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Author Topic: 4-way joystick shootout! (Leaf-Pro, Sanwa JLW, Ultrastik 360, Seimitsu LS-32-02)  (Read 18745 times)

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shponglefan

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On my quest to find the ideal 4-way joystick, I opted to just buy a handful and test them all out.  I thought this might be useful to other people hunting for a 4-way stick, so I decided to post the comparison here.  A couple caveats: 1) I have no formal measurement equipment (i.e. calipers), so I won't be measuring things like throw distance and so on.  And 2) I am mostly going on opinion here; joystick preference is a subjective thing and truly none of these sticks are bad sticks.  They are just different with individual strengths and weaknesses.

The four sticks are:

1) GGG Leaf-Pro
2) Sanwa JLW-TM-8
3) Ultrastik 360
4) Seimitsu LS-32-02

All sticks are using their respective 4-way restrictors.  For the Ultrastik 360, I am also using the stock spring.  I have the heavier spring, but have not tried it yet.  No other modifications were made to the sticks.

For mounting/testing, I rigged up a test setup as follows.  Left-to-right the GGG Leaf-Pro, Sanwa JLW, and Ultrastik 360:



The LS-32-02:



Here is a shot of the underside to see the respective differences in connections.  I measured the necessary diameter required for clearance on the underside of the panel: Leaf-Pro (5 1/2 inches), Sanwa JLW (5 inches), Ultrastik 360 (3 inches) and LS-32-02 (4 inches).  These measurements include the crimped wires.





GGG Leaf-Pro

The Leaf-Pro, as its moniker suggests, is a leaf-switch joystick.  It requires by far the most space under the panel due to the length of the switches.  I opted to try top-mounting it (as I did with all the sticks).  However, it uses a plastic base as opposed to a metal plate.  The plastic base is thicker (about ~1/4" or so), so it required a deeper recess for mounting than the metal plates of the other sticks.  I may try out undermounting this stick in the future.

Since it uses leaf switches, there is no "clicking" noises associated with typical joystick switches.  Operation is relatively quiet and smooth, although I found the restrictor provided a good degree of feedback as to differentiating between horz/vertical operation and the diagonals.  The spring wasn't too heavy and it had good return to center.  It felt like it had relatively short throw.

The Leaf-Pro joystick is available in either 8-way or 4-way versions, with the 4-way costing an extra $1.

Sanwa JLW-TM-8

The Sanwa JLW is a traditional Japanese stick.  It uses microswitches, which make an audible clicking noise when engaging switches for the respective directions.  It felt like it had a longer throw distance than the Leaf-Pro and also the heaviest spring of the bunch.  This seemed to give it an advantage in some games, while making it a chore to use in others.  The restrictor on the bottom allows for relatively quick changing between 4-way and 8-way operation.

Seimitsu LS-32-02

This is a favorite among shmup fans for its short throw/engage distance.  Having used it for a little while, I do recommend it for side-scrollers, beat-em-ups and shmups.  Basically anything with a lot of fast "back-and-forth" action.  I was curious how it would perform in 4-way games.  It includes a built-in restrictor that can be set for 8-way, 4-way or 2-way motion.

Like the Sanwa, it uses microswitches which make a loud clicking noise (the loudest of the bunch).  Unlike the Sanwa, however, the switches are soldered into a circuit board and a wiring harness is used instead of having to crimp/connect individual switches.  This reduces the spacing required for installation underneath the panel.

Ultrastick 360

This is the most expensive joystick of the bunch, but also the most unique.  It uses a magnetic sensor instead of switches for its operation.  It also includes a built-in interface (USB), with support for 8 buttons.

The nice thing about this stick is its ability to be directionally programmed.  It can be programmed to act as an 8-way stick, 4-way, 2-way, diagonal 4-way, or various other custom options.   A physical restrictor is therefore not required, although using one gives the stick more of a traditional joystick feel.  Without the restrictor it has the longest throw of the various sticks; I prefer it with a restrictor. 

It is the smallest of the sticks in terms of mounting diameter.  Therefore it would be well suited to space-restricted panels.

The 360 does not include restrictor plates; they are an optional add-on costing an extra $14 USD (above the $59 USD for the joystick).  I purchased the circular/4-way pack (there is also an octoganal option, which is a separate $14 purchase).  Installing the restrictor plate requires removing the existing mounting brackets for the circuit board, then installing the included metal posts with the restrictor plate, and then reinstalling the circuit board.

