When I was a kid, when I wanted to play some new fighting game, I went to the arcade down in the local mall. It was a "nickel arcade", which meant that they charged some nominal fee for admission (I think it was five dollars) and then you fed the machines with nickels instead of quarters. Since, as a kid, I could usually get my parents to cover the admission fee, this suited me well, as I could usually manage to pool a couple rolls of nickels together every couple weeks. This was around the time the Marvel/Capcom fighting games were just coming out, and man, I loved those things.
The arcade, much like every decent arcade in this country, closed down years ago, and I really haven't been in one since.
Now, I've never been as "into" fighting games as the some of the people you find on the internet. I am, however, pretty interested by amateur electronics stuff. So when I heard about people making their own arcade-style controllers from scratch using actual arcade replacement parts, I figured I'd give it a try. It had to be higher quality than some knock-off Pelican controller, and maybe it'd even be cheaper, too!
[strike]I'd been thinking about doing this for quite a while, actually, but this semester my course load is actually light enough that I'll have time to go through with it.
I figured I'd post here my experiences trying to do this project, and maybe even throw in some pictures if I manage to borrow someone's camera.
A note: this isn't an already finished project; this is something I'm currently in the middle of, so updates might not be as frequent as I'd like them to be.[/strike]
Over the past month or so, I've built myself a very solid arcade stick out of high-quality parts. I went into this project with virtually no skills whatsoever in carpentry or painting, and some limited experience (and supplies) with soldering and electrical work. In the end, I learned a lot, I had a lot of fun, I produced a nice piece of hardware, and I probably didn't spend that
much more than you'd spend on a retail or custom stick, even after the tools I bought. The only real downside, if you could call it that, is that now I want to take what I've learned from my mistakes and build an even better stick sometime in the future, and if I go that route too far I know I'll bankrupt myself.
Anyway, if you're building a stick of your own, please post your experiences, advice, and mistakes in this thread. Especially the mistakes you made and how to work around them; I've found that they're often the most important part for others to learn from.