They said it couldn't be done... well more like they said it SHOULDN'T be done and was pointless with the items being so affordable... but the hell with that I dig tinkering and this is free equipment for an arcade project slapped together in less than 10 mins

This is my first instructable hope you dig it.

I am always broke but I have lofty goals like building a M.A.M.E. (Multiple Arcade Emulation Machine) Cabinet.  I found some arcade plunger buttons being practically given away on my local craigslist but they were missing a few microswitches which are the real brains of it all . I have a collection of PC hdd  power/reset switches I scavenged from some old throwaway PCs I knew would come in handy somehow. One day I was thinking micro cherry switches, hdd power switches... other than form factor whats the heck is the difference? turns out nothing. Some wood and duct tape can make it all come together check it out :
FYI: if you wanna buy the arcade buttons outright it's only like $3.00 USD plunger switch and all. S+H is where they get you. Also most microwaves usually have the same type switches built in their doors  (I think to sense if the door is shut). So if you wanted you could rip apart old/ broken microwaves for them but that could be a dangerous practice as that microwaves like printers and CRT monitors can still carry charges in their capacitors long after being unplugged. Don't try that unless you KNOW what your doing. I claim no responsibility for this awful information. :)

List of materials needed:
1. Arcade Plunger button sans micro switch
2. Wire cutters (for trimming the switch)
3. A way to strip wires for me its a box blade
4. IPAC USB Encoder or hacked and mapped Keyboard (selected key combo circuits mapped on pcb) heres a good diy
5. Glue or tape
6. scrap wood
7. misc wire
8. nail or drill to make mounting holes
9.  PC HDD power/reset switch from old/broke PC
10. sense of adventure

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Step 1:

Here was the blueprint/concept :

Step 2:

Heres the build:

1. Found a piece of scrap  wood trim roughly the same thickness of a micro switch and trimmed it to size using a hacksaw with a notch for the scavenged hdd power switch to fit into. Used a Nail to hand drill the mounting holes

Step 3:

2. Insert power switch. It would be better to probably use a glue of some sort like hot glue but I couldn't find any so I went with my 2nd fav for things of this nature duct tape.

Step 4:

3.Fitting. Had to re-drill the mounting holes a tad deeper and afterwards the block was a few millimeters off from a tight fit so I bulked it up with a piece of cardboard, also top button was too tall to spring back up without getting stuck in down position by plunger foot so I clipped the tip top off with wire cutters and shaved it clean with my knife.

Step 5:

4.Ipac encoder and button plunger ready to roll (note lost original ps2 to usb cable for ipac so spliced a usb and old ps2 cable together works great but can only do this when then end device has built in drivers like the ipac does)

Step 6:

5.Tape it up nice you should probably use proper electrical tape for things like this but there's not a whole lot of current going through these things so duct tape is ok for me.

(Disclaimer! I'm not a proper authority on electricity DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I am a untrained professional idiot with 27 years of experience)


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    8 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    thanks bro,, i dont have to order online microswitches for my arcade, i'll just build my own microswitches just like yours..very easy to repair and replace


    5 years ago on Step 6

    I'm impressed with the McGuyver aspect of this, but that's a lot of work to replace a $1 switch. Still, in an arcade emergency, this could save the day.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Well, a dollar a switch times 6 if your going absolutely bare, or, like me, 27 in total for dual player, it gets somewhat expensive. I'll make an instructable sometime on how to do the whole switch, light up, and good looking, for about 10 bucks for thirty or so if you start with nothing and buy all.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You can try this trick:

    1. Run the microwave(even if the microwave is broken)

    2. Remove the plug while it's operating

    3. Just to be sure,short internal capacitors to the ground.


    5 years ago

    i bought 2 joysticks an 9 buttons with micro switches on ebay for like 30 bucks was worth it. but otherwise your hack is alright i guess


    5 years ago on Step 6

    Janky maybe, but end product works well and its probably going to be hidden anyway.

    I would've gone with hot melt glue too, more durable for long term, buit you've gotta go with what you've got.

    Nice hack.

    1 reply