Connecting a HotRod SE to the PS3 for SF

This is a rather obscure arcade stick that is mainly offered to people who retrogame with stuff like MAME. It has a PC Ps/2 connector (keyboard). If you have a Playstation 3 you can use it to play HD Remix and presumably SF4 (and any other fighters on the PS2 or PS3, actually.

You will need to buy about $25 - $30 in additional adapter hardware to make it work. Also, if you don’t have an “older” style ps/2 computer keyboard and mouse, you’ll need to get those as well. Since my friend and I are computer guys, we just fished these things out of the junk parts bins… Oh, and no, you can’t use a USB KB with an adapter, that is, unless it’s one of the more advanced “intelligent adapters” like Belkin makes.

You may be able to find one of these HotRod sticks cheap on the auction boards. If you can find one for $50, then the total cost would be $75 - $80 for a nice arcade setup. That’s about half the cost of any other “true arcade” stick I’ve seen, and would make it worth the pain of the setup.

Since my friend already had a HotRod and it’s a very authentic arcade stick (it uses Happ controls), I wanted to see if I could get it hooked up to his Playstation 3 for some HDRemix action before we plunked down on something new and likely more expensive.

It took awhile, but we did it!

Here’s the stick:

A note about this: even though this is a 2-player stick, only one side will work for controls. This is because the PS3 to PS2 adapter sees the whole HotRod stick as a single controller, not 2. So no head to head with this stick (not a problem for us because we prefer the online comp anyway).

To connect it to the PS3 you need a Playstation 3 to Playstation 2 controller adapter. They are about $7 on amazon. You also need a Smartjoy Frag, which is a Playstation 2 adapter which lets you connect a keyboard and mouse, and costs $15 - 25.

You connect it all up like in this video:


Even though you don’t use a mouse in SF, the smartjoy won’t work without one plugged in. Go figure.

Next, you need to program the smartjoy. The Hot Rod’s imputs are all keyboard commands. For example, Left on the HotRod is the R key. But on the smartjoy, it’s the S key. So you need to reprogram S to R. How do you do this? Well, you unplug the HotRod and plug in a PC keyboard (with the old style ps/2 connector).

The smartjoy comes with it’s layout in the box and the HotRod layout can be found here:

At this point, things get tricky. You need to program the smartjoy frag to use the hotrod’s layout, like I said, but there are two things to doing this: 1) You need to use the “blank” (f11) slot on the smartjoy. The smartjoy can store 8 control layouts which you access by pressing F1 - F8. They come out of the box programmed for some popular PS2 games. F11, however, is “blank”. You program the blank template and save it over one of the others.

and 2) the order you program the keys is tricky. In fact, it’s even difficult to explain why, so I’ll just leave it at that. If anyone seriously wants to try this I can type up the order of programming the keys.

Last but not least, you need to program the “deadzone” for the joystick. This is kind of cool since you can fine-tune the smartjoy from 0 - 99. You can dial in exactly how sensitive you want your arcade stick! Friggin cool. We ended up setting ours at 60.

EDIT: I think I might be wrong about the deadzone adjustment. It doesn’t really seem to affect the feel. I think that might have been in our heads. :slight_smile:

Well, as you can see, not the easiest thing in the world. But since my friend already had a HotRod SE, we figured we would spend $25 on the adapters and give it a shot rather than $150+ on a whole new controller. Took about 1.5 hours to get it all going but was followed by five hours of super fun HDRemix online play. :wgrin:

Have you tried any lag tests for it? If it lags then there’s no point in doing this. Your best bet would be to order a chtullu board from and put that inside of the stick. It’s super easy to do and is extremely cost effective. Here’s the link for it so you could check out.

There’s no lag with the hotrod in this setup. Admittedly, it’s such a hack of a setup, I would only really recommend it to people who already own a hotrod or can get their hands on one really cheap.

I’ve seen the chtulu board and I’m interested in it. If it was my stick, I wouldn’t hesitate to mod it with that. But I don’t think my friend is up for that.

On the other hand, I’m thinking of building my own stick from scratch.

You might want to put this in the Techtalk thread instead, but it does seem like a good way to get an arcade stick without spending 100+. Though one thing to note, there is no such thing as a PS3 -> PS2 adapter. Unless you mean PS/2, which makes no sense either.

