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Open Joystick Talk



  • Well I got the sticks installed today although have a directional issue, when in 4 way mode, the <right> direction is not very reliable although when using 8 way mode it's perfect!. Anything you came across @Clyde ?



  • @thelostsoul I have a legacy version of the F500 (black with black buttons) and its little brother F300. I like them very much. I didn't try them with Retropie yet, so alas, I can't help you with the settings.

    @BaviaanNL I also noticed that the 4-way mode of the Mag-Stik doesn't feel as smooth as the 8-way mode. I'll test it further with a friend this weekend, in addition to the two Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT-SK I ordered this week. Chances are good that they'll arrive in time.



  • It's unusual as in both 4 & 8 way, I can see the contact on the switch and it's connecting well, wondering if it will work better over time, could be a little stiff maybe although that obviously doesn't explain why 8 way works so well.



  • @baviaannl If you don't mind the extra effort, you could turn the black plastic peace 90° and see if the problem moves to the up or down direction.

    More about my sticks after today's testing session.



  • After trying different arcade sticks my feeling is that none of the solutions to "switch" an 8-way stick to 4-ways will provide you good gameplay on classics like Pac man or Pengo that had a 4 way only stick. Therefore I'm going to try a real 4 way only stick; just ordered a Happ ms pacman stick.
    alt text

    Also bought a Qanba N1 to be used as "enclosure" by trying to replace the actual provided stick with the Happ and also real arcade buttons.



  • @udb23 Thanks for sharing your experiences. What exactly are "real arcade buttons" and where can they be bought?



  • @clyde said in Open Joystick Talk:

    real arcade buttons"

    I mean arcade buttons with microswitches (Cherry brand being the best) made to be used on arcade cabs. Personally I prefer concave buttons like I used to play in arcades as a kid.
    You can see them on the 2 player control panel I built last year.

    I bought sticks, buttons and ipac2 from Arcadeworld in the uk but many other shops specialized in arcade controls exist.



  • @udb23 Thanks for the info, I'm also buying at ArcadeworldUK after some disappointments with two Arcade shops in Germany. The (edit:) Cherry microswitches' description in the shop says that they have "a soft click and low actuation force, which is highly noticable when compared to arcade buttons fitted with alternative microswitches". Can you verify this? How do you rate the buttons in the matter of actuation force and noise?



  • @clyde said in Open Joystick Talk:

    How do you rate the buttons in the matter of actuation force and noise?

    I can say I'm really happy with them; click sound is of course noticeable but that's exactly how it should sound to me (I don't remember any silent buttons in arcades).
    Actuation force : difficult to judge; I would say correct force activates them; in comparison the buttons on the Qanba N1 and Q1 I own are more sensible (too sensible).



  • Here comes my purely subjective report ;) about our yesterday's test session of the Mag-Stik Plus and the Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT-SK.

    My friend and I played numerous games from many different genres. We noticed very quickly that most 4-way games couldn't be played satisfactorily with 8-way joysticks, up to completely unplayability. This wasn't a big deal with the Mag-Stik that can be switched to 4-way easily. The Sanwa, however, requires way more effort by removing its restrictor from below and reattaching it in its 4-way position.

    That alone settled the test for me personally in favour of the Mag-Stik, because I want to play both 8-way and 4-way games on this single cabinet. But for anyone who doesn't care about that, I'll list our further discoveries, many of which are mostly a matter of taste:

    • The Mag-Stik is much more stiff than the Sanwa that's closer to the Zippyy in movability. I, personally, like the Mag-Stik's robust strength more. I know that there are stronger replacement springs available for the Sanwa, but that would only allure me if I didn't have the Mag-Stik as a working alternative.
    • The same goes for the deadzones: very small on the Mag-Stik, much wider on the Sanwa. Both are okay, the smaller deadzone may be better for fighting games, because of its faster actuation.
    • The Sanwa's microswitches are noticeably louder than those of the Mag-Stik. This wasn't an issue for us. I don't like that the Sanwa's switches are soldered to the stick, though, because they can't be replaced easily for whatever reason.
    • The Sanwa's single connection cable is much easier to install but less flexible as the usual cable tree. This shouldn't be an issue for most people except for very special wirings. The joystick encoder has to support this connector, though.
    • As mentioned in my opening post, the Mag-Stik requires much more effort and care to be installed, because you have to disassemble the whole 4/8-way mechanism to remove the entire shaft. I don't understand why the manufacturers didn't go for a removable top that most other joysticks have (including the Sanwa).

    All in all, both the Mag-Stik Plus and the Sanwa JLF are very good joysticks. Which one is better for you personally depends heavily on your preferences and the respective setup. I'm happy with my two Mag-Stiks, because they meet my preferred haptics and let me play 4 and 8-way games alike with minimum hassle.

    @BaviaanNL We didn't notice any directional problems in the 4-way mode of the Mag-Stik. Maybe this is an assembly issue again?



  • @clyde On both my MagStik's, the entire shaft can be removed b disassembling to the bush (before you get to the 4-8 way mechanism, in fact, I've never disassembled beyond the bush although feel that must be my next step as I'm still suffering directional issues, hopefully this will fix the issue as these sticks are keepers, I'm very impressed with them.



  • @baviaannl If you removed all parts up to the bush, only the black actuator remains untouched. You could try to remove it, too, and put everything back together. Then you'd have done everything I did. As said before, you could try to turn the actuator 90° and see if the problem moves to another direction – if it remains at all.

    edit: Does the problem occur with both of your Mag-Stiks? That would be a strange coincidence.



  • @clyde said in Open Joystick Talk:

    @baviaannl If you removed all parts up to the bush, only the black actuator remains untouched. You could try to remove it, too, and put everything back together. Then you'd have done everything I did. As said before, you could try to turn the actuator 90° and see if the problem moves to another direction – if it remains at all.

    edit: Does the problem occur with both of your Mag-Stiks? That would be a strange coincidence.

    Do the switches need to be removed prior to actuator removal?

    Player 2 MagStik is just fine, Player 1 works although you have to give it a slightly harder push in the right direction.

    Another thing I can't figure is the 4/8 direction switching, I understand how it should work, pull to engage the shaft in to the position where you can simply turn to the position you like although sometimes, the shaft moves out of the gear (if the stick has been twisted) so you can't see where it is so you have to fiddle until it's back into place.

    I was thinking that it shouldn't be able to move out of place, should there be something stopping this from happening?



  • @baviaannl No, the switches don't need to be removed. The actuator may be caught behind their metal brackets, but you can free it by gently pushing them aside while slowly pulling it out.

    As for switching, it's not rocket science, but requires a little patience and practise. It's really only this:

    you'll have to pull up the shaft gently and turn it until you feel it snapping into the keyways and coming up slightly more. Only then, you turn it to switch.

    It also helps to keep in mind the right switching direction: clockwise for 4-way, anticlockwise for 8-way. This way, you don't waste time and effort trying to switch in the wrong direction.

    @baviaannl said in Open Joystick Talk:

    I was thinking that it shouldn't be able to move out of place, should there be something stopping this from happening?

    No, that's absolutely normal. The shaft turns freely when not pulled up. It may be like this to preserve the mechanism and/or prevent accidental switching in the heat of the moment. Pull it up gently, turn it until it locks upwards into the gear, then turn it slightly more powerful in the right direction. At first, it helped me to have my other hand at the lever to feel if it moved. You could also try that for practise, if your cabinet allows it.

    edit: Oh, and make sure that the nut at the end of the shaft is tightened as much at possible. I experienced switching problems when that wasn't the case.



