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[DIY Hori Joystick Button Modding Guide ]

Discussion in 'Console' started by Kimble, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Kimble

    Kimble Well-Known Member

    This guide is for those who feel like their Hori VF stick's buttons are letting them down but have no money for a Catch22 custom stick /versus/images/graemlins/wink.gif. The subtle sensitivity of joystick buttons makes a lot of difference when it comes to doing things like Akira's knee, Lei Fei's dancing and stepping in general. I experimented with replacing the stock Hori buttons with the highest quality Japanese Sanwa buttons and to my surprise they fit with very little adjustment needed. I know nothing (i mean nothing!) about electronics and i managed to get it to work so i'm sure most of you will have no problems doing it either. I hope this guide will help some people play a better game of VF. So without further ado, let's get started.

    First off, let's look at the materials we need:

    1. Soldering iron
    2. Solder (i used a 1mm gauge)
    2. Desoldering pump
    3. A couple of Sanwa buttons (got mine from excellentcom.net since they don't have a minimum order limit)
    4. Thin gauge electrical wire (approx. 1mm in diameter)
    5. A pair of sharp scissors (for wire stripping)
    6. A small piece of cardboard (or something similar)
    7. 0.5mm wide file
    8. Philips head screwdriver




    *** Before you do anything to your joystick, it is a good idea to practice soldering and desoldering on a cheap circuit board if you do not have experience with it. ***

    Circuit board reference:

    SW10 = Circle (Kick)
    SW9 = Cross (Punch)
    SW8 = Square (Guard)
    SW11 = L3
    SW12 = R3

    1. Use a Philips head screwdriver to open up the steel back plate of the joystick (6 screws in total).
    2. Desolder the buttons from the circuit board (SW8-SW12).
    3. Remove the Punch, Kick and Guard buttons (SW8,9,10) from the joystick (use a pen to push the locking mechanism down on both sides).
    4. File down the small protruding bits in each of the joystick holes (there are 6 in total). Do this properly or the Sanwa buttons can be damaged.
    5. File down the small plastic bits sticking out on the side of the Sanwa buttons. Refer to the photo below (red circles). Each button has 4 of those. Be extra careful or you will risk damage to the buttons.


    6. Insert the modified Sanwa buttons into the modified joystick button holes.They should fit without force.
    7. Prepare the electrical wires by cutting them in the right length and stripping both ends carefully with scissors.
    8. Solder the wires to the buttons and circuit board (Guard, Kick, Punch, L3, R3).


    9. Get a small piece of cardboard and attach it to the back of the circuit board to prevent short circuiting.


    10. Screw the backplate back on.
    11. Pat yourself on the back and have fun!


    PS: I do not have photos of the whole procedure but i took a couple yesterday of my completed joystick so hopefully that will help. I am planning to mod another stick in the near future so there would be clearer photos available then. This project is very easy to do so i hope you all give it a shot. /versus/images/graemlins/smile.gif If you have any questions, feel free to PM me or just post here.
  2. Myke

    Myke Administrator Staff Member Content Manager Kage

    Thanks for sharing that Kimble.

    One of the biggest complaints about the VF Hori sticks are the buttons dying, so I'm sure many people will find this guide useful.
  3. Kimble

    Kimble Well-Known Member

    Thanks Myke. I'm glad i can help some fellow VF players.
  4. maddy

    maddy Well-Known Member

    I appreciate you for taking your time to take pictures and write this useful information.

    Akira's never a stick friendly character, and if I knew about this earlier, I might of saved lots of work that my buddy Painty has done to fix the buttons on my sticks. Thx.
  5. Plague

    Plague Well-Known Member

    We recently had a "re-soldier your hori buttons" session at a VF night at my house. Looks like it'll be time for a "let's update to Sanwa Buttons" type thingie.

    BTW, which Sanwa buttons are used for /versus/images/commands/p.gif, /versus/images/commands/k.gif, and /versus/images/commands/g.gif? What part number?

    Nice post. Thank you.
  6. Painty_J

    Painty_J Well-Known Member

    I've had alot of sticks across my workbench, so I'm eager to find out how good these Sanwas are for durability as a replacement. I'm trying to come up with some sort of connector you can slide over the prongs on the switches, but so far nobody in the area has carried what I need.

    I'm moddin up my first stick now, according to the images.
  7. cheatah

    cheatah Well-Known Member

  8. Painty_J

    Painty_J Well-Known Member

    Radioshack is worthless. They hardly sell any real electronics over the counter now, it's all toys, stereo stuff, and cell phones. None of the stores I checked had anything useful. I've heard of one electronics store in town that actually sells real, useful electronics stuff, over the counter. I'm gonna have to find em sometime and rock that shit.

    Just some reference I dug out of the stick I'm workin on right now:

    If you plan on replacing the stick, these are the wire colors corresponding to the directional inputs. When I finish, I will also have information on which pin on the Sanwa stick corresponds to each button.

    White-down switch

    Grey-up switch

    red-left switch

    yellow-right switch
  9. cheatah

    cheatah Well-Known Member

    Hmm, just one last comment. Wouldn't it be easier to just cut the wire close to the buttons, strip it and attach the quick-disconnect prong thingies on there and just slide it onto the connects of the buttons? Also you really only need to change the P, G, K buttons since the L3 and R3 won't be used much to warrant sanwa buttons unless they're broken.

    Now show us some nice tricks to put different sticks into our evo sticks =)
  10. Painty_J

    Painty_J Well-Known Member

    That thing is exactly what I'm looking for...problem is, my father only had one of them, and the local radioshacks didn't carry them.

    But the process you described was exactly what I'm going for. You would want to attach them to the L3/R3 buttons also, so that you could detach ALL buttons, and then move the PCB out of the way while you worked on the buttons.

    As for the stick...I've done some poking around, and using a big ole sanwa stick will take some modding. The Hori stick uses 4 screws to hold itself in place, while the Sanwa only has 2 holes visible. Upon examining the construction, however, it looks possible to drill out holes in the restrictor plate and put new screws through it. On the restrictor plate, next to the locking tabs, there are small holes in the plate. The ones that need to be drilled out are the ones immediately counter-clockwise to the locking tabs. Then, you can get longer screws, and it should work out fine.

    I'll let you all know how it goes.
  11. Kimble

    Kimble Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. : )

    This is the type you want to get Plague:

    You don't really need to change the L3 and R3 either because it's hard to find something that fits as well as the stock ones and those buttons don't really matter anyway imo. But you need to desolder them so you have room to work on the other buttons. I figured out how to change the joystick to a Sanwa one too but it takes a lot more work with the wires and all and i'm still experimenting. It's possible to use the stock screws but the joystick itself has to be modded a bit. Because of the added height from the sanwa stick, copper spacers will also be needed. When i figure out the best way to mod the stick i'll let you guys know.

  12. Plague

    Plague Well-Known Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    Kimble said:
    You don't really need to change the L3 and R3 either because it's hard to find something that fits as well as the stock ones and those buttons don't really matter anyway imo. But you need to desolder them so you have room to work on the other buttons.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Are you saying that when you desolder all five buttons, the PCB can be lifted away? That would be cool.

    Thanks for the part number.
  13. PhoenixDth

    PhoenixDth Well-Known Member

    hey whats the price on the shipping? from that site?
  14. Kimble

    Kimble Well-Known Member


    Yeah that's exactly what i meant there. Good luck with it!


    The site is from Hong Kong and from what i remember they don't charge an arm and a leg for shipping. It's certainly cheaper than ordering from Japan.
  15. PhoenixDth

    PhoenixDth Well-Known Member

    finished the mod, mykes playing on it works great - are the joysticks on that site any good also? i might plan to do a complete overhaul.
  16. Kimble

    Kimble Well-Known Member

    Good one PhoenixDth! The Sanwa sticks from the site are of very high quality. Feels the same as the ones used in the Japanese VF cabinets.
  17. sanjuroAKIRA

    sanjuroAKIRA Well-Known Member

    I found a couple of hours the other day to swap out some crappy evo stick buttons for some sanwa buttons & I also swapped the joystick out another evo stick for the worn one in my vf4 stick (buttons there still work great). I guess you didn't need to know all that, c'ept...thanks for the suggestion...you saved me about $200!
  18. Painty_J

    Painty_J Well-Known Member

    Okay, here's all I did to get a Sanwa stick working in the controller:

    I de-soldered the buttons carefully on the Hori, and removed the old joystick. Then I popped the restrictor plate off and drilled holes through the small indentations on the plate, so that they lined up with the holes in the switches and the case underneath. Then i had to buy #4 screws, 1 1/2" long, and screwed the joystick into the case.

    Before you de-solder the wires from the old joystick, take note of which one goes where. The white wires belong to the Down switch. Grey wires belong to the Up switch. Red is for left, and Yellow is for right. Mark down where each pair of wires is soldered to the board at.

    Now, when looking at the connector on the Sanwa joystick, with the pins facing towards the top of the stick (laying in your lap upside down, they should point away from you), here is the pin assignments: Common, Down, Up, Right, Left. When you're soldering the PCB back to the joystick, you only need to solder one wire to the Common terminal. Look on the PCB to determine which holes are for Common; there are 4 holes that have a visible trace connecting them, and these are all common. Only one needs to be soldered to the stick, the rest are fine. Then, solder the other wires to the stick, and you're almost done.

    To finish it up, you are going to need to get risers for the backplate of the stick. The Sanwa joystick is a little bigger than the Hori, and sticks out of the case. In order to put the back plate on, you will need to get some 1/2" risers and longer screws. Then, tape the risers over the posts (it's a helluva lot easier this way) and put the plate back on, screw it shut, and you're all done! One fully-modded Hori stick.
  19. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    (post deleted--I saw that the Hori Real Arcade Stick Pro had been covered well... I just couldn't find it via search and all I had to do was go to Console and scroll down)

  20. Plague

    Plague Well-Known Member

    Got my buttons from excellentcom.net. 10 buttons = $10 plus $14 for EMS shipping. Took about a week after the order was placed. I paid with credit card. Easy transaction.

    Got my solder braid (to remove solder - cheaper than a pump if you don't already have one) - $1.82 for a foot or two, wires (free), slip-on connectors (non-insulated) 15 for $1, and a small pack of solder for $1.80.

    Gonna do the swap tonight.

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