A Homegrown Desktop PC Arcade/Pinball/MAME Video Gaming Controller Project


After seeing examples of custom PC arcade/pinball/MAME video gaming controllers made by others, we (a trio of coworkers) decided to try our hand at the task. We previewed many designs found on the Internet and concluded that ours would be superior. Over the two week construction span, our design changed very little from what we had initially planned. This is a project we would highly recommend to anyone into classic arcade and pinball (MAME) video games, and the PC arcade video gaming rewards are well worth reaping.

Materials Used

Material Cost
I-Pac Encoder $47.00
(2)Happ Super 8 Way Joysticks $25.00
(16)Happ Competition Pushbuttons $23.20
(2)Happ Player Buttons $3.30
Medium Density Fiberboard(MDF) $9.28
Plexiglass $0.00
Accessories (paint,clear acrylic, markers,bottom pads,etc.) $11.30
Hardware(screws,hinges,drill bits) $9.64
Other expenses $7.51
Total $136.23

As far as construction goes we put in an estimated
10 hours over a two week period.

We decided to construct our basic box out of medium density fiberboard (MDF). MDF is an inexpensive wood product normally used for trim & shelving work in houses. It is very durable and paints up like a champ.
We thought it would be a good idea to protect the top surface of our controller with a piece of 1/8" plexiglass cut identical to the top piece of MDF.  


We sprayed the finished box with 2 coats of flat black spray paint. After the paint was dry we sprayed on 2 coats of clear acrylic, which matched the texture of the box with the texture on the joysticks.

We hinged the top along the back for easy access to the "guts" of the controller, as well as labeling the ports for connecting the cable.

Rearview of the keyboard
wedging connection points.

Jobstick Master, Aaron Williams, at the helm with
Jobstick co-creator, Jonathan Burke, looking on! (June 26th, 2002)

All in all we are very satisfied with our final product. We are probably enjoying the JOBSTICK and our favorite classic arcade and pinball video games at this very moment.

The Trio of Builders

  • Aaron Williams
  • Jonathan Burke
  • Brian Matthews

Questions for the designers should be directed here
Created: December 14th, 2000. Last Updated: July 7th, 2010

Site Created and Hosted by
Jobsoft Design and Development, Inc.