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Controller Project with Arcade Parts


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#1 bhemp OFFLINE  

bhemp

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Posted Wed Mar 7, 2018 9:30 PM

Hi guys!

 

This is my first time posting, but I've definitely checked out the boards over the years for inspiration. I think my little controller project turned out great so I wanted share with you.

 

Here is the end product:

 

20180302_153602.jpg

 

20180302_153535.jpg

 

I was inspired by how much I liked the feel of the plug and play units I have and wished there was a similar Atari joystick. I had considered trying to hack one as others have done here, but then I found this enclosure that seemed perfect. It's anodized aluminum, has different color options, end piece options, is reasonably priced, and there are several size options if you wanted to accommodate different layouts.

 

enclosure.jpg

 

Here are all of the individual enclosure pieces. The standard enclosure comes with black bezels. I bought the red bezels separately.

 

20180215_185749.jpg

 

Since the enclosure is anodized aluminum - and I love anything that is anodized aluminum - I wanted to see if I could get a pattern engraved on the enclosure, plus it would give me a guide for drilling the holes. I came up with a design and headed to a local engraver.

 

etch1.jpg

 

I was little concerned about the gradient on the pattern. The engraver assured me it would turn out fine so I believed him. It could have turned out better though. If I made another one I'd do something more like this and keep everything solid:

 

etch2.jpg

 

Here is the end result:

 

20180228_145704.jpg

 

Overall, it looks great, but it's not perfect and it was a bit of an experiment. I love the finish, but as I mentioned, the gradient band isn't very good and somehow the left arrow pattern was skipped (not sure what happened there).

 

I drilled some starter holes and then used some larger drill bits and then ground the edges with a Dremel to get the size right. If I did it again, I'd probably either try to make sure I had the exact drill bit size or find a shop that would do both the engraving and laser cut the holes. It looks fine for my purposes, but this was the most annoying part.

 

20180228_151112.jpg

 

I wanted to have buttons that were concave and similar in size to the CX40 joystick. The closest arcade buttons that I could find that were short enough to fit in the box were Sanwa SDM-20 buttons (20 mm). They have a very slight clicky sound to them and are fairly springy. I wasn't sure if I was going to like them at first, but they feel great to me now.

 

red-sanwa-20mm-sdm-20-buttons.jpg

 

I used a Sanwa JLF joystick with the mounting plate removed. Here is everything mounted in the enclosure:

 

20180302_145054.jpg

 

I used the Zero Delay USB encoder for the interface and mounted it with Velcro. You could definitely wire up a 9 pin cable, but I wanted to use this for MAME as well.

 

20180215_185958.jpg

 

I needed to get a 5 pin ribbon cable to connect the joystick to the encoder. The whole electronics portion looks like this:

 

20180302_145230.jpg

 

I notched out the side panel for the cable pass-through. I'd kinda quickly hacked through it, but would take a little more care on the next one. You don't really see it with the cable in place anyway:

 

20180302_152608.jpg

 

20180302_152644.jpg

 

This is everything before closing it up:

 

20180302_152722.jpg

 

And the final product again:

 

20180302_153602.jpg

 

 

I gotta say I love the feel of these parts and the form factor. It's like holding a Atari joystick, but the extra thickness makes it more comfortable and the arcade joystick makes a world of difference. And it's all metal so it's built like a tank. I'm getting way higher scores than I ever have before.

 

I'd love to hear what you guys think and any other ideas for improvement!

 

 

 



#2 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 7, 2018 9:41 PM

My 7800 doesn't have USB. :(



#3 bhemp OFFLINE  

bhemp

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Posted Wed Mar 7, 2018 9:55 PM

Well sure it doesn't, but like I said you could use a 9-pin cable instead of the USB encoder. I made it with 2600/7800 in mind.



#4 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 7, 2018 10:00 PM

I know, I am just messing with you.  They look good.



#5 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 7, 2018 10:58 PM

Well sure it doesn't, but like I said you could use a 9-pin cable instead of the USB encoder. I made it with 2600/7800 in mind.


Looks great! Where did you find the enclosure?


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#6 GoldenWheels OFFLINE  

GoldenWheels

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Posted Thu Mar 8, 2018 10:01 AM

Looks great. I'm going to check out those smaller buttons to, I've had a hard time finding good, small buttons.

 

EDIT: where'd you get those bad boys? I don't see any on fleabay.



#7 bhemp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 8, 2018 12:07 PM

I got them here:

 

https://paradisearca...58-sanwa-sdm-20

 

I also couldn't find any on Ebay or a cheaper source.



#8 bhemp OFFLINE  

bhemp

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Posted Thu Mar 8, 2018 12:10 PM

I got the enclosure through Mouser but this was the manufacturer:

 

http://www.hammondmfg.com/1455.htm



#9 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:45 PM

Very nice controller!

 

Pro Tip:  Replace your 8 way gate with an octagonal gate and you will have MUCH better play on games that were classically 4 way, especially the maze games.  The octagon is a lovely compromise between 4 and 8 way, as the shaft of the stick has a true landing spot in all eight positions.

 

You can get the entire gate for $5 your Sanwa stick here:

https://paradisearca...ctor-plate.html

 

Or change out the center piece for $1:

https://paradisearca...tor-insert.html

 

In both cases, the change is extremely easy and quick.



#10 bhemp OFFLINE  

bhemp

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:01 PM

I kinda want these too...can never have enough metal... :)

 

https://www.focusatt...washer-set-red/

 

https://www.focusatt...um-balltop-red/



#11 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:29 AM

Nice homemade USB Arcade Stick. Don't see how this has anything to do with the 7800 though? :?



#12 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:01 PM

Thank you for posting your info.  I can totally take this info and build a 7800 and other sticks from it.



#13 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:19 PM

Thank you for posting your info.  I can totally take this info and build a 7800 and other sticks from it.

 

Be sure to post your results. That info on converting this USB joystick to an Atari 7800 joystick would make this thread much more Atari relevant. It's a couple resistors and a totally different cord away. Might as well toss the USB board all together out of this stick actually. You can find the info to make a 7800 joystick posted on the forum without issue. Will remove any of the confusion with this USB setup as well as it will only be the arcade parts and how they are used with the Atari and not a computer\console with USB ports.



#14 bhemp OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:16 PM

Again, I just wanted pass along what I had done I order to make a controller that I intended to use with emulators. Yes, I could have easily used a 9 pin cable and resistors or Edladdin's premade board instead of a USB interface. There are other posts that cover that portion in detail. I found inspiration from other Atari Age members so I wanted to share here since I hadn't seen any similar enclosures used and finding a good enclosure seems to always be a topic of concern. There isn't a general controller topic here and this had two buttons so I posted in the 7800 forum.




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