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DIY Joystick Links?
July 20, 2009 10:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm building my own arcade joystick, and I could use some internet resources.

I'd like to build my own arcade joystick - primarily for use on a PC MAME system. Unfortunately, I'm having problems finding decent resources on the internets. I know of suppliers - Happ & Lizard Lick for parts - but am otherwise shady on do-it-yourself instructions. Lots of links I've found on old MAME forums are old and broken.

Details on wiring, setup, design, parts - all of that would be super helpful. Although I am not mechanically or electronically inclined, but I'm good at following diagrams. Note that I am considering mapping the joysticks a USB board, but the keyboard PCB seems to be the standard.

If you have any knowledge on the topic, or can show me where to find it - deepest gratitude. Thanks for your links and help!
posted by jabberjaw to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was JUST looking at this stuff the other day. Here's the links I found.

http://buildahomearcade.com/
http://arcadecontrols.com/arcade.htm
http://www.webbpickersgill.com/mame/
http://www.tmsoft.com/article-arcade.htm
posted by TomMelee at 11:01 AM on July 20, 2009


Check out the Tech Talk forums on Shoryuken.com those dudes know anything and everything about sticks. Link
posted by theDrizzle at 11:03 AM on July 20, 2009


please, whatever you do, look through this site first as an example of what not to do: http://www.disorder.org/crapmame/

if you're interested in japanese parts, i ordered from here: akihabarashop.jp . during the SFIV parts craze, this place kept alive much better than lizard lick.

other than the sites listed, i think this is probably your best bet for helpful information: http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick.html

gluck!
posted by jangie at 11:11 AM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've built two MAME machines, although it's been several years since the last one.

Details on wiring, setup, design, parts - all of that would be super helpful. Although I am not mechanically or electronically inclined, but I'm good at following diagrams.

You already mentioned Happ, which is where I got all of my parts from. If you're going with a basic setup (just push-buttons and standard 8-way joysticks) then the wiring should be very simple. I used an IPAC, which I recommend, to hook up the buttons and joysticks to the PCs. If you do that, it's just a simple matter of crimping wires to the controls and connecting them up to the IPAC (no soldering or electronics knowledge required). Trackballs are also easy if you get one with a mouse interface.

Note that I am considering mapping the joysticks a USB board, but the keyboard PCB seems to be the standard.

Is there any reason why you're considering this route? You should be able to relatively easily convert the keyboard inputs into a virtual joystick interface if you're wanting to setup your games that way.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:36 AM on July 20, 2009


Excellent links!

I'm considering mapping it to USB so that it can be portable to games other than MAME - Street Fighter IV comes to mind. I was unaware of the PPJoy virtual joystick route, it looks pretty solid - is there any lag in its timing?
posted by jabberjaw at 12:24 PM on July 20, 2009


I'm considering mapping it to USB so that it can be portable to games other than MAME - Street Fighter IV comes to mind. I was unaware of the PPJoy virtual joystick route, it looks pretty solid - is there any lag in its timing?

That makes sense. MAME and pretty much every other emulator will have mappable keys, but some individual PC games won't. I don't have PPJoy running on any of my machines, but when I used it to remap my joystick config to work better with some games and I didn't notice any lag. Also, I used GlovePIE to do the actual mapping after setting up the PPJoy profile, but there are other ways to do that. For SFIV specifically it looks like one guy used PPJoy to do it, but he doesn't give any details about his exact setup.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:38 PM on July 20, 2009


the way that a lot of people made their PS3 (and PC) compatible joysticks for SFIV was by buying a Cthulhu board: . If you feel like you want to tinker, you can get the unsoldered kit, or you can get it fully assembled.

I ordered two of them from the author of the thread directly, and have nothing but good things to say about the product. It may be more expensive than you want, and/or may not cover as many buttons as you'd want... YMMV. As an easy way to get a joystick and buttons hooked up to a USB port, this is pretty much the easiest way to do it, even if you decide to solder the thing up.

posted by jangie at 12:52 PM on July 20, 2009


Cthulhu boards available here - Dunno if this is where Jangie ment to link or not - His HTML's borked.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:02 PM on July 20, 2009


2-axis stick from an old VCR and a universal USB controller in both DIY and pre-fab flavors (on the cheep), both courtesy of Hack-A-Day.
posted by EnsignLunchmeat at 6:51 PM on July 20, 2009


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