Modding a Mayflash stick (finished! 1/18/2009)

I recently purchased a Mayflash fighting stick:

However, the button board quickly became damaged, and the buttons would stop responding. I decided to cut my losses and learn to mod. Some quick googling found me this thread on another forum:

Using that thread as a guide, I will attempt a modding job myself. I intend to use this thread as a base to ask for advice and post updates for anyone else who owns a Mayflash and is thinking of modding it.

It’s been said in other threads like here (
that you can just trash the stock board under the stock buttons, since if you buy other buttons, you can just wire them straight to the PCB. I’m not sure how using a button board like the Mayflash makes it so cheap, it almost seems like it would make it more expensive, but the bottom line is, it crapped out on me and it won’t register contact from the rubber bottoms of the stock buttons.

As such, I plan to follow the example of the other guy and buy some 30mm sanwa buttons to replace the current ones (they are about $3 each from lizardlick, I suppose that is reasonable?).

I’m still trying to decide between the two Sanwa sticks, however. There are two of them, and presumably the difference between them is that one is more expensive but easier to install. I’d like a little advice on this issue.

Updates will be in edits in this original post for the future…perhaps followed by bumps if it is an important update.

Jan 18 09:
I finished sautering wires to the button contacts…I still need to buy a dremel tool for the next steps, but I thought I’d post so clear up some things regarding the buttons on the PCB.

It should be noted that I probably used wires that are unnecessarily thick.

The writing on the contacts is all backwards as you can tell.

You will see: R1 R2 BU BR BL BD L2 L1 GND
R1, R2, L2, L1 are all what they say they are…they are the shoulder buttons that correspond to the ones on a dualshock. The other four are abbreviations for “button up/right/left/down” so BU would be /, BR would be O, BL would be [ ] and BD would be X.

In the photo, the directional wires are at the upper left of the board as shown: right up left down.

Each input is activated when a connection between a ground (usually a red wire) and the input is closed. Hence, on the sanwa buttons there are two contacts, so you connect the corresponding input and the ground to it.

This brings me to two problems: I will need to connect the ground wire to 8 buttons. That will get messy since I don’t know of any other way than to add wires between every ground contact on the buttons.

I also don’t know how I ought to connect the sanwa stick. The plug that came with the stick has color and number-coded wires, (edit) I didn’t know what they stood for, so I hooked up the PCB to my computer and did some testing.

If we are looking at the Sanwa stick with the pins pointing right (as they will be when I mount it inside the box):

1 - Black - ground
2 - Green - Left
3 - Yellow - Right
4 - Orange - Down
5 - Red - Up

I must keep this in mind when I connect the wires.

I completed the thing just tonight! I’ll show you a few images.

This is the sanwa stick I ended up using by brokenhalo’s recommendation:

I installed it in a fashion similar to brokenhalo, however I decided not to file down the part inside so the stick would sit a bit lower. I drilled some holes and used some nuts and mounting screws to secure the stick.

Since all the soldering has been done, all that was left was to start installing things. I took my dremel tool and widened the button holes so the buttons would fit:

and here’s a look at how the final mount of the joystick worked out:

After I inserted the buttons, I cut 8 more pieces of wire and affixed them with electrical tape…I bunched all the grounds together and twisted them together in pairs…and wrapped the PCB ground wire around all of them, and sloppily taped that into a bouquet. here’s the final wiring job:


Things to remember for next time:
Use wires of proper thickness next time! The wires I used were a bit too thick, and became brittle and a couple pieces snapped while I was working. Very inconvenient.

Don’t take apart the stick months before work…you’ll lose screws like I did.

Buy a colored balltop. It’ll look more unique!

Think about getting a Robo-Ky print designed…

that’s my thread over on glad it’s helped somebody out.

as far as the difference between the jlf and the jlw, there’s a few differences. the jlf is a common ground pcb, which works out fine for the mayflash pcb. jlw is non-common ground. no big deal as you’ll just daisy-chain the grounds. there’s different gate options between the two (jlf has an optional octagonal gate, jlw has an optional circular gate). and there is apparently a difference in feel between the two (i’ve never used the jlw. jlf is awesome though).

good luck with the mod. it isn’t too bad. and definitely post pics.

Oh, so it was you! Yeah, it’s a very useful guide. From what you say, I feel like I should use the jlf. I’ll definitely post some pics as I keep going.

Can a Happ Comp. Stick fit in this case?

I’m sorry if this is rude in any way, but I brought the same stick, and my topics not getting any attention. I probably have alot less skill than is required for this project. What I want to do is:

1.Change the buttion layout to 6, so that there are [], /\ , and L1 at the top and X, O , R2 at the bottom (I don’t think R or L 2-3 will be needed for Shooters or fighters)

  1. Add a better stick and buttons.

  2. At a PS Home button, because im using this for the PS3.

  3. Wireless (If it’s practical and not too difficult)

I was reading all kinds of posts from various websites, and working a billions hours a week, but this one thread has been the most non-confusing so far, so I really have to thank vedasisme and brokenhalo. Broken’s guide makes it seem all very simple, as far as my buttions, i can just take my sixaxis and re-solder those buttons, right? Maybe drill another hole on the side or so for the Home button?

  1. i’d probably go with
    [] /\ l1 or [] /\ R1
    X O R1… X O R2
    and you can use button plugs to fill in the first two holes.

  2. better is an understatement compared to those stock parts

3&4. the stock pcb does pc, ps2 & ps3, but you are correct there is no home button currently. the problem is that hacking a sixaxis is a serious PITA. you could use a chtulu board and scrap the stock pcb, but you’ll have to mount your own buttons in the top strip or fill in the 4 top buttons and mount select/start/home on the sides.

the happ stick requires a lot more depth than this case offers.

Thanks man.

Thanks for the updates . I found the chtulu board you mentioned, but it seems like that’s going to make this become that much more expensive , quickly. I haven’t even factored in Painting/plexiglass/images or whatnot yet, that plus the $50 + for a new stick and some buttons/plugs. I can only hope the soldering iron I have will be good enough.

My main problem is not being able to use the stick when playing a ps2 game on my ps3, and the current button placement/configuration.

I’m trying very hard to read all the posts and guides here, so that I can learn the terminology better. When you mentioned mounting my own buttons in the top strip, i got a bit lost. Thanks alot though, I no longer feel hopeless about the project.

[quote=“Xrebellion, post:8, topic:51328”]

My main problem is not being able to use the stick when playing a ps2 game on my ps3, and the current button placement/configuration.

Hope this help.

if you open the mayflash up, you’ll notice that the 4 buttons in the top strip actually rest on the main pcb. so if you are not using the stock pcb, you will not be able to use those 4 buttons in the top row. in this situation, i would probably dremel out those holes and fit either the 18mm or 20mm buttons available from lizardlick and use those for select, start and home.

as far as plexi and art on this stick, zombie captain is the only one i can remember doing this. it looks nice though. if you go this route it will cover those holes and you can mount the extras on the side.

oh, and if you use a cthulhu board, you won’t have to worry about soldering.

There’s no sense in shorting myself, this is going to be expensive bottom line, so i might as well make it all that i want it to be.

The completed Chu board is already assembled with everything and needs no soldering, while the kit is cheaper, needs extra parts and needs to be soldered, correct? If i’m going to do anyone elses PS3 stick with or for them, i should most likely use this board, right? I don’t mind doing the extra work to save some form of cash, but if it’s too risky, I don’t need to gamble.

I opened the controller again and took it all apart, now I understand why I can’t do anything to this with the stock parts to change the button orientation. All the buttons push the sensor directly on the pcb (correct term?) so there are no wires to re-route/solder.

I think I will end up covering the top 4 buttons and putting 3 on the side, or is it 2 with the Chu board? And If it matters, i’ve decided on the Sanwa JLF and the clear Semitsu buttons for this stick.

Thanks a million for the help so far BH, and everyone,it’s taking longer than i wanted, but at least it’s progress. I can order either my parts or the board this week, and whatever i didn’t get this week on the following one.

To: Sir_Arthur: Thanks, I did read that before, but assumed it was for building one from scratch or an older joystick or something along those lines.

I used a regular deskjet printer and printed on glossy photo stock paper like I do on all my boxes. I did take off the vinyl from the Mayflash but not to use it to trace the art. I used it to make a template on a piece of 1/4" MDF to cut the acrylic top piece with. It’s easier for me to cut MDF than acrylic so once I have the MDF template, I used some double sided tape to stick the acrylic piece to and used a trim cutter bit on a router to make the acrylic piece.

Once you have the MDF template done, you can also trace that on a piece of paper and scan it to your pc to design your artwork.

If you are planning to use a JLF, you need to make a “spacer” out of 1/4" MDF to get the correct mounting height. When you take out the stock stick, you should see an square outline with rounded corner. Make a spacer in that shape and put it in there. You might have to dremel down the plastic post for the screws so it sits flush with the panel. You can mount the joystick using those 4 existing holes. Just drill through it, drill though the MDF space and drill holes on the JLF gate. Also want to counter sink the holes on the top of the panel so it is flush.

It’s a lot easier than it sounds, good luck with your mod!

Yeah, this i making more and more sense, and I see alot of it will be “common-handiness” , using what i have to get the parts to set right. The hardest part it seems will be getting the image on the box and the buttons, then covering it.

I’ll be honest though, I am drowning in debt and this stick is pretty much my personal entertainment budget for a while. I guess that’s why i’m trying to get thing correct with the 1st shot, as cheaply as I can. I just found a small blessing in an Uncle who has a dremmel and some other table tools.

I’m not afraid of the work, just unsure on what All I needed to buy…how did you all keep the costs down so much? Already the stick was $50 + $55 for the buttons and stick + $45 more if I need to buy the Cthulhu board + Paint and some form of covering for the top. If I was a bit smarter, maybe a commission would have been better, eh?

I did want to ask what you did with the slots for the top 4 buttons (Auto, Clear, Sel, Start), did you sand those down to get them flush? Also, how difficult would it be to add the Xbox compatability, since I think I have to use the Cthulhu Board so that my stick has the PS3 “home” button ability?

You guys don’t know how much I appreciate this.

yeah, a custom stick isn’t cheap, but the quality you get makes it all worth it in the long run.

as far as the 4 top buttons, my guess is that zombie cpt sanded the raised part down so that the plexi would lay flush.

and the dremel is going to be your best friend for most of this project. best power tool ever. just remember to take your time with it. it spins so fast that it’s pretty easy to take a chunk out of something when you were only trying to smooth it out.

True, but it does make it worth it, one stick exactly how i want it. My next question is, why does alot of people go for the madcatz xbox 360 controller and ps1 dual shock for the pcbs?

madcatz 360 controller is common ground. ps1 ds is common ground and compatible with tons of converters.

So , if I’m understanding you correctly, it would be better and quicker (no shipping) to use those instead of the Cthuhlu?

I removed the top 4 buttons and the pcb under that. The hole where those buttons went were already flush, it was just a matter of covering it up with the art/acrylic.

I like to use the Madcatz pcb cos its cheap and easy to hack. But you want a fool proof pcb, get the Cthulu(sp?) board. Get the assembled version, if you know how to tighten a screw, you can install it.

Good luck with your mod!

Zombie, what is the size of the Mayflash? I went to my local hardware store they have 1/16th of an inch acrylic. I was thinking about a foot long and I don’t know how wide is the Mayflash.

The acrylic piece I made measures approx. 7 3/8" X 9 7/8".