HRAP2 Modding Guide/Review


#1

Many people seem to be wondering these days whether or not the HRAP2 is as easily modifiable as the HRAP1–it’s not posted very clearly anywhere what the inside of the HRAP2 is like or how to mod it. I finished modding my recently purchased HRAP2 so I thought I’d give a quick breakdown and show everyone what the inside of this thing looks like.

Opening the HRAP2 is just like opening the HRAP1–unscrew the 8 outer screws, unscrew the nuts which hold down the top faceplate, then unscrew the 6 nuts that hold down the top faceplate. For the nuts, you can either use a 7MM nut screwsriver or just use some skinny needle-nose pliers. However, there isn’t much space around a couple of the nuts so I would really recommend getting the nut screwdriver. The faceplate then lifts right up, giving you access to the innards.

Inside of HRAP2. As you can see, it is conveniently equipped with quick disconnects just like HRAP1. The joystick also uses the same connector plug as HRAP1. However, on the HRAP2, the joystick connector plug was hot glued into place. This was kind of annoying, as it took a few minutes to peel it all off so that I could unplug it.

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000018.JPG

Close up of joystick quick-disconnect:

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000022.JPG

Really hard to unscrew screws:

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000021.JPG

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000020.JPG

So, I borrowed a Japanese friends screwdriver and it happened to fit perfectly. However, the screws were a BITCH to get out, I had to hold the screwdriver down with one hand and with the other hand use a pair of pliers to loosen each screw. However, once I got each of them loosened up a bit, they came out quite easily.

Now, here is the stick I want to put in my HRAP2. It was recommended to me by TRY (the store in Akihabara where I bought all of the parts) as the best/easiest Seimitsu stick to put in an HRAP. Cost was only about 1800 yen per stick, about $16 each (I bought 2). Turns out it was infact the best stick, as it’s a fairly new model and does install relatively easily into the HRAP2 (and probably HRAP1 as well). It wasn’t problem-free though, either.

Here’s the pic, it’s a Seimitsu LS-32-02.

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000023.JPG

Unfortunately, the metal mounting plate that came with the joystick was screwed on in such a way that I’d have to install the joystick sideways in my HRAP2. Well, I wasn’t having that, so I simply unscrewed the four gold screws on top of the joystick that hold it on, rotated it 90 degrees, and screwed it back on. Problem solved.

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000025.JPG

So, now the joystick fits nicely inside of the HRAP2, but since the metal plate had to be rotated 90 degrees, you have to screw it into the HRAP2 on the sides instead of the top and bottom like the Sanwa was mounted. However, this was a slight problem, as the universal joystick connector gets in the way of one of the screwholes as you can see here:

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000026.JPG

There’s four screws, and apparently one is supposed to go in each corner, but there is simply no way to screw in the bottom left screw without breaking off or damaging the Seimitsu’s universal connector, and I’d much rather use that than have to screw in the joystick and then go through the hassle of soldering. So, I simply screwed in the fourth and final screw into the middle left screwhole instead of the bottom left. I think it ought to be fine.

Finally, the (almost) final product!

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000027.JPG

Looks pretty smooth as you can see. I got a blue balltop for it and I’m getting some pink Seimitsu PS-14-GX buttons to compliment it (same buttons used in the super-rare special edition HRAP1). I had to special order the buttons from TRY since they only carry Sanwa buttons. I really wanted to go all out Seimitsu with this one though (FYI: Most Japanese fighting game cabinets use Sanwa OSBF-30 buttons).

My other biggest complaint about the HRAP2–which I noticed immediately after trying out the joystick initially–was the awful placement of the L1 and L2 buttons. On the HRAP1, they didn’t get in the way since they were to the left of the main six buttons. The HRAP2 goes for a button layout to exactly match the Japanese cabinet layout, which is great, but they had to fudge it up by putting L1 and L2 RIGHT NEXT to R1 and R2 which are typically Fierce and Roundhouse, respectively.

Even when they’re not mapped to anything, they’re quite annoying, and since they’re so close I could easily see myself wanting to push them or something by accident thinking they will do something. Also, in games like Guilty Gear where they might be mapped to something dangerous like Taunt or Memory, these buttons would be hit far too much and far too easily. Think about how many people paused at Evo, and multiply it by several times.

Fortunately, I remedied this by getting some button-fillers, also from the store “Try” for only 100 yen each. They’re quite nice, and it makes the HRAP2 overall feel much more natural. I think that this is definitely the most important mod for HRAP2 owners.

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000028.JPG

Now, L1 and L2 are out of the way and the button fillers are almost flush with the HRAP2 itself. The other great thing about the button layout after modification is that your hand is now farther away from the select and start buttons, which has never been a problem for me but apparently some people love to hit them, especially at big tournaments and in the middle of important matches.

