cell
Newbie
cell
Newbie
Joined: February 6th, 2016, 6:13 pm

February 18th, 2016, 8:42 pm #11

Interesting post,LinusHofmann and kudos for the amount of effort that seems to have gone into your refurb plan.

No one here is going to like what I have to say on this :whistle: but here is my opinion, for what its worth.

The mechanical repair, "fix", improvement, solution to the original N64 analogue stick degradation, is a dream.
It gives me no satisfaction to say, that I do not use the word "dream" here, in a positive sense.

The original, is a mechanics nightmare, designed by satan himself >:-] and like the man himself, it is irredeemable.

Replacement with new tech, engineered for authentic feel and coded for correct range, yes but not repair. Never repair.

The members with an in-depth grasp of the mechanical design, materials and shortcomings of the the original N64 analogue stick, will hopefully see where I am coming from with this post.
Gentlemen, perhaps, after 20 years of trying, its time to forsake all hope in the repair of the original design.

Having said all that, LinusHofmann, I honestly hope that you prove me wrong. Best of luck :yeah:
Quote
Like
Share

bluedogrulez
Guardian
Joined: March 8th, 2010, 9:20 pm

February 18th, 2016, 9:07 pm #12

@Cell: I get where you are coming from. You can't go all steel because them the optical wheel would not work, and as long as plastic is in the mix, it will wear.

But consider this:
--Steel Stick: Major improvement
--Steel bowl: Major improvement
--New X, Y Axis pieces from Kitch-Bent or really, really good ones harvested from existing sticks
--Ceramic grease use from Day 1.

I think that is a winning formula.
Switch Friend Code: SW-0786-9287-1202 (bluedogBDR)
MK8Deluxe Tourney: N64Forever.com 2332-7277-8283
Nintendo Network ID: BDR2010 / Twitter: @bluedogrulez


Quote
Like
Share

LinusHofmann
Senior Member
LinusHofmann
Senior Member
Joined: January 20th, 2013, 6:54 am

February 18th, 2016, 9:34 pm #13

Pimpin Mainer wrote:Again great product and I would love to get my thumb on one of these. I will even pay for shipping to the US.

Thanks guys, appreciate the positive :cussfit:!
I'll get back to you guys about samples soon :)
wrote: Any thought of using newly minted Kitsch-Bent pieces? I know they are not perfect, but MIGHT cut down on dead zone wiggle. I have a an extra set or two if you are interested.
I have 20 pairs if YOU'RE interested ;) Hehe, :D

Yes the x and y axis, I suppose "geared gimbal arms" would be the correct term? Not sure.

I was really hoping these kitsch-bent parts would work but I was pretty disappointed when I got my hands on them.
I had what I consider pretty severe binding issues on all the ones I tried, tolerances and surface finish on the contact surfaces weren't too impressive either.
I wasn't completely convinced by the material either but that may a false impression, to be honest I didn't go much beyond some test fitting before giving up and trying something else.
Much of what makes a stick feel good and smooth in operation is related to how cleanly and smoothly the gears engage with each other so it's pretty critical. It's especially noticeably on my units where the cup and stick interaction is absolutely smooth.

--

I also attempted to salvage parts from the cloned aftermarket modules, specifically the almost genuine looking ones with the slightly flatter stick top. Those are a pretty good clone of the real thing but even those parts didn't really fit properly either.

--

I've ultimately found that in order to get a tight, smooth and "new" feel to these modules I have to refurbish the genuine axis pieces. No way around it as far as I'm aware at this stage.

It's not too bad though, they are relatively easy to return to straight, true and to correct tolerance even if they are quite heavily worn out. In order to get less than 1mm play on the stick ( especially in the horizontal axis) there really can't be much at all in the way of play between the stick contact surfaces and the gear arms. Just a hair before it binds is perfect, anything more and it propagates out resulting in a looser stick. I learned that the tolerances on the original n64 stick mechanics are pretty spectacular so it's no mean feat to reproduce these things in metal.

