Building a Custom Arcade Control Panel
If you try playing certain games with the keyboard, or even a decent gamepad, sometimes it just isn't the same. The alternatives are to buy something that suits you, or build your own. Two of my all time favorite games are Robotron and Defender, and my Sidewinder game pads that came with my PC were pretty worthless when I tried playing these games. Finally, I decided to hack one of the game pads to make a more suitable controller.
Here is a picture of the completed panel. The links at the top of the page give you all of the drawings and information to make yourself one like this or something similar. There are Materials List, Layout, Mechanical Drawings and Wiring pages. You can build this one for around $40.00 US if you have a Sidewinder Game Pad to sacrifice, or about $60.00 if you don't.
The layout was designed primarily for Robotron and Defender. It's also great for dual joystick games like Crazy Climber and Karate Champ. I will probably add a spinner control some day for a decent game of Tempest.
If your looking for some info on building a custom control panel for yourself, look here: