In parts 1 and 2 I talked about the concept and the software now it’s time to move on to the actual controller!

Controller Design

The next phase was to design something to house the controls. I first gravitated to building a mini-arcade cabinet. These are really cool! They are just scaled down versions of the real arcade cabinets. After toying with a few designs I wasn’t happy with the way they were turning out.

What I didn’t like about the arcade design was the fact that I wanted to use any type of android device from tablets to phones. The arcade would have to be rather large to accommodate tablets in both landscape and portrait mode but, then it would be overbearing for a phone sitting in the large cabinet.

I also wanted to convey the idea that this is an Android specific controller – I’m a big Android fan and since this was designed specifically for that platform it had to scream Android!

I sat down and tried to tap my artistic side, which is very limited by the way, and come up with a unique controller design. After a few failed attempts I hit on the idea of using the Android mascot Andy as the base for my controller. I sketched out a few designs on paper to see if the idea was viable and from what I could see on paper – I had my design!

Next was out to the garage to try and put together the first prototype. I broke out the trusty power tools and started making saw dust fly. In the midst of all the measuring, cutting, drilling, sanding and painting I realized that I did not take any pictures of the build process… sorry.

After all the saw dust had cleared and the paint had dried I was left with one last task before I could call it complete – it needed a name. Reaching into the depths of my creativity (I didn’t have far to reach…) I dubbed the new controller ANDROCADE!!

Here are some final build pictures:

 

Testing the ANDROCADE

After final assembly I had to get the answers to a few questions that need to be answered after every creation. The first one being does it work? Yes, it does! I was able to turn it on and start up the configuration and after a few minutes I was playing games! The down side is that a lot of games that are on mobile devices do not support keyboard input – damn those silly touch screens…

Needless to say I was able to find games that do support keyboard input and the controller has worked flawlessly!

The next thing I wanted to do was give the controller a workout. Enter my teenage boys. After giving them a 30 second run down on how it works they put it through it paces. I think that it was a success because the only thing that stopped them from playing was a dead battery on my tablet!

Conclusion

You thought that we’d never get here…

It’s been really fun building this project – it’s always nice to see something go from an idea to reality. I will continue to improve upon the ANDROCADE device as there are always ways to improve a project!

I will try to update my site with more information as I make changes or improvements.

I’m also open to answer questions about the build as time permits leave a comment below or drop me an email at androcade at gmail dot com. I’ll do my best to get back to you!

Thanks for visiting!!