Some questions about that PS2 Arcana Heart Stick and a few online retailers


#1

I’m looking to buy the Hori Arcana Heart 2 SUGOI PS2 arcade stick. There weren’t any on Ebay and the few I found on Amazon were very expensive. So I went searching and found a few sites that offer it at a better price. Have any if you heard of these sites? Are they legitimate?

https://www.videogamesnewyork.com/

http://www.eurotaku.com/webshop/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=89&products_id=2817

http://www.goldenshop.com.hk/AI-trad/psx2hard/arcanaheart2stick.htm

A youtube modder vouched for the New York site (mentioned you guys), as for Eurotaku, the opinions were mixed. A few scam-awareness sites said it might be a scam-site but that seemed like one person with a particularly bad experience. Forum posts that said they ordered seemed to not have any issues. And the Chinese sight is the most suspicious of all, there’s basically no information on the Chinese site outside of it, noone recommended it or even mentions it (in English/ Romance languages anyway).

This stick is based on the HRAP2 so it should be easily moddable correct? I planned on switching out the buttons and stick for Seimitsu ones of the same colour/appearance eventually.

I heard that the HRAP2 is a digital-only stick (input-wise, no analog support). Is this true and if it is will this create problems when playing certain games? Even sticks like the Mayfash have the ability to switch between the two and the Arcana stick and the Mayflash came out in the same year so I’m guessing it’s possible.

And lastly, has anyone had luck using a ps2 arcade stick on the PS3/PC with a cheap adapter? (something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Dual-Controller-Adapter-Converter-Playstation-2/dp/B001AATQ0Y/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1400537759&sr=8-7&keywords=ps2+usb+converter

or this: http://www.amazon.com/PS2-Playstation-Controller-Adapter-Converter-2/dp/B000YMQGWU/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1400537759&sr=8-4&keywords=ps2+usb+converter)

I’ve heard people complaining about supposed input-lag within milliseconds with these things but it seems like you wouldn’t notice such a thing even if it did exist.


Hori Real Arcade Pro Thread for all versions (IN PROGRESS, COULD USE YOUR HELP AND INPUT) v2
#2

I can vouch for Video games New York before, they are alright guys with a brick and mortar store in New York.
I only done business with them at the Otakon Anime convention where they have a huge table at every year.
There website does not show a a fraction of the inventory their physical store front has.

Now to the Hori Arcana Heart 2 SUGOI PS2 arcade stick, eBay is a strange beast, and if you want something rare there, you got to watch it like a hawk (also setting up your saved searches for notifications also helps).
For modding, I know there a issue getting some Seimitsu joysticks to mount correctly in the Hrap 2 and 3, I think the Arcana Heart 2 stick has the same mount.
Buttons are easy.

Yes the stick is Digital only, but this should not be a issue with 99.9% of PS1 and PS2 fighting games out there (and it isn’t a issue on the PS3).

Yes all converters lag if you look at it scientifically, most of the good converters are in the 1 ms to 1 ns range. For refrance Human reflex response is aprox 18 to 300 ms.

check out there Converter compatibility thread


#3

Wow, thank you for the detailed and very quick response.

I guess I’ll rock with one of those universal mounting plates I heard about. That should solve the mounting problem.


#4

I would NOT recommend buying anything other than an official HRAP 2 or HRAP 2 SA unless you’re prepared to do a lot of work to fit in better parts…
I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to buy a PS2 joystick now unless they still own a PS2 console and regularly use it. It’s harder and harder to find new-condition quality controllers for that system but spending money on a product that’s not meant to be upgraded is something you have to consider.
IF you’re a joystick collector that’s one thing BUT if you’re planning on using this as a mainline joystick and want to save money on upgrading it later on – well, I can’t think of a better way to throw away money.

