Arcade Cabinet - Play arcade games old skool


Step 9: Controls - Wiring the buttons

Now for the wiring we need this:

- Electrical wire, the thin kind. Be sure to get at least two colours. One for ground and one for the rest.
- Some clips to put on the wire ends so we can connect them to the buttons easily.
- a wire cutter, stripper and a grip.
- maybe some ti rips or tape to keep things together.

The first thing we'll do is hook up all the buttons to the ground on a per player basis. Cut one of the
wires in pieces big enough to jump from button to button. Then take two wires and strip their ends, one end goes in the ground (gnd) pin on the I-Pac of player one (my ground wire is red). The other end together with an end of the other wire will be clamped in the clip with a grip. Strip another wire and do the same with the last wire and this one. Every time you clamp two wires together you slide the clip onto the ground pin of one of the micro switches of the buttons or joystick. It's the pin with the 90 degree angle. Continue until all the micros switches have been linked of player one.

Now cut the other colour wire in pieces long enough to go from every micro switch back to the I-Pac. Strip them and put a clamp on one end, the other end goes into the I-Pac in the corresponding pin.

Every micro switch has 3 pins, the big one with the 90 degree angle in it is ground. The other two are the ones transmitting the signal to the I-Pac. Now which one should you choose? One of the pins is constantly transmitting until the button is pressed. It then stops until the button is released. The other pin does the opposite which is exactly what we need. You can tell which is which by the markings near the pins. It either says NC or NO, which means Normally Closed and Normally Open respectively. You need the NO pin, because an electricity current can only flow in a closed circuit so we need to press the button to close the circuit. If it doesn't say NC or NO it might be represented by an open and a closed bridge.

A word of caution: when wiring the joysticks you actually wire it mirrored. If you would pull on the stick the upper micro switch would be pressed. If you push the stick the bottom one will be pressed. The same goes for left and right. If you've done it wrong you'll notice when you're playing, your character will do exactly the opposite of what you want him to do.

Now just plug the I-Pac in one of the computers USB ports and fire up the computer. It should all work and you will be able to play with your real arcade controller. The cabinet might be missing but we'll fix it.
If some buttons don't respond check another button that's further down the chain, if it works the ground wire is connected like is should be. You should then check the connection to the I-Pac. If it still doesn't work check the MAME controls, maybe the button isn't mapped jet this can be on a per game basis.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
slimguy3796 years ago
you really should talk about i-pac alternatives such as the "keyboard hack" One possible solution to the interface issue is to cannibalize an old keyboard and turn it into an interface. You can "hot wire" a connection between your buttons and joysticks so that when the switches that comprise these components are switched, they "press" the appropriate key by closing the switch under the keys on the keyboard. This method is for the intrepid do-it-youselfer, and requires a good deal of patience. here are some sites to help: