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Custom Control Surface - Elite Dangerous

I was a huge fan of the original Elite game way back on the Amiga 500, even filling books with hand written trade route notes to optimise profits. Now although quite late in the release, I've finally managed to start playing the new and updated Elite Dangerous.

After spending hours customising the controls, it became apparent that I was going to need WAAYYY more buttons.

I stared with a print out of the cockpit and initially was going to build the whole thing exactly as it's pictured however I cant be stuffed and not sure if the layout of the in game cockpit will actually feel how I want it to when playing. So I decided to make the left hand panel as close as I can ergonomically and see how it goes before getting to involved.

I didn't want to really spend much on this so I pulled apart my old arcade controller that I build a few years back and reused most of the parts for the rebuild

I also purchased some extra micro switches from Jaycar so I could add some extra buttons. Because if you have ever played Elite Dangerous, you will be familiar with massive amounts of buttons.. The more the merrier.

This also meant striping down some old controllers like this quickshot joystick and an old playstation controller.

I used the base of the old clear acrylic controller and drilled more holes for the buttons and joystick.

I then cut down the size of the old controller box and used other scrap clear acrylic parts I remoived from the last piece to glue on and build in the sides.

A quick hit with the router to clean up the edges.

I wanted the buttons closer together so my fingers will fall directly on them which required some adjustment to the button bezels.

I also needed to solder in some new playstation buttons and rocker switch to release weapons etc. I couldn't get my hands of the little clips that mounted onto the control boards so direct solder it was.

All done and time to test and see if I can getting running without starting a fire. lol

Looks a bit messy but this is just a test to see if it works before tackling a 3D printed panel

Did I mention Im also using the cheapest analogue joystick available?

Fingers line up nice and comfortably.

This really needs to be attached to the desk not balancing on boxes and books. But once again, first test.

Behold! in all its glory. The setup uses the custom controller on the left hand, A tablet for trade information, another tablet for touch controls to add.. thats right.. MORE BUTTONS, and the cheap AU$30 joystick. And works pretty well.. Unfortunately not long after building all of this I lost interest and moved on to other games.

But I may revisit in the future.


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