WinIPAC IPD is the I-PAC, Mini-PAC and J-PAC configuration program. It's primary function is to tell the boards which keyboard character(s) to send to the PC for each button or joystick on the control panel. You configure this information using this program and then download the settings to the I-PAC board, where they are held in EEPROM even after power off.
You can also tell the program to download various keycode settings to the board on-the-fly if you often run PC programs that need different panel configurations. All of this programmable functionality is entirely optional on the I-PAC range. If you leave the I-PAC set to MAME defaults (which most people prefer to do until they have built and tested their panel) you don't need to use this program.
So what is different about this program from all other existing keyboard encoder configuration software? The answer is this: If you think about the processes you go through to build a panel, the first thing you do is assemble the panel, then you wire all of the switches into the keyboard encoder. Then you might want to configure the encoder to send specific keycodes for each switch. Before WinIPAC IPD, you would have to refer to a note of how you have wired the panel, for example if you wanted to have a dedicated "quit" button for MAME, you would need to remember, for example, you have wired a button into the Player1 Switch 8 input, and this needs to be set to the keycode for the "esc" key. With WinIPAC IPD, the program already knows which button you have wired to this input, and where it is physically located on the panel, and you can simply click on this button and assign the code. What's more, you can tell WinIPAC IPD that this is a "quit" button, by entering text, and it will remember this and display the text on a picture of the panel.
So WinIPAC IPD defines the steps in creating a panel as these: (all of which are optional)
Once only (unless you have multiple panels):
Step 1) Create a pictorial view of your panel design
Step 2) Tell the program how you have wired it to the interface
Step 3) Save the panel.
Then as many times as you need:
Step 1) Assign keycodes by clicking on each control
Step 2) Optionally assign display text to each control
Step 3) Save configuration
Step 4) Associate a configuration with an application in the separate Launcher program or in the MAMEWAH front end.
You can assign macros to any button. These are cumulative, each key is pressed and held, so you can program, for example, CTRL/ALT/DEL to one button.
On-Screen Keyboard Launcher:
Brings up a keyboard layout on the screen so you can configure using only a mouse or trackball.
Start a separate program which can be used to assign keycode files to any application and launch the app, having sent the file to the I-PAC board. As well as the Ultimarc Launcher, the MAMEWAH front end can do this.
Use this to check operation of all buttons and switches.
Download to RAM instead of EEPROM (command line function):
This enables the codeset to be stored in temporary storage on the I-PAC board instead of permanent storage.
Ensure you have Direct-X ver 8.0 or later installed.
The Ultimarc CD has an auto-run menu which has an entry for installing WinIPAC IPD. Or, navigate to the setup.exe program in the WinIPAC folder. Depending on which fonts you have installed already on your system, you may need to re-boot for the table view to display properly.
Note this program is not compatible with PS/2 keyboard/mouse dual-usage ports as found on laptops.
Using the program:
WinIPAC IPD is really two programs in one. So these will be covered separately.
The first time you start the program, a menu will appear. This will ask you whether you want to use a default panel layout or not. The two choices are:
"Use Default" This skips all of the panel layout tools and goes straight into a table view which allows you to assign keycodes to the I-PAC inputs. This mimics the operation of the older WinIPAC program and is useful for quickly setting up your board when you know how the panel is wired and you don't intend to change it in the future.
"Customize Panel" This choice is much more fun! You will enter the first of the two sections of the program, Panel Design Mode, below.
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