However, I ran into a couple issues.  Removing the existing brackets was no problem.  However, attempting to screw in the metal posts in their place was an issue.  Two of them screwed in with relatively little resistance.  One required using pliers to screw in.  And one refused to screw in at all.  I examined the threads on the one which did not screw in and realized they are bent.  Whether this was a result of my attempted installation or an issue with the original post, I am not sure.  However, I could not use all four posts.  As a result, I used another bolt I had on hand to secure the restrictor plate and then attached the circuit board with only the three metal posts and included plastic nuts.

The second issue I ran into was actually trying to fit the circuit board on the metal posts.  The holes on the board were too tight to slide over the posts.  As a result, I had to drill them ever so slightly before they would fit, albeit snuggly.

Now granted these issues were not insurmountable but they were a bit annoying.  Especially give the cost of the joystick and restrictor plates, which is far above and beyond the other joysticks.  The restrictor plate kit alone ($14) cost almost as much as the GGG Leaf-Pro ($19).



« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 12:13:47 am by shponglefan »

shponglefan

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Re: 4-way joystick shootout
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 10:07:25 pm »
Playtesting!

I decided to try out four different games: Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig-Dug and Rampage.  Even though Galaga is a 2-way and not 4-way game, since most people use 4-way joysticks with the classics, it would be good to see how it performed.  I didn't have any formal testing procedure.  I would load up a game and randomly switch joysticks during the play session, noting differences in play ability/feel.  I then ranked the joysticks in order of preference from favorite to least-favorite.

Ms. Pac-Man.



Ms. Pac-Man generally benefits from smooth, precise transitions in directions, particularly when cornering.  There are not a lot of back-and-forth direction changes.  Therefore a lot of movement is based around transitions from north/south to east/west.  For this game, I found the Ultrastik 360 was the best.  It's an extremely smooth stick and lacking switches, movement around corners felt extremely fluid. 

The Leaf-Pro felt similar to the 360.  Although I found the restrictor for the diagonals more pronounced on the Leaf-Pro, giving slightly less fluid movement than the 360.  The use of leaf-switches, however, meant it had the a similar feel in hitting the 4-way directions.

The Seimitsu LS-32-02 and Sanwa JLW felt less smooth going around corners.  The LS-32-02 wasn't bad, just not as fluid as either the Leaf-Pro or the 360.  And the JLW in particular, with its heavy spring, actually felt like a chore maneuvering Ms. Pac-Man around the maze.

1) Ultrastik 360
2) Leaf-Pro
3) Seimitsu LS-32-02
4) Sanwa JLW

Galaga.



Galaga only requires horizontal motion and therefore benefits from quick, precise, back and forth movements.  This is similar to motions in other shmups, so a stick like the LS-32-02 seemed like it would do well here.  And indeed it did.

The LS-32-02 was easily my favorite stick for Galaga.  I was able to precisely move my ship back and forth, dodging incoming baddies and projectiles.  It's short-throw/engage distances meant it took very little effort to quickly change direction when and where I wanted.

The Ultrastik 360 was next in line.  Its light spring meant it also moved easily back and forth.  Although with a longer throw distance it seemed less precise than the LS-32-02.  The Leaf-Pro was similar, although I found it a little stiffer than the 360, and as a result slower.

Last again was the Sanwa JLW; its heavy spring made for slower back-and-forth action and I did not find it as precise as the LS-32 or 360.

1) Seimitsu LS-32-02
2) Ultrastik 360
3) Leaf-Pro
4) Sanwa JLW

Dig Dug



I expected Dig Dug to play similarly to Ms. Pac-Man.  It's a game which requires you to navigate the underground, tunneling out a maze as you go.  Unlike Ms. Pac-Man, however, I've always found Dig Dug harder to control.  The game is "tile-based" meaning you have to fully enter an existing "tile" before you can turn in another direction.  As a result, I find myself sometimes trying to change direction prematurely.  This could just be my own poor playing style, as I don't have a whole lot of experience with this game.

Surprisingly my favorite stick for this game was the Sanwa JLW.  It could be that its heavier spring resulted in slower reactions, thus my premature direction changes were less pronounced.  The Leaf-Pro, was also a decent performed here, and feels a little heavier than the 360 or LS-32-02.

As the LS-32-02 and 360 are the lightest feeling sticks, they came in third and forth respectively.  I found navigating the little miner with the 360 resulted in too many premature attempts to change direction and poorer play.

Granted, over time I could probably adapt to the game and develop better control but for now, the Sanwa JLW was my favorite stick.

