The controls are in my opinion the most important part to get right. It is the main man-machine interface so this is where I
recommend spending the money. Happ Controls
is a popular source for arcade controls but they wanted more than $50 to ship some buttons and joysticks to Sweden so I started to look for a company located in Sweden. I talked to several companies selling arcade spare parts but they were very expensive. It turned out that they were all buying their parts from
SUZO so I contacted SUZO
in UK and asked them for a product catalogue. I got their catalogues in a week and their service has been great as soon as I came into contact with the right sales person. Their prices are also competitive.
decided to construct a layout of six buttons and two 8-way joysticks per player and one trackball. That would make up a pretty good compromise for playing most of the games provided by MAME. I ordered red ball top joysticks (SEGA replacement parts,
they only have pink and green in the catalogue but sent red ones on my request), red buttons and a red mini trackball.
I made a drawing in Vision to try out the best location of all controls. It
turned out that I didn't have much of a choice about where to put them if I wanted them all on my tiny panel. I didn't want to ruin the original panel so I took it a part and brought it to a blacksmith. He made a
new panel in metal in about ten minutes. The cost was ~ $6. I drilled holes in the control panel with drill bits for metal drilling at my fathers company. I finally covered the panel with flat black contact
paper. I mounted the controls and made a harness out of a colour coded 12-lead cable per player. I bought the raw cable material at Elfa.
This picture is of the new made metallic control panel with SUZO controls mounted. Note the 12-lead cables.