Panel Layout
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    Laying out a custom control panel is probably the most time consuming part of the whole project. You have to determine what kind of controls and materials you want, how to interface them (Gamepad Hack, Keyboard Hack etc.), how to position them etc., and then hope it works when your all done.

    The decisions for me were pretty easy. I was going to use a SideWinder hack, since I had them and rarely used them anyway, and I knew I wanted good controls for Robotron and Defender. I am a true 'Retrogamer', I prefer playing the old  80's Arcade Games.

    If you decide to use a SideWinder or any other Gamepad, one word of caution. How you map the buttons to your custom controls can be important. For most games, it really doesn't matter because the software that comes with the Sidewinders is pretty good, and you can map buttons to what ever you want. The problem is for games that just call for a standard joystick and don't recognize the Sidewinder. In this case, your stuck with the default configuration of your panel, and the default operation of the joystick for that game.

    The SideWinder has a 4-Way Direction pad and 10 Buttons. The left Joystick uses the direction pad, the right Joystick uses 4 buttons, and there are 6 pushbuttons on the panel. Here is how the controls on the panel map the controls of the gamepad.

button_map.png (6133 bytes)


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