The Tech Talk FAQ (Work in Progress)

I’ve been seeing a ton of down-voted posts lately. If you see a stupid question that annoys you, throw it over here with a well written answer and Ill add it to the OP. Examples: American or Japanese? Sanwa or Seimitsu? Square or Octo? Ball or Bat Top? Mad Catz TE or Hori Real Arcade Pro?

I maintain one of these for work and its pretty much the same game here. If you see a question that makes you groan send them over here rather than repeating the answer. Ill crawl the boards as I have time to update this. Id rather make this a group effort since I obviously dont have all of the answers. Corrections are welcome.

Must Read Threads:

The Sanwa and Seimitsu FAQ

How to Search the Forums:

Its pretty likely that anything you want to know has already been discussed. Rather than start a new thread which will get you flamed and neg repped, spend 30 seconds looking for an answer. Browse to and type this in (replacing square gate with your search term): square gate

Reply to the one that is most similar to your question if you cant find exactly what youre after.

The forums also have a built-in search feature (Search this Forum). Theres a 300 second delay between searches due to the stress it places on the server.

How to Search this Thread:

Hit Ctrl+F and type in a single word like gate or Sanwa. The most frequent questions will be toward the top.


Im trying to keep these as brief as possible while still being relevant. I understand that most of these could have much longer answers.

Q: Whats the difference in American and Japanese sticks? Which should I choose?
A: This site has a bias toward Japanese sticks and buttons. Japanese parts are used in every commercially released stick for this generation of consoles. Theyre also used by most tournament players. That being said, theres absolutely nothing wrong with using an American stick. If youre trying to recreate the old arcade feel get a Street Fighter 15th Anniversary stick and upgrade it with Happ/iL parts (or a custom like Arcade in a Box).

Q: Should I use a Sanwa or Seimitsu stick?
A: Theres no right answer to this question. Its a matter of preference. Sanwa sticks are generally preferred for fighting games and are what the SF4 arcade cabinet and Mad Catz TE stick use. Seimitsu sticks are also great for fighters and are widely used in the shooter community due to their harder spring and shorter throw. Try both to form your own opinion.

Q: What about buttons? Sanwa or Seimitsu?
A: Same as above: Sanwa are used on SF4/TE. That being said, Sanwa buttons are extremely sensitive. If youre used to resting your fingers on the buttons then Seimitsu is the better option.

Q: Whats the different between a Square and Octagonal gate?
A: The gate restricts the movement and feel of Japanese joysticks. If youre initially shocked by the square feel of a Japanese stick then you may want to give an octagonal gate a try. It will have a rounder feel. Most people recommend practicing enough with a square gate to get used to it since it is the norm. Try both to see which you prefer.

Q: Can I use a bat top on my stick?
A: The Sanwa bat top fits on both Sanwa and Seimitsu sticks.

Q: What parts should I use to upgrade my Mad Catz SE stick to match the TE?
A: Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT-SK Ball Handle Joystick and Sanwa OBSF-30 Pushbuttons

Q: Can I use my PS3 stick on the 360 or visa versa?
A: No, the 360 has a security chip that only allows licensed controllers. Wired 360 controllers will also not work on the PS3 because they are not HID (driverless) devices. There are converters available from XCM that convert between the two systems but they are not recommended at this time.

Q: What type of stick should I purchase for PC use?
A: Most PS3 and 360 sticks will work fine. Microsoft provides Windows controller drivers for the 360 so these normally work without issues. Some PS3 sticks like the Mad Catz TE may be incompatible with your motherboard/USB ports. There are also plenty of PS2 to USB converters if you own an older PS2 stick.

Q: What converter should I use for my older stick?
A: Shameless: Check out this thread.

Please help me keep this going. Ill add more as time permits. Even if you dont want to bother with a full write-up, send over the questions you see too frequently and Ill put something together for them.

how about The Sanwa and Seimitsu FAQ

also, I suppose another gentle reminder to read the stickies wouldn’t hurt…

Consider it done. I have to mod a couple of sticks today so I’ll be off and on.

Shoo already has a thread full of links and I’m not really trying to overlap what he’s already done. If anything I’m going after this thread.

Yeah, I understand… Shoo’s other thread New to sticks? LOOK HERE questions answered!! has tons of links to useful threads and as you add info here it might overlap too…

One link that doesn’t seem to be referenced or obviously known is Toodles’ The official Cthulhu board thread- Read the first post!!! Which any member who wants to pad “hack” for their stick build might appreciate knowing a simply solution than ripping out the controllers for those systems that are supported by it…

Yeah, that was the one I was referring to. I think I’ll just update that thread with links since it’s well established and unlock it for suggestions.

When I have some downtime I’m going to read through the “The absolute NOOBIE thread/TECH SUPPORT” thread and pull questions out of there.

What PCB is this?
I have XXX PCB, where do I solder to?
Is this PCB common ground?

Answer: check slagcoin’s pcb diagrams section.