Newb questions on modding 8bitdo NES30 Arcade Stick with Sanwa joystick

showkashowka Joined: Posts: 7
Greetings Shoryuken forums!

I just bought an 8bitdo NES30 Arcade Stick and have become interested in modding it (seems I'm not alone).

I've never done this before but the other night succeeded in re-arranging the quick connects in order to change the button layout to make more X-Input compatible games bearable (I have no idea why people prefer putting X on top of A, when so many run and gun games require you to hold X and hit A to jump...). This was pretty easy and infused me with the hubris and now I've gone crazy fantasizing about replacing everything with Sanwa parts.

Alas, this stick doesn't have the typical 5 pin connector that can be hooked up to Sanwa style sticks but instead employs a weird 2 pin port for each direction, which on the other end has two .187 wires attaching to each of the four sides of the joystick (apparently this is used for American style sticks pretty often).

I've been browsing Focus Attack and I have an idea of what might work, but again I am inexperienced and fueled by hubris from being able to successfully rewire the buttons (hey it was a big deal for me). So let me know if this sounds nuts.

First, I'll buy a 5-pin Female to 5-pin Female cable, which I'll plug into the Sanwa joystick.

Next, I'll buy a .187 to 5-pin conversion harness, which I'll plug into the other end of the above mentioned 5-pin cable.

Next, I'll also buy four of these ".187 harness for zero delay USB encoders", as it looks like that ends with a two pin plug like the kind found on the 8bitdo.

You may have noticed a piece of the chain is missing, and it's how to attach the two .187 cables's female ends to each other to finally connect the 8bitdo to the 5-pin to .187 harness.

I'm guessing I'll need to buy a male to male .187 adapter of some kind. I have no idea where to buy this and am surprised I can't easily find such a thing, enough that it's making me wonder if I'm making some fundamentally flawed assumptions here (what I'd like to buy looks similar to this I imagine):

My other big question is if reversing how the 5-pin to .187 harness flowed would work? Seems like it's normally designed to plug an American style joystick like the 8bitdo already has into a 5-pin compatible board.

Sorry in advance if these questions are really stupid or I've broken any social mores of the forum with my inaugural post.

Comments

  • jopamojopamo Stuck in Silly-con Valley Joined: Posts: 1,252
    edited September 8
    Can you post photos of the inside of that stick? For science? Also, do you have any crimp tools or a soldering iron?
    This sounds like a lot more work than it needs to be.
    Post edited by jopamo on
  • showkashowka Joined: Posts: 7
    edited September 7
    I'll steal some pictures from this Reddit thread.

    Here's what the joystick that's in there now looks like:
    ERs5mbx.jpg

    8d94ob2.jpg

    Hunter K's blog has some good pictures of the inside of the case (he also says it's basically incompatible).

    8597096938046988625-account_id%253D1.jpg

    There was also a pretty great YouTube video that went over modding the stick, but the author of that also stated that using a Sanwa stick would be difficult.



    I have no crimpers and can't solder.

    FWIW I could probably use a cheaper substitute stick and be happy since I know not the angelic touch of Sanwa but if there's a way to make this work it's worth it for me.
  • jopamojopamo Stuck in Silly-con Valley Joined: Posts: 1,252
    edited September 8
    If you're not down to crimp or solder, then here's what I suggest:

    Four of THESE, and
    One of THESE.

    The Seimitsu LS-40 is a fantastic joystick that rivals (and in some ways exceeds) the Sanwa JLF.

    Oh and if the LS-40 does not sit high enough after mounting, you can swap the included flat mounting plate for THIS plate. However, I'm thinking that it'll sit fine with the stock RE(flat) plate
    Post edited by jopamo on
  • showkashowka Joined: Posts: 7
    Thanks for the recommendation. One general impression I'm seeing of the Seimitsu is that some people who prefer the Sanwa for fighters prefer the Seimitsu for shooters, which I'll probably play more of. So I may just get the LS-40 since it will simplify my life.

    Out of curiosity, if I was down for crimpin and soldering, would the crazy chain of components I described above work so long as I snipped off the .187 connects of the 5-pin harness and the 2-pin plugs and wired them directly to each other?
  • DEZALBDEZALB "Yamazaki Nigari" Joined: Posts: 610
    you could also use a terminal block like in the pic if you dont want to solder/crimp.
    Hook up signals/ground to one side and the sanwa/seimitsu haness to the other side.

    3110v-8oDJL._SX342_.jpg
  • jopamojopamo Stuck in Silly-con Valley Joined: Posts: 1,252
    edited September 8
    The LS-40 is what I call the compromise stick. Great for both fighters and shmups, that stick was standard in Neo Geo candy cabs in Asia. If dabbling in Seimitsu sticks, it's the only one I'd recommend for varied use. If you play ONLY shmups, I'd also recommend the LS-56. That stick ain't so hot for fighters though.

    Honestly I'm not sure if your proposed config would work. Thinking about it makes my head hurt. Though, I've been in dumb meetings all morning and have had WAY too much coffee...so that may be the reason.

    Assuming that the PCB is common-ground, you could get a JLF-H harness and just solder (to the underside) the appropriate directions and a ground lead (then daisy chain that ground connection to the other three ground leads on the board underside). Else you could get technical and get the same JLF harness, some JST XH pins and the appropriate crimp tool and crimp everything to match the previous config (except on the top with connectors, instead of the bottom of the board).

    I might order one of these things and Sanwa mod it for the hell of it. If so, I'll post a video here. Else I recommend going the Seimitsu route.
  • showkashowka Joined: Posts: 7
    Hunter K's blog said explicitly "THIS IS NOT A COMMON-GROUND PCB" so I'm thinking that could cause problems. Like one question I have is if the 5 pin always sends the ground through one wire, with the harness does the ground get split to the four black wires? How does that work?

    I am probably letting perfect be the enemy of the good here as I bet the LS-40 would be just fine. So far my only experience with joysticks has been the 8bitdo and an old Agetc Dreamcast stick I got used, so I'm betting this will be an improvement.

    That said... I look only and man, it's too bad the 8bitdo isn't using a typical 5 pin connector just to have options. Even most of the Seimitsu sticks use a 5pin instead, and I have a feeling I'd prefer an octagonal gate which is only available on the LS-56.

    I'll probably wait the weekend before buying anything and go with the Seimitsu. But I'd be interested if you figure out how to do a Sanwa mod, as I'm finding this all to be pretty fascinating.
  • DEZALBDEZALB "Yamazaki Nigari" Joined: Posts: 610
    edited September 8
    Oh, didnt see it was not common ground.
    If you wanna go Sanwa you can always get a cherry modded JLF. Not sure is PAS still has those in stock or not right now. I actually have one i was going to sell soon. just sitting in my parts bin. Or go with any other joystick. I suggest you try out acouple of sticks at a local gaming meet up to see what you like best.

    GL
  • showkashowka Joined: Posts: 7
    Thanks for the suggestion Dezlab. I think in my Googling I saw someone else mention a terminal like that in a conversation involving the 5-pin harness.
  • showkashowka Joined: Posts: 7
    Thanks japomo and dezalb for all your help on this.

    My Focus Attack order arrived today so I thought I'd let everyone know how this turned out.

    First off: if anyone out there is doing the same thing, you will need some kind of extension cord for the .187 to 2 pin cable. Three of them fit just fine, but the one that activates "right" is on the left side of the stick and is literally as far away from the 2 pin port as it could possibly be, so I couldn't make it reach.

    Turns out 2 pin extension cables aren't common; my local Fry's Electronics didn't sell them, and I don't think Focus Attack sells them either. However Fry's sells .187 "tabs" (as does Focus Attack), which are just those metal things that stick out of the joystick and buttons which the .187 quick disconnect attaches to and a tiny hole for wire to go in.

    I had thankfully bought an extra .187 to 2 pin cable, so I was able to cut off the 2 pin part, strip a bit from each wire and then crimp it into that .187 tab, basically turning my .187 to 2 pin cable into two .187 female to .187 male cables. I then plugged my last .187 to 2 pin cable into my two extension chords and got it to read from the joystick that way.

    8bitdo_crimp.jpg

    I've never crimped before so it took me several tries to get a solid connection (those wires are super thin and easy to break- at one point I was about to screw the bottom plate back on the stick when I realized I'd broken the crimp). I also wrapped the wires in gorilla tape a few times to hold them still. If I'm playing Dondon Pachi one day and find I suddenly can't move right anymore I won't be too surprised. :) That said unlike pimpin' crimpin is in fact easy and I'm glad I learned how to do it.

    I went with the Seimitsu stick and got Sanwa buttons. I'm liking the Seimitsu so far though I'm taking awhile to get used to it. I love the resistance and wish I'd installed a heavier spring. It's shorter than the stick the 8bitdo had (and apparently shorter than the Sanwa's or Hayabusa). I'm not sure what I think about that yet but so far the parts are a big improvement on the stock stick.

