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

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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.

 

 

Yeah, you're right.... HOWEVER it would be cool if someone could design a clean joystick box with no visible means of entry.

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Yeah, you're right.... HOWEVER it would be cool if someone could design a clean joystick box with no visible means of entry.

 

This might be achievable with a custom box that opens only from the bottom. However fabricating the final build with no way to access the internals once completed is a bad idea. Unless you're designing a smartphone that is... :dunce:

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This might be achievable with a custom box that opens only from the bottom. However fabricating the final build with no way to access the internals once completed is a bad idea. Unless you're designing a smartphone that is... :dunce:

 

 

 

Well, I suppose a plain box with a slide out bottom could be done with an endcap to hide the method. After painting, It would be hidden quite well.

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Well, I suppose a plain box with a slide out bottom could be done with an endcap to hide the method. After painting, It would be hidden quite well.

 

Is it so bad to have a seam running across the middle section like almost every "box" in existence? :P

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Is it so bad to have a seam running across the middle section like almost every "box" in existence? :P

 

 

No, not really... BUT this is the 'homebrew joystick' thread where people come up with some really neat and unique joysticks!

One of the reasons for this thread is to NOT have a plain joystick box like everyone else in existence... and to show off what we come up with.

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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...

 

post-393-0-87007700-1494659369_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

Jess,

Did you ever finish this joystick project. I'd like to see how it turned out.

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Food for thought. I showed some of the guys at work my custom joystick builds (as well as my briefcase boombox) and they're like "What the f*** are you doing working here? You could make tons of money selling stuff online. Hipsters would buy that sh** in a heartbeat." Um, not really. I try to tell them most hobby/craft products are lucky to break even and if they do, earn far less than minimum wage for what time the builder puts into them. Unless you're a master craftsman with high end clientele, don't quit your day job.

 

I make $12 / hour at my 8-5 plant job and it's dependable income. Approximately $75 daily after taxes, and everything over 40 hrs is time-and-a-half. About $35 of parts go into building a base model atari stick, plus hours of labor (especially since I started sanding and staining raw woodcraft boxes rather than using recycled cigar boxes) and I'm lucky if I can find a buyer for $70-$80. Stock sits and doesn't sell. Plus I come home everyday and don't feel like doing crap after hours. Shift work sucks but it's dependable.

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I hear ya Kosmic, people are so used to buying cheap dung from China, that they expect you to sell things to them at a loss. It takes time, fuel and money to go buy the stuff used in the product, it takes money to buy all the tools used to make these things, it takes LOTS time to even make the stuff they want. In the end, many people don't want to pay you more than the cost of the items used to make it, never mind about being compensated for your time or breaking even.

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I think it could be done if you were business minded about it, (make set numbers of identical products, promote them, brand them or otherwise devise a desirable signature). But there is an anti-profit culture in the homebrew community that more or less brands you as anti-scene if you profit significantly. Not that there are aggressive scenesters who enforce this, but it still just pans out that way I think. Basically the money undermines the fantasy.

 

I think an inbetween method is to make a numbered addition, execute it perfectly, charge a reasonable price that allows for modest profit, establish a reputation for that limited edition product, then years after it is sold out, auction off a few more, perhaps with one-of-a-kind modifications. .. Reselling rarity is the best prospect in my opinion, and if resellers are doing it, why not content creators too? A "rare" item is much more valuable than an obscure item.

 

.. A friend of mine described an interesting phenomenon in the "flashlight scene", where these flashlight enthusiasts collaborated (in the flashlight forums) on the specs and design of a high end flashlight. Then they contacted manufacturers to appraise the production cost. They pooled money in the forums and kept a list and basically individual flashlights were pre-sold. After production was complete the pre-orders were fulfilled and remaining stock was sold for something like double the pre-order price.

 

I guess it's the same as the crowd funding websites, but it is done from within the community and the profit is kind of deferred to those who are outside the community or who didn't participate for whatever reason.

 

It's a bit different with hardware that can't be duplicated the same way as a game.

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Jess,

Did you ever finish this joystick project. I'd like to see how it turned out.

 

homemade%2Bjoystick.png

 

I got mixed results. The "wood" in the box was actually some sort of light plywood, and the acoustics in the box are such that the buttons make a deep "klong" noise whenever you hit them. The joystick is great for maze games, but not so much fighters, which is kind of why I built the damn thing in the first place. (I might have to invest in a Sanwa next time... it's what all the cool kids are using.)

