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Building an arcade stick: And So Can You!

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Posts

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Some sites will call it a DB-15. They're wrong, but they'll still call it that.

    You also might see it called a Gameport or MIDI cable.

    But a DB-25 isn't a bad idea, you can do an eight-button stick that way.

    Daedalus on
  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited June 2009
    I'm in the middle of (slowly) modifying my sega dreamcast arcade stick into a 360 pad hacked stick. So far it looks very doable. The objective it to keep it reversible if I need to reverse it. I just need to find some short button mounts though. The springs on this sega agetech joystick are too loose for my liking.

    Viscountalpha on
  • areaarea Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    To follow on, my build is going pretty well now. Unfortunately, like Daedalus, electronics is my forte, not woodwork. As a result, after three days, I have the padhack tucked away in a pretty project box, which I've demonstrated works by plugging it into the XBox and grounding the appropriate pins and observing stuff happening.

    The biggest problem I hit was that some solder found its way into one of the DB-25 socket holes, preventing the socket from mating correctly with the plug. I tried to channel heat into the hole with a pin and drain the solder out, but even if the heat was getting down there, capillary action was screwing me over. One drawing pin and a hammer later though, plug meets socket.

    You can't really see what you did for the Xbox Communicator for your project box, Daedalus. Fancy giving me a hint? I've not had a Live subscription since getting the 360, so I've never looked at the headset until now. I idiotically assumed that the headset socket I could see on the pad was all that was necessary, but it's got a sculpted plastic thing that makes it join to a regular controller. I'm not terribly fussed, but it'd be nice if I could get it to work nicely.

    I've ended up having eight face buttons as Daedalus suggested (because hey, buttons are cool), so I had to have both bumpers and triggers in use. The bumpers were simple enough, but the pad I was using required an inverter to get the triggers to work. I got cocky originally, and decided to solder everything to the IC holder as seen at the fantastic tutorial being written at Shoryuken but it all went wrong around the time I melted pin 7 into the plastic. So I got some stripboard, and did it all properly.

    Unfortunately, the other box is going less well. I'm using wood (pine) rather than MDF, as we have it lying around. The top panel came out nicely, thanks to the paddle drill bits - I've not had the pleasure of using them before, but they are scary animals.

    Is there a reference for how big the hole for the joystick column should be? I'm bottom mounting a Happ stick, so surely it should be dependent on the thickness of the wood you're passing it through? As the higher up the stick the wood goes, the further the stick has to be able to travel without hitting wood? I'm pretty sure it's not going to be an issue, but it'd be nice to see some hard numbers.

    It all seemed to be going well until I saw the edges of the box walls were not at right angles to the faces all the way along the edge, and I couldn't figure out why. Then I noticed that I'd bent the jigsaw bit at some point, so the angle between the edge and the face of the wood turns as you move along it. I'll take another look at it later, but I'm not convinced it's salvageable given how close to the base I'm already getting with the Happ Joystick mounting, so another four pieces of wood could well be in order.

    area on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Use a square-ing tool (t-square or the likes) to get your lines true.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Big3DBig3D Registered User
    edited July 2009
    OK I was searching around for a PCB soldering/wiring guide and came across this forum

    I have built quite a few Joysticks over this past year, and me and my friend are working on a PS3/X360 Joystick, you dont need a switch really, it would be alot of work and not worth the time

    all you need is a wiring strip (not sure of the correct terminaology) and a Madcatz 360 and Madcatz PS3 controller, wire the controllers the way you like
    and with the wiring strip you will have 2 wires going in and 1 wire going to the switches.
    saves time money and its simple as hell, if you already have a 360 and a ps3 stick wired it makes it 20 times simpler, cause you just pick your box and toss them both in... the only thing is that you will have 2 different cords sticking out of the box but thats not a big problem when you have a stick that can be played on either system with minimal hassle thats great.

    I am also experimenting with making a quad system Box
    PS3/X360/Wii/DC
    I make a box that I can fit them all in easily, its just figuring out the wiring setups... once EVO is done then I will really get down to it.

    http://s231.photobucket.com/albums/ee133/Biginitiald/Stick%20References/
    ^ Sticks that I have made^

    They are simple but sturdy and an Image can easily be put on or painted... like im gonna do with my Mini Stick

    The wiring setup that is shown is for my Personal "Mini Stick" I dont make those for people because the size is kinda hard to manuever things around while building but its a great compact size.

