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New Control Panel

In 2014 I decided to downsize from the full mame cabinet I had built. I really like the look of the cabinet but it really takes up too much room and truth be told it doesn't get used very often. Also, the control panel I built was overdone. Having the optical main joysticks, the spinner and 4 joysticks total was overkill. There aren't very many 4-player games and even when I'm having a party at the house there are never 4 people wanting to play the same game together. My fond memories of playing Gauntlet with a group of friends at the arcade will just need to stay in the past.

So I decided to build something a little more practical and portable and modern. I didn't track the progress of the build with any pictures as I did with the minimame cabinet so I only have a couple of pics below.

I went with an iPac2 (Ultimarc $43) like with the minimame as I didn't need as many inputs as the fullsize cabinet. As you can see the layout is much smaller with just the 2 joysticks and trackball, altough I did add 2 additional buttons each side for 8 instead of 6. This was due to some fighting games that use the extra 2, even though I don't play them. I also went with 2 E-Stik joysticks (Ultimarc $17 ea.) I like these as you simply have to twist a plate on the bottom to change them from 4-day to 8-way which makes it much easier to play games like Donkey Kong or Pacman. The trackball (Happ Controls $200), is an RGB illuminated ball which requires 12v power so I have that wired to a CAT-6 connector and in my pc case I have a 12v output wired to another connector and I just run a network cable between the 2 to light it up.

Everything else was much like before, some T-moulding around the edges, used a piano hinge to secure the top, lexan to cover the top, etc. I also drilled 4 holes in the bottom of the box and in my desk and I use bolts with wingnuts to secure it when playing. The box isn't heavy enough on its own to stay in place. My pc already has hdmi out and is connected to the tv in my office.

I don't have an exact parts list but indicated above what I used and the cost.