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Author Topic: Test Control Panel Design  (Read 2966 times)

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yrrkoon

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Test Control Panel Design
« on: February 18, 2020, 11:25:31 am »
Before I jump into a real cabinet, I'm going to build a little test bed to play with the software and wiring and confirm that I want to jump into a more elaborate project. This will allow me to:

  • experience what it's like wiring up a CP with multiple controls to a PC
  • experience what it's like getting MAME and various games working with it all
  • experience how to get LED blinky working for the stick, buttons, etc
  • experience how to get a frontend UI working
  • confirm that i would find a more elaborate project as fun a hobby as i think it'd be
  • confirm that i'd enjoy playing a retro arcade in my house

I want to make a basic CP that i can place on top of my computer desk and connect to my current PC.
I'm looking to just make a rectangular box. In it will be:

  • 1 Servostick
  • 6 LED Buttons
  • 1 start button
  • 1 trackball
  • 1 spinner

I think I want to arrange them from left to right - stick, buttons, trackball, spinner. My first problem is to sketch up a design and i'm not sure how far to space each control from one another. Not even the buttons. So I'm looking form some help on how to figure that out.

Is there a template or resource that I can draw from to create a basic panel layout like this?

Thanks!


Mike A

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2020, 11:48:51 am »
slagcoin.com has templates for joystick and button spacing.

bperkins01

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 12:03:16 pm »
I made full sized mockups on inexpensive 3/4" particle board...
tested on the bench and found the height and angle that was most comfortable..
and with a screen positioned at the right spot - then designed around that..
My Arcade Cabinet Build and other projects here:
Centipede, Joust, Asteroids, Galaga, Space Invaders Cocktail
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2020, 12:47:58 pm »
Before I jump into a real cabinet, I'm going to build a little test bed to play with the software and wiring and confirm that I want to jump into a more elaborate project. This will allow me to:

  • experience what it's like wiring up a CP with multiple controls to a PC
  • experience what it's like getting MAME and various games working with it all
  • experience how to get LED blinky working for the stick, buttons, etc
  • experience how to get a frontend UI working
  • confirm that i would find a more elaborate project as fun a hobby as i think it'd be
  • confirm that i'd enjoy playing a retro arcade in my house

I want to make a basic CP that i can place on top of my computer desk and connect to my current PC.
I'm looking to just make a rectangular box. In it will be:

  • 1 Servostick
  • 6 LED Buttons
  • 1 start button
  • 1 trackball
  • 1 spinner

I think I want to arrange them from left to right - stick, buttons, trackball, spinner. My first problem is to sketch up a design and i'm not sure how far to space each control from one another. Not even the buttons. So I'm looking form some help on how to figure that out.

Is there a template or resource that I can draw from to create a basic panel layout like this?

Thanks!

Thatís basically how I got started. Good luck!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Arroyo

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2020, 08:02:27 am »
Finally gonna dip your toe in, eh yrrkoon?

Did you go with the Rotary add-on for the stick?

yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2020, 11:31:56 am »
Finally gonna dip your toe in, eh yrrkoon?

Did you go with the Rotary add-on for the stick?

Hey Arroyo! Heh nope :). I got sticker shock buying it all at once so decided to do a phase 1 and phase 2. phase 1 is just the bare minimum (LED stick, buttons, ipac). phase 2 i'll add the rotary, trackball, and spinner. So i plan to make the CP large enough to accommodate all of it but initially won't populate it with everything yet. btw, got my parts yesterday!



Thank you for all the help and feedback everyone!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 11:37:28 am by yrrkoon »

yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 11:40:02 am »
weird my image isn't displaying. uploaded it to imgbb.com and inserted it with an img tag but nothing. whats the trick to sharing photos?

Arroyo

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2020, 11:42:19 am »
weird my image isn't displaying. uploaded it to imgbb.com and inserted it with an img tag but nothing. whats the trick to sharing photos?

