A bit of History
I originally designed the Ultra-Trackball controller to fill a void in the community. X-gaming had been advertising their controller for a long time but it had never materialized. So I sat down and worked out what I thought would be a very compact, sturdy unit. About twenty (on paper) revisions later, I was ready to hit the shop to build the first prototype. I built it from 3/4" MDF and used 1-5/8" screws. It was solid and the trackball fit snugly (barely) inside the case. Perfect. I then designed some templates to help me with 'mass' producing them.
I laminated the cases, which added to the time and effort each panel took to build. From start to finish, I could produce about three in one long Saturday. Three was about the most I could handle at once, and it only added about 50% to the time it took to build just one. In latter 2005, I investigated having the design created for me by CNC machine. The trackball panels are now built using that method. The single-player panels continued to use the original design.
Due to time issues, I have had to cease production of the single-player panels. As ArcadeCab gets a fair amount of daily traffic from gaming forums linking to these panels, I decided to create a document of the construction process.
You could paint the finished box or laminate it like I did. Or cover it in vinyl. You could also forego the molding and just round over the top edges slightly instead. The basic process is the same whether you build a trackball or a single-player panel. The differences lie only in how you drill out the top. I've included a few single-player templates in the document and some sample photos at the bottom
of this page but feel free to be creative. If you build a controller from this design, please send along a picture to me. I'd be happy to post it on my site.
I've slapped some random pictures of the panels below just for fun.
Pictures of the unpopulated panel