Control Panel Graphic Install

By: McSwindler

The other day I received my control panel from Game On Grafix, and I got around to installing it which just about completes my MAME cabinet. I also picked up some joystick surrounds.
New Control Panel

First, I had to remove the buttons and joysticks from the panel. This, and replacing them, is probably the worst part. (I really need to get some better cable management) After I got all the buttons off and removed the panel from the rest of the cabinet I sanded it down a bit to smooth out the hole filling I did prior. Then, I cleaned it up a bit so I didn’t have a bunch of dirt and hair stuck under the graphic.

After all that, actually applying the graphic is really easy. All I did was line it up how I wanted it so that the lightning would originate from the trackball. Then, I removed a bit of the backing so I could stick down enough to keep it from moving out of place. Finally, I carefully removed the rest of the backing laying the graphic in place as I move along.

Control Panel Laid and Trimmed Once I got the graphic properly stuck down I had to trim the edges and cut out the holes. This was a simple enough task, I just used a box cutter for the outside edges and a X-Acto knife for the holes. I did have some rough edges because I’ve never done this before. :P

After the hole cutting was done, I added the joystick surrounds on top. I got one blue and one red (to match the joysticks). The surrounds were sandwiched between two pieces of plastic/paper things. The vinyl stuck to the top layer very well so I did have some trouble getting it to stick to the control panel instead, but once I got it started the rest came off smoothly for the most part.
Joystick Surround

The final step was just as bad as the first, putting all the buttons back. Overall the process took about an hour to 1.5 hours. I am very pleased with the result and I am considering getting a piece of plexiglass to place on top to make the graphic last longer.

So, now the cabinet is pretty much complete. I’m still messing around with software and waiting for LEDs. I am considering switching to Ubuntu instead of Windows XP because it is just causing too many problems.
Completed Control Panel

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