The refurb process involves a heat source (soldering iron works but hot air is better), some sanding sticks and a bit of time but it's totally worth it. I'll post up a how-to if people are interested.
I've been doing this type of thing for years but ultimately it was never really worth the effort as once the cup has worn out beyond a certain point even perfectly new gears won't bring the tightness back fully or restore the input range.

Here are some hall of fame members that are truly beyond help though!



I mean seriously that last one is worn right through, who in their right mind keeps playing once things get that bad?? :wacko:

--

I take my deadzone wiggle very seriously!



Don't want to over promise at this stage but I'm aiming to get a deadzone play of less than 1mm consistently on these modules. The example I posted above getting measured is around 0.9mm (That's full left to right play, so about half a mm either way) which I find is a really good amount of play. I may not quite be able to deliver on that over an entire :cussfit: but that's my target at the moment. In the last :cussfit: I got to that tightness on about 60% of the completed modules. It's just a combination of the right parts with the right tolerances playing in harmony. I have extensive notes ready for the next :cussfit: of machining to hopefully get me into an even better range.

Ultimately it's a bit silly to obsess over this stuff because it really doesn't influence play much at all on these joysticks. It's also inevitable that with extended play things loosen up a bit so it's a bit of a fools errand, I'd just like to start off with a deadzone that's as good as I can possibly get it. :)
wrote:Oh and if it's any use to you I could send you this :D

Btw. I'm from Germany so I'll probably dream about this analog stick tonight if I can even sleep. X_D
Hey, that's an exceptionally cool piece of kit, nicely done. Maybe we can do a swap? I'm in Switzerland so postage wouldn't be too bad.
wrote:
The mechanical repair, "fix", improvement, solution to the original N64 analogue stick degradation, is a dream.
It gives me no satisfaction to say, that I do not use the word "dream" here, in a positive sense.
Gentlemen, perhaps, after 20 years of trying, its time to forsake all hope in the repair of the original design.

Having said all that, LinusHofmann, I honestly hope that you prove me wrong. Best of luck :yeah:
Haha sounds like you've lost hope after all these years. :)
I certainly hope I can convince you, I wasn't convinced it was possible myself until very very recently! Like last friday! :rollseyes:




Quote
Like
Share

cell
Newbie
cell
Newbie
Joined: February 6th, 2016, 6:13 pm

February 18th, 2016, 9:52 pm #14

bluedogrulez wrote:@Cell: I get where you are coming from. You can't go all steel because them the optical wheel would not work, and as long as plastic is in the mix, it will wear.

But consider this:
--Steel Stick: Major improvement
--Steel bowl: Major improvement
--New X, Y Axis pieces from Kitch-Bent or really, really good ones harvested from existing sticks
--Ceramic grease use from Day 1.

I think that is a winning formula.
And theres the rub. Plastic, always at some link in the chain. The optical registration precludes metal X, Y Axis gears.
The grooves, in the plastic bowl where the gears rest, also wear.
I would certainly concede that this refurb could be part of a winning formula (the metal bowl has been on the modders wish-list for a long time)

The question remains for me: rebuild a structure on a bad foundation, that caused the structures collapse? Or, start with a new foundation.


Man, I really feel like im killing the happy buzz in this thread :bullet:
This is LinusHofmann's hard work, so im going to :pottymouth:-up, sit back and and remain hopeful like every one else :mario:




Quote
Like
Share

bluedogrulez
Guardian
Joined: March 8th, 2010, 9:20 pm

February 18th, 2016, 9:53 pm #15

That deadzone tolerance test picture is impressive. Love to know about your refurb process sometime. I've seen quite a few wacky ones of the years (crazy glue and paper strips :facepalm: ), but it sounds like you have a way to resurface the axis pieces.
Switch Friend Code: SW-0786-9287-1202 (bluedogBDR)
MK8Deluxe Tourney: N64Forever.com 2332-7277-8283
Nintendo Network ID: BDR2010 / Twitter: @bluedogrulez


Quote
Like
Share

LinusHofmann
Senior Member
LinusHofmann
Senior Member
Joined: January 20th, 2013, 6:54 am

February 18th, 2016, 10:45 pm #16

cell wrote:
bluedogrulez wrote:@Cell: I get where you are coming from. You can't go all steel because them the optical wheel would not work, and as long as plastic is in the mix, it will wear.

