The most interesting thing about the cabinet is the control panel. It’s modular, reducing clutter by eliminating the need for controls that don’t apply to the game you’re playing, which in turn reduced the physical space required on the cabinet itself. The downside of this approach is that it requires you to change the sub-panels when you change games.
The panel is 24” wide and made up of several sub-panels that span that width. I made sub-panels in 2”, 4” and 6” widths, where each sub-panel would be dedicated to a single control or group of buttons. The 6” panel is wide enough to fit a trak-ball which was the largest control I was planning on including.
To change panels, the spacer above the sub-panels is removed:
which allows the sub-panels to be pried up from the bar magnet. The bar magnet really does a pretty good job at keeping the sub-panels in place. The spacer was also designed to fit tightly to prevent forward-and-backward motion of the sub-panels, but really the magnet does a good job by itself under normal play. I have been able to move the sub-panels if I really jam on the joystick, so the spacer does contribute to stability under shall we say spirited play.
Each sub-panel includes a small metal piece attached to the underside that the magnet that you can see in the following image. Each control must be attached to the I-PAC somehow, so I chose ethernet cable and a patch panel:
Each jack is wired for a particular function on the I-PAC. You can’t really see it in the image above, but the leftmost jack is marked for the Player 1 joystick. Others are marked for buttons, and in the future: trak-ball and spinners will also be wired to the patch panel. The Player 2 jacks are the right set of 6 jacks.