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 Post subject: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:47 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
I finally got one of those JP Arcade Power Sticks. The US/EU variants only have crappy rubber domes and are basically just a stick bolted on a dpad, but the JP one has proper microswitches. I just took mine apart and cleaned everything, all the contact pads, soapy bath for all the plastic parts, dust etc. Everything works like new except the stick seems to scrape a bit when it pivots. The microswitches work just fine. Not sure how to fix this, I don't even know how to properly disassemble the stick part. I can remove the gate and take the microswitches out, but the actual shaft&spring are on the other side, not sure how to remove everything. I suspect cleaning the 'bowl' of the stick or applying some sort of grease will make it pivot smoothly again, but I don't really know how to take it apart or what to kind of grease to use. All information I can find online is only for the US/EU variant which has a completely different stick.

Help please :D


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:48 pm 


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Joined: 18 Feb 2011
Posts: 4040
Location: Denmarku
I'm not sure exactly what the hardware you're describing is, but if you've been cleaning a joystick part or similar, you definitely need to re-grease it afterwards. if the parts that are moving against eachother are both plastic, which I would assume (similar to a regular Sanwa stick, etc.), you need to use silicone based lubricant, which should be pretty easy to find in any larger store dealing with car maintenance or similar. A lot of people would recommend the Japanese Shin-Etsu brand, but I honestly can't imagine there's any relevant difference. Personally I just found a tube of Loctite which worked like a dream.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:15 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
Sure, I actually got some at home, I think that would work fine!

Like I said, my main issue is that while I was able to clean every other part, I wasn't able to dissamble the stick itself. I couldn't clean it or see if there's maybe plastic debris or dust etc. making it pivot less smoothly. I could use some help with that part.

It's this stick:

Image

This is what the back of the stick looks like with the gate on:

Image

Gate removed:

Image

I'd of course need to remove the stick so I can look at the other side with the bowl & spring etc. Not sure how to do that, the screw holding everything in place seems stuck?


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:37 pm 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Location: Australia
See that little circlip under the joystick shaft?

Get a pick or screw driver and carefully pop it off.

Do it somewhere that if it goes flying you can find it easily. Don't bend it pull it out straight.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:08 am 


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Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 236
Yes, that "screw" is used for holding the stick still while unscrewing the ball on top, it is actually just part of the entire metal shaft.

The e-clip/metal washer thing is holding the stick in, along with a spring (to return the stick to neutral) and a few bits of plastic. When you remove the e-clip, it may fly away along with the pieces of plastic and the spring itself.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:19 am 


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Joined: 18 Feb 2011
Posts: 4040
Location: Denmarku
Ah yeah that actually looks very similar to a "real" arcade stick, really nice quality. As far as I heard only the Japanese version has microswitches, right?

Image

This is not a picture from the same stick, but it's definitely designed quite similar. I think you already know this, but this is the pivot, the two parts that are grinding against eachother (the little round white thing attached to the shaft itself, and the housing that it's moving around inside), so ideally you want to lubricate both parts and then move them around a bit with your finger, as they would when using the stick, and carefully remove excess grease with a paper towel just to make sure things don't get too messy.
It really works wonders.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:22 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
Thanks everybody for your explanations! I have ~50 controllers that I all dissembled & cleaned, but I never performed maintenance on an arcade stick. With your explanations & this video it finally clicked:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADj9AJLwADs

I started by trying to free the stick module from the controller casing by removing the ball. I did not succeed. I can see that shaft is screwed into a thread in the ball, but I just can't break it loose. The metal of the screw head on the shaft started to fray so I gave up on that idea. No big deal, I don't need to replace the ball and I can perform maintenance without removing. I had to file down the frayed metal on the screw head a bit so all the components would actually slide of. Worked fine.

Understanding now what the point of the little metal washer was, I could now dissembled everything (I put on some protective eyewear in case of explosive springs, but no such event occured, thankfully). I cleaned all debris/dust, cleaned with Isopropyl and applied silicone grease to the bowl and the half-sphere counterpart on the stick shaft.

After re-assembly I find the stick feels slightly worse than before :( After careful disassembly and double checking everything with the pictures I took, I can safely say that I reassembled the stick correctly and nothing has been damaged. Narrowing down the issue, I can tell that the problem is simply still how the stick pivots in the bowl. Even if I just have the shaft, the half-sphere bit on the stick and the bowl from the micro switch assembly, movement does not feel great. Basically, once it motion everything glides very well, but after resting the stick it takes a bit of force to get it pivoting again and you can hear an audible pop as it breaks free from the friction. The silicone spray I used seems fine and is labelled as usable with plastic parts, but it's not doing the job here for some reason. There is no dirt, debris or else that prevents fluid motion. I tried to remove and re-apply the grease, it's clearly better without. That stick-and-break-free with the audible pop is worse with the grease on.

