First Time Joystick Builder

So, I decided to not buy a premade stick and figured that it would be much more fulfilling to build a stick of my own. Ideally I want to use plexi or lexan for the housing and at this point the joystick and buttons don’t matter too much, but they will be either Sanwa or Seimitsu. Before I do the ordering of all my materials, I have a couple questions that I need to have cleared up…

Are joystick mounting plates/gates/restrictors necessary? Some builds don’t seem to use them, but perhaps I just can’t see them in various pictures because they’re hidden behind the joystick art. On various websites and ordering catalogs it looks like there is a mounting plate that is included with the Sanwa and Seimitsu joysticks. Is this sufficient for mounting?

Regarding the buttons, is there a significant advantage to using screw-in buttons over snap-in buttons? I figure that screw-in buttons would be more secure… is this the case?

I’m sure I’ll have more questions down the road, but I figure this is a good place to start. Thanks!

Well if your using a wooden control panel, you would chose screw ins over snap ins. If your use metal it dont matter. And mounting plate are important for your box. If you look at other examples youll see the mounting plates…everyone uses them.

So, a mounting plate is required for mounting a joystick. Is a gate a separate component (from the mounting plate) which determines the directions that a joystick can go? Or are they the same thing?

well a joystick normally comes with a restrictor gate on the bottom, for its 4 way or 8 way I normally take it out and replace it with a round GTO gate to make it easier to perfrom my circle movements. But as I said look at the custom arcade stick gallery, it will give you a good i dea as to what your doing. Plus other thread around have answers to most of your questions.

restrictor is purely preference. Take your pick.

Mounting plates are not necessary. You can drive bolts from the top into any of the 6 holes that are on the sanwa. Most people choose to use the mounting plate though and have it mounted on top of wood (see pictures of ppl’s gallery, there links all over the place).

You can use screwins or snapins on metal or wood. Idealy, snapins are meant for metal only, but you can get away with mounting them on wood and not have them snapins. Same deal with screwins, you can mount them on anything. If it’s too thick to screwin, you can always use hot glue. Of course, it’s better if you use those parts like they’re meant to be used.

Aside from the price difference, what is the difference between the Sanwa JLF-TP-8T and the JLW-TM-8 joysticks? I think I would prefer a circular restrictor and as far as I can tell the JLF-TP-8T only has an octagonal restrictor available.

For a fighting game such as SF wouldn’t it make sense to use a circular restrictor?

I think so…hence the reason i use it on my stick.

I’m fine with my square gate. preference really.

Well when it comes to arcade sticks in general, its all about preference.

I think I’ve decided on a Seimitsu joystick. I’ve noticed that some custom builds use a wiring harness and some don’t. Is there any major advantage to using one? There isn’t a problem just doing the wiring myself, is there?

lot more wires and soldering, harnesses usually come WITH the joystick so i dont really see a reason not to use it