Goodies! Finally bit the bullet and purchased the controllers and buttons I’ll be using for the arcade machine. The software used for running these machines is called MAME and there’s quite a community built up around these types of projects, everything from buttons to clips and even mounting hardware has been replicated.
I ended up going with the UltraStik 360 from Ultimarc, which I found out is in jolly old England after ordering. I was surprised the items came in less than a week from overseas which wasn’t bad at all. As you can see in the picture of the bottom, this stick uses magnets to determine which way the stick it is being pressed. The sticks hook to the computer via regular USB. The buttons are all wired to the to the iPac2 controller chip pictured, which also hooks to the computer via USB. The iPac2 acts like a keyboard and translates buttons on the arcade table to any letter on the keyboard. The idea is I can set my “Player One” button to the same thing as pressing the letter “A” on the keyboard. With MAME I’ll then say the “A” key is the same as pressing “Player One,” and repeat this process for all the buttons I install.
I’ve resurrected an old Dell from my in-laws and got it running, but it’s not playing nice with the software I’ve wrote, it’s also a bit slower than I anticipated so will need to do more testing once I get all the windows updates installed. Ideally I can use this to run everything on, the price is right, but time will tell.