1) Sanwa JLW
2) Leaf-Pro
3) Seimitsu LS-32-02
4) Ultrastik 360

Rampage



Loved Rampage when I was a kid, so I was eager to see how these sticks performed.  Rampage benefits from short, precise, rapid changes in direction.  This includes when attempting to climb buildings, as well as punching in various directions.

Again, the Sanwa JLW proved my favorite stick.  I found that in Rampage, for whatever reason, I would move the stick less forcefully to change direction (compared to Ms. Pac-man).  So the JLW seemed to handle these shorter movements to change direction better than the others.

The Leaf-Pro was the runner up here.  Like the Sanwa, it benefits from quick changes to direction and being able to precisely transition.  The LS-32-02 did well, but the Leaf-Pro seemed to hit the direction changes a bit better.

Surprisingly, the 360 was not as ideal here.  Unlike a game like Ms.Pac-man, which benefits from a smooth transition from one direction to another, Rampage has more rapid back-and-forth changes in direction.  So I feel the longer throw of the 360 impeded my ability to precisely punch in a given direction.

1) Sanwa JLW
2) Leaf-Pro
3) Seimitsu LS-32-02
4) Ultrastik 360

Overall

It's hard to pick a clear-cut winner.  The Sanwa JLW did not feel ideal for some games, but exceled at others.  The Leaf-Pro was a relatively solid performer.  The LS-32-02 excelled at a shoot-em-up game, and was sufficient in the rest.  And the 360 offered one of the most fluid experiences playing Ms. Pac-man I've had.

They are all decent sticks.  I think choice will partially come down to personal preference; for example I'm not a huge fan of the heavier spring in the Sanwa JLW.  It felt like it would be more fatiguing in the long run.  I love the smooth feel of the 360 and the Leaf-Pro.  And the LS-32-02 is a favorite of mine for all sorts of gaming.

But if I had to pick one, I'd probably go with the Leaf-Pro.  While not the best nor least best, it was a good overall performer, suitable for a variety of games.  But if I was targeting a specific subset of games/genres, I would likely choose another stick.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 12:13:11 am by shponglefan »

shponglefan

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Re: 4-way joystick shootout
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 10:08:51 pm »
Additional playtesting!

I tested out a pair of additional 4-way games, Frogger and Donkey Kong.  And also, DonPachi.  Why DonPachi?  This was to test out the joysticks' 4-way performance and see how well they avoid hitting diagonals.

Frogger



Frogger is a bit of an odd-ball control-wise.  Unlike most games where you press-and-hold in the direction you want to move, Frogger only allows you to move a single step a time.  Therefore, gameplay involves a lot of short, fast joystick movements in order to leap from one square to the next.

For Frogger, the Leaf-Pro was the hands-down clear winner.  The short-throw coupled with the lack of "clicky" switches made Frogger an absolute joy to play with this stick.  It's almost hard to describe how fluid the game felt using this stick; it's like the Leaf-Pro was tailor made for Frogger.

My runner-up is the LS-32-02.  As with the Leaf-Pro, movement felt very fluid and responsive.  However, the constant "click, click, click" was a bit distracting compared to the blissful silence of the Leaf-Pro.

The Ultrastik 360 and the Sanwa JLW and  round out 3rd and 4th place respectively.  The longer throw of the 360 made it feel a bit clunky compared to the Leaf-Pro and LS-32-02.  And he heavier feel of the JLW made it a chore to use with the constant back-and-forth movement.

1) Leaf-Pro
2) Seimitsu LS-32-02
3) Ultrastik 360
4) Sanwa JLW

Donkey Kong



Donkey Kong requires a lot of back and forth walking, punctuated by short vertical movement as one traverses the various ladders in the game.  The game benefits from percision in being able to quickly transition from left-and-right, to up-and-down as one attempts to avoid the various hazards.  One major control point for me in this game was transitioning off the ladders; this seemed to be the area where the greatest percision was required in making sure 'jump man' didn't get stuck and then creamed by a barrel. 

My favorite for this game turned out to be the Ultrastik 360.  Something about the up-down to left-right transition was extremely fluid; it felt similar to how it played in Pac-Man. I was a little surprised given that I did not like this stick for Rampage.  But in Rampage much of the direction transitions involve going from left-right to up-down.  In this game, I felt it benefited more from the opposite.

The next three sticks might as well have been a three way tie.  To be honest, I prefer the LS-32-02 and JLW slighty more than the Leaf-Pro; but it's almost splitting hairs.  All of the joysticks performed reasonably well in Donkey Kong, and I don't feel there is truly a bad stick for this game.

1) Ultrastik 360
2) Seimitsu LS-32-02
3) Sanwa JLW
4) Leaf-Pro

DonPachi



As stated, the purpose of this game was simply to test out the 4-way performance of the sticks in an 8-way shooter.  Could the sticks trigger diagonals when pressed to do so?

For both the Leaf-Pro and the Sanwa JLW, the answer is "yes".  I could, if forcing the joystick to hold the diagonal trigger all 4 diagonals with both of these joysticks.  Now it wasn't easy to do so.  The physical restrictors do their job in providing the tactile feedback that something is 'wrong' in pressing the diagonals.  And the range in which one can hit a diagonal is relatively thin; in a typical 4-way game it's not likely to be an issue.  But with a little practice, I was able to move my little ship in the 8 directions DonPachi allowed.

Conversely, I could not trigger any of the diagonals with the LS-32-02.  Its restrictor performed admirably in keeping the directions locked to up, down, left and right.  I did do a "listen test" to hear the switches engage and disengage; to see how close it could come to triggering a diagonal.  For one direction (down-right), it was razor thin; with a different restrictor it's possible it would trigger that direction at least.

Obviously I did not test the 360.  The one advantage the 360 has over the other sticks is its programmable nature.  So if programmed to operate in only 4 directions, it will only ever operate in those directions.  In some ways, that gives it an advantage over sticks which rely purely on physical restriction.

Insofar as adjusting sticks to not trigger the diagonals, I have not tested that capability.  The Leaf-Pro appears to be easily adjustable, as per Randy's post.  The Sanwa JLW, probably less so.

Overall: Part 2

As with the prior testing, it's hard to pick a true winner.  I'd still go for the Leaf-Pro given it's well-rounded nature and admirable performance in any given game.  But truly any of these sticks would serve well as a dedicated 4-way joystick.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 10:54:24 pm by shponglefan »

edekoning

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Great write-up! Though you should change all the JLF references to JLW ;)

shponglefan

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Great write-up! Though you should change all the JLF references to JLW ;)

Oops, thanks for pointing that out!  Fixed!  :)

mgb

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Thanks for this review. It's very helpful.
I'd definitely like to try one of those leaf pros sometime.

I was a little surprised at the JLW coming in last most of the time. I would think the one advantage an unmodified JLW has over an unmodified u360 is that it has physical restriction.
To me, a 4 way should have that diamond pattern.
Though I am finding the throw on a JLW in 4 way is too long and I find it annoying on some games.
 
I think Dig dug was a great game for a 4 way test on but some of the other play testing was not, in my opinion the best test.
For 2 way games like galaga, I use my 8 way without issue. Though I see your point on the JLWs performance on this game while in 4 way.
  I find ms pacman to not be the best 4 way test because its possible to play ok in 8 way even.
  I'd be curious to see the test results for Nibbler, Frogger and Donkey Kong.

I actually find the stock JLW spring to be a little light but I'm starting to rethink the heavy spring in my JLW 4 way.

paigeoliver

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Was there a reason you limited yourself to Japanese style 4-way sticks?

The Happ Ms. Pac-Reunion stick and the Happ Universal both perform admirably as 4-way sticks and I would have loved to have seen them compared with these.
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shponglefan

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@mgb: Thanks for the feedback.  I did plan on testing out a few more games (hence I reserved the third post in this thread).  I may get that done later this week and such testing will likely include Donkey Kong and Frogger.

@paigeoliver: No specific reason.  I only purchased two sticks initially intended for 4-way testing (the Leaf-Pro and Sanwa JLW) simply because they were available from GGG and Ultrimarc.   I was ordering other parts from them, so adding those sticks to the order didn't add too much cost.

The 360 I had kicking around and thought it might be interesting to compare since it's the only "true" 4-way of the bunch (due to its digital setup).  And the LS-32 was an afterthought; I had a prototype shmup-stick already setup so it was easy enough to add to the mix.

I do want to try the Happ renunion stick, but the only retailer I've found which carries them (at least in Canada) is The Playdium Store.  But I haven't had any reason to order anything else from them, so I can't see myself ordering just that one stick.  Not sure about the Happ Universal; only seen it from Happ and I refuse to order directly from them again...

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One minor error in your review.

You did not test an LS-32.   :embarassed:



You tested an LS-32-01 or LS-32-02.



Paradise has replacement lever-arm microswitches for the LS-32/Zippyy that greatly reduce the clicking sounds. (GGG offers them with the Zippyy as an upgrade)

Seimitsu LS-32 and Zippyy Joystick upgrade kit



Scott

shponglefan

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One minor error in your review.

