Me and my hired joystick maker... speaking 2 different languages?


I don’t know whether I understand joystick connection theory better than my hired hand who does the physical work with the soldering gun? He admits he tired a PCB with RJ-45 based adapters once and it failed.

TYo recap I have a jidigtal stick and 11 buttons. The are designed to be verticaly symmertic for rotating 180 degrees and playing eithe rleft or right handed. The buttons are Y-wired into 2 DB37 females (Why DB37, when 25 is sufficient? It’s not sufficient for Colecovision where a) the design employs a 3.5 mm input remapping telephone operator switchboard, and any inpu can be any output and vice versa, and b) there are 2 grounds on CV. Some inputs hook to ground A and others to ground B. So for a versatile joystick, the appropriate ground must be carried wiht the corresponding signal so there’s no problems) One for the standard left stick arrangement, and one for the right stick arrangement assuming Mirror (index-to-index) mapping. Only one will be used at once.

The D37 has 18 inputs, 18 corresponding grounds, and one voltage wire. The way the PRO want to do it is wire the DB37 into the ethernet port on the bottom of the MC Cthulhu. I stopped him thinking, if this is his default mode, I think he doesn’t understand the theory, he’s just the wire monkey.

What I originally thought what SHOULD happen is the 18 inputs (15 in reality, but I got room for L3, R3, and Capture on Switch if some PCB supports it.) should be wired into the sides of the Cthulhu, where QK goes in 1K, MK goes in 2K, ewtc… and then, because pretty much everything except the Colecoviiosn uses one ground, combine the 18 into any one or more of the ground holes. (i don’t know whether the should be separate wires or combined inside the Cthulhu is vitally important or if it’s a matter of preference, but I’d like some advice on that because I’m obviously stepping outside his comfort zone, connecrt the voltage to where it should go and it’s completely ready for PS3. Just supply my own USB B F-> USB A M Cable. To make it work with an RJ45-enabled retro console, get an Ethernet M-M, strip one end put 12345678 into GABCDEFV and the other end should be plugged into a keystone ethernet double female mounted on the box, and from there I plug my RJ-45 M to respective game console adapter.

Am I right for correcting him and trying to stop him? Does the way I want it done make sense? I cannot possibly see how his hookup make sense, but I want to be charitable and assume he’s going off previous knowledge, which does not apply here, because of a radical design change. and not accuse him of being either ignorant or a saboteur, but is that the reason why he’s never successfully hooked up an RJ-45 based PCB? MAybe his way would technically work too, but it frustrates my goals.

Then again, he said he had to do some wiring for a PS3/PC/Mac? Does he literally have the body and the brain for the “hard facts”, but I have the brain that can make sense of maze logic, like for example, I can always seem to figure out the wiring for all 15+ home systems, 2 TVs, Macintosh, HDMI Hub, Composite/S-Video Hub, Component hub, 5 linear media player/(recorders), the internet and phone. And when we talk to each other, he goes by the book and I think outside the box, and he can’t seem to comprehend what I want, nor can I him? I know this is kind of dysfunciotnal, but this is the only avenue I got, and his physical workmanship is excellent.

My ideas are a little too high-falootin’ for most people. Most people, when I describe it wouldn’t touch it. But one different person thought they could take advantage of me by trying to convince me I want 2 different games for 2 different consoles played simultaneously from the same joystick, and charge well more than the agreed amount. The only possible use where that might come in handy is a joystick move recording and playback device. It’s practicality is it controls the input, and therefore is the ultimate test of whether a video game can legally be defined as a skill based game by the easiest no-modding definition. If the video game playback is exactly the same, then you can assume there are no random elements (or rarer than the lottery that the random seeds lined up perfectly.) He was over engineering, and he wanted me to pay for it. And when I say it’s over engineered, based on my unusual picky design choices, that’s something.


Me and my hired joystick maker… speaking 2 different languages?

Find someone else


His modder should find someone else to be honest. Tripletopper sounds like a fucking nightmare to work with.


@darksakul I meant proverbially not literally. I don’t know the technical terms and he can’t convert my non-technical terms in his mind to what he needs to do…

The way my modder was describing it to my brother: my modder said take the DB37, which are 37 individual pins externally connected to inputs, grounds, and voltage, and he wanted to put that into the Ethernet cable?

The previous paragraph is what he said. I don’t think it’s just the modder conveying directly the message, because I got the exact same message when my brother translated his talk.

If I read the instructions of the MC Cthulhu right, the individual inputs, (as organized by a DB 37 connector in my case) should go into the CORRESPONDING screw terminals, like LK in 1K, MK in 2K, etc…, not the Ethernet cable. Right?

If I’m reasoning right, how do you convert individual inputs into Ethernet, which is just a medium to deliver the coded signal output to be used by the consoles, BEFORE it enters the designated individual inputs for controller signals?. Isn’t the MC Chulhu the computer brains whose only job is to convert individual inputs and process them in a coded signal that can be read eventually by a console.

I don’t know enough of the technical terms, and I don’t know how to operate the tools to build things myself, but I can follow a directional logic maze. Many years of connecting many consoles to TVs, DVD recorders, VCRs, in very complex ways developed my amateur training on that. Mixing up the inputs and outputs would throw off your directional traffic flow. I’m thinking if you splice random wires and combine them straight in the Ethernet, your results will be gobbledygook, let alone have a case of a electrical “head-on traffic crash” of something that’s supposed to go inbound tries to “come in through the out door”.

And yes, I apologize for being too hard on people. Stanley previously built a high quality stick, but I thought it was a multi console stick, when it was just a 360 stick.

I knew some unusual features are needed, especially thinking of the right hand mirror vs shadow mapping problem. I thought about it even way back in 93.

I had previous bad experiences with KY Enterprises. Even though their implementation may have been shoddy, maybe they were right about 3.5 mm being a good telephone operator connector. That’s what I avoided the first time with Stanley, but I learned the flaws.

The bad experience with KY Enterprises kind of colored my experience that these things break down a lot, and are a pain to repair. I did not want to send it back. Most off-the-shelf joysticks don’t break. Mine broke in 2 weeks and again after another week. Stanley make high quality stuff, I just don’t know if it’s my failure to speak right or his failure to listen. KY Enterprises listened right, their work was just shoddy.

And frankly I’m not that picky about joystick makes or button makes. My artwork is plain white. But the things I care about most apparently very few people know how to deal with. How many people have had to deal with remappable inputs? How many people even KNOW that’s an issue with right handed sticks until you mention it, and use Tutankham, Side Arms and Pac-Land as examples? How many had to deal with ambidexterity? How many had to deal with pre-NES systems? How many tried to make it as user-friendly as possible so they are not at the mercy of repairpeople? How many in all 5 combined universes?

I can’t think of any. And yes I understand the most “custom” thing 99% of the stick clientele want are custom button layout and custom artwork, which most people can deal with. I understand I’m asking a lot.

But if I’m going to spend $300+ on a stick, i want it to last long and work with everything I need, past, present and future, and not just fight games, but anything that would benefit by a fight stick, and be both a left- and right-handed stick.


And this is my regular day job responsibilities talking now:

I don’t know what was originally agreed upon with your builder, but if you were clear in your requirements and he agreed to them, and yet he can’t deliver what you asked for (ie, due to lack of knowledge/qualifications, and not doing (or willing to do) the research/learning themselves), then you need to find someone else.


Actually the thing that ONLY he can do, (work with his original joystick,) has been done by him, wiring the joystick box to the DB37s. I assume there are plenty of other competent wirers who can add an external MC Cthulhu to a DB37 if told what pins represent what functions.

Thanks for the advice. Maybe this is going to have to be done in bits and pieces by different people.

By the way @freedomgundam, are you offering to work on my stick for money personally and specifically (details, if any, to be negotiated privately), or are you just offering general advice?


Nope, sorry. That was just general advice, coming from my line of work.

Stick-building and modding is just one out of several time-consuming hobbies of mine, so I don’t do full builds or major mods for anyone outside of family and close friends. I don’t even do basic mods for local FGC members anymore.

