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Author Topic: An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?  (Read 752 times)

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ZProtoss

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An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« on: June 28, 2003, 11:18:22 pm »

        Alright, to start off I'll be blunt, I'm a complete and utter newbie to building anything of the caliber that I've been reading about on the website. Honestly, the only thing I really want to make/have is a decent quality arcade joystick controller that'd work well for mame fighting games online. 8-10 buttons + 1 joystick. The only thing is, anything premade costs a fortune (and from what I've read isn't nearly as high quality as building it yourself), and the instructions for building something like this are fairly confusing to me.

       So I guess I'm asking for recommendations on what to do :)

ZProtoss

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Re:An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2003, 11:50:36 pm »
     Just reading older forum posts, I do have one more specific question. I was reading about this cards which would replace the need for breaking open an old keyboard/etc. Do these also eliminate the need for soldering? I don't think I'd have too much of a problem buying that + the controls then making a joystick case. My main issue would be doing soldering, since I don't have any tools to do it or any experience.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2003, 12:02:51 am by ZProtoss »

jakejake28

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Re:An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2003, 12:14:44 am »
with the ipac you do not need to solder, just attach a female quick disconnect to the microswitch on the buttons and joysticks, crimp a wire in it, and screw the other end into the ipac. it should not take more than 15 min to hook up a 1-joystick 8-button cab. limitation is only 8-buttons per player
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ZProtoss

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Re:An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2003, 12:24:03 am »

    Ah I see. I realized that a bit after my post just by doing searching. I know alot of people here build huge cabinets, 4 player systems/etc. I take it though something like an ipac or a keywiz would be fine for a 1 player arcade stick. In the end wouldn't it actually be cheaper (and higher quality), to buy the parts seperately and put it together?

ZProtoss

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Re:An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2003, 12:29:12 am »
What's personally scary to me by the way, I was considering buying an x-arcade stick until I came across this website and these forums via a google search. From what I've read it sounds like not only is something like the x-arcade overpriced, but has cheap/junky parts in it as well.  Actually, before I found this website I had no clue there were such varying levels of quality in controllers :)

ZProtoss

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Re:An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2003, 01:23:06 am »

     Ok next question. How much will a 1 player arcade controller run me if I go the ipac/keywiz route. Taking in case cost, pcb board cost, and 8 push buttons/stick. Basically if anyone who's done this before can make me a simple list of what to get and a ballpark cost that'd be fantastic :)

AlanS17

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Re:An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2003, 01:38:23 am »
The largest cost is in tools - not materials. You'll need a jigsaw, a drill, and depending on how nice you want this thing to be - a router or dremel.

You add together and it'll come out to over $100.


CthulhuLuke

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Re:An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2003, 01:49:42 am »
$5 Sidewinder - http://shop.store.yahoo.com/surpluscomputers/micsidjoy.html      Extremely easy to hack, the pcb has predrilled test holes for the buttons, and the joysticks have big contact points to solder to.
$9.50 Happ Super Joysticks Black
http://www.therealbobroberts.com/     The best joysticks in my opinion because they have a very smooth circular feel, and they're very responsive.  Bad 4-way conversion though, but you can get restrictor plates if you want that.
$11.60 Happs horizontal pushbuttons x 8
http://www.therealbobroberts.com/     The best feeling pushbuttons in my opinion, you got 6 for the basic 2x3 layout, and the 2 others for start and select, or coin and 1p start.
$20  wires, solder, female quick disconnects, terminal strips,  all stuff you can pick up at radioshack and any automobile store like Shucks.
$30   for the wood, semi-gloss polyurethane, paint, screws, wood glue, assuming you already have all the tools needed.  You can pick that up at any hardware store, very easy to find stuff, and its a good idea if you're making a single joystick control panel to make the wood on the top thinner than the rest, or get a router so you can make the joystick higher to the top, so the shaft is nice and long *no pun intended.*  If you want the wood to be nice and shiny and scratch resistant, it takes about a month of coating the surface first with primer, then with black paint, sand it, spray again, sand again, repeat bout 4 times, then do the same with polyurethane till its a shiny coat.
   And always overcompensate what you think its gonna cost, so I'd say you're gonna have a grand total of $80 for a home made joystick, you could easily go under this if you found cheap wood, went with contact paper, got a good deal on wiring equipment or had it already, etc.  If you're only making a single control panel, I wouldn't suggest a full blown I-pac or Keywiz, because they are intended for a 2 player control panel, and all those empty slots to me seems like a waste of money.
      -Good Luck

armad1ll0

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Re:An easy/cheap way to have an arcade joystick?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2003, 04:44:25 am »
Hmmm you may also forget shipping for so many individual parts.

I've sold joysticks to people for as little as $70 to an average of about $90~

I start with the Redoctane case which is a $30 joystick with bad parts. I swap in Happ arcade parts that drop right in... bobroberts is the same.

I then swap the PCB board and am good to go.

I think that this is the cheapest/easiest you can find. One conversion normally takes no more than an hour or two.

Many may criticize (snaaa..) this cheap way to get people into joysticks but it beats my $150-200 scratch built ones that are really nice!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2003, 04:46:03 am by armad1ll0 »