Here’s something that I can say that most posters can’t –
I’ve actually owned a number of PS2 joysticks. 10 total… I’ve owned and modded the American T5 joystick as well as the Arcana Heart 2 joystick. (I have an HRAP 2 SA as well.) I know what the limitations are on these joysticks… they were good for the PS2 era and for people who didn’t want to do serious mod work and change out parts BUT Hori’s shortcuts in production on these joysticks make them a pain-and-a-half to repair and/or mod unless you’re prepared to cut and desolder parts with the right tools.
The HRAP 2/general line was a better joystick to buy because it had a universal mounting plate that made installation of alternate joysticks easy (mainly LS-32, LS-40, LS-56) AND removable Hori stock buttons that popped out like the Sanwa and Seimitsu buttons. The HRAP 2 SA was even better because it shipped with both the Sanwa JLF lever (present on most Hori ‘HRAP-lite’/licensed joysticks) AND Sanwa buttons. All official HRAP’s had universal mounting plates which you can’t say for the majority of HRAP 3’s and the second-production version of the HRAP 1 (HRAP 1b?). If you didn’t like the Sanwa parts on the HRAP 2/SA, fine – at least you didn’t have to mod the case or do a lot of electrical line work prepping and desoldering inferior quality buttons from a PCB!
The ‘unofficial’/licensed HRAP variants on the PS2 are a pain-and-a-half to mod… you’re buying yourself extra work to fit in arcade-spec parts or a non-JLF control lever.
The soldered-into-PCB buttons that the Arcana Heart 2 joystick and others like it (both Tekken 5 HRAP variants, the AH 1 and AH 2 joysticks, the Fate: Unlimited Codes joystick) use are garbage. They’re uncomfortable for many people to use and have to be desoldered to be replaced when the buttons’ microswitches fail – unless you don’t mind breaking plastic parts off and junking the whole PCB assembly.
Stock Hori buttons – prior to the Kuro buttons introduced on the Fighting Edge joystick – tended to be poorer quality than Sanwa and Seimitsu buttons. For me personally, every time I hit those buttons it felt like I was punching a brick. From other reports, there are quality concerns and instances of buttons breaking on people in the middle of gameplay… The stock Hori buttons, prior to the Kuro, are also incompatible with the Sanwa SW-68 and Seimitsu PS-14-D microswitches if I remember correctly so you won’t be able to ‘revive’ the Hori buttons when they do die.
You can’t fit Sanwa or Seimitsu buttons into the AH2 without grinding off the button tabs in the 30mm faceplate holes. The tabs are in the button holes to slide the Hori buttons in prior to assembly line workers soldering THOSE buttons into the PCB! You can’t grind those tabs off, period, unless you break off the original 30mm buttons (hard to do without risking the PCB) OR desolder the buttons from the PCB first.
I found the Arcana Heart 2 PCB to be more sensitive than the norm to heat during desoldering operations… I never lost a Tekken 5 PCB desoldering buttons but did lift and ruin tracing from one of the two AH2 PCB’s that I attempted to mod.
A universal mounting plate will NOT help with the issue of shaft clearance above the faceplate surface if you have a short shaft joystick! If you’re Seimitsu joystick fan, the problem with non-universal HRAP’s and licensed HRAP’s isn’t installing them – you CAN find a production mounting plate to fit most of the Seimitsu joysticks into these Hori ‘HRAP lites’… the issue is that you’ll have extremely short shaft clearance and for most people that isn’t a comfortable proposition.
Shaft clearance isn’t an issue with the Sanwa JLF, Hori Hayabusa, and a number of other joysticks that have long shaft stems above their pivot points; the Seimitsu joysticks are known for having shorter handle stem-to-pivot distance which is why at least half of them have SS Mounting Plates that curve upward. Within the right ‘universal mounting brackets’ on in-production joysticks, the SS Plates fit flush against the bottom of the faceplate and make up most of the difference in length between Seimitsu-style joysticks and longer-shaft joysticks like the JLF. Without this, you’re forced to use longer replacement shafts, shaft extensions, OR drill out the existing bracket mount assembly and improvise your own attachment points for a joystick. OR you can play with a Seimitsu joystick that has extremely short shaft clearance above the faceplate…

