I-PAC 4 Keyboard Encoder

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WAVE 2 PRE-ORDER - ETA 24th March



WINIPAC IPD programming utility for all Windows versions WinIPAC IPD


I-PAC The world's most advanced PC interface for buttons and joysticks.
NEW I-PAC 4 Full Speed USB 2.0. Upgradeable Firmware. Also still supports PS/2 keyboard interface.
I-PAC is the ONLY keyboard encoder to have up to 56 inputs each with it's own dedicated microprocessor pin.  No interaction or delays, vital for multi-button games such as fighting games. 

I-PAC is the ONLY keyboard encoder which emulates a USB keyboard (and PS/2) and yet breaks through the USB simultaneously-pressed-switch limit of 6 switches (plus ctrl,alt,shift) which afflicts all USB keyboard devices. This is beacuse it has inbuilt full native USB support, and does not rely on an add-on adaptor.
I-PAC is the ONLY keyboard encoder which has a fully multi-processed interrupt-driven (so no loss of performance) pass-through connector so that an attached keyboard (or a second encoder) is handled in PS/2 mode with full byte interleaving rather than being switched on/off.
I-PAC is the ONLY keyboard encoder which can be programmed either with or without host software. Even without special host software, the I-PAC can still display programming steps and current settings, so no working "blind". 
I-PAC is the ONLY device to have a shift function which allows ANY input to be assigned to a shifted secondary keycode and the shift button can have it's own function too so no need for a dedicated extra control panel button.
I-PAC is the ONLY device to have a self-test LED which not only gives an instant visible check of your installation but also can indicate which connection (if any) is causing a problem. 
I-PAC retains it's programming after power off. Beware! Not all keyboard encoders do this!


WinIPAC Interactive Panel Designer Software
Layout your panel, then program your I-PAC to match.

The I-PAC (Interface for Pc to Arcade Controls) is a board which allows connection of arcade controls such as buttons and joysticks to a keyboard port or USB port on a PC motherboard. It was designed around the MAME emulator which supports over 1000 arcade games and can be used with other emulators. 

It is designed to be used inside an Arcade Games cabinet with the PC motherboard also mounted inside, but could just as easily be used with simply a control panel without a cabinet. 
Special shift function buttons mean that a normal keyboard is only be needed for game loading and configuration, not for gameplay. All key codes can be programmed but you dont have to as you can use the built-in default configuration which has all standard MAME codes for quick and easy installation. Programmed keys codes are stored even after power off. 

The I-PAChas 32 inputs. They are all programmable and are designated as 2 joysticks, 8 buttons each, plus coin1, coin2, start1, start2 and Mame control keys. One of the inputs is assigned as a shift key to access an alternate code set.

The MAME control keys are by default assigned to the "A" and "B" inputs. Check out the code table for all default assignments. I-PAC 2 Code Table

The I-PAC4 has 56 inputs. All programmable and designated 4 joysticks, 8 buttons each plus coin 1,2,3,4 and start 1,2,3,4. Two of the inputs are assigned as shift keys to access two separate codes sets covering the player 1,2 and the player 3,4 inputs.

I-PAC 2 Board

I-PAC 4 Board



  •  Fully programmable key code set. Stored even after power off unlike some other interfaces which lose all data when powered off.
  •  Dual interface USB or Keyboard - just swap the cable.
  •  Optional pre-assembled LED harness with 3 panel mounting LEDs which emulate the keyboard Caps/Num/Scroll Lights. Many MAME games drive the LEDs either for coin insert indicators or during actual gameplay.
  •  All joystick/button connections easily made via screw tag strip. Connections marked on the board.
  • Chunky 5mm screw connectors .
  • Self-Test LED gives an instant check of all your wiring. Can indicate which, if any, input has a problem.
  •  All button inputs referenced to ground - no need to re-wire separate grounds to each button.
  •  Lead plugs into keyboard socket on PC or USB port.
  • Can be programmed using special utilities (for DOS, Windows, Linux, MAC) or without special software, using an interactive method.
  • Using host software, an unlimited number of keycode configurations can be stored and downloaded on-the-fly. Retained on power off.
  •  No separate power needed.
  •  Does not use a matrix - no ghost keys.
  •  Does not use a scanning method which causes a variable delay. Each input has it's own dedicated connection into the on-board CPU .
  •  Fast running interrupt-driven software gives much better response than a standard keyboard controller. Key debounce uses a state method for each key. No delays between keys depressed at the same time. (essential for fighting games).
  •  2 operation modes. Either uses standard MAME keys or you can program your own character set.
  •  Shift functions. Holding "Start1" and pressing other buttons sends a range of codes for MAME functions such as "escape", "Coin 1", "tab", "enter". This means no extra buttons are needed on the cabinet. In programmable mode any input can be the shift key and all keys can be programmed with a shifted code.
  •  Special note for Windows MAME users! Shift key functions mean you can select and start games from the Windows interface without using the keyboard or mouse.
  •  Connector for ordinary keyboard which can be used together with the controls if required. No switch-over delays mean you could even play a game using the control panel and keyboard at the same time.
  • Supports selective up/down key repeat in PS/2 mode (all keys repeat in USB mode) to give easy scrolling through lists with minimal CPU overhead and interface "clutter".
  •  No special drivers needed. USB drivers are generic Windows. On many motherboards USB will work in DOS.
  • Fully compatible with all Apple Macs which have USB ports.
  • Supports the Apple Mac "command" key and the Windows "GUI" keys.
  • I-PAC4 and I-PACboards and J-PAC can be paired in any combination to increase the total number of inputs.
  • Keycode programming is integrated directly into many popular front ends for seamless launch of emulator or other applications which require different codesets.
  • Technical Info.
    The I-PAC uses a high-performance microcontroller chip . No matrix or diodes are used  hence absolutely no ghosting, blocking or delays. 
  • De-bounce. This uses a state counter method. Each input has it's own counter. This means simultaneous keypresses are never locked out.
  • Key code Flash ROM  storage. Retains custom settings after power off/on (excluding I-PAC VE)
  • Dual Interface. Auto-detects which type of connection is being used and switches accordingly between USB and PS/2 (PC keyboard interface).
  • Full Speed USB 2.0  compatible.
  • Keyboard pass-through driver consists of a bit level and byte level state machine. Driven by interrupts so no wasted CPU power when not being used.
  • Shift key logic including protection against stuck keys.

Important Legal Note.
For legal reasons we must state here that the I-PAC is not designed to be used in revenue-earning applications where a credit mechanism is used. The I-PAC contains no specific interface functionality for any credit device. Although it has inputs labelled "COIN", these are labelled as such because activating a switch connected to them causes the MAME "coin" keycodes (5 or 6) to be sent. These are designed to be used with panel pushbuttons not coin doors or note acceptors.

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