Thursday, 21 April 2016

Wii U Fight Stick - Part 1

Since picking up Pokken Tournament, i've been meaning to get a fight stick.  But since the Wii/Wii U specific ones are impossible to find locally, generally small, and a bit cheaply built, i've decided to take matters into my own hands. Compared to things like my MK8 Pro Controller this is tame, but ultimately more practical!

Two excruciating weeks after ordering, my compenents finally arrived from Arcade Shock. Shipping from the USA costs me an arm and a leg, i might try the UK next time...

The buttons are Seimitsu PG-14's, and the stick is a Seimitsu LS-32-02. I already had the Classic Controller Pro which will be acting as the PCB. A switch will shift the joystick input from left stick to d-pad, making it compatible with most Virtual Console games too.

Seeing as I have little carpentry, but a lot of model aircraft experience, I've decided to treat the casing as a wing structure. 7mm Plywood Spars, ribs, and sheeting will create a stiff, hollow structure, wrapped in a steam-bent 2.7mm skin.

I like my fight-sticks big, so this sucker is 600x300x60 mm. After drilling pilot holes for the buttons and stick, i used Forstner bits to carve some really smooth holes. The "finished" panel above was actually a massive goof where the last buttons were placed incorrectly, and i didn't notice until a test fit. It's now the going to be the bottom panel, the holes hidden under the skin layer.

The clamps are bonding a second layer of ply to create a stiff recess to mount the joystick. This is why i went for the Seimitsu with the s-plate instead of the typical flat plate.

Thanks to Slagcoin, I used the traditional "Japanese arcade player 2" button layout, as i prefer the slight inward rotation of the wrist. You can also make out the pilot holes for the six panhead screws used to attach the stick. Doubling up the thickness of the ply there to 14mm means that the 12mm screws don't come all of the way through. The nice skin layer will hide the holes.

The notches seen in the above pictures are designed to strengthen the connection to the ribs. Once glued up, these will vastly stiffen the structure, and give form to the wrapped ply curve. Seven of these are spaced along the length, and are located via notches to the front and rear spars. The lower  7mm panel is left removable to access the internals and remove/install the Wiimote.

It's a big ol' stick, with plenty of room in the upper left for the removable Wiimote "control panel".

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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