On the Arcana Heart 2 joysticks and all the other licensed HRAP’s like it, you are forced to use the non-standard RE: Mounting Plate to install the LS-32 and LS-40 in those joysticks unless you mod the faceplate OR radically modify the plastic base of the joystick itself. (I would leave the joystick lever itself alone and attempt other mods first.) The SS Mounting Plate simply doesn’t fit on the non-universal mounting bracket which was designed for the Sanwa JLF.
It’s a JLF world!
If you attempt to install an LS-32 or LS-40 in an unmodded Arcana Heart 2 bracket mount, the stick shaft will come up short. You can still play with the control lever, yes, but you’ll be constantly rubbing the upper faceplate surface with your hand. I don’t know how important the original sticker artwork is for you but it WILL be ruined and rubbed off in very short time if you use the joystick a lot.

*FYI, the Tekken 5/HRAP 1 plexi protectors that Art Hong sells at Tek Innovations are the ones to buy to protect the artwork if you want to save it that badly… He doesn’t list them on the front page/product links of his website anymore so you have to e-mail him and ask him for the weblink connections to order these plexis.


#5

Thank you for taking the time to explain this in such detail. You’ve certainly persuaded me. I had no idea that the stick was that dificult to mod. I guess I just assumed that since it was Hori, it’d be swap the parts out.

I wanted the stick mostly because of it’s look but I also heard that the PS360+ support for legacy consoles isn’t that great.

I guess I’ll just build my own stick with a similar aesthetic and just wait it out until they fix it. By the time I finish that, they’ll probably have fixed that and have PS4/Xbox One support lol.


#6

I thought the Arcana Heart sticks used Sanwa parts, especially when it’s a Japanese HRAP. The Tekken 5 stick we have here is definitely crappier than the Tekken 5 stick the Japanese got.

Edit: Upon reading more into it, it’s a lot like the HRAP 3, Sanwa stick, Hori buttons. Buttons don’t bother me too much since I’ll be just mashing them all the live long day.


#7

Old style Hori buttons are super terri-bad (terrible and bad). Cheap microswitches that break too quickly and plastic housing that leave a lot to be desired. I prefer Sanwa buttons to the old Hori buttons and I hate dislike Sanwa buttons. I am also not that fond of the Hori Kuro buttons either.


#8

You seem like a Seimitsu guy Dark.


#9

Me, No…

Well the standard Sanwa buttons to me are too soft and the JLF too loose.
I do like the Sanwa JLW.


#10

No,

The Arcana Heart 2 is NOT an official HRAP joystick…
What happened is that Hori is an extremely conservative company that reuses molds and parts to save money. Nothing wrong with that – it’s a standard business tactic to keep costs down.
The problem is that they reused the general joystick case from the HRAP line in a bunch of joysticks that technically weren’t full-up HRAP’s despite being labeled “Hori Real Arcade Pro” on the box. The case styling confuses people and leads them to believe that joysticks like the Tekken 5 and Arcana Heart 1-2 joysticks actually have full arcade parts… they don’t. (The descriptions on the boxes and most online product listings from informed, reputable dealers DO tell you that that the buttons are soldered directly onto the PCB or at least are Hori OEM buttons.) Only the joysticks in the HRAP-lites are arcade spec (Sanwa JLF). The buttons are Hori OEM and generally considered lower quality compared to Sanwa or Seimitsu product.
The Tekken 5 joystick released in the US had all Hori OEM parts; its Japanese counterpart at least had a JLF lever.