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Actually part of the thing was checking to see if my theoretical work was actually possible. I know my ideas, if uncheck by reality might be unrealistic.

Like for example I wasn’t sure if having 2 DB37s on my stick, one left handed, one right handed, but only having one hooked up is electronically equivalent to a single connector, like for example using one female and either the other female or the male to hook up S-Video and be able to be pickup up by my PVR without decreasing power in the signal, as long as both aren’t hooked up. My DVR didn’t work when the signal was split to 2 outs, but if there were 2 out doors, but only one os being used, it’s exactly the same as one out.

He told me that made sense.

But he had a dickens of a time trying to figure out how to wire the other side unit I gave him these 2 diagrams:
If this was normal:

He couldn’t figure out without the picture I wanted this the other side:

Also I might not be good at explaining it. So we have to go back and forth becuase I don’t tknow the prpoer term for what I want done.

Finally I put 2 and 2 together that he doesn’t understand the concept of an RJ45 connector. I don’t think he understands that I have RJ45-> other console connectors at home. I think he still thinks its an input and not an output.

Am I smart enough to recognize disaster before it happens? Or am I over reacting? I’m mainly questioning myself: do I know more than I claim to be an expert on through life learning and common sense, or do I know just enough to cause trouble?

I think I spotted a disaster moment, where someone forced me to sign an agreement where either I shut up, or he will follow my design exactly and not be held responsible. This coming from the guy who wanted to have 1 joystick control 2 different consoles simultaneously, and him trying to charge me an arm and a leg for this technology which I never asked for. I just chose not to work with him.

Be honest.

You know I would not be on is the only Right Handed off-the-shelf joysticks since the NES first came out were Beeshus and thats literally it. If Beeshu were around today, maybe I’d be a happy Beeshu customer instead of looking for the holy grail of controllers.

And even they wouldn’t be perfect. I even found 3 games where Beeshu’s mirror mapping would hurt a game, and a redesign was needed. Unless you thing using left rfire button to fire right is a good thing, then mhy point is well taken.


Lol, those diagrams are a failure of communication. Instead of using the standard abbreviations (which are even used on the Cthulhu welcome sheet) you’ve used what I can only assume are North South East West to represent Up Down Left Right? Why muddy the waters like that?

And using QP / QK?? What does the ‘Q’ represent? And how does that logically correlate with the M & H & 3 on the other buttons?

Btw… you do realise that HP and 3P refer to the same pinout on the Cthulhu… right? So you have two punch buttons and two kick buttons operating the same command. Congrats.

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Quick Punch and Quick Kick. (that’s an optimistic view of what Light Punch and Light Kick is. In a real fight, no one would want to intentionally throw a light punch or kick unless it has some advantage that a heavy punch and kick doesn’t have. The advantage is it’s quick. Calling it “light” is emphasizing the negative.) You couldn’t figure that out by context? Plus it makes Medium sound more desirable too. It’s medium in both Strength AND Speed.

If one only Played Street Fighter I with the analog buttons, one assumed harder is always better and is only limited by your personal physical strength and endurance. (really without the pressure sensitive buttons and with the 6 separate attack buttons, were there any advantages to throwing a quick punch or kick?)

And 3P and 3K is the fourth button where you press all 3 punches or kicks at the same time. Obviously, the content indicates what I mean. If I labeled it 1K 2K 3K and 4K, then it make sense when used together. Also QK MK HK and 3K make sense when used together.

And you were able to figure N,S,W,E is equivalent to U, D, L, R. And with certain consoles labeling a button L and R, using N, S, E, W clears the confusion. Heck Konami took advantage of that by making the traditional Konami code (using your notation, UUDDLRLRBA) a suicide code, but using L and R instead or W and E, and the code works to your benefit.


And that confirms you are speaking a different language that’s causing a communication barrier.

Why not just use the same abbreviations as on the Cthulhu installation documentation? And you know that there is no single pinout on the Cthulhu that operates all three punch or kick buttons at the same time, right? The modder would need to use multiple signal wires running to a single point on the microswitch.


