Introduction: Project Diva FT/CT Arcade Controller

About: Rockets, electronics,, laser cutters, weeb stuff. Everything a growing boy needs.

Hey You! Go check out my website, it will have updates on this and all of my other projects TT3D.XYZ

Story Time:

If you have played any games in the Project Diva series, you probably know that playing on a cramped controller or even the small HORI mini controller is less than ideal. The Project Diva games for PSP, PSV, PS3, and PS4 are all based off the arcade cabinet which is almost exclusive to Japan. Because of this, it is almost impossible to get the real experience of playing on an arcade without either living in Asia or select parts of Califoria. When Project Diva Future Tone and Colorful Tone were announced as being a direct port of the arcade song note charts, I went out and got a PS4 and per-ordered the game bundle. This was not enough, I needed the most realistic home arcade experience possible.

About the controller:

This controller is an acrylic framed controller based off similar designs used by players of fighting games for their fighting sticks. A lot of research was done on the Shoryuken forums for construction and part information so check them out.

The electronics used on this controller is the Brook PS3/PS4 Fighting Board so it can be used for Project Diva games on the PS3 but I am not sure how the touch pad function will work for stars.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

Required acrylic material:

2x 24"X12" Cast Acrylic Sheet (Color of your choice, I chose turquoise for no reason at all)

1x 24"X10" Clear Cast Acrylic Sheet (AR1 abrasive resistant acrylic from TAP plastics is nice)

Something for the bottom but I haven't designed that yet.

As well as the following arcade controls:

*Note, these are the genuine controls used and are quite expensive, generic controls can be used and will fit this design as long as the buttons are 30mm or less (24mm for the start button) generic 100mm buttons such as the ones from Adafruit (which are the same as found on Alibaba) do fit very well and are 1/4 of the cost.*


6x Sanwa OBSF-30 (controller has space for up to 10) (can be substituted for generic 30mm)

1X Sanwa OBSF-24 (yellow) (can be substituted for generic 24mm)

4X Sanwa OBSA-100UMQ (Can be substituted for generic)

10x Sanwa OBSF-24TR (Only 4 are required, 10 for ease of use)

1x Brook PS3/PS4 Fight Board

1x Paradise Arcade fight board breakout board.

Misc electronics and fasteners:

1X 30 connector daisy chain ground (makes wiring the ground easier)

4x Screw in PCB fasteners (for the PA breakout board)

10x AT-110 Crimp connectors

16x .110 wire leads

16x .187 wire leads

1x Neutrik Panel Mount USB

1x USB A-A cable (for the connection between the controller and PS4)

1x 1ft USB A-B cable

1x USB A female to B male adapter

26x 14mm M3 bolts

10x 16mm M3 bolts

4x 10mm M3 bolts

44x M3 Nuts (5.5mm width, 2.5mm height max)


Small zip ties

Clear decal paper (for button graphics)

4x Sanwa Lightbulb 194 (for the 100mm buttons, not needed if using generic 100mm buttons)

8x .25 crimp connectors

1x 17.5mm / 3/4" Power Switch (to control button and/or case lighting) (Radio Shack)

1x 11mm / 7/16" Panel Mount DC Power Connector (for powering 12V lamps and/or case lighting)

Step 2: Cutting the Acrylic Sheets

All up to date files are available on the Thingiverse page.

NOTE: If you are using CorelDraw to cut the parts, I have layouts already designed to for the 24x12 sheets on Thingiverse

For this step, you will need the one clear acrylic sheet and two colored sheets (The base panel sheet has not been designed yet) The files are available as both DWG and DXF for better compatibility with your LASER cutter. For the Epilog 40W LASER cutter I used, my settings were Speed 15%, Power 100%, Frequency 5000Hz. The cardboard the acrylic was shipped in makes a great test piece for double checking your laser cutter and files before cutting your plastic.

With the clear sheet you will be cutting:

1x Face(Clear) (do not confuse with FaceBase)

With the color sheets you will be cutting:

1x Back wall

1x FaceBase(Turquoise) (Do not confuse with Face)

1X FrontWall

2x SideWalls

8x Corner Bracket

8x FaceBracket

1x Center Face Bracket

Step 3: Acrylic Assembly

For this step you will need

10x 16mm M3 machine screws

26x 14mm M3 machine screws

40x M3 nuts.

TIP: Use the 3D model as a reference for assembly, make your frame look just like the picture.

Step 1: Corner Brackets

Before starting in the Back Wall, attach the 4 plastic PCB standoffs with 4X M3 bolts and nuts with them parallel to the piece but pointing towards each other as shown in the picture.

Install the 8 corner brackets into the sides of the Front Wall and Back Wall as shown using 8 of the 14mm bolts and nuts. Make note of the orientation of the rear wall as it only goes one way. Do not tighten the bolts too much, leave them loose enough so the pieces have a little play (back off 1/4 turn from finger tight)

Step 2: Face Brackets

Install the 10 Face Brackets into the Front Wall, Back Wall, and SideWalls using 10 of the 14mm bolts and nuts. The "fingers" insert into the piece while the flat edge points up as shown in the picture. Again, make sure not to tighten the bolts too much.

Step 3: Side Walls:

Attach the side walls to the Front and Back walls as shown using 8 of the 14mm bolts and nuts. The frame should be loose enough to wobble slightly but not enough for the bolts to pop out.

Step 4: The two faces.

Place your sub assembly on a table and place the FaceBase (opaque) down first and then the Face (translucent) down on top of that as shown in the reference picture. Using the same technique for assembly as before, line up the panels with the brackets and install the 10x 18mm bolts and nuts.