 

I never got custom artwork on this, so what you see is what you get. I'd probably have to disassemble the joystick before I could make the box more presentable... and I might do that, since its performance was never entirely satisfactory anyway. I was happy with the home button... I purchased an ignition button designed for machinery, and it's great for this purpose because it not only takes more effort to press the recessed button, but because there's a glowing circle around the edge that turns on when you plug it into game systems. It's a nifty touch. Also, I like the encoder I used... I was warned against that brand, but I was happy with it. It works with both USB and PS2, and it seems responsive enough. I just wish the wires it came with had been three inches longer.

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I adapted an Odyssey 2 joystick to Atari with an arcade joystick and button. I've had this laid out and assembled for a while but just wired it up today. My only complaint is the joystick shaft spinning freely which I think is always a pain in the ass but maybe comes up more often in this design because of the size and shape.

 

Overall this is quite good in function and the look and novelty of it is sweeeet.

 

I have another Odyssey joystick I might try do a cleaner job on.

 

post-31910-0-62676500-1516420463_thumb.jpeg

 

post-31910-0-57961600-1516420990_thumb.jpeg

 

post-31910-0-89499700-1516421037_thumb.jpeg

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^^might want to pad the bottom out a bit; shaft sticks out a bit much! :grin:

 

I hear ya Kosmic, people are so used to buying cheap dung from China, that they expect you to sell things to them at a loss. It takes time, fuel and money to go buy the stuff used in the product, it takes money to buy all the tools used to make these things, it takes LOTS time to even make the stuff they want. In the end, many people don't want to pay you more than the cost of the items used to make it, never mind about being compensated for your time or breaking even.

Thank you. Tools are definately a factor, but when treated properly they last a long time. Sure buying a tool is a sunk cost for your first build, but you get to keep it for use in future projects. So having the proper tools on hand does not necessarily factor into the cost of future projects, just the current one you buy it for.

 

But there's different teirs of tools. A $40 Skil saw is great for ripping 2x4s on a construction project, but for building say a custom enclosure is a bit inefficient compared to a table saw. You can rip a plank in 2 seconds but making an accurate cut requires fabricating a rip guide and meticulously measuring and clamping the workpiece for very cut. With a table saw you can set it once and make pefect cuts every time. But an entry level portable tabletop saw starts around $400 which is beyond my budget. And I don't have a work area large enough to fascilitate a real tablesaw.

 

So something that could be churned out quickly in a professional woodshop might as well take 10x the man hours in a home garage with "poor man's" tools. Also some jobs like paintng or finishing take almost the same length of time if you do 1 or 10 at a time. I have no "garage" with which to use, only a patio, so I'm at the mercy of weather cooperating. Rain means essentially I can't work, and cooler temps or high humidity greatly increase dry times.

 

Tons of factors to think about. Pros use pro level tools. Hobbyists improvise with budget level tools. So I make something awesome for my own enjoyment and share it with the world, and get lots of likes or thumbs up. Fine. But please don't assume I can simply snap my fingers and prodduce one on commission without being duly compensated. So easy to click a mouse button or tap on a smart phone and buy. So hard to actually build stuff.

 

Sorry if I'm derailing the thread. But I understand why so many great build projects remain as one-off creations. I've considered making an instructable video as opposed to selling online, but that involves filming and editing. Nobody views step by step pictorials anymore. And 95% of people who insist on watching a tutorial vid as opposed to a step by step instructable with pics, probably never attempt to do the project in the first place. If you have to stop every two minutes to pause/rewind the video on your portable device, while sitting at the workbench with tools out, you're probably going to nerf the project.

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homemade%2Bjoystick.png

 

I got mixed results. The "wood" in the box was actually some sort of light plywood, and the acoustics in the box are such that the buttons make a deep "klong" noise whenever you hit them.

 

I never got custom artwork on this, so what you see is what you get. I'd probably have to disassemble the joystick before I could make the box more presentable... and I might do that, since its performance was never entirely satisfactory anyway.

 

To mitigate the acoustical 'drum effect' of the box, you could use some of that rubberized spray. Flexseal is one brand name that comes to mind. You would have to be careful with overspray by taping everything, but it should do the job for you.

 

If you plan to sand it down anyway before you apply artwork and a new finish, that would be the time!

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I adapted an Odyssey 2 joystick to Atari with an arcade joystick and button.

 

Neat little conversion!

 

If you don't mind a suggestion for a possible enhancement << CLICK HERE >> :)

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Food for thought. I showed some of the guys at work my custom joystick builds (as well as my briefcase boombox) and they're like "What the f*** are you doing working here? You could make tons of money selling stuff online. Hipsters would buy that sh** in a heartbeat." Um, not really. I try to tell them most hobby/craft products are lucky to break even and if they do, earn far less than minimum wage for what time the builder puts into them. Unless you're a master craftsman with high end clientele, don't quit your day job.

 

I make $12 / hour at my 8-5 plant job and it's dependable income. Approximately $75 daily after taxes, and everything over 40 hrs is time-and-a-half. About $35 of parts go into building a base model atari stick, plus hours of labor (especially since I started sanding and staining raw woodcraft boxes rather than using recycled cigar boxes) and I'm lucky if I can find a buyer for $70-$80. Stock sits and doesn't sell. Plus I come home everyday and don't feel like doing crap after hours. Shift work sucks but it's dependable.

I was building an add-on for the 5200 Trak-Ball (lets you use it as a 2600 trackball) which appears, as a final product, to be just a simple cable. But, fabrication time including cutting and stripping cables, soldering itty bitty short wires to a DB connector and stuffing two cables' worth of wires into a hood designed for one cable and doing some really fiddly fitting and soldering wires onto IC sockets turns out to be fairly time intensive. Add to that the cost of parts and it's not terribly profitable. I sold a few @ $30 then $25, but it's just barely worth it. The very niche market seemed to saturate pretty quickly.

 

I had thought if it turned out to be even slightly popular, I'd turn over the assembly work (and all of the profit, basically) to a friend's 12 year old son. Child labor makes everything cheaper. ;)

 

So, yeah, unless you're making 10 zillion of a product, it's tough to do it cheap and turn a profit or break even.

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homemade%2Bjoystick.png

 

I got mixed results. The "wood" in the box was actually some sort of light plywood, and the acoustics in the box are such that the buttons make a deep "klong" noise whenever you hit them. The joystick is great for maze games, but not so much fighters, which is kind of why I built the damn thing in the first place. (I might have to invest in a Sanwa next time... it's what all the cool kids are using.)

 

I never got custom artwork on this, so what you see is what you get. I'd probably have to disassemble the joystick before I could make the box more presentable... and I might do that, since its performance was never entirely satisfactory anyway. I was happy with the home button... I purchased an ignition button designed for machinery, and it's great for this purpose because it not only takes more effort to press the recessed button, but because there's a glowing circle around the edge that turns on when you plug it into game systems. It's a nifty touch. Also, I like the encoder I used... I was warned against that brand, but I was happy with it. It works with both USB and PS2, and it seems responsive enough. I just wish the wires it came with had been three inches longer.

looks like you use a crap zippy stick

swap it out with a sanwa or seimitsu they are the best for fighters

or at the very least a good happs ultimate

I own a store that sells arcade games as well as parts and stopped carrying the zippy branded ones , they break really easy and feel very sloppy . and everyone that bought one always complained

 

 

man my shops a mess lol

here is my view from my desk right now lol lots of homebrew projects I need to finish and sell lol

 

post-63035-0-77902800-1516470532_thumb.jpg

Edited by discgolfer72
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This is the specific joystick.

 

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=366

 

I don't know if it's a rebranded Zippy, but it's entirely possible. I also have a "Fantastic Incredible Mr. Joystick!" which was cheap. I never installed it in anything, so I don't know how incredible or fantastic it actually is. My guess is that it isn't as great as advertised.

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This is the specific joystick.

 

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=366

 

I don't know if it's a rebranded Zippy, but it's entirely possible. I also have a "Fantastic Incredible Mr. Joystick!" which was cheap. I never installed it in anything, so I don't know how incredible or fantastic it actually is. My guess is that it isn't as great as advertised.

It's a different product. I've been meaning to try one out. How does it perform?

 

I used the Paradise Arcade Stick from Paradise Arcade Shop in most my builds. It's similar construction and price range to Zippy but vastly superior, however the switches are direct operated as opposed to levered. The gate on the PAS can be easily swapped from 8-way to 4-way with a phillips screwdriver (like a Zippy), but it's the only square gate 8-way joystick that I'm really comfortable using. The switches have some tact to them which you can feel making accidental diagonals less frequent, with the downside that it's fairly clicky.

 

FYI, Zippy changed the switch supplier some time ago, and the different brands of switches can cause issues due to varying engage distance, as well as an excessive amount of hysteresis, or the difference between the engage and disengage point. The levered switch is not completely parallel at the point of engagement causing diagonals to miss in certain circumstances. Specifically, moving down then left may not engage a dl diagonal properly, but moving left then down will. The old Zippy that I was satisfied with had a different levered switch than the new one. And the pitch angle of the lever combined with engage distance is too much variable when they outsource their supplier. The Paradise Arcade Stick used direct contact with the actuator and does not have this issue.

 

Overall Sanwa JLF gets such rave reviews but to me they feel sloppy out of the box without additional tuning. It's $20 a piece retail, then I've got to mod it with circle or octo gates and oversized actuators and a slightly stiffer spring to make it something I'm comfortable using. And everyone's got their preference on what feels right. A Sanwa tuned to one gamer's liking may not feel right to another gamer. Other issue is the harness doesn't work with cimp connectors, unless I toss the pcb for cherry switches (Paradise Arcade Shop offers the Cherry modded JLFs for $25). Nice for modders but if I used Sanwas for my joystick sales I'd have to add $20 to the price.

 

Once I got a commission request and the buyer demanded I put a Sanwa in it so I told him the bom (bill of materials) alone for that one part would cost $35, so I would have to charge $25 extra on top of base price for Sanwa upgrade ($20 joystick plus $14 to ship it on my end, minus the $10 PAS stick I had on hand but wasn't going to use) which pushed the order total to over $100 when you factor in shipping. He never repied back.

 

I guess people just assumed I had a fully stocked arcade shop in my garage, or could could get stuff wholesale in single digit quantities. Nope, I had to pay retail plus shipping like everyone else.

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the main problem we have had with the zippy branded ones is the shaft will actually rip out after extended use due to the whole thing riding on a plastic seat with a plastic bushing

even the knock off knock off ones i can get from my china wholesaler at least have a metal bushing riding on a nylon seat

 

once i get back in the shop (closed until Tuesday ) i will see if i can find the one i saved as an example to my customers on why not to buy the cheapo sticks , and get some pics posted of the failure point

 

 

 

that stick from groovy looks like it should be ok ,esp with a round restriction plate for fighting games , and groovy usually uses good micro switches.

before i started dealing with wholesale orders from happs and china i would only buy from them (still order all my usb /ps2 encoders from them )

 

ps its actually cheaper to buy from happs wholesale than buying the cheap joysticks from china

the happs sticks are more expensive per unit , but the shipping weight is high. so shipping from china negates any reduced price. i think the last china wholesale order i made the sticks were 2.50 each but with shipping it was 100$ more than the same number of sticks shipped from happs

Edited by discgolfer72

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now that I have my 3d orinter I was able to finish up my ti 99 homebrew stick

 

Mind if I ask why the n64 logos on a ti-99 stick?

 

I'd love to do a one-off n64 build someday, but the lack of suitable analog pot joysticks (hal effect sensors like the 360 come with custom usb encoders, fine for emulation but afaik can't be used for pcb hacks that expect a thumbstick with pots) is frustrating.

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Mind if I ask why the n64 logos on a ti-99 stick?

 

I'd love to do a one-off n64 build someday, but the lack of suitable analog pot joysticks (hal effect sensors like the 360 come with custom usb encoders, fine for emulation but afaik can't be used for pcb hacks that expect a thumbstick with pots) is frustrating.

lol

the shell i used is a metal memory card reader box from a nfl blitz arcade machine

i have like 10 of then new old stock that have been sitting in my store forever

so i killed one for the stick

 

just have not taken the time to heat gun it and remove the stickers

post-63035-0-14569400-1520782033.jpg

post-63035-0-59109400-1520782033.jpg

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lol

the shell i used is a metal memory card reader box from a nfl blitz arcade machine

i have like 10 of then new old stock that have been sitting in my store forever

so i killed one for the stick

 

just have not taken the time to heat gun it and remove the stickers

Leave the decals. I think they are cool. :thumbsup:

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