Suggestions to Mr. Happ


#1

Recently we had an unexpected visitor in Tech Talk, Mr. Happ himself stepped in to say a little word or two about a less reputable dealer:

Now, personally, I think he must be lurking among us a bit to pick out a random thread to clear his company’s name from a less reputable dealer. Considering he replied within the first 500 views of the thread, and in two days’ time, I feel that he may listen to our suggestions to the Happ brand. As a group of arcade enthusiasts, modders, joystick addicts, and many of us from the USA, I believe we’ve all got a little place in our heart for Happ products. After seeing his post in Tech Talk, many of us had a bit of a change in heart about the brand, and we now really would like to see it succeed.

As many of you know, the arcade market is shifting from the arcade to the home stick market, and even in the arcades that remain today, many of them operate on Japanese parts, simply because the cabinets are manufactured in Japan, and they are certainly the preferred parts among players.

Now, I’m not saying that Happ should make anything remotely different to be like Japanese parts, but rather, it should modify its ways to accommodate people without a bunch of tools to circumvent some of its design features which prevent it from being a simple “Drop in” modification.

One of the major factors is the size of the Happ stick itself, it’s just extremely large, requiring 3" of vertical height just to fit it in. A workaround has been devised, but it is quite difficult for many people. The details are available here: TUTORIAL- How to Mount a Happ Arcade Stick in a <3" case

Another contributing factor is the size of the buttons. They’re just simply too deep. One workaround in order to use the Happ-style microswitches with Japanese buttons has been done: Japanese Buttons with Cherry Switches
Again, this requires a bit more modding than the average player wants. They simply want drop-in replacements.

I don’t feel that the depth of the button should be too big of a deal anymore. We don’t need as much of the distance in Happ buttons that are provided. Since most of these buttons get placed under metal control panels anyways, the need for a deep screw-in button is almost non-existent.

Certainly, I feel that the goal should really be making everything fit in the TE. It is the most popular stick available, and certainly, getting Happ parts to work as drop-in replacements for that would certainly get them to be drop in replacements for almost any Japanese-formatted stick.

The needs:
**
**
Joystick: Able to work with the standard 5-pin connector. Able to mount on Japanese Universal Mounting Brackets. Lower profile (Using the aforementioned mod gives it the clearance to fit the TE, but it cannot mount on the existing brackets).
As far as the joystick goes, this is quite a hefty list, I’m aware. As far as designing this goes, I’m open to suggestions.
**Buttons: **Lower profile. Need to be able to connect to .110" QDs. Need to fit 30mm holes.
Now, as far as lowering the profile goes, I feel that it shouldn’t be terribly difficult, because so much of the distance between the button and microswitch seems that it could be easily trimmed up.

Connecting to .110" QDs is a little outlandish, so here’s what I think. Simply make an “adapter” of sorts that has a .110" Male Quick Disconnect end and on the other side, a .187" female quick disconnect to plug into the mircoswitches.

For the conversion to 30mm? Well, I don’t feel that Happ buttons should actually change size. They’re American, and they’re gosh darn entitled to be 1 1/8" wide. However, I feel that Happ could implement a special Nut to screw in to cover the additional 2mm right below the panel, and then widening out below it to screw against the bottom of the panel. It’s only a little bit of extra distance, but the buttons will still cover up the holes no problem. I’ve actually seen an Astro City using Happ buttons, and I thought it a bit odd, but regardless, the buttons are wide enough at the rims to cover up the slightly larger hole.

And while I’m sure there are plenty of other great ideas, you’re more than welcome to share them. These are simply mine that I feel that will bring success to the brand. I hope we are once again able to capture the attention of Mr. Happ, and we certainly look forward to hearing from him again.


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#2

Low profile Happ parts for the win!!!

Come on Happ lets get back into the game and into more peoples homes via console arcade sticks =D


#3

LOL and with that, money into your pocket.


