ASCII Optical stick vs Sanwa Flash?

how does one compare to the other? i haven’t even seen a Sanwa Flash yet, so i don’t know how it plays.
i expect that the difference is minimal, since neither of them use microswitches, so there’s no “tension” difference.

The ASCII optical stick came in the Dreamcast CVS2 stick. The optical stick has an octagonal restrictor plate. But unlike a Sanwa Flash stick with octagonal restrictor plate, the ASCII optical has a shorter throw. I played on the ASCII before and I like how it handles. Short throw + octagonal directions = too good.

What’s the longetivity of optical sticks? How do they compare to standard switch sticks in terms of lasting and wear?

what does the Sanwa Flash have in common with Sanwa JLFs? do they have the same Shaft length / Spring Cap size / etc?

Everything is the same exept the PCB-board. So yes, you can change an optical sanwa pcb with a TP-MA.

I know this thread is old but I was wondering if people knew what the DC ASCII looked like?

Also, I’ve read elsewhere that the PS ASCII also had the optical stick. Is this true?

It’s hard to trust that source since they say it has a Flash in it, when it at best has the ASCII optical. In either case, it’d be nice to know the truth behind these sticks.


anyone know if the ps2 one in paiks link is the same as the ascii ft2 ps2 stick? And for that matter, if the ft2 ps2 stick has an optical inside.

i have a DC ASCII, and it looks almost exactly like that one there, except that it has only six yellow buttons, a yellow balltop, a white faceplate, a square start button, and a VMU slot right where the programming screen is. also, the white faceplate is similar to the newer horis, where it’s covered with plastic instead of paint.

Thanks leveal! How do you like it compared to the Flash (if you have tried one before)?


i haven’t tried a real flash. :B but the stick assembly looks a HELL OF A LOT like a Sanwa JLF. i think it was molded after the JLF. i was easily able to snap on a Sanwa Square gate after very little modification, btw. that should give you an idea of how similar this thing is to a JLF.

DC ASCII pics! i’ve modded it with a Sanwa Square Gate and the sanwa stick assembly. and now that i think about it, i didn’t mod the ASCII one bit for this. i just stuck the gate in. i modded a SANWA base so that i could fit the Ascii octagon gate on it. sorry about that :B

Interesting. Thanks for the pics. It’s hard to tell which of the ASCII sticks are microswitch and which are optical. It seems like the PS ones are not optical and that MOST of the DC ones are. Well, hopefully I’ll get one eventually and compare it to the Flashes that I have.

If you have a chance, a shot of the PCB without the gate would be nice. It’s cool if you don’t take one though.

By the way, the black/white/yellow color scheme is pretty cool. I’m surprised ASCII didn’t put on some kind of artwork.


The FT2 uses microswitches. I used to own one.

There were a few PS Ascii sticks that were optical. I think one was called the SFZ3 stick or somesuch.

Yep, here is the Z3 stick:

Nice one, Gen-an. I did see tha before when I was looking at the ASCII Fighting Stick Pro and didn’t even remember it.

I did a quick search just now and found these two sticks:

They aren’t optical according to this:

But it might still make for an interesting purchase. I think they are overpriced though at $40+ shipping each. But maybe someone else here has been wanting to snatch them up!


$40 plus shipping is a pretty good price for those sticks considering they were $60+ just for the stick when they came out.


I have the Ryu one, these ones are not optical they work off microswitches.

They are…I’d say 6/10 superhectic to mod, and stock parts aren’t that great.


Okay so I got an ASCII Stick III stick (as well as some others that are on the way). And I just thought I’d be the first to accurately describe how it comes to the Flash1.

First and foremost, when you look compare the stick parts (base, shaft, pcb, restrictor, even the shaft cover) of the ASCII and the Flash1, they are unbelievably identical. Don’t believe me? Check out these side-by-side shots (Note: All the parts on the left are ASCII and those are the right are Flash1).

Bottom of the base:

Side of the base:
another view:

Top of the base:

Upon close inspection there are only 2 significant differences in the bases. They both have to do with the “columns” that come out from the base. There are 4 on each base. I’ve outlined them here:

Notice that the Sanwa pieces are longer. This fact makes a different in the shape of the PCBs that are used. See here:

The difference this makes is that the ASCII PCBs will NOT fit on the Sanwa bases, but the Sanwa PCBs will fit on the ASCII bases.

The other difference is that there is another set of “columns” that come off the top of the aforementioned columns. You see that the ASCII columns are circular while the Sanwa columns are oval. See here:

These columns fit into holes on the restrictors. In this case, the Sanwa restrictor will fit on the ASCII base, but the ASCII restrictor will not fit on the Sanwa base. See here:

This is really a moot point because the inserts are interchangeable without modification. Just to show you, I switched the inserts in this picture:

Okay so who really cares about looks of the base and stuff. The real important stuff is the PCB. Here are comparison shots of them side-by-side again. One pic for each side.

As you can see the ASCII wires are soldered directly to the PCB as opposed to the Flash that uses a 5-pin and a 3-pin (although only one pin is used here). One important thing to note is that OMRON made the optical ASCII PCBs. For those of you not in the know, OMRON are the manufacturers of the microswitches used by Sanwa for their sticks. That makes me feel a lot more comfortable regarding the quality of the PCB.

Finally in terms of overall performand and feel, the ASCII stick feels pretty much identical to the Flash. It should since ASCII ripped off the Sanwa design almost exactly. The shaft is the same length and diameter. The restrictor sides are the same. The acuator sizes and length are the same. I know that ShinJN said that the ASCII has shorter throw, but that’s actually false.

So in conclusion, the ASCII optical unit is a GREAT alternative to the discontinued Flash1. If you really want a Flash1 but can’t get a hold of one, you might be lucky enough to get one of these ASCII sticks (although they are also rare). And you’ll definitely end up paying less. I highly recommend them!


Paik, I think I read somewhere you were modding yours. If you wouldn’t mind posting photos, I’d like to see them. I have one that I want to mod as well. And yes, the ASCII feels pretty much identical to the Flash 1.

pardon my ignorance.

Why does the sanwa PCB say “Perfect 360” and “Pat pend USA?”