Step 5: Crank it all down

Not really, you don't want to crack the acrylic. Just make sure everything is tight enough to not loosen up over time. You can use a weak thread locker to keep the bolts in place but due to the nature of the nut retention design, it mar crack the acrylic if you decide to take the frame apart.

When complete, it should look like the picture above.

Step 4: Installing the Buttons

The buttons are fairly simple to install, the 30mm and 24mm buttons just snap into place, make sure to line them up with the rectangular cutouts. Also be sure you push them in straight or they may get stuck, if you push too hard when stuck you may crack the acrylic.

The 100mm buttons are a little different as they screw in. Remove the threaded nut and plate from the button and line the button up with the notches in the acrylic, it will lay flat when seated correctly. Slide the plate onto the threads and then tighten with the plastic nut to secure the button in place and repeat with the other 3. Depending on your buttons the switch either just pushes and snaps into place (Sanwa) or rotates slightly (generic), just be sure not to apply too much force as they don't take much to pop in.

The 24mm Triangle buttons go in the slanted rectangles, make sure to install them as shown in the pictures.

Step 5: Control Board, USB, Switch, and Power

The control board screws into the 4 PCB standoffs on the Back Wall that were installed earlier using the 4 screws included with the board. Be aware that one of the screws may hit the plastic on one of the block connectors, there is not much interference and once it starts threading, it will go into place.

The USB jack will install using the 2 included screws with the face plate of it on the outside of the frame. (note, I got the white rubber surround separate, it will not be included normally)

The switch installs by removing the plastic nut, placing the switch through the wall, and securing with the nut again.

The DC power jack installs the same way as the switch but with an added lock washer, place the washer between the frame and the nut on the inside of the controller.

Step 6: Wiring the Controller: Part 1, Buttons

Place a towel or clean rag on your table or work surface to avoid scratching of the controller. Turn the controller upside down on the table and start the fun fun process of wiring it up. I have a sorta-kinda color code system that you can try to follow but the wiring is as follows:

GROUND, every button gets the daisy chain ground wire to one of the two terminals (the 100 mm buttons will be on a different daisy chain)

DOWN, UP, LEFT, and RIGHT are wired to the four 30mm buttons in the top left corner.

OPTIONS is wired to the yellow 24mm start button

HOME is wired to the right of the two 30mm buttons in the top right

SELECT is wired to the left of the two 30mm buttons in the top right

1P is wired to SQUARE

2P is wired to TRIANGLE

1K is wired to X

1K is wired to CIRCLE

3P is wired to every other one of the RIGHT arrows (tagged in photos)

3K is wired to the other half of the RIGHT arrows (tagged in photos)

4P is wired to every other one of the LEFT arrows (tagged in photos)

4K is wired to the other half of the LEFT arrows (tagged in photos)

Step 7: Wiring the Controller: Part 2, Lighting

There are two ways of wiring, always on, and off when pressed.

The first war of wiring for is fairly simple (always on). there will be 2x daisy chains of 4 quick disconnects each which wire up to the light bulb plugs on the 100mm buttons, these daisy chains will wire up in a simple circuit with the power connector and the switch as shown in the poorly drawn illustration above. You can use quick disconnects or you can solder the wires to the power connector and switch.

For off when pressed, the wiring goes as such. +12v to one side of the switch. Other side of switch to the bulb(s). Other side of bulb to NC on the buttons switch. After that all you have to do is connect the 0v to the ground daisy chain or an extra ground on the fighting board. (I will make a diagram at some point)

Step 8: Artwork

I have not made any custom artwork yet for my controller but when I figure out how to, I will be adding this in. If anyone is an art person, wanna design some art?

Step 9: Button Decals (optional)

The controller looks boring without the symbols inside of them. For this step you can either make your won decals at home with an inkjet printer and decal paper or order them made professionally online. Use the image files provided.

Make sure to test the print first, the circles should print out with a 75mm diameter.

The buttons disassemble as shown until you have the white discs out where the decals will be attached, take note of how they will be oriented in the button as to not have them be rotated when reinserted.

To make the decals:

1. Test the images on plain paper to make sure of the sizing

2. Load the decal paper and print on the highest resolution and quality settings that you can.

3. Allow the ink to dry for about 10 minutes

4. Spray decal bonder spray onto the sheet (acrylic clear-coat spray lacquer) and allow to dry (usually 2-3 coats is good)

To apply the decals:

1: Cut the decals out of the paper very carefully using sharp scissors or hobby knife if you are so inclined. (scissors work better, just saying)

2: Place them in warm water for about 30-40 seconds to loosen the glue.


3: Wet the surface of the disc and carefully slide the decal onto the plastic. If the color runs, it likely was not sealed properly when making the decal. Be careful not to stretch the decal film, it is not like commercial decals which tear more than they stretch. It may take a few tries to get the application right so make sure to buy extra decal paper.

4: Allow the decals to dry for a few hours (24 is recommended)

5: Re-assemble the buttons and pop them back into the housings. make sure to hold the spring inside the button prongs until the prongs are inside the housing, once they are in, they will hold the spring back.

Step 10: Button Silencers (Optional)

I can't figure out a material to use, even 1mm thick foam is too much. If I get something working it will be added in.

/* If you have played around with the buttons, you probably know that they are quite loud when pressed. To help quiet down the controller, I have designed neoprene pads that fit underneath the plungers of the buttons so there is no plastic on plastic clacking.

The silencers are not actually made yet, this page is just a placeholder until I make them. */

Step 11: Thats It!

You should be all set at this point, just plug in to your PS4 and start getting used to the arcade layout. Just make sure to update your boards firmware on your computer so you don't have your controller disconnect every 8 minutes.

I am still working on improving this controller and plan on adding in a base for rigidity, rubber feet, possibly more lighting, and other dank memes.