The Link: The Quick-Disconnect JLF Shaft!


#1

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/128223884/the-link-quick-release-joystick-shaft/minichart.png

http://www.phreakmods.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/0523112312a-300x225.jpg

The Link is a new JLF shaft design that is purposed to allow easy storage for all kinds of players. The casual players looking to save a little space, and for traveling tournament players who need every inch when cramming into a full car.

The new design is a two piece steel construction. When in place, the Link is identical in height, allowing for you to drop it right into your current arcade stick that has a Sanwa JLF and feel no difference. The diameter of the center collar is perfect size so that you can keep your current dust washer, however the shaft cover will have to go!

http://www.phreakmods.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/0523112311a-300x225.jpg

Compared to the original shaft, the Link is nearly identical. The few base changes are the collar locking/unlocking mechanic and the hollow construction to cut down on any added weight, as well as allow for future mods such as LEDs.

http://www.phreakmods.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/0523112301a-300x225.jpg
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Another key difference is in how the top is changed out. In the old design you had to utilize the flat head screwdriver slot to get ample torque to tighten the top enough not to loosen. In the new design, the center of the top section has been keyed for a 3mm hex bit, allowing for a more streamlined approach. This is the same size required to take the top panel off of a TE, which makes install that much easier.

http://www.phreakmods.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/0523112311-300x225.jpg

Here’s a quick overview I’ve done, please excuse the horrible quality… video stuff isn’t my thing these days.

[media=youtube]v4SLrNZ8tGQ[/media]


Extra Install Notes:

1. If you’re installing it into a Madcatz TE or one that has the second dust washer that lies on top of the pivot bushing, REMOVE THAT INNER DUST WASHER.

They (and some others) have 2 in the stick, one on the control panel (which is fine) and an inner one that rests underneath the control panel, right over the pivot bushing. That inner one will cause problems, both in coupling the pieces together and connection, remove it and you’ll save yourself headache.

Sticks to note that may have the inner (under the control panel) dust washer that must be removed:
[LIST]
[]Madcatz TE/SE
[
]Qanba
[/LIST]
**2.**Custom plexi dustwashers may have an adverse affect. If you find it’s popping out during play and you have a custom dust washer. Remove said dustwasher and test the compared performance, you should see an improvement. A workaround to this is to put a counter-sink into the inner-diameter of that dustwasher, as it will alleviate problematic pressure on the collar of the Link from that hard angle.


FAQ

If this takes off, and there’s enough interest, the “Link technology” so-to-speak, can be ported to any style shaft out there. Get interest in the current Link JLF and you can probably expect another type.

If you’re completely in unfamiliar territory, I suggest hitting up Youtube with just a “JLF Install” search string to cover your bases. It’s an extremely simple swap, with minor tools required, however Vicko has done a fantastic job overviewing how to install it into his HRAP and TE-S.

[media=youtube]7cnPH4y9oUU[/media]
[media=youtube]l-YPvkNtiMo[/media]

In short, yes it can, but only if you exert upward force that’s unnatural to standard play. There is a yield strength, it hasn’t been exact weight tested yet, but it won’t come apart unless you’re aiming to make it happen. It will not, and I repeat, NOT come apart during normal play if you do not touch the collar, that is a guarantee.

This is something I’m looking into and perhaps in future runs this performance will improve, but for now I HIGHLY recommend against lifting up the stick by your ball/bat top.

It depends on the user’s preference, but a 24mm button cap works just fine if you have something with a diameter that works for it. A TE, for example has a hole that works, an HRAP doesn’t. Just do a quick measurement, but if you do definitely snap the tabs off… that’d be such a bitch to remove if you don’t, lol. The Link is made of 416 Stainless Steel, it is magnetic so you can get creative… or just cover it with painters tape during travel.

Below is a picture of someone not only showing off a hitbox/standard style hybrid stick, but also the use of a plug to cover the hole when it’s not required.

Otherwise, you can get a cap I did a quick design for here… it locks to the base piece, and ignores the hole size. The only catch is it sits a little taller so that you can put the dust cover underneath and be as thick as the custom plexi ones, so if you don’t have one it wobbles slightly.