Your link doesnít appear to end in .jpg or another picture standard.  Check your link again it should have the name of the image followed by the image extension (.jpeg, .gif, etc.)

You can modify your previous post and correct the link.

yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2020, 11:57:55 am »
Your link doesnít appear to end in .jpg or another picture standard.  Check your link again it should have the name of the image followed by the image extension (.jpeg, .gif, etc.)

You can modify your previous post and correct the link.

imgbb.com doesn't supply an URL with a filename extension. what hosting service are you using?

Arroyo

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 12:08:59 pm »
imgbb.com doesn't supply an URL with a filename extension. what hosting service are you using?

Most of us just upload the pictures here on BYOAC:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=159740.360

The link is at the top of the Project Announcements main page.

yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2020, 12:14:53 pm »
Most of us just upload the pictures here on BYOAC:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=159740.360

The link is at the top of the Project Announcements main page.

how does that work? you attach the image to a post over in that thread and then somehow link it to your actual thread? How do you do the later?

first forum software that i've seen where i can't simply post my imgbb.com URL and it works. :-\

Arroyo

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2020, 01:36:13 pm »
how does that work? you attach the image to a post over in that thread and then somehow link it to your actual thread? How do you do the later?

Attach the image.  Then after it shows up in the picture thread, right click the image and select copy address (or copy depending on the OS)

Then in this thread click the image tags [IMG][/img

And paste between the image brackets.  So it might look something like this:

[IMG] http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=159740.0;attach=381406;image[/img


Just get rid of the quotations as I put this in so you could see the text instead of the actual picture.

Edit:  that didnít work, so instead close the [/img tag with a bracket at the end
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 01:38:43 pm by Arroyo »

yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2020, 02:09:11 pm »


heh interesting way of doing things. thanks!

test pic of my parts. wait, that didn't come out right..

yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2020, 04:17:42 pm »
Hey Arroyo where did you get your laminate and t-molding from? I'm looking to play with both a bit for this test.

Also does anyone know what the little black switch is for that comes with the servostick and the Ipac? There is one in the photo i posted next to the yellow actuator and one at the far end of the counter past the ipac. 

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2020, 06:04:19 pm »
ok whats the trick to printing those layout images on slagcoin.com to scale?

Arroyo

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2020, 06:11:04 pm »
Hey Arroyo where did you get your laminate and t-molding from? I'm looking to play with both a bit for this test.

Check this thread where itís thoroughly discussed:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=161799

Quote
Also does anyone know what the little black switch is for that comes with the servostick and the Ipac? There is one in the photo i posted next to the yellow actuator and one at the far end of the counter past the ipac.

Thatís a standard microswitch used on buttons and joysticks.  Not sure why you would have received one, maybe a spare part?

Arroyo

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2020, 06:12:38 pm »
ok whats the trick to printing those layout images on slagcoin.com to scale?


The file should be to scale, just have to make sure when printing that you select ďto scaleĒ in your printer settings before printing.  All the professional printing places have this option (Kinkoís, etc)

yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2020, 07:50:54 pm »
The file should be to scale, just have to make sure when printing that you select ďto scaleĒ in your printer settings before printing.  All the professional printing places have this option (Kinkoís, etc)

ya i don't seem to have a setting that forces it to keep it at scale. tried different programs and the vanilla windows 10 printer device dialog but struggling with it. i'll figure it out eventually. something like this shouldn't be that hard! :D

anyways I started sketching a simple CP out after looking through numerous CP's particularly the ones on slagcoin and yours Arroyo. I think i'll just go with a simple 16 x 8 slanted (5-8 degrees) CP which i figure should be enough space to accommodate the stick, 6 buttons, trackball, and spinner. Working on the layout now. I'll probably paint the bottom, throw some t-molding around the top, and a layer of laminate on top just to get some practice with those things. A few questions are coming to mind as i do this though..

