Seeking advice on modding Mad Catz TvC Wii stick for an American classic arcade feel


Hey there guys and gals :slight_smile:
I decided to sign up on SRK because I’m in a bit of a pickle and no one on the retro gaming forums I usually frequent had any idea what I was talking about when I tried to ask for advice on stick modding there.

To get to the point, I’m trying to set up my Wii as an emulation station for retro consoles (Atari 2600, 7800, ColecoVision, NES, SNES, and Genesis mainly) and I’d like to have an American style arcade stick setup to play these old games with. With that in mind, what I’d like to do is fit a MadCatz Tatsunoko vs Capcom fight stick (which is basically just their SE fight stick in terms of dimensions) with higher resistance concave buttons and a joystick with a similar feel to a Happ bat style stick.

At this point I’ve pretty well determined that Happ convex buttons will be too long to fit in the case, but I’m hoping these Yenox short barrel buttons with 75g Cherry microswitches will make a suitable replacement. They are 28mm and the button holes in the enclosure are 30mm, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be short enough to fit and I’m hoping that once I screw them down the 2mm of wiggle room won’t be an issue.

Now, what I really need advice on is the joystick! I was hoping to put one of these IL bat top joysticks with the addition of a universal mounting plate adapter in the enclosure, but I’m guessing that a IL or Happ Competition joystick is going to be too tall to fit in the Mad Catz TvC case.

Any suggestions for a bat top joystick with a similar feel that would fit? Or is there any easy way to mod a Japanese joystick like a Sanwa JLF to give it an old school American arcade feel? Ideally I’d like to have a purple plastic bat top on my joystick, but feel is more important than style so I’ll work with whatever the best option for giving me a classic American arcade feel would be. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


If you want to try a jlf mod with that goal, get a circle restrictor insert, a bat top, and at least a couple higher tension jlf springs to test. Still not gong to be the same, but definitely more familiar.


Pretty much this. Other wise I say get a LS-40 but it lacks the round gate but minus the gate the feel is closer.
If the Sanwa JLW is on short supply as they got discontinued I say use that.
Out of all the Japanese Joysticks, the Sanwa JLW is the closest to a Happ/IL joystick, then the LS-40 (except for the Gate) then the JLF.
Ultimarc J-stick is a pretty much a clone of the JLW.

Everything mentioned above could fit a Japanese Arcade controller like the Mad Catz TVC stick.


Thanks for the advice guys! Looks like I’ll probably go with a JLF then customize the gate and spring tension to my liking. I’ll pick up both a circular and octagonal gate for it and try them both to see which I like best, since I always did have a little trouble activating diagonals on the circular gated Happ joysticks. I figure as long as I’m going to be customizing the feel of my setup I might as well tune it to what works best for me rather than just what’s traditional. On that note, I’m also going to start out by trying Seimitsu PS-14-KN buttons rather than the Yenox concave buttons I was looking at. As much as I like the feel of concave buttons I have to admit that Happ and Happ style buttons take a lot more force to activate than I’d like, whereas the Sanwa buttons that I’ve tried require too little force for my liking and I often found myself activating them accidentally when my fingers were just resting on them. So, I’m hoping that the Seimitsu PS-14-KN buttons will be a nice middle ground in terms of the pressure needed to activate them.

There was one more thing I wanted to ask about, as long as I’m trying a JLF stick and translucent Seimitsu buttons. I was wondering if there was any easy and solderless way to add LED illumination to the joystick and buttons in a Mad Catz TvC stick? I noticed that Paradise Arcade sells LED illuminated JLF sticks and I get the impression that Pele 30mm LED rings might be the easiest way to add LEDs to the Seimitsu buttons that I’d like to use, but I’ve still got no clue how to wire the rings and the joystick LED up to power them off the Mad Catz TvC board. All the guides I’ve found for wiring LEDs in fight sticks are for TE series Xbox/PlayStation sticks with USB cables, and since the TvC stick draws power from a Wii remote rather than a USB port I’m not sure how to go about hooking the LEDs or a controller for them (if there even are any Wii compatible LED controllers) up.

Any suggestions on how to pull it off?