To make MAME more fun to play, I invented an arcade control panel that behaves like a USB keyboard. I'm sure I'm not the first to do this, but my design is the first one I've seen that includes all of these controls in one panel:
- 2 players
- 2 trackballs
- 12 fire buttons
- 2 spinners
- 2 joysticks
- pause, config, and exit buttons
Just hook the USB cable up to any computer running MAME and go. It's all contained in one lightweight portable box just 24" x 10" x 3". Parts total about $150.
Plus, you can even optionally put a Raspberry Pi in there (as I have done) and not even need an external computer - just hook up the box up to speakers and HDMI monitor. Or, use an HDMI TV and the sound is already taken care of.
Now I'm trying to figure out if anyone would be interested in building their own if I supplied instructions (free) and some custom parts (for a small fee). The custom parts would include a microcontroller loaded with my keyboard emulator code, and maybe some parts needed for my homemade trackball and spinner designs, and maybe the pre-cut box.
Thoughts? Feedback? Is this new or is this too commonplace?
I will try to make a video later and post the YouTube link here.
For now, please see the picture if I've attached it correctly. You can also see another picture of the controls at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-terrell/5/591/404 .
[ATTACHED IMAGE - CLICK FOR FULL SIZE]