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The ultimate N64 joystick refurb? SS + teflon; N64 joystick extensively refurbished and improved with metal and teflon components
Topic Started: Feb 17 2016, 05:46 PM (36,966 Views)
bluedogrulez
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@LH: great chart! How did you determine the green? Also, does "feel" include sensitivity? Obviously there are games were sensitivity (and precision) is critical. There are other games where high sensivity can be valuable (need ship, aim or character to move quickly about the screen, like Star Soldier or Sin & Punishment)
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LinusHofmann
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Quote:
 
What's the price for these I've got a bunch of controllers that could use some new sticks?


I don't want to quote a price at this stage, too many things still up in the air in terms of the workflow. Plus I want to make sure things are tested properly before I consider selling them.
Right now I'm still working out a lot of the process as I make them so they're taking quite a long time each.
They're completely hand made and quite labour intensive to assemble but I'm hoping I can optimize things more and more as I nail down the process. :)

Quote:
 
@LH: great chart! How did you determine the green? Also, does "feel" include sensitivity? Obviously there are games were sensitivity (and precision) is critical. There are other games where high sensivity can be valuable (need ship, aim or character to move quickly about the screen, like Star Soldier or Sin & Punishment)


By green you mean the range coverage map?

It's a small program I wrote to allow me to see exactly how a controller maps it's output. Basically like Sanni's range tester, except it shows me a coverage map of all the angles between the octagonal extremes as well. Quite handy to see what the controller actually outputs. For example the Pot style joystick would look quite good in an octagonal range test, but here it looks awful because it does some really dodgy interpolation in between those extreme points.

-

By feel I just used the genuine new controller as a a benchmark and determined how satisfied I am playing all types of games with the other options in comparison.

The sensitivity is more related to the Range stat, the mid point with the green line/mark is the genuine controller benchmark. Any range above that will make for a more sensitive and touchy controller (lodgenet/hori) and anything below (worn out genuine) will make for a less sensitive response.

You could certainly break it down further in to resolution, deadzone pickup and skipping and stuff like that (Sanni did some good visuals in his test) but it may be getting a bit complicated. Essentially, the combination of poor feel and a very large range will make for a much too sensitive controller for a lot of games. ie. the original GC style

I totally agree that some controllers are actually more suited to certain games, personally I play Mario 64 with a Hori but it's hardly a genuine feeling thumbstick and the large range makes it completely useless in something like Perfect dark. As a result I didn't rate it particularly highly in feel.

It's all subjective and not to be taken too seriously but it's fun to try and characterize your thoughts on a particular set of controllers visually.
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Neves
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Incredible work Linus Hofmann and Sanni
I will be apprehensive about new results, I hope there is a public release of these analog in the future!
Good luck with everything!
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sublime1996525
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That dude
I'm really curious to know what it will take to test one. I am more than willing to make a purchase and I'll pay for shipping. I'll also give it one hell of a testing.

Great work man!!
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buddy1983
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Wow this all looks very promising, watching this with interest.
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No64DD
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Geez! How did i miss this thread!?

Probably because the tech-side of thumbsticks is over my head. Fortunately, this site has it down to a science.

@Linus,
i noticed that with new OEM thumbsticks that if you flick it left or right the whole way, it makes a signature Klak! sound... on used thumbsticks, not much at all.

Do your custom models make that same Klak! sound?
A Secret star
lie here~





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LinusHofmann
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No64DD
Feb 23 2016, 02:55 PM
Geez! How did i miss this thread!?

Probably because the tech-side of thumbsticks is over my head. Fortunately, this site has it down to a science.

@Linus,
i noticed that with new OEM thumbsticks that if you flick it left or right the whole way, it makes a signature Klak! sound... on used thumbsticks, not much at all.

Do your custom models make that same Klak! sound?
Certainly that's the aim, a tight stick should snap back to center with a satisfying clack.
The components are different (stick is heavier and metal on plastic makes a slightly different sound, not to mention the lubricant) so they won't make exactly the same noise as the full plastic model. I also do a few additional things to try and cut down on the "plastic clackiness" and any springy twangs on my modules, but yes a satisfying click as it springs back to center means I'm heading in the right direction. :)
It's all about minimizing the deadzone wiggle.

Here's a little video demo I made the other day, giving the refurbs quick workout and comparing the sound to some genuine modules in decent and almost new condition. That black controller I've never used, looks absolutely mint and internally the joystick looked factory fresh as well but it has a surprisingly large amount of horizontal wiggle already. Do brand new controllers have varying amounts of deadzone play right out of the box?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvKMwdwwGMw&feature=youtu.be (may have to turn the sound up.)

I just completed a module with absolutely zero deadzone play and that one snaps back with a gorgeous thump, hopefully I can continue reducing play as I make more of these things.





Edited by LinusHofmann, Feb 23 2016, 07:07 PM.
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No64DD
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Thanks Linus.
The reason i brought up the sound is because it was something i only recently noticed and began to identify with. I have not gone inside the thumbstick in a long time.
I really wasn't sure what actually causes it, whether it be internal or external. I thought it would be a good question to ask.

Do new OEM thumbsticks have varying degrees of deadzone?? - I'd say no.

Judging by your video, you've basically captured everything a new thumbstick should do! :yeah:

I guess i have only one more question: Are you still looking for testers? :)

PM'ed
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lie here~





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LinusHofmann
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Nice surprise in the postbox today! :)

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Super convenient for testing now! Awesome stuff Sanni.

Oh and sorry, couldn't help myself with the new bolts! hehe :P

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LinusHofmann
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*Just a quick note, I seem to be unable to send PMs right now. So for the people I'm in contact with through PM, my replies may be delayed...or you'll each get about 50 copies of my replies! :facepalm:

I hit send message and the composition page just reloads, nothing happens. Is this just me?



Edit1:

nvm all good again :)

Edit2:

Nope, stopped working again. I may be losing my mind... :cussfit: lol
Edited by LinusHofmann, Feb 25 2016, 02:14 PM.
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StrandedSSB
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Absolutely amazing work man. I love the look of these. read my PM and respond if you have time.
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LinusHofmann
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StrandedSSB
Feb 25 2016, 03:02 PM
Absolutely amazing work man. I love the look of these. read my PM and respond if you have time.
Thanks!
I'll get back to you as soon as the forum lets me (see post above) ;)
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StrandedSSB
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LinusHofmann
Feb 25 2016, 03:30 PM
StrandedSSB
Feb 25 2016, 03:02 PM
Absolutely amazing work man. I love the look of these. read my PM and respond if you have time.
Thanks!
I'll get back to you as soon as the forum lets me (see post above) ;)
If it would be easier to contact me over facebook, here is a link to my profile.

My facebook.

feel free to message me.
Edited by StrandedSSB, Feb 25 2016, 05:54 PM.
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LinusHofmann
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Ok all PMs should be replied to, thanks bluedogrulez for clearing that up!
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Cabanon
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LinusHofmann
Feb 24 2016, 11:10 AM
Nice surprise in the postbox today! :)

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Super convenient for testing now! Awesome stuff Sanni.

Oh and sorry, couldn't help myself with the new bolts! hehe :P

what are the results ?
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LinusHofmann
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Cabanon
Feb 26 2016, 03:24 PM
LinusHofmann
Feb 24 2016, 11:10 AM
Nice surprise in the postbox today! :)



Super convenient for testing now! Awesome stuff Sanni.

Oh and sorry, couldn't help myself with the new bolts! hehe :P

what are the results ?
What do you mean? The tester works great, really handy. I could do a little review at some point but haven't had the time.

Edit: Or you mean the results of testing my modules?
The tester isn't telling me anything new beyond what my own testing software (the green coverage map thing) shows me, but it's just in a super handy portable package with a friendly UI. :)

Oh and it also works as a handy battery pack for my extremely rare extreme green controller (found in a second hand shop near chernobyl) ;) :D

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Edited by LinusHofmann, Feb 27 2016, 07:10 AM.
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sanni
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Yes, the tester is just to speed up the process. When I was fiddling around with making custom thumbsticks I always had to walk to my N64, plug the controller in and launch my homebrew controller test rom, walk back, fix the thumbstick and walk to the N64 again until I decided that there must be a quicker way of doing things. So that's when I build the tester three years ago.
And when I saw all those thumbsticks in Linus' post it was like a deja-vu, so I knew I had to send him one. But there is no benefit of using my tester other than pure convenience. And ofc taking the tester to the next flea market and testing the controllers in front of the seller always is a good conversation starter, haha.

I'm very happy that Linus likes it and also very happy to contribute to this awesome project, even if it's just a little bit.
Edited by sanni, Feb 27 2016, 07:07 AM.
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HelloGoodLuck
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Take my money!! I'll pay anything to get ahold of one of these early units!
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Cabanon
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im curious at the sales price once done and complete too.
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LinusHofmann
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HelloGoodLuck
Feb 28 2016, 05:43 AM
Take my money!! I'll pay anything to get ahold of one of these early units!
anything you say? Hmmm....I'll have my bank manager call yours asap! :money: :smokin:

--

So I spent the weekend sprucing up my testing interface, was slow going for me but it's got most of the features I want now.

A few examples

Genuine OEM Module A: VTight (As far as I can tell this module is brand New and has a really solid range close to reference (redline/gray values))

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Genuine OEM Module B: Tight (Also a stick with very little wear, if any)

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Genuine OEM Module C: Worn Out (This was my most used stick, feels great but as you can see it's quite heavily worn and has reached the point where I have to push the stick harder against the gate to get full movement in a lot of games. So it's been retired )

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==========================================================================================
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And now here are a couple of my refurbed modules running through the same test.


