I started out by literally
absorbing every project listed at The Build Your Own
Arcade Controls website. I wanted as much info and opinion
as possible from which to make my decisions. I read some of these
pages 5 or 6 times to be sure that I understood the intentions
and direction of the builder. I also sifted through as many of
the games that MacMAME supported as possible (being especially
attentive to my favorites), looking for the button requirements
of each game. I also consulted all of my other Mac games to see
if they have remapping option for controls and if not, which
keyboard keys they needed to make them work. I wanted to build
all of the possible options into this unit. If I was going to
spend the time to do this, I wanted it done right. Some games
will only need a joystick and one button, or perhaps even no
buttons and some games will require as many as six buttons for
each player. Then there was the question of how to get the information
into the computer. You can't just shove the wires from the joystick
into the computer serial port and expect it to work. There has
to be some kind of interface between the joysticks, buttons and
the computer. As I see it, there three possible options for this
Since you can play a
game on the computer keyboard, it just makes sense to consider
(carefully) hacking a computer keyboard apart and using it's
interface as your connection to the computer. A keyboard hack
is probably the cheapest option of the three being that you can
usually find a keyboard cheap at a garage sale or in a used computer
or surplus store or even brand new if you have a PC (I have replaced
PC keyboards on machines in the workplace for as little as $4,
brand new). You seldom find Mac keyboards this cheap. The only
reason that I can really think of is that the Mac has a lower
market share. This means that there are not that many third party
companies that make products for the Mac. Less competition means
higher prices. Sometimes means better quality, though. A genuine
Apple keyboard may be more expensive than a PC aftermarket keyboard
but it is much better quality and will last much longer (this
is of course assuming that you do not spill your coke or coffee
into it at regular intervals). For this use, quality is a moot
point. We are planing on hacking this thing open so who cares
if the keys still feel good in five years? Get the cheapest keyboard
The second option is
to hack apart a joystick or gamepad. They are already designed
to interface to the computer and they usually have software to
support and map inputs. This option is a little more expensive
than a keyboard hack and you would probably want to get used
equipment in working order to do this. Hacking apart brand new
joysticks and game pads is okay if you have money to burn but
most do not. And besides, if you have money to burn, you could
have someone else do this whole project for you (see the links
page for details). I consulted ebay.com and Amazon.com auctions
for listings for game pads and joysticks. This can be an excellent
source for this kind of thing. You can get these things at half
what you pay for them normally, sometimes less. And remember,
a Mac ADB bus will allow 3 devices to be chained on it and the
Gravis software that comes with both the MousestickII and the
gamepad supports two units plugged in at the same time. This
can effectively double the number of buttons and combinations
you can use and still have a keyboard plugged in as well. Doing
it with USB parts would also allow this on either a Mac or a
And finally, the last
way to do the interface is to buy a USB interface specifically
designed for this exact purpose. This is by far, the most expensive
option. Happ Controls
and another company that I cannot seem to remember the name of
both offer a USB interface that allows for several different
configurations. Happ's unit offers a driving module,
a flying module,
and a fighting module.
Each offers a different range of options and custom tailored
inputs for the type of simulation/emulation you wish to do. These
units are over $100 each but if you want the greatest flexibility,
PC and Mac compatibility for your arcade controller, this option
may be for you. There is one other advantage to this unit over
a keyboard hack. No ghosting. Ghosting is a word used to describe
what happens when certain keyboard key combinations when used
together yield unpredictable results. If you have never looked
inside a computer keyboard, it is a maze of printed circuits
and cross over connections. In other words, some keys will share
a common lead and therefore may not work reliably when pressed
at the same time. Try pressing down two keys on your keyboard
at once. What happened? Nothing? Something? Was it what you expected?
Every keyboard is designed differently. Two keys pressed at the
same time may interact well or may not interact well. All depends
on the what keys and which manufacturer. This will usually only
make a difference if you build a two player controller and then
challenge your friend to Mortal Kombat or something like that.
