of boards that will work:

Bodnar BU0836

Ultimarc MiniPac

The device we use and recommend is the “Bodnar BU0836” which costs approximately $40USD.

2. Appropriate Windows software drivers. These are usually included with controller board.

3. Devices for “analog” input. These include potentiometers (typically linear 10K ohm wire-wound) or Hall Effect devices (such as joysticks).

4. Devices for “digital” input. These include a switches (typically momentary SPST or SPDT switches).

5. A suitable enclosure or case.

6. A suitable USB cable to connect the control box to your computer.

Design Recommendations

The selection of input devices will be driven by the input type required (analog or digital), the intended purpose of the device and your overall design. In many cases the design is intended to mimic or retrofit an existing control box, and this is often easily accomplished. Sources for specific device information can be found by contacting the device manufacturer.

Please consult the simulator’s “input manager” and user’s manual for an outline of inputs for your version of ROVsim.
If you have any questions, need additional assistance, or would just like to “show off” your custom input controller, please feel free to contact us.

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