MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Build Your Own Arcade Controls

by Patrick Webb

As seen in MAKE 04 Toolbox

When I decided to build my “Taxicab” jukebox/MAME machine (see MAKE Volume 02, p. 21), I found that all internet roads pointed to one definitive how-to source: the “Build Your Own Arcade Controls” website.

The site was started back in 1997 by John St. Clair (a network engineer by day) as a way to collect information during the early days of interfacing actual arcade controls with PC emulators. Today the site has over 50,000 visitors a month and is a must-visit for anyone looking to build a home arcade or jukebox machine.

BYOAC has an extensive step-by-step “newbie guide” on building these incredibly fun machines, plus as much detail as you’d ever want to know. Its real power, however, is in the community it has created, primarily through its message boards. That’s where I learned the most, and if I can build one anyone can.

The only thing the site asks in return for connecting you with this helpful community is that you share your project. Hey, someone could learn from you! That way the gift keeps on giving.

If you would rather work from a book, St. Clair has also written Project Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine, which has received great reviews.