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Old 25 August 2019, 15:56   #1
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High quality joystick

Being new to the actual Amiga hardware I'm surprised how many games absolutely demand a joystick! Sensible Soccer back in my DOS days was played exclusively by keyboard and that's how I like it but it seems a joystick is required for the Amiga version.

The problem is: most joysticks on sale seem pretty cheap and weak and that's not my thing. Can anyone recommend me a solid, responsive, sturdy joystick or gamepad that might be ideal for the Amiga? I already ordered a Megadrive gamepad but the D-pad isn't my favorite on there so a proper joystick would be ideal.
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Old 25 August 2019, 16:05   #2
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http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=98449
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Old 25 August 2019, 17:32   #3
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Buy a Sanwa stick, a couple of Sanwa Buttons, a wood box and build your own arcade stick.

Nothing beats a Sanwa stick.
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Old 25 August 2019, 17:55   #4
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Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
Buy a Sanwa stick, a couple of Sanwa Buttons, a wood box and build your own arcade stick.

Nothing beats a Sanwa stick.
That may be the best solution indeed - Sanwa is durable, flexible, easy to repair since the parts are common ...
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Old 25 August 2019, 19:09   #5
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That may be the best solution indeed - Sanwa is durable, flexible, easy to repair since the parts are common ...
Yeah, that's another important point. Most joysticks I come across these days are somehow damaged/worn down and just don't feel like they used to feel back in the 80s / 90s. And to fix them sometimes is a pain in the ass, when possible at all.

If you don't want to go the dpad route (Which I think it's the easier/cheaper one), I really think the best solution is to get a Sanwa stick.

And let me tell you, after you play with a Sanwa one, is hard to go back to anything. They are so *DAMN* good.
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Old 25 August 2019, 19:57   #6
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And let me tell you, after you play with a Sanwa one, is hard to go back to anything. They are so *DAMN* good.
Ugh, at the minimum you need a stiffer spring and a larger actuator so that it isn't all wobbly and with an insane dead zone before the switches actuate.. In its stock form it's okay in an arcade cabinet I guess, but not as a tabletop/handheld joystick..
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Old 26 August 2019, 00:08   #7
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Originally Posted by RedAvatar View Post
Being new to the actual Amiga hardware I'm surprised how many games absolutely demand a joystick! Sensible Soccer back in my DOS days was played exclusively by keyboard and that's how I like it but it seems a joystick is required for the Amiga version.

The problem is: most joysticks on sale seem pretty cheap and weak and that's not my thing. Can anyone recommend me a solid, responsive, sturdy joystick or gamepad that might be ideal for the Amiga? I already ordered a Megadrive gamepad but the D-pad isn't my favorite on there so a proper joystick would be ideal.
We don't know which ones you've looked at, but some are quite durable and will work fine. They have sort of a strange, hand-holdable form factor, though. Some have "pilot" handles because it looked good in an ad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
Ugh, at the minimum you need a stiffer spring and a larger actuator so that it isn't all wobbly and with an insane dead zone before the switches actuate.. In its stock form it's okay in an arcade cabinet I guess, but not as a tabletop/handheld joystick..
The above are the two main roads and problems to overcome as I see it.

I've made 3 solutions:
  1. The best one is a real, microswitched arcade stick from the 1980s, with blade-switched buttons, in a sheet of metal. Tight, responsive, and suits all games.
  2. The next best one is a Tac-II where I've replaced the fire button with a blade-switched button. But because the stick doesn't use any switches, it excels at a few games and is not the best fit for many games. It's extremely durable, but requires periodical contact cleaning.
  3. The third best one is a Sanwa stick custom build, where I've stiffened the stick, and tightened the travel of the stick and buttons. The stick is also too short, meant for a claw grip.

