First time modder


First, This will be a long thread. Second, A bit of background.
I only really got into fighting games about a year ago. After not really enjoying playing on a game pad, I went online and found the cheapest arcade stick I could find despite knowing that it was pretty terrible. That was a Mayflash Arcade Stick. While researching it, I discovered that it’s relatively easy to modify without being so simple that it doesn’t require some work. This intrigue me, so I ended up buying two of them (which actually worked out to be under 100 bucks even including shipping!). Fortunately discovered this video series that give a pretty detailed account on how to one of these sticks. [link]

It’s been roughly a year and I’ve finally got the time and the money to give this a try. Last summer I put together my first computer from just parts, and figured that this summer modding a stick would be a fun project. Hopefully it will help teach me a thing or two about soldering and repairing electronics. Especially considering I’m looking to enter the audio engineering field and it wouldn’t be a bad skill to have on a resume. The only experience I really have with this stuff is reconnecting cables in my bass and taking apart toys (usually resulting in their destruction) as a child.

Of course before I begin and just buy a bunch of parts I have some questions, concerns, and need some clarifications. (Yes, I’ve read the stickied threads.)

When looking at joystick, I’m kind of interested in using one with an octagonal gate. The idea of having even throw sounds like a comfortable idea. Something I’d like to try.Of course, if I decide I don’t like it, then I’d like to be able to easily switch back to a standard square gate.
From the big chart of joysticks, my options would be a Sanwa JLF, Seimitsu LS-33, LS-55, and LS-56.
Going by the chart, it seems that the JLF or LS-56 are the best options since they shortest throws and engage distances (I find that on my current stick that I tend not to move the stick far enough and therefore what to find a stick with a much small throw distance.) The JLF is certainly the community favorite, but it looks like the LS-56 would be easier to install with a mayflash pcb. (This video has me a bit unsure about going with the JLF) Am I right about this?

Maybe this is a really dumb question but when buying pushbuttons, do they come in a pack or are they sold individually? I feel like a idiot asking this, but for some reason I was under the impression that they were sold in packs of 2 or 4 though after looking into it more that does not seem to be the case.

I ended up answering a lot of my own questions by looking things up when writing this, so I guess that’s it for now. I’ll keep this thread updated with pictures and such once the modding happens if anyone would be interested.
Thank you for you time.

Check out these for help on mounting a JLF properly on a Mayflash case.

JLF mount


Now take the JLF and disassemble it

Take a craft knife or an X-acto knife, and cut away 4 of these spots on the body of the JLF . These spots will be used to mount the JLF using 4 screws.

We will be using the existing screw holes to mount the JLF onto the case

However, if you try to use the screws from the stock joystick on the JLF, you will notice that the screws are too long.

So I used these shorter screws (found on Fanta sticks at the microswitches) to amount the JLF, and they’re the perfect size and length.

LS-56-01 and JLF-TP are the same in difficulty in wiring, they both use the same harness to connect to the joystick:

It’s just a matter of preference of what joystick you want to use:

Restrictor references: S: Square(8-way), R: Rhombus (4-way), O: Octagonal(8-way), C: Cross (4-way), R: Round(8-way), B: Bar (2-way). + in front means that is sold separately, Worth noting that this chart was made before the GT-C was made, which is a Circular restrictor for JLF, but it isn’t produced by Sanwa. It is made by Toodles.

Octagonal gate is a matter of preference. Very cool you didn’t refer to Sqaure as 4-way and Octagonal as 8-way. Big noobie mistake people do. :sad:. But you know better. 4 way means only working in UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, no corners. Everybody knows you need corners to play fighting games. But for games like Pac-Man, 4 way is perfect. 2 Way is for only UP and DOWN or LEFT and RIGHT, for games like Galaga.

If you really want to read up about it, this is the page for you:

However, for installing? I’m not sure. Most people just use JLF, like in spoiler pictures by d3v. Not sure about LS-56 installing.

Yes, pushbuttons are usually sold individually. However, some companies, like Madcatz, sell them in sets of two. Most dedicated shops, like,, or, sell them individually, though.

Thank you for the detailed replies.

D3v’s links are very helpful!

