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jaekrieldgx:
Greets

I apologize if this has already been asked - didn't find the topic or question raised by someone else

SO I've been watching YouTube videos on arcade building for quite some time, and I want to start building a couple retro game arcades

I realize most of the "MAME" arcade cabs on YouTube have almost the same setup with a joystick, 8 buttons and if two player (which almost all are) another joystick and another set of 8 buttons - and then sometimes a trackball and/or spinner added as well.

Problems is - for almost all of my favorite retro arcade games from the 80s - they all have different controls from each other - and two of my favorites -  are Karate Champ (which as far as I know is the grandaddy of all VS martial arts fighting games) and Battlezone.

Both of these games (as well as Robotron 2048, which I don't think I ever played actually)  require two joysticks per player to maneuver (which I'm sure most of you know)

So...my question is - how do I configure this? DO I need a separate control board per joystick? Because most of them that I see seem to only have connectors for one joystick

I asked someone on YouTube this question, and he told me to get a  Ultimarc I-PAC 4 (which I assume would be for a two player setup) and that board seems to have connectors for 1up, 1down, 1left, 1 right, as well as 2 - 3 - and 4 left, right, up down.

So does anyone know - or can confirm that I can use this board for two players - each using two joysticks ? And similarly - If I wanted to build just a 1 player Karate Champ Cab let's say - I could accomplish the same thing with using a Ultimarc I-PAC 2?

Sorry for the long post - it's my curse to be thorough and long winded as a result

Thanks in advance

~ Jaek

Fursphere:
Traditional arcade joysticks are just buttons underneath.  Microswitches or leaf switches.   You can wire them up as normal buttons.  You can wire two 'inputs' to one port on your interface board - like button #1 can also be joystick #2 'left'.  Don't overthink it.

I'm not sure what the dual joystick games expect for joystick #2 input, but its easy enough to configure to whatever you want.

PL1:

--- Quote from: jaekrieldgx on February 17, 2024, 10:01:41 pm ---I realize most of the "MAME" arcade cabs on YouTube have almost the same setup with a joystick, 8 buttons and if two player (which almost all are) another joystick and another set of 8 buttons - and then sometimes a trackball and/or spinner added as well.

Problems is - for almost all of my favorite retro arcade games from the 80s - they all have different controls from each other - and two of my favorites -  are Karate Champ (which as far as I know is the grandaddy of all VS martial arts fighting games) and Battlezone.

Both of these games (as well as Robotron 2048, which I don't think I ever played actually)  require two joysticks per player to maneuver (which I'm sure most of you know)

So...my question is - how do I configure this? DO I need a separate control board per joystick? Because most of them that I see seem to only have connectors for one joystick

I asked someone on YouTube this question, and he told me to get a  Ultimarc I-PAC 4 (which I assume would be for a two player setup) and that board seems to have connectors for 1up, 1down, 1left, 1 right, as well as 2 - 3 - and 4 left, right, up down.

So does anyone know - or can confirm that I can use this board for two players - each using two joysticks ? And similarly - If I wanted to build just a 1 player Karate Champ Cab let's say - I could accomplish the same thing with using a Ultimarc I-PAC 2?

--- End quote ---
First thing to do is work through the design process in the What type of build meets my needs? section of the FAQ.
https://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#What_type_of_build_meets_my_needs.3F
- Take your time with this process, especially step #2.
- You'll also want to check out the Dual Joystick game list.  Game controls marked "per player" support simultaneous play by more than one player so "Smash TV -- 2 sticks per player" allows 2 players at the same time.

The way to calculate the number of inputs you need is covered in the How many encoder inputs do I need for my control panel? section of the FAQ.
https://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#How_many_encoder_inputs_do_I_need_for_my_control_panel.3F

Each microswitch joystick needs 4  inputs (U/D/L/R)
- 2 joysticks per player ==> 8 inputs per player.

Each player button needs 1 input.
- 6-8 buttons per player ==> 6-8 inputs per player. (you probably only need 6 or less, depending on step #2 above  ;) )

Each admin button needs 1 input unless you use "shifted functions".
- Coin and Start for each player ==> 2 inputs per player
- Pause and Exit ==> 2 inputs used by both players
- You can use dedicated admin buttons or shifted functions or you can trigger a shifted function from a dedicated button if you use blocking diodes. (for example, an Exit button tied to P1 Start and P2 Start inputs, diodes prevent the Exit shifted function from triggering when just P1 Start or just P2 Start is pressed)
https://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#Number_of_admin_buttons

An IPac2 has 32 microswitch inputs and three sets of optical axis inputs.  (2 for trackball and 1 for spinner)
An IPac4 has 56 microswitch inputs but no optical axis inputs.

8 inputs P1 two joysticks
6 inputs P1 player buttons
8 inputs P2 two joysticks
6 inputs P2 player buttons
---  That's 28 inputs so far.

2 inputs P1 and P2 Start admin buttons (P1 Start is the designated "shift" button for the IPac, so you'll want to use these two inputs)
---  That's 30 inputs so far.

2 inputs P1 and P2 Coin admin buttons
2 inputs Exit and Pause admin buttons
--- You can do two of these last four as shifted functions and two as dedicated inputs with the IPac2 or do all of these and more inputs on the IPac4 or you can overlap player buttons and second joystick inputs like Fursphere suggested or you can use an Arduino with a keyboard sketch as a supplemental encoder for the admin buttons instead of using shifted functions on the IPac2. (great option if you want to use the optical inputs on the IPac2, but want more than 32 microswitch inputs)

Lots of ways to make it work.

The best choice for your application depends quite a bit on your personal preferences regarding dedicated admin buttons vs. shifted functions, etc.


Scott

jaekrieldgx:
Wow that's a lot of info to consider -

But to sum it up in the most basic terms -

If I were to design/build a cabinet - or at very least - a dedicated control panel - for let's say JUST "Karate Champ"...

If I wanted to make it for 2 Players - IE 4 Joysticks - 2 joysticks per player ...

From what you said here:

Each microswitch joystick needs 4  inputs (U/D/L/R)
- 2 joysticks per player ==> 8 inputs per player.


Then I would probably need a Ultimarc I-PAC 4 correct? (or some other controller that has the same amount of inputs at very least?)

That is - if I'm reading you right

As far as I remember - other than Player 1/2 buttons - I don't think for THAT game at least - I would need to worry much about buttons - but obviously the needed inputs for 2 or 4 joysticks (depending on 1 or 2 player setup) each joystick requires 4 inputs on the control panel for each joystick - and one for each movement of that joystick ....

So again, if I am reading you correctly - if I were to design a cabinet/control panel exclusively dedicated to "Karate Champ" 1 player setup would require a Ultimarc I-PAC 2 - and a 2 Player setup would require a Ultimarc I-PAC 4 - correct?

Thanks in advance

~Jaek


jeremymtc:
Scott's got you covered on all the basics regarding inputs and encoder support, so I'm not going to touch on those questions above. 

I did want to give you a little direct advice regarding Battlezone specifically. You'll want one of your joysticks to be equipped with a trigger or fire button, as it's not practical to reach for a conventional action button on the control panel when you need to fire. Groovy Game Gear and Ultimarc both offer a suitable trigger stick which fits into the same/similar footprint as a standard arcade stick. The trigger/buttons on the stick can be wired to the same inputs as your action buttons on the control panel if you like in order to economize on encoder inputs, or can be assigned their own unique inputs as desired, but should be taken into account when choosing your encoder if so.

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