    Im not trying to peddle my wares, just throwing out my knowledge, if you have any problems/questions hit me up at

    B[email protected]

    or if you want a stick made, but im booked till after EVO

    also my resources of choice are http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/pcb_wiring.html for wiring diagrams and forums.shoryuken.com for other questions and discussions.

    also Madcatz is the best PCB for your money, easy to wire and its cheap (~$20).
    if you want a good starting project use the Madcatz PCB, minimal soldering, large solder points

    - For buttons and joysticks order from Tornado Terrys on Ebay
    http://stores.shop.ebay.com/TORNADO-TERRYS-ARCADE-PARTS-SUPPLY__W0QQ_armrsZ1
    he has the best prices for Happ parts
    32 + shipping for 2 setups (2 Joysticks 14 buttons (and 2-3 day shipping in the US))

    - As for wood I use 3/4" or 1/2" MDF wood, its sturdy and cheap ($12 @ Home Depot)
    with $12 I bought enough wood to make 4+ joysticks (and still had enough for test/project/scrap pieces, which is great when you are just learning woodwork)

    so in all with parts and everything is costs me about 40-50 bucks to make a Joystick for myself, which is pretty good considering that its custom built how I like and its sturdier than most other sticks that you will pay $120+ for, plus if you built it you know how to fix it and wont have to go through a bunch of bullcrap to get it working again. (I always keep my soldering iron, wire, extra switches, and a voltage tester in my car in case something goes wrong, only had to fix mine once, but I fix my buddies all the time)

    Thats my 2 cents on the subject and I hope that I helped out some people

    Late,
    Dustin

    Big3D on
  • Big3DBig3D Registered User
    edited July 2009
    area wrote: »
    snip

    oh man that sucks about your second stick... yeah I dont bother with anything other than MDF loads easier to work with, but the diameter I use for my buttons is 1-1/8" but to save myself from the slanted hole I drill a pre hole with a drill bit about the same size as the end of the paddle drill, it also helps if you have a drill with a bubble level on it... or a wooden dowel the same width as your initial drill bit, once you drill the hole stick the dowel in and use a level or something to check if the dowel is sitting at a slant, if it is thats ok just try and use the same drill bit to adjust the angle so that when you use the paddle drill it sits in the hole striaght... i know that all sounds kinda confusing... ill try to get something, ill use paint to make a picture to show my examples.

    here ya go took about 5 min
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee133/Biginitiald/NewBitmapImage.jpg

    Big3D on
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    area wrote: »
    You can't really see what you did for the Xbox Communicator for your project box, Daedalus. Fancy giving me a hint? I've not had a Live subscription since getting the 360, so I've never looked at the headset until now. I idiotically assumed that the headset socket I could see on the pad was all that was necessary, but it's got a sculpted plastic thing that makes it join to a regular controller. I'm not terribly fussed, but it'd be nice if I could get it to work nicely.

    I've got a small hole in the box that the jack sticks through, and it's superglued in place to the box. This is probably not a good idea, structurally, as pushing too hard on that jack would push the PCB back into the box, so I used bits of a cut-up pen as support posts to keep this from happening.

    The plastic isn't shaped right for that stupid headset, no, but Rock Band was nice enough to include two small extension cables (because the guitars aren't shaped right either) and I can use one of them. (Of course, I don't currently have Live, but this may change now that I'm out of school and getting paid "grown-up money").

    Daedalus on
  • areaarea Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    And done, after about seven days of working at it (I love holidays). More than happy with how it came out in the end; the bottom is not quite flush, because the floorboard the bottom is taken from isn't quite flat, but it's not particularly noticeable. The 'start' button isn't upright, but unfortunately there's not much I can do about that because of the orientation of the microswitch on the other side.

    Nearly had a coronary when it didn't work properly once everything had been connected, exhibiting intermittent faults on most of the buttons. Turns out, the project box is a little big thick, so the contacts weren't mating properly with the DB-25 cable. After mounting the port on the outside of the project box though, everything works just fine.

    Now the fun part begins!

    3728695045_b73e420382.jpg

    area on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Haha, it looks like it belongs on a boat from the 1800s, you know, electronics aside.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Someday, I'll get around to making a wooden box for my stick. However, living in an apartment with no space and owning no tools, I'll have to live with the shoebox for now.

    Houn on
  • BTPBTP Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Sorry if this isn't the best thread for this question.

    I have a Wii Hori Fighting Stick (which is my first and only one I own). Right now, I can really only use it for a few VC titles like the Street Fighter series, Bust a Move Plus, and the ABA games within Blast Works. All of that means that the ZL and ZR buttons don't get used.

    Every now and then when I play SSB:Brawl, when I haven't used the stick in a while and it's just been sitting idle, I go into the control configs and plug in the stick, just to make sure all the buttons still work, especially ZL/ZR. Last night, I had a bit of a scare when ZR wasn't responding. Hard hit, slow hard press, multiple taps, it just didn't want to work.

    Then I tried flipping the switch for turbo mode ZR. And that's when it started working again. I turned off turbo, and the button still continued to work. All was well.

    All of that was about 18 hours ago. I just checked it again, and all is still fine.

    I'm just wondering why this might have happened and how I can prevent it happening again. The only thing I can think of is that the stick was just cold at the time, and my hands just warmed it up enough to work again, but I don't see how that really makes sense. I'm not rough on the stick by any means. In fact, I think I baby it a little because I'm scared of breaking it.

    So, any ideas on what happened?

    BTP on
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  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    There could be a loose connection or a PCB problem. Unless it dies out completly I wouldn't worry about it, also have you tried plugging it in before starting the Wii?

    If you can still return it for a new one you might give that a try.

    Madpanda on
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  • Phoenix SmasherPhoenix Smasher Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Guys, we're not thinking BIG enough....
    12.JPG

    Phoenix Smasher on
  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Ahh, I shrunk!

    Bartholamue on
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  • Phoenix SmasherPhoenix Smasher Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Picked up one of these at gamestop the other day, they've dropped them $20 in price. :D
    capcom_marvel_arcade_stick.jpg
    Anyone know of a good way of changing out the artwork?

    Phoenix Smasher on
  • TheUnsane1TheUnsane1 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The Tech forum at SRK has art swap info for TE sticks, they also have a guy that makes absolutely insanely cool etched acrylic replacement tops. http://forums.shoryuken.com/ can't get ya a direct link filtered internet atm.

    Here's a link to the etched acrylic guys site: http://tek-innovations.com/arthobbies/?loc=products&cat=1&subcat=&item=76#thumb so freaking sick

    TheUnsane1 on
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  • Phoenix SmasherPhoenix Smasher Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Wow yeah, his stuff is exactly what I'm looking for. I also have an old Tekken 5 hori stick that I'm modding to play on 360, his site will help a lot.

    Phoenix Smasher on
  • Yellow RangerYellow Ranger Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    TheUnsane1 wrote:
    Here's a link to the etched acrylic guys site: http://tek-innovations.com/arthobbies/?loc=products&cat=1&subcat=&item=76#thumb so freaking sick

    This is the best thing ever. I am doing this for sure when I pick up a TE Stick.

    Yellow Ranger on
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  • BansheeBanshee Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I bought an Acrylic cover for my HRAP EX awhile back. it's amazing, I highly recommend it. i had my stickart printed at the local staples. easy as pie.

    Once i get tired of the art on the TE MvC2 stick I'm getting tonight, I'll order an acrylic cover for it and make my own.

    Banshee on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • TheUnsane1TheUnsane1 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I need to figure out what I would want etched into the acrylic and then I am gonna get one for sure. I am in something of a fighting game character transition period after playing the same few characters for years so idk if I should go with old faves new school choices or something outside of the games like a Comic character or abstract.

    TheUnsane1 on
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  • Chessboxing909Chessboxing909 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Finished my stick and this thread had helped a bit, so here it is.

    Finished stick with no art
    arcadesticknoart.jpg
    Stick with the art, plexi top and bottom.
    arcadestickwart.jpg
    Stick internals and wiring
    joystickinternals.jpg

    Thanks a lot, appreciate being able to read a bit here bout it all.

