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Author Topic: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers [look! photos! :) ]  (Read 4776 times)

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dmworking247

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dmworking247's Desktop Controllers [look! photos! :) ]
« on: September 29, 2008, 09:48:51 am »
Hi all,

I recently posted a thread about hacking cheap USB controllers to use instead of keyboard hacks or 'proper' keyboard encoders.

To prove the concept, as well as play around with a few ideas I had for desktop control panels, I've built two 'proof of concept sticks'.

So without further ado:

Playstation 2 controller (can also be used on PC with a $5 PS2-to-USB converter). Has rumble motors!





USB PC controller (this one was specifically designed to compliment my Alien Bartop).

« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 06:16:51 pm by dmworking247 »

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2008, 10:14:53 am »
Very cool, I especially like the Chun-Li artwork.

Which PS2 controller did you use?

Ginsu Victim

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2008, 10:24:55 am »
What sort of joystick is that? I never like the look of those.

Nice CP though. Very slick.

dmworking247

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2008, 10:32:21 am »
Those joysticks are "MCA" Joysticks, which would probably be the most common joystick used in Australian arcade machines. They're actually quite good and very sturdy, but I don't like the absence of a dust skirt.

I used these simply because I salvaged them out of arcade cabinet restorations I've been doing, and these were 'proof of concept' sticks. For any further sticks I make, I'll likely use Sanwas.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2008, 11:50:24 am »
Damn that white one is really nice. Is that box plastic or wood? Gorgeous finish and fantatstic artwork.

Has rumble motors!

How does that work? Does the whole box rumble? Or just the stick?

-pmc

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2008, 11:56:38 am »
I always turn rumble off, especially for fighting games. Nothing "arcade" about it.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2008, 01:18:20 pm »
great work as usual DM :applaud: :applaud:

What type are those small black buttons on the front of the Alien Bartop aux panel

dmworking247

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2008, 08:12:13 pm »
Bender, those small buttons are from Jaycar, US$1.55 each  ( LINK )

Regarding the rumble motors, I put them in the PS2 stick just 'because I can'. I tend to agree rumble doesn't belong with MAME, hence why they're in the PS2 controller and not the USB (PC/MAME) controller.

They're attached to the bottom of the control panel surface itself, so the joystick/buttons/surface get a subtle shake, without actually shaking the whole stick on the desktop (the weight of it and the rubber feet prevent that).

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2008, 10:51:46 pm »
thanks DM,

seem very close to these from radio shack that are twice as expensive
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 11:00:32 pm by Bender »

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2008, 12:15:21 am »
Great work.  :applaud:

My only complaint is that the Chun-Li stick needs more crotch.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2008, 02:03:40 am »
Nice looking cps
That CHUN-LI is  amazing  :o

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 03:34:07 am »
Very nice buddy 8)

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2008, 10:53:45 pm »
Wow Great job on those controllers.

What material did you make them out of?  I know someone asked that before but I don't think he got an answer.

If they where made out of wood it looks like it has an acrylic sprayed finish on them.  So glossy and pretty.

I so want one. :applaud:

Brent
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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2008, 09:56:12 pm »
If these are for general re-sale, how much are you doing them for?

If not, do you have any instructions on how to build them like this? I like the way the perspex sits on top, yet is seamlessly fixed down. How is this done?

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2008, 06:36:41 am »
I'm in Australia so components cost a bit more here... I'm not sure how cost effective it would be shipping these to the US/elsewhere.

Having said that, I'm happy to share how I built these as I'm not going to be building these on an ongoing basis (I don't have the time with my day job).

To save time and money it occured to me I could use 67mm tall architrave from the hardware store to build the walls.  Recently I found some pre-primed MDF (these samples were pine) which means they just need a quick sand and a paint after joining.

The dimensions inside the walls are 270mm x 200mm which is less than the size of an A4 piece of paper, thus perfect for a photo printer on A4 uv-resistant photo paper.

I cut the architrave with a 45' mitre cut on my bandsaw, then glue them together and glue some 'quad' (quarter circle) pine strips to secure the four corners. The quad is cut at exactly 49mm and glued 3mm from the bottom of the walls.

The placement of the quad is the key to the surface looking so 'clean'. First I glue a 12mm (1/2") piece of MDF onto the top of the quad corners, then the print goes ontop of the MDF, then 3mm perspex(plexi) goes on top of the print.

The plexi is held in place by the buttons, and because it is 3mm it doesn't flex. I'm contemplating on future sticks to either additionally laminate the print or silicone-seal the perspex to prevent any dust/dirt getting down the corners.

Finally, a 3mm piece of ply (or another piece of plexi) is screwed onto the bottom, screwing it into the quad.

Four rubber feet are then put on the bottom of the outer walls, so that the feet stay with the box even with the bottom removed.

I'll take some more photos when I put the next lot together.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 09:55:45 pm by dmworking247 »

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2008, 12:19:45 pm »
Thank you for the construction detail. It looks like narrow primed baseboard stock might work well for this. Isn't architrave stock too fancy? I might try to build one. It seems so simple (famous last words). Some more questions if you have the time:

How did you finish that white one? It's amazingly smooth and glossy.

The inset for the buttons (on the front) looks like you maybe shaped it with a router? Or are they just drilled and then the edges are smoothed over with sandpaper?

No issues with cracking the quarter-round when you install the bottom plate? I'm assuming you have to pre-drill to be sure.

I'm guessing that 3mm is about 1/8" (Americans are metric-challenged).

-Patrick

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2008, 06:48:34 am »
Theres 25.4mm in an Inch (or 2.54 cm). So 12mm is just under 1/2 inch, for example.

The white glossy surface was achieved by first painting it with a grey primer, then sanding with 600 grit, another coat of primer, another sanding.

I then proceeded to paint it 5 or 6 times with a high gloss white spray paint, sanding very lightly with 1200 'wet & dry' sandpaper in between.

These two were just sample sticks though and I used fairly cheap paint. I'm about to paint a few more with a higher grade paint.

I'm tempted to bust out my air compressor but its so much hassle/cleanup for small jobs like this, hence I've been using spray cans.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2008, 08:20:22 am »
they look cool!

i especially like the sunken buttons on the front of the chun-li one.  8)

dmworking247

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2008, 05:26:11 am »
I've just completed my 'showcase' desktop controller (yes, another project I started for no other reason than "to see if I could").

There's some special touches to this controller that I think a lot of you will be interested in, including a new nifty gadget designed by a member of AussieArcade forums (not sure if he's a member here): David_AVD.

This control panel is WIRELESS, and has a hardware-LED controller which lights up the buttons AS THEY'RE PRESSED! Better yet, this nifty little LED controller doesn't require a PC, and will even work on original arcade gear! I know I've seen one of the other Desktop Controller gurus do a similar thing, but I'm not sure how, or whether these boards make an easier solution? More on that later.

For now, I'd like to present to you, the:

The TMNT Pimped out Wireless Desktop Controller 
:laugh2:


Here's a photo of the top of the Control Panel using a flash. Artwork is a highres scan of a TMNT game cover, with some creative photoshop in the middle to remove the "TMNT" logo that would have been obscured by the buttons, and instead incorporated a 'fade to black' version of my 'green arcade matrix code', then overlayed their weapons back on top of it.


A photo of the front & side. The balltop is only temporary, I will be replacing it with a white balltop. I considered using an illuminated balltop too, but I might save that for another project as this is wireless so I don't want too much unnecessary drain on the batteries.


A photo of the paintwork (with flash)


A photo of the paintwork (without flash). This is a metallic automotive spraycan paint from Superheap Auto (approx $20).



A photo of the rats nest of wiring before I cleaned it up a little (part of the loose wires is to run a on/off switch and 'power LED' which is now mounted on the base-plate (underneath panel). You can see the hacked wireless Playstation 2 controller from DealExtreme.com. At the top you can see David's LED controller (its about the width of a normal pushbutton!) and on the upper right you can see the battery pack.


A photo of David_AVD's LED controller in action. Notice the pushed buttons are lit up. The photo exagerates the 'glow' of the 'unpressed' buttons. At night they look about as bright as a 'glow in the dark' object, and during the daytime you can't see the glow (but you can certainly see when the buttons are pushed!).

Finally, here's a Youtube Video of it in action:
[youtube]http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=V6VGIH07HlQ[/youtube]

Some more details on David's nifty LED controller (link and wiring diagram) to follow!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 05:29:06 am by dmworking247 »

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2008, 05:32:11 am »
Ok, for those of you interested in the 'how' of the LED controller:

David was kind enough to design two new PCBs for this 'hardware LED controller" I had in mind for this project. The one featured in the post above can controll 6 LEDs for pushbuttons.

The second PCB is very similar, except it can take 4 inputs to a single LED output. This is so that you can hook it up to a joystick (with a hollow shaft an an illuminated balltop) so that it lights up whenver you move it.

He's now selling them on his website for A$10 (A$8 for the Joystick LED controller). Thats about 20c in USD at the moment right? When you compare that to alternatives (and the fact that this is a hardware-only solution, thus making it viable for genuine arcade gear) I reckon that's a pretty good deal.

In my clumsy way of explaining it, his PCB works by taking an input from the "positive" wire on your button microswitches/leaf switches.  You then supply the board 5v from your Jamma or USB/Keyboard power source (whatever is controlling your buttons).  When a power button is not pressed, the PCB is sensing a drop in the voltage on that button, but when it is pushed, it senses the closed circuit (on the button) and in turn lights up the corresponding LED.

The board only requires one wire to come from the button/microswitch. The only condition is that the 'negative/ground' for all of your buttons is common (which is fine for Jamma and the controllers I've used in this thread, but some cheap hacks might have separate grounds for each button).

And now, some wiring instructions:


The purchase price includes some crimp connectors and a plug so that you can easily plug/unplug the wires from the controller. You don't need to solder, but I always do because I'm fussy. :)

Note:
An interesting thing happened with the wireless Desktop Control Panel I posted about above. David designed this PCB for a FIVE VOLT DC input. It already includes in-line resistors so that you can put regular 3.3v LEDs in your buttons without any further modification. This PCB is designed so that the LEDS are usually OFF, and come ON when pushed.

Because I used mine in a wireless controller, it runs on about 3.1v. The side effect was that I get that 'low glow' in the buttons when not pushed, then full power when pushed. This actually worked out exceptionally well for me as I happened to wire the PCB's power to the transmitter of the wireless controller, and accidentally got:
Controller is out of range = Power LED on, button lights OFF
Controller is within range of transmitter = Buttons 'glow'
Controller is in range and button is pushed = Button lights up to full brightness.

This is a cool 'accidental feature' if you happen to use this in a wireless (or below 5v) project, but its important to note that the original design (what you get with a 5v source) is:
Button pressed=LED ON
Button not pressed=LED OFF.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2008, 06:32:23 am »
Dont know how I missed this thread? Beautiful workmanship.  :notworthy:
When pixelated clipart just wont do, just call for Betty

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2008, 08:25:20 pm »
so nice :cheers:

makes me want to throw my control panel in the garbage  :cry:

you can see it posted below

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2008, 01:15:25 am »
I just finished a stick for a customer.

If it looks like one I posted earlier, it is, because he asked for one just like that :)

Except this time, I took much more care with the paintwork, as you might notice:




Note: It shipped out with a black balltop as the green didn't match.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2008, 10:48:50 am »
Nice can I ask how much?

such a nice job.

It is like a work of art  :cheers:

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2009, 03:20:51 am »
I'm currently in the process of building 9 more control panels (about half of them have orders against them). Once I've finished these though, I'm not going to be making any more unless some investigations in CNC cutting laminated timber work out... I just cant justify the time these take.

At the moment its raining a LOT (ironic, because here in NSW Australia it barely ever rains these days) so my half-painted models are waiting for a sunny weekend.

In the mean time, here's an unusual variation I made (I've got three of these coming, one of them has a roman edge routed along the top edge).

This stick is stained jarrah timber with soft 'leather feel' black vinyl (not the usual 'plastic' vinyl on CPs). The vinyl has been spray-adhesive glued down, stretched and stapled.

The joystick is a Sanwa with a red batton top, and the red buttons are a japanese make (a lot like the happs but with a more pronounced divot in the middle).








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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2009, 06:00:55 am »
Very smooth, I like the vinyl  8)

I'm dying to get stick building, I'm just sorting out my tooling at the moment. I've had a few ideas that should be pretty slick. I hope to get a few orders so I can try them all out.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2009, 07:54:00 am »
Just a thought since I saw a few other custom controller threads in the project forum, should thread this be in the projects forum, not the 'main'? If so, can the mods please move it?

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2009, 07:24:14 pm »
Usually either/or, but if you're wanting to advertise them, usually a thread for that is put in B/S/T.
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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers [new design]
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2009, 06:57:35 am »
Some more sticks completed, or nearing completion:


Playstation 2 - Chun Li stick (this is very close to the first stick I posted, per the request of the buyer)








This one is going to be a Xbox 360 wireless stick for SFIV (ignore the loose joystick handle, I'm missing a thread adaptor whcih is on backorder)







This is stick has a red Sanwa balltop and red Sanwa 30mm 'convex' buttons (Japanese)


This is one of two sticks (other is exactly the same box, with a Dhalsim print). 






I have three boxes still to come: One more black box similar to the above (but with angled edges instead of curved), and a yellow one with curved sides. Print is undecided for the black, and the yellow will get black vinyl with yellow stick & buttons. The third stick is a bit of a 'mess around experiment' and isn't for a customer order.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 09:00:14 am by dmworking247 »

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers [look! photos! :) ]
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2009, 09:02:17 am »
More sticks completed (well the yellow one is waiting on a joystick backorder, hence no shaft).







Both Playstation 2 interfaces.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers [look! photos! :) ]
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2009, 10:47:42 am »
Really like these sticks, especially the yellow one which is very 'Pac-ish'. I'd paint a 'mouth' on the joystick ball-top and a couple of eyes!

Just a thought since I saw a few other custom controller threads in the project forum, should thread this be in the projects forum, not the 'main'? If so, can the mods please move it?

Just an idea; why not ask saint to move it to the buy/sell/trade forum and ask for it to be stickied at the top. That's what I did as, like you, I only periodically post new projects and it stops your post falling down the thread list. As you are now making a regular trade out of these, having it in that category is more fitting (helping noobs find your work), helps you find the thread when you want to add to it and helps you attract more interest as it is in a prominent position. That, and it becomes a nice 'catalogue' of your work.

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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers [look! photos! :) ]
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2009, 11:51:56 am »
Awesome.  I really like the new yellow and black one.   Killa look

Keep posting I enjoy seeing the photos of the finished product


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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers [look! photos! :) ]
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2009, 09:47:26 pm »

Two more recently completed sticks. These both have Sanwa joysticks and 30mm Sanwa buttons, and are both wireless Xbox 360 sticks. (argh it is such a pain to not have a xbox or receiver to test with!)




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Re: dmworking247's Desktop Controllers [look! photos! :) ]
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2009, 10:04:38 pm »
Great thread, your stuff always inspires.  I like the idea of exposed timber grain /leather /vinyl combo.  The project by drventure and his 'antique' cabinet is another thing that springs to mind seeing that - the whole 'old world/antique/hardwood etc theme.  Aieee carumba! I can't believe i'm thinking about another new project to start!