For platformers I've adapted a cheap generic Megadrive gamepad clone, and this works well except for the thumb cross being clumsy. Probably a NES gamepad would be better. Actually I'm going to order one now and replace the wire to see

Anything that is not switched, meaning contact, bubbles or conductive rubber will always have a < 100% accuracy, but maybe it's good enough.
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Old 26 August 2019, 15:26   #8
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We don't know which ones you've looked at, but some are quite durable and will work fine. They have sort of a strange, hand-holdable form factor, though. Some have "pilot" handles because it looked good in an ad.
You're talking about second hand joysticks though - I'm not. Second hand ones are often worn down, mushy buttons, etc. The new ones on sale are mostly cheap Chinese knock offs of classic joysticks with crappy d-pads and so on. I looked into buying a second hand one but the good joysticks of yesteryear are easily €30-40 with postage included and then you still buy something you have no idea will work fine or if it's worn down because let's face it, pictures are useless when it comes to these things.

I mean, I bought a dozen Atari joysticks over the years and only ONE was actually in good shape and survived after several hours of use. Heck, since I got my Atari 2600 back in 1989, we went through a whole box of joysticks - games such as Decathlon were absolute murder on them because none used a metal base and all used crappy switches.

I already have a Mame arcade cabinet with Sanwa parts and I've used it for pretty much all emulators under the sun and while it's not suited for EVERY game, it should work fine for games such as Sensible Soccer that demand quick controls and little travel.
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Old 26 August 2019, 19:58   #9
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I was not only talking about second hand joysticks, and I don't agree that they have to be bad, if the seller risks his reputation, such as here, Amibay, or even eBay or Amazon.

Only rubber and bubble buttons get mushy, blade switches and microswitches last a lifetime!

OK, so if you're used to Sanwa, you can probably make it work fast for you. They have longer travel than retro joysticks and other arcade joysticks, though (less if you mod them, as mentioned). I built mine on a panel that I have across my knees. It's pretty expensive, I think I paid 110 EUR with a few extra buttons and springs.

But there are things like Hori sticks and Sanwa clone kits for 30-40 EUR (minus panel for the latter). These have USB cables, but if you can solder, it's easy to swap that out for a DB9 cable.

Again, what stick do you have in mind? I mean if you like Sanwa I think you should go with Sanwa and make it work with Amiga (after all, Street Fighter type cabinets came after Amiga so new or used such joysticks have simply never been manufactured for Amiga).

Or bring your Amiga into your MAME cabinet somehow?
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Old 26 August 2019, 20:17   #10
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I was not only talking about second hand joysticks, and I don't agree that they have to be bad, if the seller risks his reputation, such as here, Amibay, or even eBay or Amazon.

Only rubber and bubble buttons get mushy, blade switches and microswitches last a lifetime!

OK, so if you're used to Sanwa, you can probably make it work fast for you. They have longer travel than retro joysticks and other arcade joysticks, though (less if you mod them, as mentioned). I built mine on a panel that I have across my knees. It's pretty expensive, I think I paid 110 EUR with a few extra buttons and springs.

But there are things like Hori sticks and Sanwa clone kits for 30-40 EUR (minus panel for the latter). These have USB cables, but if you can solder, it's easy to swap that out for a DB9 cable.

Again, what stick do you have in mind? I mean if you like Sanwa I think you should go with Sanwa and make it work with Amiga (after all, Street Fighter type cabinets came after Amiga so new or used such joysticks have simply never been manufactured for Amiga).

Or bring your Amiga into your MAME cabinet somehow?
I love 8-way joysticks with nice & clicky buttons. Sanwa fits that bill pretty well! I also like Gameboy-style d-pads if they're of good enough quality. Ideally I'd like something not too big - since the Amiga only really supports one button (two if one is mapped to "up") a compact Sanwa kit should be ideal.

