Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23

Thread: Vivi builds an arcade stick.

  1. #1
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    I'm in space
    Posts
    13,194
    Blog Entries
    27
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default Vivi builds an arcade stick.

    I was going to wait a bit, but I'm getting close to the end of this thing so I figured I'd start the thread early. I've been working on building an arcade stick controller for my Dreamcast so I thought I'd share some pictures along the way.



    First up are the materials. The controller is some old Madcatz I found for $10. Worked fine so it suited my needs. And honestly, I would have felt kind of bad taking apart a first party controller in case things went horribly wrong. I don't have an actual picture of the controller, just the PCB after I took it apart. Two of the screws actually would not come out, and drilling them failed to accomplish anything so I actually had to carefully cut the plastic away until I could get the circuit board free. It was a pain in the ass and my hand was sore when I finished.

    Also pictured is some sweet wood veneer and the Polyurethane I was going to use to finish the case once it was done. I've since realized that with my lack of woodworking skills and some poor planning there's going to be no easy way to actually apply it before assembling everything. So I'll have to use the wood for something else in the future. My backup plan to be explained shortly.



    Here's the PCB all wired up. I used the hot glue to give some extra hold to the wires I soldered on. It doesn't conduct so there won't be any issues. I actually ran out of hot glue at the time so I'll probably add a bit more before putting it in the case. Attached the buttons long enough to test it and it all worked perfectly right off the bat so yay me!



    Button layout for the top. I've since cut away the holes and filed and sanded it all down to get everything to fit with the exception of the start button at the bottom which I'll be finishing tomorrow. For the buttons, I laid them out roughly the way my fingers lay on the board. I started by letting my fingers rest naturally, drawing a line around the tips of my fingers to follow, then tried to space things more or less evenly. As for what I used to trace out the pattern for the buttons...



    30mm buttons, 30mm base. Worked like a charm.



    Roughly assembled lower half to the box that will hold everything. I got a bit unlucky in that the board started to curve before I got it cut and assembled, but I think I'll be able to get it worked out in the finishing stages. My wood working experience is pretty minimal, but I think I've got the solution worked out. Or at least a solution. If it doesn't work I'll just buy another board. This one only cost $5.



    Last one for today is the paint I'm going to use to paint the case. I'm going with some red sparkle automotive paint, and I've got a gloss clear coat to spray over it after. I'll be testing this tomorrow on a scrap board. If it doesn't take well on the board I'll try priming it first. Should that fail I'll work something else out.

    More updates in a day or two as things move forward.

    EDIT: Minor update. Even in a well ventilated area like a garage with an open door, automotive paint is the most vile smelling thing in history. Keep the old breathing mask on until you get back into the house. :S
    Last edited by Slothy; 01-08-2014 at 02:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Old school, like an old fool. Flying Mullet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Napping in a peach tree.
    Posts
    19,180
    Articles
    6
    Blog Entries
    7
    Contributions
    • Former Administrator
    • Former Cid's Knight
    • Former Senior Site Staff

    Default

    Very cool idea. I look forward to seeing the result.
    Figaro Castle

  3. #3
    LadyJuxtaposition's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Illinois, United States
    Posts
    505
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Awesome! It sounds like you had out a lot of thought into making! This commenter is excited for the final result!
    Harmony and Distortion coexist together to support every creature and landscape in the world, including the forces of good and evil. That is how the world keeps on living with a strong balanced composition.
    ~Amanda's Juxtaposition Theroy

    Sudden Reaction when both Amanda and Dragonite
    see a romantic Final Fantasy love scene:
    Amanda: Aww, this is so romantic! They would make a great couple together!
    Dragonite: Kiss, Kiss, Kiss, Kiss... C'MON! KISS ALREADY!
    Amanda: Drag, you have no patience whatsoever.

  4. #4
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    I'm in space
    Posts
    13,194
    Blog Entries
    27
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    No updates worthy of photos today. Got the start button drilled out so everything is fitted now and I think I should be starting the final assembly tomorrow.

    Paint test went well. I didn't sand down the test piece of wood, or prime it so the paint was a bit uneven, and the stuff stunk up the garage so badly I considered not using it after all, but it looks too damn nice. I'm going to get some primer tomorrow and properly prepare the other side of the board just to make sure it's all good, but it's shaping up well so far.

  5. #5
    LadyJuxtaposition's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Illinois, United States
    Posts
    505
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    That's good to hear!

    And for apparent reason, I want to craft some things.
    Harmony and Distortion coexist together to support every creature and landscape in the world, including the forces of good and evil. That is how the world keeps on living with a strong balanced composition.
    ~Amanda's Juxtaposition Theroy

    Sudden Reaction when both Amanda and Dragonite
    see a romantic Final Fantasy love scene:
    Amanda: Aww, this is so romantic! They would make a great couple together!
    Dragonite: Kiss, Kiss, Kiss, Kiss... C'MON! KISS ALREADY!
    Amanda: Drag, you have no patience whatsoever.

  6. #6
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Falling on your head
    Posts
    16,868
    Articles
    119
    Blog Entries
    132

    FFXIV Character

    Pumpkin Contrary (Sargatanas)

    Default

    Go Vivi!!

