Need help for building an arcade stick



I have been following the forum and have to say that the community is great here … top:tup:

after thinking about it a while, I came to the conclusion that I build my own arcade stick …
but i have lots of questions and i hope you can help me with them :smile:

First question which arose is, what should I use as PCB.
I was in my basement and found an old Playstation 1 pad which has no analog sticks (3’rd Party-brand “ES”) and I’ve read that the controller hack is easy to manage and started directly the work of “slaughtering” the controller :smile:

I just started to solder… but now I want opinions, whether what I’ve done is all correct :rofl:

In the first place I soldered the Buttons and the arrowkeys with cables … So… Circle, Triangle, X, Square, L1L2R1R2, Select, Start and up down left right.

Now I’ve read that I probably need a so-called cable “ground”. I accidentally stumbled over the image here where the “ground” wire is shown:

My question is… what for? ?

And then I also found out that there is a 3.3v and 5 v line ? why do i need them exactly? Do i need those wires to build me a single PCB arcade stick?

Here are pictures of what I’ve done so far. It would be great if one of you who has experience with building arcade sticks take a look. (Are the wires soldered up at the right place? Where is the “Ground” if I need him?)

if you need more specific pictures then holler :smile:
So that was the whole chunk, I hope it was not too much information.

I’m happy about any response to the topic:)

Sincere regards,

Chris Creampie


You don’t need to worry about the 3.3v or 5v line, unless you have a Optical joystick. If your joystick say “clickity click” then you don’t have an optical.

as for the ground any of the black and red dots would do for your common ground, but the best place to solder is at the green arrow.

Next time resize your images so it is under 1000 pixels wide.


Yes, you definitely need a ground, though, connected to all the buttons and the joystick PCB as in the diagram. The reason it’s called a “circuit” is because the current needs to travel back to where it started–pressing a button connects the signal wire to the ground, so the current can travel through it.

Also, I’m not experienced with that particular PCB, but you should find a diagram of it at to identify the proper signal and ground solder points, if you haven’t already. Your solder joints look fine, but I couldn’t tell you if they’re on the right side of the contact pad.


ChrisCreampie did it correct.
Whatever Trace that is going directly to the black circle is for Signal.
The giant green Trace that seems to be touching every part around the PCB is Ground.

ChrisCreampie can use any of the spots rtdzign pointed out for the needed Ground.


Many many thanks for your answer numerous. Now it is all clear for me :wink: