Control Panel

The control panel (the bit with the buttons and joystick) was built and configured by OzStick. The quality of the panel is simply superb. The buttons and joystick are all genuine arcade parts, and are connected through a 2 player i-pac, which converts each and every button press into a keyboard signal. The beauty of the whole design is that no joystick drivers or configuration are ever needed, as the joystick acts like a keyboard according to the computer.

MAME and most frontends are configured for keystroke entries as buttons, so my entire software setup was a piece of cake!

I initially contacted OzStick enquiring about the custom solutions they offered. My panel was relatively simple being only a 2 player setup, and the OzStick owner Chris was extremely helpful in aiding me in some design decisions.

Included with my control panel was a pre-wired and configured coin mechanism which enabled me to map a keystroke to a microswitch attached to the unit. This meant that I could now include the ability to make my unit coin-operated for that genuine feel. The coin mech is adustable via some small screws that enabled me to modify it such that it would accept Australian 20c peices. I also won a few coin-mech face plates from an ebay auction, and used it for added authenticity.

In the same auction I also won some working (but slightly damaged) coin-mechs, which will eventually be restored and added to the cabinet. Most games allow a single coin mech for both player 1 and 2, but there are the odd few that require a second unit.

Without trying to sound like a sales rep, I cannot recommend strongly enough OzStick for quality hardware and top customer support to other Aussies who are out to make a cabinet for themselves, or even want a stand-alone joystick for a TV or PC setup. Playing MAME games on a keyboard or joypad just simply isn't the same!