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ExedExes
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X-Arcade Joystick Replacement - IL Eurostick

by ExedExes Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:30 pm

I've had my X-Arcade Solo stick since 2007. I also participate in the online arcade gaming competition scene, playing tons of multi-site tournaments. My X-Arcade has performed admirably, but then I caught wind of people replacing the stock joystick with newer, more arcade-grade components. Names like HAPP, Sanwa, Ultimarc kept coming up in searches I typed in. But there was one that seemed to win the praises of gamers everywhere, the IL Eurostick.

IL (Industrias Lorenzo) is a company from Spain that's been making parts for arcade games for a very long time. They manufactured HAPP Competition sticks before HAPP outsourced to China, making them lower quality. So I ordered a black colored IL Eurostick from Paradise Arcade Shop (good site for arcade-grade parts) and it came in today. So I got to work.

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This is the underside of the Eurostick. The actuator is nylon, not rubber or plastic, which will stand up to much more use. They also use Cherry microswitches. The square shape is nice for direct contact.

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Compared to the stock X-Arcade stick, with no actuator to speak of, instead using metal clips to make contact with the microswitches, which can be bent and affected by changes in temperature.

So after opening up the bottom of the stick, there was a bit of effort needed to remove the nuts from the base of the stock stick. I needed to unscrew the microswitches to be able to get to those nuts. Removed the old stick, and put the new one in. One problem, the well where the old stock stick sat was a *little* short compared to the new plastic base of the Eurostick. Fortunately, the MDF-style wooden construction of the X-Arcade was easy to work with. I ended up carving out the top and right of the old joystick well (including the corner) with a utility knife, and then the plastic Eurostick base fit in, and then I torqued the nuts by hand so that they wouldn't be so tight in the future.

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The Eurostick is now installed. The C-clip was a little bit of a pain to put back in. Now to the wiring. It wasn't difficult as I took a picture beforehand, as well as downloading the wiring schematic PDF from the X-Arcade site.

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Fully wired again. Before I put the bottom panel back on, I tested it in MAME, and the performance difference is substantial. Less clicking noise from the microswitches, much smoother circular movements, and faster directional response times.

The X-Arcade is a good entry level stick, but for all the cheap parts (as well as the wood) they used, it's not a bad idea to at least change out the joystick. I know it will serve me much better in the future. I don't mod much, but this was a big successful project for me.
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Xeogred wrote:The obvious answer is that it's time for the Dreamcast 2.
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KalessinDB
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Re: X-Arcade Joystick Replacement - IL Eurostick

by KalessinDB Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:12 am

Eurostick is legit. When I bought my Neo cab, one stick wouldn't register diagonals for some reason and needed to be replaced since that's kinda a requirement for fighting games. Decided to replace them both and very glad I did since the difference was marked.

Glad it went into the X-Arcade without problem!
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Kidpanda
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Re: X-Arcade Joystick Replacement - IL Eurostick

by Kidpanda Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:10 pm

Yea ILs are total boss for US style cabs and sticks. Both of my Neos have new sticks and buttons from IL.

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fastbilly1
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Re: X-Arcade Joystick Replacement - IL Eurostick

by fastbilly1 Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:28 pm

It is the only bat stick I use.

Though I have fallen into favor for balltops for everything but fighting games.
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KalessinDB
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Re: X-Arcade Joystick Replacement - IL Eurostick

by KalessinDB Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:10 pm

Damn, panda, I like the red bezel on that Neo...
Gunning for a licensed NES NTSC-U set, follow the madness and poverty here!
Cheat sheet of my collection, always looking to increase it. 405/677 licensed games, 46/"95" unlicensed
Chronically out of date BST thread
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ExedExes
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Re: X-Arcade Joystick Replacement - IL Eurostick

by ExedExes Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:22 pm

It was a fix that was a long time coming, but I never even realized how easy of a mod it actually was. When I heard someone on GameEx mention them and then after doing my own research, just one look at that actuator seriously sold me. Direct contact with the microswitches is just so much better. High build quality too. Of course the carving out and the loosening of the nuts was probably the most difficult thing, but now that it's actually in it looks just like the original stock controller, except it's so. much. better now. Cheap, easy, and absolutely a huge upgrade. It will last much longer too.
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Xeogred wrote:The obvious answer is that it's time for the Dreamcast 2.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: X-Arcade Joystick Replacement - IL Eurostick

by samsonlonghair Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:18 am

Good work.
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