Arcade joysticks

Thread in 'Hardware' started by umbrellastyle, 19 Jul 2006.

  1. umbrellastyle

    umbrellastyle Unregistered

    Does anyone know the type of joystick that is used in Tetris arcade machines in Japan?

    I play a lot of fighting games, so I know the types of Japanese sticks, and my guess would be that a Seimitsu would probably work best because of it's short throw. I imagine the longer throw of a Sanwa would make it harder to play at higher speeds.

    But hell, they might use a stick that isn't popular at all, so does anyone know anything about it?
  2. sihumchai

    sihumchai Unregistered

    I too wanted to make a thread about joysticks. I want a really simple one with a huge round handle, and fat round buttons. Smooth and all.. able to withstand the most hardcore button mashing.

    USB right? Here in Malaysia it's rare to find a good one.. Was thinking of purchasing online. I might be getting a 360 for TGM, and must get a 360 compatible joystick [​IMG]

    Hey umbrella, can you show me a few? Links perhaps.
  3. K


    as a old arcade fighting game player, i always prefer to use arcade stick as often as possible instead of cross or "keyboard".

    you can get information about the best choice here (in japanese):

    maybe somebody around can translate you a part of the bottom document. it is related to the brand you quoted.

    personnaly i'm using a HORI PS2 Tekken 4 arcade stick (modified to 4 direction limitation) for Jamma and PC, and a DOA X360 arcade stick for PC...
  4. Mine is a custom stick I made myself. It uses Seimitsu sticks and buttons. Well, I cheaped out on the P1/P2 start buttons and used American parts, but those aren't important. Here are some pictures:

    <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0"></a>

    <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0"></a>

    <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0"></a>

    Here's a translation (not my own) of that Japanese page discussing different joysticks:

    That page basically explains the differences between Seimitsu (left) and Sanwa (right) sticks, as well as their guides. The 4-directional guide in Sanwa sticks are shaped like rounded squares, so the stick can rotate smoothly. In contrast, the 4-directional guide for Seimitsu sticks are shaped kinda like a puffy cloud, so you can sense a slight bump while rotating the stick in a circle. It is considered that zangi-moves are easier on Sanwa sticks since there are no bumps in the guide. However, guides on Seimitsu sticks will eventually wear out to become more smooth

    On the other hand, since Sanwa sticks tend to have a greater throw, it tends more to bounce back in the opposite direction when you let go of the stick. What was meant to be processed as Right, Neutral, Right, Neutral may be interpreted by the game as Right Left Right Left due to the recoil of the stick. In either stick, the guide should be set to 4-direction mode, since in 8-direction mode the stick will have higher priority on horizontal movement than vertical.

    To regurgitate:

    -It is important to use a stick's 4-way guide.

    -Sanwa sticks can be bad not because of the throw, but rather the recoil the throw can cause. Assuming the correct amount of spring and a little practice, this shouldn't be a problem.

    -Semitsu stick have a guide that makes zangi-moves a little more difficult. This will wear with time allowing for more fluid movement.

    Or basically they are both good sticks. Though people seem to prefer Sanwa I've noticed. I've only used Seimitsu so I can't offer a direct comparison.

    About getting a joystick on the X360... The solution I've seen done is to get the official DOA4 stick and then hack it. I'm not sure what parts are inside it, but you'll at least want to install a 4-way guide.


    Here I quickly made a picture to better show the difference between Sanwa and Seimitsu joystick guides.

  5. sihumchai

    sihumchai Unregistered

    Damn, how do I get myself one of those? (refering to CT's homemade joystick).. Where'd you get the parts? And roughly how much did you spend?

    And why would horizontal movements affect gameplay? Is it because it sometimes registers hard drops? I get that on my SideWinder alot, lol.
  6. Well, without the 4-way guide, Up might become Up+Right. You get lots of accidental button combinations. I played a bit using the 8-way guide and this is very frustrating. With the 4-way guide such misdrops become rare.

    I bought my parts from Himura Amusements, and I highly recommend them. I got free Japanese candy with my order! [​IMG]
  7. umbrellastyle

    umbrellastyle Unregistered

    I also have a custom joystick I built, but it was built for fighting games. It works alright for Tetris, but I need to get a 4-way restrictor for it, I think.

    Sanwa stick and buttons, also ordered from Himura Games.

    (picture is pretty big, so I linked it instead of inlining it)

    I'm thinking about building another stick just for Tetris, but using Seimitsu parts instead, because I don't really like how the Sanwa feels while playing Tetris.
  8. Nice stick!

