My First Joystick Journal
After almost 6 years of Dark Age of Camelot (MMORPG), I needed a new hobby. For some odd reason, I decided to go back to my roots, and started looking up information on Street Fighter 2 since it had such a prevalent staple in my gaming background. Hell, I used to travel from New York to Chicago for national tournaments (as I am sure a lot of this community still does, and a lot further).
I stumbled across this site, and was amazed that the niche of communities still existed, although the evolution had evolved of course from Street Fighter 2, to more recent games like Third Strike, MvC etc. While reading through the forums, it re-lit that spark, especially learning that Capcom was in the process of remaking my favorite Street Fighter game, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, along with Street Fighter 4 looming on the horizon. (Jesus, run on sentence)
With the news of SFHD being released, and the jump forward in technology in consoles since my arcade days (not to mention, this whole new internet thing), I could not wait to get back in to some type of scene, even if it was only online through XBLA. I immediately went out and purchased the Street Fighter Anniversary Xbox game, and suddenly realized why I abhorred any fighting game on a console. I could not STAND using pads. What the hell was I to do?
Insert Shoryuken.com. I found the ?I love my custom stick gallery? thread, I about shit my pants at the amazing art work that people had created. I HAD to have one. I am sure just like everyone else, I immediately began scouring the forum for custom stick makers, emailed a few and received one reply, but no information on when availability would open up. I soon found out that the ?Trading Outlet? forum was not the only place where you could find stick makers. I saw a little post in the ?Tech Talk? forum titled ?Hello from Arcade-In-A-Box?. After contacting Ed and a plethora of emails later, I placed an order for my first joystick. But it wasn?t enough. I wanted to make my own, that would be compatible with as many systems as possible, even with a lack of any prior knowledge of woodworking, electronics or painting. The ?I love my custom stick gallery? thread kept sucking me back in. After all, I needed a new hobby. Goodbye Dark Age of Camelot, EA and Mythic???hopefully for good.
The knowledge contained within the posts in the ?Tech Talk? forums was astounding. And I thank every single person that contributed to the information shared.
Armed with only a T-Square, a circular saw, a band saw, an electric sander, a router,a drill/drill press and a pencil, I put on my (rarely used) weekend warrior BDU?s, and headed out to Lowes/Home Depot and wound up at home with a nice new sheet of ? MDF. I drew everything out, and took out the trusty circular saw.
My God, I seriously jacked that MDF up due to a bent blade that had been in it for I can?t recall how many years, and I forgot it needed replaced. Not to mention, every inch of my garage took on a new hue of brown due to all the lovely carcinogens flying out from my saw blade. Screw this! I put my (now starting to lose the mothball smell!) BDU?s back on and went back to Lowe?s, and purchased some Oak, along with other supplies like primer, paint, sand paper etc?.
A note to say…Yes, I know a lot of people don’t like the American standard straight layout of buttons, nor Happ concave buttons. I have honestly never tried anything else, and grew up in the arcades using concave so ordered what I last played on and loved dearly. Other sticks will include different buttons, and possibly different joysticks. But for this one, I stuck with all Happ buttons and an iL joystick with a stiff spring all ordered from good old Lizard Lick. :wgrin:
And here are the steps I took, and pics of how things progressed and turned out.
First of course, I measured what I desired for box measurements and cut them using the circular saw (15 x 10 x 4). After using some good old Liquid Nails, and a LOT of sanding, here are the results. (Minus the tricycle and bicycle :wgrin:)
I learned too much in this process, mainly the fact that I had no idea how to get
perfect angles, so the box is definitely not great with dimensions, which made
later steps, such as cutting the lexan and top piece quite annoying, and a challenge.
Next I drew up the top piece (while waiting for the main box to finish drying of primer layers)
Lo and behold, I had no idea that this project would net me some new tools. I had to head to trusty Home Depot to pick up the 1 1/8 inch hole saw needed to
drill out the button/joystick holes. Also ended up picking up some bits for my Dremel, to widen the joystick hole at an angle.
As you can see in this screen shot, you can see that I broke down, and convinced the wife to let me get my new toy, a Rigid 10" contractors table saw :lovin:
After some sanding (and getting a nice tight fit using a rubber mallet) to get the top to fit correctly, and after primer layers…
I then measured out some inner legs to be inserted, which also contain wood inserts to screw the bottom of the case in place. The ones I picked up were awful.
For those interested in using these (or unfortunate enough to get them), they were a copper color with a slotted top from Home Depot. Can’t recall the name.
Anyhow, if you attempt to use a screw driver, the slots will break very very easily. Make sure you drill in holes the correct size before attempting to put them in (almost a /duh) What I ended up doing, was placing a washer in between the screw and the screw in piece. This prevented them from breaking any more.
This also includes the joystick mounting area being routed out.
Next up was what I discovered I absolutely suck at. Painting. This case, is in no way, an example of good painting. It is not shiny to a mirror finish like you see most of the experienced stick makers coming out as. I tried to follow guides to a tee, but just didn’t end up being too impressive. 4 layers of primer, 4 paint, and 5 or 6 of clear coat. I sanded in between, but as you can see, it’s pretty…meh.
Finished with buttons in place, so I can wire the baby up…
Wiring…I originally planned on making a dual PS2/X360, but I have zero experience, and have a X360 joystick on order from Arcade-In-A-Box, so just kept this to bing a PS1 DS hack, and using a Pelican converter bought from CodyK here on the forums.
After cutting the Lexan (I just couldn’t do the Plexi…I kept cracking it…) and getting my vinyl from Kinkos, here is my baby all finished.
(Already has a ding in the lower right corner :sad: )
I hope you liked the journal. I had an absolute BLAST doing this, and look forward to making more in the future. Next up is trying out new things, such as a Japanese button layout, buttons and I may end up springing for a p360 and one of the Golden NZ washers. Maybe an LS-32…who knows!
Thanks for reading! And a HUGE thank you to all who provided any sort of information regarding wood work, pad hacking, painting…anything! MUCH appreciated! :woot: