My first arcade stick, getting things in order

Hey guys.

I’m new here obviously and I’m getting ready to put together my first arcade stick. Now I already have the knowledge and tools for all the cutting, drilling and wood working aspects. I just need confirmation that the parts I’m going to order are all going to function well together.

Okay so here’s my list of items, if you can just tell me if I have all the parts I’m going to need or which parts I need to order. I would also like to hear any personal experience with the Happ pushbuttons, I’ve heard some good and bad but most of what I’ve heard is rumor or “I heard from a guy who heard from a guy” type of stuff.

I’m going to be ordering all my stick parts from Lizardlick so here are my choices thus far, this stick is going to be used for SSFIV on PS3.

Sanwa JLF-TP-8T Joystick

Cthulhu PC/PS3 PCB, Complete

Sanwa 35mm Ball Top

Sanwa GT-Y(eight way restrictor gate)

As for push buttons, like I said I’m leaning towards Happ, I figure I need nine pushbuttons? Will that be enough or no? Three for L/M/H punch, Three for L/M/H kick and three for Start/Select and home, do I need more than that?

As for wiring, I’m going to buy the solderless quick disconnects from lizard lick, but for the wires I figured this stuff would do the job Hobby Engineering: Hookup Wire: 22 Gauge Solid Category

I hear solid wire is easier to work with so I would rather go with that.

So if you can just give me your opinions on the parts I’ve selected, if I’m good to go or not, what else I may or may not need etc. I would really appreciate it.

I think your set but why dont you just get the 8 button layout in case you need L1 L2 and why go Happ buttons? ehh then again personal opinion matters too Goodluck on the FS.

Stranded wire, not solid.
Solid will not make good crimp and not good connection for Cthulhu Terminal.

Person who said to go solid is not cool.

Solid is stiff too.
So when bend wire after soldering, it will break the contact pad.
But you are not soldering, so the breaking of contact pad does not apply.
The above though, about the connection and crimp, that does apply for you.

Oh yeah solid is pretty annoying i remember making my first FS and i used solid…crimping was bad lol.

Yeah I don’t see a problem with the eight button layout for L1 and L2, I would just have to position them so that I’m not using my pinky to press them, maybe directly above the L/M punch buttons.

You’re off to a good start.
6 Face buttons+3 admin buttons is a versatile selection.
Happ vs Sanwa vs Seimitsu is all preference. Happs are the typical buttons used in us arcades or lack thereof.
Sanwa buttons are very sensitive and are the same as those in TE sticks; so if you’ve used one of those you know how they feel. They’re my favorites. I used to like happ competition buttons. I haven’t used seimitsu buttons but I guess they’re similar to sanwa but more “mushy”. I’ll be trying some myself soon.

The octo restrictor gate makes diagonals easier but very slightly increases the throw which I didn’t like so I switched back to the standard square gate. If you get the octo and don’t like it you can always switch back too.
If you have a sixaxis you want to sacrifice an AXISdapter would make it a wireless stick for you. A nice option.
Solid wire is easier to solder to but less flexible. I prefer 22awg stranded. Been using it for years now.

Other things you may want to include in your build are cable ties to make things neat and maybe a neutrik port to give the stick a nice finishing touch as well as making the cable easily replaceable if it ever gets damaged.

EDIT: 6 buttons FTW. If you have to have 8 just put L1 and L2 on the side so they’re not in the playing field. No good fighting games use more than 6 buttons…

TRUE!!..Do a 6 button layout with L1 L2 on the sides.

This’ll actually be the first time I use an arcade stick for a console so :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll probably stick with the happ buttons, they’re on sale; not having to countersink the slots will make things much easier as well.

I think the Cthulu board has a Neutrik port on it standard. I’ve got mini zip ties from cleaning up computer wires, so I’m all set in that department.

I’ll scrap the solid stuff and just pickup some 22awg from lizard lick if it’s going to present issues, that’ll save me some money too; how many feet will I need, the joystick comes with a wiring harness so I only need wire for the buttons correct?

That’s what I figure, L1 and L2 just make Ultras a little easier but I don’t use them on the controller anyways.

Just need wire for the Buttons.

Okay, five feet of 22awg sound safe?

Can anyone tell me if the joystick comes with mounting screws or do I need to purchase them separately?

I never measured wire length really; I just cut 10" lengths for each connection and trim as needed. So if you figure 1’ for each connection you’ll use (6 face buttons, 2 side buttons, 3 admin buttons plus a few feet for ground loop) 15’ would probably be plenty.

The cthulhu has a usb port standard. if you get a Neutrik NAUSB port you could have a usb cable connecting that to the cthulhu and then have the convenience of a detachable usb cable on the outside. If you need usb cables or pretty much any cable I highly recommend monoprice. A 15’ usb cable that goes well with the neutrik is only $1.94.

EDIT: You’ll need mounting screws. I use #8-32 machine screws, washers, lock washers (also called spring washers or split washers) and nuts.

I’m pretty sure I have 8-32 bolts so I should be fine in that department too. If not I’ll buy them from Lowes or something.

Okay, thanks a lot for the replies, it sounds like I’m set to go so I’ll order what I need pretty soon and get started!

Sounds good. Make sure to post pics when you’re done with your stick. Seeing a new stick inspires first time builders.
Lowe’s is where I got my 8-32 items.

Will do, I’m going to be taking plenty of progress photos so that’s no problem at all, all the user made sticks I’ve seen around these parts is what inspired me so I’d be happy to do the same :wink:

Another vote for avoid Happ buttons. Don’t get me wrong, they’re cool and all, but they really aren’t of the same quality as Sanwa.

Can you elaborate?

Happ buttons are very stiff; they have a spring between the plunger (the part you press) and the microswitch. They can take a pounding though. They require more force to activate. Sanwa buttons are the exact opposite. Barely any pressure needed to activate. The best description someone wrote on sanwas was “you could drop a paper plate on them and activate all 6”. Truth. They’re very sensitive. The switch they use (along with no spring) is a rubber type commonly found in controllers. They allow for more precise play IMHO. Total preference, but those who try happ and sanwa usually go for sanwa.

honestly the happs seem fine to me… I’m not all THAT uptight with every little thing, but as long as it works and works fine, it’s a good product to me.

No doubt Happs are great buttons as well.
It’s all about preference.

Well as long as they’re reliable, right now that’s all that matters, once I get them and have a chance to play with them I’ll decide for myself whether they’re too stiff and what not.