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Author Topic: Joystick, button, TB. Spinner brand recommendations?  (Read 282 times)

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paulwgraber

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Joystick, button, TB. Spinner brand recommendations?
« on: July 29, 2020, 11:31:01 pm »
Any brand recommendations for the above?

Also are competition sticks better or red ball top?

Thx
PG

Drnick

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Re: Joystick, button, TB. Spinner brand recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 12:37:40 pm »

[Sarcasm] Red Ball tops,  definitely red ball tops,  They beat all other joysticks hands down [/Sarcasm]

You are going to have to be a lot more specific. at least when it comes to Joystick and buttons,  What games do you want to play, do you prefer old 4 way classic games, 8 way fighters, Twitchy Shmups?  Different games require differing controls to get the best/most realistic to original.   80's = Leaf Joysticks and Buttons,  90's usually Microswitch.

At least its slightly simpler for trackball and spinner,  Utrak or Happ for the trackball and Ultimarc Spintrak or GGG TurboTwist for the spinner.

mahuti

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Re: Joystick, button, TB. Spinner brand recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2020, 03:23:42 pm »
In my experience, I find little difference in trackball or spinner brands. Unless you're into something real specific like the massive trackball in Missile Command, or the geared-up Arkanoid spinner the rest are all pretty close in my opinion. Last time I got a trackball it was from Ultimarc and it does what you expect. I've got spinners from GGG, Ultimarc, and the long-gone Oscar Controls and they all do the job. There used to be some argument about spin times and stuff, but in my opinion differences are super minor. Basically I judge things as minor by this measure: if someone gave me something for free, would I use it, or hate it so bad I still wouldn't use it. Major brand trackballs and spinners fall into that "yup good enough" category.

As for joysticks, I do have some free stuff that I still won't use. Personally, I prefer the Ultimarc U360 with the heavier spring add-on for my wider range panel.  No clicks, but I like the flexibility and dynamic nature of it. Even with the spring upgrade, that stick is definitely still way, way too soft. I like mechanical sticks better over all, but they can't handle something like Sinistar, Pigskin or QBert (unless turned obviously)

I personally like really clicky short 4-way ball-tops (yes, red ball tops) like those found on Ms. Pac Man for maze games and things like Galaga. For fighting games, I prefer a stick with a longer throw, longer handle and sharp corners.

I've never loved leaf switches for joysticks, but I do like that they're silent with some bounce when used with buttons. Clicky buttons get annoying pretty quick in my opinion, and some microswitches have an especially annoying "twang" which gets old real fast.

Anyway, GroovyGameGear is closed right now and the add-to-cart functions are disabled until August 24th, 2020 for vacation. If you want some stuff soon, you'll likely want to focus on products from Happ or Ultimarc. 
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Howard_Casto

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Re: Joystick, button, TB. Spinner brand recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2020, 03:40:26 pm »
What he said... all good advice.  I agree, leaf switch joysticks suck.... they are ok for shooters and brawlers/beat em ups though.  In general bat tops are for fighters and ball tops are for everything else.... you can get away with using a bat-top for other games but the inverse isn't necessarily true... at least if you are used to 'merican cabinets.  As to which specific joysticks that's personal preference.  I tend to stick to happ joysticks for fighters and it really doesn't matter that much to me in regards to other games. 

Spinners are spinners.... ask yourself "does it spin freely?" if the answer is yes then it's probably alright.  Mame has adjustment settings so the tooth count and all that jazz isn't super important like it was in the past.  If you are trying to replicate a specific game exactly ymmv of course. 

As for trackballs I think the size of the ball is more important than the brand... do you want small, standard or ridiculous (Missile Command) size?  Most people go with a standard 2.5"  3" trackball and it's about right.  If you are building a smaller cabinet you might want smaller and if you are building your cab specifically for some of the older games like Missile Command then you might want a big boy 4.5"
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 05:17:54 pm by Howard_Casto »

mahuti

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Re: Joystick, button, TB. Spinner brand recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2020, 06:26:46 pm »
Quote
As for trackballs I think the size of the ball is more important than the brand

Yeah. Spot on.

It's funny, I have a 2.5" trackball and a 3" trackball. When I look at the 2.5, I think "man that's really small" and when I look at the 3" I think "man that's really big", but there's not an enormous difference really. Both take up about the same room below and above my control panel due to the size of the mounting plate... if you have a metal control panel, you wouldn't need a mounting plate, and the 2.5" would take up far less room.

Without comparing them side-by-side at the same time, I don't feel any particular visceral reaction during gameplay. That said, in my opinion, the heft and the sound of the 3" feels more legit than the 2.5", and it looks awesome lit up from below with LEDs and a translucent ball. Unless space is a consideration the 3" wins out for me.
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