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Author Topic: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts  (Read 5158 times)

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Bobgilb1

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Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« on: December 10, 2013, 11:07:30 am »
To start with, "Hello"!! I am about as much of a newbie as you can get  :laugh:

I went to a friend’s house about a week ago that had a cabinet (he bought it already assembled so he can’t help much) and I have been reading obsessively it ever since trying to figure out how to build my own four player panel. It is a bit overwhelming but I have really tried to pour through as much information as I can…..
Right now I am concentrating on building just the four player control panel. I am planning on putting a small form factor PC into the bottom of the control panel to make my control panel portable (I am an I.T. guy so this part does not intimidate me much). Later I am likely to buy an old cabinet, fix it up, and slide my control panel in (after doing some significant woodwork, obviously) but initially I am just going to concentrate on the control panel and I will make it fit later to a cabinet.

In general I am just open to any and all thoughts, recommendations, ideas, etc. based on what I THINK I know  :laugh:

So far, here is what I have come up with:
I am planning on using MDO instead of MDF for the wood in my control panel
I am planning on my MDO being 5/8” thick
Update: Holy cow 5/8" MDO is hard to find!
I am planning on using plexiglass instead of Lexan
I am planning on my plexiglass being 1/8” thick
I am buying a forstner 1 1/8” bit for drilling (especially for the plexiglass)
I am planning on using a drill press at high speed but moving very slowly, using my forstner bit to drill the holes in my plexiglass and MDO
I am planning on buying some scrap pieces to test the drilling out first
I have purchased 4 “Mag-Stik Plus” joysticks from Ultimarc (to allow for 4-way and 8-way adjustment)
I have purchased an I-Pac 4 controller
I have purchased a wiring kit from Ultimarc
I have purchased one U-TRAK FlushMount Arcade Trackbal (and bezel)
I have purchased one Opti-PAC Interface with USB Cable
I have purchased several colors of Competition Pushbuttons (6 buttons each player, 1-4 player buttons, 6 admin buttons, and 4 coin buttons)
I am aware that player’s 3 and 4 probably don’t need 6 buttons but I am a bit OCD and like them all to match  :laugh:
I know that 6 admin buttons is kind of a crazy amount and am open to less but I read somewhere that (Enter, Pause, Left Mouse, Right Mouse, F2, and Escape might be worth considering)
I have decided not to do spinners or a flight stick at this time
I moved the trackball down some to give me room to really get after some Golden Tee without hitting any Admin buttons (if I decide to keep them)

Attached is my first rendition of my control panel layout.....again, any and all thoughts welcomed and appreciated!

Thanks for all of the wonderful information on this board! I hope to become a contributing member as I learn the ropes a bit more

BadMouth

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 11:16:07 am »


They should be oriented the same way as P1 & P2, even though the player is standing at an angle and the buttons are at an angle in relation.
It's counterintuitive, but almost all arcade games were done this way and it works better in real life than the way you have it there.

Do a google image search for the control panels of gauntlet, the simpsons, nfl blitz, etc and notice where the mounting bolts are on P3 & P4 joysticks.

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 11:18:02 am »
You ---fouled up beyond all recognition--- up getting those magsticks. P3 and p4 will never need 4way sticks, and they suck...

BadMouth

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 11:19:44 am »
...and welcome to the forum!  :lol  :cheers:

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 11:19:52 am »
They should be oriented the same way as P1 & P2, even though the player is standing at an angle and the buttons are at an angle in relation.
It's counterintuitive, but almost all arcade games were done this way and it works better in real life than the way you have it there.

Do a google image search for the control panels of gauntlet, the simpsons, nfl blitz, etc and notice where the mounting bolts are on P3 & P4 joysticks.

Researching it now, thanks!

Man, I have a terrible time figuring out these verification letters

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 11:21:19 am »
You ---fouled up beyond all recognition--- up getting those magsticks. P3 and p4 will never need 4way sticks, and they suck...

Hahaha! No problem, I can send them back, sell them or whatever if there is a clearly better option.

I just ordered them, haven't installed them or anything yet

yotsuya

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 11:24:38 am »

I am aware that player’s 3 and 4 probably don’t need 6 buttons but I am a bit OCD and like them all to match  :laugh:


Kaneda? Is that you?
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Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 11:26:51 am »
Any thoughts on how to get my hands on 5/8" MDO? I have called everywhere I know of and the best I can do is a sheet of 15/32" MDO

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 11:42:39 am »
They should be oriented the same way as P1 & P2, even though the player is standing at an angle and the buttons are at an angle in relation.
It's counterintuitive, but almost all arcade games were done this way and it works better in real life than the way you have it there.

