Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Home made arcade style joystick - Hole cutting tips and embedding of the joystick

Cutting of the holes for the buttons and joystick

For this, two hole saws with different diameters (24mm for the start and select buttons and the joystick, and 30mm for the butons) and 2 different drills were used. The lower-powered drill was used for cutting the acrylic sheet and to drill the centre of all the holes through to the wood while the high-powered drill was used to drill all the holes in the wooden board.

  1. NEVER remove the brown protective layer on the acrylic sheet prior to cutting/drilling etc. This brown protective layer prevents accidental scratches as well as prevents the sheet from cracking during cutting and drilling.

  2. Use a small drill bit (diameter ~3mm) to drill through the acrylic sheet and the wooden board to mark the centres of all the holes before using the hole saws so that the cuts will be accurate. Bigger drill bits also tend to slip when starting to drill, resulting in inaccurately-placed holes. The small holes made by the small drill bit will prevent this from happening.

  3. Secure the acrylic sheet firmly to the wooden board by using sticky tape during drilling so that the acrylic sheet will not slip.
On to the actual drilling and cutting!

Clockwise from top-left: 24mm and 30mm hole saws and adapter with 6mm diameter drill bit; Cutting the holes in the acrylic sheet using the low powered drill; Wooden board with the centre of all holes marked; Cutting the holes using the high power drill (got so hot that the wood burned and the smoke produced is CHOKING -_-)

Finished products:

Next is to cut the recess to fit in the joystick.

For standard arcade machines, the joystick shaft length from the surface of the joystick to the bottom of the ball is about 24m. Hence, for the S-plate that comes with the Seimitsu joystick, after doing some math from the joystick's dimensions, a recess of 9mm is needed.I used a chisel and mallet to cut out the rectangular hole as well as to cut the recess to fit in the S-plate.

Perfect fit!

Next up: Fixing the controller box and wiring of the buttons!

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