On the option screens of most of these games, the extra 2 buttons are labeled as the 3P and the 3K. That’s what they’re called. What else do you call the 3P and 3K buttons? In the context of the conversation. Most Street fighter fans understand 3P and 3K ads the 7th and 8th button, not the 3 buttons literally fused together.

Now do I have common sense. He admits he never got a RJ45 working before. And if I understand him right, he said was going to wire the 37 pins into the RJ-45 connectors. My fundamental problem is he’s “going in the out door.”

If I understand the design of the MC Cthulhu right, the “in doors” are the individual inputs wiht the screw termimals, and there are 2 “out doors” the USB B female for the PS3/PC/Mac and the RJ-45 for the RJ-45 path which goes into retro consoles with those RJ-45 individual retro console adapter/converter, whatever word you want to use. The point is that is traffic away from the PCB to the console’s controller port.

If I’m right, then my instincts were right to stop him. And he has admitted he tried once with an RJ-$5 and failed. If that’s his tendency, that explains his failure. I was saving my project.


OK, I think I see the problem here - you’re fixating on a stick that you’ve had in mind since 1993 and you’re struggling to articulate it to other people. Take a step back and breathe, I get it, I get OCD, but your posts are basically impossible to understand.

As a minimum, you need to use the phrases that are on the PCB you’re working with. 1p-4p, 1k-4k, u, d, l ,r.

If I understand it right you want an ambidexterous stick that uses project boxes for PCBs?


In the context of the modification AND in the context of the Cthulhu pcb you should be labelling the commands exactly as they appear on the pcb’s documentation.

You should not be making up your own abbreviations like QP & QK.

You should not be using abbreviations that confuse the other abbreviations. The way you’re using it on those diagrams, 3P could refer to the 3P on the PCB or it could refer to any three combinations of 1P 2P 3P 4P.

You think that the way you communicate is logical but it really isn’t (as you’ve been told time and time again on this forum), improve on that or learn how to do the modification yourself.


First of all, he didn’t at first understand the relationship between the left hand mapping and the right hand mapping. My diagram cleared it it.

Secnd, I would clear it up if there was any confusion. My modder understands THAT portion. I think he understands the 3K and the 3P refer to the 7th and 8th button usually mapped to 3P and 3K. But thanks for telling me how that can be misinterpreted. I’ll mention it to him tonight and see what the issue is. I’m not sure if this was brought up before or not, but if it wasn’t it is now.

Third, why are guys trying to stir up controversy? When the issue or right hand mapping came up, I came up with those diagrams. But that’s not the issue we’re having conflict over. If my brother’s understanding of his description is correct, he thinks the RJ-45 is an input, that individual controller signals go in there, or if he doesn’t think that, I don’t know what he thinks and neither does my brother.

Based on my limited understand, from experience hooking up many games, TV, and movie players to each other, I know it goes from A’s out to B’s in, not A’s out to B’s out. I believe the only ins are the 1K, 2K, etc. screw terminals, the outs to the PS3/PC/Mac is the USB B female, and the outs to the retro systems is the RJ-45 points of connection

I know the general rule is to clarify and talk. We talk many times back and forth. We’re trying to get this to work, he wants his money and a satisfied customer, I want my joystick and to recommend him.

I don’t mainly care about the misinterpretations about QK, Mk, HK, 3K, vs 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K, or QP/QK vs LP/PK. Or 3P/3K vs whatever notation you want to use for the 7th and 8th button, That’s not the issue that’s causing us strife. The issue is he believes the RJ-45 are inputs, and based on my understanding, I think they are Outputs that go to the console controller port.

We are butting heads. I know he’s the expert, but he admitted he never successfully done an RJ-45 mod. That’s why I’m seeking outside help. On this one issue, my modder, if both my brother and I understand him correctly, thinks the RJ45 is an input, and I think it’s an output.

Is there some way he could be right from a certain point of view? I want to be charitable and assume he knows what he’s talking about before I accuse him of not and have the evidence.