#4

Oh god yes, this would be amazing. Also bring back the cherry switches. I don’t see it happening any time soon since they’d probably need to file patents and it may be too much for them to invest in business wise. But it would make my day, hell even year if they end up doing this.

I emailed him hoping to get a response. Maybe if more people come out and say they want this this might actually happen.


#5

I saw the post in which Mr. Happ addressed the community as well and I will also admit that I was extremely impressed with his sudden appearance. I would honestly love to see the Happ brand of arcade parts become more prevalent in the fighting game community. Happ parts are the ones which supported the arcade scene in America for the longest time and while I’m glad for Japanese arcade parts, I really would love to see our beloved American parts of yore make a comeback. Mr. Happ, we’d love to see your parts make a return to the community!


#6

Color me skeptical that a successful and discerning businessman would come to an internet fan forum of peripheral market interest (we’ve openly admitted to a preference bias towards Japanese arcade parts in our forum stickies) just to open up his kimono about potential legal proceedings. I often hear e-mail addresses are easily spoofed, most particularly on the Macrumors forums where it concerns Mr. Steve Jobs’ occasional email responses to the customers, so beyond that, how much verification do we have that this guy who happens to be a relatively new member is the real deal, rather than a prankster in disguise?

That having been said, I don’t have any doubt that the company might have a marketing division that could possibly keep tabs on how to appeal to new customer bases, who might spot a thread specifically aimed towards the company. Concerning a community based Happ Wishlist there seem to be several things come to mind:

The first thing that comes to mind is the HAPP P360. I’ve noticed several optical joystick enthusiasts consider the current product mechanically inferior to the Wico made version. (I know there are other posts on the subject but I don’t recall where.)

Can’t be sure if they’re direct drop ins myself, but apparently Happ used to make short barreled concave buttons that could’ve been used. Having an actual HAPP shell that would’ve been used in arcades helps with the authenticity factor quite a bit. Suzo-Happ seems to have short barreled convex buttons on their site but the stock buttons are already convex, I never really recalled seeing convex buttons on an western arcade cabinet and I’m not sure if 28.5mm works on a T.E. (Sanwa’s buttons measure 30mm, don’t they?)

The P.D.P. mortal Kombat Stick is supposedly uses American Suzo-HAPP parts. The springs make this annoying buzzing sound I never recall hearing in any of the commercial grade cabinets I used to play on every time you press the buttons with any level of force. Apparently stretching out the springs fixes the problem but concerning arcade perfect authenticity and consistency, it’d be nice to have factory fresh springs that don’t exhibit this annoying behavior. Most particularly I’m concerned with facing the same issue with should I ever decide I want to customize a new stick or the Street Fighter 15th case with your parts.

I saw a guy make a custom mounting plate for a Jaleco Pony Mk IV. Granted the current mass market cases are aren’t really deep enough for a HAPP joystick to begin with. Regardless, it might be nice if you guys could make something similar and maybe shorten one of your joysticks just enough to fit into a shallower home arcade case?


#7

It was my thread he posted in, and I have no reason to doubt his identity. I support all suggestions thus far.


#8

The intent of the thread is good. If you read up on Happ you’ll see that they’re no Apple. They’re a small family business. If we were fooled then there’s no harm done.

Just a word of warning. Please do not troll this thread. Stupid posts will be deleted.

Here are a couple of pictures of the old low profile PSL-N buttons for reference.


#9

I… had no idea the company was named after its founder… <_>

That is awesome! I would love to see some design alterations to fit Happ parts into the home stick market as a whole.


#10

You linked Sanwa Buttons.

The Post you linked of rtdzign.
He actually meant the iL PSL.
There is convex too, PSL-CV.

The PSL and PSL-CV are 5mm shorter than PSL-L and PSL-L-CV.
And to tell you this, all the Happ you see are the PSL-L and PSL-L-CV molds.

Here is a PSL to a TE.

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/3109/dsc0975z.jpg


#11

Holy crap, I had no idea Happ was a person and not just the name of the company.

That’s pretty sick that he’s lurking among us. I’d definitely love to see him succeed with the support of the community.