You did not test an LS-32.   :embarassed:

You tested an LS-32-01 or LS-32-02.

Whoops, you are correct.  I have ammended the review accordingly.  I've always just refered to them as "LS-32's", though, since LS-32-02 is a bit of a mouthful.  ;D

RandyT

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The 360 I had kicking around and thought it might be interesting to compare since it's the only "true" 4-way of the bunch (due to its digital setup).

Nice review, but I think this statement is worthy of some discussion :).  Why do you believe this is the only "true" 4-way you tested?

shponglefan

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Nice review, but I think this statement is worthy of some discussion :).  Why do you believe this is the only "true" 4-way you tested?

Because it is digitally programmable, it can be made never to go in a diagonal direction regardless of the physical restrictor.

In contrast, the rest of the sticks were using restrictors to avoid the diagonals.  But in in theory if you manage to trigger two switches, it's going to be interpreted as diagonal.

Maybe I should also note that I tested the robustness of the restrictors on all the sticks by playing some 8-way shmups.  I didn't notice any issues hitting diagonals with any of the sticks.  But prior to comparing them, I wasn't sure if that might be an issue or not.

RandyT

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Nice review, but I think this statement is worthy of some discussion :).  Why do you believe this is the only "true" 4-way you tested?

Because it is digitally programmable, it can be made never to go in a diagonal direction regardless of the physical restrictor.

In contrast, the rest of the sticks were using restrictors to avoid the diagonals.  But in in theory if you manage to trigger two switches, it's going to be interpreted as diagonal.

Maybe I should also note that I tested the robustness of the restrictors on all the sticks by playing some 8-way shmups.  I didn't notice any issues hitting diagonals with any of the sticks.  But prior to comparing them, I wasn't sure if that might be an issue or not.

What makes a joystick a "true" 4-way actually goes beyond the ability of the user to actuate diagonal directions.  In theory, nearly any joystick can be modified to only be able to hit one switch at a time.  The HAPP Super tries to do this, by using a smaller round actuator.  In practical terms, however, these arrangements do not offer true 4-way performance.  What makes a proper true 4-way is not only the inability of the user to actuate a diagonal, but also (and perhaps more importantly in terms of gameplay) the inability of the user to physically move the stick in a direction which represents those diagonal directions.  I.e. physical restriction.

A perfect example, again using the HAPP Super, is that the actuator can be flipped over so that it can only actuate one switch at a time.  But it is a very poor 4-way in that mode.  However, the addition of a restrictor plate, and a little tweaking, turns this into a very decent performing "true" 4-way stick.

Joysticks which limit actuation only electronically, or by the ability to actuate a single switch without physical restriction, are considered "pseudo-4-way".  This can be an improvement over 8-ways, depending on the stick/interface design.  This is not to detract from other advantages they may have in a given installation, only that they are not the ideal form.

mgb

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yeah, what Randy said.

I thought that statement about the 360 being the only true 4 way seemed a bit odd also.
 true 4 way comes by mechanical restriction not software.

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yeah, what Randy said.

I thought that statement about the 360 being the only true 4 way seemed a bit odd also.
 true 4 way comes by mechanical restriction not software.

Obviously his conception was of software before hardware, which is a little noob-ish.

My experience with the Happ re-issue is it blows chuncks. The shaft movement through the diamond restrictor felt like a trap; the corners suck you in and don't easily let you out. I can see why Randy made his corners rounded, and why others have modified the Zippy restrictor accordingly.
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g_block247

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so if you were building a custom 4 way only stick for strictly 4-way (and some 2 way) games (DK, DK Jr, Pacman/Ms Pacman, Dig Dug, Galaga/Galaxian/ Galaga 88, Tapper, Satan's Hollow, Rally-X/New Rally X, Popeye, Space Invaders- any version, Timber and any other key 4 and 2 way classics I left out) what would be your choice?

Or should I go with the Happ Ms Pac-Man reunion stick
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 08:25:08 pm by g_block247 »

yotsuya

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so if you were building a custom 4 way only stick for strictly 4-way (and some 2 way) games (DK, DK Jr, Pacman/Ms Pacman, Dig Dug, Galaga/Galaxian/ Galaga 88, Tapper, Satan's Hollow, Rally-X/New Rally X, Popeye, Space Invaders- any version, Timber and any other key 4 and 2 way classics I left out) what would be your choice?

