Friday, March 28, 2008

Awesome Portable arcade controller

Okay this is my first real post, I can't decide how to start posting on here, so I might as well just jump straight into it. Hopefully in the future I will be posting a whole lot more projects like this, as well as well as some digital media projects like motion graphics and stuff.

Anyway, a while ago I discovered MAME, if you don't know what it is, check it foo!
I got the sudden urge to create a more authentic arcade control scheme to play my favourite games on; the Metal Slug series.
At this time I was also in the process of building a replica Asteroids arcade cabinet (more on that in the next post!) so I had some leftover MDF.

Anyway after a bit of fiddling around with nails and glue, I ended up with this:

And some progress shots!:
This is before it was painted. Awesome.

Here are the innards of the sucker. I got one of the joysticks from the friendly maintainance guy at my local Playtime.

I ordered most of the buttons from this arcade distributor in Western Australia or something, they were pretty cheap. Awesome.
To get the controls to actually interface with my computer, I initially tried hacking an old keyboard I got off a friend, this worked pretty well, except the keyboard button matrix thing caused some annoying key lockout problems (where if you press certain keys simultaneously, they don't register).

A few weeks later however, I was walking past a Dodo store (remember them, they were the most pointless, useless stores evar.) And they just so happened to have these nice dual playstation controller USB things, where it plugs into 1 usb port on your computer, but it has two controllers connected to it.
I was able to rewire them with to the 9-pin ports so my arcade controller would plug into them, and it shows up as two generic 8button 4way controllers on the computer, so the buttons can be assigned easily for any MAME game.

I also rewired a NES controller, a SNES controller and a Megadrive controller so I can use them on emulators for games that are too hard to find in cart form (no I don't condone piracy).