Step 3: Make the control panel

Now let's make the control panel. This will involve painting it, adding the joystick and buttons, and wiring them to the interface we created in the previous step.

Paint the entire board the base color of your choice

Mask out the design you want to use with painter's tape

Paint the board again with a different color.

Remove the painter's tape to reveal your design.

Drill the holes to insert the joystick and buttons into.

Install all buttons and joystick. You can additionally install a piece of plexiglass over the control board. I did this and it really made it look a lot nicer.

You can also label your buttons if you wish. I labeled the secondary buttons but chose to leave the main buttons unlabeled. For the text, I used rub on letters. You can get these from the scrap booking aisle at Hobby Lobby.

Now we need to connect the buttons to the interface.

At the base of each button and joystick is a microswitch. Wire the ground connection to the ground pin that corresponds with that button. Wire the normally open (NO) contact to the open end that corresponds. For example:

My A button corresponds to the keyboard key ALT. looking at my matrix, I see that the alt key is ground pin 6, open pin 19. for the A button microswitch, I solder a wire from the ground to pin 6 of my set of grounds. Then I solder a wire from the NO to pin 19 of my set of opens.

The A button is done, now repeat with all others.
cfoster153 years ago
Im just going to use a nes system to do this. I know I can't save games but that seems a bit more like a real arcade anyways. I will defiantly use this design (with some modifications obviously) to make a nes arcade machine. Then a Snes arcade machine. Thank god for parents with tools or I might have to buy my own!

now all i need is some diet coke.... oh yeah and all that other stuff
Unless I'm missing something (which is completely possible since I've only been skimming), wouldn't it be easier to use a pcb from a pc-compatible usb controller? They're really cheap, you can find them anywhere and are much easier to modify than a keyboard.
sboekelman3 years ago
can i use a nes advantige controler for it?
Krayzi994 years ago
it would be easier to get a joystick with buttons and use joytokey to configure it to keys
where did you get you joystick and buttons?
chewbaccaa5 years ago
how do you wire the stick :(
Do all the switches use the same ground?
russm313 (author)  recordmasta0015 years ago
Yes, I used one common ground for all the switches
turtleshane5 years ago
what kind of switch are the secondary switches? tactile?
jtsage6 years ago
As a side note, using quick disconnects (the little metal spatula shaped things) on the microswitches and pushbuttons is not a bad idea. they don't go bad very often, but you'll save yourself a lot of hassle in the swap out if you can remove them quickly. It's also very handy for when you forget exactally which wire was which from the previous step. Very nice job overall!