It’s been a while since I posted about the arcade machine. Sorry about that. I hope to post more over the next few days.
Today is the day that I made the control panel. The process is pretty simple but takes a lot of drilling.
The first step is to measure the control panel so you know how much room you have to work with. Once measured, it’s time to start planning out how you want to lay out the controls.
I knew a couple of things. First, I knew I needed two joysticks. I didn’t care about a trackball or spinner, but two joysticks is an absolute must so I can play Robotron and Smash TV. I also knew that I wanted at least 6 buttons, but if there’s room 8 would be good too. Based on that I hopped into Adobe Illustrator and came up with a few different layouts before I decided on my final layout. And here it is…
And now it’s time to put the buttons and joysticks in!
Here is the panel with the buttons and joysticks installed. I was thinking about doing a vinyl control panel overlay (so I can put fun graphics on the panel) but ultimately decided against it. So this thing is ready to go!
Next up, I need to put microswitches into the joysticks and buttons. For those interested, microswitches are the physical switches that plug into joysticks and buttons that send signal to the machine.
To go a little more in depth, let’s look at the buttons. The button is literally a piece of plastic and a spring. The microswitch clips on at the button of the joystick so that when the button is depressed, it completes the microswitch connection and sends a signal to the electronics in the machine. This is what causes Mario to jump. A button uses one microswitch and a joystick uses four.
That’s it for today. Next up, getting the computer installed. Soon, we will play games!