  7. #7
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    I'm in space
    Posts
    13,194
    Blog Entries
    27
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    I took some pictures of the progress so far but I'll probably update with those tomorrow or Saturday. Everything is physically assembled, so it's just going to be a matter of squaring off the edges and everything, then painting. Those two things combined will take a few days though to do it properly. I also double checked the wiring before closing it and everything is good.

    I was slightly concerned at first because one of the wires had apparently come loose from the circuit board. Worst case scenario it would have been the wire sending the signal that the button was pressed and I'd have to figure out which button it was and try my damndest to get it reattached. Luckily it was just the grounding wire for that button though, so I was able to just connect it to one of the grounded wired on the joystick instead of the circuit board and life was good. I damn near trout myself when I picked up the PCB and saw it fall to the floor initially though.

  8. #8

    Default

    Pretty cool Vivi! Curious to see the final thing.

  9. #9
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    I'm in space
    Posts
    13,194
    Blog Entries
    27
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    I'm curious to see the final thing as well.

    At least if it ends up being a terrible hideous monstrosity that I will be ashamed of forever, I know it will work as a controller and thereby fulfill every requirement that really matters.

  10. #10
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    I'm in space
    Posts
    13,194
    Blog Entries
    27
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    Bit late on the update, but it's almost done so now's as good a time as any.

    IMG_20140116_142745.jpg
    Arcade stick installed. Took a lot of hand filing to get the wood used to support it to about the right height.

    IMG_20140116_152652.jpg
    PCB glued in place and everything wired up.

    IMG_20140116_154342.jpg
    Top in place and screwed in. As you can see things weren't quite square, and they weren't going to get squared up due to my general lack of appropriate wood working tools. Needed to get creative.

    IMG_20140118_233155.jpg
    What we have here is my solution. Basically add crack fill. The stuff dries hard enough for my purposes, can be easily sanded, and readily primed. Things still aren't 100% square when I'm done, but since this is just being made for my purposes I can live with it. It's certainly close enough that most people will never notice. Were I making one for someone else I'd spring for the necessary tools to do it perfectly.

    IMG_20140122_221219.jpg
    Copious amounts of crack fill. Makes it look a bit like a hastily iced birthday cake. It was easier to get the edges and corners as close to square as possible by adding more than I needed and sanding it down.

    IMG_20140127_192022.jpg
    Everything shaved down, buttons and joystick wrapped for their own protection and primer applied. You'll notice I left some texture to the crack fill rather than going perfectly smooth. I thought it looked kind of cool and might look good painted so I left it that way. It wouldn't have been hard to get everything perfectly smooth, but I decided to experiment a bit instead.

    IMG_20140128_150014.jpg
    First few coats of red applied. I've finished with the red coats and started with a glossy clear coat today. Should have that finished tomorrow or Friday. Hopefully I'll be ready to unwrap everything on Saturday, insert the buttons into their final resting place and take it for a spin. Might wait a bit longer though to give the smell time to fade. The paint smells awful enough, but the clear coat is even worse. Hopefully it won't linger for too long.

  11. #11
    Old school, like an old fool. Flying Mullet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Napping in a peach tree.
    Posts
    19,180
    Articles
    6
    Blog Entries
    7
    Contributions
    • Former Administrator
    • Former Cid's Knight
    • Former Senior Site Staff

    Default

    With jeans people go for the "distressed" look so you can call your controller "distressed".

    It looks really good so far. I like that it's not 100% smooth, square, etc... It should give it character.

    p.s. How does your pet like their bed?
    Figaro Castle

  12. #12
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    I'm in space
    Posts
    13,194
    Blog Entries
    27
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    Ha, she sleeps in it most of the day and night so I guess she likes it just fine.

  13. #13
    Blood In The Water sharkythesharkdogg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    My happy place.
    Posts
    5,526

    Default

    Pretty fun project!

  14. #14
    ORANGE Dr Unne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    7,393
    Articles
    1
    Contributions
    • Former Administrator
    • Former Developer
    • Former Tech Admin

    Default

    This is pretty impressive. Is this a common thing people do or did you think of the idea? It never would've occurred to me to stick a controller in there and solder arcade buttons to it.

    I remember the smell of that paint from my dad using it. Good luck with that.

  15. #15
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    I'm in space
    Posts
    13,194
    Blog Entries
    27
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    I've seen quite a few people make their own. Not sure how common using an old controller and wiring it yourself is though. But making the actual box, adding artwork, or whatever else is pretty common. They actually have ready made PCB's for this stuff now that are compatible with multiple systems, so technically I could have saved myself dome effort, but where's the fun in that?

    It's actually 98% finished now. I did all of the paint and clear coats. The only issue I'm having is the stuff I wrapped the buttons in covered a small section of the top by a button, and the coats are a little light right up against them. There was no real way around it though since the PCB is right under where the buttons are. I'm going to hit Canadian Tire in the next day or two to see if they have any of the touch up pens you can buy for cars in the colour I need. If not, I'll have to spray some paint on something else and use an old paint brush to put it where I need it.

    Compared to the detail work on some of the models I've painted, painting up to the edges of the buttons should be a snap.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •