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hardnrg

Worklog: Arcade Stick

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Intro

 

So, like a lot of people, I started playing fighting games at the arcades, Street Fighter, Tekken, Samurai Shodown, Killer Instict... I'd already played older games at the arcade and was very used to the joystick + buttons control. I sucked at Street Fighter on SNES because I couldn't learn to use a D-pad instead. Eventually I was ok on the gamepads, but was nowhere near as good as I was on the arcade machines. These days, I can play pretty well on a Playstation controller with the analog stick for some games (SF especially) and the D-pad for others... while a lot of fun, I still miss the proper controls, and after very extended gaming sessions until stupid o'clock in the morning I still feel there's gotta be an alternative to "console thumb" pain.

 

Yeah, there are already many arcade stick controllers out there, and yeah I could just buy one, but I reckoned I could probably buy the same or better parts, and build my own enclosure, and end up with something that was either cheaper and better, or about the same price and a lot better, than the top of the line arcade sticks out there.

 

 

Design

 

I don't want to make a piece of crap or bodge-job, so I chose the Sanwa JLF joystick, reputedly the best joystick in the world, and used in competitions and in the best arcade sticks. I also went with Sanwa buttons, as I prefer this large, slightly convex surfaced button, to the other types out there. The control panel is made up of a plywood base, MDF sub-panels, and then a clear polycarbonate top (to allow printed designs underneath). The bottom will be another MDF sheet, and the outsides will be hardwood.

 

Here's the complete design:

 

Zlf7s.jpg

 

 

The outer sides will be hardwood, mitre-cut like a picture frame, and then a few pieces of hardwood will be arranged to form a lip, upon which the thick plywood part of the control panel sandwich will sit:

 

SFaam.jpgJ7UaG.jpg

 

 

The joystick is screwed down onto the plywood:

 

f1mQs.jpg

 

 

A thin MDF sheet clears the joystick plate, and a second MDF sheet clears the joystick plate screws and provides added rigidity for the buttons:

 

AfhT6.jpg9RUYb.jpg

 

 

The last part of the control panel is the clear polycarbonate top, which will be a durable top surface that will allow me to print out designs on my photo printer to create arcade stick artwork.

 

1BThS.jpg

 

 

Round at the back, there's a recessed hole for the panel-mount USB:

 

kY256.jpg

 

 

So that's the design, I've got all the parts and materials apart from the hardwood, and some miscellaneous stuff like wood glue and panel/cup washers...

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i have seen a guy make one of these before but his was much bigger and not as well thought out . he needed his bigger because he not only had joystick and buttons but a track ball too. he got his parts from arcade machines he bought for cheap, so he just scavenged all his stuff.

 

 

now get busy and make it not show digital drawings hehe

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Setting up the drill stand

 

My drill stand was rusty and didn't move smoothly at all. Also, I had 3 drills, a 1100W Ryobi beast, a 500W lightweight B&D, and a high-torque AEG driver/drill. None of these physically fit in the drill stand collar. The Ryobi's too big, the B&D collar is too short, and the AEG is cordless anyway. I sanded and oiled the stand until it worked properly.

 

In my last job I managed to score an ex-display Ryobi drill for £1 because it had a cut cord. I took it apart and to my surprise found a terminal block to which the mains cable was connected. Normally I'd have to solder or crimp a replacement cable on, but this time it was just a case of strip, twist, terminal block.

 

This Ryobi drill neck (?) is just small enough to fit in the drill stand collar (with some screwdriver-prying of the collar!)... annoyingly, the drill body fattens up quickly behind the neck, which prevents the drill sitting completely flush/level. So I took a rotary tool and sanding drum, and sort of bevel-sanded part of the drill body by possibly 1mm at the most. The drill stand is now set up and screwed to the old bench in my garage (to the OCC members who remember my other projects, YES, I finally have a garage and a bench!!! No more bedroom/bathroom/kitchen/lounge workshop/paint-booth, lol).

 

Printed out one of the MDF panels as a drawing with relevant centre holes and hole diameters, lined it up on some MDF sheets, clamped it to some plywood as a working surface and did a test pilot hole. It was dark at this point and I didn't want to annoy my neighbours (regardless of religious beliefs, I think most people enjoy a day of rest on a Sunday, especially in the evening/night, even though tomorrow is a public holiday).

 

Anyway, rather unexciting perhaps (in terms of pictures), but this project has now commenced*:

 

1zhP8.jpgXCf9C.jpg

 

 

* Obviously, this project started ages ago with all the design, research, ordering parts, materials, and tools, dismantling PS3 SIXAXIS controllers. But, yeah, it feels more like a project now rather than a bunch of stuff and a couple SIXAXIS PCBs.

