Arcade Cabinet Help


Hey guys,
I am an avid street fighter player and an avid reader of this forum for quite some time now but have just registered because I need some help. I recently got sucked into the Mame/Home Arcade cabinet scene. Not having any wood working skills or tools, I purchased the bare Quad control panel and stand from NorthCoastCustoms or previously mameroom. Upon furthering my knowledge on this subject, I learned that the holes are pre-drilled for Happ buttons and joysticks. I want to use Sanwa JLF sticks (model inside TE stick) and the 30mm buttons.
Now to the questions, please bare with me.
The control panel is MDF wood, which kind of buttons should I use: snap or screw-ins?
I know I will have to file the holes to make them bigger.
Also, is the JLF-TP-8YT-SK joystick ok for MDF wood?
I have a lot more questions but will just start with these. Thanks in advance for your help.


Most will suggest screw-ins since the snap-ins are preferred for metal panels (if its a tight fit I dont see why snap-ins would be a problem but thats just imo)

yes JLF’s are universal you can use it on MDF


Thanks for the help. I will probably go with screw-in buttons because they sound more secure.
I want to incorporate my xbox 360, dreamcast, and pc into the mame cab. I have done plenty of research on the subject but I need some detail since I am fairly new to these things. Instead of putting an IPAC 4 in there, I will just pad hack some controllers. I am going with the wired madcatz 360 controllers since I believe they have a common ground. The best option I have read is to connect them via 25pin DSub connector. This is where I need help. Where do I place the wires in the DSub connector? Is there a certain order I have to place the wires for the buttons? Does anyone have a very detailed log on how to do this?


If you’re going to mame it, i would just go with a hack PS1 pad…Then buy adapters for the 360/dreamcast/pc
dreamcast adapter is about $20 each
360 is $10 a piece
pc you can just buy 1 for like $5, as most you can plug 2 in 1


Where can i get these adaptors?


Also, how can you tell if you have an early or late version of an xbox 360 controller? What numbers are you looking for?


Since you’re planning to hook up your dreamcast then you wouldn’t need a hack 360 pcb at all, just a psx.

Dreamcast adapter (playasia)
PC & 360 you can get on ebay


If you’re REALLY wanting to go multiconsole with this, I would recommend making these into project box controllers instead of going the converter route. That way, you don’t have to buy adapters, just controllers. It’s much cheaper to buy 2 MC Cthuhlus than 2 sets of converters for all the systems it supports, and pop that into project boxes, then padhack some fightpads for 360 support. Then, you could also make a project box that just has the wires of a JAMMA harness to a DB-25/DB-15 ports, if you used DB-15 ports, you could plug those straight into a Neo Geo. Regardless, if this sounds like your kind of thing,

It’s probably a bit more technical than grabbing a bunch of converters, but IMO, it is worth it, and arguably much cheaper.


Nerrage is on point again, other options are a MC Cthulhu IMP and 360 pad hack, since that would cover most systems and PC.
(including JAMMA with one of Laugh’s PSX to Jamma converters)


He said he only needs it for Dreamcast/360/PC

PSX controller cost what $5?

So 2-player setup
PSX Pad - $5 x 2 = $10
360 converter $10 x 2 = $20
Dreamcast total adapter - $20 x 2 = $40
PC adapter $5 x 1= $5
Total cost $75

If you go w/ MC Cthulhu w/Imp board
MC Cthulhu $35 x 2 = $70
Imp Board $10 x 2 = $20
2 360 PCBs -$20 x 2- $40
Dreamcast cable $8 x 2 = $16
You also have to buy those other RJ something cables…

That total will be over $150, i dont see how its cheaper…


wait, there are 360 converters that don’t need a wired 360 pad anymore?


Yes, but you will have to do a significant amount of routing for it to be mounted at proper height if the CP was drilled for happ/iL.


When you go cheap on converters like that, you’re just asking for cruddy lag. He doesn’t have to do RJ-45, he can just solder his system cables directly to the MC board, since he’ll have it all inside of a cab, anyways, why would he need removable cables? And with project boxes, you don’t need the Imp, that was just a suggestion by somebody else.