    8bitdo_closeup.jpg

    After thinking about it way too long I decided if I was going to swap parts I should add a bit of flair to it, so I mimicked the Super Famciom's colors scheme, but kept dark red buttons for all the shoulder buttons. I wanted the face buttons to stick out, so since SNES "A" was red too I got Vermillion, which loo is in between red and orange to make it pop. Turns out it's a bit more orange that I expected but I'll live.

    The red buttons don't have the same tone as the ones I replaced- to be honest, they rob the stick of some of it's style. Personally I like the pop- but it is too bad that the dark red Sanwa buttons don't look quite the same as the red buttons they replace. So if the look of this stick is what's important to you be warned you may not be able to preserve that if you update the buttons.

    If people are curious, here's what the inside of the stick looks like:

    8bitdo_inside.jpg
  • FreedomGundamFreedomGundam Freedom, ikimasu! Joined: Posts: 2,521
    The Seimitsu stick is shorter because you're supposed to mount it with the SS plate that raises the stick body up towards to the top-panel.
    Current at-home stick: Hori VLX Kuro (LS-40-01 + PS-14-K)
    Current portable stick: Mad Catz TvC (LS-40-01 + PS-14-KN)
    Current guest-sticks: custom ABS Modular stick (JLF + OBSN-30), custom Saint-stick (Happ/IL Competition)
    Cabinet: custom "Resistor" cabinet (32" LCD, X360, P1=LS-32-01 + PS-14-KN, P2=JLF + OBSC-30)
    Previous sticks: custom Happ CvS2 Double-sticks, custom Happ Hitomi-stick & Xenosaga-stick, custom Sanwa/Seimitsu Neptune-stick and Sylvia-stick, modded Mad Catz TvC, modded Mad Catz Brawlstick, modded Hori FSVX, modded Exar Exaprize

    Looking for:
    CPS2 (green or blue): Hyper SF2
    Naomi GD-ROM: SF Zero3 Upper, Puyo Puyo Fever, Triggerheart Excelica, Ikaruga
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,823
    showka wrote: »
    Thanks japomo and dezalb for all your help on this.

    My Focus Attack order arrived today so I thought I'd let everyone know how this turned out.

    First off: if anyone out there is doing the same thing, you will need some kind of extension cord for the .187 to 2 pin cable. Three of them fit just fine, but the one that activates "right" is on the left side of the stick and is literally as far away from the 2 pin port as it could possibly be, so I couldn't make it reach.

    Turns out 2 pin extension cables aren't common; my local Fry's Electronics didn't sell them, and I don't think Focus Attack sells them either. However Fry's sells .187 "tabs" (as does Focus Attack), which are just those metal things that stick out of the joystick and buttons which the .187 quick disconnect attaches to and a tiny hole for wire to go in.

    I had thankfully bought an extra .187 to 2 pin cable, so I was able to cut off the 2 pin part, strip a bit from each wire and then crimp it into that .187 tab, basically turning my .187 to 2 pin cable into two .187 female to .187 male cables. I then plugged my last .187 to 2 pin cable into my two extension chords and got it to read from the joystick that way.

    https://border-town.com/8bitdoController/8bitdo_crimp.jpg

    I've never crimped before so it took me several tries to get a solid connection (those wires are super thin and easy to break- at one point I was about to screw the bottom plate back on the stick when I realized I'd broken the crimp). I also wrapped the wires in gorilla tape a few times to hold them still. If I'm playing Dondon Pachi one day and find I suddenly can't move right anymore I won't be too surprised. :) That said unlike pimpin' crimpin is in fact easy and I'm glad I learned how to do it.

    I went with the Seimitsu stick and got Sanwa buttons. I'm liking the Seimitsu so far though I'm taking awhile to get used to it. I love the resistance and wish I'd installed a heavier spring. It's shorter than the stick the 8bitdo had (and apparently shorter than the Sanwa's or Hayabusa). I'm not sure what I think about that yet but so far the parts are a big improvement on the stock stick.

    https://border-town.com/8bitdoController/8bitdo_closeup.jpg[

    After thinking about it way too long I decided if I was going to swap parts I should add a bit of flair to it, so I mimicked the Super Famciom's colors scheme, but kept dark red buttons for all the shoulder buttons. I wanted the face buttons to stick out, so since SNES "A" was red too I got Vermillion, which loo is in between red and orange to make it pop. Turns out it's a bit more orange that I expected but I'll live.

    The red buttons don't have the same tone as the ones I replaced- to be honest, they rob the stick of some of it's style. Personally I like the pop- but it is too bad that the dark red Sanwa buttons don't look quite the same as the red buttons they replace. So if the look of this stick is what's important to you be warned you may not be able to preserve that if you update the buttons.

