pc Archive


Zero Delay Arcade To USB Encoder Review

Zero Delay Arcade USB Encoder

I finally received my first Zero Delay encoder straight from Hong Kong and I must say that I’m extremely happy with the purchase. In the past I’ve been using IPAC’s which are made in the UK by Ultimarc. The IPAC’s are amazing encoder boards, probably the best, but the price is a bit steep. For a 2 player IPAC you’re looking at $39 and for a 4 player IPAC be ready to give up your left hand at a whopping $65 plus shipping. It was obviously time to look for a less costly alternative.

I found the Zero Delay boards while searching around the usual arcade building forums. I was surprised to see that you can snatch one of these up on Ebay for about $10 including shipping. Too good to be true? Not one bit. One thing I love about it is the fact that it comes with all the wiring along with quick connectors already installed. This makes it a 10 minute wiring job instead of the hours you will spend stripping wires and adding your own terminal connectors which come at an additional cost.

Another great thing about these boards is that they come standard with a joystick hookup along with 12 button inputs as well as additional inputs for a HAT switch, turbo, and auto-fire mode. With the funtioning HAT swith, you could actually use just one of these boards for 2 players if you only had a few buttons each. There truly was Zero delay when I hooked it up and because each board registers as a gamepad the amount of these you could hook up to one machine is virtually endless. If you’re looking for a low-cost IPAC alternative, look no further. I give these encoders my respect and approval.

You can find them on Ebay by searching for Zero Delay Arcade USB Encoders.


Quick Python Workaround For Dynamic DNS

As many of you know I have recently moved my website onto a personal Raspberry Pi server conveniently located in my bedroom. Well, to make a long story short I have a dynamic IP address which means that it switches once in a while and if I’m not at home to check the new address with ipconfig and change it through my Domain Name dash then my site is down until I can do so. If you have ever had this happen to you then you know it’s very annoying.

You used to be able to enlist in the services of DynDNS, No-IP, and ZoneEdit for free, but those days are gone and I refuse to pay $30 a year for them to switch my IP perhaps 2 to 4 times so I decided to come up with a little solution of my own. I wrote a script in Python that is meant to be run automatically at the startup of the server. Every 5 minutes it will check if my IP is still the same and if it detects a change it emails me directly to my phone where I can simply go to my Domain Name dash and change my @ address. This means that I will have approximately 5 – 10 minutes of downtime whenever my IP changes and I find this to be a perfectly acceptable solution.

The code is free to use and distribute as you would like. Thanks and enjoy!


import smtplib
import urllib
import re
import time


# Find Beginning IP at program start
url = “http://checkip.dyndns.org”
##print url
request = urllib.urlopen(url).read()
startIP = re.findall(r”\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}.\d{1,3}”, request)
##print “your start IP Address is: “, str(startIP)

X = 1

while X == 1:

oldIP = startIP

# Find current IP
url = “http://checkip.dyndns.org”
##print url
request = urllib.urlopen(url).read()
currentIP = re.findall(r”\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}.\d{1,3}”, request)
##print “your current IP Address is: “, str(currentIP)

# Compare old IP to current IP
if str(oldIP) != str(currentIP):
fromaddr = ‘thelairdotme@gmail.com’
toaddrs = ‘thelairdotme@gmail.com’
msg = ‘Your I.P. has changed to ‘+ str(currentIP) +’. Make sure to update @ address in GoDaddy DNS setup!’

# Credentials for Gmail
username = ‘YourNameHere’
password = ‘XXXXXXXXX’

# The actual mail send
server = smtplib.SMTP(‘smtp.gmail.com:587’)
server.sendmail(toaddrs, fromaddr, msg)

# Update
startIP = currentIP

# Wait 5 minutes between checks