But if you can recommend me a solid gamepad or joystick besides those, I'm all ears . I just have a bin full of junk ones and I'm afraid to try anymore.
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Old 26 August 2019, 20:21   #11
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Lightbulb

http://coolhandtech.blogspot.com/201...ontroller.html

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Old 26 August 2019, 21:35   #12
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But if you can recommend me a solid gamepad or joystick besides those, I'm all ears . I just have a bin full of junk ones and I'm afraid to try anymore.
Yeah but the thing is I'm not you so you have to tell us what you want

People love their Tac-IIs, grenade sticks, pistol grip sticks, competition pros, etc. I think all of those are not so good [ Show youtube player ] But if you replace the buttons on the Tac-II, it's a very nice stick for some games. Basically when you have to turn fast but exact diagonals are not needed. Hand-held without suction cups tho can make you miss.

So my 3 best solutions above are just for me.

I ordered an original refurbished NES controller for 28 EUR, I think it will be quite good for platformers if I connect A to up, but if not I have a spare for my NES. And I looked at a refurbished 38 EUR SNES controller from the same store, but decided to try the best new clone for USB I could find, and if it's not perfect I can return it for 4 EUR or have it as a spare for emulators as my XBox 360 controllers, lovely as they are, have the D-pad sort of offset.

I also looked at clones for the (S)NES classic minis, but they didn't look better, so. Some joysticks made to replace controllers on consoles at the time looked super iconic and that's good for collecting but from the looks I decided I'd hate playing with them.

------edit ----

I think one has to look to other brands for gamepads because the HoneyBee is very expensive and the Boomerang is no replacement. I have an original Megadrive pad but the X is the wrong angle vs the grip, and you want the buttons in line with your thumb, not have to move your thumb. (It's all right tho if you're happy to jump with up on a gamepad.)

For joysticks, I still believe in building or adapting. (I was about to say,) "Because Amiga stores don't have good ones IMO."

But - hey - what about this?

It will be equal to the Sanwa clone kits mentioned above and as noisy as a fighting stick, but comes with a case and is plug and play! (The case may make visitors don radiation suits but still...)

Last edited by Photon; 26 August 2019 at 22:04.
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Old 27 August 2019, 00:28   #13
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https://monsterjoysticks.com/retro-gaming-joystick-kits
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Old 27 August 2019, 00:54   #14
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It really is a matter of personal taste indeed.

I wouldn't change my Sanwa stick for anything else for *any* game that uses digital input. In the other hand, I find the Mega-Drive 6 button pad *perfect* for basically anything and I *hate* the NES Pad (or the SNES pad for that matter).
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Old 27 August 2019, 19:26   #15
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This was one of the joysticks I found that seemed very interesting so I just bought it.
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Old 27 August 2019, 19:30   #16
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They do look good, I'd be interested to see what you think of it :O)
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Old 28 August 2019, 01:04   #17
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There's a company making DB9 joystick kits, how awesome is that? Had no idea about these guys.

Didn't like the big bolts and the screw right next to the joystick tho, looks like your hand would rest on it. Even though the Amigakit has a bright red case, it looked more ergonomic.
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Old 28 August 2019, 01:48   #18
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We have been manufacturing the Arcade Evolution Amiga Joystick since 2010 for Classic Amiga systems. It is a robust design with good quality parts ready to use with your Amiga.
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Old 29 August 2019, 14:47   #19
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We have been manufacturing the Arcade Evolution Amiga Joystick since 2010 for Classic Amiga systems. It is a robust design with good quality parts ready to use with your Amiga.
I found your webpage as well but the reason I didn't go for yours, is that it doesn't mention the possibility of using the second button as "UP" which I found a very handy plus.
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Old 30 August 2019, 04:44   #20
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If you're not opposed to a gamepad style device, Kipper2K's PSX adapter is really good. It supports the extra CD32 buttons and lowlevel.device.
Can rebind buttons like if you wanted to change up or "jump" to a button.
Might be able to find new old stock PSX controller and some PS/2 DualShock controllers work.
The Analog stick isn't analog but works just fine as a digital stick.
The DPad might not be very good but you might find some other of the dozen PSX/PS2 controllers have a DPad you do like.
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