There is the possibility that your friend pushing up on his joystick
could cause your button x or y not to work. I built a two player
unit which I have never actually had two players on. But I have
experienced no instances where I lost control and I suspected
ghosting. However, if Mortal Kombat is your favorite game and
you take your games very seriously, you may want to consider
a USB interface.
I chose to do the keyboard
hack. It seemed the easiest on the pocketbook especially since
I already had the extra keyboard. I had a friend that had a Mac
she had lost the keyboard for. She didn't know much about computers
or the internet and didn't have a lot of money. She needed a
keyboard so I offered to use ebay.com to try and get her one.
I got her one and then she disappeared off the face of the earth.
I have not heard from her since so I assumed that she did not
really need the keyboard anymore (it had been sitting in my closet
for the better part of two years). She donated it to the cause.
Actually, I paid for it so I donated it to the cause. It cost
me about $8 with the shipping from where ever it is it was.
Now with keyboard in hand,
I began disassembling it while watching TV over the course of
the next few nights. Once I had the basic case apart, I needed
to get the guts out without damaging anything. There wasn't much
too it. A small circuit board with a plastic membrane plugged
into it. The membrane was a maze in the shape of a keyboard,
each key having a "pad" that it shorts out. This short
is then interpreted by the interface and the appropriate data
is sent to the computer. I carefully unsoldered the connectors
from the circuit board where the membrane plugged into it. It
was very important that I be careful as the solder points are
very small and I intend to use them again. Too much heat and
the copper strips and pads that are "stuck" to the
fiberglass circuit board will lift and the interface will be
ruined. Not enough heat and the solder will not melt so I can
get the connector out. I even bought a special soldering iron
for the job. I already own a sixty watt iron and a butane iron
but this is very delicate small work so I needed a small iron.
I bought a 15-watt iron. This is the perfect iron for this type
of work. Makes it more difficult to over heat the joint and ruin
the circuit board. I also bought a new solder removal tool (aka
The Solder Sucker!). This is a simple tool that operates on the
principal of vacuum. It literally sucks the hot solder off the
board. There is an element of timing involved to get this right.
You have the heat the joint , pull the iron away, get the sucker
in there and release the spring, all in one motion or the solder
will cool and it will not work. This is difficult if the circuit
board is not clamped down in a vise some other suitable holding
device. I also used a solder wick. This nothing more than a braid
of clean copper that is placed across the solder joint to be
removed and heated from the other side with the iron. The solder
gets hot and is "soaked up" but the copper braid. An
invaluable tool for this work. For those of you who do not know
how to solder, I have put together a little seminar on the
subject if you wish to learn.
Once the membrane connectors
were out, I carefully stripped back the same number of conductors
on a piece of ribbon cable. This is the kind of cable you would
see on your hard drive in your computer. In fact, what I used
was 50 conductor (with a few conductors stripped off) which is
what a SCSI drive uses. After stripping and tinning the ends
of the ribbon cable, I soldered them into the interface circuit
board. Then I soldered the other end of the ribbon into the experimenters
board I bought. This would be the basis for the interface. I
then soldered some 3 inch pieces of solid 20 gauge conductors
into the experimenters board. This would connect the interface
to the "bread board" to make key remapping an easy
thing if I ever needed to do it. If the only game you ever play
with this unit is MacMAME or MAME32, there
really is no need to do all of this ribbon cable and bread board
stuff. You could just put wires on your joysticks and buttons
and connect them where ever they need to go on the interface.
Be sure to map your keyboard and figure out where everything
needs to go first if you choose to do it this way. It may be
necessary to "break out" the interface to a terminal
strip as some of the keys may have common connections. In that
case, several wires may need to go to the same terminal.
With the interface done,
it was time to make some decisions on what I was going to order
from Happ Controls.
This meant I needed to know if it was going to be a single player
or a two player. I needed to make a decision on how many buttons
per player and what colors. Do I want to include some "administration"
type buttons (new game, pause, settings, etc...)? How many? Do
I want to do pinball buttons on the sides of the box (I do have
some pretty cool pinball games for my Mac)? Should I get 4 or
8 way joysticks? I labored on these items for a while. I finally
decided on the Super Joystick from Happ Controls and that I wanted
to get two for a two player console (and so that I could play
Robotron from Williams). I decided
on this stick for two reasons: one was that it was an adjustable
stick that could change shaft length for either metal or wood
mounting. The other was that it was both a 4 and an 8 way stick.
All you have to do is turn a plastic sleeve upside down and it
goes from 4 to 8 way. This was important since I had no idea
which of the two types I wanted. There are people who have said
that 4-way is the way to go and there are people who say that
you need an 8-way. I didn't know what to think except that I
wanted flexibility. A 4-way might be better for this while an
8-way might be better for that. With this stick, I can change
if I need to. I went with the Ultimate Pushbuttons at 4 per player.
I got the pinball side buttons, five administration buttons and
a couple of extra ones just in case (I still have not used these).
I also got the player one and two start buttons, a few cents
more but they look cool. Follow this link for a list of the parts
I ordered, the part numbers and total cost. I placed the order
on the internet at the Happ website. It was secure and fast.
And within 3 hours of sending the order, I received an email
saying the order had been received, was being processed, and
would ship within the next 48 hours. Pretty good customer service.
I never had to call and get status because the stuff arrived
right on time, about 4 days after I ordered it. It was great.
Okay, now the order
is placed. Where to next? I need to decide what size I am going
to make this thing and out of what. I wanted it to be solid and
HEAVY. I didn't want the thing roaming around the desk on me
when I was trying to play. You know how it can get with the excitement
of game play. I didn't want to be shoving the thing off the desk
every five minutes. I decided to make it out of 3/4 inch particle
board. I knew that would make it pretty heavy all by itself but
for a short time, I actually considered screwing a couple of
the biggest lead fishing weights I could find to the inside of
the box. After I picked up the 2'x 4' piece of particle board,
I decided that the weight of the wood would be sufficient to
keep it in place.
I also stopped at a local
plastic supply house and rummaged through their scrap bin, looking
for a logical sized piece of acrylic to use as an overlay to
put graphics under the face of the box. Just to make it look
cool. They had a 1/4" thick piece of Lexan (yes the expensive
stuff that is bulletproof at 2 inches thick) that was the perfect
size for three dollars (no cuts necessary so no extra charge).
This piece pretty much dictated the size of the box. It measured
exactly 24 inches wide and about 8-3/4 inches tall, which ended
up working out perfectly.
I also need to choose
how much of a slant to put on the box. I didn't have a protractor
and didn't really want to just choose and arbitrary angle like
that so I just went for it with a piece of paper and a ruler.
I drew all of the cuts I was going to do, wanting be sure that
I got everything I needed out of the one sheet of particle board
(trying to keep costs down). This is the drawing
that I transferred to my computer prior to starting. You will
notice that there are several "sides" of differing
angles. This is because I did not know exactly how deep the joystick
bodies were going to be and I wanted to be prepared for anything.
I have no idea what the angles are. I am sure that there is some
mathematical calculation that I learned in school that could
tell me what they are but it's not that important. Once I had
a diagram, it was simple to run all of the cuts. I used a Craftsman
Radial Arm Saw for all of the cuts. This is the saw I would prefer
to use. Some would rather have a table saw. That would work,
too, I just prefer a radial arm. What I would definitely advise
against is a power handsaw. These units can be dangerous but
the reason I advise against it is the accuracy you get with those
things. It is usually not very good. For a box like we are building
here, squareness and straightness of cuts are key. I was able
to get all of my pieces out of a single 2'x4' piece of particle
After all the cuts were
made, it was time to start assembling all the pieces that make
up the box bottom. After the parts from Happ arrived, I was able
to decide which set of angles to use based on the depth of the
joystick housings. I leaned towards too big rather than too small.
I ended up going with the last set on the end. In retrospect,
I wish I had tried to go with the middle set. It would have been
a more pleasant angle and more comfortable to use. I pre drilled
all of the holes into the edges to be sure that there would not
be any "splitting on the edges of the particle board pieces.
I used Elmers wood glue on all the joints and 2 inch Grabber
trumpet head drywall type screws driven into all the pre drilled
holes on the edges, countersinking the head slightly. I then
used Bondo plastic auto body filler to fill in the counter sunk
screw heads, hiding them completely. I then did a little sanding
to make it all smooth. I used several different grades of sand
paper to get the box ready for paint. I started with a fairly
coarse grit, rounding off all of the sharp edge corners of the
particle board edges. This will give the box a kind of molded
plastic look once the paint is done. As the box became smoother,
I went to smaller and smaller grit sandpaper. A little trick
I used to be sure that the screw heads filled in with Bondo would
not show through the paint: after sanding to what you think is
a smooth finish, close your eyes and run your fingers slowly
along the edge where the screw heads are. You'd be surprised
to see how much better you can feel it with your eyes closed.
If you can't tell the difference between the wood and the bondoed
screw heads, it's ready for paint. People who do auto body work
have learned how to do it their eyes open. I haven't.
I considered covering the
box with formica like a counter top but that probably would have
been expensive plus I didn't really know where to get it so I
settled on paint. I wanted a really durable surface that would
last and that I didn't have to worry about "shine"
or 'orange peel" with. I remembered somebody telling me
that they got some pretty good results with a stone paint. I
think he called it Fleckstone paint. As far as I can tell, Fleckstone
is a brand name. I could not find anything by that name but I
did find something that another company put out. They had a few
colors: green, silver, gold. I settled on black with a white
flake in it that was supposed to make the end result look like
stone. I was skeptical. I was in line buying the stuff at my
local home improvement center reading the instructions. The cap
was a representation of what the result would be, rough stone
feel and all. I was thinking to myself, how is this can of paint
going to recreate this rough, cool looking, stone-like surface?
Oh well, we'll see. If it screws up, I sand it off and do something
else." The can recommended covering whatever you are painting
with a coat of the same color base coat as you are applying.
In other words, purple might show through the stone-like surface.
So I bought some black paint and I also decided to prime with
red first to be sure the Bondo would not show. The area where
you paint should be as free as possible of dust. If you just
sanded there, use a vacuum to get the dust up. Also, go over
the surface of the box with a damp paper towel or a tack cloth.
It will get the last remnants of sanding dust off before painting.
I started with the red primer, giving it two coats with some
dry time between. Primer dries quickly anyway. Then, one real
thick coat of black. Let that dry thoroughly over night. Then,
next afternoon was the moment of truth. Would this stone paint
do the trick? Following the directions, I put the first coat
on and waited 15 minutes. Then the second coat. It was coming
out of the can awfully white to be a black paint but I gave it
the benefit of the doubt and let it dry over night. The next
morning I was amazed to see that it had in fact turned black
with white specks and that it did have a feel of stone to it.
What will they think of next? It really came out even better
than I expected it to (and I was expecting a lot). The directions
for the stone paint also said that if the item being painted
is to be handled, it should be sealed with a poly urethane spray,
presumably to protect the stone finish from scratches and oils
and sweat from the hands. I was happy to comply as I wanted the
box to look great. The polyurethane spray I used did leave a
little more of a shine on the box than I wanted, but all in all,
I was very happy with it.
So far, we have just been
building the bottom box for the face plate to sit on. Now it
was time to begin building the face plate and cutting holes.
