Often, you will have several options to personalize your control panel, such as button layout, removal of control panel or screws in some models, button label etching, and text etching.
Cut Button Inserts
Pushbutton manufacturers such as Sanwa, Seimitsu, Crown and GamerFinger have each produced specific models with a clear or translucent plastic cap and flat plunger. These are often used to display a graphical insert, allowing you to enhance the button's appearance. That said, each button manufacturer has designed the artwork cap with a different diameter than their competitors. For example, GamerFinger's artwork cap has a diameter that is slightly larger than Seimitsu or Sanwa. An insert cut for a Sanwa artwork cap will fit loosely when inserted into the GamerFinger artwork cap. This is an undesirable result that can produce a white or colored ring around the insert.
Now, you can choose the button insert cut to match the pushbutton you intend to use. This allows the insert to fit snugly within the cap.
Brands and Model with Artwork Caps
In some instances, a button brand or model does not have a 24mm equivalent with art cap. In this case, we will cut to the default size of Sanwa 24mm insert.
Please note that if you later intend to purchase a different button, you may need to get new button inserts or new artwork. If you are uncertain which button you may choose, Sanwa is chosen by default.
24 vs 30mm
When processing orders, a frequent mistake we found among new players is choosing the wrong size for action buttons, such as punch and kick.
Within the fighting game genre, Japanese arcade buttons commonly consist of two diameter sizes: 24 millimeter and 30 milllimeter (mm). In most configurations, 30mm represents your action button. These are front facing, appearing most prominent on your Fightstick control panel. Option button, such as "Start", "Select", or more recently "Option", "Touch", or "Share" are usually 24mm.
UPDATE: Owners of Neo Geo AES Joysticks will need 24mm pushbuttons instead of 30mm (Thanks SRK's DEZALB)
Below is a visual representation of a common Fightstick control panel. Throughout this article, we will mark 24mm in green, and 30mm in Orange.
Checking the Proper Size
Another way that players can misinterpret the pushbutton size is by measuring the pushbutton plunger. Have a look at the diagram at right.
The plunger - the part that you press down to represent an input - is 25mm or a bit smaller in most 30mm pushbuttons. Often this leads to the conclusion that one needs a 24mm button and not 30mm.
Similarly measuring the button rim can lead to confusion, as it is intentionally larger than the button hole it is placed in. You don't want to use these measurements. Instead, review the button housing diameter, or the hole the button will be placed in. You can do this with a caliper - a digital caliper is often quite helpful for this and other arcade-related projects.
Control Panel Configuration
Most Fightsticks from MadCatz, Hori, Qanba, and similar will use these two sizes. How the buttons are used will depend on the model joystick that you own. Over time, we'll provide example configurations for specific popular Fightstick models and arcade cabinets using the color key for 24mm (green) and 30mm (orange). We'll also expand the key for future models if another size is introduced, and we offer for sale.