Feel free to download the design and edit it to your liking if you have the means to do it.

This is normal behavior, future iterations may behave slightly different but for now this is OK.

Quick diagram courtesy of Freedom Gundam:

*Update to the above picture/description

New adjustments have removed much of the space shown above, and as such has also increased the linking strength, below is a comparison of the old vs. new, you will see a big difference in how far the collar goes down.

You can pick one up at any of these retailers:

Focus Attack
Paradise Arcade Shop
Jasen’s Customs



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#2

How does it hold up during heavy, extended use? Have you tested to see if the shaft/balltop loosens up?


#3

It holds up awesome, so far in the testing we’ve done there’s no loosening in the least of the balltop. I’ll be wrenching on it like crazy this weekend to make sure there’s no surprises but as far as I can tell the thing is solid as hell and stands up to a ton of abuse.

The top section does NOT loosen up, it’s machined in a way that most industrial tools are.


#4

Looking really good buddy. Id like to have one on my latest edition!

OMG i watched the video and am super impressed with the install/uninstall, even great for when building the sticks to swap parts when building easy for customers or for getting the look right or making adjustements.

Thumbs up

Innovation + 10


#5

Another thing I’m wondering is if it’ll allow for an arc eye in the hole for a bottom lit balltop (spenz did with my stick).

That said, someone needs to make a custom case with a storage pocket for these.


#6

Actually, the FIRST thing I tested was bottom lit functionality to eliminate wires in the shaft. Unfortunately a lot of light is lost, but more experiments will definitely be run when I have some time to do so.

+1 on the case with a storage pocket :smiley:


#7

what sort of price range are you looking at targeting? $25?


#8

Interesting. I’m assuming that the collar sits over the ArcEye then. That said, this could eliminate that one problem we encountered with using the ArcEye on one of Toodles metal shaft covers. Spinning the shaft ripped the wires out.


#9

Smart stuff.


#10

O man this would be awesome on my Kraylix. I have some friends that prefer bat tops.

I’m impressed!!


#11

Are you wanting me to just throw you money, sir? This thing looks awesome! Expect an email from me soon about one


#12

Good stuff man!! Do you think rust will be an issue? I’ve read steel shafts rust after a while with no shaft but never found a time frame of how long it takes to start.


#13

Just watched the video. That’s slick.


#14

Very nice product, if I didn’t hate the JLF itself I’d get some :wink:


#15

Congrats! I can’t wait to get this in my hands :wink:


#16

Must…have…


#17

Just awesome!
Try to do this for other joysticks… not only the JLF ;_; and… please post pics of Sanwa Battops mounted in this!
Thanks!


#18

Lol, thanks. I look forward to the email!

I’m not 100% sure, we’re getting some preliminary quotes from the fabrication houses (all local) to see what kind of cost US based production will be. I’d prefer to keep it US based but we’ll see. The drawings will be made up probably this week to get a better idea, with final drawings sent out after UFGT so I can see cost + lead time for people, as well as make any changes to the current design that I see need to be made (there’s a couple critiques I have atm to be hammered out, but they’re all already known pretty much).

The first thing will probably be a short beta run, if that’s successful a full run will be done. I’ve been told it can take about 4 weeks for an order, so I’ll try to plan accordingly…luckily everything needed to build these guys can all be had/made in house. Ideally, I’m shooting for < 35$, it seems like a lot for a joystick shaft but the process to make these guys is 3 fold, so that’s 3 different parts to be manufactured, then assembly done by myself and some helpers. Again, this all depends on what the fab houses say…I could be greatly impressed by their volume discount, won’t know for a little bit here.

I’d imagine rusting might be an issue if exposed to a lot of moisture (left in the rain or something) but this is only a prototype, the real deal will probably be stainless steel…just like the original, so long as it doesn’t make the price crazy.

If this takes off, and there’s enough interest, the “Link technology” so-to-speak, can be ported to any style shaft out there. Get interest in the current Link JLF and you can probably expect another type.


#19

props man, i love it.


#20

I want one! Damn. Gotta mod one of my mini sticks for a JLF.