My MAME: Second

Buttons.  I needed buttons.  And I knew where I was going to find them.  While Warren and I were at the Maker Faire in San Diego last June, we saw tons of vendors from all over the country. And one just happened to be from Hillsboro.  SurplusGizmos.  They had to have them.  And I was not wrong. What I didn’t count on, was how much other AWESOME stuff they had!  Phil and I went shopping for the MAME. We bought 15 buttons with switches, two joystick bases, an old roller mouse pad, a keyboard splitter cable, adapters, and an old keyboard.  We bought a few other things, too, like wires, and shrink wrap cover things, but we haven’t used them yet.  I spent $50.

I picked out these white edged buttons because they came in several colors and it included the switch. The other buttons with the black edges did not include the switches and were the same price.  I also liked that I could dismantle the button and may be able to install LED lights into them some day. But I’m going to wait until we get everything working before I start to worry about its appearance. The down side is that if one of the legs of the parts that holds the switches in place gets moved, it flexes out easily and no longer secures the switch – so it won’t work.  I’ve had to wrap three legs with electrical ties and tape so far.

The third picture shows what I was guessing might be the button layout. But, with some input from Warren, I changed it a bit and, on March 25th, my dad set me up at his drill press and I cut holes out of a piece of plywood I picked up for free at the Home Depot.  Their scrap lumber section is too cool.  The random piece I picked out fit PERFECTLY in the cabinet – I didn’t have to cut it down at all!  So the fourth picture shows the buttons put in the control panel, the squares show where the joysticks are going to go, and behind the panel you can see the partially dismanteled roller mouse getting ready to be installed.

That was a project in itself! First, the mouse case was molded at an angle so it wouldn’t fit right against the board. Second, cutting the ball cradle away from the whole assemblage was a pain and left grey plastic dust all over my work room. Third, I had to do lots of fiddling with brackets and spacers to be able to attach the base to the back of the control panel. Fourth! Alex reminded me that, if we were going to use the roller ball as the mouse for the computer and not just as a game controller, we needed to be able to access the right and left mouse buttons.  Grrr. I ended up just drilling holes over the switches which can be triggered by using a crochet needle or paint brush.  And last, but definatly NOT LEAST! oh, I can’t go on…  I’ll talk about it in the next installment…

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