Some more pictures of the stick in case anybody is curious:

https://imgur.com/a/VPzwx

Seems like a nice stick overall! And yes, only the JP ones look like this, the US/EU ones have rubber domes, it's just a stick mounted on a dpad, basically.

So, what do I try now? Order some better lubricant from Japan? I assume just like with the micro switches, the Japanese made sure to only sell inferior lube to us western devils :/


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:57 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
So I've been researching lubricants a bit more (and my Google history is now full of shaft, balls, silicone & lubricant...). I found this helpful discussion on Atari Age, even though most of the thread is about the non-micro switch variant of the stick with a different design.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/239349 ... wer-stick/

I'm unsure what to buy. Here and elsewhere I've read recommendations of Shin-Etsu grease, but I can locally only find thermal paste from that brand and the actual silicone product is like >30 bucks with expensive shipping. I've also read about the near equivalent Molykote 44 grease, which I could buy on Amazon, but it's also very expensive. I got a great deal on the stick as the seller most likely was not aware that he got the rare & higher quality JP version and I'd rather not spend more on the grease than on the stick 8)

What what kind effitive lubricant can I buy for a reasonable price in Europe? I assume it should be silicone gel, not spray? Would this stuff here do the job

Image

?

Then just apply with a toothpick etc. on the bowl / half-sphere stick counterpart here

Image

and I should be good?


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:06 pm 


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Joined: 18 Feb 2011
Posts: 4040
Location: Denmarku
I have no idea why the one you've been using would be a problem, it sounds weird that applying lubrication would cause more friction, so with that in mind I'd be afraid of recommending anything. All I can tell is that I've been using Loctite's silicone lubricant on my joysticks, as that's what I could find cheap locally, and it's been working fine.
I'd say get gel though, I've never heard of anyone using spray in joysticks, though I don't see why it wouldn't work either.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:28 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
Thanks, I guess I'll give it a shot. I'm also a bit confused why the spray didn't help. Since I fully dissembled the stick I can say with certainty that the friction and noise I get when operating the stick comes entirely from the contact between the bowl receptacle and half-sphere on the shaft. The parts seem like they are in decent condition with no severe abrasion or deep scratches. When I move the stick in a continuous motion it glides smoothly, but after a rest it sticks for a moment and then you can hear a little pop as it overcomes the friction and starts sliding again. I find this happens more frequently once I applied the silicone spray. Since I A/B'ed multiple times with wiping off and re-applying the spray, I'm quite sure it doesn't help.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:32 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
I got some silicon grease today. Labelled as safe for plastic & rubber. It's a little better with the grease, but still pretty bad. Feels 100x worse than my Neo Geo stick, which never seems to stick no matetr what. If I push down on the Sega stick I can get it to stick so hard it doesn't re-center. Can't really use this arcade stick at all, there's just too much friction to play with it :/


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:14 pm 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Location: Australia
Fit a Sanwa JLF with a short shaft and call it a day


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:34 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
At that point I might as well just get a different arcade stick, build my own or see if I can get an adapter for my NeoGeo one :/

This is such a bummer. I was really happy that I finally found one of the JP ones locally, even for a great price. They're quite nice in terms of layout & build, the autofire that's rate adjustable with individual toggles is neat, the buttons have a nice clicky feel even though they're just rubber domes. But the stick is just plain bad compared to my NeoGeo one. Barely usable. I'm afraid no amount of grease will make that thing pivot smoothly.

Ah well, would've been a good excuse to revisit some MD shooters.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:39 am 


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Posts: 831
Location: Australia
I can't really see what is causing the interference from your photos but I think I see a lip that has formed in the bottom of the bowl, and the top of the pivot.

Maybe giving both areas a VERY light sand to remove the lips will help. After the sand id polish the area with some paper.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:26 am 


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Posts: 672
Location: Italy
Finding a good stick solution for the MD seems to be quite the task. All the commercially released ones are average at best, with the Fighting stick multi probably being the best (or least terrible), and multi-console boards like the PS360 or Cthulhu do not support the MD :?


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:44 am 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Location: Australia
Its in Aus but...

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vintage-The ... Swf-Ral1bu


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:09 pm 


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Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 6168
Location: Craig's
All commercial MD-compatible sticks are horrible.

I have a pair of non-jp 6 buttons ones, totally uselsss, might as well just keep the pcb's and use them to build a pair of custom, one of those days...
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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:39 pm 


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Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 2105
Location: Brooklyn NY
Xer Xian wrote:
Finding a good stick solution for the MD seems to be quite the task. All the commercially released ones are average at best, with the Fighting stick multi probably being the best (or least terrible), and multi-console boards like the PS360 or Cthulhu do not support the MD :?


Can you even get a PS 360+ anymore?
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"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:07 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
So, more problems! When I got the arcade stick, I did a quick test with a pad test ROM and everything seemed fine. After cleaning & greasing I decided to give it another go and I notice that the switches seem unreliable :( They work most of the time, but every once in a while a switch doesn't close the circuit when triggered. Sometimes it's fine for like 10min and then I need a minute of wiggling to get it to close again. The switch is definitively pressed down. There was a dodgy looking solder joint (which I reflowed) and I did some testing with the continuity tester, no idea, seems like the switches in this thing are going bad.

