SlikStik Quad Control Panel Blank
Review by Paul Kiefert
A long, long time ago... In a Basement not so Far, Far Away... I decided to build a MAME cabinet and ordered a bunch of joysticks and buttons.
20+ Pinball Machines and 4 years later, and I still haven't built it.
Recently I decided to fire the project back up again decided to start with the control panel portion of the build.
There were various sample layouts available on the web which I could use as a starting point, but then I stumbled across the SlikStik website (www.slikstik.com) and saw their QUAD control panel.
I was smitten with lust. The QUAD had everything I was looking for: 4 Player, dedicated 4-way joystick, trackball, spinner, asteroids style buttons, and more. I had to have one, but I didn't want to abandon my desire to build as much of my gaming system from scratch as possible.
Luckily SlikStik offers a blank QUAD control panel! This was exactly what I was looking for: a nice tried and tested layout that contained all the features I wanted for my machine, and I could assemble the rest of the panel myself.
The price was also reasonable. Since it was only $179, I added it to my cart and got ready to checkout. Shipping adds another $65 to the total, but when you see the size of the box and the packing you will see why. So now owing $244 to VISA, all I could do was sit and wait for it to arrive.
Shipping was fast, and it didn't take too long for it to make its way from New Jersey to Atlanta.
The box arrived in fairly good shape. There was a hole in the box (see picture) but it didn't seem to have damaged the panel at all.
SlikStik packages the blank with some custom Styrofoam pieces that seem to do a good job of protecting the panel from damage during shipment. One of the foam inserts was broken in half, but that didn't seem to cause any issues.
It's helpful to have a second person to help get it out of the box.
After giving it a general inspection for shipping damage, the only issue was that the rubber grommet seems to have adhered to the foam packing material that was placed next to it. The foam is stuck to it pretty good (see picture) but this is a really minor issue and will be hidden anyways when the panel is attached to my cabinet.
The Quad Blank is built really solid and includes:
They have several bracing blocks on the inside of the panel, which are generally used for screwing the base cover onto the system. These give the panel a very solid feel, but as a minor issue, get in the way of tightening the nuts on several of the buttons if you use a standard Button Wrench. I just grabbed a large wrench and was able to tighten those buttons without any problems.
The Buttons, Joystick, and Track ball holes are cutout using a CNC routing machine, and as such are very cleanly cut. I was able to drop my HAPP buttons and HAPP 3" trackball into it with out any issues.
The panel blank is finished in a black laminate that doesn't require any finishing. It seems very durable and any marks wipe of easily with a paper towel and some gentle cleaner. The t-molding is also a nice addition for that professional look.
For those that don't need a 4 player panel with all the bells and whistles, SlikStik also offers three other blank panels: Classic ($125), CO2 ($155), and Fighter ($125).
If you are diligent in your search for components to install in your control panel blank, you can save around $200 over purchasing it fully assembled.
The SlikStik Quad Control Panel Blank fit my requirements nicely and I was still able to have the satisfaction of installing and wiring all of the controls into the panel. I highly recommend it for those who wish to be more involved with the build of their gaming system, but don’t want to start entirely from scratch.