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Hey hardnrg what site did you go to for the button layouts?

 

 

Also have you thought about making other controllers using ipac pcbs and running mame on the pc?

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all Hardnrg thinks about is getting pwned by me in ut2k4. That must be why he is building this thing. :popcorn:

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lol bishop, didn't you start playing Second Life or The Sims or something instead of UT2k4? There was some kinda lame excuse :lol:

 

er, for the button layout, I went with the Standard Japanese Arcade Layout shown @ slagcoin: http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/layout.html

 

There's a wealth of info there about building arcade sticks...

 

I decided to use PS3 SIXAXIS controllers for the PCBs because you can use them with PS3 and PC, both by USB and wirelessly... also I found an eBay seller that basically deals in broken PS3 pads, so I got some really cheap as all I needed was a working PCB and battery from each. I'm going to wire the panel-mount USB to the PCB via a terminal block. This will allow me to add/switch PCBs in the future. The cost of a custom PCB was 3-4 times that of a broken pad, so it just didn't make sense, especially since I only play fighting games on PS3 and PC... if some other console comes out in the future, I'll just buy a broken or otherwise second-hand controller for it...

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lol bishop, didn't you start playing Second Life or The Sims or something instead of UT2k4? There was some kinda lame excuse :lol:

 

er, for the button layout, I went with the Standard Japanese Arcade Layout shown @ slagcoin: http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/layout.html

 

There's a wealth of info there about building arcade sticks...

 

I decided to use PS3 SIXAXIS controllers for the PCBs because you can use them with PS3 and PC, both by USB and wirelessly... also I found an eBay seller that basically deals in broken PS3 pads, so I got some really cheap as all I needed was a working PCB and battery from each. I'm going to wire the panel-mount USB to the PCB via a terminal block. This will allow me to add/switch PCBs in the future. The cost of a custom PCB was 3-4 times that of a broken pad, so it just didn't make sense, especially since I only play fighting games on PS3 and PC... if some other console comes out in the future, I'll just buy a broken or otherwise second-hand controller for it...

Nice, thats were I went for the layout for my arcade machine.

I am going to have a six button layout per person, with a further two buttons for select and back to navigate menus. Using one of these ipac controllers. Inside my arcade cab that I am refurbishing atm unfortunately work is on hold because my finger is quite messed up. However afterwards work will ressume and my arcade cab/jukebox. Unfortunately I cant even work on making up my different wireing looms and audio cables without my index finger :down:

 

Look forward to seeing you project in action the design is looking very good and very compact. Glad your using hardwood and thick ply, or I would worry that it may be too light to stay still while in use.

 

Edit: I am curious about one thing, what is the cuttout beside the stick for?

Edited by Stonerboy779

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I had a hard time deciding between 6 and 8 main buttons. Pretty much all the time I'd only use 6, but there's space for 8 and a few games I play it can be handy to have a couple more than 6.

 

The three buttons above the stick are PS3 (Home, Select, Start), then there's the 4 red LEDs that show the controller number and low-battery warning.

 

The cutout is clearance for the 5-pin connector and wiring that attaches in that place on the Sanwa JLF. I could have rewired the stick PCB to reroute the wiring I guess, but I wanted to keep the stick unmodified to allow easy replacement in case of failure.

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I had a hard time deciding between 6 and 8 main buttons. Pretty much all the time I'd only use 6, but there's space for 8 and a few games I play it can be handy to have a couple more than 6.

 

The three buttons above the stick are PS3 (Home, Select, Start), then there's the 4 red LEDs that show the controller number and low-battery warning.

 

The cutout is clearance for the 5-pin connector and wiring that attaches in that place on the Sanwa JLF. I could have rewired the stick PCB to reroute the wiring I guess, but I wanted to keep the stick unmodified to allow easy replacement in case of failure.

I had an easy time desiding the controller in order to do what I want will only support 6 buttons per peson. I will probably do different next time I do the project (because this one is staying with the family).

 

I figured as much with the buttons and LEDs just didn't know exact function.

 

Ahhh, I understand now. The sticks I have are the Sanwa JLW-TM-8 Joysticks, which is just the tabs on the 4 corners for clips, no pcb.

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you can buy that kind of drill press on this side of the pond too only ours are a lil heftier but have the same problems that some drills dont fit

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you can buy that kind of drill press on this side of the pond too only ours are a lil heftier but have the same problems that some drills dont fit

 

Seems like a nice inexpensive way to get yourself a drill press... and not really waste the space by having a real one. I like it!! +1

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