It is my intention to replace the X-Arcade with a custom panel down the line, and the cab's been designed with this intention in mind but for now, it's X-Arcade all the way.
However, the joysticks in the X-Arcade are not of the best quality and I felt that they needed to be changed to provide more comfortable controls. I did some research and found that, with a little filing down, the Sanwa JLW joysticks will be a perfect match. I ordered up some JLW-UM8s from Gremlin Solutions and this weekend, they were fitted into the X-Arcade.
On the left is the mess of wires inside the X-Arcade when it's first opened. On the right you can see a comparison shot of the Sanwa joystick and the X-Arcade joystick.
Both joysticks removed. The holes are routed into the base of the control panel, and the Sanwa mounting plates are around 6mm too long to fit in. However, all the mounting holes match up so it's just a case of filing down the excess. On the right, the Sanwa plates are mounted to the old X-Arcade stick base to use as a template for filing down.
The whole assembly is placed in the workmate and Dad uses the angle grinder to get most of the edge filed down.
Then, just a little more hand filing is required to get the perfect match. The joystick is then screwed back on to the mounting plate and is ready to be fitted to the panel!