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PSX Joystick Project
Playstation Joystick Page 1
Playstation Joystick Page 2
Playstation Joystick Page 3
Saturn Joystick Project
Saturn Joystick Page 1
PSX GunCon Pedal Project
GunCon Pedal Page 1
GunCon Pedal Page 2
Soldering (for all projects)
Which Controller to Buy
The Home Arcade Shop
You Don't Know Jack Game Show-Style Controls for your PC
YDKJ Project Page 1
YDKJ Project Page 2
YDKJ Project Page 3
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Feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, or information & photos on your own controls projects.
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Building a Playstation or Saturn Joystick
Prototyping & Final Construction
If you have gotten to this point, you have finished the hardest part. Now it is time to build a prototype. The prototype is built into a cardboard box, which allows you to experiment with button layouts. There are a lot of buttons to worry about, especially on the Playstation; you will have to do some thinking and probably go through a couple of cardboard boxes before you find a layout you like. Find a big, thick box - you are going to be using the joystick for a couple of hours at least before you move on. I actually kept my cardboard version for a few of weeks before I was able to find a proper wooden enclosure.
Designing Control Layouts
When I design control layouts, I use the black plastic "nut" from the buttons as a placeholder; use a little bit of tape or gummy poster adhesive on the underside of the nuts to keep them in place. Put them on top of your box and slide them around until you find a layout that lets you reach as many buttons as possible without straining your hand.
The arrangement below does look strange, but it was the best way I found to put as many buttons as possible within the reach of as many fingers as possible. If you devise a layout that works well for you, send me a photo and I'll add it to the site (one such layout is here). I should mention I am right-handed, so I would love to get in touch with a lefty who has designed a good button layout.
I am about 80% happy with this layout. If I had it to do over again, I'd tighten up the spacing between all of the control buttons, and I'd try to put Select and Start farther away.
Constructing the Prototype
Use the nuts as a guide, and with a pencil draw circles where the buttons will be. Use a knife to cut the circles out, and push the buttons in from the top. Take out the switches first, because they won't fit in the button-sized holes; put the switch back in the button after the button is in place.
To attach the joystick to the cardboard, make sure you use washers with your bolts, or the bolt heads will soon tear through the cardboard. Use tape to secure the plastic box with the electronics inside the cardboard. Finally, attach the slide-on connectors to the terminals on the switches. When you are done, the prototype should be working! Go to town with your favorite fighting game.Try a variety of different games, so you can fine-tune your button layout.
Not all games will work well with an arcade-style stick. You will have to experiment to see which games feel right, and which ones should still be played with a normal controller.
The Final Design
Once you have designed the button layout that works best for you, you can cut up the cardboard box and use it as a template to draw drill holes in your wooden box. You need to get a 1 1/8" wood-boring drill bit to make the holes to put the buttons in. That's also a good size hole to drill for the shaft of the joystick. Before you drill any holes, make sure the enclosure isn't too thick to mount the buttons in. You can use a 1.25" bit in a pinch if it's all you have access too.
A wood-boring drill bit, available at any hardware store
I used an old speaker enclosure for the final enclosure. It is ugly as sin, but it is sturdy, and it was free since I scavenged it from my garage. Eventually I plan to build a nice box for the "Frankenstick," but since the ugly box works I'll keep it for a while longer.
You're done. Have fun.