Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Control Panel(s)

Instead of trying to cram the "most-used" controls onto one control panel (and being inspired by the Roswell 88201 cabinet) I have opted to go for multiple control panels that can be swapped out on demand. I also want to implement some kind of "standard" for the interface between the various control panels and the PC in order to ease construction of new control panels and interfacing all control panels with 1 connector.

I also had a crazy idea to use some kind of dot-matrix LED cluster that could be programmed what to display on the fly.  Then (using a custom frontend) you could display on the actual control panel what each control did for that specific game!  It would also give a cool looking effect on the control panel, with the glowing LED's on it.  Any suggestions on how something like this could be done easily and fairly cheaply?  email me and I will post it here

So far, I have several control panels planned for the cabinet:

  1. 2 Joysticks/6 buttons for each
  2. 4 Joysticks/2 buttons for each
  3. 3" Trackball with joystick
  4. Spinner and joystick (Tron-style) (spinner based on TwistyGrip's design)
  5. Flight-stick (Star Wars style, inspired by Joey's design)
  6. Steering Wheel with pedal(s) and High/Low shifter
  7. "Other consoles" panel, including interfaces for original gamepads for Atari 2600, Nintendo, SNES, etc...

I also have ideas for other control panels, but probably will never build because I have no need (yet):

    Gun control panel (either using a gun on a cable, or fixed to the control panel)



The control panels will slide into and out of the control panel bay.  Once I get the first control panel built, I will post pictures here on how I did it.  Instead of using a Molex connector like in the Roswell cabinet, I will instead be using ribbon cable and pin connectors (like on IDE cables).  This should give me enough expandability and "room to move around" so I won't feel so cramped.

Like I said above, I want to develop some kind of standard for this interface.  The interface must carry power and data for both the keyboard and mouse interfaces.  Ribbon cable should be sufficient (as long as I don't use any high-current devices).  I also want to be able to install and remove ALL the control panels on the fly, I do not want to have to reboot in order to switch control panels.  For the keboard portion of the interface (using the KE24-FAST keyboard encoder) I don't think this will cause a problem.  I am a little concerned about the mouse interface.  Any ideas?
 

This page last updated 9/21/99