Control Panel


Control Panel



For my control panel, I decided to gut my x-arcade controller.  I removed all of the components inside the x-arcade, and used them as the main controls inside my newly constructed control panel for the cabinet.  Since that I have replaced all of the X-Arcade components in the control panel.  I never really found a problem with the X-Arcade keyboard encoder, I just really wished it had the "Shift" function that was available on the Mini-PAC.  It is for that reason that I replaced it with the Mini-PAC.

The Control Panel currently consists of the following:

bullet1 Ultimarc Mag-Stick Plus Joystick
bullet1 Happ Top Joystick w/ Cherry Microswitches
bullet16 Black Happ Buttons w/ Cherry Microswitches
bullet1 Happ Player 1 Button w/ Cherry Microswitches
bullet1 Happ Player 2 Button w/ Cherry Microswitches
bullet2 White Happ Buttons w/ Cherry Microswitches
bullet3 Red Happ Buttons w/ Cherry Microswitches
bullet1 Red Happ Translucent Illuminated Trackball
bullet1 SlikStik Tornado Spinner
bulletUltimarc Mini-PAC Keyboard Encoder
bulletHapp Trackball Mounting Kit
bullet2 Act Labs USB TV Light Guns
bulletBlack Marble Contact Paper

Steps to Build:

bulletDraw layout of controls on the MDF
bulletDrill the holes for the buttons.  This was done using a 1 1/8" Forstner Bit.
bulletCut the hole for the trackball.  This was done using a Jig Saw.
bulletBevel out the area for the trackball mounting plate.  This was done using a router and a  straight cutting bit.
bulletCut the Lexan.  This was done using the "Lexan Sandwich" method.  I placed the Lexan between the control panel top and a scrap piece of MDF.  I then used the control panel top as a template for cutting the holes in the Lexan.  This also prevents the Lexan from cracking or riding up the drill bit.  The Lexan was cut to the size of the control panel by using an Acrylic Cutting Tool.  You basically score the Lexan about 10 times and then crack it off.
bulletPlaced wood filler around the edges of the trackball, waited utill it dried and then sanded it smooth.
bulletBase was contructed.
bulletContact Paper was then  added to the control panel top.
bulletControls added, and wiring completed.


Update!  Since construction, I have added a Happ Top Fire Joystick and dual Act Labs USB TV Light Guns.

Update! I finally got my Mag-Stick Plus Joystick from Ultimarc.  The holes on the mounting plate did not match up with the standard Happ/X-Arcade mounting holes so I had a friend make me a custom mounting plate.  The great thing about this joystick is that it will let you switch between a 4-way and an 8-way joystick from the top of the control panel.  You just pull up and twist to switch between modes.  The standard mounting plate is on the side, the custom plate is attached to the joystick.

Update!  I have now upgraded all of the X-Aracade Buttons to Happ Buttons.  I really did not have a problem with the X-Arcade Buttons except for a pingy sound when you would press them.  The Happ Buttons have a more authentic feel.  I did not, however, notice a performance difference between the two.

Update! - 09/03/2006 - I have now converted the control panel over from using the X-Arcade interface to using Ulimarc's Mini-PAC.

Update! - 10/14/2006 - Added a panel mount USB cable for easy access to USB Devices.  The panel and cables were purchased from  The cables were $15.95 a piece and the face plate was $9.95.

Update! - 06/17/2007 - I have updated the artwork on the control panel.  I have removed the infamous "black marble" and replace the overlay with the flame CPO from  Before applying the overlay, I sanded, primed, and painted the control panel top.  Hopefully this time, the overlay will not bubble up.  The first time I did it, I made the mistake of applying it to bare MDF.





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This site was last updated 09/29/08