    If people are curious, here's what the inside of the stick looks like:

    https://border-town.com/8bitdoController/8bitdo_inside.jpg

    Very nice work.
    Some people would nitpick, but everything you did was text book.
    Seriously good job on doing it the right way.
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • jopamojopamo Stuck in Silly-con Valley Joined: Posts: 1,252
    Good work! Thanks for the details on the mod. If you want the LS-40 a bit smoother 'round the gate, just unscrew (and save somewhere you'll remember) the yellow secondary gate.
  • showkashowka Joined: Posts: 7
    Thanks for the kind words everyone.
    The Seimitsu stick is shorter because you're supposed to mount it with the SS plate that raises the stick body up towards to the top-panel.

    Hmm... ok now that's bugging me a little. :) I think jopamo mentioned it earlier and I probably should've bought it to be safe... oh well. Where the stick sits, it doesn't hit the hole in the case so movement isn't restricted, it just feels different since it's so low.

    jopamo thanks for letting me know what that yellow thing is, I'd seen the octagonal gates but didn't suspect that was what it was. I'll try removing it sometime to see if it's preferable.
  • jopamojopamo Stuck in Silly-con Valley Joined: Posts: 1,252
  • KatasiapaKatasiapa Joined: Posts: 3
    edited October 11
    I made it.
    8bitdo with Sanwa Arcade Joystick JLF-TP-8YT-SK + buttons using 5 output sanwa's wires

    Wires mod:
    eCK0upl.jpg

    4 wires connect to the red, yellow, orange and green.
    3WhokLf.jpg

    All 4 wires (other side) connect to the black.
    hM1XsUj.jpg


    Result:
    JqTdyCH.jpg
    oNATgja.jpg
    7y0RMe9.jpg
    6lT0fYc.jpg

    Post edited by Katasiapa on
  • LLeg3ndLLeg3nd Always Eating Joined: Posts: 270
    There needs to be a PSA for photobucket use.
    twitch.tv/lleg3nd
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,823
    Use Imgur, they are free
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • R0ckstar_JR0ckstar_J Joined: Posts: 5
    Anybody has tips on how to remove the quick disconnects I feel like I’m going to break them.
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,823
    R0ckstar_J wrote: »
    Anybody has tips on how to remove the quick disconnects I feel like I’m going to break them.

    1. Take you time
    2. you can use a small flat head screwdriver to slowly work the connector loose, You can also use a pair of pliers and pull straight (don't twist or bend with pliers)
    3. Don't bend or twist the tabs on the buttons/switches. You can rock back and forth slightly along that tabs edge.

    They will Loosen up with wear
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • KatasiapaKatasiapa Joined: Posts: 3
    LLeg3nd wrote: »
    There needs to be a PSA for photobucket use.
    Darksakul wrote: »
    Use Imgur, they are free
    Thanks for your info.
  • R0ckstar_JR0ckstar_J Joined: Posts: 5
    Katasiapa wrote: »
    LLeg3nd wrote: »
    There needs to be a PSA for photobucket use.
    Darksakul wrote: »
    Use Imgur, they are free
    Thanks for your info.

    Nice stick where did you get that Nintendo sticker I need one of those
  • jopamojopamo Stuck in Silly-con Valley Joined: Posts: 1,252
    3WhokLf.jpg

    You really need to cover joints like these. Electrical tape at least, heat shrink tubing at best...
  • StrtFghtrMstrStrtFghtrMstr SRnk1VaBeachAlphaTeam Joined: Posts: 539 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    jopamo wrote: »

    You really need to cover joints like these. Electrical tape at least, heat shrink tubing at best...

    Don't forget globs of hotglue would work just as well =cD
    Just a veteran player enjoying competitive SFV & the CPT
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  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,823
    Are those twisted wires with zero insulation?
    I am surprised I didn't notice it before.

    There a wide range of choices that would of been better than just leaving exposed wire twist together and just zip tying the wires.
    I see where jopamo going with electrical tape, but electrical tape gets messy and can unravel.

    What could of been done differently.
    1. Wide range of crimp connectors can use used, from butt-end connectors, to matching sets of quick disconnects, pigtail crimps, ect.
    2. 3M's Scotchlok connectors (you don't even need wire crimpers, just a plain pair of pliers)
    3. Using a barrier strip (both American and European styles are acceptable) Only tool you need here is a screw driver.
    4. Solder and heat shrink ( a little advance for a beginner but if done right offers a clean but permanent connection)

    You could even add wire nuts and electric tape, it's not just inelegant, but also could come slowly undone.

