Mame Multiple control panels – idea sketch.

Here’s a very rough sketch I knocked up during lunch to illustrate my idea of using a network patch panel and Cat5e cables for  hot swappable Control Panels on my Mame cab.

arcade1The left hand diagram show the usual way to wire a CP into a PC using an Ipac interface board.

  • You wire the Joystick and Button microswitch  ‘+’ terminals to the IPAC
  • You daisy chain all the Joystick and Button microswitch ‘-‘ terminals to the IPAC
  • You plug the Ipac device into the PC keyboard socket (there’s a through-port on the Ipac allowing you to connect a keyboard too)
  • You configure the controls through Mame/Mame Frontend and /or Ipac mapping software.

The downside is that the  CP is wired permanently  to the Ipac and the only way to change CP’s is to unsolder the wiring.  i.e not a practical solution to have swappable CP’s.

On the right hand diagram shows my new idea.

  • For each CP, you wire the Joysticks and Button microswitch ‘+’  terminals using Cat5e network cable.
  • For each CP, you daisy chain the Joystick and Button microswitch ‘-‘ terminals using Cat5e network cable.
  • You terminate the other ends of the the network cables with Rj45 plugs.
  • You note down every cable connection. So for example ‘green cable on Cat5e cable no.1 is wired to fire button 3
  • Using the wiring notes, you wire the Ipac to the patch panel rather than the CP As long as the wiring is consistent you should be able to swap multiple  CP’s at leisure by unplugging the network cables (which have rj45 plugs on the end) from the patch panel, grab the the next CP, plug it into the patch panel and hey presto – as easy as connected/disconnecting a network cable in your home PC/Router….so i think !!

I think the trick is to ensure that the wiring is correct so for example  pressing down on Joystick One has the correct wiring all the way through to the Joystick One ‘down’ pin on the Ipac.

Will it work, not sure but I’m certainly going to give it a go.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s