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Ordering Game Control Parts

At this point I needed to do a little research and order some parts.  I was going to make a new control panel and needed buttons and a joystick.  I found a bunch of places online that sold parts and ended up ordering the following stuff from the following places.

I ordered Micro Switch push buttons and an 8 Way micro switch Red Ball handle joystick from (great prices).  

I order a KeyWiz Max 1.5 from, which is a great accessory for a MAME game.  And I thought I'd have to hack a keyboard.  The KeyWiz is a must have for any MAME project.  More about the KeyWiz Later.

I ordered a 19 inch LCD monitor.  LCD because it is low profile and generates little heat.  19 inch because many games are originally on a 19 inch monitor.  LCD is also easy to mount.  I chose to order an Acer AL1916 for a few reasons.  First, I have one on my PC and it looks good.  The dimensions were perfect for my cabinet and it only cost 200 bucks.

I also ordered a track ball mouse.






Control Panel

The control panel for this cabinet was easy to remove.  A couple of clamps and a single wire harness and it was out.  It was simple enough that I can fabricate up another to replace it and clamp the new one in.

For the Control panel I thought about all of the games I'd want to play.  If you plan to do this project, I'd suggest getting familiar with the MAME emulator first.  I knew what I liked and looked at a lot of pictures online of games I loved to play as a kid.  then I thought about the buttons necessary to run MAME like the enter key, ESC key, the P key for pause, and so on.  Then I mocked up a cardboard panel.  I later added more buttons than what is pictured to the right.  Now that I have the game running I think I might have changed a few things but not much.  I'll go over that later.  A lot of people like to lay out controls for two players to play at the same time.  My games of choice were one player at a time games so I designed it that way.


Original panel

Cardboard mockup
When I mocked up the cardboard, I was doing a few things.  I was checking for clearances within the cabinet and I was trying to lay it out so it feels good and looks good when standing there playing.



Once I had an idea of what I wanted for the buttons and joystick, the next order of business was to re-create the new panel.  The original was sheet metal over 3/4 inch plywood.  I found some sheet metal and duplicated the dimensions.  I then cut plywood exactly like the original.
The clamps that held the original down would be transferred over to the new panel, but not yet.

To Laying out the Controls






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