Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[DIY] Making an Arcade Stick

KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
So my buddy Cedarbridge and I have been playing a lot of MVC3 lately, and we've been thinking -- why don't we get a pair of actual arcade sticks to play with?

Of course, since I'm in an Electrical Engineering program at the local college, that lead to the obvious conclusion -- why not make one?

My friend Chris repairs arcade machines and so I know I can get "authentic" arcade buttons and sticks and the like from the Internet -- Arcade Spare Parts seems like a place to start. The actual frame itself would be fairly easy -- heck, [url=http://tinyurl.com/6dbmy7a
]this guy[/url] even put his in a coffee table.

And of course you have this guy's Nintendo-coffee-table, which is just inspired:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c3q9K4cHzY

Has anyone done something like this before? Is it feasible to tear-down the PS3 controller and get everything hooked up inside?

time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
KiTA on

Posts

  • HellaJeffHellaJeff FAB FRESH RAIIINBOOWWWWWRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    look up some fighting game community stuff. I know srk (shoryuken.com) has a whole forum for this

    HellaJeff on
  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Didn't think about SRK, haven't been there since Dasrik passed on. I'll give them a look!

    Edit: They're mostly about customizing existing fighting sticks, which isn't quite what I was aiming for. Good starting place though.

    KiTA on
    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I've built my own arcade stick before, specifically for Street Fighter 4, got it to being operable then lost all motivation to complete it until Super Street Fighter 4 came out, even now I haven't fully secured the control surface to the rest of the cabinet mostly because I could never decide exactly how to do so.

    For parts, if you're in North America I'd recommend lizardlick.com I know it kind of looks like "lizard dick" but the owner and operator is really helpful and stocks everything you'd need aside from the basic building supplies. He'll even special order parts in for you if you can get a hold of parts catalogs for the various suppliers (Sanwa, Seimitsu, HAPP, etc)

    In my opinion the best place to start is to figure out the layout you want to go with, I think slag coin has the schematics for the popular Sega 6 button layout, SRK should have templates for similar 6 and 8 button layouts. I made my own layout by simply resting my hands onto posterboard in the most comfortable way possible (fingers spread out naturally) and drew 30mm circles where the tips landed, then doubled up with a row underneath. I thought it worked out pretty well, I can actually press all 8 buttons without moving my fingers from their resting spots (top row hit with finger tips, bottom row hit with the middle knuckles, weird right?) but that's a set up that would only work for me.

    you're lucky being on PS3 the dual shock controllers are apparently the easiest pad hacks you could possibly do. For another option you could try Toodles' Cthulhu or CHIMP SMD PCBs, they are essentially stand-alone PCBs that allow for solder-less connectivity with PC/PS3 and pretty much any last gen or earlier console depending on the model you buy. If you ever want the stick to work on PS3 and Xbox360 you'll need to padhack a 360 controller, having the CHIMP SMD will make a whole lot of headaches go away.

    *If you're only concerned about PS3 and soldering isn't an issue for you then you can disregard the Toodles stuff.

    I ended up using 3/4" MDF for the frame and 1/4" MDF for the top and bottom, as long as you measure twice and cut once constructing the box is pretty straight forward.

    There's a shitload of padhacking tutorials at slag coin and SRK, they should pretty much cover off everything you need to know on that front.

    A good hole saw kit is going to be invaluable to you... do all the drilling with a bit of same-material scrap underneath so the cut is clean, reduces the chances of tearing your MDF (if that's what you end up using) and makes sanding so much easier.


    sorry in advance if any of that advice was tedious.

    edit: now with photos of the behemoth:
    DSCN0594.jpg
    yes that's a d-pad in the middle. . . Love the way SHMUPS play with it.
    beer can for reference
    DSCN0595.jpg
    DSCN0596.jpg

    as you can see I had utility in mind for this thing, I wanted it to work for anything from fighting games to SHMUPs to arcade brawlers.

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • grouch993grouch993 Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Check out Happ Controls for sticks and buttons. Haven't ordered from them in a few years, but they supplied a lot of my parts for machine refurbs and such.

    grouch993 on
    Steam Profile Origin grouchiy
  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    KiTA wrote: »
    Didn't think about SRK, haven't been there since Dasrik passed on. I'll give them a look!