I gave the stick a good test run after finishing these two mods and it’s already GREAT. I always had a problem playing on HRAPs with Sanwa before, as far as doing links consistently (particularly double fireballs) and what have you. Also, doing any custom combo in CVS2. I discovered that this was because almost all game centers infact use Seimitsu joysticks, not Sanwa, for games like 3S and CVS2. Other games IIRC such as Tekken, VF4, Guilty Gear and the like all use Sanwa, but I can play all of these games just as well on a Seimitsu (not the other way around, however). So, for me personally, the Seimitsu stick is the best solution for a joystick for PS2 usage.

The non-mirror top on the HRAP2 is also tons better than the HRAP1 that scratches if you breathe on it. Also, when your hands rest on the HRAP2, it feels natural like an arcade cabinet instead of having the feeling that your hands are sticky/glued to the mirror-top (which was one of my biggest gripes about HRAP1).

The buttons, after I received them, were replaced just as easily as replacing buttons in the HRAP1. Simply remove the quick disconnects (might be easier with pliers than just your hands), pop out the buttons, snap or screw the new ones in depending on which buttons you bought. Easy!

Final Review score of HRAP2:
(Out of 10)

Before modding: 7.0 (great joystick, but still equipped with crappy Hori buttons by default, and bad placement of L1 and L2 makes the joystick lose major points if you leave the joystick unmodified).

After modding: 10.0! I think this will be the last joystick I ever need. Finally, having Japanese arcade-perfect parts along with the right size, weight, and feel–I think I will be much more comfortable when I go back to playing in console-based tournaments next year.

The finished product:

http://webspace.utexas.edu/harveycr/P1000030.JPG

The end! Questions/comments welcome.


#2

Awesome indepth guide on the HRAP2. What differences do you feel when using Seimitsu vs Sanwa buttons and joysticks.


#3

Joysticks:

Sanwa JLF-TP-8Y-SK

This is the joystick used in VF4, Tekken 5, and most Guilty Gear Japanese arcade cabinets. I think this joystick is best suited for 3D games as the directions/switches are very precise. However, doing double-fireball motions and custom combos on one of these is more difficult than usual. I don’t think these joysticks were really designed for motions like this–I can’t describe it, but motions feel really weird and especially hitting the angles for Sakura/Bison CCs is quite difficult.

Seimitsu LS-32/LS-32-01/LS-32-02

As far as I know, there isn’t much of a difference between these sticks except for the way they’re mounted. As I understand it, most game centers use the regular LS-32. The “Special Addition HRAP” uses the LS-32-01, and the one I purchased was the LS-32-02 (which is just a newer version of the 01).

Seimitsu joysticks are used in almost every 2D fighting game cabinet, specifically 3rd Strike/CVS2. I am pretty sure I have played both Guilty Gear and Samurai Spirits on both Seimitsus and Sanwas before, it just depends on the game center you go to (I prefer Seimitsu for Samurai Spirits, but as for Guilty Gear I am fine on either one). I’m not sure what Melty Blood uses as I don’t play it.

Seimitsus also more closely resemble American-style competition joysticks in that whenever you do motions, you can clearly feel the switches. The average American player would probably be able to adjust to a Seimitsu much more smoothly than to a Sanwa–especially as I said for games like 3rd Strike and CVS2 as these are games typically not played on Sanwa.

Buttons:

Sanwa OSBF-30

These buttons are in every Japanese game center I have played in. I think Tekken/VF4 might use different buttons sometimes but 2D fighters have always had these buttons. The nice thing about Sanwa buttons is how sensitive they are–you really just have to brush against them to activate them. On the other hand, they can be easy to activate or accidentally press, especially under pressure. However, they’re great buttons and are the standard in Japanese arcades.

Seimitsu PS-14-GX

These are the buttons I ordered for my HRAP2 mod, and also the buttons used in the “Special Addition” AKA all-Seimitsu HRAP. One of the neat things about these buttons is you can get them with black borders which I personally think looks really awesome.

The thing different about Seimitsu buttons is how the cherry switch activates. They press almost as smoothly as the Sanwas, but at the bottom of the press you can very slightly feel the switches activating. It’s a little bit easier to verify a button press with them than the Sanwas, but as a tradeoff the sensitivity is slightly less. It’s still a much smoother/easier button press than, say, a Happ competition button. Overall, there is almost no difference between the two and I doubt it would affect anyone’s gameplay very much. My biggest concern with buttons is Kara-throwing and Kara-cancelling in 3rd strike and FRC’ing in Guilty Gear. Kara-throwing is about equally difficult (equally easy?) with both the Sanwa and the Seimitsu buttons. In giving Guilty Gear a test run, though, I was able to FRC slightly easier with the Seimitsus. Most people probably wouldn’t notice a difference, and some people would probably be better with the Sanwas, but those were my initial thoughts.


#4

very informative guide


#5

thanks a lot, i got some money to burn now!


#6

Couple of Q’s:

Besides one being newer than the other, what is the difference between ls-32-02 and ls-32-01?

Is it safe to say that unmodded, the only dfference between HRAP2 and HRAP are the way the buttons are placed? HRAP2 is more arcade style but HRAP is placed further apart from the joystick (even though they become closer to the start/select buttons). Is it normal, or rather is it comfortable having the buttons closer to the joystick for the HRAP2? Do arcades in Japan also have their buttons close to the joystick like HRAP2, or further apart like HRAP?


