More SUZO 500 modding

Fans of the SUZO 500 stick might have noticed that the shaft doesn’t center properly due to the pivot being a couple of mm’s short of filling the hole in the base. Monouchi (a Swedish guy who did the incredible Do-Donpachi Daifukkatsu stick that you might have seen online) solved this by adding some heat shrink tubing to the pivot. Polish joystick guru Kowal made his own pivot part from steel. I found my own solution for this – just pop an O-ring on the pivot and it fits perfectly, doesn’t wiggle around anymore and the friction from the O-ring against the base is negligible. A 5 minute job if you have the O-ring at hand.

SUZO 500 - "O-ring mod"

SUZO 500 - "O-ring mod" (custom shaft with chrome shaft cover of course)

One other mod I’ve been wanting to try is using a softer spring than the very stiff original one. Sure, it feels nice with a tight stick, but for longer sessions your hand can get tired.

The best way (I’ve been told) is to heat up the original spring, then compress it, but it seems a bit drastic to me as reversing such a mod might be cumbersome. So, I took a JLF spring I had laying around, an LS-32 dust washer and after cutting some of the washer away with a regular pair of scissors, it works pretty well as a washer for the SUZO 500’s security clip.

In my picture below it looks like the clip is barely stuck in the groove, but it actually sits there. I might try a regular e-clip when I find a metal washer with a 10 mm hole that I can put there instead of the cut up dust washer.

SUZO 500 - "Light spring mod" (custom shaft, JLF spring + new washer)

SUZO 500 - "Light spring mod" (custom shaft, JLF spring + new washer)

I haven’t mounted the stick in my panel yet to try it properly, but it feels very nice with this spring. The downside though is that it allows you to pull the shaft upwards for about 10 mm’s, which might put more tension on the O-ring mod than I’m comfortable with.

Update: Found a nice washer in the hardware store:

SUZO 500 with Sanwa JFL spring + metal washer

SUZO 500 with Sanwa JFL spring + metal washer

Some guys at a Swedish forum and I are discussing the build a new arcade stick case in metal, so I might put this in there for some proper testing once that one is ready to assemble. The SUZO 500 was my premium shmups stick of choice, but now the FrancoB modded LS-32 and my Virtstick are hard to beat so I *need* somewhere else to put the SUZO. I’m gonna keep looking for a better washer as well as a more fitting spring, but the JLF one is a good start.

In other news, I just finished the last down-payment for another shmup PCB for my collection. Hint: it’s the Japanese B version.  😀

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