LED lighting a Sanwa stick help / Semi-tutorial


Hey guys, I have a few questions about LED lighting a Sanwa JLF stick. I’ve read the threads and individual posts around the board, but can’t find some absolute, direct answers. I’m also formatting this help thread in a way that will be useful for others in case they want to do the same thing.

From what I’ve read in the threads and in shop sites, I will require:

*Notes: “threading” denotes the size of the screw holes on the bottom of the ball. Some shafts are a little thicker and may require a 10mm+ threading. But standard JLFs always use 6mm.

STEP 1: I am using the Remora LED Controller by Toodles, of which, has 2 solder spots labelled E1 and E2. Soldering an LED to E1 causes a constant light up whereas soldering an LED to E2 causes a breathing effect. I’m choosing E2. (If you dont have Remora, there is a lot of other LED boards that can do the same thing!)

STEP 2: General circuit of this entire process: Remora’s E2 -> wire -> Resistor -> Cathode leg of LED. Then, Anode Leg of LED -> Wire ->Ground. Can someone confirm this?

STEP 3: The resistor is determined via 3 variables: LED’s forward voltage, power source voltage, and LED current (mA). I need your help here guys. The forward voltage of my LED is 5v. The Remora’s power source voltage is 5v (because it’s power source is coming from the main PCB, which in turn, is using USB @ 5v). Can someone confirm that the power source of my set up is 5v?

The LED current is, I assume, 20 mA. Can someone confirm this?

If that’s all confirmed, that the resistor I would need is a 1 ohm 1/8th watt resistor. Determined using: http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz

STEP 4: I take a wire, solder one end to E2 and then connect the other end to the resistor. I then follow the path outlined in STEP 2. The LED should function as intended now. (If you don’t know where to wire ground, look at the screw terminals of your dual mod and you can pop the ground wire into there. If you don’t have a dualmod, look at the USB wires and slice open the black one and connect your ground wire into that)

STEP 5: I take apart the stick and install the hollow stick (use slagcoin.com for reference on the stick’s individual pieces). Then reassemble…

STEP 6: I need a balltop that is compatible with the standard JLF 6 mm threading and also has a hollow bottom that the LED can poke through.

I noticed most people use the Seimitsu LB-39, the ones with the little bubbles inside for most LED Joysticks: http://www.paradisearcadeshop.com/en/65-seimitsu-35mm-bubble-balltops

Can someone confirm these indeed do have a “hollow bottom?” Its not clear from the pictures. Secondly, the Sanwa Clears LB-35 line: http://www.paradisearcadeshop.com/en/148-sanwa-lb-35-translucent-balltops

These are perfectly clear, but do not have that hollow bottom. Does anyone know of balltops thats are perfectly clear like the Sanwas without the bubbles, but also possess a hollow bottom? Thanks!

STEP 7: Voila done.

Thanks for anyone who read all this and can provide help. Thankyous.

My Hori Fighting Edge needs help ! LED talk

It depends on how you want to do this mod, but you have most of it right on.
Balltops are variable on whether they have hollow bottoms or not. We have been working with the new supplier of ball tops coming on the scene to suggest they standardize on a hollow bottom to make led mods less expensive but typically the insert used is the one that was cheapest when manufacturing was run. This goes for Sanwa, Seimitsu, Chinese knock offs, etc. The good news is that even the brass is easy to drill through, the bad news is, even if it’s “open” you still have to drill a little to see the led nicely. (the other good news is that if you write Susan a nice note, she’ll drill it out for you, most times she’ll do this automatically if she notices you are buying parts to light up a stick. Yes, people should be embarrassed that my wife drills out ball tops without a second thought, and most people here freak out about it)

I would recommend against using clear tops without some type of diffusion in them. Clear tops just work like a lens and don’t look great when you led mod them. On that note you can go with the Hoke tops for RGB capability, but you will require a 10mm threaded stick.

If you buy the LED you have hilited, it comes with the resistor for 5v installed… no need to buy another one, just connect to 5v and you are ready to go.

The easiest way to assemble is to pull the wires down through the hollow shaft instead of pushing the led up through. The even easier way is to sweet talk Susan in to assembling it for you. She builds 5-30 led sticks a day for our standard LED stick line.

Let me know if that helps and have fun!


Thanks Armi for the indepth response.

I would’ve purchased your pre assembled LED sticks, but I really like the Sanwa JLFs.

At any rate, by your recommendation, I’m going to purchase the Seimitsu 6mm threaded clear balltops with the bubbles in them. I’m going to be just going with a basic white LED, good to know they already have the resistors.

Now…the real question of the hour, how does one go about contacting LED Master Susan?


email, sales@paradisearcadeshop.com or susan@paradisearcadeshop.com

Seimitsu and Sanwa are higher quality sticks, but the Paradise Brand ones are nice. Just to check… you said you like Sanwa JLF’s but you are ordering a Seimitsu shaft?


I ordered the standard size hollow Sanwa JLF shaft, but I bought a Seimitsu balltop (LB 39). They are compatible…right? 6mm threading…

I used the Contact Us tab at the top of the site for my message to Susan. I hope she gets it.

Im guessing she’s your partner in crime :wink: If so, that’s a badass duo.


You can also light up your joystick on press by using one of 2 options

  1. NAND chip
  2. Toodles FGWidget LED controller (you’re gonna have to substitute one of the resistor arrays with different resistors for it to work)

You can also take a good drill bit ( I use a titanium head drill bit) and drill the inside of the balltop until you hit plastic to get that metal out of there. To not damage the threads, put tape around the sides of the drill bit


@mr.mortified I thought the widget would work natively?
@DJYin yep, Susan is my wife, I’ll let her know. And, yes, the Seimitsu ball top will work on that shaft.


@Mr.Mortified, I wish light up on press was possible with Remora. :frowning:
@Armi, thanks man, you’re a great help.


We do have new leds and an led board coming out… :slight_smile: It is based on Arduino platform and is capable of taking all the inputs from a stick and controlling many more leds than anyone should need to. We are about a month out from releasing it though.


I’m interested. I’m kinda at my limit in terms of spending for arcade stick stuff, but I’ll definitely check it out when you guys release it.


Nope the resistor array supplied by toodles is incorrect for the board. There was a thread about this a while back. you need to put in 3 resistors in series for the balltop LED instead of the 6 pin resistor array