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3rd party replacement joystick guide

Discussion in 'Smash 64 Discussion' started by SheerMadness, May 16, 2013.

  1. SheerMadness

    SheerMadness Smash Master

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    Due to age, finding quality 1st party Nintendo 64 joysticks is becoming very difficult. Since I've delved pretty deep into this subject I thought I'd make a guide to help people with their replacement options. As far as I can tell you have three different options:

    Gamecube style replacement

    [​IMG]

    Pros:
    - Durability. This design lasts far longer than original 64 sticks.
    - Feel. Very smooth.

    Cons:
    - Sensitivity issues. For whatever reason these things skip steps. Here's a video demonstrating the issue:
    -
    - Due to the sensitivity issues certain moves are very difficult to achieve, like smash attacks in ssb and spin attacks in the Zelda games.

    Bottom line: These are probably the worst replacement option available due to sensitivity issues. However, the guy in the video above mentions that he does sell a PCB which fixes the step skipping issue. Not sure how legit it is, but feel free to look into if you want.


    OEM style replacement

    [​IMG]

    Pros:
    - Functionality. These essentially function exactly the same as 1st party sticks. Same deadzone and range. No sensitivity issues.

    Cons:
    - Durability. The fatal flaw of these replacements. It seems as though everything about this stick is of lesser quality. It takes far less force to move the stick, due to a weaker spring and cheaper plastic, giving it a "loose" feeling even when it's new and technically "tight". It also seems to wear out at a much faster pace, and actually becomes floppy fairly quickly.

    Bottom line: These things would be perfect if the plastic and spring were better quality. But the functionality is exactly the same, which still makes this probably the best replacement IMO.

    How to tell apart from 1st party stick:
    - Feel. They take significantly less force to move the stick around.
    - Color. The dark grey shell is a lighter shade than 1st party.
    - Joystick grip. The grooved circles for gripping on original sticks are terraced, very gradually increasing height from outside in. The gripping circles on the replacement are significantly less terraced, and the stick appears more flat looking at it from a profile view.

    RepairBox potentiometer based OEM style


    [​IMG]

    Pros:
    - Durability. These things appear to be made like tanks. The spring is way stronger and the plastic seems to be of way better quality. It actually takes significantly more force to move the stick than a 1st party stick (a pro for me but maybe not other people).

    Cons:
    - Bigger deadzone. The deadzone is significantly bigger, which means you have to move the stick further for it to register movement. In my experience this can cause issues with things like tilts, short hop up airs, pika's up b, and walking speed which can effect spacing. All this can be adapted to, but it obviously can and does cause issues.
    - Not as smooth. The plastic bowl which the stick rubs against isn't as smooth which gives it a more grindy feeling than 1st party sticks or the 3rd party OEM style replacements.

    Bottom line: The durability of these things are amazing. I also like how stiff it feels compared to other sticks. The bigger deadzone can be a big problem though. Most of it can be adapted to, but there are still serious issues with certain moves. Doing Pikachu's up b at precise angles seemed incredibly difficult to me. That was the main reason I stopped using these.


    Where can I find these replacements?

    A bunch of places online carry them such as:

    ebay, amazon, nintendorepairshop, lukie games, and several other online gaming stores.


    EDIT: If I missed something let me know and I'll add it in.
    sman865 and Annex like this.
  2. MrMarbles

    MrMarbles Smash Ace

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    nice guide, i wish we knew more about "fixing" the gamecube style sticks. that could potentially be a permanent stick solution if we could fix the sensitivity issue. Also i know they sell the replacement sticks at our gamers inc, i wonder which kind it is
  3. Sedda

    Sedda Smash Lord

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    Sheer, have you greased the OEM ones? Did it extend their life like with the 1st party ones?
  4. SheerMadness

    SheerMadness Smash Master

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    Yah I greased the OEM replacement 3-4 times in my 2-3 month test run. They y-axis remained pretty tight but the x-axis started getting wobbly pretty quickly. So I'm sure it's even more pronounced without grease. The first party sticks I've greased and maintained haven't really seemed to get much if any worse.