1. where do i buy rubber feet for this thing?
2. if i make the bottom see-through, where do i get some plastic?
3. how big do i make the interior? A lot of the ones on slagcoin are ~1.5" or less inside which strikes me as tight given the trackball dimensions are ~2.3" depth and the Stick 2.1". Even if i route the top board and the controls are recessed somewhat it seems like going any less then 2" is crazy at least where the controls rest.
4. at some point i'll want to make my wiring neat and tidy. i need to research various ways of doing this. of the CP's i've seen the ones that look like they're ziptied or something are tidy but i don't know how they route the bundle of wires so neatly. something to look into..


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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2020, 09:43:20 pm »

1. where do i buy rubber feet for this thing?

I bought some off Amazon.  Specifically these:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003B0YDRM/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apip_QgXwNrbZQh1xP

Just search for it on the web or Amazon.  AliExpress is great for this kind of stuff as well, although it takes awhile to get here.

Quote
2. if i make the bottom see-through, where do i get some plastic?

Iíve mainly used Tap Plastics, they have local shops, are very helpful, and cut to size.  There of course are other options online as well.

Quote
3. how big do i make the interior? A lot of the ones on slagcoin are ~1.5" or less inside which strikes me as tight given the trackball dimensions are ~2.3" depth and the Stick 2.1". Even if i route the top board and the controls are recessed somewhat it seems like going any less then 2" is crazy at least where the controls rest.

Most of those are designed for joystick only.  Using a trackball will most likely require an increased depth (height of panel top).  You can route out material but that is more work and takes more practice to get it down right.


Quote
4. at some point i'll want to make my wiring neat and tidy. i need to research various ways of doing this. of the CP's i've seen the ones that look like they're ziptied or something are tidy but i don't know how they route the bundle of wires so neatly. something to look into..


Thereís always shrink tubing if you want to combine multiple wires and make it look neat:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071H5XC7C/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_i_pWYvEbY2SYE0T

You use a heat gun and it shrinks around the wires and makes it look like one big black wire.  Zip ties and Velcro stapled/screwed to the wood worked as well.

yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2020, 10:22:17 pm »
Thanks as always Arroyo. Super helpful.  I'm pretty sure I owe you at least one bottle of wine or a growler of beer by now.. :)

I decided to grab a notepad and sketch roughly what i'm looking to build. Pretty simple really. It seems like if I make it 2' x 1' in size, that should separate the controls comfortably enough. Mind you, I have no real science behind that other then eyeballing it. Thoughts? Here is my basic sketch..



I did some shopping today. Ended up buying a 2'x4' sheet of 1/2" birch plywood after realizing at home cheapo that if i build this thing out of 3/4" it's going to be really heavy. The 1/2" stuff seemed plenty strong for this application and much easier on the weight. I had to search quicklike to confirm that they do indeed make 1/2" t-molding.

I think that i'll skip a plastic bottom. No real point. But i do want to hinge the top. I got the same hidden hinges that you used Arroyo :). I also want to make the top deck larger then the box it sits on so i'm thinking a 1/2" or 3/4" lip all the way around.

Laminate is a problem. I really want to cover the top deck with it but i'm concerned about the commitment to buy a 4'x8' sheet and the glue and things that go with it just to do a small test CP. uhg.. Anyone got a 2' x 1' sheet they can sell me for $10 and a cup of glue? lol

I've been buying various bits and screws that I think that i'll need. Feels like i'm getting close to actually trying to build something. I need to get my miter saw from my brother and borrow his table saw and router table. Then I just need a day. Two weekends from now looks promising. Considering the amount of work this all is, i'm starting to have doubts that i have it in me to do an entire stand up cabinet when I know that I can just buy one. The amount of stuff that you have to learn about and time is not trivial. But that's the point of the test CP. baby steps :)

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2020, 11:45:34 pm »
You would probibally  be miles ahead if you just bring the wood to your brother's, it would be easier than moving all that equipment, and he probably knows not only how to use it safely and efficiently...But the limitations of what his saws are capable of.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2020, 11:55:00 am »
I'm pretty sure I owe you at least one bottle of wine or a growler of beer by now.. :)

I like beer ;-) really into Fieldwork if youíve heard of that, probably my favorite right now.

Quote
Thoughts? Here is my basic sketch..

Looks good, I think itís a really good idea to start of with something small like this so you can get a sense of how to work with the tools, and as you said see how much you like it.  Good call.  Only thing I would mention is make sure you leave enough room for you left hand on the left edge of the joystick.  Donít want it feeling like itís in the edge or about to fall off.

Quote
I did some shopping today. Ended up buying a 2'x4' sheet of 1/2" birch plywood after realizing at home cheapo that if i build this thing out of 3/4" it's going to be really heavy.

Having worked with both sizes I really donít think it adds much weight, and it is a bit sturdier.  Having said that Iím sure youíll be fine, thatís what I used on my box.  I only wish Iíd bought better stuff, especially if you are going to paint it.  The cheap stuff means a lot more work getting the surface smooth.

Quote
But I do want to hinge the top. I got the same hidden hinges that you used Arroyo :).

Nice, they are a bit of a pain to route out correctly, especially on an angle, but itís a great learning opportunity with the router.  Let me know if you need help.

Quote
Anyone got a 2' x 1' sheet they can sell me for $10 and a cup of glue? lol

I have extra but it is tuff to ship and not sure youíd want to drive out here to get it but your welcome to if you want me to cut you off some.  What are you planning on using it on? 

Quote
Then I just need a day.

Ha! I guess it depends on what all you want to do, but plan on many weekends, especially if this stuff is new to you.  It always takes way longer than you think.


Quote
Two weekends from now looks promising. Considering the amount of work this all is, i'm starting to have doubts that i have it in me to do an entire stand up cabinet when I know that I can just buy one.

Thereís something to be said for this, if you find in building this panel you donít enjoy the process then yeah, building a whole cab probably isnít worth it.  There are a number of companies that will build you one for a relatively good price.  Just donít maim for MAME.


Quote
The amount of stuff that you have to learn about and time is not trivial. But that's the point of the test CP. baby steps :)

Exactly, but itís a lot of fun if you like learning new things.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2020, 12:59:08 pm »
You would probibally  be miles ahead if you just bring the wood to your brother's, it would be easier than moving all that equipment, and he probably knows not only how to use it safely and efficiently...But the limitations of what his saws are capable of.
That's probably true but these are site tools that aren't that hard to move. We do it every few months since we each own about half the tools and just shuttle them back and forth. But I may do that since I don't have that many cuts to do. Maybe just plan what i want to do ahead of time and have a beer with him :).

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2020, 01:06:16 pm »
Quote
I like beer ;-) really into Fieldwork if youíve heard of that, probably my favorite right now.

Indeed I have! My wife frequents there with her girlfriends and brings me back growlers of their different hazy's. Very yummy and smooth! You have good taste!

Quote
Looks good, I think itís a really good idea to start of with something small like this so you can get a sense of how to work with the tools, and as you said see how much you like it.  Good call.  Only thing I would mention is make sure you leave enough room for you left hand on the left edge of the joystick.  Donít want it feeling like itís in the edge or about to fall off.

Good point, i'll template it out before i do any cuts and make sure I like how it feels. That'll give me a chance to nail down the size of the thing a bit more too.

Quote
Nice, they are a bit of a pain to route out correctly, especially on an angle, but itís a great learning opportunity with the router.  Let me know if you need help.

I just realized with my going to a 1/2" piece of wood i probably can't use those hinges. Bummer.. Unless i get inventive perhaps.

Quote
Thereís something to be said for this, if you find in building this panel you donít enjoy the process then yeah, building a whole cab probably isnít worth it.  There are a number of companies that will build you one for a relatively good price.  Just donít maim for MAME.

oh i definitely enjoy it. But there are so many other things I also enjoy that at the end of the day I have to figure out how to spend what limited offtime i have. I may just chip away at it and make it a multiyear project ultimately :D

Anyways I was thinking of using the laminate for the top surface rather then just having wood or painted wood. I don't want to use plastic either. Plus it'd give me some practice applying some of the stuff.

I'm also thinking of this style of assembling the controllers. Where I route the bottom a bit and screw them in from the top using countersunk screws. Then the top piece of wood is attached with hinges. Seems like the simplest approach for me and allows for a sheet of laminate. The bottom box i'll throw together with wood glue and pocket screws.


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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2020, 01:53:51 pm »
Time to order my spinner. Whats the difference between a small and large flyweight? I'm not sure which one to get.

Also what use is the bezel that is an option for the trackball? Looking at the photos, it doesn't seem necessary..

I was figuring that I don't need the USB interface options given that I have the IPAC ultimate. Does that sound right?

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2020, 03:56:35 pm »
The bezel that goes around the trackball is nice. It is a black ring that slides over the trackball mount and looks slick on the top sheet. Something of note though, be sure to thoroughly read the install instructions and buy the proper tools for the job. I used a scrap piece of wood to do a mockup of the install, minus hammering in the expanding inserts for the screws. Also, the thickness of the wood for your panel should be 5/8" if you want the trackball to sit flush. I made the mistake of using 3/4" plywood and there is a 1/8" drop from the top of the bezel to the trackball. Not the end of the world but it would look a lot better if it wasn't there.

The trackball will connect directly to your iPac slot labeled "trackball" without the need for the USB. However, the length of the wires coming from the trackball is only 6-8 inches long. Be sure to mount your iPac close enough to the trackball that it is an easy install. Otherwise you will have to extend the wires.

I cannot speak for the spinner. I did not install one in my cabinet. Best of luck! Post some pics when you get everything installed.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2020, 05:35:48 pm »
The bezel that goes around the trackball is nice. It is a black ring that slides over the trackball mount and looks slick on the top sheet. Something of note though, be sure to thoroughly read the install instructions and buy the proper tools for the job. I used a scrap piece of wood to do a mockup of the install, minus hammering in the expanding inserts for the screws. Also, the thickness of the wood for your panel should be 5/8" if you want the trackball to sit flush. I made the mistake of using 3/4" plywood and there is a 1/8" drop from the top of the bezel to the trackball. Not the end of the world but it would look a lot better if it wasn't there.

The trackball will connect directly to your iPac slot labeled "trackball" without the need for the USB. However, the length of the wires coming from the trackball is only 6-8 inches long. Be sure to mount your iPac close enough to the trackball that it is an easy install. Otherwise you will have to extend the wires.

Thanks super helpful! In my case i have a 1/2" sheet of wood so it sounds like i'll have the opposite problem and will have to find a way to insert some spacing in there.

I was also wondering about the wiring extension and whether to get it. Think i will just to be on the safe side.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2020, 01:08:48 pm »
Yeah, the 1/2" wood might give you trouble. You definitely want the plastic trackball surround to sit below your top sheet. Oddly enough 1/2" plywood is actually 15/32" thick. 5/8" is 19/32" thick. If you added an insert of 1/8" plywood (7/64" thick), on paper it would equal 5/8" but the actual dimensions would leave a 1/64" stickup above your top sheet. That is about 0.4 mm. The bezel will likely slide down to your topsheet and you'll a very small lip above the bezel. it shouldn't be that noticeable.

You'll want to glue and press the two pieces of wood together though and drill the expandable screw insert holes to spec. I had a buddy come over and smash the living %^&*( out of the trackball while playing golden tee. The whole trackball dropped out... The issue was that I had to bore out two of the holes ever so slightly to get the screws to fit properly. This lead to less stability from the mounting screws that my buddy hulked right out of the plywood. If it isn't too late, I might consider getting a quarter sheet of 5/8" plywood and use your current setup as a template.


yrrkoon

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2020, 02:03:49 am »
well we may as well work on projects while we're stuck at home eh?  :)

I got my trackball, spinner, and ikari 8 way upgrade today. sadly i have to choose between the ikari upgrade or making my stick glow as you can't do both. since they forgot to send me a switch plate for the upgrade, i'll go with a glowy stick for now.

I started playing with my layout. Thinking perhaps this. 11" x 20" top sheet.
I'm trying to position the stick and buttons such that i have some space for my hands to rest to the left and below them..
4" feels like enough between the buttons and the track ball..
Finding a spot for the spinner is more tricky since i'm guessing if i put it too close to the trackball i'll hit it. So atm i'm just trying to eyeball a location that doesn't feel horrible without making the whole thing too big.

Feels about right atm..


Arroyo

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2020, 07:36:02 am »
Make sure to draw the outline of the stuff below your outlines.  For example the trackball takes up a lot of space underneath the hole at the surface.  Draw the outline of that housing underneath on the top so you make sure to leave enough spacing between components.

As for your earlier question about the fly wheel on the spinner, it provides weight to the spinner when turning it.  In my opinion the heavier is kinda the better.  Without it the spinners can feel like a cheap toy rather than a real control.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2020, 02:56:55 pm »
Make sure to draw the outline of the stuff below your outlines.  For example the trackball takes up a lot of space underneath the hole at the surface.  Draw the outline of that housing underneath on the top so you make sure to leave enough spacing between components.

As for your earlier question about the fly wheel on the spinner, it provides weight to the spinner when turning it.  In my opinion the heavier is kinda the better.  Without it the spinners can feel like a cheap toy rather than a real control.

ya good suggestion. I was going to do something along those lines but hadn't investigated the clearance of the trackball yet. Turns out it was too tight against where the rightmost board would be. So i'm widening the top board 0.5" and while I was at i decided to drop the trackball down 5/8" and centered it with the lower row of buttons. I did this to provide a bit more separation from the spinner and it seems more comfortable.

atm i'm thinking i'll have a 1/2" overhang all the way around on the top board (vs the rest of the "box"). i'm also going to round the edges of the top board and see if i can't put some 1/2" t-molding around it.
i also still plan to angle the top board some amount. haven't figured out how much yet. perhaps 8 degrees like the one box on slagcoin.com.
i'm not going to hinge the top board afterall. Instead i'll probably go with a plexiglass bottom that is removable with screws in case it ever needs maintenance.

anyways, just sketching out all the cuts and pieces i need to make so i can head over to my brothers.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2020, 01:56:02 pm »
So, I reached out to my brother to go do my cuts using his table saw last weekend and he wasn't available so I got impatient and grabbed my circular saw. It's just a test panel after all right? A few cuts in I realized it wasn't going well. Making straight cuts with a circular saw freehand is a challenge to say the least. Yeah, I should've used a guide. Needless to say, I butchered the cuts and stopped 3 boards in..  ;D

In hindsight it's a blessing in disguise though. The 3 boards allowed me to prop my panel to see what it was looking like and I realized that I don't like it (see photo). It's too tall, and the slope is more aggressive then i had in my mind. So minimal effort spent and in hindsight it let me feel out what the thing would look like. Frankly, if i did this again i'd recommend buying 2 boards and doing something similar to test out your concept.

A big reason it ended up so tall is i was planning on putting the LED ball on my joystick which has an obnoxiously long bar and wiring. So after seeing this, I think i'll remove it and just use the non-lit version so that i can drop the panel height a ton (~2" lower).

The slope was around 11.3 degrees which didn't seem like much on paper. But when I saw it, It's quite a bit. So i'm thinking that i'll go down to 8 degrees. I *think* that'll be closer to what i was after. The front should be around 2.5" and the back around 4.5" in height which when eyeballing it seemed "better". we'll see i guess. if anyone has any opinions fire away. I initially thought a more aggressive slope would be preferable since i was putting it on my desk in front of my computer monitor. but i'm rethinking that.


