Madcatz Street Fighter V Fightstick Alpha

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  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,366
    edited February 2016
    Gummo wrote: »
    its better than the one in the brawlstick.

    can you quantify why?

    Probability because the new Alpha's joystick a smoother, more precise operation compared to the brawl's joystick.

    So the old Mad Catz SE stick felt awful, the movement isn't smooth and the directions can be inaccurate. They aren't even worth trying to mod/fix, just swap them out for better Sanwa or Seimitsu joysticks
    The tolerances are off during manufacturing so two joysticks from the same assembly line can be very different, and having any of the 4 switches off by a millimeter throws off the whole joystick for precision.
    With the TvC and later Brawl joysticks, Mad Catz improved and refined their manufacturing methods and made the joysticks more accurate and more consistent with each other off the assembly line.
    And there always marked improvement on every generation of manufacturing.

    So when Gummo tells me he thinks the Alpha's joystick is made better than the Brawl's Joystick (with all his modding experience) I tend to listen.
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • Captain_AwesomeCaptain_Awesome Joined: Posts: 58
    Darksakul wrote: »
    Gummo wrote: »
    its better than the one in the brawlstick.

    can you quantify why?

    Probability because the new Alpha's joystick a smoother, more precise operation compared to the brawl's joystick.

    So the old Mad Catz SE stick felt awful, the movement isn't smooth and the directions can be inaccurate. They aren't even worth trying to mod/fix, just swap them out for better Sanwa or Seimitsu joysticks
    The tolerances are off during manufacturing so two joysticks from the same assembly line can be very different, and having any of the 4 switches off by a millimeter throws off the whole joystick for precision.
    With the TvC and later Brawl joysticks, Mad Catz improved and refined their manufacturing methods and made the joysticks more accurate and more consistent with each other off the assembly line.
    And there always marked improvement on every generation of manufacturing.

    So when Gummo tells me he thinks the Alpha's joystick is made better than the Brawl's Joystick (with all his modding experience) I tend to listen.

    Yeah, Gummo is OP.

  • GummoGummo Can We Mod It? Yes, We Can! Joined: Posts: 5,514
    There is more to a joystick than just the switches used in it. Other parts in a joystick effect the feel. The spring, gate, actuator cap, and pivot are all important parts.
    In the SE and brawlstick the joystick pieces are more different than the jlf. The one in the alpha has a lot more of all those parts that get closer to that of a jlf.

    The buttons are different than sanwas. Shell, plunger, and switch. I wouldnt be surprised if people want to swap those out because its not what people are used to. I think due to the case size limitation Madcatz had less options for the buttons. While regular size sanwas will fit they require the prongs being bent to fit quick disconnects. That wouldn't be ideal for a manufactured stick. I haven't looked into the realm of knock off buttons but I would imagine the options are slim for a low profile button that feels like a sanwa button. I know Seimitsu has the PS-15 which is low profile. Its possible that the alpha buttons are more similar to the PS-15 than anything else.
    Website: http://www.gummods.com
    Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/gummowned
    Twitter: @Gummowned
    Will be providing my modding services at EVO @ the Madcatz booth!
  • juiceciujjuiceciuj juice Joined: Posts: 48
    hmm... glad i rechecked this thread. think i'm gonna cancel my preorder. assumed it'd have qd's and clearance enough to throw in the extra sanwa stuff i had lying around and would be my easiest way into a standard sanwa setup on ps4. not into the bent peg idea and/or having to deal with a bunch of soldering stuff. definitely not worth it for a game i'll just be half ass playing until t7 comes out

    already have two ps3 sticks that shouldfunction just fine on ps4 but alas... gotta love that engineered obsolescence.

    not too much faith in mcz's long game right now either: http://www.polygon.com/2016/2/8/10939752/mad-catz-executive-board-changes-rock-band-4-earnings
    anger of beats
  • GummoGummo Can We Mod It? Yes, We Can! Joined: Posts: 5,514
    Idk what it will have for its final build. Even if it doesnt you don't have to solder the qds on anyway. You can crimp them instead.

