Step 7: Assembling the Top Panel
Fasten all your components
Some components will be snap fit, while others will have fastening nuts and bushings. All components should fit snug, if not, you may have made an error in the laser cutting.
Cut your crimped wires to appropriate lengths
The pre-crimped wires you bought can be cut in half to make two wires. The cut ends can then be soldered directly to your components and the crimped ends plugged into the crimp housings. It is helpful if you make the wires long enough so that your top panel can plug into the bottom PCB while the top panel remains standing next to it (see image). If you are building a medium/large controller it would be wise to purchase 24" crimped wires, as opposed to 12". It is also important to know approximately where your PCB will be positioned on the bottom panel so you can cut your wire to the appropriate length. Some components (like arcade buttons) have large heights and will interfere with the components on your PCB. Notice on my sampler I had to position the PCB slightly off-center as to not interfere with the Teensy++ on my PCB - I wanted to keep the height as low as possible. If you cut your wire too long it may stick out the side, so take care when cutting - not to short and not too long.
Solder your exposed wire to your components
Color coating is not imperative, but helpful if you have enough wires. In the case you were foolish in your design and have an abundance of wires, it is helpful to begin connecting your ground/power connections between components (as shown in step 4). You should only do this if necessary. On my sampler I had a mess of wires, so connected all the ground connections from the arcade buttons to each other (see images). This way I only had one ground connection which needed to be plugged into the board. I did the same for the power and ground of the potentiometers (see images). You may want to add either tape or glue gun glue (see images) to your soldered connections. This way when you tug on the wire, there is less risk of it becoming detached from the component. Personally, I found both tape and glue ineffective and ended up removing both of them after they became a nuisance.