Servostik, led lighting, display replacement.. too many questions! :)

I have just ordered from a german seller a Picade kit.
I have been using MAME for years and this machine would be mostly dedicated
to playing old arcade games; I already have a full-size, a mid-size and a micro-size Mame machine (Wiz-based), I’m missing the mini-size! :)


  1. I’m used to have the joystick on the right and the buttons on the left;
    is it possible to just turn over the upper part of the console? I would need to redo
    the artwork anyway, so this is not a problem…
  2. what about exchanging the standard joystick with an Ultimarc Servostik?
    Would it fit inside? Anybody did that? I would hide a switch under the bezel, to activate it, or I could use RGBCommander (even though I don’t know where to start looking to insert the command-line for switching…); on my big control panel I have two Ultrastik 360, I have read that another user has installed one of this joystick in the Picade, but I’m not sure it is the best choice on the Raspberry PI (I have written my own utility on Windows to change maps on the fly, but I have not been programming on Linux for many years);
  3. talking about RGBCommander, I could consider changing the buttons with RGB
    Ultralux buttons from Ultimarc, so I would need also a PacLED64 and maybe a separate 5V power supply; suggestions?
  4. I’m considering an upgrade from the 8" LCD to a 12.1" LCD; I found this one: I should add a 12 V PSU, but apart from that do you think it will do the job?
  5. hlsl filters: I have seen that AdvMame has a few filters; is it the preferred
    emulator, when it comes at emulating CRT effects? mame4all-pi is faster, but there are also lr-mame2003, lr-mame2010, fba… I’m a little lost!

Thank you for your answers.

here are some answers for you hope they are of help:

  1. yes you can flip the control panel and acrylic cover. it should work ok. obviously you will need to reprint some artwork. the button spread would be reversed though.

  2. you can change to whatever joystick you want there loads of space underneath. I have changed to a sanwa stick. servostick would fit OK (its just a sanwa with a servo attached)

  3. you can add RGB buttons. not sure on interfacing whatever controller with Emulation Station / Retropie… or whatever program you are using. I just have standard illuminated buttons running 12v led’s

  4. the 12.1 screen will work fine… i’m using the same one. just had to set the hdmi_drive=2 and hdmi_mode=16 in config.txt to force 1024x768 that the monitor supports

  5. not sure on HLSL filters - haven’t played with them myself on the picade


Thank you Mike, very helpful!

I have two Sanwa Jlf on my existing bartop and they do work very well; the Servostick is a Sanwa Jlw, I guess it will be comfortable too…
I’m tempted to do just as you did, permanent lighting (and a rocker switch under the marquee to switch the servostick between 4 and 8 way). RGBCommander seems promising, but for now I’ll grab the 12 inches screen and wait for the parts to arrive and then I’ll decide if taking the easy route or fiddling with scripts and settings. I’m unsure about the voltage for the LEDs; Ultralux buttons are available in 5V or 12V, are they any different in brightness (if you had the chance to see both)?


Couple of items to consider, now I’ve rechecked the control panel.
The Sanwa stick I had to drill 2X holes on the mounting plate make it fit… a two minute job.

The main issue is the ultralux buttons at the sides would be too deep and would snag the main buttons and joystick.

As for voltage both 12v and 5v are fine, but I would run with 12v and leave the 5v Psu just for powering the pi.


Thanks for the hints!
The Picade is on its way, I’ll put it together temporarily with the original parts and make some measurements. I downloaded the template for the Servostik from Andy’s website. Drilling a few holes is not a problem; for the buttons, I might light up just the top (and maybe the front) buttons plus the joystick, I’ll see what fits. I will post my progresses, in case they’re useful to somebody else…


Hi Simone,

I’ve done a fair bit of modding to my Picade including swapping out the joystick and buttons and lighting up the marquee (the top part with the Picade logo).

The joystick I went with was the Sanwa JLF-TM-8T and didn’t require any changes at all to the mounting holes or bracket on the joystick. It’s a great joystick and I’d highly recommend it.

For the buttons, I went with Sanwa ones: illuminated PSL-30N ones for the console - which work on 5v, so don’t require a separate power supply and have the shortest depth of any illuminated buttons I’ve seen - and PS-14-KNs for all of the rest.

You can read some more about my mods here and here.

Keep us updated with how you get on!

Thanks Sandy, I love your mods, great work!
I know very well the JLFs, actually on my current bartop I’m using them (together with Ultralux buttons).
Their mounting plate is narrower than the JLW, so I see why Mike had to drill new holes.
I modded my JLF so that I can easily switch (from below) between 4 and 8 way, but surely the servostik would be a better solution.
I’m planning to use a usb white led strip for the marquee (I need to cut a frosted back for letting the light shine through) and maybe another RGB usb strip for light under the basement; they will be powered by a USB hub that has a 4A 12 V power supply, that I will be using also to power up the display. I will be adding a UPS Pico stack, drill and install a temporary switch on the back of the Picade for safe power-off. Still working on the artwork :)