    If you do end up making a Seimitsu stick, be sure to temporarily change the guide on your Sanwa so that you can play them both and give us a comparison.
  9. umbrellastyle

    umbrellastyle Unregistered

    Thanks! It's the fourth stick that I've built so far. You don't even want to see the first one. XD

    I'm planning on ordering some Seimitsu parts tomorrow, so I'll go ahead and order a Sanwa 4-way restrictor as well. I'll give everybody an update when the parts get here.

    EDIT: What's the typical button layout for arcade Tetris? Three arched buttons? I'm picturing the stick I have right now minus the bottom row.

    EDIT2: But wait, then where's the hold button? [​IMG]
  10. Seimitsu's sticks come with all the guides... It's strange that Sanwa's don't.

    Hold is accessed with the thumb. The layout is more or less like my controller, except the Start button should be a Hold button instead.


    (...the fact that such a place exists on Earth makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...)
  11. umbrellastyle

    umbrellastyle Unregistered

    Great, looks like I can use the Japanese SF template, just don't drill the two plugged holes. Hell, I might just drill all six just in case I ever want a Seimitsu SF stick. haha

    And I wish I knew about TGM series when I was in Japan last year, because I remember an arcade that looked just like that with about 3-4 machines of it. Of course, I don't remember if it was the first, second or third game, because I was too busy playing SF. Oops. [​IMG]
  12. sihumchai

    sihumchai Unregistered

    Okay, thanks CT.

    You guys are REALLY REALLY making me jealous.

    So you'll have to get the stick, buttons, wirings.. and that's it? How are the wires used/plugged into the CPU? USB? Gamepad type port?

    I'll pay you big bucks if you make one for me [​IMG] (kidding, and serious at the same time)
  13. K




    since we are talking about Arcade stick, i plan to buy a real and reliable 4 limited directionnal stick, instead of a custom one...

    i see the himura webpage, it is interesting...

    i definitively choose the SANWA JLF-TP-8Y !

    does the limitation plate is shipped with the stick ? i see one but can it be "turned" ?
  14. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    Has anybody tried it with an 8-way joystick plus a few logic gates on the wires out of the control to return signals for no direction pressed if two directions are pressed on the joystick?
  15. Then you would occasionally get nothing when you pressed Down (and were a little off). So you would think your piece was locked but it wouldn't be, and when you prepared your DAS for the next piece you'd ruin your placement.

    There are actually true 4-way joysticks, though they are somewhat uncommon these days which is probably why they're not widely used. They were big when pac-man was king but not so much these days. My limited experience with vintage arcade games doesn't exactly make me want to use a true 4-way... Perhaps the machines were just poorly maintained but I've never used one that felt very good for rapid pokes and circle motions like TGM requires.
  16. Guest

    Guest Unregistered

    Can you guys explain to me how you USE these arcade joysticks? and what you need?

    From Jago's setup I understand it runs on the game board itself.. But.. how in the world?!

    Is there a guide somewhere? Or just a simple explanation from you guys?
  17. Guest

    Guest Unregistered

    Oh sorry, the above was me.

    -sihumchai, too lazy to log in from excitement.
  18. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    There is a standard connector between these arcade game boards and the cabinet hardware. This connector is called the "JAMMA connector". It carries input signals from the joystick assembly to the game board and carries audio and video signals out.
  19. Guest

    Guest Unregistered


    So it MUST be used with gameboards + hardware ey?.. Sorry, don't know anything about setting up arcade cabinets..

    And too bad I'm poor for that.. Looks like I gotta get the DOA joystick + USB converter to play then [​IMG]
  20. Yeah, arcade games generally obey a JAMMA standard. Certain pins on the JAMMA connector have standard functions. By connecting the controls to their corresponding pin, you can have a joystick that simply works with every JAMMA arcade game.

    Now, JAMMA only covers joystick + 3 buttons. All other extra inputs (eg. fighting games or TGM3's Hold button) are non standard, and you may have to rewire things when changing games. The game's manual should make this clear at any rate.

    You're probably talking about using it on a computer though. I've actually never done that... But you'd want to use the serial port to reduce input lag. I know Jago has done this, maybe he can explain how. As for consoles... Every console handles input differently for the most part, so the easiest thing to do is to get a cheap controller and then hack your joystick into it. This can get tricky though, and again I've never done it.

    There's a million links out there on this sort of stuff, but this is one I like:

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