You’re right. This is mis-cat. It should go in tech talk. Hopefully a mod will move it.

Well, I guess what I meant was an adapter which allows you to use Playstation 2 controllers on a Playstation 3. They became sort of popular because people wanted to use their ps2 guitars on the PS3 for guitar hero, but ironically, I’ve heard there are always limitations with the adapters. They’re also popular for DDR players I’ve heard.

The smartjoy frag is a Playstation 2 to PC ps/2 adapter. And yeah, I’ve not heard of such a thing for the PS3. I believe you can just plug in a regular USB keyboard into the PS3 so it would be rather pointless anyway.

Wow, I was hoping to find a thread like this. I almost tossed my hotrod out years ago but couldn’t find anyone to take it off my hands for 20… but now I’m keeping it :slight_smile:

I couldn’t do this for the 360 though right? :frowning:

Great question. I have a Hotrod SE sitting around that I use once every six months to MAME out. Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of the SF4 Tournament Sticks but refuse to drop $250+ on eBay. When I saw this article, I was like, “YES! This will work and I can leverage my $100 investment on the Hanaho stick!”

But then I saw your question, and at that moment remembered that I have the 360 version of the game. Still, I wonder if there’s a similar product - maybe a SmartJoy for the 360 or even original Xbox, then I could just use an Xbox 360 to Xbox controller adapter (if one even exists) to complete the connection. Time for some research I suppose… :cool:

In any event, jcasetnl, can you please post those detailed steps for programming the SmartJoy keys? I think I’m gonna give this a shot for my 360 if I can find similar parts. Heck if it doesn’t work I only lose maybe $30-$40.


Just did some quick research - it seems us SF4 360’ers do have an option. For about $60-$90, I can buyone of the XFPS line of adapters found on this site -

Looks like any of these will convert the PS/2 keyboard signals of the HotRod SE into native 360 signals! Still trying to figure out the benefits of spending extra on the pricier adapters - probably something to do with sensitivity and programmability settings, etc. I wonder how much that stuff really matters. I’m really trying to keep my additional investment minimal since MSRP for the Tourney stick is only like $150 and it will come down to that price sooner or later.

So I may have to spend $70 (twice what I was hoping), but if I pull this off, then I’ve got a great SF4 stick for $70 (half the price of the Tourney stick), and I don’t have to wait until summer to get it.

I’ll probably give this a whirl, so I’ll keep you guys posted on the progress.

Capcom officially endorsed the Hot Rod back in the day. When you ordered one it came with a disc with several Capcom games on it, and even was on display at Capcom’s E3 booth one year. They were nice and used real Happ parts, unlike the X-Arcade, but sadly didn’t have the silly amounts of compatibility the X-A offered… it was pretty much PC or nothin!

I need to get myself a Hot Rod for my PC someday, they do kick ass. =)

Yep - I remember getting the original Street Fighter II: World Warrior ROMs with the HotRod!

So another quick update, after some more research, I’ve found others using the HotRod perfectly fine with those XFPS adapters I mentioned above. I’m probably going to spend an extra $30 for the most technologically advanced adapter - the XFPS Sniper Plus 3.0 - since I’m still only dropping $90 total. From what I’ve read, the results with this particular adapter are perfect and I’m still coming in $60 under the MSRP for the hard-to-find SF4 Tourney Stick.

So I save money (especially considering the $250+ cost of the Tourney sticks now on eBay), and get a perfect end result that I can start using right away! Well, maybe not perfect… I did hear that you lose the second player/controller on the HotRod as the whole thing is seen as one joystick. But quite honestly, I never have friends over to play SF4 so all my matches are online! I personally am not losing anything there, but it’s something for others in this situation to consider before buying one of these adapters for the HotRod.

So all this said, now I’m twice as happy that I bought my HotRod SE! I’ve loved it for use with MAME over the past few years, but using it to play the latest generation of the best fighting game of all time as it was meant to be played (and on the Xbox 360 to boot) is absolutely priceless.

Be sure to post your impressions in the converter compatibility thread…

I’ve heard otherwise regarding the XFPS adapter… Beware. Read some more reviews in the converter thread before you decide to purchase.