    Marbles, I went to gamers inc the other day. I asked to look at the replacements they sell. They sell the same OEM style sticks in this thead, and not individually. They make you pay $15 so they can do it, which is lame because we can buy them for $8-9 online and easily do it ourselves.
  5. Near²

    Near² Banned (6 Points)

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    Would people object to a N64 controller with a Gamecube analog stick mod at a tournament? It seems great. I was thinking of buying a Hori, but this seems like a cheaper alternative.
  6. Cobrevolution

    Cobrevolution Smash Champion

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    no. i feel like someone had that at RBR...but i forget who. i could just be imagining things.
  7. killa k

    killa k Smash Ace

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    Not sure yet, but I think the ones I ordered off of ebay a few months back were the RepairBox ones. I'll have to check once I get home.

    Overall, great guide sheer. Very useful sticky material.

    Edit: Nvm it's actually the OEM style one. Bummer that they don't last long, but I haven't really tested them out yet.
  8. jcrazy

    jcrazy Smash Rookie

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    Thanks bud! I have all original controllers from when we first bought the console the year it came out, so my controllers have gone to ****. Been wanting to replace them after I started trying to play better this past year, so I'm planning on using this guide in a few months when I order.
  9. Sangoku

    Sangoku Moderator

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    Nice guide! This should be added in the index (even though nobody but me reads it).
  10. Komotonoto

    Komotonoto Smash Journeyman

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    Yo guys, one day someone will make new sticks with a 3d printer so all you guys would have to do is keep the stick board that connects to the controller board.
  11. Fireblaster

    Fireblaster Smash Lord

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    I just obtained what I'm 99% sure is an OEM stick and will be testing it greased in online play to see how it passes the durability test. I'll be using the taylor lube HP that knitephox recommended instead of white lithium.
  12. rustyw

    rustyw Smash Cadet

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    I have a gamecube-style replacement and I bought two of those replacement PCBs a while back but I haven't gotten around to soldering the stick to the PCB yet (that is to say, I haven't installed it yet).
  13. SheerMadness

    SheerMadness Smash Master

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    Get on it rusty. And report back here.
  14. rustyw

    rustyw Smash Cadet

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    So, I just installed it tonight. It was kind of a pain to install, you have to do a bit of soldering which is OK but some of the solder joints have to be really small or else you can create a short.

    Yes, the PCB appears to completely fix the problems with the standard GC-style replacement sticks. There is no lag and I can dash-dance faster than I could even with a high-quality stick . Having played on it for about 30 minutes, I'd confidently say it's accurate in a way your standard N64 joystick isn't. I can be very precise, I have tons of control midair because the range is so even, and the deadzone feels very tight. It feels very close to a Gamecube controller in a lot of ways. It passes Isai's Yoshi stick test perfectly. (The PCB, the first time you power the controller, enters a "calibration" mode where it reads the min and max values and sets the range accordingly.) I can't speak for its durability, but at least for now it feels pretty solid.

    So far I'm very satisfied with the results. This to me seems like it's as good as it gets with respect to 64 controller replacements. I haven't tried a Hori, but I can't imagine improving much on what I've got now.

    EDIT: I played it for a few more hours last night. I think it's safe to say that, assuming these sticks are durable, they should be the gold standard for Nintendo 64 controllers, not just for replacing old, worn-out sticks but because on their own I think they are a significant improvement over the original design. There's just so much more consistency with this controller than with a standard N64 stick.
  15. SheerMadness

    SheerMadness Smash Master

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    Thanks rusty. Encouraging to hear for sure.

    The problem is that people like myself don't know how to solder anything lol. Plus the guy selling them is hard to find and probably doesn't have an unlimited amount.

    I'd definitely buy one that was already soldered, but I wouldn't buy just the PCB by itself.
  16. rustyw

    rustyw Smash Cadet

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    Actually, soldering is really easy. You need:

    a soldering iron
    soldering tin
    a desoldering pump (if you make a mistake)

    I screwed up kinda bad on one of the smaller holes, and I didn't have a desoldering pump, but the PCB seems to be pretty resilient because I definitely had to hold the soldering down on it for a while to get the misplaced solder out.

