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Author Topic: Controller Recommendations for Joysticks (2), Spinner, Trackball and buttons?  (Read 509 times)

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kramdenfan

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Hi All,
I'm building my first MAME cabinet and very excited about getting started! 
As a newbie, I'm getting confused in what I have been reading about the controller board options and hoping someone can lend some advice.
My planned setup will be 2 joysticks, trackball and spinner, along with at least 6 buttons per joystick for gameplay, coin button, 1&2 player buttons and side buttons for pinball flippers (at least 17 buttons). 

Is there a single controller board that can house all of these or will I need a second board for the spinner and trackball? 

I plan to use a Raspberry PI 3 for the CPU.   


PL1

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My planned setup will be 2 joysticks, trackball and spinner, along with at least 6 buttons per joystick for gameplay, coin button, 1&2 player buttons and side buttons for pinball flippers (at least 17 buttons). 

Is there a single controller board that can house all of these or will I need a second board for the spinner and trackball?
Adding up the number of inputs required (optional):
8 - 2 joysticks
12 - 6 player buttons x 2 players
1 (2) - P1 (+ P2?) Coin -- IIRC some games assign credits to player based on coin slot.
2 - P1 and P2 Start
2 (10) - Pinball flippers -- You may also want to consider upper flipper/MagnaSave (no table has both so you can wire both to one button), Right/Left/Up nudge, and a ball launch button. (Five of these can piggy-back on an input used for a 2P MAME setup. i.e. Wire the Left Lower Flipper to the same input as P1 Button 4.)
0 (1) - Exit? -- May be needed for Visual Pinball/Future Pinball tables.
0 (1) - Pause?

That adds up to 25 button inputs (maximum 36 if no piggy-backing), plus the 3 optical axes for trackball and spinner.

Ultimarc's IPac2 has 32 button inputs and 3 optical axes.   ;D
* Cue obligatory reminder to disable shifted function for Menu (TAB) so kids and drunk friends don't accidently mess up your settings.   :soapbox:




Scott

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What do you plan to run for pinball software on the raspberry pi? You might be stuck with something that can run inside dosbox. The two most popular pinball apps run on Windows.

Zebra

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The UHID will do all that you need.

It has 50 pins that you can set up as digital buttons, analog axis, optical axis, mouse buttons, keyboard buttons, joystick buttons, 5v or outputs for LEDs n stuff.

The big Ipac probably would do it all too.

Howard_Casto

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What do you plan to run for pinball software on the raspberry pi? You might be stuck with something that can run inside dosbox. The two most popular pinball apps run on Windows.

^This^

If you are building an emulation box... unless size is really an issue please just use a pc and run windows... it's easier, you have more emulators, more options, ect. 

MartyKong

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Hey PL1, Thanks for that pinball diagram. Would have been lost without it :cheers:  I also use a PC with an ipac2. Should do what you need.

PL1

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The big Ipac probably would do it all too.
Yes, the Ultimate I/O would work, but OP didn't mention any interest in LEDs.

A Mini-Pac Opti would also work.

The one that I wouldn't recommend for this particular application is the IPac4 since it doesn't have the optical inputs for spinner/trackball.
Quote
When using a U-Trak trackball or SpinTrak spinner with this board, they can be ordered with their own optional USB interfaces. Note the 9-pin header on the I-PAC 4 is for factory use only.

If you are building an emulation box... unless size is really an issue please just use a pc and run windows... it's easier, you have more emulators, more options, ect. 
+1

Hey PL1, Thanks for that pinball diagram. Would have been lost without it :cheers:
Glad you found it useful.   :cheers:


Scott

Zebra

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I guess the UHID is the way to go then. It allows you to connect everything including trackballs n spinners, both optical and mechanical. It should have enough pins for all the controls stated by the OP.

LoraMoser

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Looks you have money to spare, if so I would strongly suggest a separate rudder, I personally use and recommend this setup: VKB T-Rudders Mk.IV with a matching VKB Gladiator Pro Mk.II joystick. They are designed to work together: there is even a direct cable connecting the two. The joystick has an adjustable tension (you get different set of springs with each) and it also has a metal gimball. To my knowledge no Thrustmaster, Logitech etc: uses a metal gimball, opting instead for cheaper, less precise and less durable plastic ones.
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