@wstanek Not every vertical game is 4-way, though. Many arcade SHMUPs are vertical and 8-way. But with either the xboxdrv (item 2D) or switchable Joysticks like the Ultimarc Mag-Stik Plus (I have two of them built into my upright cabinet, see my review here), that wouldn't be an issue.
By the way, I always wondered why those restrictor rings can't be moved more smoothly.
I think the answer to that is a result of the industry we are building from. Back in the day it was good to have joysticks configurable so they apply to more game types but they were expected to be used in one configuration in the cabinet
I think you have a point there. Even in today's retro gaming community, cabinets that are dedicated to specific controls are not uncommon.
I wouldn't be surprised (or mind that much) if someone started producing new plates based on the above modification. I briefly thought about it but decided that the other overhead items that I would need to put in place first over rode any profit I might make on such a small item.
Also, the existing plates are most likely patented, so you would have have to design a new plate from scratch, get permission from the patent holders, or risk being sued.
This video explains the majority of arcade joysticks on the market.
A extremely detailed website about joysticks and button layouts is slagcoin.com. Its creator approaches the topic with almost scientific commitment.
Another thing about the buttons you're considering: They have microswitches that make rather noisy clicks every time they're pressed and released. If you don't like that (I don't), you should look for leaf switches which are somewhat less durable but nearly inaudible. Alternatively, there are "silent" microswitches that are promoted as (nearly) noiseless, but they are more expensive and I don't have any experience with them.
The choice of speakers depends on your quality standards. I didn't like the sound of cheap speakers. Now I'm happy with wideband speakers for 30€ each. See my Asteroids-themed cabinet for a picture of them where you can see their brand and model.
@alturis I think @johnny5126 means a power strip with one "master" socket and a number of "slave" sockets. If the device connected to the master socket draws power, the slave sockets will be powered by the strip automatically.
@willie1280 I bought a graphic kit from mini arcade machines. My marquee is a sticker. I cut two pieces of plexiglass and sandwiched it between them and then did a border using some leftover T-molding with the spine part cut out.
@mrmarblz The trackball will need an interface board. Some arcade trackballs are sold without that, so be sure you have a solution for it or add on the interface if you have that option. The controller board will accept the wires from the trackball and will connect to the Pi via USB and should appear as a mouse to the Pi. Same with each light gun. If your table is wired with AC power your USB hubs can be powered and plugged into AC inside the table, so you can add as many hubs as you need.
If the Servostik is just a USB device, it gets 5 volts that way. The current draw would be as much as any gamepad plus maybe more while the server is engaged. Why would this be a problem
I would definitely use a powered USB hub for all of these devices, as you don't want the power to come from the Pi's AC/DC adapter. You don't want the Pi to have power issues because of all of the peripherals attached, and powered hub(s) should take care of that.
In order for the removable arcade controls to connect via USB, they will need to be wired internally to some kind of interface. There may be good choices for this, but a cheap option might be to hack four gamepad controllers and just wire your controls to the buttons etc.
This is an ambitious project. Check out my 4 player cocktail system. Mine is a bit simpler, but I had different challenges. My only question for you is: Why, no spinners?