You Can’t Call It A Battlestation Without This Overhead Control Panel

Modern computers are rubbish. Why, they barely have a switch or a blinky light on them. What’s the point in having a computer if you don’t have the thrill of throwing a switch or eight and watching lights blink in response? [Smashcuts] obviously agrees because he built a control panel filled with heavy-duty switches and blinking wonderfulness to augment his battlestation. This piece of mechanical wonderment has buttons for useful features such as typing several levels of derisive laughter in chat windows, playing odd sound effects and a large red panic button that… well, I won’t spoil the surprise. The whole thing is hand-wired and fronted with laser-cut panels that make it look really authentic. [smashcuts] built it “because it didn’t exist and I felt like it needed to”, which is a perfect justification for this piece of industrial scale awesomeness.

It does have some more practical uses, though: he has set several of the switches to trigger actions in Photoshop and other programs, so this could be easily adapted for those who have the odd belief that things need a practical use to exist. He used USB controllers from Desktop Aviator, and a Mac program called Controller Mate to set up the sequencing for the blinkies. Unfortunately, [smashcuts] didn’t produce a how-to guide for this panel, claiming that “I don’t really have blueprints or schematics. I REALLY didn’t know what I was doing, so all the notes I do have wouldn’t make sense to anyone. It’d be like reading an owners manual to a car written by a caveman”. Either way, it is an impressive build, and you can find more details from the creator on this reddit thread.

20 thoughts on “You Can’t Call It A Battlestation Without This Overhead Control Panel

    1. That throttle looks pretty beaten up. Good job! (I mean, it’s obvious you use it a lot, wich is a good thing).
      The panel is not that bad, altough I personally would have made the separators with U shaped metal tubes (like small drawer pulls) but that’s just me.

      1. It’s half that I use it a lot, and half that I bought it used for $6 shipped on eBay. ;P My other set (Which I bought first for $12) doesn’t look quite as bad but its analog axes are loose from wear. It’s mostly that they’ve got this rubberized coating on them that– now that they’re like a decade old –is coming off quite easily.

        And yeah, I know what you mean about the separators, that was in the original concept. But these are modeled on the ones in the Space Shuttle cockpit. (The real thing are cast titanium.) :D

        You can also see in that picture that I replaced the throttle’s rotary dials with a pair of momentary toggles that I made military-looking rocker caps for. Probably the most useful thing I’ve ever done with nothing more than switches and resistors. ;)

    1. That’s what I use my Saitek X36 HOTAS and its additional 3D-printed switch panel to play! :D I want to expand and have a full control panel with lights and stuff though, so ALL functions can be accessed from it, and the keyboard is just for typing.

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