Jump to content

Do you use a "Homebrew Joystick"? - Post your pics!

Recommended Posts

No no, this is exactly the kind of information I need! Thanks! What joystick (besides Sanwa, due to the price) would you recommend for fighting games in particular?

I really like the Paradise sticks. Zippys are also great and have two different shaft lengths. For the Zippys, you may want to remove the universal restrictor if using 8-way mode as the shaft tends to catch on the cutout.


By the way, I'm using a heavy wooden box like the guy in that video. Hold on, let me see if I can bring up an image...


Okay, there we go! Hopefully this case isn't some valuable antique I'm going to senselessly destroy.

Looks like an old cigar or jewelery box. Prolly not worth much. Goes without saying but you'll need to cut down or remove that interior wall. I can't judge by the photos, but if the depth from the top of the lid to the bottom of the case is less than 2 3/8" or so, then you'll need to use the 30mm screw type Simitsu buttons.


Get a 30mm spade bit on eBay or search for 1 3/16" "rain barrel" bores if you want standard units. Here's where I got mine, $4.99 and free shipping...



If you have the means to cut some scrap wood and clamp it under the lid, it will eliminate the risk of blowout on the bottom and you'll get a much cleaner hole because the scrap wood will hold the center bore in place and prevent lateral movement of the bit.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, I just checked, and the wooden box seems to be 3 1/4" deep, give or take a 1/8" stand off on the bottom. There should be enough room for the taller (cheaper) buttons inside.


Right now I'm mulling over the purchase of a zero delay encoder with both USB and Playstation 2 connectors. I don't really want to go through the annoyance of tearing apart a game controller and soldering wires to it... this would be a lot easier to set up. It wouldn't be natively compatible with the Xbox 360, but an adapter should fix that.


I talked with a cousin with a knack for the woodworking arts- he's about three quarters of the way through finishing a house- and he claims that a Forstner drill would work better for drilling holes, and that a hole saw (a cylinder with teeth on the end) would be better still. Thoughts on this? I'm also considering the purchase of a momentary metal push button for Guide/Home; something that's slightly recessed and more difficult to push by accident. These aren't available on arcade parts sites but can be found on electronics stores. Any reasons not to?


Thanks again for the input!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

No pics but, recently I have been playing PMC with a proline. I like it. The button location on the prolines sucks though so I don't use the proline for shooters. I have thought about making a proline with the buttons relocated above the stick. A couple of slanted / / buttons right above the stick should be pretty comfy on the thumb. Anyone got any suggestion on buttons that might work well for such a mod?

Edited by SIO2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rustic CX-40 Grand:



I am making a small run of these to sell. Grand (8x8x4) and Junior (6x6x3) models available; should be posted in my sale thread sometime soon. Weather here has been terrible lately (rain = bad for woodworking). Also gonna do some simple rectangular boxes with 1 and 2 button sticks.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I talked with a cousin with a knack for the woodworking arts- he's about three quarters of the way through finishing a house- and he claims that a Forstner drill would work better for drilling holes, and that a hole saw (a cylinder with teeth on the end) would be better still. Thoughts on this?

Sorry for the late reply but I seemed to miss this post.


I haven't used a Forstner bit but they are pricey and I have heard they don't work well with handheld drills. If you have a drill press, by all means get one. I don't recommend using cylindrical "hole saws" on cigar boxes though. Also don't use three bladed speed bores with the screw tips; they are fast but make rougher holes and would probably destroy a thin small box. I use the inexpensive cheap spades which seem to cut clean holes from the top view, but it is imperative that you clamp down some scrap material below the control panel to prevent blowout at the bottom. Also if using a hand drill, drill a 3/32" to 1/8" pilot hole first so that the spade bit does not shift around when drilling.


Happ/IL plunger style = 1 1/8" or 28mm (max CP thickness 3/4" or 19mm)

30mm Sanwa / Seimitsu = 1 3/16" or 30mm (very rare size in standard units - search for "rain barrels" or order a metric bit on eBay)

24mm Sanwa / Seimitsu = 15/16" or 24mm


If using Japanese style buttons, buy the screw type; do not order snap ins as these are meant only as replacement or upgrade parts on commercial fight sticks. Snap ins will likely not fit securely on manually drilled holes in wooden enclosures. Japanese style buttons cannot be mounted in thick control panels unless you route the holes from the backside to 1/4" or 6mm.


