Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home made arcade style joystick - Tools and jigs needed

3. Tools and Jigs

So many tools were used to make this joystick! @.@ Luckily my dad has most of them at home, especially the power tools like the Bosch jig saw and drillers. Really saved my day!

Clockwise from top-left:
Misc tools like hacksaw, chisel and mallet, plastic scriber, etc; power drill to cut the holes for the buttons; jig saw to cut the wood to size; a less powerful drill for drilling small holes.

Clockwise from top-left:
24mm and 30mm hole saws for cutting the holes for the buttons; various drill bits for drilling of holes; countersunk screws; countersunk drill bit for concealing the countersunk screws.

Tools used for soldering of wires to the PCB, crimping of connectors to the wires.

Just look at the sheer amount of tools needed...-__-

With all the tools and jigs available, it is time to make the joystick!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home made arcade style joystick - Buying of parts and materials

2. Getting the parts and materials

Having decided on the design of the joystick, it was time to get the parts and materials!

a) Buttons, Joysticks, PSone Controllers, Wires and Connectors

Surfed around for some advice on which buttons and joysticks to choose and learnt that SANWA buttons were mostly used for fighting games. As for the joysticks, SANWA's was used mainly for fighting games and Seimitsu's for Shmups and not too bad for fighting games. As I play both genres of games, I decided to get Seimitsu joysticks and SANWA buttons.

I managed to find these parts from Great service! (Thanks Chad!)

Seimitsu LS-32-01:

SANWA OBSN-24 and OBSN-30 (They are similar except that OBSN-24 is smaller):

Total damage for 2 x LS-32-01, 2 x OBSN-24 and 16 x OBSN-30 = ~S$130.

Out of sheer luck, I managed to find a guy selling 3 old PSone controllers off ebay Singapore for only S$10! Whee! I immediately created an ebay account and sealed the deal and got the controllers the very next day (well, only 2 controllers are working but hey, still a good deal~~).

As for the wires and connectors, I went with multi-core gauge 24 wires for the flexibility and ease of use and 0.110" connectors for the buttons. I recommend getting at least 5 meters of wire and 40 connectors (each buttons need 2 connectors).

From top to bottom:

Gauge 24 multicore wire and 0.11" connectors; close-up of the connector; terminal blocks to join the wires from the controller PCB to the button and joystick wires.

b) Materials for joystick body

This was my main problem: I have no idea where to get cheap wood planks. -_-'' Looked around IKEA but was too expensive. Luckily my wonderful dad said that there is a wooden plank at home that I can use. YAY! Money saved!

Bought the black acrylic plastic sheet (1mm thickness) from Art Friend at Bras Brasah, and the long wood plank (x-section 3cm x 3cm) for the top panel support and wood glue from DAISO at Vivocity.

With all the materials on hand, next will be getting the necessary tools and then time to start work!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Home made arcade style joystick - Planning and Design

My first blog post and I'm here to brag about one of my achievements in year 2008 lol~

My very first home-made arcade-style joystick!

Have been playing versus games and shmups on PC and Playstation 1/2 using a controller since young and then one day, it struck me to make my own arcade-style joystick after visiting several webbies and forums that this is possible. So, the adventure starts here!

1. Planning and Design
Well, as it was my first home-made joystick, I want to keep the design easy and simple to get the needed experience before I move on to more complex ones. A simple butt-jointed box design was thus chosen. For the panel layout and dimensions, I obtained them from A really great website with all the information that you need to build your own joystick!
I decided to keep my joystick to a height of 7cm (initially was 10-12cm) so that the joystick will be a lot less bulky and more sleek-looking.
Final design and dimensions (Top view):

As of many home-made joysticks out there, this joystick will be made using the pad-hacking method, which means using an old controller's PCB and connecting the buttons and joysticks to it using wires and connectors.

Next up:

Getting the parts and materials for the joystick!