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Author Topic: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel  (Read 999 times)

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jkimrey

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Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« on: January 21, 2018, 09:30:28 pm »
I'm in the process of modifying my arcade cabinet to one that runs MAME.

I've posted another thread on monitor advice, but I also need some guidance on my control panel.

Right now I have a control panel that has two buttons per player (2).  I'd like to add at least one more button per user as well as a trackball.

What's the best way to approach this in regards to the existing on troll panel?  Should I try to modify the existing and drill holes for the new buttons/trackball?  I would think the existing button locations would probably change, so I'd have to deal with that also. 

Do most people just create a new control panel and remove the old?

Do any sites sell the actual control panel with a preferred layout?

Also, I assume most boards are made out of wood? 

My existing board has a metal cover.

(Existing panel images attached).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

jkimrey

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 05:00:06 am »
Another possibility - has anyone had success replacing a "standard" size arcade control panel (like the one pictured in the previous post) with a larger one as usually created when designing a complete MAME cabinet ?

Wondering how well that would work from both a functional and aesthetics perspective.

Drnick

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 01:40:45 pm »
I would use the existing control panel, it hasn't been turned into swiss cheese so should be easy enough to get a metal worker to put some slugs in the existing button holes and to press/drill out 4 new holes in a diamond pattern.

As for replacing the control panel with larger, I have seen it done but it would take a bit of working out/templates making to ensure it fits properly.  I'm sure that just using the existing panel would be easier.  As for Trackball,  I think you would really struggle to add a trackball to the existing control panel,  It may be possible if you move the joysticks and buttons as far out as possible, but it would still be a very tight fit and not the best gameplay.  I would recommend making a separate control box for the trackball. 

jkimrey

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 01:48:59 pm »
I would use the existing control panel, it hasn't been turned into swiss cheese so should be easy enough to get a metal worker to put some slugs in the existing button holes and to press/drill out 4 new holes in a diamond pattern.

As for replacing the control panel with larger, I have seen it done but it would take a bit of working out/templates making to ensure it fits properly.  I'm sure that just using the existing panel would be easier.  As for Trackball,  I think you would really struggle to add a trackball to the existing control panel,  It may be possible if you move the joysticks and buttons as far out as possible, but it would still be a very tight fit and not the best gameplay.  I would recommend making a separate control box for the trackball.

Thanks for the suggestions.

When you mention a separate control box for the trackball, would that be independent of the control panel?

Where would you mount it?

Thanks again

paigeoliver

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 01:37:04 pm »
First rule.

Never, ever bolt up a larger panel to a classic style cabinet, it has never looked good, people will laugh at it, and it is easy to make the cabinet into a tip over hazard by doing so.

I say skip the trackball completely and just drill out 2 more buttons per player on that panel, or you could even drill it out to 6, although the spacing would be slightly off.

I would not suggest a diamond pattern for 4 buttons in any case, that was only ever used on a handful of games. A 4 button layout should go generally across if for no other reason than the fact that hundreds of games show that pattern in the demo screen.
Acceptance of Zen philosophy is marred slightly by the nagging thought that if all things are interconnected, then all things must be in some way involved with Pauly Shore.

Drnick

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 01:41:03 pm »
Listen to the wise words of paigeoliver  :cheers: Yes a separate panel, and would use rare earth magnets and felt pads to hold it down to the control panel.  (Connection via USB to a front mounted USB port) But in honesty I would lose the idea of a trackball for that size panel,  Trackball should have room to allow those that like to fly through like superman to do so without the fear of breaking all their fingers. 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 01:46:03 pm by Drnick »

jkimrey

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 03:01:37 pm »
First rule.

Never, ever bolt up a larger panel to a classic style cabinet, it has never looked good, people will laugh at it, and it is easy to make the cabinet into a tip over hazard by doing so.

I say skip the trackball completely and just drill out 2 more buttons per player on that panel, or you could even drill it out to 6, although the spacing would be slightly off.

I would not suggest a diamond pattern for 4 buttons in any case, that was only ever used on a handful of games. A 4 button layout should go generally across if for no other reason than the fact that hundreds of games show that pattern in the demo screen.

Yeah, I was hoping there was some magic available to allow it to look natural, but apparently no one has invented that yet. :)

Do you have a link to the suggested button layout?  How many buttons per player would be required to cover the majority of arcade games?

TIA

jkimrey

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 03:02:40 pm »
Listen to the wise words of paigeoliver  :cheers: Yes a separate panel, and would use rare earth magnets and felt pads to hold it down to the control panel.  (Connection via USB to a front mounted USB port) But in honesty I would lose the idea of a trackball for that size panel,  Trackball should have room to allow those that like to fly through like superman to do so without the fear of breaking all their fingers.

Haha. Understood.

I guess I'll keep this one for the majority of classics; just gives me more reason to build another from scratch. :)

Thanks

paigeoliver

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 06:47:10 pm »
You should either basically copy the Neo Geo control panel with 4 buttons or the Street Fighter 2 panel with 6. The panel you have already could be drilled out to get pretty close to either layout as long as you are not a perfectionist.
Acceptance of Zen philosophy is marred slightly by the nagging thought that if all things are interconnected, then all things must be in some way involved with Pauly Shore.

paigeoliver

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 06:51:40 pm »
Quick easy solution is to drill your extra button holes where I placed the dots. Of course measure better than I did and get them as close to evenly spaced as you can.
Acceptance of Zen philosophy is marred slightly by the nagging thought that if all things are interconnected, then all things must be in some way involved with Pauly Shore.

jkimrey

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 05:57:00 am »
Quick easy solution is to drill your extra button holes where I placed the dots. Of course measure better than I did and get them as close to evenly spaced as you can.

Any suggestions of what type of shop would drill out the additional holes needed?  Not sure what type of store would do that...

Also, any suggestions on the plexiglass panel?  Looks like it would be difficult to press the additional holes in it without it cracking...

paigeoliver

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Re: Replacing/Modifying existing control panel
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 04:33:15 pm »
You don't need to take it to a shop. Buy a cheap corded drill and a 1 1/8" holesaw bit. You could have used a spade bit instead, but you aren't going to get through that metal plate with a spade bit. Run the drill in reverse until you get through the plexi, then go forwards to drill through the wood.
Acceptance of Zen philosophy is marred slightly by the nagging thought that if all things are interconnected, then all things must be in some way involved with Pauly Shore.

  
 

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