A few questions about building a stick

Hey guys! Before I continue I want to disclaim that I did inspect the stickied threads fairly thoroughly, but there are a few things I couldn’t seem to dig up.

I’ve recently discovered that I have access to all the tools necessary to build some boxes, so I’m going to see about whipping up some sticks. I realize that the first few I make are going to be for practice, but hopefully after that I’ll be able to get some real quality going. =)

I couldn’t seem to find the dimensions that are most commonly used. The Wii stick guide had a suggested length and width, but it felt sort’ve small after I got a couple cuts out. I realize that it’s all preference to a certain degree, but I’m particularly concerned with the depth-- I realize that certain sticks are going to require a certain depth to the box, and I haven’t really been able to ascertain what that is. I don’t have any parts yet, so I can’t just stick a joystick next to a board to find out. Could someone enlighten me?

Also, I figured my first few ‘practice sticks’ would be a good opportunity to whip up a Metal Slug Anthology stick for myself, since none of the Gamecube arcade sticks that I know of support analog control (MSA for the Wii only supports analog on the Gamecube pad, not the d-pad…)-- I haven’t delved into soldering at all yet, and I really haven’t cracked any controllers open in the past, so everything is going to be completely new to me once I get down to the PCB’s. My question is: Would it be more difficult to create a stick that’s tied to the controller’s analog stick than to the d-pad? I don’t really know what all’s involved yet-- if the process is terribly different, could someone maybe begin to explain it to me? I expect some wear and tear once I start in on it, but I’d like to keep the number of ‘ruined PCB’s’ to a minimum. =)

Thanks! I’m sure more questions will arise once I get further into the process, but for now that’s all I really need to know, I think. I really appreciate any information, since I have looked for this stuff on my own.

To practice soldering I reccomend finding a friend who plays guitar or sings and has some extra XRL or TS/TRS cables laying around and practice soldering the joints on some of those to get used to the way solder flows, its impossible to explain, you just gotta see it for yourself. And a good size to start at is about 12x8 but like absolutely everything about custom sticks, its 100% based on what you like. Keep up the practice and youll get it.



My advice on depth for custom sticks is to go deeper than you need to. I’ve got an assload of 1x4s in my closet, prefinished (pulled 'em out of the trash lol, brand new) and I’m going to frame my box with those. I’m not that big on appearances, but I think with a good sanding job and a decent finish it could look nice enough, especially for me. If it looks like I built it out of scrap it tends to feel more…me, because 99% of the time it’s because I did. :wink:

Soldering…something I still don’t have a lot of confidence with myself, but that I’m supposed to be able to know how to do well. Gotta love that. Axis gives some damn good advice, really - just find a lot of stuff to solder. I used my brother’s parts box to give myself a soldering test exam, to make sure I could still handle an iron after a couple years of pure software lol. Do random soldering stuff, basically. It’s hard to explain in text.

Yes, it is more difficult. It is doable though, but definitely not recommended if you’re not comfy with electronics or at least pad hacking already. Someone on neo-geo asked already and my same answer still applies.

Thanks, guys.