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Author Topic: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?  (Read 2047 times)

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TurboC--

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Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« on: December 29, 2021, 01:35:06 pm »
I used to own a genuine restored Pac-man cabinet, but had to sell it years back. Now I miss being able to play Pac-Man / Galaga and similar with the authentic control.

I've been looking on amazon and similar at the available PC "arcade joysticks" but I have no idea what's good. I certainly do not want anything clicky, or junky. I'm looking for whatever options are as close as possible to the feel and precision of the 4-way leaf switch Pac-man control, without being super expensive. I have to imagine I'd need a quality 4-way leaf-switch. Can anyone give me a rundown of the best options for this?

Phreakwars

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2021, 02:21:44 pm »
I'm kind of a fan of Tornado Terry's 4 way stick. My son (Pacman fanatic) swears by them. Not true leaf switch, but it does have a nice design. https://www.ebay.com/itm/260538111712?hash=item3ca94816e0:g:VqgAAOSwo7RhRRqW

TurboC--

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2021, 05:38:56 pm »
Thanks. Interesting information on the ebay link. But, it's about $30 for just a bare joystick. I'd have to mount it, and hook that into what, like an iPac or whatever the equivalent is for PC?

If I'm just going for a bare joystick, why not go for an actual Pac-man / Ms. Pac Man / etc 4-way with real leaf switches? Are those too expensive or impossible to find now? I had gotten a genuine one for my cabinet, but yeah that was 16 years ago so...

Alternately if I want to buy a ready-made stick+buttons that I can simply plug into my PC, is there really nothing available that is really like the pac-man joystick?

Phreakwars

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2021, 09:11:10 pm »
You can get them but from what I remember kind of pricey. Maybe someone might have a link to some cheaper ones but I wouldn't count on it honestly

TurboC--

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2022, 06:45:38 am »
So if I got the Tornado Terrys for $30, and just wanted to mount like, that 1 stick and a reasonable amount of buttons, to a fairly minimal arcade control to put on my PC desk. How would I do all that? Would it need an ipac for connecting to the PC? Are there any kits?

SORHP

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2022, 11:36:17 am »
Games: Super Punch Out, Fix It Felix Jr, DK, DKjr, DK3, PC10, UMK3, TRON, MS-Pac, Pac, Centipede (2x), Robotron, Galaga, Space Invaders, Street Fighter 2 CE, X-Men vs SF, BuckHunter HD, 2X Custom Vewlix, Custom Nintendo VS 3/4, Atomiswave

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2022, 03:42:11 pm »
So if I got the Tornado Terrys for $30, and just wanted to mount like, that 1 stick and a reasonable amount of buttons, to a fairly minimal arcade control to put on my PC desk. How would I do all that? Would it need an ipac for connecting to the PC? Are there any kits?

You need:
-Joystick
-Buttons
-Control interface
-Box to put it all in

If you don't want to mess with arduino board building/programming for your interface then GroovyGameGear and Ultimarc have everything you need in various designs of things that just work.
And work well.
Easy to set up and great quality product and support from both places.

Joystick and button switches get wired to interface, interface board will plug into the PC via USB.
Easy.

Have you read through the wiki here?
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

Phreakwars

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2022, 01:34:31 pm »
These quick reflex turns you see going on in the video, is my son playing on Tornado Terry 4 way sticks. Try doing that!!


Phreakwars

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2022, 01:37:11 pm »
More Tornado Terry action:


bobbyb13

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2022, 02:03:48 pm »
That's impressive stuff.
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

TurboC--

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2022, 05:58:02 am »
I had restored and converted an authentic Pac Man cabinet in 2005. Back then I was lucky to get donated a real Pac-Man joystick for which I refurbished the stem of the stick. I used an i-Pac at that time. It was easy to wire in the joystick and buttons. But it's over 16 years later. Didn't know what people used for the interface now.

Honestly, I'm quite dismayed that I can't simply go onto Amazon and buy a really good Pac-man arcade stick for a reasonable price, to just plug into my PC, instead of going through another "project." I guess the market for true Pac-man control isn't enough for them to mass produce anything good.

Are there any kits that would simply work with the Tornado Terry stick, mounting it easily, without me having to be some kind of craftsman / woodsmith? Also does the Tornado Terry have good reliability, and how much total cost am I looking at? TBH being 16 years older now, I'm really just over putting in a ton of effort for this. Especially since I worked for 3 months restoring the old cabinet. I just wanted to play a little Pac-man.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2022, 06:02:07 am by TurboC-- »

Phreakwars

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2022, 12:05:54 pm »
Personally I liked the old Silk sticks and tank sticks they used to sell. Used to have one, it was purple, can't remember the name. Bad ass but 8 way. Yeah, you pretty much need to just build your own control panel if you want it done right. Some use those cheap encoders I prefer the iPac since the iPac was something I used over 20 years ago. I was one of the first to get one. You see alot of commercialized arcade sticks now, but yeah, have yet to see one that compares to a home built one in terms of functionality and game play, but they look cool... I guess

bobbyb13

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2022, 12:53:53 pm »
It's a 40 year old game which uses tech the world has largely walked away from.
You are going to have to engineer, fabricate, or at least assemble something.

It's fun.
Stop resisting.

Buy an I-pac and that stick and make yourself a control panel.

If you restored a cabinet then this is easy stuff.
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2022, 07:59:26 am »
Are there any kits that would simply work with the Tornado Terry stick, mounting it easily, without me having to be some kind of craftsman / woodsmith? Also does the Tornado Terry have good reliability, and how much total cost am I looking at? TBH being 16 years older now, I'm really just over putting in a ton of effort for this. Especially since I worked for 3 months restoring the old cabinet. I just wanted to play a little Pac-man.

Unfortunately, most pre-built control panels these days come fitted with Japanese style joysticks (i.e. Sanwa, Seimitsu, or Chinese clones). There's nothing wrong with Japanese sticks, actually they're rather nice. But they generally feel very different to the types of joystick that were fitted to Pacman arcade cabinets, even when they're used with a diamond shaped restrictor.

Most of the Pacman style joysticks still made today are based around the Happ/IL standard which requires more space under the control panel.

If you don't want to build your own panel, then I'd be inclined to consider buying an Atari Arcade Fightstick.

https://www.amazon.com/Fightstick-Joystick-Controller-Raspberry-Trackball/dp/B089B6N6NB?th=1

They come fitted with clones of the Happ Super joysticks. So it's highly likely that you'll be able to swap one of the joysticks out for a Happ Reunion stick, or a Tornado Terry stick.

An X-Arcade panel might be another option. But personally, I think the Atari Arcade Fightstick looks nicer.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 08:01:27 am by Grasshopper »
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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2022, 04:33:08 am »
$142 for that panel plus $30 for each tornado terry stick, plus having to modify it?  :dizzy:

Nahhhh.

I saw that someone built an entire portable arcade with raspberry pi, case, display and controls for like $250.

Reallllly just wanted a decent little pac-man stick for my PC. I should just give up and plug in my old Wico leaf-switch stick through an atari 2600 adapter.

I had actually built an adapter for A2600 -> PC joystick port, maybe 20 years ago. But modern PCs don't have joyports, and I don't know if I trust my circuitry, heh.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2022, 04:35:41 am by TurboC-- »

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2022, 06:43:26 am »
Quote
Are there any kits that would simply work with the Tornado Terry stick, mounting it easily, without me having to be some kind of craftsman / woodsmith? Also does the Tornado Terry have good reliability, and how much total cost am I looking at? TBH being 16 years older now, I'm really just over putting in a ton of effort for this. Especially since I worked for 3 months restoring the old cabinet. I just wanted to play a little Pac-man.

I don't think there's an easy way around it.  Either get a pac-man joystick like tornado terry's, figure out how to mount it and wire it up....  or just admit defeat and use a wireless gamepad.  Depends how bad you want it.

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2022, 06:30:49 pm »
time to hack a KEYBOARD to play just your PACMAN.
Get a 4-way stick, hack and old keyboard and wire it up.

Thenasty's Arcademania Horizontal/Vertical setup.
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=26696.0

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TurboC--

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2022, 10:51:19 pm »
"Really wanna play that PS4? Gotta build your own controller"

Phreakwars

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Re: Best options for Pac-Man type joystick for PC?
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2022, 11:22:00 pm »
Oh snap, I totally remember what that joystick was called I used back in the day. It was the Hotrod SE https://www.ebay.com/itm/194463418003?hash=item2d46ec4693:g:NtsAAOSwqEJhdcN4 It uses Happ style joysticks and if you don't mind tearing it apart, the Tornado Terry sticks swap right in. Of course, back then, the Hotrod SE ran on I believe serial port or PS2. Loved that stick. I'm a right handed (pac-genre) player as is my son, so I had my Hotrod configured with a Tornado Terry on the right joystick, and the standard happ 8 way on the left. I sold mine off after I bought the new house and had room to make an arcade room with controls the way I like on my cabs. But still, loved that Hotrod SE. I linked to one I found on eBay as you can see (though not the SE version). Like I said though, NOT USB, but honestly, would really not take much to pull out the encoder and swap in an iPac, and do like I said I did on my old one, swap out one of the sticks for a Tornado Terry. Then you get both a dedicated Pacman genre stick, and an 8 way for that genre. I mean, otherwise, building your own control panel really isn't as hard as you might think and honestly is not expensive if you don't mind fabbing your own. Myself I suck at woodwork, can barely assemble IKEA crap, so I had my local cabinet company do the cuts for me and pre drill holes. The rest is simple (to me anyways) electrical hookup and screwing down a couple buttons and joystick.

time to hack a KEYBOARD to play just your PACMAN.
Get a 4-way stick, hack and old keyboard and wire it up.
HEEHEE, reminds me of the good ole' days before Andy came out with the iPac. Great way to brush up on soldering practice.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2022, 11:27:54 pm by Phreakwars »