I was browsing eBay and found a SUZO 500 that had gray plastic at the base instead of the red I normally find in arcade parts stores online. I know that joystick guru Kowal has mentioned that there used to exist an older revision of these sticks that had a rubber grommet doing all the shaft centering instead of that poor plastic pivot piece that’s in use in the “red versions” with the hard springs.
I contacted the seller and he informed me that this was indeed the rubber grommet version. I immediately bought one and it arrived a couple of days ago. I promptly installed it into one of my EGRET II cabinets, switching out a “red version” SUZO 500 with a custom shaft. The rubber version came with CHERRY microswitches that has a bit bigger connectors than the OMRON I had installed, so I just took the middle part (with the switches) from the spring SUZO and put it on the rubber one (all parts seem to be perfectly interchangeable btw) and it’s now installed in my cabinet. Sometime when I have some daylight available (Sweden feels like it’s dark almost 24 hrs a day when you have a dayjob) I’ll try to shoot a short video of the stick’s performance.
I took a couple of pictures of the stick while I changed the shaft and switch base, one with an “exploded view” showing all the parts (notice how the plastic on the shaft has a way smaller ball than the newer spring based 500’s):
And here’s a close up of the rubber grommet:
I wonder if there’s some rubber pice available that could be used for the newer 500’s or perhaps even other stick brands. It would be interesting to try a Seimitsu with a rubber grommet. 🙂