    There are probably a jillion YT videos out there showing how. The hard part is making sure you get one of those PCBs from the guy while they're available.

    For reference, here's the link: http://nfggames.com/forum2/index.php?topic=5023.0
  17. SheerMadness

    SheerMadness Smash Master

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    That's what I'm saying, I doubt anyone is going to buy soldering equipment and learn how to solder just to fix the GC replacement stick.

    We'll just wait for someone like yourself to make extras then buy them off you.

    Wanna make me one!? =]
  18. rustyw

    rustyw Smash Cadet

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    Sure, if you paid me I'd do it for you. I'd also need you to send me the PCB kit, an N64 controller, and a GC-style stick.
  19. Timotheus

    Timotheus Smash Journeyman

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    I found a new way to repair your worn out stick with specific parts of the OEM style replacement!
    Your stick will be almost like a brandnew stick again with almost no deadzone! Two of my controllers are like new again. Even with hardcore Wank-DI :D

    I recommend this for everyone who already has these OEM style sticks at home. You should definitly give it a shot.




    Parts you should definitly replace:
    1. the spring
    2. the bowl (not the 2 black wheels! Don't use them, they're crap! It's pretty easy to get them out and put the original wheels on the bowl.)


    Things I'm not 100% sure about, but should work well too (I didn't use them because mine are still pretty good):
    the two black X and Y axis parts




    I'm not sure about the stick itself. You can use it, but ist slightly different. It's longer than an original stick and it feels different!


    Parts you shouldn't use:
    Everything else!



    Don't forget to grease your parts!

    Thank you very much. :D
  20. B Link

    B Link Smash Lord

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    That's actually a pretty good idea...even if the replacement sticks suck, you can still steal their brand new bowls, springs and black axes parts LOL

    Can other people give some feedback on this method? I might try it if the PROS can confirm this method
  21. SheerMadness

    SheerMadness Smash Master

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    I've tried swapping parts between 1st party and 3rd party OEM.

    Didn't work for me. Maybe I had the wrong combination though. The parts were all different sizes. I know I tried the 3rd party OEM bowl with the 1st party stick and that didn't work.

    Which exact parts did you swap, Timo?

    P.S. Swapping the spring is not a great solution IMO. The replacement springs are way weaker.
  22. Timotheus

    Timotheus Smash Journeyman

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    At first I replaced the bowl. Take a look at the wheels of both bowls. There are two different versions. A small one and a bigger one. You need Two big ones to make sure they'll work and get in contact with the X and Y axis parts. Then you should be fine.

    Well i replaced the spring too because i think it will lose it's "strength" too over time. I also used the 3rd party plastic ring on the spring. But i think that doesn't matter at all.
  23. Fireblaster

    Fireblaster Smash Lord

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    This post is incredibly confusing to read. Clarify what parts are from what stick
  24. Timotheus

    Timotheus Smash Journeyman

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    Sorry for my bad english :(

    Look at the wheels of the official controlstick-bowl and the OEM style-bowl. You'll notice a important difference. You can't just use the OEM style-bowl for the official Controller. You need to change the wheels. They have to get in contact with the black X and Y axis parts
  25. KnitePhox

    KnitePhox Smash Lord

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    GREASE UP
    we GLIDING EVERYWHERE

    Timotheus - try using pictures of each part, no one can get confused with that
  26. Timotheus

    Timotheus Smash Journeyman

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    OK i will make pictures XD But I'm working at the moment. It will take some time
  27. Timotheus

    Timotheus Smash Journeyman

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    I found a random picture in the Internet. It shows an official controlstick-bowl with a black X(or Y?) axis on top.
    http://nobitleftbehind.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/wp_20131021_018.jpg

    Take the two black wheels, (shown in the picture) from the official bowl and put it on the OEM style bowl.
    Then put the black X axis part on top of your OEM style bowl (like in the Picture) and move it. If you did it right, the wheel will move too. This is what you want.

