Best connector for project stick?

So i’ve had my old Hori RAP2 for some time now, and i’ve considered turning into a project stick. I haven’t looked into it in quite a while, but i was wondering if there is any particularly good type of connector to use that might be a bit newer?

I know its pretty common to use a type of d’sub connector. I think the bare minimum would be a 15 pin?

  1. up
  2. down
  3. left
  4. right
  5. A
  6. B
  7. X
  8. Y
  9. LB
  10. LT
  11. RB
  12. RT
  13. Start
  14. Select
  15. Ground

and any home button could be on the project box housing the PCB. this also assumes any PCB you use is common ground.

I know these connectors can be a bit large, and might not look very attractive, but they function as intended.

Is there anything better to use though? something new and smaller that might be worth considering?

also am i missing something when saying the DB15 connectors are the bare minimum? should one play it safe and use a 25 or 26 pin instead?

thanks for any info anyone can provide.

I personally tend to use D-sub 25-pin connectors instead; the extra pins allow me to add some extra ground connections at the very least, and would allow me the flexibility of having extra inputs/outputs just in case. In addition, it’d let you have the Home button around as well, instead of on the project box.

Plus, I’d say a DB-15 wouldn’t cut it for an 8-button stick; you’d probably want to add a VCC line there as well, in case you want to do something with LEDs or optical joysticks.

If using 6 button setups, use a db15. If more than 6 use a db25.

Your example setup is missing power and home because its 8 buttons. Power is optional but nice to have for things like optical and led setups. Home is needed, however you could get away with putting it on the project box. How you decide to do it is completely up to you, that’s the freedom of project boxes.

Yeah. I kinda figured since it would require less dremeling of my HRAP case i’d just stick a small home button on the project box for the pcb’s.

I’m not worried about led’s at all, at least for this particular project.

I started looking around and i got the idea to use 2 RJ45 jacks for the connection instead. that would give 16 connection points if i did decide to add the home button somewhere, or just an additional ground. i would need 2 cables to fully connect the box to the pcb, but i think they’d be short enough and i could tie them together to where it would still be pretty slim.

I’m mainly looking for something a bit more compact than the dsub connectors. sometimes those db25 cables can have some pretty fat ends.

The tricky thing about using 2x RJ-45 plugs would be ensuring that you always plug them in the correct way; ie, you never accidentally switch them around, especially if you have a VCC line in there somewhere.
With a single D-sub connector, you can never get it mixed up.

Why would you use an RJ-45 connector UNLESS you’re planning to project box an MC Cthulu or PS360+ PCB?

I can understand using a DB-25 connection on the joystick box and then running all your electrical lines to assigned solder points on the DB-25, yes, but you really only NEED one RJ-45 jack for system connector cords – leading out of a project box with the MC Cthulu/PS360+ in it. I know I’ve seen diagrams or photos of Project Box set-ups with MC Cthulus on SRK somewhere…! Those set-ups never had more than one RJ-45 jack; the jack was in the Project Box withe MC Cthulu which as I recall was fairly cramped after all the wiring was installed!

You use the DB-25 connector for alternate single-system PCB installations like a PS2 or PS3 PCB, 360 PCB, PS4 PCB, etc., etc. and then with system connector cords (intact, connected to the original controller PCB, NOT RJ-45’d unless leading out of an MC Cthulu/PS360+ set-up) coming out of the Project Box.

I looked at doing a Project Box or two around 2 years ago but it never made sense to me unless I had at least 3, maybe 4 joysticks that didn’t have PCB’s and maybe was wanting to buy only 1-2 PCB’s tops to swap around those cases. I ended up selling some empty joystick cases (2-3?) at any rate and there was never a point to seriously go with a Project Box afterwards… A Project Box is initially more expensive than installing a replacement PCB like the MC Cthulu in an existing mass-market joystick case like an HRAP or Mad Catz TE. I figured a Project Box when all parts were paid for was only slightly less expansive than two MC Cthulus plus the RJ-45 pass-through’s.

