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Best USB encoder


scuffe
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Hi All, After many years i'm finally going to rebuild my cabinet into something more modern. Currently It's setup for 2 players using a J-PAC for encoding the arcade controls. I want to make it into a 4 player but was wondering if the I-PAC is still the way to go for these things or if there is something better now? Thanks!

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their are pros and cons to both type of encoders

allot of people still buy ipacs,  I ordered some joysticks with built in button inputs from Ultimarc and had to pay allot for shipping from the UK to the US.  but that's not even a con.

https://www.ultimarc.com/arcade-controls/joysticks/ultrastik-360-oval-top-en-2/

(I wanted analog joysticks and this are the only ones I found)

 

 

An Ipac (2 player) will be shipped to you with the default MAME keys.

if you use an ipac and you want to to build a 4 player cab.  You will need to make a 4 player keyboard assignment similar to this

https://ar.pinterest.com/pin/582934745493000554/?amp_client_id=CLIENT_ID(_)&mweb_unauth_id={{default.session}}&simplified=true

 

If you are building a 4 player cab you might be better of buying the Ipac4, witch has support for 4 players.

https://www.ultimarc.com/control-interfaces/i-pacs/i-pac4-board/

witch is a bit price compared to the joystick encoders you can get for $4 (no usb or install cables) + shipping

this will solve one of your problems but the other problem still exists.

I don't know if this is still the case but heir was a time when you could not use service keys on some emulators. 

their have been allot of "modern" games released with minimal keyboard support.  When  Street Fighter V was released, the game had keyboard support for Player 1 and it ONLY had joystick support for Player 2.

Again I don't know if this is still a problem;  The good news is that their is now 3rd party software to fix this. Software that is basically a USB joystick emulator that lets you map your keyboard key inputs from your ipac to the "virtual joystick".  You then map your virtual joystick to your game.

 

Unless you plan to use 10+ year old emulators

Most modern emulators and PC games have full joystick support.  (the reason why I switched over to an analog joystick) 

Only problem I can see you having is if you turn on your PC and the joystick assignments are changed.

Player 1  joystick turns into Player 2-4.   But their is solutions to prevent this from happening.

And the biggest issue you will have to deal with

Hyperspin still has no joystick support, so you have to use the startup script or another keymapper to map your joystick encoder to Hyperspin keyboard assignments.

 

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