    This is pretty much all you need to get your stick tighter.




    EDIT: I used OEM style controllsticks like These: http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Ersatz-Austa...==/$T2eC16N,!yME9s5qF8ggBQFBsYKkFQ~~60_57.JPG

    I don't know if one of these would work too:
    http://www.racketboy.com/store/medi...06f020e43594a9c230972d/d/n/dn64r-a04-p1_1.jpg




    I hope you'll understand
  28. MrMarbles

    MrMarbles Smash Ace

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    could you post the link to which oem style you purchased? that way i can find that stick and purchase it online. i think there are a few different oem style sticks that look the same on the outside. but i would like to give your method a try it shounds promising
  29. Timotheus

    Timotheus Smash Journeyman

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    Sorry i don't remember the seller. But I'm pretty sure it wasn't very expensive. Don't spend too much money for the replacement stick
  30. SheerMadness

    SheerMadness Smash Master

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    Actually I think all the 3rd party OEM sticks are probably from the same manufacturer (hyperkin?).

    I'm not 100% positive though. I got mine from lukiegames for like $10.

    Got them from this link:

    http://www.lukiegames.com/n64-replacement-thumbstick-original-style

    BUT BE CAREFUL.

    Reading the latest reviews it sounds like they ran out of 3rd party OEM ones and are just selling repairbox sticks in it's place, but obviously kept the 3rd party OEM picture.

    You have to be careful of that anywhere you see replacement sticks for sale. Read the reviews and message the seller to be sure.
  31. rustyw

    rustyw Smash Cadet

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    The GC-style replacement stick with the custom PCB is still amazing, by the way. But I have found it much harder to DI using my traditional DI methods. I haven't really sat down and figured out how DI should be done differently to achieve the same results.
  32. B Link

    B Link Smash Lord

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    So replacing the 1st party bowl with the 3rd party bowl wasn't any good sheer? A shame.

    Guess it's back to local-searching for me
  33. Fireblaster

    Fireblaster Smash Lord

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    So it has been 2 months since I got this OEM 3rd party joystick. I played online exclusively on this joystick and used it at smashacre frostbite and COA IV plus several other smashfests. According to sheer he used white lithium grease on his and it started wearing out just after 2 weeks. I just opened it tonight and cleaned out the grease off of the elbows to see how much damage had been done:

    Long Elbow/Y-axis elbow

    Short Elbow/X-axis elbow

    As you can see, there is pretty zero damage or wear at all on these parts. So what did I do different? I didn't use white lithium that's what. Instead, I used red Taylor Lube HP grease and I have had zero problems beating up this joystick since right now it's still practically brand new. Only greased it once too.

    So if you're going to use this stick as a replacement, remember to use red taylor lube HP! In fact, just use taylor lube HP to grease up whatever stick you use since it's so amazing (SHOUTOUTS TO KNITEPHOX)

    As for the stick itself, it does feel like a slightly loose joystick like sheer said, but it feels like you have a lot of range for movement anyways and it is so easy to move around with it. If you're out of options and are afraid of buying used joysticks online, this 3rd party OEM stick + taylor lube HP grease is a pretty good alternative.
    Annex and KnitePhox like this.
  34. SheerMadness

    SheerMadness Smash Master

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    Thanks for the update.

    At this point I completely agree that white lithium grease is a poor option. It just dries out way too quickly.

    I've switched to ceramic grease.

    Good to see the 3rd party OEM working out for someone.
  35. Han Solo

    Han Solo Smash Lord

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  36. Fireblaster

    Fireblaster Smash Lord

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  37. MrMarbles

    MrMarbles Smash Ace

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    what about the bowl?
  38. Fireblaster

    Fireblaster Smash Lord

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    The bowl also has basically 0% wear and is just like new. I didn't mention it because I do not think the bowl has anything to do with joysticks getting loose and wearing out.
    KnitePhox likes this.
  39. KnitePhox

    KnitePhox Smash Lord

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    I will bring Taylor Lube HP tubes to Apex to sell at cost for 5$, don't buy one if you're taking a plane? check tsa first I suppose

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