(Of course, at the time I was figuring buy one MC Cthulu and project-boxing that… the numbers never added up in a way that I felt was economically viable for me.)

If you may be planning on parting off/selling joysticks down the line, Project Boxed-sticks may not be as attractive to some people looking to buy a joystick. Most people want a stick that’s all-inclusive, has its own PCB that’s not overly complicated and looking over-wired to them… that it unless those people get their minds around things, are self-starters and actually learn how to wire things up, or pay someone else to do that for them! You can see even on TechTalk that most people really aren’t at the level where they feel comfortable to removing, changing wiring, or popping buttons off! They’re just too afraid to “void the warranty”!

Two RJ45 jacks? Lol

A single 25pin D-sub will serve all your needs.

Like I said it was an idea. To prevent incorrect plugging of the cables I would just use 2 different colored keystone jacks. I was thinking a black one which would have all the 8 face buttons, then a blue one for directions and start/select and ground buttons.

A db25 is still probably the way to go, mostly because of expandability, but I’ll still probably get the parts for it since they’re cheap and very readily available.

a DB 25 is also more rugged than a RJ45. RJ11 and RJ45 connectors are fragile**, snap off that tab and your plug would be useless.
a DB 25 connector can take some abuse and still be fine.

A rule of thumb I like to use is, make connectors that can only go to one place, one way as much as possible. 2 RJ45 connectors can always be reversed, which can be really bad if VCC is involved.
An RJ45 connector has only 8 pins, so 2 of them make 16 pins, you be better off with the DB 15 connector and using the shell/shield as ground.

**The exception being the Neutrik connector boots that goes over a RJ45 connector to be used with Neutrik brand RJ45 panel mount passthough. But those can get more expensive.

Well given that I work with rj45 on a daily basis, if one of those tabs were to break it would take all of 2 minutes to put a new one on. And I can safely say additional power will be on the lines.

Dont let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do man. If you want to use RJ 45s then by all means do so. It isnt against the law and you have the freedom to do so. This is another reason why I love project box modifications.

I would say the most important thing to do though would be to make your project boxes universal as much as possible. If you use rj 45s make sure you use them for all your project box mods. For example I am going to probably mod one of my sticks to a db15 connector just like my snes, genesis, and nes pads. This enables them to all be compatible with the same project box.
I will most likely from this point on just buy a pad, padhack it and put in a box since I really dont go out to casuals or anything anymore and dont feel like crudding the house with a bunch of sticks. I need to sell some of mine off as it is.

None say you can’t use what ever connector you want. I just pointing out the flaws in using two RJ45 connectors.

I am just hoping you have it color coded or everything labeled. And putting VCC on the line, and swapping the RJ45 connectors can have disastrous results.
But it is your project, your money do what you want.

I just don’t understand why ask the forum of their opinions if you going to go with the lease recommended connection option.

Well I was looking for a connector that I might have missed that might be just as well suited as a dsub connector but a bit smaller.

I’ll probably order parts for both since the rj45s won’t be wasted at all, and the db25s I was looking at don’t seem as big as I remember. It’s been so long since I’ve delt with parallel cables that I was thinking they were pretty massive for some reason.

Also I meant to say there will be NO power needed. I’m posting from my phone.

Also in my mind the rj45s would be a bit more compact for actual pcb box, but I think with the db25 it’ll be a bit easier to keep things strait, as I can color code things better with better wire, if I can get a hold of more than 3 colors in my town anyways.

I actually think that db25s are too big for me as well which is why I am happy I only need 6 buttons.

Yeah, I wish I could deal with 6, but I need all 8 face buttons, mainly for those random other game that I prefer different layouts for, like 4 across for some neo geo games.

So is there any particular good place online to order dsub connectors/pins and tools? I might run by a local hardware store tomorrow and check it out to see if they have anything. but if i can find a good place online to order that would be preferable.

Mouser, Digikey, Element 14, Sparkfun, Adafruit

I have never seen any cheaper than ebay.
For example your db15

I can’t believe you guys are still using the wrong terminology for this.

It’s DA-15, not DB-15.

Second letter indicates size.

think it matters