The original Flash 1 joystick PCB was manufactured and released by Sanwa for arcade machines many years ago as a ambitous alternative to the microswitch. The idea was to significantly reduce the wear and tear arcade owners often faced in servicing joysticks, replacing the physical microswitches with an optical sensor. Realizing soon after that this meant Sanwa's most replacable part could would generate much less revenue as a result, the company shelved it.
GamerFinger, designer of the popular HBFS mechanical switch pushbutton series, returns with their own innovatively designed optical PCB for the Sanwa JLF-TP-8TY joystick.
Truly Silent, Compatible, and Precise
An incredible joystick PCB like this has several benefits over the original TP-MA:
- The GamerFinger Optical PCB uses an optical sensor.There are no physical moving parts, no wear and tear, and no need for replacement.
- Estimated life of the PCB is 10 years of daily use.
- Incredibly precise digital control for the fastest inputs.
- The PCB easily fits into the same space as your existing 5 pin TP-MA PCB.
- Its 5-volt conversion is compatible with Playstation 2™, Playstation 3™, Microsoft Xbox360™ and Sega Dreamcast.
The GamerFinger PCB kit includes the following items:
- GamerFinger Optical PCB
- Copper ring. Installed below your Sanwa JLF E-Clip and provides additional tension.
- Foam pad washer. Installed into the Sanwa JLF P-2 Main Body and provides stabiilzation between PCB and body during play.
- 6-pin harness that includes directional inputs, ground (black) plus 5-voltage (red) wiring
- 5-pin plug. Optional use; should you desire to connect the optical PCB to your existing Sanwa JLF H-5 5 pin harness, you can create a simple adapter plug that welds the optics kit wire with a 5-pin plug. The voltage wire then connects to the control PCB. Voltage from the control PCB must be at least 3.3 volts. The maximum is 15 volts.
For additional control, the GamerFinger Optical PCB works with the Sanwa GT Y Octagonal Restrictor Gate, or JLF GT-Y Octagonal Restrictor Plate Insert,
How to install
The GamerFinger Optical PCB installs easily into the Sanwa JLF joystick body. To replace the original TP-MA PCB with the GamerFinger Optical PCB:
- Remove the plastic square gate by pinching the tabs at each side of the gate inward. It's usually easiest to pinch two from one side, then pull that side up.
- Remove the small metal "e-clip" located at the bottom of your joystick shaft.
- Following that, remove the actuator (located just above the e-clip) and spring. The TP-MA PCB is a small circuit board with the joystick microswitches attached.
- Remove the TPMA switch from the joystick body, then place the GamerFinger Optical PCB into it with the black cover facing out.
- Attach the 6-pin harness included with the kit to the 6 pin connector on the GamerFinger Optical PCB. You can then either solder the signal and ground wire (black) to your joystick PCB's up, down, left and right ports, or connect the wires to the corresponding ports on a solderless PCB such as Toodles Cthulhu Multi-Console PCB or Akishop PS360+ Multi-Console Joystick PCB.
- Solder the 5v harness wire (red) to the +5v USB port of the main joystick PCB. The joystick PCB's USB port is usually a red wire or specifically labeled on the PCB. If using the MC Cthulhu or Akishop PCB, connect it to the unit's VCC port.
Use and advantage of switchless play
If you're used to playing with a microswitch-based joystick such as the original Sanwa JLF, converting to a switchless environment requires a bit of adjustment. The most significant difference between the GamerFinger Optical PCB and micro switches is that you no longer hear the click of the microswitch. You'll only hear the faint knock of the joystick gate. There are benefits during tournament play; in addition to increased directional control, your competitor can no longer hear your movements. Once you get used to the unique feel of the GamerFinger Optical PCB, your gameplay could improve significantly.