Honest XE-7 Joystick for SFC and MD

The XE-7 SFC.MD is a joystick manufactured by Honest, a Taiwanese company known for their various gaming accessories. The joystick if for use with both the Super Famicom (SFC/SNES) and the Mega Drive (MD/Genesis), and the color scheme follows closely with the Super Famicom colors.

Honest XE-7 top view
Honest XE-7 top view

The joystick is seemingly modeled after Dempa’s XE-1 ST joystick. The most notable similarities are the font and positioning of the name, and the yellow switches. Like the XE-1, the XE-7 also has markings that indicate the joystick can be changed between 4 to 8-way movement. However, as you’ll see in the tear-down below, the XE-7 has no such functionality.

Honest XE-7 SFC and MD connectors
Honest XE-7 SFC and MD connectors

As the name suggests, the XE-7 SFC.MD is compatible with the SFC/SNES and MD/Genesis via two separate connectors. This means you can connect to both consoles at the same time without needing to swap cables back and forth. Useful if you have your SFC and MD ready to play next to the TV.

Honest XE-7 Slow and Turbo switches
Honest XE-7 Slow and Turbo switches

The two yellow switches at the top of the joystick are for slow motion and turbo. The slow motion functions by repeatedly pausing the game, and when activated the turbo applies to all action buttons. The switches have three settings. Off, 2, and 1. 2 being the slower, and 1 being the faster of the settings.

Honest XE-7 Inside 01
Inside the Honest XE-7

Inside the case are 3 boards, one for the main buttons and chips, and the other two for slow/turbo buttons and the joystick itself.

Honest XE-7 joystick explosion and conductive pads
Honest XE-7 joystick explosion and conductive pads

The joystick does not use micro switches, and instead uses conductive pads, just like the action buttons. The joystick is held in place by a spring and circlip and works by pushing/squeezing the conductive pads up against the large plastic ring and inside-top of the case.

Honest XE-7 joystick conductive pads
Honest XE-7 joystick conductive pads

Also note that there are only four pads, so this joystick cannot be set to 8-way movement as the printings on the top of the case suggests.

One of my main reasons for opening it up was to clean the joystick which was squeaking. And also remove the rust from the joystick post.

Honest XE-7 rust
Using sandpaper and WD-40 to remove rust from the Honest XE-7 joystick post

I used some sand paper and WD-40 on the rust, and then sparingly applied some grease to the parts of the joystick that slide over each during use.

While inside the case I also took the opportunity to clean the pads for the other buttons.

Honest XE-7 action buttons condutive pads
Honest XE-7 action buttons condutive pads

The conductive pads for the action buttons simply rest on the buttons – There aren’t any retaining posts, even though the pads have holes on the corners. These pads were probably used in many models of joystick.

Honest XE-7 Slow and Turbo switches
Honest XE-7 Slow and Turbo switches

After a good clean the joystick and buttons felt great. It’s not a pro-arcade joystick or anything, but it’s a well-built and a convenient option.

Time for some Truxton
Time for some Truxton

The ability to connect to both SFC and MD really sold me on it. I can have it connected to both consoles and play Axelay or Truxton without having to find another joystick. Plus I really like Honest’s stuff, they seem to be one of the better Taiwanese accessory manufacturers.

Some more photos of the Honest XE-7 SFC.MD.

Honest XE-7 SFC.MD front/side
Honest XE-7 SFC.MD front/side
Honest XE-7 SFC.MD front on
Honest XE-7 SFC.MD front on
Honest XE-7 SFC.MD connectors
Honest XE-7 SFC.MD connectors
Honest XE-7 SFC.MD joystick parts
Honest XE-7 SFC.MD joystick parts