    Edit: They're mostly about customizing existing fighting sticks, which isn't quite what I was aiming for. Good starting place though.
    They have tutorials for building sticks, Toodles is the probably the best known PCB designer (Cthulhu, MC Cthulhu, ChimpSMD, etc.) used for building new sticks and dual-modding existing ones, there are tutorials for making your own cases, Arthong designs and sells custom (configurable) acrylic cases, many arcade parts shops have employees that post there. There's even a guy that sells kits for arcade cabinets.

    I order parts from Lizard Lick. Fuck pad-hacking a PS3 controller, buy a ChimpSMD ($34.99) and use that unless you're adverse to wires.

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I found this (incredibly) old thread to be an enjoyable read as far as DIYing an arcade stick for modern consoles.

    Not exactly recent, obviously, but it includes what I assume is still some solid info about manufacturers of stick parts.

    Alecthar on
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Just wanted to second Lizard Lick as a great place to get parts.

    wonderpug on
  • KiTAKiTA Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/introduction.html

    More than you'll ever want to know.

    I saw this specific scratchbuilt arcade stick on youtube not too long ago. Or... perhaps someone following these directions. Hm!


    ChimpSMD is out of stock at Lizard Lick, but from what I'm reading on that page, you can just tear apart a 360 controller and hook it into the ChimpSMD to act as a passthrough? That's pretty amazing, and solves the "PS3 or 360" dilemma.


    Would this be all I need for buttons, or would I also need a... switch? actual button electronics under this?

    I guess I'm trying to figure out if the Sanwa Button OBSF-30 line is a set of actual buttons, or just fancy plastic bits designed to hit actual button electronics connected underneath them.

    KiTA on
    time to crash, the dawn is up, the sun gleems out glorious ps4 sunbeams and i can trade those sunbeams and do whatever i want with them.
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    yeah Chimp makes ps3 vs xbox a complete non-issue, to do pretty much any console under the sun all you'd need is the CHIMP and a common ground 360 controller. I fear that toodles might have discontinued the chimp or something, maybe you could PM him on SRK forums to see what the deal is with it.

    also yes, those OBSF30s are fully operational self-contained push-buttons, that little grey tab that you can see sticking out the back in that picture is one of two contacts (which bridge when you press button) which you could either solder directly to or use 0.110" quick disconnects.

    I think it's only HAPP and some European arcade parts manufacturers who make the leaf style switches (wherein you press a piece of plastic that pushes two contacts together)

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    wonderpug wrote: »
    Just wanted to second Lizard Lick as a great place to get parts.

    Lizard Lick is king.

    I was going to do a DIY stick, but because I wanted it for Xbox and given the additional expense of a sacrificial controller, I wound up just buying a damn Hori HRAP, and modding it. Octagonal gate, bat top, replaced all buttons, total cost $100 (including the original stick).

    mcdermott on
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    mcdermott wrote: »
    wonderpug wrote: »
    Just wanted to second Lizard Lick as a great place to get parts.

    Lizard Lick is king.

    I was going to do a DIY stick, but because I wanted it for Xbox and given the additional expense of a sacrificial controller, I wound up just buying a damn Hori HRAP, and modding it. Octagonal gate, bat top, replaced all buttons, total cost $100 (including the original stick).

    Sounds similar to my experience. Got a plain old Hori Soul Calibur stick, put in Sanwa buttons and ball top, GT-Y octagonal restrictor, and artwork from Donovan Myers:

    joystickmod3lv9.jpg

    wonderpug on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    wonderpug wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    wonderpug wrote: »
    Just wanted to second Lizard Lick as a great place to get parts.

    Lizard Lick is king.

    I was going to do a DIY stick, but because I wanted it for Xbox and given the additional expense of a sacrificial controller, I wound up just buying a damn Hori HRAP, and modding it. Octagonal gate, bat top, replaced all buttons, total cost $100 (including the original stick).

    Sounds similar to my experience. Got a plain old Hori Soul Calibur stick, put in Sanwa buttons and ball top, GT-Y octagonal restrictor, and artwork from Donovan Myers:
    joystickmod3lv9.jpg

    I forget why I didn't do that. I think the HRAP was on sale at the time, so it was only like $20 more, plus it gives you the 8-button layout, higher-quality stick (Sanwa, IIRC), etc. Definitely larger, though. I think I'll pick up a second stick, like that one, for guests...the only thing you really need to upgrade is the octagonal gate. Square gates are hateful.