Do a google image search for the control panels of gauntlet, the simpsons, nfl blitz, etc and notice where the mounting bolts are on P3 & P4 joysticks.

Did you mean something like this?

BadMouth

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 11:51:59 am »
They should be oriented the same way as P1 & P2, even though the player is standing at an angle and the buttons are at an angle in relation.
It's counterintuitive, but almost all arcade games were done this way and it works better in real life than the way you have it there.

Do a google image search for the control panels of gauntlet, the simpsons, nfl blitz, etc and notice where the mounting bolts are on P3 & P4 joysticks.

Did you mean something like this?

Nope.  Keep the buttons and joysticks where they were, but rotate the joystick housing so that it is parallel with the back edge of the CP.


I know it seems messed up and counterintuitive, but most people are happier with them that way and that's how the original arcade games were done.

EDIT: The best policy is always to build a cheap test CP and try stuff out.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 11:54:27 am by BadMouth »

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 12:19:10 pm »
Nope.  Keep the buttons and joysticks where they were, but rotate the joystick housing so that it is parallel with the back edge of the CP.

I know it seems messed up and counterintuitive, but most people are happier with them that way and that's how the original arcade games were done.

EDIT: The best policy is always to build a cheap test CP and try stuff out.

Ohhhhhhh, interesting.

I will try it out, thanks!

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 12:35:04 pm »
Nope.  Keep the buttons and joysticks where they were, but rotate the joystick housing so that it is parallel with the back edge of the CP.


Is that one setup with right handed joysticks and left-handed buttons or am I flipping it over in my mind wrong?

BadMouth

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 12:41:06 pm »
Without thinking about it, people will intuitively move the joystick the direction they want the character to move or direction they want the fireball to fly based on the screen, not their body position. 

Is that one setup with right handed joysticks and left-handed buttons or am I flipping it over in my mind wrong?

All of them have the joystick in the left hand and buttons operated with the right hand, which is standard.
Not sure what you are seeing?


Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 12:57:34 pm »
Without thinking about it, people will intuitively move the joystick the direction they want the character to move or direction they want the fireball to fly based on the screen, not their body position. 

Makes total sense, thanks! Going to try and Photoshop a new one here soon

Is that one setup with right handed joysticks and left-handed buttons or am I flipping it over in my mind wrong?

All of them have the joystick in the left hand and buttons operated with the right hand, which is standard.
Not sure what you are seeing?

I was trying to flip that picture you posted right side up (as if looking at the topside with the joysticks and the buttons instead of underneath) and I think I was getting confused, please disregard! Thanks for posting that pic it really helped me clarify in my mind what you meant.

Edit: I see what I was doing wrong, please TOTALLY disregard my question about the right-handed joystick
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 01:03:24 pm by Bobgilb1 »

yotsuya

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 02:47:13 pm »
The only thing I would add is not to be so OCD about the P3-P4 buttons. Look at this example here:



Nicely done. Why add 4 buttons that will never get used?
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

jdbailey1206

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2013, 02:51:21 pm »


I don't remember that part of the movie.  But it's been a while.   :laugh:

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2013, 02:57:50 pm »


I don't remember that part of the movie.  But it's been a while.   :laugh:
Just don't say, "What?" repeatedly, you'll really make him mad.  :duckhunt


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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2013, 03:00:21 pm »


I don't remember that part of the movie.  But it's been a while.   :laugh:
Just don't say, "What?" repeatedly, you'll really make him mad.  :duckhunt


Scott

   :laugh2:

BadMouth

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2013, 03:19:58 pm »
There's always the console excuse for having more than four buttons.
No game in MAME uses more than four.
Guilty Gear Isuka uses five and is playable on Demul if you have a decent PC, but it's generally thought of as the worst of the series.

The extra buttons won't adversely affect gameplay like angled joysticks would, so dowhatchyalike.

yotsuya

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2013, 03:24:50 pm »
There's always the console excuse for having more than four buttons.
No game in MAME uses more than four.
Guilty Gear Isuka uses five and is playable on Demul if you have a decent PC, but it's generally thought of as the worst of the series.

