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:: Hori DOA4 arcade stick - Ikaruga mod ::
 
This guide shows how to replace the Hori buttons on an Xbox 360 DOA4 stick with Seimitsu screw-in buttons. For a more general guide to modding Hori sticks, see these links:

http://forums.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=136372
http://forums.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=140160
http://www.neo-geo.com/forums/showthread.php?t=179535

Here's the stick with the guts removed and the new artwork applied to the top plate.
The artwork is printed on a vinyl sticker. Kinkos print these at A4 size for AU$15. It's thin enough to cut with a scalpel and scissors, then you just have to stick it to the top plate carefully and cut out the holes. Download this template if you want to make your own art. If you print this on an A4 page it will be exactly the right size.

To get the Seimitsu screw-in buttons to fit you need to remove some plastic from the top of the case...

First grind off the tabs inside the button holes with a Dremel (you can see them in the template image above). Then screw the buttons into the top plate, then screw the top plate onto the case. There isn't room to get your fingers in there to screw in the buttons after the top plate has been attached, which means you can't stick your artwork on top of the screws.

Next solder the buttons to the board. The original button layout for the Fighting Stick EX 2 is like this...

B X Y
A L R

but I prefer a more traditional button layout like this...

X Y R
A B L

so I wired them up the way I like it, as you can see in the next photo...

The Seimitsu buttons are longer than the original Hori ones, so you'll need to bend the connectors on the two buttons that are under the main PCB, otherwise the bottom plate won't fit back on.

Even with the connectors bent, some components on the PCB and some of the wires can touch the metal base plate, so cover it with tape to prevent any short circuits.

If you want to add a shaft cover you'll also need a wider disc (pictured on the right). I had to shorten the shaft cover to get it to fit the standard Hori stick. Attach the disc, shaft cover and replacement ball-top before screwing on the base plate, as you need to secure the base of the joystick with a screwdriver to screw on the ball-top.

Cover up those unsightly screws with plastic screw-caps. They're available in hardware stores.

The end result...

For a final Ikaruga touch I painted the Xbox guide button black.

All the parts I used are available at Lizard Lick Amusements.
Conor O'Kane - 11/11/2008