Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Secret on/off switch and reset button

Now that the cabinet is starting to take shape I remembered to add a couple  "nice to have"  features that I wanted to include.
Readers of the earlier entries in this blog will know  that my goal is to make an arcade cabinet that would not look out of place  in an 80's arcade. However, I have to also balance those requirements with making  a machine that can be also  used conveniently in my living room (if my girlfriend permits it!)

For living room playing I would like to provide  a reset button in order to reset any games (also useful for getting to the main menu in multicarts) and an on/off switch. A suitable push to make push button was procured.

From its JAMMA days the cabinet already included an on/off rocker switch at the bottom of its back. This is fine if the VecCab was going to be in a real arcade. However, for playing in the living room its   not at all convenient to have to delve round the back of the cabinet every time I wanted to turn it on/off.

The on/off switch will control the power to the Vectrex, marquee light, and power supply for the audio amplifier and cabinet lights. I wanted to be sure that I used  a switch that was able to carry enough amps. After much investigation I purchased a ON-OFF Mini Rocker Switch of  the type SPST 10A 250V Car Boat Dash Light Power Snap-in #SW42 from Eltop Electronics on ebay. I selected this because of its physical size and the current carrying ability (it needs to safely switch on/off the Vectrex, marquee lamp, power supply for ancilliary electronics etc.)

For convenient access for the player,   an on/off switch and reset button  must be mounted somewhere on the front of the cabinet. The location has to be convenient to the home user but hidden from the eyeline of a naughty person should they be visiting  the VecCab in an amusement arcade.

Where to place them? Aha, I have placed them underneath and in the area behind  the coin door, the secondary mains switch on the left and the reset button on the right. This is about knee level for an average sized person.

I drilled two 16mm diameter holes into the shelf that supports the vertical coin door panel.  The power switch and push button were mounted on small steel panels and the steel panels screwed down so that the mounted switch and push button partly protrude through the recessof holes. In effect they cannot be seen, as the holes are ressessed.

 In hindsight I should have added these "nice to haves" right from the beginning when I had better access to the supporting  shelf. Because of the limited space it was a struggle to make the small holes to accept the screws which secured the steel panels. I couldn't use a drill. Rather I had to alterante between a PCB track cutter and a drill bit, rotating them inbetween my fingers whilst pressing them down in the vertical direction. This and the fact I also had to use a small screwdriver (as a result no torque)  gave me an enormous blister on my finger!

The next two images show the switch and button wired up. For the mains switch plate I made sure it was earthed.The second image clearly shows that the recessed switch and button are not visible.

Now that all remains is for the reset push button to be connected. This means opening up the Vectrex and piggy backing a  couple of wires onto the existing reset button. For the on/off switch this needs to be wired to the power circuitry for the Vectrex, light and other anciliaries.I will cover this in the next blog.

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