This depends on a few things, which in turn depend on other things. You may be able to answer some of these questions immediately, you may want to think about some of these first. You don’t need to answer me haha, just food for thought. But feel free to ask questions about any of it!
IMPORTANT: How hard are you going to be jamming around the joystick? You do not want it to end up tipsy. (This depends a lot on just how you like to play, but there are also some real factors that contribute to this that are detailed in the next few points.)
How tall are you planning to make the case? This affects its stability because it adds to the leverage your stick-wigglin’ will put on the box.
In terms of control panel layout, how close or far is the joystick from any of the sides/edges? Again, stability.
What kind of parts are you putting into it? This affects both how short the box can be, and how hard you will have to push on that joystick to see results.
Do you like to have the stick on your lap? On the floor? On a table?
How portable do you want it to be? How big or small, how light or heavy? (Remember that you can put extra weight in a stick if you want.)
What are you putting on the bottom? Rubber grippy feet? Velcro? Are you going to bolt it down?
There’s no perfect answer, it’s mostly about finding what’s right for you. Hope this helps you starting to think about it a little!
Almost forgot!! Your numbers do sound fine in general. Like, decent good ballpark for anyone.
Thank you very much for your post, that is indeed helpful. I am planning to have it sit on my lap for the most part. I may decide it is more comfortable to set on the coffee table. In any case, I will be most likely be using plexi for the bottom panel, and will certainly have rubber gripping feet on the bottom in case I do find it more comfortable to put it on a surface.
I plan on using an eight button layout, and after putting a rough sketch on my blueprint, I realised that it is not nearly wide enough for that, so I will be extending it to approximately 14.5 by 9.
I plan to use Sanwa buttons and a Sanwa stick. I have observed that Sanwa buttons must be mounted in a much shallower hole than Happ’s, although I’m not sure exactly how deep or shallow the mounting panel must be. Information regarding this would be very helpful.
Also regarding the mounting panel, I plan to have a layer of plexi on top of the wood.
As far as height, I’m not sure, I’m going for the most compact layout I can. I was thinking I’d probably go with 2.5 to 3 inches. Although, three inches seems a bit bulky to me.
I plan to use the guts of an Xbox 360 controller for my board. I am pretty good at soldering, as my dad is an electrician and I used to help him around his shop quite a bit, so that is not a problem.
EDIT: Forgot about distance from stick to buttons. I’m planning for the left most button to be about 2.5 to 3 inches away from that stick. The edge of the ball of the stick will be about 1.5 inches away from the edge of the mounting panel.
Sounds like you want a fairly wide layout for your buttons and stick to get 14.5 inches. If you’re looking to be as compact as possible I can tell you that the buttons of my happ prototype bottom out at 2.5 inches depth. My top measures 12x8 and still seems a bit wide; though I’m not going for an 8 button setup so I could probably cut about 1 3/4 inches off the top of my panel
Here is my new layout. I have pretty much abandoned the idea of compactness and gone for the most ergonomic setup I could muster.
This drawing is measured exactly down to the millimeter.
The entire box is 15 by 10 inches. The space designated for my eight button layout is 138 by 84 millimeters (30mm standard Sanwa buttons spaced 6mm apart, with a 9mm gap between the top and bottom rows. The middle two buttons on both rows are set 15mm higher than the outer two). The lowest button is 79mm away from the bottom edge of the panel. The center of the joystick is placed 99mm away from the left most button. The blocks holding up the panel are 1 by 1 inch. The boards for the frame are 1.25 inches thick.
I’m posting this hoping for any necessary criticism and also as a reference point for other newbies.
Using 1 1/4 inch thick frame might be a bit overkill. It adding much more extra size than neccessary. Look at the Madcatz TE, its a huge stick thats roughly 14" wide with considerable room to spare on each side.