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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
Links & More
Cool Arcade Parts!
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Feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, or information & photos on your own controls projects.
Any Toys R Us should stock the High Frequency Playstation controller for $20. Many stores that stock Playstation gear carry the Mad Katz line, too. Finding either of these should be no problem. There are more options listed in the Controllers page.
Again, don't use the Sony PSX controller. It's too hard to work with.
As you can see, I used an old speaker enclosure. It's ugly as sin but it's surdy and it works. If you want something more pleasing to the eye, you'll have to build it yourself or try your luck in the retail world. The only other thing I found that looked like it might work well was a wooden CD box at Ikea. It had a hinged top, so you could hide all the nasty electronics inside, and you could paint or stain the exterior. I don't know the catalog number, but as I recall it was a little less than $20.
Arcade Joystick and Buttons
- Happ Controls Complete 8-Way Ultimate Joystick (Happ part number 50-7608-XX; XX is the knob color code - 10=red, 12=blue, 13=green, 15=yellow, 16=black; $15)
- Arcade Buttons (Happ part number 58-91XXL; XX is color code - 00=Red, 11=White, 22=Blue, 33=Green, 44=Purple, 55=Yellow, 66=Black, 77=Orange. $1.45 each with switches)
California Games Incorporated in Ontario, CA is where I bought my parts. They do mail order also, so you should be able to get what you need if there's no similar store close to you. CGI doesn't get a lot of walk-in business, and I suspect they get very few experimenters calling up with small orders. They treated me well but, if they seem a little surprised that you are calling with an order for a few buttons (and you don't own an arcade) bear with them.
I used a Happ Controls 8-way "Ultimate Joystick." It was $15. You have probably used this exact joystick before in an arcade. Happ makes a lot of different components, too many to go into here. They are a premier manufacturer of these kind of items and anyone who supplies arcades with parts should carry Happ components. I haven't checked, but I suspect Happ does direct mail order.
Wherever you get buttons from, make sure they come with switches (the button itself is just a plastic receptacle that a high-quality switch is snapped into). The buttons I bought at CGI were $1.50 each, including switches. Happ makes all kinds of crazy illuminated arcade buttons, so if you want to make a flashy joystick be sure to get their catalog! Happ Controls even makes a gadget you can supposedly use to attach arcade controls like analog steering wheels to a Windows PC. I have yet to experiment with it.
California Games Incorporated
1235 E. Francis St. Suites A, B, C
Ontario, California 91761
Happ Controls Inc. (http://www.happcontrols.com)
Elk Grove, IL 60007
(847) 593-6130 (voice)
(847) 593-6137 (fax)
GunCon Pedal Project
- ConnTrol International Inc. catalog number 862-1000-00; Grainger item number 5A285; $10
Don't even bother checking Radio Shack or Dow Electronics. They carry nothing like what you need. No, you need a heavy-duty industrial pedal, made to be repeatedly stomped on by a thick-necked machinist at some dangerous piece of equipment. I found such a pedal for about $10. It was made by Conntrol International Inc. To get it, I had to go to Grainger, an industrial supply outfit. Grainger does not do retail sales to individuals, so if you do not have your own company you'll need to order your parts to be delivered to your place of work. If you walk in, make sure you can give them a company name and phone number. That's all they wanted from me, so there was little hassle.
Grainger sells everything from incinerating toilets to power tools to, well, foot switches. Their catalog is like a phone book. It had 2 or 3 pages of foot switches of various types in it. I chose a light-duty one. The heavier ones were built so that the pivot point was too far off the floor for comfort - you'd have to actually raise your foot and step on the pedal. That's no good for Time Crisis. Don't worry, even the "light duty" pedal I bought is made of steel and can take a serious beating.
If you cannot deal with Grainger then I suggest contacting Conntrol directly, or looking in your yellow pages for nearby industrial or electrical supply houses. There may be a Grainger near you. You probably won't find anything appropriate at your local strip mall. Believe me, I looked. It's worth the extra effort to get the industrial-strength component, especially since it's so inexpensive.
Grainger (A division of W. W. Grainger Inc. -- http://www.grainger.com)
1500 E. First St.
Pomona, California 91766
There are Grainger branches all over - look here to find one near you.
Conntrol International Inc. (http://www.conntrol.com/)
Putnam, Connecticut 06260
One reader tells me he was able to order the switch from ConnTrol directly for about $15 including shipping. If there isn't a Grainger near you, this is the way to go.
All of the wires, connectors, solder, and other run-of-the-mill electronics supplies you need you can get from Radio Shack or a similar retailer.