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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2020, 06:49:12 pm »
I got impatient so I ended up buying my own table saw - something I've wanted anyways in the past. Being stuck at home with a hobby was just an excuse to push me over the edge.



So I got to cutting. After a mistake or two and a trigonometry error I had my pieces and did a quick dry fit to see how i liked the size/slope/feel..



It feels great. So I got to rounding the corners with my new router guides. Unfortunately without a router table it was kind of hacky but I'm happy enough with it..




Then I drilled out some of my holes. I don't have the cutter for the trackball yet but the others came out ok. No drill press. Not as clean as I'd like but part of that was my impatience. Nothing that anyone will see anyways..



Then I grabbed some of my previously screwed up cp pieces and tried out the pocket jig for the first time. Once I figured out where I wanted to use it, I made my holes and assembled the whole thing with some wood glue..



So here it is after this weekend. Looks and feels pretty good and what I was after as a start.. I will re-enforce it a bit.



Next step is to fill those exterior pocket holes somehow. Whats the best way to do that and end up with a decent painted finish result? I'll probably repair my drilling blowouts too while i'm in there before i sand everything. Since I plan to make the bottom see-through and removable I should keep the inside clean I figure.

I'll add some support in the corners and a ledge for the plastic to screw to on the bottom.

Also I want to paint the lower half. Will probably just use some enamel spray paint and primer with sanding.

Got my laminate for the top layer and ordered my t-molding to route around the edge.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 06:50:50 pm by yrrkoon »

Arroyo

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2020, 11:31:36 pm »
Nice job dude.  Thatís a solid first attempt.  Didnít know about the router rounding guides, interesting.  On those button holes.  One technique that Iíve come to really like is drilling a template with a forstner bit and then using it as a guide while using the router with a flush trim bit.  Ideally you have a drill press with the forstner to make sure itís at a perfect right angle.  Bought mine from the Depot for around $100.  Itís the only ďcheapĒ tool that I havenít felt the need to replace.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2020, 11:40:25 pm »
Use a hole saw. drill the bottom of the CP until the pilot bit pokes through, then flip it over and use the pilot hole as a guide. Nice, clean, fast holes.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2020, 02:50:42 am »
Next step is to fill those exterior pocket holes somehow. Whats the best way to do that and end up with a decent painted finish result? I'll probably repair my drilling blowouts too while i'm in there before i sand everything. Since I plan to make the bottom see-through and removable I should keep the inside clean I figure.

Any reason not to laminate the entire thing, looks small enough to be able to get the laminate for cheap enough.

Alternatively Bondo will be your friend for the hole filling, There are a few tutorials about if you've never used it before.  (Using the right amount of hardener is key).

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2020, 10:52:33 am »


Those router guides look kinda cool.  I've not seen them before.

What do you think of that Dewalt cordless router?

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2020, 10:55:59 am »
If you like the corner radius guides, you can buy them pretty cheap on Amazon. Places like Woodpecker and Rockler charge a bunch for them.

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2020, 11:53:10 am »
Next step is to fill those exterior pocket holes somehow. Whats the best way to do that and end up with a decent painted finish result?

Is there a reason you did them on the exterior instead of interior ?? Seems it would have been easier to do them on the interior in the first place rather than have mess with filling etc. after doing them on the exterior side !

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Re: Test Control Panel Design
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2020, 02:47:01 pm »
Next step is to fill those exterior pocket holes somehow. Whats the best way to do that and end up with a decent painted finish result?

Is there a reason you did them on the exterior instead of interior ?? Seems it would have been easier to do them on the interior in the first place rather than have mess with filling etc. after doing them on the exterior side !

The way those boards were cut you would need a pretty snub-nosed drill to get those pocket screws in.  I suspect that is the reason.