Replacing The Control Panel (Not as Simple as it Sounded)

About a month back I realized that the restoration job on the original control Panel I got with the cab was a mammoth job.  After getting the thing unscrewed (some of the bolts were so rusty they had to be cut out with a Dremmel as they were fused to the CP!) there was rust all around the edge of the P2 side and the main parts had way more scratching and damage than I thought.  The pic below really shows how dull the CP looks and shows some of the dirt and rust.

The old CP.  Not pretty

The old CP. Not pretty

The underside had also had a bad respray and there was paint glooped everywhere.  So it has had to come off and I’ll have to work out how I’m going to restore it the best I can later. The worst side is the P2 side the bottom right bolt was rusted / fused to the underside of the CPO and no amount of WD40 and elbow grease would shift it (stripped the coach bolt bit actually before  any of the nut moved).  The dirt around the buttons hides more rust! Seems like drinks were always on P2 side!

Eeeeeew, gross....

Eeeeeew, gross….

So Until I get the time to do a proper, slow, restore job on the official CP I thought it would be handy to get a hold of a new panel and put that in place so I didn’t feel like I was playing on 20 year old cigarette stains, rust and crap.

So, I bought one of the officially licensed CP’s made by Sanwa In Japan from the guys over at Gremlin Solutions.  They have always been quick with delivery and holds most stuff anyone in the UK may need for spares.  It arrived quickly and it’s a good replacement for the official one.  There are differences though.  The colour is a tad lighter than the official one and the Sega logo is replaced with “Licensed By Sega”  Minor issues though as it looks MUCH better than the damaged official one.


The fully populated replacement CP

So, fully populated it looks great but it wasn’t quite as straight forward as I had expected.  The main difference in functionality seems to be that the Joystick mounting plates on the back are rotated 90 degrees to the official CP plates and, annoyingly, the screw holes are narrower than the ones in the official CP from Sega.

This means two things.  The sticks have to be taken apart and rotated through 90 degrees so that “up” is still “up”  and not “left” or “right”.  That’s simply a case of un-clipping the clear plastic holder and moving the switches  by one position.

The New CP and it's rotated sticks

The New CP and it’s rotated sticks

In the original CP the sticks were screwed in to the mounting plates but, in the new CP the threads were narrower or wrong and wouldn’t screw through the plate.  In the end I fished out some copped bolts I had laying around (3mm dia, 20mm long) and trimmed them to a  length that would ensure a secure fitting and used a nut to secure them in place.  Seems to have worked as they are rock steady after many hours of play.

So, this is the replaced CP in all its, slightly matt finish, glory.  it looks great and plays great.  Obviously I still ahve the Sega CPO and I do intend to clean it up correctly but there is So…much…rust on it  there’s more work and time than I have to complete it ATM.


The new CP Installed in to the cab

I’ll try to post some pics of the CP fully wired and how the sticks were mounted later if I can (the original pics came out blurry).  For now though it’s time to play some games on this thing and wait for the weather to cool down before doing any more cleaning!


About Alec Dunn (LegoYoda)

Alec is an IT Architect focused around large private / hybrid cloud design and automation. He's also a big fan of the 'arcade' culture and games of yesteryear and loves taking things apart to see how they all work.
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