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Author Topic: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)  (Read 6443 times)

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swirlee

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First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« on: April 02, 2014, 02:56:39 am »
Hi everybody,

So I'm finally finding time to work on the MAME cabinet I started last year. I got as far as installing a new monitor and doing a half-assed setup of Hyperspin. I have a pretty good amount of room(I think) to add all the pushbuttons(6 per player), joysticks(2) and trackball(1) that I need. Here is a pic of the existing control panel.



I'm not going to use this existing bowling control panel, going to "trace" it and cut out a new piece of wood... that's probably obvious, but just in case.   ;)

So I guess my biggest issue now is button and joystick selection. I'm pretty sure I want to do illuminated LED buttons, red and blue for each player. I currently have the X-Arcade Control Panel Kit.

http://www.xgaming.com/store/arcade-parts-and-accessories/product/x-arcade-byo-arcade-usb-ps2/

Total noob question, but I'm curious if all LED pushbuttons are compatible with this controller? Ultralux, SpectraLite? Does there have to be any special wiring or can I use the wiring that came with the kit? Which buttons would you guys recommend. I'm really trying to do do the easiest setup possible.

Thanks! 

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 03:31:35 am »
Two questions:

1. Do you want the LEDs always-on (easy way) or do you want animated effects like attract mode and lighting only the controls used by the current game? (harder way)

2. Do you want single color (easy way) or RGB LEDs? (much harder way)


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 03:35:21 am »
Two questions:

1. Do you want the LEDs always-on (easy way) or do you want animated effects like attract mode and lighting only the controls used by the current game? (harder way)

2. Do you want single color (easy way) or RGB LEDs? (much harder way)


Scott

1. Easy way, always on

2. Single color, red for player 1, blue for player 2

I was thinking of selling the X-Arcade controller if there is some kit better suited? I was looking at the Mini-Pac and wiring kit. http://www.ultimarc.com/minipac.html

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 03:40:28 am by swirlee »

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 12:26:31 pm »
As far as the illumination, you can just directly connect the leds to your power supply if you want always on and just one color. Thats what I did on My NFL Blitz 99 Arcade game. Just a Friendly FYI its easier this way!

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 01:45:22 pm »
Single-color always-on is really easy to do.

This pic shows the LED wiring using two prefab 0.250" daisy-chains from Paradise Arcade -- red to positive voltage, black to ground.

I usually wire the black wire to the side of the switch holder with the large plastic tab -- black wire goes to black plastic tab.   ;D



You can get power from USB, a molex connector, or an external power source.

If you're using USB, consider running 12v LEDs off 5v to reduce the current draw.

GGG and Paradise are both great sources for the buttons and prefab wiring.   ;D


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 06:16:56 pm »
Still a little confused as to what hardware will serve me best... Will the X-Arcade kit function with the Specralite buttons and be pretty easy to setup? I'm not sure about all the voltage stuff. 

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 07:05:18 pm »
The x-arcade interface is really awkward for building your own panel because it doesn't use a common ground....and instead of screw terminals on the encoder pcb, they use proprietary connectors.   The inputs are divided into groups of 4 and a ground for that group. It makes the wiring messy and difficult.

Get a ipac, be happy
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PL1

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 07:08:55 pm »
Just to clarify, LED buttons consist of two separate electrical circuits -- the microswitch and the LED.

One-color LED circuits (like in the Spectralite) are wired as indicated above.

The microswitch circuit is wired like any other encoder. (KADE shown, but MiniPac/IPac/Keywiz all connect the same way)



IIRC, the thing that makes the X-Arcade encoder more tricky is that each wiring group has its' own isolated "ground" -- touching a "ground" from wiring group #1 to an input from wiring group #2 will register a button press in the corresponding input in wiring group #1.   :dizzy:

If you haven't bought the X-Arcade encoder yet, the Mini-Pac Opti. with harness would be a better choice IMHO.


Scott
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 07:17:53 pm by PL1 »

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2014, 08:15:24 pm »
I do have the X-Arcade control panel kit. I ordered it on impulse. I want my control panel to be super basic allowing me to play a pretty wide variety of games, Atari 2600 on up to Gamecube/PS1 gen. Also all the arcade only games that spanned around that generation. So which control panel kit is the easiest to setup, both hardware and software wise? I Pac, Mini Pac? 

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2014, 09:03:45 pm »
All three (X-Arcade, I-Pac, Mini-Pac) come programmed with defaults for MAME.

IIRC, the X-Arcade is harder to customize the keymaps if you want to change anything, but whether that's necessary depends on the other emulators that you choose to use.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution, so it's a good idea to go through a design process like this one in the FAQ (You have checked out the FAQ, right?) before you buy any more parts.

Also, did you RTFM (Read The . . . Fun . . . Manual) for the X-Arcade Kit and see this color diagram?

It's harder to wire than most encoders, but as long as you keep microswitches using J2's inputs with J2's ground, J3's inputs with J3's ground, etc. you will be fine.


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 03:47:13 am »
OK, I spent some time designing the layout/color scheme I'm thinking about for my control panel. I hate to be super hand-holdy, but if I don't ask this way I'll end up ordering the wrong parts etc...

I am going to list out all the parts I plan on ordering/buying to complete this design, so if you all see something wrong with my design or the compatibility of the parts listed, please let me know. Everything is scaled relatively accurately, at least for this purpose.





(2) Jotsticks

( 1 ) U-Trak Trackball

(1) U-Track bezel

( 1 ) U-Trak RGB LED Illumination Kit

( 1 ) Mini-PAC Opti. With Harness and USB cable

( 8 ) Ultralux buttons - White

( 4 ) Ultralux buttons - Yellow

( 2 ) Ultralux buttons - Red

( 2 ) Ultralux buttons - Green

( 2 ) Ultralux buttons - Blue

( 1 ) Ultralux button - Red (Power button)

( 1 ) 5v Power Adapter for LEDs

( 2 ) LED Wiring Daisy Chain 


So what do you guys think of the layout? Does it seem pretty functional? Do I have all the admin buttons I would need? Sounds like the Mini-PAC comes with all the wiring I'd need too. Does this list of parts cover all my basis?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 06:48:36 pm by swirlee »

PL1

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 03:00:54 pm »
How are you handling Coin 1 and Coin 2 -- buttons on the CP, coin door, or both?


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2014, 05:15:21 pm »
How are you handling Coin 1 and Coin 2 -- buttons on the CP, coin door, or both?


Scott

Great call! I updated the image and list to include credit buttons now. I also added an extra button that I'll likely mount on the top for power. Any other suggestions, comments?

Thanks for the catch!

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2014, 06:04:09 pm »
Here's another question to consider.

If you are planning on using other emulators besides MAME, do any of them require more admin buttons to function the way you want?

(Some people like  to use load states and save states.)


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2014, 06:19:50 pm »
Hmm... I'm not sure of the answer to that question, but it's a good one to ask. I plan on playing mostly console games from Atari 2600 on up to some PS1/Gamcube/XBox games that make sense to play with an arcade stick, but I also want to play a lot of the classic 80's and 90's arcade games. Can you give me an example of a popular game(s) that I wouldn't be able to play with this layout alone? I don't think I would worry too much about save states.

Thanks!

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2014, 06:51:04 pm »
I asked to see if you need/want more buttons for admin functions.

If you haven't installed and configured the emulators you plan on using, you may find that there is a feature/function on an emulator that you need or would like to use -- better to know before you order parts and drill holes in the panel.


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2014, 07:36:38 pm »
so if you all see something wrong with my design

I wouldn't put an Exit button directly north of a trackball...  Too easy to end up back at the menu during an intense game of Shuuz or Golden Tee!

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2014, 07:45:59 pm »
Well, I'm sure there's definitely going to be some weird special case games that this layout can't handle, but as long as it's compatible with 95% or so of the most popular console and arcade games I'd be happy. I'm just trying to make sure that I don't order a bunch of parts and end up not being able to setup any of it because I didn't order some little doohicky. My buddy who has all the tools is helping me, so we're planning a weekend around it. Would love to be able to finish it in one go, software setup aside.

So other than special case games, do all these parts seem compatible and am I missing anything necessary to make this layout function?

Thanks!   

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2014, 07:49:26 pm »
so if you all see something wrong with my design

I wouldn't put an Exit button directly north of a trackball...  Too easy to end up back at the menu during an intense game of Shuuz or Golden Tee!

Hmm... I did think about this when doing button placement... I might move them somewhere else for the final design. Any other glaring issues or potential incompatabilty with these parts?

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 08:27:37 pm »
so if you all see something wrong with my design

I wouldn't put an Exit button directly north of a trackball...  Too easy to end up back at the menu during an intense game of Shuuz or Golden Tee!
+1 on this.

Also not a bad idea to increase the space between the pause and exit buttons so you don't accidently exit while you try to pause the game.

You may also want to swap the pause and exit button positions.
*Exit is used more often than pause.
*P1 position is used more often than P2.
*IMHO it makes sense to put the more used admin button nearer to the more used player position.

Any other glaring issues or potential incompatabilty with these parts?
Things to consider when ordering these items:

* Joysticks - Mounting hardware? (Ultimarc has threaded inserts)
* UTrak - The trim bezel is HIGHLY recommended. I assume you will also choose one of the translucent ball options.
* MiniPac - Make sure the harness QD size matches the microswitches in the buttons and joysticks.
* Buttons - You haven't indicated how you intend to wire the LEDs (Daisy-chains from Paradise or GGG are probably a less expensive option, even with shipping)


Scott
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 08:57:41 pm by PL1 »

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2014, 03:47:33 pm »
Quote
Things to consider when ordering these items:

* Joysticks - Mounting hardware? (Ultimarc has threaded inserts)
* UTrak - The trim bezel is HIGHLY recommended. I assume you will also choose one of the translucent ball options.
* MiniPac - Make sure the harness QD size matches the microswitches in the buttons and joysticks.
* Buttons - You haven't indicated how you intend to wire the LEDs (Daisy-chains from Paradise or GGG are probably a less expensive option, even with shipping)


Scott

Ok this is some of the info I was trying to get at.

*Do most joysticks not come with mounting hardware?

*I was confused about this trim bezel.... Ultimarc and these other arcade parts websites seem bad at advertising a part as "the best, easy install kit blah blah" but then hit you with all these exceptions and add on install parts that leave me rubbing my head.

*Not sure what the QD size is... does't this kit advertise that it comes with all the wiring I'd need? Again another example of a kit advertising that "it's so easy" but ends up being confusing as well

*Again doesnt the Mini Pac kit come with all the wires?



Remember total noob here so if you hit me with arcade part slang and abbreviation I might not know what they are... haha sorry!

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 07:36:55 pm by swirlee »

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2014, 05:36:40 pm »

Things to consider when ordering these items:

* Joysticks - Mounting hardware? (Ultimarc has threaded inserts)
* UTrak - The trim bezel is HIGHLY recommended. I assume you will also choose one of the translucent ball options.
* MiniPac - Make sure the harness QD size matches the microswitches in the buttons and joysticks.
* Buttons - You haven't indicated how you intend to wire the LEDs (Daisy-chains from Paradise or GGG are probably a less expensive option, even with shipping)


Scott

Ok this is sone of the info I was trying to get at.

*Do most joysticks not come with mounting hardware?
As mentioned in the FAQ, there are a variety of ways to mount a joystick using different hardware so vendors usually don't include it.

The UTrak does come with mounting hardware (threaded inserts and screws) since it is designed to mount in a 3/4" wood or a 5/8" wood + 1/8" plexi panel.

*I was confused about this trim bezel.... Ultimarc and these other arcade parts websites seem bad at advertising a part as "the best, easy install kit blah blah" but then hit you with all these exceptions and add on install parts that leave me rubbing my head.
Some people can make a neat enough trackball hole that it looks good without the bezel.

For the rest of us, the bezel keeps the mount hole from looking like :censored:.

*Not sure what the QD size is... does't this kit advertise that it comes with all the wiring I'd need? Again another example of a kit advertising that "it's so easy" but ends up being confusing as well
*Again doesnt the Mini Pac kit come with all the wires?
For the buttons you chose, the 4.8mm (0.187") QDs are the right ones -- there's a convenient reminder on the order page.

The Mini-Pac does come with the wiring you need for the UTrak and for the joystick/button microswitches.

Wiring for LED lighting is separate since the Mini-Pac isn't an LED controller and, like joystick mounts/hardware, there are a wide variety of options.

Remember total noob here so if you hit me with arcade part slang and abbreviation I might not know what they are... haha sorry!

Thanks!
No problem, that's where we all started and why Felsir and I wrote the FAQ -- which has been updated to clarify that joysticks don't come with mount hardware, thanks to your question.  :cheers:


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2014, 02:43:49 pm »
I read over the FAQ. Thanks for this! I'll try to look over specific sections for answers before bothering you guys from now on. Still have a few questions though!   ;D

I think the first joystick undermount is the one I will go with as it seems like the easiest install. I guess I should also get extensions to increase the joystick height. Do they make extensions for this style joystick?
Or am I stuck having to buy the more expensive ones that appear to have more customization options? 

Good call on the trackball bezel! I'm probably one of those people incapable of cutting out a nice hole that big. Whats the recommended tool for that job anyway? I found the section on trackball installation, but no mention of tools. I'm guessing jigsaw?

Ok, so I am still going to need another wiring kit for the button LEDs. Can you guys recommend a good one? Might be worth mentioning that I am going to be running MAME off an old gaming laptop, so I'm not sure how I would power the button LEDs.

Thanks!



 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 02:45:35 pm by swirlee »

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2014, 07:44:19 pm »
I think the first joystick undermount is the one I will go with as it seems like the easiest install. I guess I should also get extensions to increase the joystick height. Do they make extensions for this style joystick?
Already built-in -- use the e-clip slot closest to the end of the shaft.



Good call on the trackball bezel! I'm probably one of those people incapable of cutting out a nice hole that big. Whats the recommended tool for that job anyway? I found the section on trackball installation, but no mention of tools. I'm guessing jigsaw?
Several tools that are suited to this task:

1. Hole saw - finding the exact right size can be difficult.



2. Dremel circle cutter attachment or the older-style Model 330 router attachment.

 

The recommended technique for Dremel is here.

3. Circle cutter -- drill press recommended for these whirling blades of death.   :scared



Ok, so I am still going to need another wiring kit for the button LEDs. Can you guys recommend a good one? Might be worth mentioning that I am going to be running MAME off an old gaming laptop, so I'm not sure how I would power the button LEDs.

Given the number of buttons, my recommendations are these:

Order 12v LED buttons.

Power them using 5v from a hacked USB cable (pinout here -- right side, a little way down the page) or this pre-fab one from GGG

Since Paradise no longer appears to carry the red 30-position .250" daisy chains ???, you can get 2 of the 14 button harnesses from Paradise Arcade or GGG


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2014, 05:30:25 pm »
Already built in! Nice!

I have a hole saw kit, but not sure if one of them is big enough to cut a trackball hole. My guess is probably not. Why do you saw finding the exact right size can be difficult? Are larger hole saw bits harder to come by?

On powering the LEDs, the USB pre-fab kit seems like a nice option. Since the LED buttons that come with the Ultralux buttons are 5V are you saying I shouldn't get those?


Thanks!




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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2014, 06:50:20 pm »
Usable hole saw sizes are listed on the Ultimarc site.

As hole saw sizes get larger, the commonly-available steps get larger.

Not sure how much current the Ultralux 5v LEDs draw, but they probably draw at least 25mA.

25mA * 18 buttons = 450 mA

Add to that the trackball lighting and you're almost certainly over the USB spec of 500mA.

If you can power half from one USB port and half from a USB port that doesn't split the available 500mA, you should be fine.

Worst case scenario, you can add a secondary current limiting resistor to reduce the current draw.

The difference between 5v and 12v LEDs is the size of current limiting resistor.




Scott
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 06:55:34 pm by PL1 »

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2014, 07:23:22 pm »
To avoid using my laptops USB ports for the LEDs couldn't I just plug the LEDs into one of these?

And then just have the trackball connected to my laptop via USB?

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2014, 07:59:53 pm »
That looks good as long as the LEDs aren't drawing more current than the adapter is rated for.

You could also cut out the USB cable and just use a 5v wall wart or adapter with a high enough amperage rating.   ;D


Scott
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 08:05:16 pm by PL1 »

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2014, 08:17:04 pm »

You could also cut out the USB cable and just use a 5v wall wart or adapter with a high enough amperage rating.   ;D


Scott

Oh damn, there we go... what little adapter would you use to connect the daisy chain LED wires to this adapter?

Thanks!

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2014, 09:15:41 pm »
Cut off the round connector and use a euro-style terminal strip FTW.




Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2014, 01:00:18 pm »
I'm afraid I don't understand how or why I would use this strip? The LED daisy chain is basically just one wire, correct? Why would I need an adapter with so many places to connect? Sorry for the noob understanding.

Thanks!

 

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2014, 06:42:36 pm »
You only need 2 terminals -- the strips can be easily cut to size like the one in the pic below.

The reason I suggested the euro-style is that they are better insulated than standard terminal strips -- less chance of shorting a stray wire (or a finger) to 5v.


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2014, 11:23:58 am »
put an Exit button directly north of a trackball...  Too easy to end up back at the menu during an intense game of Shuuz or Golden Tee!
You can always set the exit button to be held down for 2 seconds in order to exit.  This will prevent it being hit inadvertently during gameplay.

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2014, 03:25:42 pm »
put an Exit button directly north of a trackball...  Too easy to end up back at the menu during an intense game of Shuuz or Golden Tee!
You can always set the exit button to be held down for 2 seconds in order to exit.  This will prevent it being hit inadvertently during gameplay.

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Oh, good idea! Is that something supported by most emulators?

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2014, 03:27:44 pm »
You only need 2 terminals -- the strips can be easily cut to size like the one in the pic below.

The reason I suggested the euro-style is that they are better insulated than standard terminal strips -- less chance of shorting a stray wire (or a finger) to 5v.


Scott

It looks like the adapter plug is just sitting on the terminal? I'm assuming you have to cut the end off the adapter and connect the appropriate wires to the terminal or does the adapter plug, plug in to one of these terminals?

Thanks!

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2014, 06:23:50 pm »
Those apple style plugs won't push too many LEDs.  I've tried. Don't worry about plugging too many LEDs into a wall wart.  They don't explode.
This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2014, 04:57:28 am »
You only need 2 terminals -- the strips can be easily cut to size like the one in the pic below.

The reason I suggested the euro-style is that they are better insulated than standard terminal strips -- less chance of shorting a stray wire (or a finger) to 5v.


Scott

It looks like the adapter plug is just sitting on the terminal? I'm assuming you have to cut the end off the adapter and connect the appropriate wires to the terminal or does the adapter plug, plug in to one of these terminals?

Thanks!

Yeah . . . cut/strip/connect.   :banghead:

I had some spare parts lying around and figured a picture would convey the chain of connections.


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2014, 02:30:50 am »
Ok, so at the last minute I ordered these:

http://www.paradisearcadeshop.com/led-buttons/230-red-led-convex-arcade-pushbutton.html

led push buttons from Paradise Arcade with the 20 gram microswitch and the 5V AC/DC LEDs. This should still be compatible with the 5V PSP adapter that you pointed out correct? Because I ordered that too.  :)

My other question is printing out the arcade control panel templates to make sure everything lines up... Any pointers or best practices? I guess just print out the same template twice since each "plan" is for only one players layout and just space them out? Looking forward to finally working on this thing. A little apprehensive to cut all this MDF and plexi though. Seems like a tedious task


Thanks! 

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2014, 11:05:55 am »
Those LED buttons should work fine with that power supply.   ;D

One sage piece of advice regarding templates/layouts is to test them on a cardboard box so you can test the feel of pressing the actual buttons on an actual surface.

IMHO it's better to deal with the frustration of doing the layout/planning during a build than to have to deal with the frustration of not doing the layout/planning for the rest of the time you're using it.

If you aren't comfortable working with a material, practice on scraps or smaller pieces.


Scott

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Re: First time building a custom Control Panel - help :)
« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2014, 11:43:07 pm »
So all my parts have arrived! Nice!

I have a question about wiring up the LEDs on the pushbuttons. The metal prongs aren't marked as far as I can tell. What is positive and what is negative?



Thanks!