  • @clyde said in Open Joystick Talk:

    • The Mag-Stik is much more stiff than the Sanwa that's closer to the Zippyy in movability. I, personally, like the Mag-Stik's robust strength more. I know that there are stronger replacement springs available for the Sanwa, but that would only allure me if I didn't have the Mag-Stik as a working alternative.
    • The Sanwa's microswitches are noticeably louder than those of the Mag-Stik. This wasn't an issue for us. I don't like that the Sanwa's switches are soldered to the stick, though, because they can't be replaced easily for whatever reason.
    • The Sanwa's single connection cable is much easier to install but less flexible as the usual cable tree. This shouldn't be an issue for most people except for very special wirings. The joystick encoder has to support this connector, though.

    Now I've learned that there's another Sanwa model with a stronger spring, small to medium travel, microswitches that are not soldered, no single connection cable, a rotating 4/8-way restrictor plate (still screwed tight, though), and a Bat Top ex factory: Sanwa JLW-UM-8. Even the mounting plate seems to be different.

    If I'd know that sooner, I'd have tested this model instead of the JLF, because it is closer to my preferences. It's amazing how rich and diverse (read: confusing) the joystick market is. :P It wouldn't have changed my choice of the Mag-Stik Plus for my upright cabinet, but it would've relativised or negated some of my complaints, and I may've kept the JLW for my Mayflash Fighting Sticks. But well, c'est la vie.



  • @Clyde did you ever find a good adapter plate (the link from your post is dead) for the Mag Stik Plus? I have two Sanwa JLW-TM-8 in my cabinet but play mostly 80s games and a lot of them are 4 way. Finally getting tired of pulling the panel up to switch from 4/8 all the time. I just picked up the Mag Stik Plus (also because I wanted a shorter throw) and noticed the mounting plate is much smaller than my JLW but two holes seem to line up. Wasn't sure if two on one side would be strong enough to hold.

    Sorry in advance for hi-jacking old post ;)



  • @stoney66 said in Open Joystick Talk:

    Sorry in advance for hi-jacking old post ;)

    No problem, this thread isn't called open without reason. :)

    Alas, I can't help you. I just widened the holes enough towards each other so that all four screws did fit in. Because like you, I didn't trust only two of them, expecially since I have two Mag Stiks in my cab that I play Crazy Climber 1+2 with, and that can get really violent at times. :D



  • @Clyde I hear ya, I love joust and I can get a little rough/pissed at times with the stick.

    I was thinking about trying this plate https://www.arcaderenovations.com/medium-universal-joystick-adapter-plate.html just not sure which size, I think the small but that might be the same size as the current Mag plate. The site doesn't have measurements.

    It looks like maybe I can replace the current plate instead of trying to chain/sister off of the same plate (or just make two new holes). The Sanwa JLW plates inner 4 holes don't line up with the Mag (diff direction) but this adapter plate looks like it has a few options to use just not sure how sturdy this is but it says its steel. Not sure if the Seimitsu holes line up with Mag but at least they are in the same area... seems like the Mag is it's own beast for the plate.

    I tried to convert my JLW's to the Ultimarc Servo Stik for 4/8 switching but there was no room in my panel for the servo. Measure twice cut once....



  • @stoney66 Yeah, I also suspect that Ultimarc has unique hole positions. Chances are high that even them are patented these days. I'd wish they would settle on a universal standard. :/

    I fancied the KOWAL flat plate converter back then, but I don't remember if the holes did actually line up with the pre-drilled ones in my cab kit and the Mag Stik.

    As for 4/8 restriction, you could also do that with either xboxdrv or mame2003-plus. Search both articles for "way" to find the resp. sections.

    In the light of those software solutions, I don't know if I would spend the extra money on the Mag Stick Plus today. But since I have two of them already, I really like the mechanical switching. :)



  • @Clyde ah didn't know that on the 4way sim. I made a physical switch for the servo stik which works great, till I went to mount it and had no room lol. I only use advmame 3.8 now had the best luck with it so far, not sure if its the same as mame2003-plus or not for 4way sim. The mame docs didnt give any config notes, I assume the change is just in the menu per rom.

    Maybe I'll just install 2003-plus and give that a whirl...

    BTW the KOWAL looks pretty close, the width is the same as the JLW plate....


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