The extra buttons won't adversely affect gameplay like angled joysticks would, so dowhatchyalike.

I guess I get the console argument (though who would want to play console games like that), but because of symmetry? This is arcade building, not Feng Shui.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2013, 03:30:02 pm »
You will never get four people to play your MAME cabinet at once no matter how much you beg.


Ever.


Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2013, 03:57:50 pm »
The only thing I would add is not to be so OCD about the P3-P4 buttons. Look at this example here:



Nicely done. Why add 4 buttons that will never get used?

I like that one, very nice! You don't happen to have that layout in some sort of format I could manipulate by chance, do you?

I am trying to figure out what the two orange buttons are? Left and right mouse, maybe?

Is that four 4-way joysticks and one 8-way and a spot for a flight stick ya think?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 04:00:12 pm by Bobgilb1 »

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2013, 04:01:35 pm »
You will never get four people to play your MAME cabinet at once no matter how much you beg.


Ever.

Hahahaha that is quite possible :)

zanna5910

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2013, 04:03:44 pm »
Getting my popcorn out for this one.  Surprised we haven't heard a USS Arizona comment yet.

yotsuya

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2013, 04:04:39 pm »
The only thing I would add is not to be so OCD about the P3-P4 buttons. Look at this example here:



Nicely done. Why add 4 buttons that will never get used?

I like that one, very nice! You don't happen to have that layout in some sort of format I could manipulate by chance, do you?

I am trying to figure out what the two orange buttons are? Left and right mouse, maybe?

Is that four 4-way joysticks and one 8-way and a spot for a flight stick ya think?

Search the forums for "Space Paranoids". That's its control panel.

Getting my popcorn out for this one.  Surprised we haven't heard a USS Arizona comment yet.

Too soon, bro. Too soon.
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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2013, 04:05:41 pm »
Getting my popcorn out for this one.  Surprised we haven't heard a USS Arizona comment yet.

Actually, you're right, I'm not a fan of the shape at all, but I wanted the OP to see what a four button P3/P4 setup looks like.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2013, 04:10:06 pm »
Getting my popcorn out for this one.  Surprised we haven't heard a USS Arizona comment yet.

Actually, you're right, I'm not a fan of the shape at all, but I wanted the OP to see what a four button P3/P4 setup looks like.

Agreed, I like the layout, the joystick orientation (I am learning!), and am opening up to the idea of 4 buttons for P3 and P4  :)

Don't love the shape either but am very glad he posted it for the visual of the rest of it!

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2013, 04:17:16 pm »

Agreed, I like the layout, the joystick orientation (I am learning!), and am opening up to the idea of 4 buttons for P3 and P4  :)

Don't love the shape either but am very glad he posted it for the visual of the rest of it!

Glad I could be of help. Actually, if I were building a four-player panel, I would go with the classic Konami 4-player shape. I like it as opposed to the larger angled panels:

***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

zanna5910

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2013, 04:31:03 pm »
Getting my popcorn out for this one.  Surprised we haven't heard a USS Arizona comment yet.

Actually, you're right, I'm not a fan of the shape at all, but I wanted the OP to see what a four button P3/P4 setup looks like.

Agreed, I like the layout, the joystick orientation (I am learning!), and am opening up to the idea of 4 buttons for P3 and P4  :)

Don't love the shape either but am very glad he posted it for the visual of the rest of it!

I was commenting on the OP and original thread, not yours yotsuya.   I get my popcorn out everytime i see a "hows my cp?" thread.    You never know what adventure your going to head down on these!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 04:34:23 pm by zanna5910 »

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2013, 05:02:00 pm »
You will never get four people to play your MAME cabinet at once no matter how much you beg.


Ever.

---That which is odiferous and causeth plants to grow---. Here's proof:

I stepped back from this game for a few seconds to snap this pic... Because I knew it'd never happen again. :laugh2:

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2013, 05:33:14 pm »
I changed the orientation of the joysticks.

Any particular issue with having the trackball down that low?

Thanks again!

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2013, 05:39:20 pm »
Still gonna stick with 6 buttons for P3/P4?
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2013, 06:07:35 pm »
---That which is odiferous and causeth plants to grow---. Here's proof:

I stepped back from this game for a few seconds to snap this pic... Because I knew it'd never happen again. :laugh2:

Your buddy on the far left shouldn't of been allowed into the Halloween party without a costume!  :lol

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2013, 06:09:33 pm »
I know that 6 admin buttons is kind of a crazy amount and am open to less but I read somewhere that (Enter, Pause, Left Mouse, Right Mouse, F2, and Escape might be worth considering)

Pretty sure that 6 admin buttons is overkill.

