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Author Topic: Building a control panel....yikes!!!  (Read 954 times)

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jtb1987

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Building a control panel....yikes!!!
« on: February 06, 2017, 09:44:34 pm »
Hi everyone,

I'm coming along, slowly, on my mame arcade cabinet...ready now to start seriously getting work done on building my control panel...but was hoping to get help/guidance before not doing something right :/

So...I'm working with a 2 player control panel that is 13 1/4 x 26 5/8. I would like to use the attached 8 button per player layout template from Slagcoin, linked below. There will also be a start button above each player and 2 admin buttons at the very top center of the panel.

Slagcoin templates:
Player 1:
http://slagcoin.com/joystick/layout/sega1_m.png

Player 2:
http://slagcoin.com/joystick/layout/sega2_m.png

I'm using this button kit:
https://gameroomsolutions.com/shop/2-player-led-arcade-control-panel-bundle-kit/

The joysticks are zippy round tops. The buttons are illuminated/led 1 1/8 (1.125).

My control panel is 3/4 inch plywood.

Ok, so my questions (there's a lot, sorry!!!!):

1. I need help understanding the concept of the slagcoin template, "slanted" player 2 template (see attached), both the templates and the picture of my panel. Is this the correct way to line up both templates for player 1 and player 2
    1a. Per the template, player 2 is "tilted". Does this mean that the base of the joystick of player 1 should be straight/parallel with the edge of the cab but player should also "titled" underneath the panel? I don't really understand this concept....the base of the joystick is 2 1/8 inches x 3 3/4 inches.
    1b. I'm really hoping someone could generally advise me on the draft measurements picture I attached to help confirm if I'm on the right path or not

2. Regarding mounting the joysticks & buttons - It's my understanding that routing will have to be involved given that the joystick shaft is 49.35mm and the plywood is 3/4 inches, so my questions are:
    2a. How deep do I need to route for the joystick base underneath the bottom?
    2b. Do I need to also route for the 1 1/8 buttons? If so, how deep?
    2c. What dimensions should I route for the base of the joystick underneath?

3. I am hoping to attach the joysticks underneath so that the screws/bolts do not show on top of the control panel. Given that I will need to route (i think? question 2a.) Will I have enough wood left to screw through the holes underneath? If not, how would one attach/secure it given these conditions?

4. Fast forward to getting the holes drilled....I'm still trying to decide if I should have plexiglass or rely solely on the graphics from gameongrafix.com
    4a. Will plexi make the difference as far as nice/clean looking? Or will the graphics sheet look fine on it's own and ALSO be durable from time/play?
    4b. If I do get plexi, how do you attach it to the control panel (over the art) and NOT have screws/bolts visible from the top of the control panel?
    4c. What type of preparation do you need to do to the bare plywood before attaching the graphics? Also, I see that you have the option from gameongraphix.com to order an adhesive backing or not, what is the better method and what are the consequences of each?

5. I was hoping to sneak in a question about powering the LED lights - what exactly do I need to do this and where does it plug in? Is it a separate power supply or do I somehow connect them to the computer power supply? If the latter, what do I need to purchase in order to make that connection?

6. Any other general tips/things I should look out for?

***EDIT - 1 more question!!!! - I am supposed to route first BEFORE drilling holes, is this correct?****

I know this was a lot of questions and I appreciate any help I can get. Just trying to be specific to try to avoid messing everything up, lol!!!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 09:51:03 pm by jtb1987 »

SlyBlueFox

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Re: Building a control panel....yikes!!!
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 10:11:46 pm »
I'll answer what I can.

1) Why use two different templates? Is it a space issue? The slanted for that one template is that the whole thing is physically slanted. You want to mount the joystick perpendicular to the screen (up is straight at the screen).

2) Wait till you get your controls then decide. You can either route out whatever feels right or not at all. You can also get longer shafts for the joystick if they have them. Don't have to route for the buttons.

3) My joysticks are routed out 1/4" with the control panel being 3/4". I attached them with 3/4" screws with nylon spacers. That's only one option of many that you could use to attach.

4) --

5) The kit you bought says it has a molex connector that connects to your PC power supply assuming that's what you are using.

jtb1987

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Re: Building a control panel....yikes!!!
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 10:38:19 pm »
I'll answer what I can.

1) Why use two different templates? Is it a space issue? The slanted for that one template is that the whole thing is physically slanted. You want to mount the joystick perpendicular to the screen (up is straight at the screen).

2) Wait till you get your controls then decide. You can either route out whatever feels right or not at all. You can also get longer shafts for the joystick if they have them. Don't have to route for the buttons.

3) My joysticks are routed out 1/4" with the control panel being 3/4". I attached them with 3/4" screws with nylon spacers. That's only one option of many that you could use to attach.

4) --

5) The kit you bought says it has a molex connector that connects to your PC power supply assuming that's what you are using.

SlyBlueFox, thank you for the reply!
It may be the case that I'm misunderstanding what Slagcoin is saying.
For some reason, I interpreted it as saying this for Player 1:

This is a precise diagram of the Sega layout used in Astro City, Blast City (the bottom middle-finger button is .5mm more to the right, and the joystick is in the higher position), Net City, and Versus City cabinets for player 1 or single player. This layout (or an almost identical one) is used in most arcade machines and controllers in Japan. It is very appropriate for quick, comfortable, and precise play. If you have not used a slanted layout like this, feel it; it may surprise you.
http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/layout/sega1_m.png

This is for Player 2:

This is a precise diagram of the Sega layout for player 2. It is very close to a non-slanted version of the player 1, but has a few differently proportioned buttons; it can be tilted to something similar to the player 1 layout. A few alternate placements of the pinky buttons are noted.
http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/layout/sega2_m.png

Am I reading it incorrectly? I was reading it as those two templates go together. Are you saying you choose ONE of the templates, and duplicate it for player 2?

Furthermore, for the tilted one, which way do you mount the joystick? I attached an image (green or blue?) I guess I just don't understand why it's saying its tilted and what that actually means

SlyBlueFox

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Re: Building a control panel....yikes!!!
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 11:05:19 am »
I looked up a picture of a 2 player Sega Astro City control panel & it does look like the player 2 controls are slanted/tilted. I am assuming they did that to create more elbow room for the players for the way the buttons are laid out. So if you have enough room, I would use the same layout for both payers but if you are limited on space, go with the player 1 & player 2 layout you have.

I would suggest mounting the joystick like the green one (parallel) - just make sure the mounting plate is not interfering with your buttons. I find it feels more natural to want to point the joystick the way the player moves on the screen. If the joystick is tilted, you would be pointing "up" for the player on-screen but actually be pointing up-right on the joystick. Just try it out both ways & see what you like.

fablog

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Re: Building a control panel....yikes!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 02:50:04 pm »
Used those 2 templates on my cab, work perfectly.


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Re: Building a control panel....yikes!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 11:38:45 pm »
I second the notion regarding tilting the sticks. I have the one player and two player tilted only 10 degrees out on most of my cabs and I swear I screw up many of my low blocks in fighting games. It is possible that I just suck. But I would rather blame the tilt.

BadMouth

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Re: Building a control panel....yikes!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 09:04:38 am »
You can rotate the button group, but do not angle the joystick to match.  Leave it mounted square with the screen.

It's counterintuitive, but by default people will move the joystick based on the character on the screen regardless of what angle they are standing at.
Look at where the directional arrows are on 4 player games like The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, & Gauntlet.
They are square with the screen even for the angled players on each end.

You can adjust to the angled sticks after playing a while, but it will suck for anyone new to your machine.


I made multiple CP tops to test different layouts and ended up going with something very close to the Astro City player 2 layout.
The first CP I made used the slanted player 1, but I found the player 2 layout to be more comfortable for both players.

(This one is correct, but when I cut the holes on the final CP, I messed up and made the D button even with the A button.  I eventually plan to redo it.)


« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 09:10:27 am by BadMouth »

DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Building a control panel....yikes!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2017, 10:42:21 am »
My vote is player 2 layout for both sides.  I like the symmetry of the 4 buttons in the center.


As far as the plexi, don't bother.  I had plexi on my first build and don't see a need for it (for home use).  The buttons on the CP are what secured mine.  I also had 7/8" T-molding on the edges and had to route the slot "offset" on the 3/4" wood to accommodate the 1/8" plexi lip.  Not really worth the hassle.  IMHO.  Plus there are more color choices in 3/4".

GameonGraphix.com has CPO material that's pretty durable on it's own.  Get the stuff with the adhesive back.  Goes on bubble free and is pretty thick and durable.  I use them on my Vigolix builds.


DeL
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