American style joystick (Happ / IL) = 1 1/8" or 28mm hole recommended.

Japanese joystick = 15/16" or 24mm hole recommended.


For the screw mounts, get a pencil and trace the restrictor plate centered over the hole. Drill holes very accurately (start by making a dimple in the wood with the pencil and drill a pilot hole first with a thin bit, preferably 1/16") otherwise you may find the plate doesn't fit and you will have to grind out one of the holes on the restrictor plate to force fit it, which is a royal pain in the ass if it's steel. I recommend using #8 or M4 for Japanese sticks, though Happ / IL style mounts will accept slightly larger screw sizes. The screws should fit tightly in the hole for a secure mount. If the control panel is over 1/4" or 6mm thick, go with flat top screws and countersink the holes. For thinner control panels, button top screws are a must. Thin panel down to 1/8" or 3mm is doable if the box is small, but aim for something with at least 3/16" thickness for small box, 1/4" for larger CP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Built myself an Asteroids 7800 stick (the four white buttons at top are for 'proper' Asteroids style control, left/right/thrust/warp (also works AWESOME under the 7800 mode where button 2 is warp). Also use it on my XE.








That thing is a beast. :grin::thumbsup:


My Spidey senses are detecting a faux woodgrain overlay perhaps??? :lolblue:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There sure are a lot of pictures missing in this thread thanks to picture hosting websites that are no longer online.



That is the main reason I post ALL my photos here on AtariAge. I would recommend everyone do the same, after subscribing of course.

Word. I'm literally seeing those images with the spedometer popping up everywhere online. None of my pics were affected however because I don't use that service. :grin:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Well I did not make these but they are mine and they were each customized to work differently.


This Pong unit is now a pair of VCS paddles:




There are two buttons added for the paddle buttons which are the little black ones above the knobs.


It was intended to maintain function as a Pong console also but I haven't been able to verify that yet.


Then this one was modified to work on Vectrex, including all four Vectrex buttons:




The button layout is a strain but I'm really happy with the overall look and finish and that all the buttons were made to fit. The paddle control of Hyperchase is very good and I really think that game must have been programmed with a paddle in mind.

Edited by gliptitude
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

so picked up a set of ti-99 controllers yesterday


up and down not working

tried to clean

found out that the contact pads are painted on (99% alcohol removes them pretty easy lol)


so got into my arcade shop today and dug around

found these 2 nos Nintendo/midway nfl blitz memory card readers that are metal and heavy (don't care if they are rare been here 2 years and no interest at all )

and will make good sturdy stick bases


drilled the joystick hole and button hole


dug into my parts bins and found these three sticks

a Monroe leaf stick

some funky button hole mount stick (actually kinda like the short throw it has)

and a interesting wico 360 its an optical based stick that uses 5v to power the opto



otherwise what should I use for a stick

the Monroe (really nice but rare expensive joy for a ti lol)

the wico (as long as I can pull 5v somewhere )

or the short throw top mount stick





Edited by discgolfer72
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just finished this one up. I made a ColecoVision controller since the stock ones give me hand cramps. It should work a-ok, but I can't know at the moment cause the darned Db-9 cable I bought won't fit into the controller port of the CV! So I just ordered a ColecoVision specific extension cable on eBay that should work out ok.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a shame that one cannot find a suitably sized and priced 'Japanese Puzzle Box' to use as a joystick case. The pre-built and hidden entry method would be killer.


I have a gorgeous puzzle box, that ceased up during the seventh or eighth time I opened it, and after having returned it to it's rectangular form, is now just a mantle peice. Apparently they weren't made for humid climates...They are so delicately ornate but I'm afraid the veneer would splinter if you drilled into one with a wood bit. It's hundreds of tiny inlays connected together piecewise. The labor to make one must be incredible.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...