Thoughts:

- I could try replacing the switches. Part number AH73515. I can find a datasheet, but I can't find this switch at any local part supplier (like RS Components, etc.)

- Syntax recommends just installing a proper stick from Samwa. I don't think this will fit. Have a look:

Spoiler: show
Image


Notice how for this stick all components are below the mounting plate while for the Samwa stick they're above it. I couldn't close the case of the stick if I screwed the Samwa in there. Hmm.

Looks like Xyga / Xer Xian are right and even the JP sticks are kind of turds, lol. I guess I could just get a cheap 3-button controller for 5 bucks, harvest the board and the solder the 8 switches for ABCS + stick to the pads on the board and build my own. Probably a fun idea, but still frustrates me I'm not able to get the one I got going again.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:11 pm 


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Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 6168
Location: Craig's
I think I've seen a 100% modded 6btn once on some forums but that was some heavy mad modding job, everything from the stick, pcb, buttons, sliders, case, requires modification and new parts.
Don't see the point since the stick's form factor is too small and uncomfortable anyway.
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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:04 pm 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Location: Australia
Xyga wrote:
Don't see the point since the stick's form factor is too small and uncomfortable anyway.


Took me a few joysticks and an AstroCity to realise this.

My joystick of preference in now a Super Megalo 2.
Plenty of space now :)


If you guys can be patient there's something secret being put together that will work on any retro system with any retro controller..


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:35 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
Hm, I like the Arcade Power Stick overall, it's not bad. If I could find a replacement stick that could fit or would know where to source these switches

Image

I'd give repairing it a shot :D


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:41 pm 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Location: Australia
I can recommend either cherry or Sanwa micro switches for replacements.

If you get generic ones from an oven or something generic from OMRON they tend to be too stiff.

When looking for a set if you find one without rivets you can install the original metal levers in them.
I say this because it gives you more options.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:39 am 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
Ah OK, those switches have a standard housing size and are commonly used in all kinds of electronics, I don't need to find the exact model as a replacement? So the metal lever should be removable and I can transfer it to the new switch? One thing I noticed when looking at some pictures of Sanwa and other generic switches:

Spoiler: show
Image
Image


Seems like the mounting holes for the metal bar are in a different position vs the switches installed in my stick (closer to the center, might still fit?).

I checked the normal electronics components suppliers here in Europe and they don't seem to have any Sanwa switches and nothing from Cherry that looks even close, eBay only has some full Sanwa sticks & button kits available. I guess I need to buy those at arcade machine specific shops:

https://www.arcadeworlduk.com/categorie ... oswitches/
https://www.arcadeshop.de/Microswitches ... _1062.html

Those look promising? :D


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:06 am 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 831
Location: Australia
Arcade world UK is a great shop.

It may look like your switches sit further back but I bet its the same, the unique thing for your stick is the short levers, you don't see that too often so you'll need to reuse them.

FYI Cherry micros are very light and sensitive, whilst the sanwa replacements have more tactile feedback.
Both actuate around the same point.


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:36 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
I checked some more and it seems like those switches in fact have differently positioned holes for the lever. I don't think it would fit with the wrong mounting holes, the levers would not fit anymore in the stick. I basically want those:

Image

They're out of stock, though :/

Those have the wrong lever installed but the mounting position is correct.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pamasonic-AM ... 1971771348

Those could fit:

https://www.ebay.de/itm/Panasonc-Micro- ... 1874433906

But I'm a bit worried about what you said, just getting any arbitrary switch might not be helpful as the activation force might be too high. Who would've thought buying some replacement switches could be this hard! ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: JP 3 button Sega Arcade Power Stick grease/repair
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:34 pm 



Joined: 12 Aug 2017
Posts: 261
I found some replacement switches, here:

Image

(new top/left, old bottom/right)

They're about the right size, have the same activation force as the original ones and got the lever mounting holes in the right place. The short-lever ones have different mounting holes, it seems.

Installing the original short lever:

Image

Fortunately, those replacement switches are easy to open, installing a new lever is simple. Also makes it possible to clean them should they become unresponsive down the road.

Not so much luck with the original switches:

Image

You'll never fail me again :twisted: Those were closed with rivets. The housing is quite brittle so they're easy to open. Just jam a flat head screwdriver in there and twist.

The housing of the new switches is slightly larger, needs to be filed down a bit. The bottom terminal also sticks out too far, needs to be bend out of the way:

Image

All installed and wired up:

Image

The switches work great now.

I did some more polishing and some mild sanding on the stick assembly, it's a little better now. Still, not a great arcade stick. The switches had to be replaced and the stick just doesn't pivot great, no matter what. Glad I got it working in the end, though. Fun project!


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