Building the control-panel

The original control-panelThe original control-panel was not usefull for my project. Although the cabinet had a SF-II-pcb in it, the control-panel had only room for 2 players with 3 buttons each, with the holes drilled in such a way, I couldn't drill extra holes :( There were two 3-way buttons for each player, I could have used them, but they are *really* ugly.

So I started to work on a new control-panel. If you ever have to choose between a cabinet with a metal panel or one with a wooden panel, go for the wooden panel, it's way easier to handle or rebuild. I have a metal one, and I can tell you, it's a real pain in the ass to make a new one. I cutted 4 pieces of metal before I got one that fitted right and looked nice enough. Maybe I'll make some room later for a wooden panel, but for now I'll have to do with the metal one (although it does look nice now).

Lack of spce Due the the hole in the wood, I have only a space available of 9x52 cm. for the panel. One good thing is that I don't need to put the control-buttons, like player-1 start or ESC, in the panel. They will be mounted on some other places on the cabinet, the cabinet even came with a player-1, player-2 start AND a game-select button.

Looking around on some websites, and following some WWW-threads, I decided to use the following layout for the (Happ Ultimate) joystick and buttons:

(Click for a version ready for printing, size approx. 9x21 cm)

Using this layout for both player 1 and player 2, shifted to both sides, I have a free space of approx. 9 cm. between the right-most buttons of player 1 and the left-most side of the player-2 joystick. This should be enough for mounting a trackball later on.

I went out to a hardware-store and bought a 27 mm. hole-saw, which can be used for both wood as metal-drilling. The buttons have a 28 mm. diameter, so I had to use a file to make some more room. Currently I'm waiting for the paint to dry. I have the panel painted 4 times, it's real smooth, but it'll take a day or two before the paint is hardened.

The new control-panelAfter drilling the holes and painting the panel, I drilled 4 extra holes in the cabinet for Mame-specific buttons. I used low-profile illuminated buttons for this task, and they came out very nice.

I then rewired the cabinet, so I could use the panel for MAME aswell as original Jamma-pcb's. This means I will have to add a few (two or three) single-pole, double-throw switches for setting the cabinet into MAME or Jamma-use. Next this to do was setting up the computer that goes inside the cabinet.