Or should I go with the Happ Ms Pac-Man reunion stick
\

I went with the Happ Reunion Stick. No regrets.
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Gray_Area

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I'd go with Randy's (GGG) Leaf-Pro, or one of his other offerings that allows his true 4-way restrictor. Or try a Zippy and mod the restrictor.
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mgb

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I tried a couple of Zippyys and modified the restrictors. to me personally, they felt sloppy.

shponglefan

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What makes a joystick a "true" 4-way actually goes beyond the ability of the user to actuate diagonal directions.  In theory, nearly any joystick can be modified to only be able to hit one switch at a time.  The HAPP Super tries to do this, by using a smaller round actuator.  In practical terms, however, these arrangements do not offer true 4-way performance.  What makes a proper true 4-way is not only the inability of the user to actuate a diagonal, but also (and perhaps more importantly in terms of gameplay) the inability of the user to physically move the stick in a direction which represents those diagonal directions.  I.e. physical restriction.

Fair enough, I can accept this.  But, my original comment was made in the context of the failure of the restrictor to prevent actuation of multiple switches.

I've since performed some more rigorous testing and two of the joysticks I've tested (the Leaf-Pro and the Sanwa JLW) can trigger multiple switches.  Granted the range in which both switches activate is very narrow; in practice it likely wouldn't be noticed.  But that's where I wonder about labeling a "4-way" stick as a true 4-way stick in the event the restrictor fails to do its job.  With something like the U360, it's otherwise impossible to use it diagonally (based on how I have it programmed) even if the restrictor would otherwise allow for that.  So to me it's more of a true 4-way stick in that regard, because it can never be used in any other fashion.  But the point about the restrictor being part of the equation is certainly true as well.

At any rate, I'll probably post a more formal update re: this testing, at some point in the future.

mgb

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in your tests, you found that the JLW  will hit diagonals in 4-way mode?
I have tested this specifically and have not been able to hit diagonals.
I know the JLF will hit diagonals but I have never found this on the JLW.

RandyT

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I've since performed some more rigorous testing and two of the joysticks I've tested (the Leaf-Pro and the Sanwa JLW) can trigger multiple switches.  Granted the range in which both switches activate is very narrow; in practice it likely wouldn't be noticed.  But that's where I wonder about labeling a "4-way" stick as a true 4-way stick in the event the restrictor fails to do its job.

Here's something to keep in mind;  a stick like the Leaf-Pro has the ability to have a moderate, very tiny, or none whatsoever crossover between the switches.  That is the beauty of a true, leaf-switch based stick.  The switches can be easily tuned to the builder's preference.  The trade-off on crossover size is sensitivity.  When I build one, I try to adjust them to be right at the point where one switch disengages and the other engages.  This keeps separation of the directions, while providing the best performance.  But they are adjusted quickly, and tuned visually, as it is expected that builders will likely tweak them to meet their expectations.   If you have been able to hit a diagonal with the Leaf-Pro within a very narrow field (which, as you noted, likely will not affect gameplay, as the transition occurs in a split second) then you simply need to do a very minor adjustment of the switches.  To do this, you would simply flex the blade furthest from the actuator out just a tiny bit.  With just a few minutes worth of tweaking, you will get the perfect balance of "no diagonals" and high-sensitivity, or increased sensitivity coupled with the the smallest diagonal zones acceptable which doesn't affect 4-way gameplay.

As you might be able to tell from your testing, and what I wrote above, the 4-way physical restriction is actually more important than the ability to consciously and forcibly register a diagonal in a non-gaming test.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 12:37:52 am by RandyT »

Desdinova

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Great point by RandyT there! A pinball leaf adjuster tool comes in quite useful for such tinkering.

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1518

Chris John Hunter

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I would like to see how a Happ Competition goes against a Happ Ultimate.

I have Happ Competition for one of mine. I was recommended that they were better than Ultimates.
They were exactly the same price so i'd be interested in a comparison. I am more than happy with the Competition for the price I paid.  :cheers:
CJ

ramos8414

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I would like to see how a Happ Competition goes against a Happ Ultimate.

I have Happ Competition for one of mine. I was recommended that they were better than Ultimates.
They were exactly the same price so i'd be interested in a comparison. I am more than happy with the Competition for the price I paid.  :cheers:
CJ

Happ competitions are a lot better.

mgb

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I would like to see how a Happ Competition goes against a Happ Ultimate.

I have Happ Competition for one of mine. I was recommended that they were better than Ultimates.
They were exactly the same price so i'd be interested in a comparison. I am more than happy with the Competition for the price I paid.  :cheers:
CJ

It's really not in the scope of this thread because this thread is about a 4 way shootout and the comps are not 4 way at all, but my understanding is that the Ultimates are garbage.
I don't currently use comps but I used to and I like them.

