This page will try to explain the changes you can make to stick by modifying an actuator. The idea of doing this is not new, but providing a standard off the shelf product is. Both our shop and Kowal on Shoryuken have started offering modified actuators. I do not have the detailed measurements of his and will refrain from comment (maybe he will come help edit the page!) on his actuators, but I will try to elaborate on ours.
Before talking about the modified actuators, let's discuss what is going on with the actuator!.
A stock JLF actuator is shown in this picture: The bottom of this part is what contacts the microswitches and activates the joystick while the top interacts with the gate and determines both the limitation to throw and the “feel” of the joystick. By “feel” I am referring to circle versus octagon versus square gate. (2 way, 4 way, and others exits, but usually are not used in JLF sticks)
Both throw and actuation distance can be controlled separately, but obviously if you shorten throw to less than actuation distance it won't work! It can also be easy to hit cardinal directions, but difficult to hit corners if your throw is close to the actuation distance because the actuators are round. If the throw is too great relative to the activation, the microswitch will limit the deflection and, then you can damage the micros.
The new paradise actuators can change both throw and activation.