Monday, May 14, 2007

Joysticks arrived

I got my 2 Ultrastik 360s from Ultimarc today. I also ordered the wiring harness for both of them so I won't have to do as much wiring. I plugged in one of the joysticks to the USB port on my laptop and ran MAME. I forgot to enable joystick control, but once I figured that out, I was able to run Pac-Man with no issues. My only (minor) issue is I think the joysticks are too "soft" and I may place an order later for the stiffer springs so the joysticks are a little tighter.

All in all, I'm very impressed. I placed my order last Monday and they arrive today, exactly a week later.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ultrastik 360s ordered

I've now ordered my two joysticks - I chose the Ultrastik 360 from Ultimarc for many reasons, but the main one being the ability to program it. I know there are other joysticks with this ability, but this type of stick also provides for attaching up to 8 buttons directly to the stick. I may not use that ability, but it's there if I want it. I also liked the fact that my email questions were answered very quickly. (As a matter of fact, all the vendors that I've used have been very pleasant and responsive to my questions AND getting my orders to me - I've listed all the vendors I've used in my Links section.)

I ordered them with the black bat top - there is no green option, so I'm going to have to either stick with black or find some sort of replacement or workaround. Ideally, I'd like green bat tops (versus round ball tops) but I can't paint them and so far I haven't found anyone who makes a suitable replacement.

Monday, May 7, 2007

NovaGems arrived today

14 pretty little green buttons arrived today. I may only use 12 of them and have 2 as replacements OR I'll use them all... not sure yet. The other buttons on the control panel will be black (including the Player1/Player2 buttons I recently ordered).

Friday, May 4, 2007

Trackball arrived

The lighted green trackball arrived today from Tornado Terry's. Once you start ordering parts, you know that there's no turning back. The trackball is an authentic Happ 3" and has got some heft to it... the ball spins easily and continues spinning when you give it a good push. This is going to look great as the center piece of the control panel (and as the saucer's central area - see the control panel overlay in the earlier post).

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Player 1 - Player 2 Buttons

I want black buttons for Player1 and Player2 - there's not that many places that sell them and they're a bit difficult to track down. I found a place that has them in stock and they responded very quickly to my email requesting whether they had the items in stock.

Lizard Lick Amusements has them for $1.50 each which is very reasonable. It's shipping that's going to get me in the end if I keep ordering from different places. But that's okay - some places have stuff, some don't - I'll order parts where I can find them. I just placed my order and was emailed that they'll be shipped tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Early design for the Control Panel Overlay

I may change my mind, but I like the idea of using the green lighted trackball as the center of a saucer. This is an early design I threw together, just to have something visual to get me thinking... I'll have it drawn by someone with better skills than mine, and I may go with more or fewer saucers in the background... or none at all.

Lighted Pushbuttons

After looking at all my options, I've decided to go with lighted buttons vs. non-lighted. I've asked around on the BYOAC forums and found that the recommendations for the Groovy Game Gear NovaGems are excellent.
They're definitely more pricey than non-lighted buttons, but considering that I'm only going to need 12 to 14 of them, I think the added cost will be worth it.
Going with the green... obviously.