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The Link is the world's first and only quick release joystick shaft, designed to alleviate travel and storage woes for arcade sticks.
Created by Clayton Knight aka Phreakazoid on SRK
The Link is a redesign of the shaft portion to the Sanwa JLF, which resides in a majority of arcade stick builds in today's market. The goal of this product is simple, to alleviate a fundamental issue that comes with using these types of controllers.. the top of the joystick poking out when it's not needed.
While that could be spun into a dirty joke, it could be said that everyone who's played a classic game at the local arcade has handled a joystick one at one point or another. The difference between the golden arcade age and now, is that that arcade feel has been transferred to lap wielded versions designed to continue to give us that feeling.
But what happens when the game is turned off and it's time to pack it up? That's right, you end up playing Tetris with your backpack space, so here's where the Link comes in.
From the casual players looking to save a little shelf space at home, to traveling tournament players who need every inch when cramming into a full car, The Link is designed to be a solution to a common problem.
The Link consists of 3 parts: The Top, The Base (bottom), and the Collar
Operation is extremely easy, simply pull up on the spring loaded collar to release the locking tension and pull away from the base section. To remove it the operation is identical. This isn't unlike what you see with car steering wheel quick releases... just smaller scale.
To tighten and loosen the top (usually a ball top), The Link has been specially bored for a 3mm hex key (included) to be used as leverage. This removes the need to open up the control panel and access the bottom of the shaft with a flat head screwdriver like the original shaft required.
This is ESPECIALLY useful for tournament players who find the top has come loose a bit but don't have the time to tinker just to re-tighten it.
No, the goal of the design was to be as close to the original shaft's critical dimensions as possible. This eliminates any difference even the most hardcore player would notice.
No, during normal play it's guaranteed to never disconnect. The collar disengagement can be bypassed if the top is pulled hard enough of course, but it would be completely unnatural and purposefully forced.
The Link is installed very easily. You simply open up the arcade stick to access the JLF assembly, remove the original shaft's e-clip and slide it out of place. Then slide The Link into place and replace the e-clip, it's as easy as that.
Start to finish you could have it installed in less than 10 minutes if you have the tools on hand to open the arcade stick up.
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