    Chessboxing909 on
    "I will f**kin' beat you into the ground in front of your whole life that I don't get to have." -Nick Diaz

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  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2010
    darkgrue wrote: »
    I didn't build an arcade stick, I built a supergun, but I thought I'd share it here:
    th_IMG_0336.jpg th_IMG_0338.jpg th_IMG_0341.jpg

    Used a 130W Happ power supply, JRok v4.1 RGB encoder, a 2-channel high-to-low converter (to bring the amplified speaker levels down to line level). It's set up as a full JAMMA+ harness.

    The joysticks (which are out of frame) I'm using are from a MAS Supernova. I haven't yet set up the kick harness cables - I'm going to be adding an 8-pin DIN socket next to the JAMMA cable and set up different cables for different kick harnesses.


    Cheaper to buy a Neo Geo machine or the same price.

    EliteLamer on
    SEGA
    p561852.jpg
  • darkgruedarkgrue Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    darkgrue wrote: »
    I didn't build an arcade stick, I built a supergun, but I thought I'd share it here:
    th_IMG_0336.jpg th_IMG_0338.jpg th_IMG_0341.jpg

    Used a 130W Happ power supply, JRok v4.1 RGB encoder, a 2-channel high-to-low converter (to bring the amplified speaker levels down to line level). It's set up as a full JAMMA+ harness.

    The joysticks (which are out of frame) I'm using are from a MAS Supernova. I haven't yet set up the kick harness cables - I'm going to be adding an 8-pin DIN socket next to the JAMMA cable and set up different cables for different kick harnesses.


    Cheaper to buy a Neo Geo machine or the same price.

    That isn't the point.

    Also, a Neo Geo machine doesn't play other JAMMA boards, and I have a small collection of those.

    darkgrue on
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2010
    darkgrue wrote: »
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    darkgrue wrote: »
    I didn't build an arcade stick, I built a supergun, but I thought I'd share it here:
    th_IMG_0336.jpg th_IMG_0338.jpg th_IMG_0341.jpg

    Used a 130W Happ power supply, JRok v4.1 RGB encoder, a 2-channel high-to-low converter (to bring the amplified speaker levels down to line level). It's set up as a full JAMMA+ harness.

    The joysticks (which are out of frame) I'm using are from a MAS Supernova. I haven't yet set up the kick harness cables - I'm going to be adding an 8-pin DIN socket next to the JAMMA cable and set up different cables for different kick harnesses.


    Cheaper to buy a Neo Geo machine or the same price.

    That isn't the point.

    Also, a Neo Geo machine doesn't play other JAMMA boards, and I have a small collection of those.

    Single slot MVS's are fully JAMMA compliment and multi slot is once you do a slight conversion.

    EliteLamer on
    SEGA
    p561852.jpg
  • MulrineMulrine Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Finished my stick and this thread had helped a bit, so here it is.

    Finished stick with no art
    Stick with the art, plexi top and bottom.
    Stick internals and wiring

    Thanks a lot, appreciate being able to read a bit here bout it all.

    Chessboxing I like the dimensions of your stick care to share em? :)

    Sorry for bumping an old thread but getting into this myself.

    Mulrine on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Guys, we're not thinking BIG enough....
    12.JPG

    joystick envy:
    drat! my monster stick looks like a pencil compared to that fat beast :(

    pics inside, NB's finest selection for scale.
    DSCN0595.jpg
    DSCN0596.jpg

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    THREAD NECROMANCY!

    I just bought a gorgeous piece of Bocote to use. Finalizing measurements in Google Sketchup, but I'm on the path to finally building a box!

    Houn on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Classy.