Chris John Hunter

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Quote
It's really not in the scope of this thread because this thread is about a 4 way shootout and the comps are not 4 way at all, but my understanding is that the Ultimates are garbage. I don't currently use comps but I used to and I like them.
Fair point.

Quote
Quote
Happ competitions are a lot better.


Thank you :D 

That guy loves the word Garbage. Its Rubbish! But seriously its what you pay for.
The Euro is an extra 10 in the UK which is funny because Spain isn't that far from the UK. I'll stick with the Comps for now. I think its all about do I have an issue with buying a new Joystick every year or so?
No. I remember when I had a C64 and Amiga, I used to break joysticks on a regular basis.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 03:40:57 am by Chris John Hunter »

mgb

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If you really wanna compare two happ sticks, I'd compare the comp to a super.

shponglefan

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*bump* A much overdo update with some additional playtesting.  See post #3 in the thread.

mgb

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Great write up.
I like that you added some more testing and I agree with what you wrote about Frogger. I play Frogger with a JLW in 4-way mode and its not great.
also I see you found the JLW to be able to hit diagonals if really pushed. I recently found on my jlw, just the other day that I was able to hit diags in an 8 way game if I really tried.
But like you said, it doesn't really get in the way in a 4-way game.

Thanks again for a thorough write up. I'm sure many will find it helpful.

shponglefan

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Just out of curiosity I decided to "score" the joysticks based on the rankings.  1st place - 3 points, 2nd place - 2 points, 3rd place - 1 point.  Highest possible score is 18.

Scores were as follows:

GGG Leaf-Pro - 10
Seimitsu LS-32-02 - 10
Ultrastik 360 - 9
Sanwa JLW - 7

It's darned close.  Just goes to show these are all good sticks.  ;D

shponglefan

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Great write up.
I like that you added some more testing and I agree with what you wrote about Frogger. I play Frogger with a JLW in 4-way mode and its not great.
also I see you found the JLW to be able to hit diagonals if really pushed. I recently found on my jlw, just the other day that I was able to hit diags in an 8 way game if I really tried.
But like you said, it doesn't really get in the way in a 4-way game.

Thanks again for a thorough write up. I'm sure many will find it helpful.

Thanks for the kind words and glad you appreciate it!   :cheers:

Unstupid

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I just wanted to add that I'd defend shponglefan's statement that the u360 is the only true 4 way joystick.  In theory, it is the only joystick that will actuate only 1 direction or the other as you transition from say, for example, right to up and it will never not actuate a specific direction.  Now lets look at a 4 way joystick that uses a restrictor plate.  No matter how finely tuned the restrictor plate is there will either be overlap (when both directions are being actuated) or there will be a point when neither switch is actuated (lets call this underlap even though that's not a real word).  Now this moment of overlap or underlap may be a fraction of a millisecond as you transition from one direction to another, and it may be indiscernible, but it is there. 

What i won't defend is shponglefan's review scores, because those are totally wrong, and the JLW is the best 4 way stick period!   :D

RandyT

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I just wanted to add that I'd defend shponglefan's statement that the u360 is the only true 4 way joystick.  In theory, it is the only joystick that will actuate only 1 direction or the other as you transition from say, for example, right to up and it will never not actuate a specific direction.

Using that same logic, a chip solution attached to any 8-way switch based stick can do the same thing.  But that doesn't mean it will work any better as a 4-way just because it behaves this way.

Unstupid

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I just wanted to add that I'd defend shponglefan's statement that the u360 is the only true 4 way joystick.  In theory, it is the only joystick that will actuate only 1 direction or the other as you transition from say, for example, right to up and it will never not actuate a specific direction.

Using that same logic, a chip solution attached to any 8-way switch based stick can do the same thing.  But that doesn't mean it will work any better as a 4-way just because it behaves this way.
I'm not speaking towards performance, I'm just pointing out the fact that "only" digital sticks can be true 4-way sticks.

ramos8414

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I just wanted to add that I'd defend shponglefan's statement that the u360 is the only true 4 way joystick.  In theory, it is the only joystick that will actuate only 1 direction or the other as you transition from say, for example, right to up and it will never not actuate a specific direction.

Using that same logic, a chip solution attached to any 8-way switch based stick can do the same thing.  But that doesn't mean it will work any better as a 4-way just because it behaves this way.
I'm not speaking towards performance, I'm just pointing out the fact that "only" digital sticks can be true 4-way sticks.

