Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Introducing My theMikeWazowski Custom Arcade Stick

by chinwhat at 7:07 a.m.
February had the release of the hugely popular return to the Street Fighter videogame series, Street Fighter IV. And in conjunction with Capcom’s game release was an announcement from MadCatz to release SF4 arcade sticks.

When they dropped, the internets was set ablaze! A retail arcade stick would go for $180 for the standard version or $200+ for the Tourney edition (in USD of course)

And that’s IF one could be found!

Because of the popularity plus rarity of the sticks, prices skyrocketed to ridiculous numbers online. I remember seeing the standard stick on ebay for something like $350US.

Thanks to my new appreciation to frugalness, I decided that paying a mortgage payments worth of money for an arcade stick just isn’t for me.

So what’s the alternative?

A custom stick of course! After much research on the internet, I gathered all the material required and wound up with my very own custom made stick: theMikeWazowski, tada!!!

Once upon a time...

Bought a generic third party xbox controller and gutted it freeing the PCB I needed.

Some poplar wood and plexi glass from Home Depot for the housing of all the wiring/electric goodness.

Good thing the electricians at work are good guys. They let me borrow their extra soldering iron and gave me some lead-free solder.

Testing my soldering to make sure I got proper connections.

A close up of my handy work. The wires soldered and secured with some hot glue.

Everything connected and mounted to the box.

Finished product!

Buttons, stick, wires, connections: $125
Wood & plexi glass: $24.01
Controller: 33.89
TOTAL: $182.90
Free: inner pegs to secure the box frame, art work, bottom board and top board to secure the art between it and the plexiglass

Looking back: it was a lot easier than I anticipated. I was pretty unsure on whether I would be able to finish this project. I’m not good at wood work – as you can see, the box is crooked (grade 8 wood shop teacher Mr. Moher is rolling in his grave) I’m photoshop illiterate and I’ve never soldered before. Three strikes but not an out.

Looking forward: I’ve got enough buttons, a stick and wires for another arcade stick. I know now that I’m going to get a different controller since the one I got for this project isn’t as well documented. I’d really like to get an eight button layout instead of six, just to see if I can get the analog triggers to work. Also, I’d like to make the entire case smaller. theMikeWazowski isn’t heavy, but I think a smaller stick would be a bit more comfortable. Clean up the wires – they’re way to long right now and everything looks messy. Also to help with that, I’d like to try to daisy chain the ground wires – which ties into a PCB that’s better documented.

But yeah, I’m satisfied with my first go round and its good timing. I finally got to get my copy of SF4, RType just came out on XBoxLive and a Raiden collection is coming out next week (I love me some shmups!)

Also Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles Arcade (the one from '89) is available on XBoxLive as well. All we need is some Final Fight and that awesome X-Men Arcade game on there too (I also love me some Beat Em Ups!) Oh snaps! I just realized I have Streets of Rage 2! >rushes to plug in arcade< stick<


Blogger Rubex Cube said...

haha I love it! The Mike Wazowski is excellent - great job Chin!

5/06/2009 10:53:00 a.m.  
Blogger Lil Lex said...

you can beat me in creating custom arcade sticks, but I'll smoke you in SF4

5/14/2009 11:51:00 p.m.  

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