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Old 09-12-2011, 03:35 PM
Squid123 Squid123 is offline
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iPad (3rd Gen), iOS 5.x
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 17
Default iCade button customisation.

I found the iCade buttons far too noisy and clicky so I've replaced the microswitches with GroovyGameGear's micro-leaf microswitches. They replace the iCade's microswitches using the original buttons so it is easy to do.

The difference is dramatic, they feel like original arcade leaf buttons, i.e. quiet, quick and no click. Now I've done those the joystick could do with the switches replacing but these micro-leaf ones don't fit that.

Here's what the button wiring looks like. It's simply a matter of removing the microswitches and replacing them with the micro-leaf switches.

IMG_0026 2.jpg

To attach the new micro-leaf's attach one end vertically, push down the switches metal arm with something like a screwdriver, otherwise the metal arm may break, and turn the micro-leaf until it clicks into the other mount.

IMG_0031 2.JPG

IMG_0032 2.JPG

Push down the metal connectors and then attach the wires.

IMG_0028 2.JPG

Last edited by Squid123; 09-12-2011 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:43 AM
Nudgenudge Nudgenudge is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 102

Just a few more questions:
- which size are the buttons? 24mm or 30mm?
- are they snap-in or screw-in? They look screw-in, but I may be wrong.

I know you just changed the switches, but since I see plugs (and a standard stick), I may change the whole set altogether.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:42 AM
Squid123 Squid123 is offline
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Think they're 24mm. They are standard screw on bolts. I did buy some "Arcade Prime" buttons from GGG with the micro-leafs but the buttons were a bit too long for the case. Here's a comparison pic with the original iCade button on the left.


I'm guessing the joystick is a standard fit. I would like a quieter one, but I think just the microswitches could be changed for quieter ones, GGG do some but I don't know how much quieter they would be and they'd need soldering on.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:59 AM
crunc crunc is offline
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Is it possible to make the stick 4-way instead of 8-way? That would be much better for a lot of retro games. Err... actually I'm just presuming it's 8-way. I don't have an iCade (yet).
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:11 AM
Nudgenudge Nudgenudge is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 102

Dunno about this particular joystick, but the restrictor gate (the transparent plastic part) seems similar to a Sanwa joystick.
In that case, restricting it to 4-way is pretty simple: pop the transparent part (push the little black prongs for it), and re-push it after turning it 45 (the square where the stick rests should be a diamond now).

Tada, 4-way stick.

edit: I opened my iCade, the stick/gate do not allow this. You'll have to change the gate, and maybe the stick. And this requires soldering.

And for Squid123: I found another thread on Shoryuken which details the button references. And on Lizardlick, they even give the dimensions.
I may have to Dremel a bit the button holes to add 30mm ones. Or try to see if 24mm can fit okay.

Last edited by Nudgenudge; 09-15-2011 at 05:28 AM..
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:46 AM
uczmeg uczmeg is offline
iPhone 4S, iOS 5.x
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 96

Thanks for this. The clicking of the buttons drove me a bit mad.

I've just ordered a set of switches as this seems like a technical modification I can manage!

Now let's see how long they take to ship to the UK....
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:28 PM
anthonyplep anthonyplep is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1

Hello everyone. I've been looking at this thread for a little and upon all the pages I didn't see anyone with this problem:

I got the switches mentioned in the first post, and installed them all fine, moved all the prongs and stuff down and everything. My problem that I'm having is getting the icade to close. It does not close very easily, you have to force it down a lot, and if it is tightly closed the 4 corner buttons don't seem to respond. Any suggestions? I was thinking about just screwing in half of the screws in the spots they'd need to be in the most but I'd prefer to get it to close correctly. Thanks

EDIT: I believe it was just the way the wires were going into the case, but its definitely fixed I'd say. All the buttons work nicely when closed tight now

Last edited by anthonyplep; 02-12-2013 at 08:46 PM.. Reason: Found the problem
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:27 AM
m44 m44 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 372

I just finished up my iCade modding. I got a good deal on the 6 Sanwa buttons. I may replace the other 2 and add a power switch eventually.

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Old 04-25-2013, 12:33 AM
Connector Connector is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
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Good thread! Linked to the hdmi table of contents.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:26 PM
mrtank mrtank is offline
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iPad 2, iOS 6.x
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I've read this whole thread and it has answered 95% of my questions, I just have a couple things i'm confused on...

1. I read that the 30mm buttons require sanding, and that the iCade's default are apparently would the 24mm buttons be too small or require wood putty? if so I'm gonna go with the 30mm.

2. A few people mentioned the 20 gram buttons being nice and quiet, I am looking on eBay for my buttons and can't see the 20 gram mentioned anywhere, are the 30mm ones just 20 gram as standard?

3. I also read someone somewhere mentioned 'make sure you check the blah blah secure before removing the screws' or something...but wasn't sure what they were on about, can someone post a photo please? or was it on the joystick? either way, whats the important bit to check first that someone mentioned? ha.

4. If you get a Sanwa joystick that has the metal plate still, how hard is that to remove?

If I can get these answered i'll probably film the fitting etc so there will be a video for everyone else.

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