Introduction: Arcade Controller on a Budget
Ever wanted a proper arcade style joystick with buttons but didn't want to give several hundreds of euros for one? Don't have a fancy cnc or a laser cutter? I managed to make this one with only a few simple tools.
Best thing about it you can plug it into your PC, Raspberry Pi or Android device and it will work without any fancy drivers!
I got my kit from banggood but I saw similar ones on ebay and aliexpress. It was 13€ at the time that I bought it, shipping included. Nice thing about it that it has all of the components and you only need to make a case for it. It's a sanwa style zero delay kit.
Materials and tools needed:
- 7mm plywood (or whichever building material you have lying around)
- piece of paper and a printer to print out drilling guidelines for buttons
- brass (or plastic) standoffs for the PCB
- hinges and lock (scavanged mine off an old jewelry box)
- base paint and varnish
- wood glue
- sandpaper and file (optional)
- drill and some bits
- utility knife
Set the paper on the piece of plywood and fasten it with tape. Drill some holes! I happen to have a 30mm drill bit so I used that but you can also a jigsaw to do it or drill a smaller hole and file it to size.
I used two same pieces and glued them together to get a thicker and sturdier top.
Then cut the bottom part. I decided to stack plywood horizontally for the front for extra support to the front. Then added the rest of the front. I wanted the console to be at an angle so I put the joystick in and checked for clearance before making the back and sides.
Make the sides and back part. Drill in holes for the side buttons. You could put those on the top but I opted to put mine to the sides because this way I would use them for playing pinball games. In other games they're set as start/select or player 1/add coin buttons.
Put the standoffs in for the PCB and drill a hole in the back for the USB cable. I used a thicker wood piece I had lying around for the back.
Glue the bottom part and install the hinges. I used a utility knife to make the grooves for the hinges. Then sanding. A lot of it. Everything needs to be sanded and smooth before applying paint. Also check that everything closes properly
Paint and give at least 24 hours for the paint to dry properly. Finally put in the joystick and buttons and connect them to the PCB.
Finally everything assembled and plugged in. Make sure to enjoy your arcade controller!