To get started, you’re going to need an assortment of parts and tools. Episode 1 reviews a majority of them:
For the obligatory unpacking video, see Episode 2.
In episode three, you’ll see how to begin mounting the first of your parts, the Neutrik USB and RJ45 ports. While this project uses two USB and one RJ45 (USB for the Magenta and Universal Fighting Board, RJ45 for the Retro board), your project will likely not need as many. The USB connectors are rarely used (mostly to run updates on their respective connections) as the UFB and Retro are connected together.
In this, you’ll see how to combine the Neutrik port, a gasket, and the Neutrix SCDX cover together. The SCDX is optional (and some may not care for the look), but the gasket is highly recommended (or Buttercade’s surround works well too)
Episode four covers how to mount screw-in buttons, which is fairly easy. Snap-in buttons are also an option, of course. This project uses eight action buttons, and eight option buttons (most projects will only need six, or three if there’s no need for L3, R3, and Touchpad buttons).
Next up, there are three switches to mount; tournament lockout, stick select, and Retro/UFB select. AFS does have a couple options for sides that include those first two, but I went with standard three button holes for both sides. Because of this, there are some modifications that need to be done.
The next episode covers how to mount the PCBs (Retro & UFB). With the dual-mod unifier cables and the height of the classic (not Happ or Universal) AFS case, you can’t stack the two directly on top of each other with the stock mount, so I use an offset method that’s still quite secure. With a larger plate you should be able to use the a series of stands to secure the other half of the retro board.
Because I went with the Magenta and The Link, there are some modifications and add-ons you can do. I haven’t seen any documentation on installing The Link base into a Magenta, so that’s included too. Otherwise, mounting the joystick isn’t that hard; you may want to insert some washers or nuts to adjust the height for your particular lever. Keep in mind that if you use a Korean lever you will need the appropriate button plate, acrylic, mounting plate, and connector cable.
Time for the longest sections here: Making cables. While I did end up purchasing the mod kits that included pre-made cables, these videos will show you how to use JST-PH, Dupont, and quick disconnect connectors, heat shrink, and PET cable wrap. I also make a few cables that aren’t supplied by Arcade Shock and the like.
To be fair, you can absolutely skip a lot of this if you’re not interested in adding the optional switches or sleeving cables. I wanted to take full advantage of the Brook board’s capabilities, however.
Here’s something on how I built the LED status panel present now in both of my sticks. It’s…functional, though I’m sure there are better options (for one, it could be setup so it’s more easily removed if needed). I used E10 sockets and 3.3v LED bulbs here.
Time to connect everything together. With eight action buttons, eight option buttons, three switches, a joystick, and the unifier kit, the cables get messy in a hurry. Zip ties and the sticky clips I mentioned in episode one can help manage it to a degree, but I’ll never have one of those super clean builds that people spend days on, haha.
And that’s about it! All told, this project took around 20-30 hours, though a lot of that was making mistakes, redoing them, finding something I didn’t like, fretting about it, fixing it, realizing the fix wasn’t that great, trying it again, and finally getting something that (mostly) works.