Here are the main differences between the ‘full-up’ official HRAP’s and licensed/‘HRAP-lite’ joysticks –

  1. The licensed joysticks didn’t mount buttons with quick disconnect electrical signal lines until the Tekken 6 HRAP 3/EX{?} (PS3, XBox 360) was released. (The Tekken 6 HRAP 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue HRAP 3 and their XBox 360 counterparts were the only licensed ‘classic-style case’ HRAP’s that had buttons with quick disconnects that I’m aware of…) The vast majority of the licensed joysticks had their buttons soldered directly into an oversized PCB. This includes most of the PS3-era licensed HRAP’s, too.
    Most official HRAP’s had Hori OEM buttons but these buttons had quick disconnect lines and could easily be swapped out for authentic arcade parts. Only the HRAP SA and HRAP SE limited production models shipped with full arcade parts (Sanwa arcade buttons in addition to a Sanwa JLF lever in the HRAP SA; Seimitsu arcade buttons in addition to a Seimitsu LS-32-01 control lever in the HRAP SE lines).
    The HRAP SA became an ‘unlimited production run’ model only after the HRAP V3/VX case introduced in late 2009 and only with newer style cases like the HRAP V3/VX and HRAP N3/NX and their variants.
  2. The PCB itself was oversized on the HRAP-lites to allow direct button soldering onto the surface of the PCB. If you ever take apart an official HRAP 1, 2, or 3, the PCB in the official HRAP’s is less than half the length of a ruler (4-5 inches long) and probably less than an inch wide. The official HRAP PCB’s are much smaller than the PCB’s of the licensed joysticks.
  3. Most of the licensed/HRAP-lites I’m aware of reused the HRAP 1 faceplate layout. The HRAP 1 panel was reworked to remove the cutout area for turbo functionality which was never in the licensed HRAP’s made for the PS2. [FYI, HRAP 1 was a PS2-era joystick. They released in 2004 followed soon by the HRAP 2 with a revised Astrocade-layout faceplate which was also PS2-era. The HRAP 3 was a PS3-era joystick. There were no HRAP’s for the PS1 or earlier generation joysticks.]
    HRAP-lites released for the PS3 (Hori Street Fighter IV arcade stick) used an Astrocade-style layout faceplate AND had turbo functions. The buttons for most of the PS3/HRAP-lites were still soldered into an oversized PCB. See http://sdtekken.com/tech-area/arcade-sticks/hori-street-fighter-iv-arcade-stick-ps3-2/
  4. None of the licensed/HRAP-lites I’m aware of actually use a universal mounting bracket that will let you easily mount anything but a Sanwa JLF in the HRAP case. The JLF will attach in a non-universal mounting bracket WITHOUT a JLF Mounting Plate; the JLF screws onto these brackets through the ‘wing extensions’ on its base. (Note: an identical non-universal mounting bracket was used in the HRAP 3/generic.) You CAN attach a JLF Mounting Plate onto a non-universal bracket but it’s sort of pointless… At least the non-universal bracket has attachment points in common with the JLF TP-1 and Seimitsu RE: Mounting Plate that allow conventional joystick installations. The problem in the cases of the Seimitsu joysticks is that shaft clearance above the faceplate with a (RE:) flat mounting plate is extremely shallow!
    The official HRAP’s themselves alternated between universal mounting brackets and non-universal (identical to the HRAP-lite) mounting brackets. You could only be sure with the HRAP 2, HRAP SA’s, and HRAP SE’s that you’d be getting a joystick with a universal mounting bracket. (Only the HRAP 2 – regardless of whether it was the mainline HRAP 2 or limited HRAP 2 SA – had universal brackets through the full production run. No HRAP 2 SE was ever produced, either.) Production was split on the HRAP 1’s between universal and non-universal mounting brackets. All HRAP 3’s (generic, not SA/SE models) were non-universal.
  5. For the most part, the licensed HRAP’s actually cost more than the official HRAP’s. You’re paying extra money for the license/sticker art! That’s true even today… the unbranded generic joysticks are generally $20-$30 cheaper than the joysticks that carry character art from games.
    Only the full-Sanwa (SA) or full-Seimitsu (SE) HRAP’s were as expensive as the licensed/HRAP-lites.
    ‘Classic style’ HRAP’s could be had for $90 or less when they were in production… HRAP 3 SA’s (with Sanwa buttons) cost $120-$130 MSRP new.

#11

PS2 ARCANA HEART STICK is more of a collectors item rather than a serious stick to play on for games.

Your better off just getting any Hori Hrap and doing a button and art swap.