So, you dont think an original pacman joystick is a true 4 way?

Unstupid

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I just wanted to add that I'd defend shponglefan's statement that the u360 is the only true 4 way joystick.  In theory, it is the only joystick that will actuate only 1 direction or the other as you transition from say, for example, right to up and it will never not actuate a specific direction.

Using that same logic, a chip solution attached to any 8-way switch based stick can do the same thing.  But that doesn't mean it will work any better as a 4-way just because it behaves this way.
I'm not speaking towards performance, I'm just pointing out the fact that "only" digital sticks can be true 4-way sticks.

So, you dont think an original pacman joystick is a true 4 way?
No, as you rotate the joystick around the perimeter, (depending on the actuator which theoretically cant be perfect) will actually respond with diagonals or it will return a "no direction" however brief that time may be.   Do this, go to a light switch in your house that has 2 light switches.  turn one light off and one light on. Now switch the lights turning the one that was on off and the one that was off on.  At one point (even if .00001/1second) you had either both lights on or both lights off. 

RandyT

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I'm not speaking towards performance, I'm just pointing out the fact that "only" digital sticks can be true 4-way sticks.

To be perfectly factual, even a 4-way is actually a 5-way, as "no direction" or "center" is also a valid and necessary function.  In that sense, digital and switch based 4-way sticks are equal, and it is only the behavior which is different.

Unstupid

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I'm not speaking towards performance, I'm just pointing out the fact that "only" digital sticks can be true 4-way sticks.

To be perfectly factual, even a 4-way is actually a 5-way, as "no direction" or "center" is also a valid and necessary function.  In that sense, digital and switch based 4-way sticks are equal, and it is only the behavior which is different.
Yea but we are only talking about actuated directions else all 8 ways would be 9 if you count the "no direction".

RandyT

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Yea but we are only talking about actuated directions else all 8 ways would be 9 if you count the "no direction".

49-way joysticks would also be 48-ways, if you didn't ;)

Bambam1963

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I would like to see how a Happ Competition goes against a Happ Ultimate.

I have Happ Competition for one of mine. I was recommended that they were better than Ultimates.
They were exactly the same price so i'd be interested in a comparison. I am more than happy with the Competition for the price I paid.  :cheers:
CJ

Happ competitions are a lot better.


So is the joystick that you are referring to in your video an IL Compact or IL Euro?
I am an oldie, who used to troll here years ago.  Now I am back to tweak my machine and help a friend build his.

chopperthedog

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Nice write up. Been after a good 4 way for a wood panel for some time. I tried a JLF, leaf pro, zippy and some mike's arcade special thingy just to see what they were like and all of them had something that annoyed me to the point I never used them after installing and testing. Paige is real good at pushing the reunion stick, but those are super short and meant for metal panels only. Stumbled upon the tornado terry custom reunion stick last week (not sure how I missed it this whole time) and ordered one up. It has been installed in my panel for about 3 days and I so wish this was my first and only 4 way stick I ordered. I did change out the loud ass cherry's for some quiet zippy's, other than that the stick is perfect and I love it.

http://www.tornadoterrys.com/surplus.htm Scroll down til you see the Ms. Pac-man logo.
 

good day.

mgb

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I recently just tried a reunion stick at an arcade and it was quite perfect to me. But yes, it was mounted in metal.

DeLuSioNal29

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I recently just tried a reunion stick at an arcade and it was quite perfect to me. But yes, it was mounted in metal.
I've used both the wood (shown in the video below) and the metal for Tornado Terry's stick (on my vertical arcade) and I love both of them.
Wood:
Ms. Pacman Replica Stick


Metal:
מ


DeLuSioNaL29
Stop by my Youtube channel and leave a comment:

time to give up

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Thank you so much for this shootout!  I've been suffering with a JLW (especially on Ms. Pac-Man), and all I could ever find prior to your review were lots of people saving that it's the best.  At first I thought mine had bad microswitches, until I changed my technique and started sliding from one corner to the next to make turns.  But turning that way hurts my (already injured) left hand, because it has to be pushed hard into the new corner to be sure that the turn happens.  Sometimes I have to slam it hard enough that I can hear the case creak--  but anything less and I risk losing a life.

I think I'm just going to get a Leaf Pro instead.  So much easier.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 01:48:31 pm by time to give up »

chopperthedog

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Disregard my post up a couple spots. Was able to snag a 4 way wico leaf stick 3 months ago. It Became quickly clear that all the other sticks I've tried were a complete waste of time and money.


good day.

  
 

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