I suppose I should have been more detailed with my question concerning joysticks.
From what I understand, the LS-56 does not come with a PCB but the LS-56-01 does. I’m not sure if there is any other difference. With the model of Mayflash stick I have (the exact same model as in the videos I linked, i e. not the ) the PCB is not common ground and I would need to alter the PCB of a joy stick by cutting the ground circuit and solder directly to the micro switches. This isn’t much of a problem I suppose. Looking through the link you guys provided it seems that there is a joystick harness available for the make of arcade stick that I have that will make things a whole lot easier.

I think I may have enough information to start buying the parts. What I may do is get one JLF and one LS-56, and put them in different sticks since I will most likely mod both sticks anyway, then see which one I like better.

So I guess I should start compiling a parts list.
LS-56 + octo gate + ball top
JLF + octo gate + ball top

Buttons are damn expensive and seems like everywhere I look is out of most colors for Sanwa OBSF-30s. I think I’ll have to go with different buttons in each stick.
Maybe I’ll have one be all Sanwa Parts and the other be all Seimitsu parts.
In that case then.
I’ll go with these sanwa buttons and these seimitsu ones.

You’ll have a great stick compatible with multiple platforms. With Sanwa parts you’ll notice a huge improvement in precision and speed. I modded my first stick a couple of weeks ago, it’s identical to yours. Learned a lot about electronics in a short time. Follow the tutorial you’ve found, it took me a few hours to learn the basics with trial and error. The skill divide in the modding community is unnecessary, and it would be sad if some people think they’re profiting by not sharing information. Now that I’m trying to build my own case and do custom wiring and illuminated buttons, I’ve hit a glass ceiling with absolutely no help or advice for beginners. It’s like playing your first football match against Steven Gerrard.

How about a list of all the available PCB’s, case options, button options, wiring options, their properties and advantages/disadvantages? If there are too many options, then give an explanation of the top ten most popular mods.

I may not know much about modding yet, but I know a thing or two about business models. The number one thing that would boost arcade shop sales, tournament activity, and forum activity is video/picture tutorials for modding.

Thousands of people have **felt like idiots **for posting questions on this forum. Thousands more have simply given up on modding or bought an expensive and boring Madcatz stick. The tech section is a newbie sponge by default, I wish the higher ups here would realize that and capitalize on it. Everyone would profit. A newbie thread is not enough, most don’t even know where to begin. Guides!


We have a ton of guides available on our sticky: Info Thread: Rules, FAQs and Tutorials Inside. (READ THIS BEFORE HITTING THAT NEW THREAD BUTTON!)

Also, is your biggest friend as far as gathering info. Here is how to wire a joystick from scratch on slagcoin: If you’re looking how to do LEDS, look no further than these guides: Light-up on activation button mod tutorial

You may also want to look into FGWidget, Sparky, or Arc Eyes. FGWidget is in that thread I just linked, near the end of it. I also made a video tutorial how to mod with LEDs using FGWidget:

Arc Eyes: ArcEye 2 LEDs - The Ultimate LED button mod!



If you want specific parts, is for you. They order directly from the manufacturers (Sanwa and Seimitsu) and ship it out to you, which is different than most retail arcade part shops, they buy a huge stock from a manufacterer or just on wholesale somewhere, and then sell what they have until sold out. Because of this, always has stock. If you’re shaky about currency conversion, PayPal does this all automtically. International shipping can be a pain, but EMS shipping usually arrives in about a week for me.
Yes, that is right, LS-56 does not have PCB, LS-56-01 has PCB. Joysticks with PCB can only be used in Common Ground setups, or for PCBs with a common line in all the directions, such as the SIXAXIS PS3 controller. JLF-TP has PCB, while JLF-TM does not. But JLF-TM is no longer produced by Sanwa, so you will have to cut the common ground on the PCB to use in Non Common Ground PCBs

You can try getting a JLF-TM8 which does not use the TP-MA PCB and harness. Or, if you can’t find one, buy 4 Omron MS-03-P microswitches and substitue those for the TP-MA.

Thanks for the links Skate, really helpful. I guess I’ll make the picture and video tutorials once I learn all this stuff, instead of telling everyone else to do it :). Because I LOVE modding and working on sticks.