check out this TRON joystick gutted from a ancient stand up machine made in 1982. here are some observations:

the float is a giant rubber grommet. it looks like an auto part for a suspension. of course is does. it is likely exactly what it was is still does. given the age it could be corroded to goo.

all the buttons and switches are common for the day.

the cable relief is a spring. today it would be some plastic spin.

while this mechanism is custom the simple design means that it was made to be produced quickly in a way that could be repaired. it weighs 2 pounds.

hooking this up to anything is as simple as connecting the wires to the IN / GPIO / existing controller connector.

this is a work of art.

machine info: