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Main => Reviews => Topic started by: Ginsu Victim on July 20, 2008, 06:36:55 pm

Title: REVIEW: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on July 20, 2008, 06:36:55 pm
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/ulux_collage.jpg)

   As many of you may have noticed, lighted pushbuttons are becoming increasingly popular with many home cabinet DIY-ers these days. One provider of such buttons is Ultimarc, maker of the Ultralux comtemporary (sic) arcade pushbuttons. These use a custom LED (5v or 12v) held in place by a custom bayonet LED holder. They come with Sanwa microswitches, a top name in the world of arcade parts. Let's have a look at this product.....

SHIPPING:

   I live in the United States (Oklahoma, to be exact) and have been quite impressed with the DHL service Ultimarc (located in the UK) ships through. My past orders have typically been received within two days of shipping. This time out, my order shipped on a Monday and I had it Tuesday morning. WOW! At this point, I'm considering ordering more parts from Ultimarc simply because they come faster than anything I've ordered in the US. Coming from such a distance, you can expect shipping to be a bit higher, but for the speed, the extra money is worth it.

PACKING:

   The size of the box I received was shockingly small. They waste no more material than they must, but they do a great job of wrapping the individual products. Each pushbutton came in their own small ziplock bag, the LEDs were in a bag together, the bayonets their own bag, microswitches, etc, and everything wrapped in bubblewrap. Nothing had room to shake around and it all seem well protected.

PUSHBUTTONS:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/ulux_assembled_chrome.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/ulux_trans_assembled.jpg)

   Replacing my Happ concave pushbuttons with the Ultraluxes was a concern. I've never cared much for convex, but luckily, these aren't. The tops are completely flat.

   The first thing I noticed about the buttons was their lightness compared to the Happs. They lack the solid feel of a Happ, but these don't feel cheap either. Their translucence seems to be to blame, not to mention the caps on the top of each plunger that allow you to insert a logo.

   Another concern I had was the notches the legs of the plunger fit into. Sometimes the legs would catch slightly, but it never created a problem once installed.

   The only real gripe I have about the pushbuttons is that once while playing a round of King of Fighters, my fourth button became stuck and I had to reach under the control panel to free it. I'm not sure why it got caught, but it happened three times. After the third time, I pulled the plunger out, turned it 180, and reinserted it. I haven't had the problem since.

   Allow me to address one question I've heard in relation to the real chrome-plate pushbuttons:

        "Will the chrome-plate come off?"

   When I received the pushbuttons, the first thing I did was take a screwdriver to the chrome, trying to scratch it. I also slid my wedding band down my finger and whacked away at the button bezel. I never made a scratch. So, unless you or your friends all have lost their hands and have hooks instead, normal wear and tear shouldn't cause a problem.

LEDs:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/5voltLEDs.jpg)

   I've only tested the 5v LEDs. They put out a LOT of light and have a nice, wide beam to them. When combined with the diffusers in the pushbuttons, they shine brilliantly in a well-lit room or in the dark. (Pictures further down)

   One issue I ran into when using these through the Pacdrive LED driver was power. When running them through USB from my old PC with a weak power supply, the lights were slightly dim. This wasn't the biggest issue, though, as I was also losing power to my Ultrastik 360s because of the drain. To combat this, I simply ran the Pacdrive from a powered USB hub and all was well.

   Overall, I'm VERY impressed with the amount of light these LEDs put out.

BAYONETS:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/bayonet.jpg)

   The bayonet LED holder uses a locking feature to hold the LED and microswitch. Simply insert the LED, push the bayonet into the pushbutton, and twist. There is a mark showing which side the positive leg of the LED should face, taking the guess work out of things. Don't be scared when installing these bayonets, because you have to put a bit of force on them to twist them properly into place. Once locked in, they'll hold fine. I never had a problem with any bayonets fitting improperly. Everything worked as it should.

SANWA MICROSWITCH:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/sanwaswitch.jpg)

   Though Sanwa is a big name in the world of arcade products, their microswitches are not to my liking. I wired up a test panel with both Sanwa switches and Cherry switches. I tried both, and I had my wife take the Pepsi challenge with it. I asked which she liked better and she immediately said the one on the right (Cherry).

   Sanwa microswitches are very stiff (though very well made). They also have a strange PING to them I just didn't like.

   The Sanwas are still sitting in the bag they came in. When it came time to wire everything up, the Cherries were staying on my control panel.

EDIT (Sept-21-2010):

An update on these pushbuttons: We have now changed the microswitches we supply with these, from Sanwa (which many people found too "hard") to Happ-sourced E-Switch which have a far lower spring pressure.

INSTALL NOTE:

   When you first go to install a pushbutton, you may notice it seems smaller than the 1 1/8" hole in your control panel. This is not a problem. Just beneath the outer bezel of the pushbutton, there is a wider section that fits perfectly in the hole. All is well.

GAMEPLAY:

   Note: gameplay may vary for those using these buttons with the Sanwa microswitches.

   Having played several games with these buttons for the last week and a half, I feel that my responses have actually improved with the flat plungers versus the concave Happs. There is a new lightness to the feel of gameplay, and I've been seeing an improvement in many of my scores. I was worried that after my review, I might have to remove these and switch back to my Happs, but that's not the case at all. I've not run into another stuck button like I mentioned earlier, and my control panel feels revitalized thanks to these pushbuttons.

OVERALL:

   The pros outweigh the few cons of these pushbuttons. If you have a large control panel, be prepared to spend quite a bit of money if you're looking to improve the overall look of your cabinet with these. Though buying several will start to add up, the combination of function and flair makes the Ultralux pushbutton a winner in my book. (However, see the update below for my current perspective on these buttons.)

MY SCORE

   9 / 10 7.5 / 10 (with Cherries)

   8 / 10 7 / 10 (with the stock Sanwas)

-----------------------------------------

Update:
Been playing on these for over a month now and I'm not as happy with them. They are squeaky and nowhere near as fluid as my Happ concaves. (I'm missing the concave, as well)

I'm considering changing back to my Happs. My gameplay has actually degraded using these, despite what I thought when I first reviewed these.

I've reduced the score.


-----------------------------------------

PICTURES:

Lights in room ON, pushbutton lights OFF:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0102.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0104.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0109.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0110.jpg)

Lights in room ON, pushbutton lights ON:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0111.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0115.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0116.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0117.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0119.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0124.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0128.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0129.jpg)

Lights in room OFF, pushbuttons lights ON:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0131.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/GinsuVictim/Dcfc0135.jpg)
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Hoopz on July 20, 2008, 10:18:44 pm
Nice review.  I especially liked the part about the chrome and trying to take it off...   ;D
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on July 20, 2008, 10:26:10 pm
Well, the way that previous thread went, it was something I had to address.
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: CheffoJeffo on July 21, 2008, 04:17:48 pm
My contributions to the derailing of the original thread aside, I think this was a good, comprehensive review of the product in question.

 :applaud:
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on July 21, 2008, 04:19:50 pm
Thank you. I tried my best to cover as much as possible with my admittedly limited knowledge of all this.
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Stobe on July 29, 2008, 10:39:08 am
Great review.

I used a couple of these in a cab once.  The cab wasn't for me, but they worked good.

My only gripe was the brightness of the LEDs being too bright.  It hurt my eyes to look at them (results may vary).

If I were going to keep the cab, I was going to put a pot inline with the lights, to be able to adjust the brightness. 

-Stobe
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on July 29, 2008, 10:47:13 am
Thanks.

Did you have 5v or 12v in those?
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: releasedtruth on July 29, 2008, 10:17:07 pm
Very cool, they look pretty bright. I love the ease of lighting, but the smooth evenness you can get with a wedge-lit Happ appears a little better to me, if not pretty underneath.

Rt
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on July 29, 2008, 10:38:09 pm
Remember that these pics are on a low-end crappy camera. They look much better in person.
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on August 10, 2008, 01:47:40 pm
Updated review with a complaint and lowered score
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ummon on August 10, 2008, 05:28:14 pm
Maybe give Andy a holler...
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on August 10, 2008, 05:37:12 pm
I'm sure he'll read it sooner or later...
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ummon on August 12, 2008, 04:44:50 pm
Ahh spose.....
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Neverending Project on August 13, 2008, 11:12:44 am
Updated review with a complaint and lowered score

Great review. Very thorough. I happened to read it just now for the first time, so I can't see your original score. Perhaps it would benefit others to leave your original score with a strike-through, and then show your modified score as the current review score? This will give me (and others) a better idea of how much your opinion lowered.

I too have the Ultraluxes, and I have noticed that they are squeaky and very firm. I plan on switching to the GGG Micro-Leaf to help relieve some of the tension (hmm, that could be taken another way...  :-[) But I have barely playing anything on mine - not enough to make or add to the review.
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on August 13, 2008, 11:18:20 am
Quote
Perhaps it would benefit others to leave your original score with a strike-through, and then show your modified score as the current review score?

Done, thanks for the suggestion and the comments. :)
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on August 13, 2008, 11:21:25 am
I noticed a big difference last night. On Blazing Tornado, normally I could get to the 7th or 8th opponent before I had trouble tapping the buttons fast enough to win. Now I have trouble on the first opponent. I lost my first match, then tried a second match and won...with zero seconds remaining.
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Neverending Project on August 13, 2008, 12:08:09 pm
If you can, check out the MicroLeaf from GGG. I have it installed on my primary button only so far and there is a noticeable difference in force required to push. I'm not sure if it is enough to convince you to make the change on all your buttons, it may be more than you want to spend. But so far I found it is a good upgrade for the UltraLux.
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on August 13, 2008, 12:13:46 pm
I have some Wico leafs, but I prefer the Cherries with Happ concave buttons. I'll be switching back with my next CP redesign.
Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: TOK on August 14, 2008, 08:29:02 pm
I have no experience with the Ultimarc buttons, but as kind of an observation on translucents I also found the Happ translucents to have a different feel than the regular ones. The plastic that is used on the translucent buttons is harder and more brittle than their standard buttons.

I don't object to the feel of them, but prefer standard buttons more. If I ever have LED issues with the translucent Happs, I won't be to worried about going back to standard Happ buttons.

Title: Re: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on August 15, 2008, 08:08:07 am
I know what you mean about the feel and hardness of the plastic. I do plan on switching back to my standard Happs (edit: As of 8-24-08, I have), but I'm still trying to figure out what else to do with these LEDs.

I've considered making a display on my bezel that will light up 4-way, 8-way, analog, light gun, trackball, or spinner indicators. Also these red LEDs would be great in my coin rejects (the current lights I have in there just aren't cutting it).
Title: Re: REVIEW: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: kevin2me on April 26, 2011, 08:11:35 pm
Just stumbled across this post today.
Love the Control Panel, and Ultralux Buttons.

By complete co-incidence , I already Ordered UltraLux Chrome Red and Blue Buttons, 8 per player
They will ship with new Sept 2008 MicroSwitches, except I got Chrome ones.
and order exact same Marvel art for my CP. Its my first restore\Build. Also have extra 9 Buttons,
for Trackball and 1P 2P Coins, etc...

Cant wait to have it finished now, hopefully another 2 weeks to have it up and running,
Thanks for Pics in this thread, awesome inspiration buddy!!!
and great review of Buttons too, for anyone else thinking of getting them.
Do you have old thread of build of this cab?

Thanks, Kev

Title: Re: REVIEW: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on April 27, 2011, 11:39:39 am
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=78532.0 (http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=78532.0)
Title: Re: REVIEW: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Richie_jones on December 07, 2016, 07:01:15 pm
Sorry to dig this old thread up but does anybody know what size the small crimps are on the end of the rgb led connector.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: REVIEW: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Jakobud on May 07, 2018, 01:36:43 am
Sorry to dig this old thread up but does anybody know what size the small crimps are on the end of the rgb led connector.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Either 2.8mm or 4.8mm.
Title: Re: REVIEW: Ultimarc Ultralux lighted pushbuttons
Post by: Ginsu Victim on May 07, 2018, 09:51:09 am
Sorry to dig this old thread up but does anybody know what size the small crimps are on the end of the rgb led connector.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

Either 2.8mm or 4.8mm.
I'm going to guess he figured it out by now. :lol