Refurb Module S/N 022
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Refurb Module S/N 008
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Refurb Module S/N 020
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So I think you can see that the mapping on the refurbs is getting pretty close to what's needed. I'm still figuring out the tolerances I'll allow for this test to pass and it's quite touchy to get it right on the mechanical side. All of the various interaction of the component tolerances has an effect on how this mapping range looks in the end.

But I'm getting better at understanding what it takes to get it right and this kind of test makes the errors and offsets really visible so it's handy to figure out what the problem areas are. It takes quite a lot for it to actually be noticeable in game so I think with these kind of tolerances it should be acceptable.

A critical aspect however is the secondary axis deviation allowable on the straight horizontal and vertical notches, there I don't allow more than a few points of error before the module fails the test since that would start having a noticeable and annoying effect in game where pushing straight forward/ backward and side to side won't translating into a clean and straight movement.

For example dropping the OOT backwalk when just moving the stick a little away from the straight down position.
Can't have that, on the diagonals I allow more error since they're far less critical and even the OEM modules have some variation there.

--

So yeah that's what I've been working on. I'm hoping to get a new batch of sticks started this week as well as get the rest of the samples out to people for testing.

Note- I've called an end to finding people for the first set of testers, sorry for those who showed up a bit late. It's definitely cool to have this much interest especially from the recent smash64 and OOT speedrunner invasion! :)

If anyone is still interested, feel free to send me a PM anyway and I'll add you to a list for possible future testing.

Cheers
Linus





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bluedogrulez
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This is great information and it is so awesome to see the all-knowing Sanni rendering assistance.

I have a question for you about ceramic grease. Tamiya and some others make it for plastic gear parts, especially for RC cars. Some of us here swear by it for our OEM sticks. What are your thoughts about ceramic grease and whether your teflon coated sticks could benefit (or be harmed) by it?
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stinger9142
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Simply amazing! Especially like you rubber tipped one :yeah:
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LinusHofmann
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bluedogrulez
Feb 29 2016, 12:55 PM
This is great information and it is so awesome to see the all-knowing Sanni rendering assistance.

I have a question for you about ceramic grease. Tamiya and some others make it for plastic gear parts, especially for RC cars. Some of us here swear by it for our OEM sticks. What are your thoughts about ceramic grease and whether your teflon coated sticks could benefit (or be harmed) by it?
Ah yes, i've heard of the ceramic grease but not used it myself.
I just ordered a small tube of the stuff to try out, it certainly sounds like a good lubricant. Is it messy? Like white or black in colour?

Personally I've always used silicone grease. I blend it with silicone oil to get the right consistency since most silicone greases can be a bit thick.

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bluedogrulez
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The Tamiya grease is white, with the consistent of a facial cream. Very easy to use and control, and it seems to have given my sticks great protection. I suspect it would be fine for application with your sticks (may give the teflon more life), but can't say for sure.
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LinusHofmann
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bluedogrulez
Feb 29 2016, 07:59 PM
The Tamiya grease is white, with the consistent of a facial cream. Very easy to use and control, and it seems to have given my sticks great protection. I suspect it would be fine for application with your sticks (may give the teflon more life), but can't say for sure.
Was worried it might be white and a bit messy. I'll try it and see if it's worth it.
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LinusHofmann
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Well, I just completed a pretty epic module! :dance:

I'll leave this here...
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...and let it speak for itself...

Feeling good about the progress tonight, I'm working my way through the niggles and gotchas in the assembly process and able to return to the earlier modules to maximize their potential. Armed with the new knowledge I'm consistently able to knock down the deadzone wiggle and improve feel each time I re tackle an older module.

-

This particular stick feels smooth as butter, the mapping is bang-on and the deadzone figures aren't a joke. It doesn't budge!
I'll do a video of the wiggle if anyone wants to see proof, but there's nothing to see. It's like it's superglued in place. :)

Let the bidding begin! ;) lol
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Pimpin Mainer
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God Linus every time I come back here you have more stuff to drool over. Where have you been all my life? LOL

Seriously good work here!
Edited by Pimpin Mainer, Mar 1 2016, 07:35 PM.
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Rockman82
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I discovered this through Reddit and had to create an account just to keep up with this thread. Seriously fantastic work, and I can't wait to see how this all turns out. I will definitely be willing to buy some when you get to a finalized version.
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nintendo143
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If everything was recreated in metal, gimbals, gears, bottom and top housing, spring trim, etc, It would be really something.
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Bamboozled
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Congrats! :applause:
I'm wondering, what camera do you use? Your pictures are always very well done! :yeah:
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