Sanwa JLF and 360 PCB

Im about to start building my first fight stick, and ive decided to do it for the 360 since its the main console I use at the moment. Im just trying to decide on a casing then im going to start ordering parts.

My main question is with the Sanwa JLF type joysticks and the fact they have a 5 pin connector. Would I just solder each of the wires that come off the 5 pin wire to the corresponding Up, Right, Down, Left of the D-Pad and then the black to a single ground of one of these? I’ve seen a few tutorials for connecting the Joystick straight to the PCB however these were all going straight to the switch’s and not using a connector.

If I need any other equipment please let me know. Im also wondering where it is possible to get some connectors for the wires, so I can quickly disconnect during painting and assembly to make sure things are working.

And finally does anybody know of any UK dealers where I can get these parts? I really dont fancy getting raped by lizardlick everytime I need an item, as most likely my casing will be coming from the US (Yet to meet any UK builders).

Thanks Guys

Ive spotted another thread somewhere that has stated I am going to have to use two wires for each direction as the 360 controller has no common ground, which is going to result in me not using the 5 pin connector and scratching into the PCB on the Sanwa Joystick (not particularly what I wanted to do), then soldering to the points of the switch’s. Of course I could replace the PCB of the Sanwa with another but im not really sure where to buy those. Still looking for a few tips and information on parts so anymore help is appreciated!

I’ll be sure to get a terminal strip as well to keep my cabling nice and tidy. It also means i cant mess up the directions soldering to the JLF consdering I can swap the output on the other end. Thanks!

I remember reading on Slagcoin that there was a way to use just ordinary microswitches without a PCB on the JLF… but I can’t find it on Akihabarashop.

Desolder the grounds of each microswitch from the PCB. You now have a lug you can use for ground (quick disconnects will probably work with them, check your hardware store or Lizardlick to get some), and you can still use the 5-pin connector for up/right/left/down’s signal. iirc, the microswitches rely on that soldering to stay put during use, so you will need to think up some way to ensure that they don’t move around without that ground soldered down to support them.

There are lots of 360 controllers with common grounds, several shown on Slagcoin. Use one of those.

Really? Do you know what make they are? Sorry, im kind of a beginner in stick building and electronics, I just assumed with reading that the Xbox Controllers dont have any universal ground I would have to use one with each direction on the JLF. I think it may just be easier for me to replace the PCB of the JLF with 4 separate microswitches (I’ve been hearing using Cherry’s can improve the responsiveness of the stick, but feel slightly softer than the original switch’s Sanwa provides.

Wasn’t there talk of the newer official 360 controllers having common ground?

I hope so, although it would be the luck of the draw if I got one from a store wouldn’t it.

I’m not sure that’s true. They still have the two holes that lock them in place that non-pcb microswitches have.

I tried throwing some extra Seimitsu microswitches I had in a JLF last night, but the metal lever is in the way. I’m going to try desoldering the microswitches from the pcb and then solder the male end of some .187 quick disconnects onto the signal and grounds for each switch. It doesn’t look like the quick disconnects will fit on otherwise.

Most Madcatz pads, the Madcatz Classic Arcade stick, Gamestop pads (made by Madcatz) and current wired and some wireless 1st party pads from Microsoft. All this info is on this forum so keep reading.

I think you are correct, I came across this thread when checking out the Cherry Microswitches and I cant spot a PCB on the JFL.

I have a feeling I would be putting these on my JFL even if I come across a stick with a universal ground, just for the feel. I’ll have a mess around when I actually receive the joystick and see what feel I would like to go for, more arcade like or more responsive.

The main question you have to ask yourself is if you have a common ground or non-common ground PCB. Crack your controller open and check. We would be able to advice much better with that little bit of info. And no, if you use cherrys you don’t need the PCB at all, as shown in my pic in the thread you posted. I just used the JLF PCB as a connector as I didn’t want to have to re-do the wiring on the 360 PCB.

That is just what I was about to ask, how do I tell the difference? Im not going to be using my current wireless controller on this project as I only have the one, but I was planning on buying a wired controller from a store and using that as soon as I have my base (which isn’t even ordered yet, but im waiting for a restock on Norris’s stuff).

You can tell by the back. The IC chips are in different places and the trigger mounts are different colour. The new one is common the old one is not. As for how to tell without cracking it open? Not to sure. I’d say most of what you would find in a store today will be the newer version.

Ah, well that makes things a bit easier. It seems so obvious as well, I just didn’t want to go damaging a brand new controller off the bat.

So im guessing with the new controllers being common ground I can use the 5 pin connector in the way I stated in the first post, just soldering the common ground wire to one of the spots identified on the late 360 controller picture on slagcoin? Then provide another wire coming from one of the other grounds on the controller PCB for the buttons?

Sorry if im being a tedious, I know how many newbies come to this forum looking for answers but the help is much appreciated!

For the JLF and common ground pads the black wire goes to the ground. Each other colour goes to one of the d-pad directions(if you get the late version I suggest the spots on the back as they are much easier to solder to). Check my photobucket for some pics.

Things seem much clearer now, and nice looking stick BTW. I think I’ll keep those images bookmarked for when I finally come to doing the soldering. Thanks again, much appreciated!

Any reason to think newer wireless controllers aren’t as sure a bet as newer wired controllers for common ground?

Hi there,

Just wanted to say I’ll be keeping a close eye on this thread as you’re doing exactly what I hope to - i.e. gut a cheapo pad and make a stick.

With regards your question about UK dealers for parts, it seems most use on the forums I usually frequent, and it’s certainly where I’ll be getting my parts from.

After reading this I realise I’ve not fully thought things through yet. I suppose it was daft to think I could just open a pad up, solder 2 wires to each button and job done. Think I’ll be asking one of my more electronically minded friends for a helping hand and just get on with designing a nice case for it in the meantime.

By the way, is it going to be possible for me to hook up 8 buttons, i.e. how the TE sticks are layed out? Or will using the guts of a 360 pad mean I can’t due to the triggers?


You can do the triggers, but it seems to take a bit more work than the buttons. A bit more soldering.

I have confirmed that the WalMart Dragon wireless controllers all have the newer PCB with the common ground.

(The triggers are on their own ground, but that’s not a big deal).

I’ve hacked a ton of controllers for people. You can’t assume that since you are buying it new it will have a common ground. I bought a new wireless controller at GameStop and it had the old PCB.