I've been playing fighting game for 20 years now, but only started using an arcade stick in 2006. While I was at a tournament, I managed to play some games on an arcade cabinet (the famous Sega Astro City) and discovered how comfortable and pleasant the experience was. I decided I wanted to play on an arcade stick.
Back in 2007 most arcade sticks were not even sold in Europe and needed to be imported. They were not that cheap for their poor quality, and building one meant buying it opening it, throwing away all parts and electronics, then adding your own parts.
For the electronics during the PS2 era, most people would buy cheap controllers, open them and solder wires on the connectors and connect those to the buttons and the lever. When the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 came out in 2005 and 2006, most people would then build dual-mods. Two hackpads, both with a common ground, would be connected and powered at the same time (USB had one cable for power and one for ground). A manual switch was then added, whose role was to send the signal (green and white wires on an USB cable) to the desired controller.
Around the early 2010 with the rise of DIY electronics, people started building custom PCBs that contained the code for several consoles in a single board. Today this part is way easier than it used to be, with boards being affordable for custom builds.
The three main quality brands for levers and buttons from Japan are Sanwa, Seimitsu and Hori. There are regional differences, with the US sometimes using HAPP models, or Korean players using Crown and Fanta models. All brands have different models, and all models have a different feeling. For most of my arcade sticks, I used the classic Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT lever and Sanwa OBS-30 buttons.
I had several models through the years.
Generated: March 3rd, 2023