No more cutting/stripping/crimping!
Do you regularly build control panels? Even if you have only built one panel, you will know that the novelty of cutting and stripping wires, crimping and connecting very quickly wears off! After all, on a standard panel there are 88 wires to be stripped and 44 crimps! Why not get someone else to do all that and use the time saved for less boring pursuits (such as playing games!). Also, would it not be nice if this could be done for less extra cost than buying all the wire and crimps?
Plus, how about connecting a trackball and a spinner as well, all routed through one board and one cable to the PC, with everything simply a plug-in connection?
The Mini-PAC is a revolutionary combined Switch/Trackball/Spinner Interface with wiring harness. It is designed so that a complete control panel can be wired up in minutes. Ideal for OEM builders of controllers and cabinets but also suitable for the first-time builder.
The wiring harnesses are available for 32 switches (including joysticks and buttons) and with connection for Ultimarc trackballs and spinners. Along with each switch harness is a "daisy chain" ground harness. The total number of individual sections of wire on these harnesses is over 74, with over 144 terminations! Compare the cost of the wire and connectors, plus time saved, with the amazingly low prices of these premade harnesses!
The ground harness has 4 extra terminations, so that if necessary you can span longer distances between switches by "missing out" one connector. Switch connectors are female with option of 0.25 inch (6.3mm) or 4.7mm. These are designed for standard microswitch terminals.
Each switch wire on the harness is 13 inches long (330mm). The Mini-PAC board should be mounted near the center of the panel, giving a span between the furthest switches of 26 inches (660mm). The harnesses are designed to cover almost all standard size 2-player panels but extension kits are available for longer distances. Ground harness "hops" are 5 inches each.
If you are building a 4-player panel you can double up on Mini-PACs and harnesses.
Making your own?
You can make your own wiring harness if you prefer, because the Mini-PAC uses a standard 40-way 0.1 inch pitch pin header which can connect to a standard IDE disk drive cable, so you can use this inexpensive type of cable as the basis of your wiring.
The Mini-PAC works identically to I-PAC2 board. All programming features identical, same number of inputs (32). Works in PS/2 or USB mode. For PS/2, you will need the optional PS/2 adaptor.
- Tiny board! Only 2 1/4 X 1 1/2 inches!
- Fully programmable key code set. Stored even after power off unlike some other interfaces which lose all data when powered off.
- Dual interface. Full Speed USB or Keyboard - small adaptor plug available for PS/2 mode.
- Lead plugs into keyboard socket on PC (with adaptor) or direct to USB port.
- Can be programmed using special utilities (for DOS, Windows, Linux, MAC)
- Using host software, an unlimited number of keycode configurations can be stored and downloaded on-the-fly. Retained on power off.
- No separate power needed.
- Does not use a matrix - no ghost keys.
- Does not use a scanning method which causes a variable delay. Each input has it's own dedicated connection into the on-board CPU .
- Fast running gives much better response than a standard keyboard controller. Key transmission and debounce uses a state method for each key. No delays between keys depressed at the same time. (essential for fighting games). No need for a keycode buffer.
- 2 modes. Either uses standard MAME keys (default) or you can program your own character set.
- Shift functions. Holding "Start1" and pressing other buttons sends a range of codes for MAME functions such as "escape", "Coin 1", "tab", "enter". This means no extra buttons are needed on the cabinet. In programmable mode any input can be the shift key and all keys can be programmed with a shifted code.
- Connector for ordinary keyboard which can be used together with the controls if required. No switch-over delays mean you could even play a game using the control panel and keyboard at the same time. Advanced interrupt-driven code means the pass-through uses NO CPU cycles when the keyboard is idle.
- Supports selective up/down key repeat in PS/2 mode (all keys repeat in USB mode) to give easy scrolling through lists with minimal CPU overhead and interface "clutter".
- No special drivers needed. USB drivers are generic Windows.
- Fully compatible with all Apple Macs which have USB ports.
- Supports the Apple Mac "command" key and the Windows "GUI" keys.
- Can be paired in any combination to increase the total number of inputs.
- Keycode programming is integrated directly into many popular MAME front end for seamless launch of emulator or other applications which require different codesets.
- Self-test LED indicator which shows and wiring or other problems.
In USB mode only. No extra PC connections are needed, all communications go through one USB cable. Inputs for one 2-axis device (trackball) and one single-axis device (spinner).