I have no idea where you got $10 360 converters that aren’t absolute trash, and the PSX to driverless USB converter that my roommate has that costed about the same is absolute trash, it randomly disconnects and has noticeable lag. Plus, this will be more modular, since he has a cab, he could easily make a box for JAMMA, Neo Geo, and any other systems he wanted to add on, even if a PSX converter didn’t exist.

Here’s my numbers, with sites:

2 PSX padhacks?~$10
2 InPin Driverless USB converters from etokki: $46
2 Joytron 360 converters etokki: $46 + $40 in wired 360 controllers
2 DC converters from playasia: $40

Total: $182

Now, project box setup:

2 MC Cthulhus from LizardLick: $70
2 360 fightpad padhacks from $40
2 DC extension cables, assuming your prices: $16
2 USB cords from monoprice: $6
2 DB-25 cords, from cablesnmor: $8
Project boxes, wire, D-sub connectors, etc.:~$25

Total: $165

Marginally cheaper, but when you consider that if he ever wants to add another system on, or use directly with JAMMA or Neo Geo if he ever got authentic hardware, which is terribly easy, and practically free with the project box route, you’re looking at maybe $10 for 2 D-subs and boxes, versus $100 PSX to JAMMA converter


Since you put joytron 360 converters you can use those on PC too. You wouldn’t need Inpin converter

2 PSX padhacks?~$10
2 Joytron 360 converters etokki: $46 + $20 in wired 360 controllers
2 DC converters from playasia: $40

Making the Total: $126

Its painless & cheaper for what he wants to do…


If you’re playing with wires, you can just run common ground->JAMMA. There’s no need to convert into and out of PSX.


I completely forgot 360 works on PC, Heh. Well, then you could scratch MC Cthuhlu, use the fightpads for PC, and get a DC padhacks in project boxes for 30ish for both, so that takes $40 out of the equation, back down to $125. And how did you get 2 wired controllers for $20? If it was the $40 like I said, that’d put you up to $136.

But, I suppose we could argue forever about which is cheaper. So, I’ll just compile a short list of pros and cons and let Bison15 decide:

Pros of converter route: Easier and less technical, one padhack, as opposed to several. Converters re-usable for home PSX sticks or pads, given if you have any.

Cons:Heavily limited by the converters you can get, especially if you ever want to use real hardware, then you’re paying huge time for a PSX to JAMMA converter. Possible lag and/or dropped inputs, especially if you go cheap on converters.

Pros of project box route: Extremely modular, you will never be limited by your systems, if you ever want to add more, just make another project box. Also usable with any other project box sticks (of the same pinout), which are cheaper to build, because they can be built without a PCB inside. Never lags or drops inputs.

Cons: Much more technical, possibly costs more, because it’s heavily dependent on a lot more materials. More time consuming, possibly above many people’s skill levels, and can only be used with project box sticks that match your pinouts, unlike converters, which will work for everyone.


Or you can just pad hack two 360 & two dreamcast controller & do dual PCB for $60 …Either way those project boxes seems pretty cool but too technical for me. Anyone want to do one for me?


You could do the dual mod, too. And, actually, that’d probably be the best solution if you were set for just 360/PC/DC.

You need a project box stick if you want project boxes. And you need to know your pinout, which is generally unique to each person who makes them. Or, someone crafty could use an FGWidget board to make a PSX/Saturn/SNES>Project box converter. But, still, there isn’t a real standard in pinouts.


Thanks a lot for all of your input guys. I think I will go the project box route. It just seems like a lot of work since it is a 4 player control panel. So I would have to hack 4 xbox 360 controllers and 4 dreamcast controllers and put them in a project boxes if I were to do this?
@ Nerrage: So it doesn’t matter which pins on the DSub I solder the buttons on the controller to as long as I remember to solder the the control panel buttons to the pins I want them to be?

For example: A button on 360 controller -------> first pin on male DSub, then
First button on control panel------>first pin on female side of DSub

Also, thanks a lot for that link. It is extremely helpful


Yes. You make your own pin setup. But, remember, pins are reversed on the female side. Yes, you could make pin 1 button 1, then pin 1 will always be button 1 at that point forward. Set it up however you like, but once you set it up, don’t ever change.