    I also shorten that wire up drastically, no reason for the joystick wire harness to reach all over the stick case.
    In any electrical wiring, you want the shortest path possible.
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • jopamojopamo Stuck in Silly-con Valley Joined: Posts: 1,252
    I think at the basest level of skill and interest, a roll of electrical tape and 5 mins of this guy’s time is the most feasible option.
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,823
    edited October 11
    jopamo wrote: »
    I think at the basest level of skill and interest, a roll of electrical tape and 5 mins of this guy’s time is the most feasible option.

    I find that typically electric tape just does the job. And wire splices where you just tie wire together is a legitimate means of wiring, Westinghouse literally wrote whole manuals and textbooks on the topic , it almost reads like a Boy Scouts book on tying knots in rope. But most of those wire splices were intended during the early days when telegraphs were common. Nasa expanded on the idea, and added their own changes to the mix.

    I think with a beginner the best option is 3M's Scotchlok connectors, abet they are a bit on the pricy side of things.
    Adding some crimp on end caps would be the cheaper option, and they can go over the existing wire splices easily and nicely.

    I do agree electric tape is better than nothing.
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • KatasiapaKatasiapa Joined: Posts: 3
    R0ckstar_J wrote: »
    Katasiapa wrote: »
    LLeg3nd wrote: »
    There needs to be a PSA for photobucket use.
    Darksakul wrote: »
    Use Imgur, they are free
    Thanks for your info.

    Nice stick where did you get that Nintendo sticker I need one of those
    I bought at my local toy event (asia). It's very cheap about $1 USD for 3 stickers.
    jopamo wrote: »
    3WhokLf.jpg

    You really need to cover joints like these. Electrical tape at least, heat shrink tubing at best...
    Your right, I'm gonna tape this soon, I did that because I don't have so many tools in my house, I only use any tools that I can found here. lol.
  • R0ckstar_JR0ckstar_J Joined: Posts: 5
    edited October 14
    jopamo wrote: »
    If you're not down to crimp or solder, then here's what I suggest:

    Four of THESE, and
    One of THESE.

    The Seimitsu LS-40 is a fantastic joystick that rivals (and in some ways exceeds) the Sanwa JLF.

    Oh and if the LS-40 does not sit high enough after mounting, you can swap the included flat mounting plate for THIS plate. However, I'm thinking that it'll sit fine with the stock RE(flat) plate

    So I replaced the stock mount with he ss plates but when I try to put it on the nes30 the plates in it won’t let me screw all 4 screws, I can only do the original stock plate not the Ss mount. Do I need to put both plates in?

    https://imgur.com/gallery/qD3UW
    Post edited by R0ckstar_J on
  • FreedomGundamFreedomGundam Freedom, ikimasu! Joined: Posts: 2,521
    No, you don't need both plates.
    And as long as the lever is solid and centered, you don't actually need all 4 mounting screws.
    Some casings, when you put in an SS plate, you end up just using the mounting hole that's centered on each side of the plate. And that's fine.
    Current at-home stick: Hori VLX Kuro (LS-40-01 + PS-14-K)
    Current portable stick: Mad Catz TvC (LS-40-01 + PS-14-KN)
    Current guest-sticks: custom ABS Modular stick (JLF + OBSN-30), custom Saint-stick (Happ/IL Competition)
    Cabinet: custom "Resistor" cabinet (32" LCD, X360, P1=LS-32-01 + PS-14-KN, P2=JLF + OBSC-30)
    Previous sticks: custom Happ CvS2 Double-sticks, custom Happ Hitomi-stick & Xenosaga-stick, custom Sanwa/Seimitsu Neptune-stick and Sylvia-stick, modded Mad Catz TvC, modded Mad Catz Brawlstick, modded Hori FSVX, modded Exar Exaprize

    Looking for:
    CPS2 (green or blue): Hyper SF2
    Naomi GD-ROM: SF Zero3 Upper, Puyo Puyo Fever, Triggerheart Excelica, Ikaruga
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 23,823
    edited October 14
    Your mounting of the LS-40 would look something like this

    EZJQDOo.jpg

    This is a different controller, but the same basic Joystick mount and same LS-40
    “Strong people don't put others down... They lift them up.”
    - Darth Vader, Philanthropist
  • R0ckstar_JR0ckstar_J Joined: Posts: 5
    edited October 17
    Thanks
    Post edited by R0ckstar_J on
  • R0ckstar_JR0ckstar_J Joined: Posts: 5
    Darksakul wrote: »
    Your mounting of the LS-40 would look something like this

    EZJQDOo.jpg

    This is a different controller, but the same basic Joystick mount and same LS-40

    Thanks for the info it worked out great. But I was wondering is there any way I could remap the buttons to make them like the switch without always changing configurations?
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