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Author Topic: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused  (Read 3411 times)

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usaf-lt-g

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Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« on: October 05, 2016, 07:28:28 pm »
Hey guys,

So I recently bought a cabinet, with controls, and I'm basically re-wiring the entire thing. It's my first cabinet, I din't like the buttons, the way the guy crappily put it together, and I wanted LED buttons that would look nice over plexiglass... but I digress....

As part of this effort, I ordered the I-Pac Ultimate I/O Board today which came with nice harnesses and all the buttons and LEDs I ordered. Wonderful!

Unfortunately for me, the labels of the pins on the board make absolutely zero sense to me, and the documentation on the ultimarc website doesn't seem to help me either. The website states I can wire up for 4 players if not wiring up a trackball or a spinner. I have a 4 player setup with a USB trackball.



If you look at the picture here, the main hookup / harness is along the bottom there. GND is obviously GND, and this main pin header has labels for 2SW# and 1SW#, which I'm assuming are for the buttons. But what is 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B? What are these for?

I also see 1A drivers, and I have no idea what those are for (upper left / upper right). And what if I have other buttons? For example, player 3 button, player 4 button.... ???

Help!  :dizzy:

Titchgamer

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2016, 02:02:28 am »
Sw stands for switch so each of the sw inputs are for a button.
Then Up, Dwn, Lf, Rt are your joystick directions.

Players 3 & 4 are connected next to the 1 & 2 driver connections at the top of the board.

acjgoblu

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2016, 09:52:02 am »
To add to that, 1A/1B/2A/2B are generally used for admin buttons, if you intend to have any on your control panel. They can be independently assigned in MAME (or whatever other emulator you're using) and then matched up with the IPac software. For example, Esc is generally automatically assigned to exit the emulator back to the frontend software, so you could assign 1A to Esc and match that to an exit admin button on your control panel.

As for player 3 and 4 controls, you'll notice that they share space with the trackball and spinner controls respectively (thus, you can have one or the other). This is assuming you have a U-Trak trackball from Ultimarc which is plugged directly into the IPac - a USB one that doesn't require any additional inputs shouldn't require any space on that board. You'll notice in the Player 3 section (next to Trackball), you have up/down/right/left and buttons 1-4. Same for player 4. That's where you'll hook up those inputs, but you will probably need the additional harness from Ultimarc - it's for sale in the same section of the website where you bought the IPac.


usaf-lt-g

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 10:04:41 am »
Alright, i'm moving along with this project. Thanks for the replies thus far.

As I mentioned in my OP, I'm re-wiring the entire thing. I did end up wiring all existing controls to the i-pac ultimate only to find out that the joysticks were badly beaten up and switches didn't work really well. So I'm replacing the controls and having a new control panel CNC'd to house the new controls.

I was planning to have a 4 player setup, with the additions of a U-Trak (with USB connection), and a U-Spin (also with USB connection), a Happ Heavy Duty 8-Way Flight Stick, and a bunch of extra buttons. I was originally planning to replace all 4 joysticks with 4 ultra stick 360s.

I realize joysticks are a matter of preference, but I basically want joysticks that offer both the arcade feel but at the same time durability to play everything from galaga, pacman, joust, green beret (rush-n-attack) all the way up to later stuff like Mortal Kombat, r-type leo, etc. Ideally I wanted joysticks that also offered LED tops, but I guess that's wishful thinking.

In addition, in order to support all the buttons, it appears I'm going to need an add-on board or something the i-pac ultimate as I'm going to run out of button space. The original board came with an I-Pac4 i believe. Is there any way I can use the 2 together somehow?

To Sum up:

1) Need some recommendations on joysticks. Are the 360s the way to go? Something else?

2) Will run out of available button space on the I-Pac Ultimate. How do I expand?


 :cheers:

MTPPC

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 11:46:50 am »
If you are running out of buttons in the ipac ultimate, I ca't begin to imagine the frankenpanel you are getting "machined". Just remember that sometimes less is more... especially when it comes to arcade control panels.

http://www.wickedretarded.com/~crapmame/3.html
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usaf-lt-g

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2016, 01:03:08 pm »
If you are running out of buttons in the ipac ultimate, I ca't begin to imagine the frankenpanel you are getting "machined". Just remember that sometimes less is more... especially when it comes to arcade control panels.

http://www.wickedretarded.com/~crapmame/3.html

Thanks for completely assuming I'm designing a piece of crap, and not being helpful at all. I respectfully and thoroughly disagree with your assessment. Let me state the ways:

1) I have designed a 4 player control panel. Player 1 and 2 have Six Buttons to accommodate the fighter games. Players 3 and 4 have 4 buttons. In addition, each player has his / her own Player Button (Player 1, 2, 3, and 4) and "Coin Button (Coin 1, 2, 3, and 4)" - This is necessary, say for games like Gauntlet.

2) In addition - I have a U-Trak, a SpinTrak, and a HAPP Heavy Duty 8-Way Flight Stick, plus 2 additional buttons each side of the cabinet for virtual pinball. And up top "some" additional buttons for admin features for say "HyperSpin" - Genre, Cancel, Favorites, etc.

3) Now then.... taken into consideration the IPAC Ultimate allows 8 buttons each for Players 1 and 2, 4 buttons for Players 3 and 4, and an additional 4 buttons unmapped...... that gives a grand total of 28 Buttons that can be mapped. Given my explanation of #1 and #2 above (not counting Admin buttons) that setup alone comes to - 32 (4 buttons short of a dress shirt).

4) 36 Mappable buttons (4 additional up to top to map to admin buttons) would be the most ideal. Which btw, we're not talking about a CP that has hap hazardly organized buttons.... the buttons are organized and placed and labeled concisely.

Summary: I-Pac Ultimate allows 28 mappable buttons, I need 36 for good reason. What's the best way to accomplish this objectively?

MTPPC

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2016, 01:43:17 pm »
If you are running out of buttons in the ipac ultimate, I ca't begin to imagine the frankenpanel you are getting "machined". Just remember that sometimes less is more... especially when it comes to arcade control panels.

http://www.wickedretarded.com/~crapmame/3.html

Thanks for completely assuming I'm designing a piece of crap, and not being helpful at all. I respectfully and thoroughly disagree with your assessment. Let me state the ways:

1) I have designed a 4 player control panel. Player 1 and 2 have Six Buttons to accommodate the fighter games. Players 3 and 4 have 4 buttons. In addition, each player has his / her own Player Button (Player 1, 2, 3, and 4) and "Coin Button (Coin 1, 2, 3, and 4)" - This is necessary, say for games like Gauntlet.

2) In addition - I have a U-Trak, a SpinTrak, and a HAPP Heavy Duty 8-Way Flight Stick, plus 2 additional buttons each side of the cabinet for virtual pinball. And up top "some" additional buttons for admin features for say "HyperSpin" - Genre, Cancel, Favorites, etc.

3) Now then.... taken into consideration the IPAC Ultimate allows 8 buttons each for Players 1 and 2, 4 buttons for Players 3 and 4, and an additional 4 buttons unmapped...... that gives a grand total of 28 Buttons that can be mapped. Given my explanation of #1 and #2 above (not counting Admin buttons) that setup alone comes to - 32 (4 buttons short of a dress shirt).

4) 36 Mappable buttons (4 additional up to top to map to admin buttons) would be the most ideal. Which btw, we're not talking about a CP that has hap hazardly organized buttons.... the buttons are organized and placed and labeled concisely.

Summary: I-Pac Ultimate allows 28 mappable buttons, I need 36 for good reason. What's the best way to accomplish this objectively?
You're forgetting the shift function on your I-pac. Ask around if anyone else has ever "needed" 36 buttons for a multi.

BTW, you can map your pinball flippers to the player 1 buttons because you should never have reason to use both at the same time.

Just sayin'.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 01:46:35 pm by MTPPC »
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usaf-lt-g

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2016, 04:09:01 pm »
Quote
You're forgetting the shift function on your I-pac. Ask around if anyone else has ever "needed" 36 buttons for a multi.

BTW, you can map your pinball flippers to the player 1 buttons because you should never have reason to use both at the same time.

Just sayin'.

To be honest, I've been struggling to grasp the mapping of the buttons to the software, let a lone dabble in the "Shift Function..." and I'm a software engineer. You'd think the concept would be simpler. Your statement seems to imply two things. 1, I can daisy-chain 2 buttons together using the same input on I-Pac. 2, yes there's the shift button but I don't fully understand how that's supossed to work in real life.

Also - With the I-Pac's mapping software, people using Joy2key, and other software.... That has added an extra layer of confusion as to the proper mappings. I assumed simply that since the I-Pac Ultimate has it's own software, each input has it's own keyboard mapping already so I don't really see the point in Joy2Key unless it's needed for something else.

I can say this.... on the original control panel where the joysticks were all kinds of messed up.... Just trying to map HyperSpin with Mame was complicated enough and it never worked correctly (but half of that was because whomever wired it, did a really shoddy job). Isn't there a simpler way to map everything without having 6 different pieces of software to do it all?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 06:35:44 pm by usaf-lt-g »

cj138

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 04:42:12 pm »
Joy2Key and the like is for hardware recognized as game pads to translate to keyboard strokes. It is not necessary when using the Ipac which is already recognized as a keyboard by the PC.

cj138

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 04:45:29 pm »
This video by Moomert1 maybe helpful.

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2016, 06:28:59 pm »
To be honest, I've been struggling to grasp the mapping of the buttons to the software, let a lone dabble in the "Shift Function..." and I'm a software engineer. You'd think the concept would be simpler. Your statement seems to imply two things. 1, I can daisy-chain 2 buttons together using the same input on I-Pac. 2, yes there's the shift button but I don't fully understand how that's supossed to work in real life.
Your encoder is a programable keyboard.

1. Check your emulators/front end program to see if there are any fixed-function keystrokes.
(i.e. Some emulators will only exit when an "ESC" keystroke is sent)

2. Make a list of what keystroke each button/encoder input will need to send so they will work with all your emulators and front end -- re-map the emulator keystrokes as needed.
(i.e. MAME uses "1" for P1 Start and "5" for P1 Coin, NES emulator can use "1" for Start and "5" for Select)

You may want to change the keys that some emulators use to avoid key combos like "Alt + Tab", etc. -- the first four P1 buttons in MAME (Ctrl, Alt, Space, Shift) are a good place to start.

3. Program your encoder with the list of desired keystrokes.   ;D
---------------------
Regarding shifted functions:

On a regular keyboard, pressing "shift" + "2" sends the keystroke "@" instead of "2".

On your encoder, P1 Start is the default "shift" button.

If you press just P1 Start, the encoder outputs a "1" keystroke when you release P1 Start. (shift pressed, but no shifted functions triggered ==> acts like a normal input)

If you press/hold P1 Start then press right on P1 joystick, the encoder outputs a "TAB" keystroke. ("shift + right" shifted function triggered)

When a shifted function is triggered, the encoder assumes that you want to send the shifted keystroke (like "TAB") instead of the "1" keystroke.
-------------------------
The term "daisy-chaining" could mean that the switches (_/_) are wired in series like this:

  Encoder input _____/_____/____ ground

If you wire it like that, both switches have to be pressed at the same time to connect ground to the encoder input.

The way to do it is to wire the switches in parallel like this:

                            _____/______
  Encoder input  __|                     |__ ground
                            |_____/_____|

If you wire it this way, either switch can be pressed to connect ground to the encoder input which will cause the encoder to output the related keystroke.

Also - With the I-Pac's mapping software, people using Joy2key, and other software.... That has added an extra layer of confusion as to the proper mappings. I assumed simply that since the I-Pac Ultimate has it's own software, each input has it's own keyboard mapping already so I don't really see the point in Joy2Key unless it's needed for something else.
You don't need Joy2Key unless you are translating button presses from a joystick-style encoder to keystrokes.

The I-Pac and I-Pac Ultimate can both output keystrokes so you are correct that Joy2Key is not needed.   ;D


Scott
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 06:38:49 pm by PL1 »

usaf-lt-g

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 06:36:36 pm »
Joy2Key and the like is for hardware recognized as game pads to translate to keyboard strokes. It is not necessary when using the Ipac which is already recognized as a keyboard by the PC.

Got it thanks. So U360's which plug in to USB would fall into this category, and I assume so would the U-Trak and SpinTrak if they're plugged in as USB Devices?

usaf-lt-g

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2016, 06:47:14 pm »
3. Program your encoder with the list of desired keystrokes.   ;D
---------------------
Regarding shifted functions:

On a regular keyboard, pressing "shift" + "2" sends the keystroke "@" instead of "2".

On your encoder, P1 Start is the default "shift" button.

If you press just P1 Start, the encoder outputs a "1" keystroke when you release P1 Start. (shift pressed, but no shifted functions triggered ==> acts like a normal input)

If you press/hold P1 Start then press right on P1 joystick, the encoder outputs a "TAB" keystroke. ("shift + right" shifted function triggered)

When a shifted function is triggered, the encoder assumes that you want to send the shifted keystroke (like "TAB") instead of the "1" keystroke.

Thanks for the detailed explanation.  :applaud: Yes I think I have the daisy chaining down correctly (but as I said, I'm redoing it.... dont like the control layout or the types of joysticks used).

Regarding your #3 for Shifted functions. In all practicality when are these "Shifted functions" used? I can't imagine having to remember that I need to hold button 1 and push joystick 1 to get some crazy function.... unless perhaps a hidden admin menu or something.... but seems a bit odd. I just assumed If I needed to admin the box, I could remote in via my laptop if I absolutely had to or use a wireless keyboard. But I'm planning on not doing that, and havin it be standalone. Your insights on the practical use of shifted functions would be great though!

Still looking for thoughts on joysticks to use as well as I said, I'm replacing the 4 generic batts that are in dire need of replacement.

cj138

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2016, 07:57:39 pm »
The shift function is useful. 1 player start + 2 player start = escape back to frontend.  You can probably eliminate some of the admin buttons you want by using this feature. I use it to coin up and exit.
You will find opinions on joysticks will vary because it is so subjective.  However, I would just replace what you have with some Happ comp sticks.  Two U360's when you already have an Ultimare IPac is overkill in my opinion.   

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2016, 08:28:11 pm »
In all practicality when are these "Shifted functions" used? I can't imagine having to remember that I need to hold button 1 and push joystick 1 to get some crazy function.... unless perhaps a hidden admin menu or something.... but seems a bit odd.
There are two approaches to admin buttons/functions: dedicated admin buttons for Start, Coin, Exit, Pause, etc. or shifted functions.

The FAQ covers the pros and cons of both approaches.
(Internet Wayback Machine has a backup copy while we're patiently waiting for Saint to fix the wiki)

https://web.archive.org/web/20160809113045/http://newwiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=FAQ#Number_of_admin_buttons

Whichever approach you prefer, please don't ignore this bit of wisdom:
Quote
To keep guests or children from accidently messing up their cab configuration, many individuals choose to not include a Menu (Tab) button and disable the shifted function for Menu. (P1 Start + joystick right on I-Pac)


Scott

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2016, 12:06:46 pm »
The shift function is useful. 1 player start + 2 player start = escape back to frontend.  You can probably eliminate some of the admin buttons you want by using this feature. I use it to coin up and exit.
You will find opinions on joysticks will vary because it is so subjective.  However, I would just replace what you have with some Happ comp sticks.  Two U360's when you already have an Ultimare IPac is overkill in my opinion.

Happ 8-way comps eh? What about the microswitches? The joysticks that are installed now have the arm microswitches, and they are bent to hell. I'd prefer a joystick that didn't have those arm microswitches. The microswitches that come with the 8-way comps are they good? Are Zippy ultra-lights ok or something else?

Thanks for all the help guys! Have already done a ton of extensive research, and pretty much have the basics down, now trying to finish this thing and replace with good quality stuff.  :cheers:

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2016, 09:15:28 pm »
Anyone on my last comment regarding microswitches and the happ competitions? I'm at the point where I've finished sanding and bond'oing my cabinet, and about to prime, paint and apply the graphics. And my control panel is being finished being CNC'd on Monday. I'd like to finalize my order on joysticks and parts. Trying to get it ready in time for thanksgiving.

Thanks! :)


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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2016, 03:46:17 am »
There are loads of different microswitches out there, with and without actuator arms.

My usual go to switch are Cherry though.

My joysticks at the moment though are using modified ultimarc game switches with actuator arms.
They did have Sanwas on but I found them to stiff.

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2016, 10:04:11 am »
Do happ competition still use the arm microswitches? I'd prefer a stick that didn't use these if possible.


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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2016, 10:13:12 am »
Nah the happ comps use regular micro switches.

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Re: Wiring I-Pac Ultimate - Thoroughly Confused
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2020, 05:52:21 pm »
Has anyone been able to solve how to add additional buttons to the ultimate IO? My build is a total of 40 buttons...
P1/2 are 8 button + start+coin (these use their assigned locations)
P3/4 are 6 button + start+coin (the assigned locations do not have a spot for 5/6/start/coin)
4 admin buttons (the are using 1A/1B/2A/2B)

Is there a mapping solution via the track/spin ports?
Or do I have to add an additional iPac?