Static Control Panels
A static control panel is the type of control panel used in every commercial arcade machine and the vast majority of homebuilt arcade systems. In a static panel, a fixed layout for the controls is determined and then the controls are mounted either in a wood or metal panel.
The advantage of a static panel is that artwork can be complex, the controls are always secure, always available, and wiring and mounting is straightforward. Innovative lighting can be used as in the example of The NEON MAME. The disadvantage is that the layout and number of controls on the panel is fixed, which means that only a limited number of games can be played because many classic arcade games had unique controls and panel layouts. The desire to play more and more games on a static panel can drive a design to extremes - creating what is known as the frankenpanel - which is a panel that simply has too many controls in too complex a layout. This has driven many people to seek alternatives such as Swappable Control Panels, Modular Control Panels and Rotating Control Panels.