    What do you have against having to bend the prongs? Sure if you repeatedly bend them then they will break off, but why would you have to do that.

    If you want easiest sanwa setup on ps4 there is the TE+ or TE2+. Theres also the brook converters too.
    Website: http://www.gummods.com
    Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/gummowned
    Twitter: @Gummowned
    Will be providing my modding services at EVO @ the Madcatz booth!
  • MicrophonicMicrophonic Headbutt Evangelist Joined: Posts: 108
    Based on an eyeball view, what do you think is the biggest stick that will fit in there? Is the jlf as tight a fit as i think it might be? I'm just wondering what it would take to put an ls-32/40 in there.
    Profile picture from my friend Seb at tesseractmemory.tumblr.com/
  • NENDONENDO I will meditate and then destroy you. Joined: Posts: 3,346
    I think OBS-MX reduces the below rim length. Those should work in this if I'm correct.
  • sunbreach87sunbreach87 Joined: Posts: 17
    edited February 2016
    Thanks for the insight Gummo. As soon as I saw the price for this thing I knew it would be better to mod a beater stick.
  • GummoGummo Can We Mod It? Yes, We Can! Joined: Posts: 5,514
    One thing that limits what joystick can go in is the mounting posts. Essentially these posts go through the six holes in the jlf mounting plate and a cap covers it to keep the jlf plate in place and a screw keeps the cap on the post.
    Website: http://www.gummods.com
    Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/gummowned
    Twitter: @Gummowned
    Will be providing my modding services at EVO @ the Madcatz booth!
  • juiceciujjuiceciuj juice Joined: Posts: 48
    can you at least swap out for a jlf w/o messing with solder?

    might give it a try if so. see how bad the stock buttons are.

    if i hate the form factor i'll return it before opening it i guess.

    gonna reorder on the discover card though and hit'em with that price protection option select.
    anger of beats
  • GummoGummo Can We Mod It? Yes, We Can! Joined: Posts: 5,514
    Yes. All you need is a screw driver. It has a jlf harness.
    Website: http://www.gummods.com
    Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/gummowned
    Twitter: @Gummowned
    Will be providing my modding services at EVO @ the Madcatz booth!
  • juiceciujjuiceciuj juice Joined: Posts: 48
    anger of beats
  • IanskieIanskie Keep Watch Joined: Posts: 575
    Guys, is this supposed to be at Fry's right now?

    image.jpg

    The back of the box in case you were wondering.

    image.jpg

    Tempted to buy just because it's right here in front of my face now.
  • IanskieIanskie Keep Watch Joined: Posts: 575
    Fight pad pros are here as well.
  • yellowsnow4freeyellowsnow4free Joined: Posts: 41
    I saw a couple posts on here about whether or not you can mod these with Sanwa parts, but I didn't see this posted:

    http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/games/PS4/arcade/tournament-edition/s-plus/2-plus/te2/alpha/fightpad-pro/Review/PS3/PC/cup/price/features/crossup-impressions-on-the-mad-catz-street-fighter-v-fightstick-line/29154

    Looks like you can.

    I think the idea of a small fightstick is pretty cool, but $80 is a lot for these considering Mad Catz has had sales on their fightsticks (with Sanwa parts in them) for $80 to $100. Maybe if these get a heavy discount, or there's a "Sanwa Edition" they might be worth it, but not now.