But consider this:
--Steel Stick: Major improvement
--Steel bowl: Major improvement
--New X, Y Axis pieces from Kitch-Bent or really, really good ones harvested from existing sticks
--Ceramic grease use from Day 1.

I think that is a winning formula.
And theres the rub. Plastic, always at some link in the chain. The optical registration precludes metal X, Y Axis gears.
The grooves, in the plastic bowl where the gears rest, also wear.
I would certainly concede that this refurb could be part of a winning formula (the metal bowl has been on the modders wish-list for a long time)

The question remains for me: rebuild a structure on a bad foundation, that caused the structures collapse? Or, start with a new foundation.


Man, I really feel like im killing the happy buzz in this thread :bullet:
This is LinusHofmann's hard work, so im going to :pottymouth:-up, sit back and and remain hopeful like every one else :mario:



You're making too much sense, we're playing/collecting 20 year old console games here. Sense need not apply! Hehe jk :D


Edit:

Decided to employ Spoiler tags here since it's not really relevant to the thread. Hopefully to avoid confusion.
[+] Spoiler

But it does sound like this may be more up your alley...?


-



Let's call it the Mk1 attempt.

But seriously I put a lot of thought into exactly what you are describing, how to make an indestructible joystick (based around the solid core of a modern potentiometer) but still maintain the unbeatable deadzone senitivity and very unique mapping and feel of Satans own thumbstick!

Getting the feel right is essentially a lost cause but I also put thought into that, say by shaving the internal friction components of a potentiometer to better simulate the slightly progressive resistance pickup of an N64 thumbstick. Pots still have that nasty higher resistance patch right around the deadzone that makes playing stuff like GE or PD really annoying. At least for me, that's something I can't get used to. Even with good mapping.

My attempt centered around using the pot only as a dead stick element, then jerry rig the original gear arms onto the axis bars to ensure that the input performance was identical to a real stick. It works, almost... playing shooters is really quite nice, almost perfect in terms of precision and all that. BUT there are many many issues that would have needed to be solved. Like getting the full range consistently out of a 60degree pot just isn't doable in both axes (I already had to drill open the case on this particular unit), mounting the gears to the pot shafts is really dodgy and probably won't last etc etc.

So anyway, once I started thinking about how to eliminate the issues through remaking original parts out of better materials and saw the first few prototypes I put this first idea aside and never looked back.
But you sound like you might be more interested in something along these lines so have fun reverse engineering it. If you like a bit of tinkering it results in quite a decent joystick in the end...just not perfect. ;)




Quote
Like
Share

Rocky
Senior Member
Rocky
Senior Member
Joined: May 5th, 2015, 5:37 am

February 19th, 2016, 12:28 am #17

Fantastic work Linus! You seem to have a great engineering background to make replacements this beautiful/functional. If you ever need a tester for I'd be glad to help!
Quote
Like
Share

Bamboozled
Veteran
Joined: March 26th, 2015, 1:08 am

February 19th, 2016, 1:13 am #18

This is a pretty cool project!
An N64 thumbstick that never wears out... :blink: Mind-boggling!

Quote
Like
Share

Cabanon
Elite
Joined: May 8th, 2011, 11:57 pm

February 19th, 2016, 1:54 am #19

I like this man.
Quote
Like
Share

sanni
Senior Member
sanni
Senior Member
Joined: February 21st, 2012, 1:47 pm

February 19th, 2016, 5:35 pm #20

Just finished your Controller Tester, I hope you like it. :)









Quote
Like
Share