canibalimao wrote:I'm not looking for a coin slot. It makes the "controller" a bit expensive. Just the operator for the coins costs almost the same as all the rest of the components (buttons, joystick and the encoder).
My comment was more directed at the OP, or anyone else looking to use a coin mech.
canibalimao wrote:By the way, do you recommend me to buy a simple keyboard encoder (I can get a keyboard for about 10€, then I just need to take off the encoder) or buy a dedicated encoder for mame controllers like the IPac?
The simplest option with the Pi is just to wire the controls directly to the GPIO pins
(My project may not use the Pi, so I'm keeping my options open).
If you're looking at a more "traditional" approach to building an arcade controller/cabinet, or not using the Pi, it really depends on how much work you want to do and how much you want to pay. Hacking apart a keyboard is by far the cheapest, but you will suffer issues with ghosting (keys being pressed that you didn't press) and there's usually a limit on the number of simultaneous keys that can be pressed at the same time - I'm not sure of the exact number but I'm pretty sure that it's no higher than 4. You could theoretically be "pressing" up to 6 keys at once: three or four buttons and moving the stick in a diagonal direction. You can double that if you're building a 2-player panel.
By far the simplest, if not always the cheapest, "traditional" solution is to use a dedicated device such as the I-Pac. They're plug and play, and you don't get any issues with ghosting or matrix switches. The I-Pac itself is quite expensive, but I did find an alternate product on ebay recently: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... AQ:GB:1123
. The company selling it is actually Gremlin Solutions, just trading under a different name on eBay; I found Gremlin Solutions years ago, and they seem to be one of the best UK suppliers for arcade parts. I've asked them whether there's any limitation on the number of simultaneous button presses that it supports, but at the moment that's looking like my primary choice for a control interface. It won't quite be plug and play with MAME - the I-Pac is a keyboard encoder and is set up by default to use the MAME button mappings, whereas this device reports as a USB game controller - but some quick config will fix that easily enough. The description does say that it works with Linux, too.
EDIT: And by the way Nocturnal, you bar-top build is looking pretty damn sweet so far!