Making a stick with a 1mm throw


is this a good or bad idea?

i want something precise without a deadzone (i’m a pad player).

I also want the actuator to hit the plunger without hitting the microswitch.


I think even a pad has more than a 1mm throw. The switch itself is at least 3mm so even if you wrap enough electrical tape around the actuator, you’d still get 2-3mm of throw from the switches. I can’t imagine why you’d want something so crazy. But hey, to each his own.


correct me if i’m wrong but the switch gets activated 1mm from the initial press, even if the plunger’s 3mm long.

i’m designing a baseplate that restricts the actuator from going 2mm into the plunger.


I think you’ve answered your own question. Cover the actuator in something to reduce the throw to the switch and make your base plate or panel restrict the throw just beyond the switch activation distance.

However I’d say you are crazy. Joysticks are good because they allow one to play with reckless abandon. Not too much throw or stiffness, not too little. When you’re up against the wall you can hammer a joystick and still be precise and not have it break. Those are it’s strong points I think. Especially if the joystick is fixed to something like on a cabinet rather than resting on one’s knees.

A joystick takes some getting used to, but if feels more satisfying because you can throw your weight into it and it’s very precise with some practise. If standard arcade joysticks are good enough for Daigo & Billy Mitchell et al. they good enough for me!


If you do this, post here with results .



noyboy, neartron… why am i crazy?

I’m not increasing the actuator with anything, I’m making a new basplate with a smaller hole and i’m moving the microswitches closer to the centre of the hole.

ok, maybe 2mm max.

will do.


that sounds like a lot of work…have you thought of the doing the cheap mod (the one where akihabara posted using post-its and electrical tape)?
keep us updated ^^


Well, here’s why I think its “crazy.”

A joystick gives you leeway to make some mistakes. On my joystick, if hold “down,” it will register as down wither or not I’m 2-3mm off center of true “down.” Removing that leeway and constricting yourself to, at most, 2-3mm going from left to right or up to down will require that you have VERY VERY precise movements.

Also, wrist movement is heavily involved in pulling off virtually everything in SF. Constraining yourself to such small movements may limit yourself to finger movements instead of being able to use the natural movement of your entire wrist.

All I’m saying is that high end play requires a level of precision, but that leeway that we get with normal throw sticks adds to that precision, otherwise our movements will be “right” or “wrong” with no “maybe” in between. If you wanna shorten the throw, that’s fine, but I don’t think eliminating ALL of the grey area is such a great idea.

Make sure to post your experiences.


It’s almost definitely a bad idea. I believe the deadzone actually helps you to hit diagonals. It also gives you the leeway to have an extremely responsive spring; that is, you can let the stick snap back to neutral and it will center itself without triggering another, unwanted directional press on the opposite side.


It is possible to mod the switches to have a 1 mm throw, I have done it and per has a video/instructable about it on youtube.


please show us.


Without the deadzone I don’t think it’ll be possible to hit diagonals without going from down TO downright/downleft. This will slow you down, because without the deadzone you will either move left or crouch straight first.

I imagine the stick will feel kind of funny, and you might injure your wrist. Careful w/ that.


the shape of the restrictor helps you to hit the diagonals, not the dead zone. secondly my stick useses a rubber block to center the stick which snaps back for quicker and a lot more acurately than a spring.


I disagree about the restrictor. What you might be thinking I meant is that a square restrictor has definite corners which helps to guide you, however my point is simply that once you move the switches too close to the stick you lose the ability to hit a diagonal cleanly. Instead of having freedom of movement to hit a diagonal (we aren’t perfect, we cannot move the stick in a perfect line) you will be forced at 1mm to hit a switch no matter what. The goal is to hit both switches at once at the same time.

The deadzone’s freedom of movement also allows you to make a smooth transition from trigger to trigger. You wrist is not accurate and thus you will need to play incredibly precise. To each their own though.


Exactly the point I’m trying to make. You can just tell it’s not going to be good just by trying. Position your hand as if you’re holding a joystick. Now try to make a comfortable QFC movement with it. Your wrist will barely move and you’ll probably see that only your fingers move (3 at the most). You’ll also probably see how incredibly still/stiff you’ll feel.


Seems easier to make the part of the stick that hits the restrictor larger, rather than making a new restrictor.


dedfrog, SouLoNi, noyboy… i see your point.

ok, i’ll reduce the hole size to restrict the throw just beyond the switch activation distance, but i wont reposition the switches (if i dont need to).

the throw of my stick, which is a suzo stc (the really old version, you’d be lucky to find a pic on google) has a 5mm throw, thats from nuetral to the restrictor.

the switch activates at around 2mm if not less. i hope that 3mm makes a difference.


do you have any pics of the restrictor? maybe you can fabricate one out of metal or plastic. also i think it would be easier to make the actuator bigger. if its round you can just spin up some plastic on a lathe and copy the shape of the old one just 2-3mm larger.


the thing is the actuator goes beyond the switch activation distance so it literally hits the side of the microswitch… it has a round restrictor but it doesnt feel round because it hits the microswitches… so increasing the size of the actuator isnt really something i want to go with.

if i decrease the hole size, i’ll get the 360 feel i’m looking for with the short throw.

i’ve got pictures of the stick in one of my previous threads. apparently the search option isnt there anymore and i cant be bothered to up new pics.


thats what i want, really small precise movements.:smokin: