SUZO 500 Rubber edition

SUZO 500 Rubber edition

I was browsing eBay and found a SUZO 500 that had gray plastic at the base instead of the red I normally find in arcade parts stores online. I know that joystick guru Kowal has mentioned that there used to exist an older revision of these sticks that had a rubber grommet doing all the shaft centering instead of that poor plastic pivot piece that's in use in the "red versions" with the hard springs. I contacted the seller and he informed me that this was indeed the rubber grommet version. I immediately bought one and it arrived a couple of days ago. I promptly installed it into one of my EGRET II cabinets, switching out a "red version" SUZO 500 with a custom shaft. The rubber version came with CHERRY microswitches that has a bit bigger connectors than the OMRON I had installed, so I just took the middle part (with the switches) from the spring SUZO and put it...
Read More
I got me some SPARK!

I got me some SPARK!

Today I received a the latest offering from modern time alchemist, Toodles. Behold THE SPARK. This little piece of high-tech will turn your SANWA JLF into the equivalent of SANWA's long gone epic FLASH 1 optical joystick. I really wanted to test this properly (with some game I really know, like Ketsui) today, but due to some other hardware giving me a hard time (no TATE screens, PS360 start button not working), I only had the chance to test it with the XBLA port of SEGA's classic, Shinobi. The stick felt very nice, but I'm sure I'll be needing a much harder spring to really enjoy it. Also, my only JLF (I've never liked 'em that much) was rebuilt from a bunch of scrapped ones I had laying around the house, so not a prime candidate for a good test. The SPARK PCB however performed wonderfully, and the installation took about 10 minutes, most of that time went into removing an LS-32 from one of...
Read More
More SUZO 500 modding

More SUZO 500 modding

Fans of the SUZO 500 stick might have noticed that the shaft doesn't center properly due to the pivot being a couple of mm's short of filling the hole in the base. Monouchi (a Swedish guy who did the incredible Do-Donpachi Daifukkatsu stick that you might have seen online) solved this by adding some heat shrink tubing to the pivot. Polish joystick guru Kowal made his own pivot part from steel. I found my own solution for this - just pop an O-ring on the pivot and it fits perfectly, doesn't wiggle around anymore and the friction from the O-ring against the base is negligible. A 5 minute job if you have the O-ring at hand. One other mod I've been wanting to try is using a softer spring than the very stiff original one. Sure, it feels nice with a tight stick, but for longer sessions your hand can get tired. The best way (I've been told) is to heat up the...
Read More
Mounting a (pretty) SUZO 500 in an EGRET II

Mounting a (pretty) SUZO 500 in an EGRET II

Updated 2010-05-02 (added a picture of the screw, extender and washer I use) Most EGRET II owners (or any Japanese cabinet owners) swear by their SANWA or Seimitsu sticks (I used to do that as well), but then I read someone @ the shmups forums write how awesome the SUZO 500 is for shmups, because of the extremely short throw and the lightning fast engage, so naturally I had to try them. The trouble is though, these sticks don't come with a threaded metal shaft that you can fit any ball top you want to with ease, like you might have grown accustomed to with your choice of quality Japanese sticks. Instead you get a pretty sad looking moulded shaft cover/ball top combo with a dust cover thrown into the mix as well. The SUZO 500 can be found in many popular part shops under a couple of different names: Ultimarc (Euro-stik) | Groovy Game Gear (Omni-Stik Basic) | Arcadeshop.de (Multi-way Joystick) As you can...
Read More
My Guwange HORI stick

My Guwange HORI stick

TURNING TEKKEN 6 INTO GUWANGE INTRODUCTION I found a very cheap HORI Tekken 6 | Game + Artwork book + Arcade stick bundle, but never clicked with the stick or the artwork, so I started working on a fitting artwork, looking at hardware modding possibilities etc. The first thing I did was trying to make the sloppy HORI joystick feel more like the quality parts I'm used to. The easiest way I found someone had come up with was switching out most of the sucky parts for quality parts with just some light hardware modding. By switching out HORI guide to a SANWA JLF octagonal gate (you drill 4 holes in the latter) I felt that the stick handled much better. I then switched out the default microswitches for the stick with the kind used in Seimitsu LS-32, and also used a SANWA JLF spring that I pulled out to twice the original height....
Read More
How To: Install a non-PCB joystick in a 5-pin harness

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...
Read More
2011-02-24

2011-02-24

A couple of days ago, I fell in love. See pictures below: Hand made, all metal, extremely short throw/engage, super-sweet goodness. Nicer than a tweaked SUZO 500 even. This is my stick of choice now. If these go into production, look no further for that perfect joystick if you're into shmups. I've suggested some (size) changes so it can be a drop-in replacement for that crap HORI put in their sticks. If the maker of the beauty above can get the height down I can put one in my Guwange stick. ...
Read More