I’m going to be starting on the control panel for my MAME arcade machine soon so I’ve dug out the box of control parts I ordered last year to familiarise myself with the various bits ‘n’ bobs. The following pictures were taken on my study window sill using some photo paper to act at a white background.
The main component is the Ipac keyboard encoder. With this I can wire all of the joystick controls and buttons, connect to the PC via Ps/2 port (or USB) and with the supplied software can map each control within Mame or whatever emulators I’ll be running.
The Ipac is only about 2″ long and is supplied with a wiring loom. All wires terminate into a block similar to a PC harddrive IDE connector and fits on the pins shown below.
The opposite ends of each wire clamp on to microswitches which is turn are fitted onto either a ‘+’ joystick or button terminals. Another wiring loom provides the ‘-’ connections. You can just seen the terminating block on the top right of the picture below.
Here’s a shot of one of two Sanwa balltop joysticks I have and a few of the joystick buttons. These will be mounted from underneath the wooden control panel although I’ll be using a longer joystick shaft as these ones are quite small.
Here’s a shot of the underside of the joystick showing the microswitch connectors. The clear plastic dial is a restrictor plate allowing the joystick to be set to either four or eight way directional control. The idea for this is that that some arcade games designed for four way control aren’t very responsive with diagonal controls.
Here’s the second joystick with yellow ball top attached. I also have green and pink ball tops so i can swap an change if needed. I think yellow one is my favorite. The 1up and 2up buttons will be mounted to the front side of the control panel.
I’m not sure which colour combination of arcade buttons to use yet. I’m thinking six buttons per player so maybe four red ones and two blue ones. The yellow one will be used for the ‘coin’ button to emulate a coin credit. For total originallity i’m aiming to wire the actual coin mechanism microswitch the the second coin imput on the Ipac as i like the idea of having to use an actual coin to activate a credit.
You can see here how the microswitch attached to the buttons.
I quite like this next shot as a PC desktop wallpaper
If you’re interested, I purchased all my parts from Gremlin Solutions. The guy who runs the shop is a really nice chap and is extremely helpful.