#12

My impression has been that the Happ version of the stick has had two major problems. The first one which, if I’m remembering correctly they’ve solved, was the optics in the stick not performing correctly and either not recognizing certain directions OR not easily registering certain directions. The other and currently unsolved problem is an issue with the pivot. If you’ve even dealt with certain models of Seimitsu sticks that had issues with their pivots slipping at maximum throw then this issue is pretty much that but worse (i.e. more slipping + an audio cue that something is messed up). I had heard that Kowal had solved this issue two ways, the first being a custom pivot and the second being the more ghetto method of inserting paper in between pivot and shaft to prevent slippage. Neither is ideal as the custom pivots are no longer available and the paper method not being terribly durable. If this issue is fixed then IMO the P360 would be a perfectly fine optical stick in a market currently lacking such an option.


#13

I would love to see Happ ship a low profile button again. Most of our joysticks these days will not fit the long-barrel Happs.

If new molds were a possibility, something very low profile that is designed for 30mm holes (wider plungers) and actuates the microswitch on center would be welcomed. The nostalgic would probably want a spring in the barrel, but I’d love some buttons that relied entirely on the microswitch for the feel. I’m currently spending too much money to make buttons like this.

I miss Cherry switches in Happs. If a return to Cherry is impossible, it’d be cool if E-Switch could make their LS switch actuate closer to the top. It has a lot of the feel of the old Cherry KWJ switches, but the E-Switch model actuates almost at the very bottom.

These types of buttons have always done this. I have LOTS of old stock examples. You probably didn’t notice in the arcade because arcades are not quiet.


#14

Personally, I’d love to see Happ develop their own complete American style stick solution. Partner up with Toodles or one of the other respectable PCB makers to get a mass quantity production run, and take on X-Arcade head-to-head. X-Arcade has been raking in the cash for a decade now using inferior parts based on the nostalgia people have for Happ style controls, and I’d love to see them get some serious competition so that in the end, we all win.


#15

That would be pretty badass. I kind of see the MK TE stick as an attempt at that. Shame it’s only really useful for one game.


#16

I think American sticks can still be viable in the market if they are good quality. I played the setups for Hokuto No Ken and Samurai Showdown in my local arcade and it uses pre-configured American cabinets and it feels really nice.


#17

What if Happ made an arcade stick of their own like mistahsnart said. Look at the Street Fighter Anniversary stick. You can easily fit Happ parts into that. Madcatz has their cases. Why can’t Happ? They should make their own line of interchangeable Happ part based arcade sticks just like Madcatz did when they teamed up with Sanwa. Sanwa and Capcom did many good things for Madcatz. Maybe it’s someone’s turn to make good things "happ"en with Happ. The only question would be… Who would team up with Happ?


#18

One idea is just like Hori and Mad Catz has top players promoting their brands like Sako and Daigo, Happ could have guys that have played on old school American parts and have professed their love for them like Choi and Valle to promote the sticks.


#19

Cool thread. I hope Happ takes some of your suggestions to heart.


#20

@Nerrage

I think because of his running legal battles with the owner of happmart.com, Mr. Happ did a Google search and stumbled upon the SRK thread asking whether happmart was legit. I’m sure being the founder and likely largest stake holder in an amusement machine part manufacturing corporation doesn’t afford Mr. Happ the luxury of being able to peruse the SRK forums for questions to answer.

That said, I would strongly suggest contacting Mr. Happ at the email he graciously provided. You bring up a lot of great, well thought-out points and I’d hate to see your suggestions fall on deaf ears. Try and summarize your post into a one- or two-paragraph email explaining you are an arcade parts enthusiast and you feel Happ has a lot of untapped market potential in home console gaming that seems to be cornered by Japanese arcade part manufacturers Sanwa Denshi and Seimitsu. Folks would like the same high quality Happ controls they’re used to in American arcade machines, but in a smaller package that can fit in portable arcade control boxes. Point him to this thread and hopefully your thoughts will get a response.