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iCade button customisation.

09-12-2011, 02:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 17
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.

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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.

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Push down the metal connectors and then attach the wires.

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Last edited by Squid123; 09-12-2011 at 03:36 PM.
09-13-2011, 03:43 AM
Joined: 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.

09-13-2011, 04:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 17
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.

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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.
09-13-2011, 09:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,575
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).
09-14-2011, 05:11 AM
Joined: 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 04:28 AM.
09-15-2011, 04:46 AM
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....
09-22-2011, 10:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 102
I opened it up yesterday, and placed an order after a few tests.
I went with what is called "full-Sanwa": 8 OSBF-30 buttons, and a JLF-TP stick (and an extra orthogonal gate, since I love those).

Here's what I modified:
- the holes are 28mm, the Sanwa buttons require 30mm. I used a pair of scissors and sandpaper to enlarge the holes a couple of millimeters. I tried with one of my old Sanwa buttons, it fits perfectly. The "crown" is smaller too, and they're very soft and quiet.
- for the stick, I don't have it yet, but it uses a 5-pin connector with 5 cables (up, down, left, right, ground). I'll cut the current cables, and use a screw terminal (those chocolate bar thingies) to join the cables. Since I would probably screw up any soldering attempt.

I also plan to make templates for side, bottom and panel art, so that I can go to a Kinko's equivalent and print new art. I'll keep you posted if you want them.
09-22-2011, 11:00 AM
Very interested to hear how you get on with the stick change.

Wouldn't mind new art either...
09-25-2011, 01:41 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 102
Okay, got them on Saturday, and upgraded right away.

First, enlarging the holes: the sandpaper worked fine, and having a Sanwa button alongside to test, I managed to do the 8 of them in about an hour.

I also enlarged the hole for the stick a little bit (it was a few mm too small), and most importantly, I rotated the PCB 90° by:
- removing the gate restrictor
- removing the PCB, and putting it back after turning it,
- put back the gate restrictor.
I put the terminal on top, but you can also choose to direct it to the bottom (just invert the directions in the next step).


For the stick cables, I checked the cables, and put this terminal:

Black cable of any direction is used as the common ground, and white for each direction.

Then, voilą, it was done!

I also spent the weekend on making a template for the sides, the panel at the bottom and the control panel. I'll do another post when those are here.

Last edited by Nudgenudge; 09-25-2011 at 01:47 PM.
01-02-2012, 12:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Any chance on anyone making a video for how to swap these out? I'd love to do this just wanna make sure I don't screw it up.