#7

As for the difference between LS-32-01 and LS-32-02, I have no idea. The difference is definitely very minor, and probably unnoticeable (I can’t even notice a difference between LS-32 and LS-32-02).

Unmodded, there are two differences between HRAP2 and HRAP–first is the way that the buttons are placed, and second is the way it feels when you rest your hands on it. I think it is pretty important to note that the HRAP1 feels a little strange to rest your hands on, because the mirror material is kind of sticky compared to a normal arcade cabinet. HRAP2 feels more like you’re resting your hands on an actual arcade cabinet.

Japanese arcades have their buttons close to the joystick like HRAP2. HRAP2 button layout/placement is exactly like the arcade. HRAP1 is a little different but doesn’t bother most people.

Edit: Nevermind, I was right the first time!


#8

Isn’t the only difference between the LS-32 and the LS-32-01/02 is the fact that the LS-32-01/02 uses the wire harness like a typical Sanwa JLF?


#9

You are probably right on!


#10

Just wanted to chime in and say that I successfully (and fairly easily) modded my HRAP 2 with Sanwa buttons (snap-ins, both the 24 mm and 30 mm buttons fit in perfectly). Opening up the stick was pretty painless although the bolts holding on the joystick/button plate were a little tough to reach. Also, the quick disconnects for the buttons were a little loose, but they work fine, so I’m not all that concerned. If they come undone, I guess I’ll probably open up the stick and crimp them a little, no big deal.


#11

How comparable is the Seimitsu stick and a sanwa with an octagonal restrictor plate?


#12

Very nice guide, very nice. Many people will use it I think.
Also, I think LS-32-02 has updated PCB.
And you must compare PS-14-GX with the OBSF-30RG, they use almost same switch.
And if you examine sanwa and seimitsu joysticks together I think sanwa`s are way better constructed and look better also (and why do seimitsu use that crappy shaft that looks like a rustbar?). For gameplay both are good, no dought.


#13

I think it’s correct.

for comparison:

Sega Net City
http://internet.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/parts/image_for_link/2925-1499-2-2.html

Sanwa Control Panel
http://www.sanwa-d.co.jp/p_panel.htm

HRAP2
http://www.hori.jp/products/ps2/controller/realarc_pro2/index.html

Hmmm…


#14

Actually, I heard from Mopreme that I was wrong the first time so I edited my post.

But, to make extra sure, I made some measurements while at the local game center tonight =)

The HRAP2 is infact exactly like MOST Japanese arcade cabinets. The Sega Impress, Astro City, and VS City cabinets (which are all almost exactly the same) all have buttons the exact same distance from the joystick as HRAP2. These are the cabinets that house almost all 2D fighting games as well as VF4.

However, Namco’s official Tekken 5 cabinet has the 4 buttons a little bit farther away from the joystick than HRAP2.

Finally, the dedicated Atomiswave cabinet has buttons spaced even farther away–but still not even close to the HRAP1 distance!

So, HRAP2 has the most arcade-perfect button layout, and the distance from the joystick to the buttons is exactly the same as non-Tekken 5 and Atomiswave fighting games.

Here are the exact measurements (from the edge of the plastic ring of the joystick to the left edge of the top-left button):

Sega Impress/Astro City/VS City: 3 centimeters.
Tekken 5: 4.25 centimeters
Atomiswave: 4.5 centimeters.

HRAP2: 3 centimeters.

HRAP1: 6 centimeters!

So, HRAP2 has the most arcade-accurate controls on a retail joystick to date. =)

The HRAP1 actually has a quite long and unnatural distance between the joystick and buttons compared to Japanese arcade if you use the default six buttons.


#15

Wow, great!:wow:


#16

Hmm… It’s not like I have big hands, but I’m much more comfortable with HRAP distance because it’s more similiar to american arcade distances. So in a way it’s like a ghetto hybrid…

I’m just trying to justify if the accuracy of the HRAP2 is good enough for me to purchase, since I already have HRAP and all.


#17

Overall the differences are pretty minor, the HRAP2 simply “completes” the HRAP giving it the finishing touches it needed to be the best joystick IMO. HRAP1 is still an excellent joystick, and a great deal for the price too consiering you can pick one up for around $60 here in Japan.

It’s still a matter of preference. HRAP2 is pretty expensive after shipping costs and everything, but definitely worth it if you are a perfectionist like myself. The decision is up to you. :tup:


#18

hey fubarduck are there any disadvantages to installing the ls-32 sideways and just using a 5-pin connector to switch the direction readings like in buffi’s guide?


#19

I don’t think it matters what direction the stick is installed, I simply installed it the easiest possible way. I’m not familiar with buffi’s guide, but if you wanted to install the joystick sideways and just wire the directions differently to suit your needs, I’m sure it wouldn’t make a difference.


#20

^coo, when i get my ls-32 i’ll prob install it the way u did, i was just woundering becuase i know a few people did it the other way.

Great guide by the way