Upgrading a Hot Rod Joystick SE (2-player)

I’ve had this thing for over 10 years now. It’s got HAPP joysticks and buttons, along with a really old PS/2 keyboard encoder.

On the topic of the sticks and buttons, I’d love to go with Sanwa sticks and either Sanwa or Seimitsu buttons, but that requires some woodworking skills that I’ve found myself lacking. Unless someone would let me mail the thing off to them, that’s probably not happening. :frowning: I could take it to the local glass shop and have a piece of plexi cut to the shape of the top in that case, but for now - it’s got a problem.

It’s got that PS/2 keyboard encoder, and running it through a PS/2 to USB adapter yields very poor results. There’s an upgrade kit sold by X-Arcade, but I’m immediately wary of that solution.

If I’m going to rewire this, I’d like to do it sanely. Either a strictly PC solution or a solution that would allow me to use it in a supergun setup would appeal to me. Suggestions?

FWIW - I actually tried to sell this thing here 4 years ago and couldn’t find a buyer for it. Now I’m trying to set it up at the office so we can get some fighting games on. I’m going to be the only one here that cares that it’s got the HAPP sticks instead of the japanese, but I would eventually like to get around to that. If there’s anyone I could send it to have it converted I’d be willing to hear it out.

  1. Replacing the buttons shouldn’t be too hard as they look like they’re far enough apart that widening the holes to accept Japanese buttons shouldn’t affect gameplay. Even if you’re seriously lacking in woodworking tools and talent this shouldn’t be too hard. A lot of dremeling and/or sanding but not actually that hard.

  2. For the viability of replacing the Happ sticks with Japanese ones we’re going to need to see the insides for mounting options though the placement of the screws holding the sticks in at the moment might be compatible with certain mounting plates without the need for case modding.

  3. There are any number of PCB options that you could use to rewire it to work more easily on the PC. Your choice is either slice up a 360 pad for each player (360 pads should work fairly well on a Windows based computer but double check with those more knowledgeable than myself) or go with one of Toodles’ boards.

It’d be linux, actually. The stick is made of MDF, and the bottom just unscrews. To change out the buttons I’d need to route out the button holes to take sanwa screw-ins. The joystick would take much more futzing, but I’ll try to take a picture later. The stick is MDF, there’s no plexi top - it’s got a thin lexan “label” on the top that’s textured. From the HotRod Support FAQ:

Q : How can I reproduce an overlay like the one on Hanaho’s Hotrod ?

A : The material Hanaho uses is called GE Lexan 10 mil Suede/Mat Polycarbonate. It comes in clear transparent rolls, and the printers print the graphics (silk screen) on the back side of this. By printing the graphics on the back it insures that the graphics WILL NOT rub off. Once it’s dry a 3m adhesive is added, then cut, packaged and shipped to me.

So it might as well be MDF with no plexi. The inside is going to be very plain. As for “one of Toodles’ boards”, I’ve not been around here for a while, does he have something like a next-gen UPCB floating around now?

Linux eh? A MC Cthulu board might work in Linux but I’d recommend asking Toodles about that. I also still think that widening the button holes is viable though that said Korean buttons feel somewhat similar to Japanese buttons but are 28mm (like American buttons) so those might work. http://etokki.com/Arcade-Buttons
You’d be likely looking at the Crown CWB203C buttons (Korean screw-ins).

if you want some type of woodworking conversion hit up Souji5… hes my woodworker and he does an amazing job… he will also be honest and tell you if it is even viable or not…

The biggest issue would be routing from underneath the top panel. The 4 wall boards would interfere with the space needed to get a router in there to thin the panel in places. Maybe a small palm router could work, but the 1 player joystick is close to the wall. If the top panel can some how be removed without damaging the stick then it might be easier. You should show us a picture of the inside.

Looks like the top can be removed by removing 6 screws, presuming of course it isn’t glued+screwed.

Worth mentioning - it’s hard to see it in this picture, but the stick is recessed into a routed hole. I’m not sure if that helps or hurts things.

Ah, the Hanaho Hot Rod. The X-Arcade case is actually a damn near exact clone of this stick, so you’ll be facing the same problems as everyone who has tried to fit Japanese parts to those. I’d include people cramming Japanese parts into the X-Arcade into your research. It’s all going to apply.

I know that the Ultimarc J-Stick (actually a Sanwa JLW) is/should be a drop-in for wood tops. It comes with a longer shaft than normal to compensate for the thicker panel, which leads to slightly longer throws (but with the same engage distance). Not sure if a JLW is what you’re looking for, but without a massive overhaul (top mounting a JLF or LS-32), it’s your best bet.

Buttons are going to be a bit easier.

I was thinking the same thing, a JLW would work.

If JLW’s are so great, why do people keep insisting on top-mounting JLF’s? Or are JLW’s still somehow slightly inferior?

As usual, Slagcoin has the answer :slight_smile:

I may be misreading this, but that would mean doing things like shoryukens would be pretty much impossible, right?

Not impossible, but it’s definitely not going to be as short an engage as a JLF. If you like the feel of the JLF, then probably best to not consider the JLW, as it is on the opposite end of the spectrum.