Joystick Replacement Picade 2018 Version


I’m looking to upgrade the joystick in my 2018 Picade. Has anyone done this and what joystick did you use? I’m looking for a drop in replacement but i can’t seem to find anyone that has a matching mounting plate.

Here are two common Japanese joysticks that have a vertical, centered mounting plate:

Seimitsu LS-56-VF

Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT

There are measurements in the links too.

One other possible option is swapping the mounting plate from the included Picade joystick onto another replacement one. The Sanwa JLF has a similar mount to its plate, but I’m unsure of the original’s dimensions since it’s locked away in the Picade.


Well, it looks like I’m on my own on this one, let the testing begin.

Just to give some background, I play a lot of SHMUPS (shoot-em ups) and having a tight and heavy stick with an octagonal gate (restrictor plate) is generally preferable. At first I was going to try a Seimitsu LS-56 (because it has a heavier throw and tighter actuation), but it looks like that would be a bit more work for the Picade. Instead I’m planning on trying a Sanwa JLF with a larger actuator and heavier spring.

I spent some time today trying to figure this all out. From what I can tell, the stick included with the Picade is a Sanwa JLF clone. I extracted an actual Sanwa JLF from my Japanese arcade cabinet and the stick from my completed Picade and did some comparisons and the measurements seem to be very close. I’ve recorded some of the noticeable differences below:

  1. JLF allows for gate exchange while the Picade stick is stuck with a square gate
  2. The shafts are slightly different - JLF is around 43mm total length and Picade is around 44mm.
  3. The top screw for the ball/battop is slightly longer on the JLF (~10.2mm JLF vs 10mm Picade)
  4. The wiring is the same so none of the wiring should need altering!
  5. The JLF has a tighter spring taking more force to activate a direction
  6. The ball top that is included with the Picade seems to fit the JLF just fine

The one thing I’m not sure about is whether the mounting plate attached to the Picade stick is a clone of the Sanwa JLF-P1 plate included with Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT sticks. If it is, that would be great because then you can just drop the Sanwa in, plug in the cable and be good to go. If not then you’ll need to remove the mounting plate from the Picade stick and mount it to the JLF which is slightly more work, but not too bad. I will be ordering an official Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT shortly so I’ll respond once more after I’ve received it and installed it.

Here are some images showing the two side by side (the one with the plate is the Picade stick):

Edit: looks like Pimoroni is only allowing me one image per post, oh well, more to follow.


Trying separate replies for the rest of the images:


That seems to work:


Last one for now:


Update, a Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT is an exact replacement for the included Picade stick. I upgraded mine with a 2lb spring, larger actuator, octagonal gate, and bat top and it feels great! I also threw in some Gamerfinger buttons which are of exceptional quality and are nearly silent.

I get the feeling a Seimitsu stick may also fit with an adapter plate but that’s still untested.

I have other things I’d like to try, like setting up a Picade with a vertically oriented screen, but for now I’m happy with the state of my Picade. 🙂



Thanks for this info. Very useful.

Do you think that a Sanwa restrictor plate (the whole assembly, not just the centre gate) could be fitted to the stock Picade joystick?

Also, please keep us all posted if you manage to find a good way to change the orientation of the screen.


In response to my own question, in case anyone else is wondering: yes - the Sanwa GT-8F gate/restrictor shown above does fit perfectly onto the stock (new) Picade joystick.


I was just about to reply but it looks like you have your answer already. To add, getting the restrictor plate off of the included joystick is pretty tough, tougher than a real JLF I think. Once you do you can slide a new one on, but during testing, for me, I had to really squeeze it on as the little plastic nubs that go into the small holes in the microswitches are slightly smaller than on real JLF microswitches. Anyway, I’m glad you got it worked out.

In regards to a vertical Picade, it should be possible but would take cutting in to the acrylic screen guides to accommodate a rotate screen. You’d likely have to secure the LCD driver board differently too, possible some adhesive would be good enough. Also, you would need a different screen bezel. Lastly, you’d need to configure the software to run rotated. I’ve read that using Attract Mode is one of the better ways of doing this as you don’t want to introduce extra rotation and you still want a vertical UI.