That why I brought this topic to SRK, to use the wisdom of the crowd on this particular issue whether I am totally wrong IN THE CASE BEING DEBATED (not talking about other stuff, but if other issues do come up, which they did, I thank you for brining stuff up and heading them off at the pass, instead of when it’s too late) , whether he’s totally wrong, or whether we’re both right from different points of view. and we see their flaws according to our perspectives respectively. I want to see what’s right about his perspective. And I need help conveying the truth I see from my perspective.

Everyone wants to see what’s wrong about me instead of what’s right. I know I’m challenging conventional wisdom with the right handed stick being the easiest, biggest performance enhancement. I know this is one of few websites where I can link up to people to have my joystick made that might actually get a decent response. I know most people don’t deal with ambidexterity-specific issues, like the Tutankham/Side Arms/Pac-Land button reverse issue? I’ve seen them brought up nowhere else on SRK. So I understand I stand out.

My hope is to make this joystick for both me, and as a model to use in mass-manufacture joysticks which solves the Lefty-only problem, that, since the NES, was addressed by one company, Beeshu. As soon as they died corporately, no one picked up where they left off. So literally the ONLY place I can go is custom. And I found an error in their design that needs to be fixed, specifically the Index Middle vs Left Right problem.

I appreciate being told how I’m wrong, but no one is willing to tell me how I’m right. I admit I’m not an expert, hence why I need help. I know what I want, but not how to do it. When I, an amateur, spot something that seems not quite right, am I supposed to turn a blind eye to it? Just because I didn’t use other conventions doesn’t mean I don’t see what might be a logic flaw.


The RJ-45 is the output.

As a complete aside: as a builder, wouldn’t he test out the stick before handing it to you?
If he somehow found a way to wire up the RJ-45 as an input, the stick would clearly not work.
I don’t know what your agreement with him is, but by my books, an issue like that would be on him and he’d have to find a way to fix it.


Ask your modder to join this forum so we can speak to him.


First, If Stanley is not an SRK member, I’ll ask him to at least look at this…

Thank you FreedomGundam so saying exactly what I was thinking. It’s meant to be an output to classic consoles. Even if it could be an input, my assumptions were based off the RJ45 being an output to classic consoles.

Also, it’s better to head a problem off at the pass than for him to completely ruin it and start over for something so preventable. He admits he’s tried one before and failed. Maybe he always assumed it was an input and never an output. I would not want him to ruin a perfectly good joystick, and then (worst case scenario) have him claim it’s my fault for wanting an RJ-45.

He misunderstood me once before. I wanted a multi-console joystick, he gave me just a 360 stick only, but it was partially my fault for having a bad experience with 3.5mm as easy-and-frequent button swappers. Luckily I salvaged it many years later and it worked out any. Now with 3.5 mm cables being $1.00 from China, I can easily replace it, assuming the construction on the females is soldered good.

By the way, all he needs is to test one console for it to work with the whole RJ-45 concept, right? I’ll have to ask which retro consoles he owns. I’m sending something to his address anyway, so why not an RJ45 Adapter to test it with? Should I assume if it woks for one then it works for all, assuming all the adapters are done right?

If he has many and one is an SNES, I would prefer the SNES to test the BAR->YBA adapter and the “American shift” adapter, which makes a 3x2 American layout with the 3P and 3K being transferred to the QP and QK buttons.

As an aside, If Toodles did have alternate NES, TG16, and Xbox Prime options, a YBA SNES option should hhave been both no-brainer and easy to pull off. But if he’s not going to do it, which he has implied he won’t, then I guess I’m going to have to do it. That’s a common enough shift where it should have been an option. Even Capcom’s SNES Fight Stick used a YBA setup, mainly for non-Street Fighter games.


PS1/PS2 is the best test, because it’ll use/test all 8 of the RJ-45 wires.
USB (PS3/PC) is only 4, Dreamcast is only 5, etc. If you test with USB only, then you run the risk of not having tested the unused wires.


Thanks. I’ll send a PS2 cable for testing all 8 Ethernet wires, and I’ll send an SNES cable if he has an SNES so he can test the BAR->YBA adapter.