I had not even really laid out the way I wanted the buttons to
be at this point so I had to stop and do that. I decided that
I wanted a slight angle to the first three buttons rather than
a straight across line. I figured it would make it so that it
was more comfortable to play. It kinda fits with the way your
right hand crosses the cabinet and it is comfortable. Then I
included the 4th button as a thumb area addition. All in all,
it felt pretty good on the actual size drawing I printed. I laid
my right hand across it on the desktop and tried to imagine the
joystick in my left hand. It felt good so I went with it. Of
course, this would only give me an idea of what it would feel
like to have my hand on the buttons. Once the buttons were in,
it could have felt awkward but I was confident so I trudged on.
I have converted the two drawings I did on the computer to GIF
format. You can look at them here and here.
I chose to install the
"administrative buttons" in a straight line across
the top. I put these buttons on it in the event that this box
ever replaced the keyboard completely. They included an equivalent
of Coin Drop(the 3 key), New Game(command-O), Select(the return
key), Controls(the tab key), and Pause(command period or esc
key, either would do). The idea is that the joystick up and down
moves the highlighted game. The return selects the game, the
coin button simulates the coin drop, Controls allows me access
to re-map a key in a particular game if needed, New Game allows
me to change to a different game and Pause...well duh!! All one
would need to do is place a MacMAME alias in the startup folder
of the Macintosh and there should be no need for a keyboard.
One of the things I
had to take into account when I was drawing out the angles for
the cabinet slant was the depth of the joystick housings. The
box had to be deep enough for the bottom part of the joystick
to fit in the box. Same goes for the buttons. If I had been able
to find shallower sticks and buttons, I might not have had to
make it so deep. I am happy with the way it came out but I might
try to make it "shorter" next time (if there is a next
time, I'm sure that my wife thinks I have lost my mind on this
With the layout complete,
I am ready to start drilling the holes for all the buttons and
joysticks in the top panel and the Lexan cover. I chose to clamp
them together and do both at the same time to avoid any problems
with the holes in the wood not lining up with the holes in the
Lexan. I was using a 1-1/8' holesaw in a drill to drill the holes
in the top. One of the things that the girl at the plastic store
told me about Lexan is that it likes to "grab" when
being drilled. She advised me to be capful as the drill bit can
take the sheet of plastic right out of your hands if it grabs
the work. As you can imagine, this could be a dangerous situation.
For this part, I would highly recommend a drill press if you
have access to one. Not only will the holes come out straighter,
it will be easier to work with than a hand drill. I also do not
recommend the use of a battery powered drill such as a Makita.
This is all I had to work with. Not only did it take forever
to do with the Makita, I must have used and recharged about 12
batteries. Particle board is not very holesaw friendly, especially
when you a drill with a low power output drill like a Makita.
Even fresh batteries almost immediately started slowing down
the drill because the material is so dense. It also produces
a finer saw dust than normal woods which when combined with the
glue (melting from the friction) that holds all the particles
together, clogged the hole saw really good about every 30-45
seconds. After about 3 hours of drilling, off and on as charged
batteries permitted, it's finally complete. I unclamp the Lexan,
give it a good sand job and it's ready for the same painting
process that I did on the box bottom. Primer, black paint, stone
paint, poly urethane.
While the top is drying,
I have time to mount the keyboard interface and bread boards
into the box bottom. They are not held in by much. Just a couple
of very small screws carefully driven in by the Makita.
When the top is dry,
I start to do a dry fit of a few of the components to see how
things are looking. I notice that the joystick handle though
adjustable, was either not long enough or too long. I decided
that the best way to remedy the situation would be to route out
the back side of the top where the joysticks mount to allow them
an extra 3/8" when set to the shorter length. This was not
all that fun as I have what any self respecting wood worker would
consider a joke of a router. Plus, particle board is very dense.
