Functional, but not presentable
In a previous post, I went over making your MAME controller functional using an encoder from Groovy Game Gear. This setup wasn’t quite finished though, as it had no back cover, the USB cord wasn’t properly secured, and the outside was simply bare wood. Hopefully this post can show you how to turn your project into something that will not only function, but also look presentable.
A fourth side was installed
The first thing needed was to put a back cover on the box. I had built a cornhole set using 1/2 inch plywood, so while at Home Depot, I had a strip cut to the height of the box (around 3 1/2 inches). Cutting the long side to length of the box (around 23 3/4 inches), I had a piece that could be simply screwed on and taken off if maintenance was needed. For these #8 wood screws, I used a 1/8 inch pilot bit to drill through the cover and the plywood it would screw into. I then used Read more »
Ripping out the wireless encoder
After a marginally successful attempt at building a “wireless MAME” device using an old keyboard, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and simply buy an encoder. Although the original setup did work as a wireless controller for very simple games like Pacman and Galaga, any more than 6 buttons (including four for the joystick) seemed to be beyond the capabilities of my controller (at least how I had it set up).
Finally finished and usable with an encoder
A quick search for MAME encoder reveals quite a few sources of encoders to substitute for your hacked-up keyboard. I finally settled on “Groovy Game Gear’s” GP-Wiz40 encoder because you could buy it prewired for your buttons with spade connectors (no solder required). Also, it has rotary encoder support which may be useful at some point in the future. I bought wiring for up to 30 switches Read more »
Hopefully you found the discussion about the mechanical design of my MAME setup informative, but the thing that – for better or worse – sets this apart from most of the others on the internet is the fact that it uses a wireless keyboard for control. One could probably use a wireless game controller (or possibly two) with similar or better results.
wireless keyboard and receiver (before) ===>
Finished Product (after)
The first thing to consider when using a wireless keyboard (or wired keyboard for that matter) for this purpose Read more »
As alluded to in the last article, most of the thought involved in constructing my MAME controller went into the mechanical design. As I’ve found constructing this, it really takes a lot of thought and patience to design your own cabinet. As can be seen in this link, there’s no shortage of people who do a marginal job with their cabinets. Then again, the system I’m posting about could probably qualify if taken out of the context of an experiment/first try. What you see here is hopefully the first step in something that will turn out to be great, but is only marginally successful at this point.
Partially cut 3/8 inch acrylic sheet
The first step in the design process was to select the material to use and the general shape. As I had used it in the past, clear acrylic sheet seemed like a good material. It’s very strong, fairly scratch-resistant for this type of material, and easy to machine. On the negative side, it’s more brittle than some materials. 3/8 inch thickness was chosen so it would be a very solid piece although 1/4 inch would probably work as well. Read more »
For those of you who don’t know, MAME stands for Multi Arcade Machine Emulator. This probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “mame,” but just think of it as a way to play old video games, Galaga, PacMan, etc on your computer. As my wife and I have used a computer as a substitute for cable for close to a year now (that
could be is an article in itself), it only made sense that I should use it for a gaming system as well. If you’re wondering why this makes sense, this post might not be for you, but I still appreciate you reading.
Read more »