Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Flat-Stick - Neutrik USB adapter vs. "Pass-under"

There are two ways to handle the USB cable for the Flat-Stick; either hardwired end-to-end and passed under the frame, or a two-piece solution which connects at a Neutrik connector.

The "pass-under" is the most economical, and works similarly to the cables found on sticks like the Hori RAP series. The cable is always attached to the case, but it stores within the overhangs.

When the case is assembled you just see a neat exit like this. But the cable IS fully removable, as when the bottom panel is removed the whole thing can just lift out. This makes cable replacement a cinch should anything happen to it.

The Neutrik USB passthrough is an incredibly popular connector type. It allows the cable to be entirely disconnected from the case, which makes replacement simple, and provides additional security against tripping over the cable by giving the cable a second "break point". This is most similar to the Madcatz sticks, with a resilient detachable setup.

It can be mounted externally, either straight onto the case as here, or with an additional moulded rubber seat under it.

It can also be mounted internally, which gives a flush look as per the top image in this article. Finish it off with acrylic cladding and the countersunk screw heads can be completely hidden.

The internal side has another female USB socket, and you simply run a very short cable from there to your PCB.

A Neutrik NAUSB connector typically costs around $10, and comes in silver or black. For extra cable connection security, or improved legacy console compatibility, an RJ45 version is also available.

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