This was a very noisy process that no doubt annoyed my neighbors
for the duration of the process (and the process was undoubtedly
extended due to my joke of a router). It's a little tiny under
powered unit that was slowing down each time the bit plunged
into the wood. Messy too. Saw dust went everywhere, all directions
at once. Not the most pleasant part of this project. After completing
this task, the joystick fit much better. Very happy with it now.
Now I secured the top with
no buttons or joysticks in it to the box bottom with two small
brass hinges. They were simple to attach to the unit with screws
that were supplied with the hinges. I drilled very small pilot
holes and then very gently used my Makita to drive the soft brass
screws in. I didn't want to strip the brass screw heads or the
wood holding the screw in. I surface mounted these hinges. In
retrospect, I wish that I had routed the wood out a little to
recess them. It would have looked a heck of a lot better. What's
done is done. I could go back and do it now but it would leave
visible holes that would look worse than the hinges do. I think
I'll leave them be.
Once attached, there
is nothing to keep the unit's door(top) from flopping all the
way over. Although there is no reason to worry about that now,
when the buttons and sticks are in the top and wired, I will
need to have something to keep this from happening. I attached
an eyelet screw to both the top and bottom on the left side.
I then attached a short piece of the smallest chain I could find.
This keeps the box open but does not allow it to flop all the
way open and pull all the wires from their places in the bread
The next thing to do
would be the graphics under the Lexan. I didn't really want to
do anything flashy. It would have taken me too long to design
something that looked good. I didn't want to give it some cheesy
name like The Terminator or The Equalalizer. I considered calling
it what I call it here on the web page: The BOX. Scrapped that
one too. I just wanted some simple lines and color and maybe
a little text to set it off. I used some photo quality inkjet
paper with my old HP Deskwriter 560 color printer and did some
simple boxed designs and text. Maybe if I do another one, I will
get a little more creative. Or I could do a bunch of little purple
bubbles like my page here. I don't know. That's not really the
kind of creativity I have anyway. If it comes to me later, maybe
I'll do it. If I do, I'll post some updated pictures of it. On
to bigger and better things...
I am finally ready to
start putting the buttons and stuff in the box. I started with
the joystick bodies. They mount to the under side of the plate
using flat head machine screws and nuts so that the screw heads
are flush with the top and the graphic around the handle hides
them. Next, all of the buttons go in one by one. I don't bother
to use a wrench or anything to tighten the buttons. They are
plastic and I didn't wish to damage them. How tight do they really
need to be? I got them as tight as my fingers can do and that's
We are now ready to wire
this bad boy and see if it actually works. I use my soldering
iron to solder individual single solid conductors onto the micro
switches for all the controls. Since these are micro switches
and micro switches have the appropriately sized tabs on them,
I could have used crimp on disconnectable battery slide on terminals.
I chose against using these solely based on cost. I had already
really gone over board on what I needed to get this project going.
The bread board and all the primers and paints. I needed to buy
a couple of different router bits, too. I did not have a holesaw
so I needed that as well. The slide terminals would have just
been another expense that I didn't really need. It would have
been nice to do that and it would have made removing a button
very easy but I did not want to spend the extra cash. It would
have been less than $10 for all the one's needed. Perhaps next
Usually, for a project
like this where the door opens and the wire needs to move for
that to happen, I would want to use stranded wire due to it's
better flexibility without breaking. Unfortunately, these need
to be solid in order to slide into the bread board mapping locations.
I then use my Makita to carefully twist each buttons pair of
wires into nice tightly wound twisted pair. This will keep both
conductors for each button or direction assignment together and
make mapping and remapping easier. I also made little labels
to match the labels on the graphics under the Lexan for each
pair of wires. So if something gets unplugged by accident or
on purpose for re-mapping, it will be easy enough to get it back
where it goes based on it's label.
The very last touch is
the layer of stuff (for lack of a better word) that I put on
the bottom of the unit. This is a spongy fabric like layer that
is sold in rolls as tool box tray liner. It is intended to protect
tools and the inside of the tool box from damage, scratches and
wear while in the drawer. It also serves to keep the tools at
least marginally in the place you put them in the tray. The sponge
is remarkably strong and almost sticky but not really. I don't
really know a better way to describe it. What made me think of
using it in this way was that I also saw it marketed (in an off
white color) as a kind of vise-less vise for router and wood
work. You lay it out on your work bench and lay your wood project
on it. You can then use your router on the wood and the wood
will not move or slide on the bench. I cut a piece from the roll
the size of the bottom of the box and layed it out on the box.
I pulled one side back as shown in the picture and sprayed both
the box and the sponge fabric with a spray rubber cement adhesive.
Letting the rubber cement set up for at least 1 minute (according
to can directions), I carefully pressed the pad into place and
pulled opposite side up and did the same procedure. Then I right
sided the box and let it sit for a few minutes on the sponge.
I them tried to slide it across the counter it was sitting on.
I could not budge it!! Between the weight of the box and the
grip of the sponge pad, I could not move the thing unless I lifted
straight up. This is exactly what I wanted. As I mentioned above,
I wanted it heavy so the box would not be pushed off the desk
while in the excitement of game play.
Well, it's finally ready
for the test drive. The story of how I got here from finding
all this info on the internet may seem long winded but it's actually
a fast read compared with the time it actually took to do the
process. I'd say that I started finding all this stuff about
late September to early October 1999 (that's where the story
begins at the introduction to this page). The date when it was
in a semi finished state complete enough to begin using it was
about November 20th, the weekend before Thanksgiving 1999. I
was on a time table to complete the project and have it working
for the Thanksgiving holiday. I knew that I would have friends
and family over for the holiday dinner and I wanted to be able
to have an "unveiling" of sorts. I had kept work on
the project a secret from pretty much everyone except my wife
and daughter. Everyone was aware that I was working on something
but I kept very hushed about it so that it would be a surprise.
It worked out pretty well. They were surprised and it definetly
was a hit. I could not keep my brothers away from it.
Towards the end I was definitely
rushing it to be finished in time. So, all told, it was about
two months from concept to completion, and it still isn't even
really finished yet. I have not put the pinball buttons in yet.
Player two is not even wired yet. I do still have problems with
some of the administration buttons not working properly. The
BOX is usable for it's intended purpose, playing the games. But
it is far from complete. I am unable to use it without a keyboard
completely due to command buttons not working. And some games
do not respond to the coin drop button and some do. That one
is a little weird. Why would some games respond to the number
3 and some not? I hit number 3 on the keyboard and it works fine.
It's only some games. Others do not have this problem. It might
be the cheap after market keyboard I used for an interface. I
recently laid my hands on an Apple keyboard for nothing. As I
get time to work on it, I will be hacking that and changing the
interface to see if the problems dry up. As I make new discoveries
or progress, I will post it here for all to see.
Some of you may be wondering
how much all of this ended up costing. My TARGET for the whole
project was originally intended to be a little over $30 for a
Gravis Gamepad. After all that has transpired, it ended up being
a little more than that. Have a look for yourself.
This link not only covers the estimated costs (yes I did have
to estimate in a few places) but also all the part names and
numbers for the buttons and joysticks I obtained from Happ as
The First Play
The first play was definitely
awesome. Even with all of the problems noted above with the Administration
buttons, it still plays very well and I am very happy with the
results of the unit. I was unable to push the unit off of the
desk, even in the hardest clutches of the game. One of the things
I did do was open the box when I pushed up a little too hard.
The box never moved from it's location but it does open from
time to time. I did install a couple of wood inserts so that
I could screw some flat head machine screws through two holes
in the top to keep the cover closed. I have never installed them.
The box has really never been completed so I don't see any reason
to screw the cover closed just yet. Sooner or later, I will get
tired of pushing the top open about an inch and slamming it shut
during play. Until then, it will probably remain unsecured.