    I love Google Sketchup so, so much.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Ok, so, I should have been better about documenting the process so far, but here's what I've got:

    The Arcade Hardware:
    Seimitsu JS-32-01, 8x Seimitsu 30mm buttons, 3x Seimitsu 24mm buttons
    http://digitalarcanum.net/stuff/ArcadeStick/WoodenStick/joy_buttons.jpg

    The Box Components:
    [email protected] 11" Bocote 1x2.5"
    [email protected] 9" Bocote 1x2.5"
    [email protected] 11"x7" Plywood 1/4"
    [email protected] 11"x7" Plywood 1/2"
    [email protected] 1 9/16" Posts 1.5x1"
    [email protected] 11"x7" acrylic (plexi)
    http://digitalarcanum.net/stuff/ArcadeStick/WoodenStick/parts.jpg

    With the parts psuedo-assembled:
    http://digitalarcanum.net/stuff/ArcadeStick/WoodenStick/pseudo-assembled_01.jpg
    http://digitalarcanum.net/stuff/ArcadeStick/WoodenStick/pseudo-assembled_02.jpg

    And a Google Sketchup for the curious:
    http://digitalarcanum.net/stuff/ArcadeStick/WoodenStick/arcade_stick_v2.skp

    The story so far:
    Need to cut those 2x2 posts down to 1x1.5 to make more room for the actual buttons, which I'm going to do in just a second. The Bocote was originally a 4' 1x4" board; I cut out the two 11" and two 9" sections using my Miter Saw, and then borrowed the use of a Table Saw at a local hacker space a friend is affiliated with to rip them down to 2.5" wide (btw, hacker spaces are awesome, look them up if you don't already know). Cut an 11x14" acrylic sheet down to two 11x7 for the top and bottom surfaces.

    Next steps will be to create some pocket holes and predrill some holes to put the bocote together, and then start attaching the posts. I need to order some 30mm and 24mm hole saws, though, before I can start creating the button holes and such.

    Houn on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Houn on
  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Houn wrote: »

    Please tell me you doweled/biscuited that joint.

    Donovan Puppyfucker on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Houn wrote: »

    Please tell me you doweled/biscuited that joint.

    Nope. But I tested the glue first, it'll hold just fine. There will also be pieces glued into the corners to provide additional security.

    BTW, Gorilla Glue is awesome. As in, I glued two scraps together, tried to break them apart, and broke the wood instead.

    Houn on
  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If you did this

    dowel-joint.jpg

    You wouldn't need the pieces glued into the corners, and the joint would be much stronger regardless.

    But, each to his own.

    Donovan Puppyfucker on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The pieces will need to be glued into the corners anyway to give the top something to sit against. So...

    It'll be fine. I'm confident in the hold.

    Houn on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    So, the hold is good, but the measurements are off. :P

    http://digitalarcanum.net/stuff/ArcadeStick/WoodenStick/glued_box.jpg

    The inside measurements are supposed to be 11x7, but they came out 10.9999999x7.125. The 11 being a hair under isn't a big deal, I can shave things down a touch, but the extra 1/8th on the 7 is kinda tacky. I'm going to have to recut the plexi for sure, hopefully I can get away with the gap on the plywood by just covering it with art.

    Houn on
  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Houn wrote: »
    The pieces will need to be glued into the corners anyway to give the top something to sit against. So...

    It'll be fine. I'm confident in the hold.

    Mate, whatever works for you!

    Looks like this is going to be a gorgeous stick.

    Donovan Puppyfucker on
  • DigitalSynDigitalSyn Dr Digital Cumming, GARegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I know this thread dates back quite a bit, but I have the opposite issue that most people have. I can work with the wood/other materials fine, its the wiring I have limited exposure too.


    I ordered the Mortal Kombat TE, which comes with a stick, but I want to build my own as well. I have a feeling I am in for some pain when it comes to tearing apart the controller.

    DigitalSyn on
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  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Do some research and get something that's common ground. You'll thank me.

    Houn on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    It may not look like much, but progress be made today. Cut new acrylic to the proper size, glued and clamped in the corner pegs:
    IMAG0069.jpg
    IMAG0070.jpg
    IMAG0071.jpg

    Also sanded the outside of the box on all sides to a nice smooth touch, no more tiny lips at the joints. Working on digging up a router table so I can round off the front and back edges.

    Houn on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    More progress. Today, I used my new hole saws to flawlessly cut through the acrylic. Note the ghetto clamping system:
    IMAG0073.jpg
    IMAG0074.jpg
    Then, got the inner support layers all chopped up, mounted the joystick:
    IMAG0075.jpg
    Then, naturally, while screwing down the support layers, one of the corners comes unglued. :P
    IMAG0076.jpg

    Houn on
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