What emulators/FE are you planning on running?

Install and configure the emulators/FE before you decide on which admin buttons you need and want.

Escape and Pause are definitely a good idea IMHO.

You probably won't need Enter, mouse buttons, or F2.   :dunno


Scott

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2013, 06:10:05 pm »
He had one. He was dressed as an inmate in an orange jump suit. Gaming was so intense, he got hot and had to take off his costume.






The first part of the last sentence was a lie. ;)

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2013, 06:11:31 pm »
A lot of people dont realize the arm positions when designing and building these panels.

 For example... do you want your arm hitting another joystick?  Or resting on buttons?   Do you want to reach deeply into a control panel... uncomfortably stretching for long periods of time?  If you roll your trackball hard.. do you want your hand to smack into the nearest joystick or even the monitor glass?

 By using intelligent placement, you can solve a lot of these problems.   Heres some examples...



Key:
Edited Image shows various arm placements.  Green is good.  Red & Pink show issues with arms intersecting other controllers... or other comfort / playability issues.   Black circle, shows optimal safety distance for trackball use.  Its far better to offset the trackball next to the left players low-height buttons... than to keep it centered... where you are more apt to smash into the 2nd players joystick.

 Notes:  For the hand drawn pic...  This was made for someone who was asking to have Asteriods Deluxe button layout.. as well as all the other controllers.  In this case, there was one compromise, which was that if the spinner was used... player had to rest on some buttons.   However, its not a bad compromise, considering the original layout design, which was plagued with comfort and playability issues.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133856.msg1379612.html#msg1379612
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 06:28:09 pm by Xiaou2 »

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2013, 06:31:16 pm »
A lot of people dont realize the arm positions when designing and building these panels.

 For example... do you want your arm hitting another joystick?  Or resting on buttons?   Do you want to reach deeply into a control panel... uncomfortably stretching for long periods of time?  If you roll your trackball hard.. do you want your hand to smack into the nearest joystick or even the monitor glass?

 By using intelligent placement, you can solve a lot of these problems.   Heres some examples...



Key:
Edited Image shows various arm placements.  Green is good.  Red & Pink show issues with arms intersecting other controllers... or other comfort / playability issues.   Black circle, shows optimal safety distance for trackball use.  Its far better to offset the trackball next to the left players low-height buttons... than to keep it centered... where you are more apt to smash into the 2nd players joystick.

 Notes:  For the hand drawn pic...  This was made for someone who was asking to have Asteriods Deluxe button layout.. as well as all the other controllers.  In this case, there was one compromise, which was that if the spinner was used... player had to rest on some buttons.   However, its not a bad compromise, considering the original layout design, which was plagued with comfort and playability issues.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133856.msg1379612.html#msg1379612

Great thoughts, makes sense to me. Jamming into player 2's joystick would probably not feel very good. How's this?

Edit: Oops, posted the wrong pic initially but I fixed it now, sorry
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 06:37:23 pm by Bobgilb1 »

Bobgilb1

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #37 on: December 10, 2013, 06:33:24 pm »
I know that 6 admin buttons is kind of a crazy amount and am open to less but I read somewhere that (Enter, Pause, Left Mouse, Right Mouse, F2, and Escape might be worth considering)

Pretty sure that 6 admin buttons is overkill.

What emulators/FE are you planning on running?

Install and configure the emulators/FE before you decide on which admin buttons you need and want.

Escape and Pause are definitely a good idea IMHO.

You probably won't need Enter, mouse buttons, or F2.   :dunno

Scott

Honestly, I am not certain which emulators I am going to run yet, so I was thinking overkill just to be safe......seems to be a consensus that the overkill is definitely just that though, so I am definitely listening.

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2013, 06:42:51 pm »

Slippyblade

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Re: Newbie 4 Player Control Panel Thoughts
« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2013, 07:42:12 pm »
Ah man.  Overkill.  Back in high school, buddy of mine had a 1950 Chevy pickup.  He also had a pair of 4' peavey speaker stacks.  We would drop those speakers in the back of his truck, wire up an amp, and look Overkill's awesome album "F*** You" as we cruised downtown Prescott.

Good times, good times.

  
 

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