    The main thing for me is that I knew building my own would turn into a "I'll finish this someday" project, whereas this had me up and playing with it within a week. Though the old thread really did have some sexy looking sticks in it.

    mcdermott on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    yeah I ended up modding the hori DOA stick with an octogon gate, I even dropped in two more buttons to give me 8 face buttons. I made a mistake with the measurements and ended up with one button only like 3/4 of the way into the steel plate and the rest was just in the plastic shoulder of the controller. it worked fine though, ended up giving it to my brother when he moved out so we could continue to play fighting games but then we hardly ever play together anymore :(

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid I didn't choose the tiki life, the tiki life chose me Inside a bottle of rumRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Stick building is actually kinda easy. I've just recently gutted my old PS3 TE stick and turned it into a stickless arcade pad. I went through Focus Attack for all my parts ordering and can easily recommend them.
    Once you read through a couple DIY threads/sites stick building turns into one of those "wait...that's it!?" sorta projects.

    TOGSolid on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    exactly TOG, it's only slightly more advanced than putting a PC together. . . In PC building, you simply buy the parts and plug them in, the hardest part is researching which parts are compatible with each other. In Stick building, you simply build the cabinet, buy the parts and plug them in, the hardest parts are building the cabinet and soldering components both of which are relatively easy skills to learn that seem difficult to the uninitiated.

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Alecthar wrote: »
    I found this (incredibly) old thread to be an enjoyable read as far as DIYing an arcade stick for modern consoles.

    Not exactly recent, obviously, but it includes what I assume is still some solid info about manufacturers of stick parts.

    Hey, I was about to post that!

    I'm thinking about building a second stick now that I know more about woodworking, and really doing it right this time, but I can never really find the time, and the old stick still works perfectly, so I can't really justify it.

    Daedalus on
  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I highly, highly recommend using Japanese parts over American-style ones, but it looks like you knew that already.

    shadydentist on
    Steam & GT
    steam_sig.png
    GT: Tanky the Tank
    Black: 1377 6749 7425
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid I didn't choose the tiki life, the tiki life chose me Inside a bottle of rumRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    And since we're on the topic of stick building:
    2011-05-26194244.jpg
    That's mah baby. I'm waiting very patiently for the new PS360+ PCB to come out so I can rip the old PS3 PCB out and have a full on dual mod.

    TOGSolid on
  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Working on a second stick now, not building from scratch as I live in an apartment so woodworking is kinda out.

    First stick is a MadCatz SFIV se stick i put all seimitsu parts in and replaced the art with something based off the neo-geo arcade control panel. I use this mainly for shooters. This also is a dual mod 360/MC cthluhu.

    Just picked up a MadCatz Marvel VS Capcom TE stick, leaving the sanwa stick, getting an octo gate for it, and replacing the buttons with seimitsu. The sanwa buttons trigger way too easily for my tastes.

    Got a replacement lexan panel coming for the top and going to do the artwork similar to the first stick but using the old street fighter 2/ capcom arcade control panel. Just need to find the vector images for it.

    Madpanda on
    camo_sig2.png
    Steam/PSN/XBL/Minecraft / LoL / - Benevicious | WoW - Duckwood - Rajhek
  • BeckBeck Registered User
    edited July 2011
    I'm just about to make my own Arcade stick, but I needed to ask you guys: Who makes the best parts for Shmups? I reckon an arcade stick that's built for Shmups will work just fine for Fighters, but a stick built for Fighters just doesn't do a good enough job for Shmups - it's just too slow.

    Also, where can I get graphics printed on strips of vinyl? I'm thinking I want to theme my Arcade stick with either Bangai-O or Ikaruga renders and artwork, and I like how soft vinyl feels against my wrist. I'm also considering printing on cloth and rubber, a kind of mousepad texture, but if I do that I think I'll have to make the stick totally plain. Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Beck on
    Lucas's Franklin Badge reflected the lightning back!
  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    According to Slagcoin, a Seimitsu LS-32 is recommended for shmups.

    http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/attributes_brands.html

    shadydentist on
    Steam & GT
    steam_sig.png
    GT: Tanky the Tank
    Black: 1377 6749 7425
  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Seconding the ls-32 for shmups. Also Seimitsu buttons.

    Sanwa buttons trigger with very little pressure, i usually have one finger on the bomb button for shmups so this is a problem for me. Seimitsu I have to actually press the button to fire.

    Madpanda on
    camo_sig2.png
    Steam/PSN/XBL/Minecraft / LoL / - Benevicious | WoW - Duckwood - Rajhek
Sign In or Register to comment.