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Author Topic: Install trackball on wooden panel WITHOUT mounting plate or carriage bolts  (Read 7995 times)

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Marsupial

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This may look silly, but I've been searching for a while for a good way to mount the trackball without using metal brackets.

The traditional method to mount a trackball is to use a bracket and try to hide it with a pocket on top, to be hidden (not quite) under the art.

But, sometimes the bracket is pricier to ship than the cost of the trackball.
Sometimes people aren't used enough with their routers to consider this method.

Sometimes they would like other inputs closer to the ball. For instance, the mouse buttons gets too far off when using the metal plate. It's a matter of personal preference.

But... You know... Sometimes people thinks they know better and insist the only way is using a mounting bracket.
Sometimes they can't imagine people thinking otherwise. But, hey, it's cool. There are other ways. One of which is without a mounting plate.
here's how:

https://wereallgeeks.wordpress.com/2021/06/18/trackball_noplate/









I hope this may help people out.


Otherwise, some people are looking at more extreme methods, such as this one:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=161771.0

Which is cool too...

Regardless,

Enjoy.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 11:25:23 pm by Marsupial »
-Mars

Marsupial

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Here's what it looks like on a more complete control panel


Note the lack of apparent mounting hardware.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 12:15:14 am by Marsupial »
-Mars

Mike A

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I find it interesting that lots of people worry about seeing carriage bolts, but then have visible dust washers that don't seem to

bother them.




Marsupial

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I find it interesting that lots of people worry about seeing carriage bolts, but then have visible dust washers that don't seem to

bother them.

The dustwasher is part of the joystick. They even sell decorative dustwashers.
Removing them on a wooden panel equates to possible pinch injury... unless you do something with the holes - rounded works but isn't interesting when having artwork.
It is far less ugly on wood panels to see the dust washer than the 3/4inch hole.

Do you see carriage bolts around the joysticks? The issue is showing the mounting hardware.  :angel:
-Mars

Mike A

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Real arcade machines had visible carriage bolt heads and the dust washers were underneath the panel.

Decorative dust washers are sold by people who never played games in an arcade to people who never played games in an arcade.

The best way to mount the trackball flush in wood is to use the Mounting plate. You just route out a pocket in the top of the panel and drop the plate in.

Your CPO can go right over it. No visible mounting hardware.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 11:26:51 am by Mike A »

Marsupial

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According to the joystick manufacturers, the dust washers are to be placed under the metal panel, but over the wood panel.

Arcades with wood panels sometimes had carriage bolts but often had bolts inserts.

I don't see why you're being offended by people trying to help others.
-Mars

Mike A

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I am not offended.

I am just pointing out the correct way to do things.

Trackballs in a wood CP are mounted with a plate that sits in a pocket to make it flush with the top.

Gnawing out a space underneath and screwing in wood blocks is not nearly as stable and is more difficult.

You can do it how you want, but this is a public forum and sometimes people may disagree with you.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 02:35:20 pm by Mike A »

Marsupial

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I am not offended.

I am just pointing out the correct way to do things.

Trackballs in a wood CP are mounted with a plate that sits in a pocket to make it flush with the top.

Gnawing out a space underneath and screwing in wood blocks is not nearly as stable and is more difficult.

You can do it how you want, but this is a public forum and sometimes people may disagree with you.
Have you read the title of the thread?

Nobody is claiming it can't be done using a mounting plate. Everybody knows how to use a mounting plate, it has been covered long and large.
But people may prefer not to.
That is what this thread is all about....

If that isn't what you're after, then you may be in the wrong thread.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 03:49:27 pm by Marsupial »
-Mars

Mike A

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You seem to be very confused that someone doesn't agree with you.

It is okay. It happens.

Quote
This may look silly, but I've been searching for a while for a good way to mount the trackball without hiding the graphics on the topside.

Quote
having the plate ruins the overlay design intended for the panel
This quote is from your link.

Your thread is a bit misleading. The way you are wording things it makes it seem like the mounting plate would be on top of the artwork.

The mounting plate sits underneath the artwork, flush with the cp. It does not hide the artwork.




Marsupial

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You seem to be very confused that someone doesn't agree with you.

It is okay. It happens.

Quote
This may look silly, but I've been searching for a while for a good way to mount the trackball without hiding the graphics on the topside.

Quote
having the plate ruins the overlay design intended for the panel
This quote is from your link.

Your thread is a bit misleading. The way you are wording things it makes it seem like the mounting plate would be on top of the artwork.

The mounting plate sits underneath the artwork, flush with the cp. It does not hide the artwork.
The issue is that the metal/wood seam is always visible trough the artwork.

Again, some people may want to spare the mounting plate, which isn't wrong, why does it bother you so much?
-Mars

Mike A

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It bothers me because you are spreading incorrect information.

Quote
The issue is that the metal/wood seam is always visible trough the artwork.

That is simply not true.



Can you see the mounting plate seam here?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 04:08:20 pm by Mike A »

Marsupial

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It bothers me because you are spreading incorrect information.

Quote
The issue is that the metal/wood seam is always visible trough the artwork.

That is simply not true.



Can you see the mounting plate seam here?

this panel is so new that the buttons and sticks aren't even installed yet. Give it time, the seam will show trough. You can always feel it with your fingers, and this will show trough the artwork.

Again, you may very well be in the wrong thread if you refuse to let people chose how to build their own control panel...
-Mars

Mike A

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I played a bunch of games on that panel well after it was finished.

I can have the forum member take recent pics if you like.

You are WRONG.


Marsupial

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You are WRONG.

When did it become wrong to offer people options?
-Mars

Mike A

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Quote
Give it time, the seam will show trough. You can always feel it with your fingers, and this will show trough the artwork.

This is what you are wrong about.

Options are fine as long as the information provided is correct.

You are providing misleading information.

I will let it drop. You are just not getting it.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 04:27:27 pm by Mike A »

Gilrock

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Robotron and Joust used metal plates to hide the dust washers.  I've built both and the seam between the wood and metal is undetectable.  It might show through if you use thin 3mil vinyl but 10mil vinyl it works fine.


Marsupial

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You seem to be very confused that someone doesn't agree with you.

It is okay. It happens.

Quote
Give it time, the seam will show trough. You can always feel it with your fingers, and this will show trough the artwork.

This is what you are wrong about.

Options are fine as long as the information provided is correct.

You are providing misleading information.

I will let it drop. You are just not getting it.

Maybe your panel didn't have a seam show off, but that is something that I have seen more often that I wished for, even on professionally build panels.

Now, regardless if the mounting plate would eventually or not have visible seam;
regardless if the novice wants to install a plate or can achieve the top routing;
regardless if the plate is available;
regardless if the plate is affortable;
regardless if the plate is an interesting option.

People have the right of choice, and seeing options is what makes this hobby interesting.
-Mars

Marsupial

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Robotron and Joust used metal plates to hide the dust washers.  I've built both and the seam between the wood and metal is undetectable.  It might show through if you use thin 3mil vinyl but 10mil vinyl it works fine.


Thanks Gilrock. I have never seen an openned original Robotron cabinet and wondered how they build their joysticks - wooden with underneath dustwasher.!?
I have the same 4 inch wico red balltop on a wooden panel and it doesn't look the same, I tought I was crazy!
Do they sell these plates anywhere?
-Mars

Marsupial

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Robotron and Joust used metal plates to hide the dust washers.  I've built both and the seam between the wood and metal is undetectable.  It might show through if you use thin 3mil vinyl but 10mil vinyl it works fine.


BTW is that your panel?
This picture is awesome.
-Mars

Gilrock

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I made those plates on the Robotron because it was a round hole but for Joust I bought the plates from here:
https://www.boulderarcadefactory.com/Parts_Store.php

That guy isn't always the easiest to get a hold of.  I had to email and ask for a quote.  That is a panel I built but it was based on photographs from original control panels that I saw restored.


Marsupial

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I made those plates on the Robotron because it was a round hole but for Joust I bought the plates from here:
https://www.boulderarcadefactory.com/Parts_Store.php

That guy isn't always the easiest to get a hold of.  I had to email and ask for a quote.  That is a panel I built but it was based on photographs from original control panels that I saw restored.

I just figured out how they made it, from that site you posted


That's very interesting! Thanks a lot Gilrock.
-Mars

Gilrock

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Yep...my Robotron thread also has a lot of images from where I recreated the design.  If you scroll down you can see how nice it looked after the overlay was installed.  I don't have any edges where the metal plate is.  The worst part is the curve.  I guess mine was not a perfect radius all the way across because over time I've developed a couple creases along the curve from the weight of my hands.  The radius was slightly inconsistent because I sanded by hand.
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,159570.msg1678928.html#msg1678928

RandyT

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Nothing wrong with routing a pocket for the trackball.  The only thing I would change is to use a couple of small L-brackets, instead of a wooden block.  One could even use some plumbing strap and threaded inserts in the underside of the panel.

Whatever the method, so long as it's a solid mount which will hold up over time/use and can be easily and repeatedly removed for servicing, there are no wrong answers.

Marsupial

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Thanks Randy.

My original intentions was to use metal brackets, but just couldn't fing ones with the proper height for some reasons.

I didn't think of straps. That's an interesting method.
-Mars

javeryh

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I just use the mounting plate and then bondo the seams until everything is perfectly flush.  If you make multiple passes and are careful, you will not see the seam at all.  It's not like I'll ever remove the mounting plate and if I want to repurpose the trackball someday I'll just buy another plate for it.

MartyKong

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Re: Install trackball on wooden panel WITHOUT mounting plate or carriage bolts
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2021, 03:23:39 pm »
            ^
Yep - THIS:)