Mar 29

How To: Install a non-PCB joystick in a 5-pin harness


Connecting a 5-pin JST-H solution ”for dummies”

When is this needed?

Many Japanese cabinets (or well built console Arcade sticks) use a JST 5-pin connector that will install a SANWA JLF or a Seimitsu LS-32-01 quick and easy (see the picture above) in their control panels.

So? Well, sometimes you want to mix it up, and bring in something without that handy 5-pin JST-H connector available. There are some very nice sticks out there, like the SUZO 500 (it’s ugly, but very hard to beat for shooting games) that with a custom shaft can blend in like a good weave in your cabinet. I will use my custom built stick for this guide, but any stick using 4 microswitches can be hooked up this way.

How do you recommend I do this?

I’ve always been doing harnesses for my non-PCB equipped sticks, but I figured out a way to use a worn out JLF one, so my harness making days are now over. Below I will show the how to make a harness (cheap but overly complicated) as well as how to mod the JLF PCB (very easy but more expensive if you have to buy a PCB)

What do I need to build a harness?

Soldering iron / soldering station
Crimp tool, or a pair of flat pliers

1 x male JST H-connector (if you have a busted JLF or LS-32 it can be soldered off quite easily)*

8 x .187″ terminal sleeves (1 for each direction and 4 for the grounds, this is the most common size for switches used in sticks)

1.87 inch terminal sleeves

Wire (I recommend you get one colour for the ground and one or more for the directions)


*If you don’t have any JST connectors, you can get the kind of PCB connectors pictured below and they will fit as well. I’ll try to find some better alternatives and add to this guide. If you try this and find some, please e-mail me as it’ll help others. : )

JST Alternative

If you can’t find a JST connector, I suggest you get hold of a SANWA or Seimitsu PCB and keep reading below.

As you think about the part list above I’d like to show you my new and improved solution using a Japanese SANWA JLF PCB instead. The JLF PCB MOD

Soldering iron / soldering station

Parts needed:
1. JLF PCB (Seimitsu LS-32-01 PCB should work, I didn’t have any spare ones)
2. 8 short wires with .187″ terminals (I had some from a daisy chain harness)

1. De-solder all microswitches from the PCB
Naked PCB bottom

Naked PCB top

2. Have a look if the PCB will fit on the stick you want to use it for (also useful to see how long the wires need to be
Test fit
3. Get your wires ready

4. Solder these 8 wires to the holes in the PCB where the microswitches were seated before
Soldered and complete

5. Fit it to your joystick and make sure to set the directions on the correct microswitch (below is my beloved hand-made stick).

Finished mod

FINISHED! Creating the harness version: 1.Daisy chain

First of all we’ll create the ground daisy chain. When we’re finished it’ll look something like this:

Daisy chain

Take the wire you want to use for all ground (the COM on the microswitch) and crimp one of your sleeve connectors to the end. If you want to, you can then put this on one of the microswitches on your joystick and measure up the distance to the closest switch on the joystick. Fold the wire and crimp another sleeve connector on it. Continue to the third and forth wire and then pull the wire up to your first one where you will cut it. 2. Crimping the rest

Take another wire and crimp a sleeve to the end then stick that onto the same switch (on the NO spade) as the first ground wire. Don’t cut the wire just yet. Do this for all four switches then let them surround the joystick like in the mockup below:

PCB harness

Now that all wires are hooked up to the switches, make sure they can be pulled off the switches without the wire length making it impossible, then use electrical tape or tie them together so they are neatly bundled up. 3. Soldering the wires to the connector

Using the pinout in the picture above, solder each wire to the JST male connector row of pins that’s not going into the female connector.

When everything is done, it should look like the picture below (where the SUZO 500 stick is hooked up to the cabinet’s connector) only prettier as I did a poor job on that particular harness. 😛


It should also work now.

1 ping

  1. Mounting a (pretty) SUZO 500 in an EGRET II » Emphatic's Video Game Collection

    […] use the 5-pin JST connector that SANWA JLF’s and Seimitsu LS-32-01′s use. Check my article on an easy way of doing that as […]


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