    Personally I'm waiting on the next Mad Catz sale; looks like they've still got some "Ultra SFIV" sticks; I'd imagine those will get cheaper once SFV comes out.
  • aszydaszyd Joined: Posts: 505
    MCZ Sales are definitely when to jump. With NCR and Final Round next month, there's sure to be some discounts. Of course, their recent shakeups may prevent that from happening.
  • k701k701 Joined: Posts: 48
    After a lot of thought (you can get an Exar Exaprize Sanwa edition for about the same price)... I decided to get this.
    I've always been a fan of small hardware with full size features, plus it's gonna fit perfectly in my overcrowded computer desk. I've wanted a "small as it gets" stick for a while but never got one. In fact, I remember when I finally got a hitbox I was really disappointed in finding out they discontinued the small size and I would have to get the bigger size model. I've been looking at small size arcade stick options for a while but they're all either custom so they're very expensive, or ugly.

    Anyways, since I have spare Sanwa parts from a hrap that got all rusted (love the stick, but had to gut it, plastic is the way to go for people like me who sweat a lot) I decided to get the stick and also did this little breadboard harness for when it comes in.

    7nTFD7Q.jpg

    Once it's here I can just desolder/cut the button cables and put them in the little snap in holes. I linked the ground in the board so I don't have to daisy chain it.

    Why not just solder the quick disconnects to the cables? Because based on the pics I've seen those cables are VERY short, and I don't want to solder directly to the PCB, plus that 7 pin harness that connects the buttons to the PCB seems hard to find for a decent price, and this way I get to use the cables and cool little 2 pin harnesses from the hrap.

    Bonus: Pics of the donor stick proving the JLF and OBSF buttons:

    Doesn't look too bad from the top, huh? (that moisture on the bottom of the x button is sweat from picking it up)
    G8ZiTrF.jpg

    But if you turn it around....
    AD6g4Lh.jpg

    The other side of the back plate
    eZ2lHTz.jpg

    Other side of the top/metal plate where the buttons snap in
    l0LRosW.jpg

    Finally, it was soooo rusted not even CLR could take out the rust IN THE PLASTIC HOUSING of the buttons so actually I ordered some new buttons (nobody sells the housing separately).
    6MtBxyj.jpg


    In the end I'll just use the old microswitches and mix and match colors from the plungers of the old buttons with the housing of the new buttons. I'll keep the new microswitches and what's left as spares.

    I'll post the finished stick once I get it and work on it.


  • rtdzignrtdzign Joined: Posts: 5,176
    Ianskie wrote: »
    Guys, is this supposed to be at Fry's right now?



    The back of the box in case you were wondering.



    Tempted to buy just because it's right here in front of my face now.

    Where? What Fry's? I've seen the Pads at Sunnyvale CA Fry's but not the Alpha stick.
  • Dirrtylopez82Dirrtylopez82 Joined: Posts: 2
    So the Hayabusa stick won't fit, but how about kuro buttons? Will those fit? I have a hrap with great hurt buttons for the 360 that I would love to put in the alpha stick if possible. Also, since it's not quick connect and requires some sodering. How difficult is it to crimp the wires rather that soder?
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,366
    So the Hayabusa stick won't fit, but how about kuro buttons? Will those fit? I have a hrap with great hurt buttons for the 360 that I would love to put in the alpha stick if possible. Also, since it's not quick connect and requires some sodering. How difficult is it to crimp the wires rather that soder?

    Kuro buttons would install the same way Sanwa buttons would.
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • RoTeNdORoTeNdO The 'Hardcore Gamer' Joined: Posts: 4,516
    Hello, my fellow mods! It is I, ROTENDO!

    Been ages since I posted in a stick modding thread, let alone Tech Talk. Sup, Matt!

    Okay, So I was at Fry's today to buy the HRAP for the PS4. They had 2 in the inventory, but they couldn't find it. Turns out that they actually sold the last two earlier that day, so my hour drive was a waste. Sort of.

    I saw that they had the new SFV pads available for sale and the Alpha stick for $80. A bit pricey for the size, as the SE was bigger, had the sheet metal panel/mount for the JLF and can fit any other push buttons in there. I'm just going to assume that it's because it's dual compatible, but I forked over the monies anyway. Only because they had nothing else in stock for the PS4, sadly. Figured I can mod this one or use the PCB in another of my Mad Catz stick.

    So I opened it up, 7 screws total, 1 behind the label.

    Wires are soldered onto the push buttons and the ground is daisy chained.

    If you want to crimp on female quick-disconnect, the clearance is barely enough, but you may want or have to slightly bend the posts, as Gummo suggested.

    I've took pictures, but will post them later.

    Too light for my taste and I can palm this bad boy. There isn't enough space to add some weight to it unless you're going to attach sheet metal to the bottom.

    The Alpha stick is perfect for someone new to fighters and wanting to play on an arcade stick instead of on pad.

    My plans for this stick is to use the PCBs as it is dual compatible for PS3/PS4. So I'll be replacing the PCB for one of my PS3 Mad Catz stick and installing an external switch (probably inside the cable storage)

    For those considering purchasing the Alpha over the TE2 or the TE-S due to cost. I'd probably hold off and save your money to get the TE2 or TE-S, unless you don't mind the size, weight and feel of the buttons and joystick. It gets the job done though :D

    ===The few, the proud, the Marines!===
    *EVO Judge 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
    Central Texas Brawl Tournament Director
  • HotsggHotsgg Joined: Posts: 64
    edited February 2016
    This little fightstick has the same component of a normal madcat te stick? Full Sanwa buttons and Stick?
  • PresidentCamachoPresidentCamacho Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho Joined: Posts: 3,450
    Hotsgg wrote: »
    This little fightstick has the same component of a normal madcat te stick? Full Sanwa buttons and Stick?

    No, they're knockoffs. But sanwa parts will fit.
    Play Crimzon Clover, or go to hell.
  • StevenewhenStevenewhen Joined: Posts: 5
    I would suck it up and pay an additional $25 for a used TE round 1/2 on eBay. Looks similar to the size of the hori mini.
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,366
    That mod job looks Smexy
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • Therick0886Therick0886 Joined: Posts: 2
    Can anyone post or link a video showing how to mod the alpha? I have experience modding TE sticks, but I've never attempted a mod involving soldering.
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,366
    You don't even need to solder.
    Just get some crimp connectors, some Crimp QDs and a wire stripper and crimper tool
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • gahrlinggahrling Better safe than Hori.. Joined: Posts: 3,968
    Darksakul wrote: »
    You don't even need to solder.
    Just get some crimp connectors, some Crimp QDs and a wire stripper and crimper tool


    The button wires are really short so any user will need to be careful to strip the minimum amount of wire when crimping QD's.

    IMO this was a stupid oversight by MadCatz.
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,366
    gahrling wrote: »
    Darksakul wrote: »
    You don't even need to solder.
    Just get some crimp connectors, some Crimp QDs and a wire stripper and crimper tool


    The button wires are really short so any user will need to be careful to strip the minimum amount of wire when crimping QD's.

    IMO this was a stupid oversight by MadCatz.
    Or extend them with butt connectors or a terminal strip.

    He said he know how to solder.

    Then again you still need to strip the wires for soldering any ways.
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • rtdzignrtdzign Joined: Posts: 5,176
    edited February 2016
    Can anyone post or link a video showing how to mod the alpha? I have experience modding TE sticks, but I've never attempted a mod involving soldering.

    Not going to post a video, but what you need is:
    20-25 uninsulated .110 quick disconnects. (you need 12, but more if you make mistakes)
    Soldering Iron
    Wire stripper/crimper
    small wire cutter

    Take a picture of the wires to note what colors link to what buttons.
    Desolder the wire at the button terminals where they are soldered. Keep wire as long as possible.
    Crimp terminals on end of colored wire. Make sure the exposed desoldered wire touches the terminals
    Daisy chain the black ground wire. If you mess up then buy more black wire.
    Pop out the old buttons and snap in the new ones. Connect terminals.

    Here are pictures.
    http://slagcoin.com/joystick/pcb_wiring.html#TERMINALS_AND_CRIMPING
    http://s730.photobucket.com/user/rtdzign/library/Madcatz Fightstick Alpha?sort=3&page=1
  • Therick0886Therick0886 Joined: Posts: 2
    This is probably a stupid question, but can I swap out the wire harness and buttons from the pcb of my xb360 TE stick and put it on the pcb of the alpha?
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,366
    This is probably a stupid question, but can I swap out the wire harness and buttons from the pcb of my xb360 TE stick and put it on the pcb of the alpha?

    Not the button distro board. As for the wiring it self, sure but you still need to cut and splice.
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • LeoDTLeoDT Joined: Posts: 12
    Sorry for the dumb question. I'm trying to replace the stick on my Alpha, and for some reason the screw that holds the balltop won't move. I've tried so much to the point of damaging the top of the screw.

    I never had any trouble removing this from my TE S, I have no idea why this is being such a problem on the alpha.
  • PresidentCamachoPresidentCamacho Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho Joined: Posts: 3,450
    LeoDT wrote: »
    Sorry for the dumb question. I'm trying to replace the stick on my Alpha, and for some reason the screw that holds the balltop won't move. I've tried so much to the point of damaging the top of the screw.

    I never had any trouble removing this from my TE S, I have no idea why this is being such a problem on the alpha.

    Stick a flathead screwdriver in the slot on the bottom of the shaft and twist the balltop counter clockwise. If that's what you're already doing, and you're going to replace the lever anyways, use pliers.

    Play Crimzon Clover, or go to hell.
  • LeoDTLeoDT Joined: Posts: 12
    edited February 2016
    LeoDT wrote: »
    Sorry for the dumb question. I'm trying to replace the stick on my Alpha, and for some reason the screw that holds the balltop won't move. I've tried so much to the point of damaging the top of the screw.

    I never had any trouble removing this from my TE S, I have no idea why this is being such a problem on the alpha.

    Stick a flathead screwdriver in the slot on the bottom of the shaft and twist the balltop counter clockwise. If that's what you're already doing, and you're going to replace the lever anyways, use pliers.

    Thanks for the answer. That is what I am doing. On another level here. I've got the stick for 2 days, and today I came home eager to play and the stick is holding down. Even at neutral, it keeps doing the down input. Is there any chance of this being a problem with the pcb? Or it might be a stick problem?

    At first I thought the problem was with JoyToKey (I'm playing on PC), so I downloaded X360CE and it showed up as holding down as well. So I guess the problem is internal.

    If it has chances of being the stick, I'll keep trying to replace it anyway.
  • PresidentCamachoPresidentCamacho Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho Joined: Posts: 3,450
    Do you feel the down switch returning to neutral, or is it sticking? You could disconnect the lever 5 pin harness and test the inputs that way- all directions should be neutral.
    Play Crimzon Clover, or go to hell.
  • LeoDTLeoDT Joined: Posts: 12
    The stick looks and feels completely normal. It's just the down input that is being triggered at all times. I checked to see if the small switch inside the stick was stuck or something, but it isnt. I don't even know why this is happening.

    I tried changing the stick to simulate the left stick, digital pad and right stick and JoyToKey and X360CE keeps accusing that it is holding down, tho switching the buttons it is simulating at the time.

    http://imgur.com/a/jPuo0

    Here, I took a screenshot from JoyToKey and X360CE with the stick simulating LS and DP. The LS shortcut for the keyboard on JoyToKey is disabled because I was trying to play using WASD on the keyboard and the buttons on the stick. I failed miserably haha.
  • Dirrtylopez82Dirrtylopez82 Joined: Posts: 2
    So quick question, could you just solder the current wires in alpha to the quick connect terminals of kuro buttons, rather than crimp female quick connects to the wires. Just seems easier than crimping and bending the prongs. Just don't know if that possible. Soldering ain't to hard in the end.
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