Using HDD swap mounts for PCBs?


I plan to use HDD swap mounts (is that the right term? I haven’t found the correct one, I mean rack thingies like this) for my next project. Buttons and stick should be connected via a 40 pin ribbon cable, the rack will have USB/PS2/etc. connectors on its front (where the handle is located).

So far, the only difficulties I see are the space inside the racks. Has anyone ever done stuff like that? Any advice?

That sounds like a great idea! As long as your joystick case has enough room inside to facilitate the reciever (or whatever you call the part that holds the HDD trays), I’d say that’s one of the more slick universal joystick solutions I’ve seen! Yeah, the 40 pin IDE cable will give you about twice as many signals as you could possibly need, which is nice.

As far as the space inside the trays, you will have to cut down some of the pad PCB’s to get them to fit. It’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s more involved than just soldering to the button contacts, like most folks do, but it’s very doable, even for people who aren’t pro’s at soldering.

I’m actually in the middle of writing some tutorials on miniaturized pad hacks, so if you need some help with reducing the size of your controller PCB’s, those write-ups may come in handy. I’ll try and remember to post in this thread as I get them done :karate:

Technically, the term is “enclosure” and IMO using one as a stick all depends on the size of the thing. If you’re going for a dual mod, I suggest using the Joytron PCB so you wont need to padhack a 360 pad, you’ll need space for the Turbo button though, since holding it at startup is how you make it switch consoles.

Maybe I misunderstood his plan, but what I thought HoPi` wanted to do was build a joystick (not out of a swappable rack. WITH a swappable rack) with a hole in the side which could receive these swappable trays. You could make a tray for every console you plan to use and just swap them in and out of your joystick. It’s basically an alternative to the DB-25 boxes people make, only this way the boxes will be swapped in/out of the joystick body itself. Make sense?

Exactly. I like my stick cases a little bit bigger than the average Namco, more like TE, so there’ll be be plenty of room for a swappable rack.

@undamned: what do you mean with “downsizing PCBs”? Like cutting away PCB parts with pliers and stuff to make is smaller?

Yes, minus the pliers part (I recommend a Dremel type cutting wheel) :wgrin: It’s pretty amazing how small you can get some of those if you are comfortable with your soldering iron (i.e., you will be soldering to stuff much smaller than the big ol’ button pads).