Project Pandora: SFxT FightStick Pro Modding


With the release of SFxT on the horizon, and the constant release of information regarding the title, my colleague and I have been inspired to take on a new project that will be documented via this blog, which will (at least I hope it will) not only assist people in performing LED modifications, but standardize Fight Stick modding in general.


The project has been dubbed “Project Pandora” and is a nod to Capcom’s implementation of the new Pandora System in Street Fighter X Tekken. At the very core this project is a “How To Build A Better Wheel” if you will, as there are all sorts of LED modding tutorials out on the web. Unfortunately, I have yet to come across one that breaks down modding in terms for those unfamiliar with the process. Additionally, I plan to implement some practical applications in to the existing processes to help simplify them, thus creating a more efficient and effective means of accomplishing this task.

A bit of background on this project: I purchased the new MadCatz SFxT FightStick Pro a couple weeks ago. Around the time it finally made it’s way to the United Kingdom where I am stationed, Capcom released the Pandora Trailer for SFxT. I got the idea that it would be really cool if I did an LED mod to emulate the change characters underwent when they engaged the Pandora mode. To do this I’d need to do an LED Mod that will illuminate my buttons the colors present on the characters while in Pandora Mode (I chose neon purple) and use the button insert method to restrain the illumination so that the symbols, that are carved into Pandora’s box and also circle around the characters would glow on button presses.


What really drove this project was the l[S]ack of effective resources and tutorials out on the web[/S] lack of availability of effective resources and tutorials on the 2 DAYS we first began this mod. We felt that none of them really went as far as they needed to give people the information that would help make the process easier. Because of this I’ve decided to produce a standardized wiring diagram / block diagram that will make the wiring process easier.

But we didn’t stop there. While wiring the LED components we found that the end result was a fightstick full of wires running amuck in total anarchy. As an aircraft maintainer by trade (USAF… Huah!) I know that this can become a cesspool of problems and prone for malfunctions in the future. Furthermore, much like the proud owners of tricked out cars, we not only wanted to have this really neat product to show off to people externally, but we also wanted to be able to show off what we’ve “got under the hood” so to speak. So I got the idea to implement a “wire bundling” method making use of quick disconnect connections so that troubleshooting and replacing of components would be easier to tackle.


This project will be ongoing and I plan to update it as go along. Please stay tuned for updates. My next post will be my initial experience and notes on performing the LED mod portion. I will then follow-up on my plans for optimizing the modding method how I tackled the button inserts TO INCLUDE A PSD. TEMPLATE available for ALL OF THE PANDORA SYMBOLS that can also be amended to suit whatever your insert themed needs may be.

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Absolute Question and Answer Thread (ASK YOUR QUESTIONS HERE!)

WELL, now that SRK is back online, I see that there ARE intact a shit ton of resources out there, so perhaps I’ll spend some time sifting thru the forums more… SN: forum was down while we were attempting this mod with only goggle and youtube available for help… this may drastically change the processes I plan to implement, as ribbon cables may be > than wire bundles. Either way, I’ll still share my experiences as a new modder via the blog and forum.


Good luck, dude.

Any questions I’m sure can be answered here.


Nothing wrong with more resources.


holy shit son! that rats nest of a wire bundle needs a trim… good luck on your project. My OCD kicks in when it comes to wiring and modding for LED’s and looking at your vid reminds me of my first LED mod… like the artwork you put in the buttons!
Just to help you along… I would suggest ripping it all out and starting from scratch…
24 - 26awg wire helps clean up the clutter…
TECH FLEX 1/4 inch you can run just about all your wires through with little effort if you get creative…
check your soldering… shorting is common if you dont check your work… could be loose…
cut away AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE when you are exposing the bare copper for a solder… you only need 3mm at most… the heat from your iron will peel back more if you take too long soldering a line…
you need a hand in this dont forget we have the “noob” thread in the stickies that any question is answered… no matter how simple it may be… hell I still use that thread from time to time when I get stuck on a project…
WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN before you start a mod haha… It helps from getting lost in the moment and not knowing where something goes…

good luck in your project and hit me up if you need a hand on those LED’s… if I cant answer you theres 30 others lurking this forum that has the answer guaranteed…

damn I miss USAF chow hall food haha…


After days of waiting, my new assortment of crimp connectors has arrived along with my new crimper. All that is left is to wait for the wiring to arrive ^____^

My initial choices, and then using sleeves to cover the exposed connector portions…

… seen here. That was until I found…


And crimped.

While not as reliable and easy to handle as a ribbon cable, this will still provide a solution to connecting and disconnecting components without having to solder over and over again.



Phase 1 Video Summary


how do i take the top off??


Are you talking about the red upper casing, or the metal plate that the artwork is mounted on?


Uh the artwork itself. I just wanna get inside and change some buttons


You have to access the buttons from below and inside. Remove the bottom metal plate, then the white base case and you should be able to access the buttons from there.


Thank you good sir


Wtf. its impossible to pull the wires from the bottom of the buttons


Not so… it’s a little easier if you disconnect the white base from the red upper. But it’s totally possible.


Right… so, I finally get settled here in Las Vegas and I decide to finish off this Modding Project in time for the release of SFxT. Thus Phase 2 of the Pandora Project began.

So I hunt down a FSP template (which I found here) and get my artwork situated (both of them… wait for it). To make a long story short, the printer I was getting the lenticular prints from added .16 inches on to the original height and width of my artwork, so I basically had to use trial and error to line up ever thing correctly, as my template markings were inaccurate.


Here’s the PSD File that contains the entire file base. Do with it what you will.

The Print Company I’m using is called “Snapily Pro” and can be found here.

I basically re-built the original artwork, tried to copy it in a “pandora mode” like look, saved both versions (plain and pandora) as jpegs by making the pandora group visible then invisible. I then uploaded the artwork to Snapily Pro and waited about 5-6 days for it to get here, just to find it was the wrong size. I’ve already submitted my order for the second try making the adjustments in size… it’s all info put in with the order though, NOT .PSD changes. Enjoy!


Sorry, this post is so rushed, I’d like to make it more detailed and less “short” but I’m dead tired and have to get to bed for work. Til’ Next Time. Also, this same process can be applied with creating “3D” lenticular prints for your fight sticks… I’ll toy with that at a later date. Lastly, did I mention I ruined my LED Mod taking my sanwas on and off over and over again? Yeah, but luckily, since I incorporated the terminal splices, I can just Quick Disconnect a button out and re-solder the connections back together.

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Great mods on your SFxT stick. I wish I could trick my fightstick pro like yours!


Well… your in Vegas right? I’m sure if you have NO qualms with subjecting your FSP to the torture that mines has endured, something can be arranged. However, I REFUSE to attempt another LED Mod so long as Vicko is still in the city!


very clever mod on the art. very slick. chuck norris thumbs up for sir


very cool, this looks really interesting. keep up the good work and cant wait to see more


Dude…those buttons look so cool…