Saturday, 6 August 2016

Ikea Arcade Stick V2 - The Stromby Twins

The Ribba stick is finished, and it's been getting loads of play time, but I've already had some new ideas kicking around my head.

The Ribba's drawback is the thickness of the lip around the outside. By switching to a 40x30cm Stromby frame, the lip is almost eliminated and the edge material is traded for more durable aluminium.

To allow for an art layer on the bottom and to decrease finishing work significantly, a second frame is installed, turning the design into a frame sandwich.

As before, from a sheet of 7mm thick plywood:

  • 2x panels are cut to the size of the backing card, 400x300mm. 
  • 2x long walls, which are inset by 30mm on one side (for the wiimote), and 15mm on the other (for the recessed buttons). They're 341x50mm.
  • 2x short walls are 240mmx50mm
  • For the corner gussets i've used more of my 18x18 scrap oak, but triangles of plywood would suffice if you wanted to keep it all from the same sheet.
  • 2x 180mmx30mm lengths are used as spacers for the wiimote, to keep the buttons from being blocked by the frames.
  • 2x 20x30mm pieces are installed on the ends of the upper spacer to prevent the wiimote from sliding fore/aft. Make sure the length of the wiimote can fit between them!
Once you have that cut, you need to drill the holes. 3x 24mm holes go in the side panel opposite the wiimote, while 1x 24mm and 8x 30mm holes are drilled into the top plate. Try printing some layouts from Slagcoin, and see which fits you best.

With a bit of PVA and a few clamps, you end up with something like this after a couple of hours.

My preferred layout is a heavily rotated version of the Sega Player 2 (as found on Slagcoin). This allows for a much straighter wrist position than the typical "keyboard straight" layouts provide.

The wiimote is in a similar setup to previous builds, held in by the little "speed bumps". This still allows clearance for the IR camera which is required to navigate the wii mode menus.

The system buttons are recessed as before, but are much shallower at 15mm. It's a function of the thinner frame material.

Some comparison shots with the Ribba frame shows just how much thinner this stick is.

I still have to chuck some paint on the case and install the hardware, but that's all still en route. You can see how this is a much sleeker stick, still with hidden screws, and using the included spring clips to attach the frames.

Stay tuned for Part Two!

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