How often do you replace your directional microswitches?

I have a Hori Rap fightstick with a Sanwa joystick. I average 10 to 30 minutes a day using ken as my main. I have to replace the microswitch board every 6 to 8 months. Does that sound about right or are they failing too quickly? They seem to have a shorter lifespan than I was expecting.

Depends on how you play. Are mashing the whole time? Even going crazy I still think 6-8 months is very excessive. I find it hard that all the switches fail at the same time. Which direction is failing?

That would mean that in arcades where machines get played 8 hours a day, the switches would have to be replaced every 2 weeks. Seems unlikely. That said, you can do maintenace on your switches. Open them up and remove residue from the plastic moving part.

If you have even the most base competency in [de]soldering, there is zero reason to waste money on a whole new TP-MA assembly every time a directional microswitch goes bye-bye.

The snap action microswitch needed to be replaced is called either the Sanwa MS-O-2P or Omron V-01-3D5-A. They (like their more expensive TP-MA assembly counterparts) are available at most Japanese arcade parts retailers.

Your switches should definitely be lasting much longer then that.

Never. I have had my joystick for more than 3 years and I average an hour a day.

Thanks for the replies guys. I figured they should last allot longer. As far as the way I use my joystick, lots of dragons and fireballs and an occasional mash (usually when the switches start failing. I also tend to ride the gate (square) while doing dragons. After remembering something I read in a forum I decided to try something. First, blow the dust off the switch assy with compressed air as there is quit a bit of fine powder which appears to be coming from the actuator to gate contact. Then pry the covers from the microswitches and blast the powder out of the inside of the switches. Get a spray can of DeoxIT D5, it’s a metal to metal electric contact cleaner/enhancer that’s also safe on plastics. Spray it a couple of times into the open switches then use the compressed air to remove any excess fluid. wipe off any fluid on the outside board and switches and recap them. Activate the switches several times each then reinstall. I did this a day ago and so far, so good. Feels like brand new. The contact enhancer does wonders as I use it on all my electric and electronic devices. I’ll let you guys know if and when they start failing.
I should have known the switches had a problem. I had playstation and dreamcast fighsticks that were heavily used and still worked after all those years without any maintenance. Guess it’s because they didn’t have gates that shed down into the switches.

jopamo, are there better switches than the omrons that could be soldered to the boards, ones that don’t let in as much debris? Oh, btw, thanks for that vid and where do you get that solder sucking tool?

That video is from @Nerrage and was posted many moons ago.

As far as solder suckers go, that one looks pretty standard. I have an Engineer SS-02 sucker that is the bee’s knees. Silicone tips FTW.

As far as readily accessible switches that would fit within the TP-MA solder points, I know of none. There are the silent gen 2 and gen 3 variants, but they are not sold loose from any retailers.

Not sure about Gen 3, but Gen 2 switches definitely wouldn’t work anyway. They require a unique version of the TPMA with different placements for the solder points compared to a traditional TPMA.

Gen 2&3 pcb have omron d2rv reed switches with SIDE COM (spst-no) PCB terminals, “case/housing side”. Proof both gen2 and 3 are side com :
This side com option is not really an option, it’s the stock state, see below.

Classic omron V switches has PCB terminals BOTTOM COM type, spst-no, also “case side” (as opposed to cover side, with pcb terminals pointing the other way).

notice the side COM terminal on the silent omron d2rv switches is not connected to ground, it’s the other terminal which is. It contrasts with the “classic” JLF pcb with omron V switches, where the bottom COM terminal is connected to ground.
omron D2RV have different internal “contact form” compared to omron V : d2rv has only two terminals, always on the side, which mimicks the “side com” option. Lowest one serves as COM. With Omron V switches, it is impossible to have one terminal on the side to act as COM.

why waste time with trying to make a new pcb? just use switches with .187 terminals and get a harness so you can swap switches if you feel like it.

Yeah, I forgot about the different pin configs on the silent switches. I posted this a while back

I just stop using the PCB and go for individually tabbed switches,

How do you do that on a JLF? I know that you can replace switches individually on a Hayabusa.

You just take the microswitches you want to use, put them on the main body and pop the restrictor gate back on. The restrictor gate will hold the switches in place. This is what people did for the 1st generation silent JLFs and for Cherry D44x JLF mods

EDIT: You can see Bryan from PAS do this here with a set of zippys


Also works with Seimitsu Joysticks as well.

Thanks BolSadguy. I didn’t think you could do that. Do the switches remain tight or do they rattle around due to the loss of circuit board thickness? Also, because the switches are closer to the shafts pivot point as well as being closer to the tapered actuators smaller circumference, the throw should be longer. We’re gonna need a larger actuator. I’m using a Kowal 1mm oversize actuator on my JLF and improved my game the most. With this circuit board less mod, I would have to use a larger actuator, but I’m not to fond of using the aluminum ones in the vid with the JLF plastic gate. Seems like it would create more shedding plastic powder to screw with the switches.

The switches move without being bound to the circuit board but it’s marginal. On some of my JLFs, the entire circuit board rattles slightly. I don’t find there’s a difference in throw between using the PCB and using the switches desoldered off the PCB. I imagine that if there is a difference in throw, it wouldn’t be enough to warrant a bigger actuator.

That said, PAS does have Nylon actuators. I can’t remember if they’re available in anything other than 1mm oversize though.

You can cut the rattle down by applying some rubber washers between the switches and the gate on the JLF. On Seimitsu joysticks its just a matter of tightening the gate down more.

Update, my flushing scenario is working just fine. How do you guys keep the gate to actuator contact dust from screwing with your inputs?

Little gease on the gate and actuator might help. But I don’t rude the gate hard so I’ve never had any issues.