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Jin

Lubricating Sega Genesis Arcade Power Stick

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So, I've got one of these: 

 

hz9Pfzq.jpg

 

 

I love it to bits for Sega Genesis spaceship shooters, fighting games, and general Atari 2600 use as well. There's just one little problem: Over time the joystick has gotten really squeaky! I have already tried lubricating the joystick with white lithium grease, which I thought would be a good plastic-on-plastic lubricant based on my experience using it to lubricate the plastic internals of airsoft replicas, but it didn't do much of anything to help the squeakiness of the Arcade Power Stick. 

 

Any suggestions for a lubricant I could use that would eliminate the squeakiness of the joystick without risking damage to the silicone membrane contacts underneath? 

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I have the exact same problem with mine! It has always squeaked. I took it apart recently and used graphite powder on every part of the joystick that moves. It helped a little but didn't completely get rid of the problem. It's definitely a lot less annoying.

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Mine was unresponsive and very very loud when using it, so I took it completely apart cleaned it as best I could. It became more responsive, but the noise returned after a half our of use or so. I think it may just be a problem with the design, but I would love to hear a suggestion on how to alleviate it. The innards of the stick are functionally identical to the gamepad, it's just a form factor change. I am looking into getting tototek adapters to use a microswitch stick on the system. Austin sold me a Namco ps1 stick, and after using that it's been really hard for me to go back to this Genesis stick (which I grew up with) and the NES/SNES advantages (same, grew up with these)

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I'd suggest cleaning it with rubbing alcohol (dismantling every single possible part) and then lubricate parts that aren't in contact with the external surface. By the way, what a great Arcade Pad. :)

 

 

Cheers,

Oge

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Not to hijack the thread but has anyone died to replace the joystick in this arcade controller. My kids broke the ball end of the stick off years ago and my attempts to reglue it have all failed. The stick broke just below the embedded bolt that the ball screws onto. Any suggestions? 

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*snickers at the suggestive .. everything..* Maybe when stuff is -that- broken, the easiest fix is to get a new one. They're on ebay for 21-25$ just about (excluding auctions), which isn't .. aaaawfully expensive .. and it removes the fear that the stick  (.. *snicker*) will break off at the b-ball.. point.. Heh. Make sure you lube it before you use it then. Oh god.

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*snickers at the suggestive .. everything..* Maybe when stuff is -that- broken, the easiest fix is to get a new one. They're on ebay for 21-25$ just about (excluding auctions), which isn't .. aaaawfully expensive .. and it removes the fear that the stick  (.. *snicker*) will break off at the b-ball.. point.. Heh. Make sure you lube it before you use it then. Oh god.

 

You might appreciate this scan of an old Mega Drive advertisement.  ;)

 

Yo1ErRB.jpg

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Wonderful stick. I got one of those. Never bothered with the 6 button variety. The Sega Arcade stick is a must for Space Rocks!

 

If you're going to lube plastic parts, NEVER use WD-40 or petroleum based lubes. They will help for a bit but eventually degrade the plastic and make it worse. I've seen more rubick's cubes ruined by putting WD-40 in them.

 

For plastics, use a silicone based lubricant. Pure silicone oils/grease/gels are the absolute best, but extremely pricey, like the cube lube professional speed cubers use is $20 per ounce pricey! :o

 

I use Dupont Silicone/Teflon spray on my Rubick's cubes and it works wonders. CRC Silicone is equally good. With plastics it is advisable to work aerosol based silicone lubricant in vigorously for at least 5-10 minutes after application. This will spead the lube and ensure the volatiles have a chance to evaporate. This could mean vigorously scrambling a cube puzzle or playing arcade games with a joystick immediately after application. Otherwise it could bind the plastic slightly.

 

Yeah, I used to be into twistypuzzles a few years back but gradually tired of the hobby.

 

EDIT: Oh, snap! I forgot about the button membranes. Are they carbon based rubber, or silicone rubber? Silicone oils, while safe for ABS plastics and carbon based rubbers, could potentially be very damaging to silicone based materials. If the joystick is made from a combination of carbon based material (ABS) and silicone based (membranes) then a dry lubricant such as graphite may be your best bet. Water soluble lubricants that don't actually contain water exist (KY Jelly is glycol based for instance) but these will absorb moisture and corrode metalic contacts. Graphite powder certaintly is compatible with all three materials (carbon plastic, silicone, metal) and will even improve the performane of the electrical connection if applied underneath the silicone pads. You just really don't want graphite on the exposed portion of your joystick shaft as it will get on your hands and everything you touch and generally make a mess.

Edited by stardust4ever

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I recently got this Sega Arcade Power Stick. It's micro-switched three button version. I don't own Genesis and was going to use it on Atari 800XL.

 

I only tested it with ATARI2USB adapter on a PC and it seems that the left direction doesn't respond and B button works as a fire and right direction. The normal Sega pad works fine with it.

 

Is the stick faulty - would it do the same on a real Genesis?

 

Thanks

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It's been a few years and my Genesis stick still squeaks like nobody's business, and I've been wanting to use it to play Atari lately so I finally shelled out the $5 after shipping costs for a couple dabs of imported Shin-Etsu joystick grease from Focus Attack: https://www.focusattack.com/fa-dab-20-ounce-shin-etsu-silicone-grease-vial/

If that doesn't fix the squeaking I don't think anything will! :lol: I'll be sure to let you guys and gals know how it works out when the grease arrives in the mail this weekend or early next week.

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Good for you Jin. I was thinking about one of those Genesis joysticks recently -- they're common and cheap enough that I'd consider just replacing it rather than fixing it. But fixing it is better.

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I got the Shin-Etsu grease in the mail from FocusAttack.com today and wowie zowie does this stuff ever work! :O After cleaning all the internals of the joystick with q-tips and rubbing alcohol I used a toothpick to apply a very thin coating of Shin-Etsu grease to every spot where one piece of plastic rubbed against another inside the joystick as well as the top and bottom of the spring. The result was a completely squeak-free joystick that is smooth as silk to operate. It feels just like a new leaf spring arcade stick after applying the Shin-Etsu grease and works way better than it ever has before.

I ordered 2 little dab sized containers and only ended up using half a container lubricating the stick, and supposedly this stuff is a "apply it once and don't worry about it for a decade" sort of thing. We'll see how well it lasts over the long haul but so far I'd absolutely recommend Shin-Etsu grease to anyone looking to cure a case of the squeakies or just make their Sega Arcade Power Stick smoother and more enjoyable to use. Ms. Pac-Man will thank you. :)

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That is GREAT to know, and I'll bet it works in other settings, too. You got the $0.45 package for this? The $25 tube is too dear for me. 
https://www.focusattack.com/search.php?search_query=Shin-Etsu


Yep, I got the little $0.45 sized container and I only used up half the container at most on the Sega stick. I'm sure it would work great on the NES Advantage and other old arcade sticks as well.

The only potential concern is that the Shin-Etsu grease is a silicone based lubricant and I'm not sure whether the membrane contacts in these older arcade sticks are made of silicone or rubber. If they're made of silicone then the grease could cause them to degrade over time, but it was a risk I was willing to take since nothing else seemed to fix the annoying squeakiness. I will open the stick up in 6 months or so and see how the membrane contacts are doing, but at this point I'm just happy it's working well and—as you said—worst case scenario these Genesis sticks aren't expensive to replace.

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The membranes are generally made from silicone which will not degrade over time like rubber. Silicone membranes in an nes controller will last for thousands of years, though they can wear out with repeated use over a very long time.

No replacements that I know of are available for NES Advantage or Sega Power Stick membranes so be careful. You may find the membrane melted or disfigured if it comes in contact with silicone oils.

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Well, it's been over a month now since I applied the Shin-Etsu grease to all the moving parts of the joystick and there has been no damage at all to the membrane contacts. They still look and feel perfectly normal and the stick continues to work great. :)

Edited by Jin

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