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Author Topic: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build  (Read 4869 times)

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RetroRik

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Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« on: April 13, 2012, 10:32:33 am »
First of all. Hi everyone. Im Rik.

Just joined up. I have been visiting for years but its time to get involved.  :)

I have just started my first Mame control panel build.

It is based around Tron and includes a Discs Of Tron Joystick and push pull spinner.
The difference is that the joystick and spinner are being built by me from scratch.

My first attempt at the CP artwork is below and any comments good, bad or indifferent are welcome.
The spinner will be top left and the joystick top right.
As i say, first attempt. New to all this.  8)

Here is my first video. Its the DOT joystick build. Enjoy.!



CP overlay.?



RIK

RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 07:00:37 pm »
OK..

Here is an update with pictures... We all like pictures.
The first video was made up of these..

I have some new stuff for the Push/Pull Spinner which may get uploaded tomorrow...

Ordered the TRON Replacement grip from Groovy Game Gear in the US.. About 25 i think.








The Magstick Plus from Ultimarc.




Tron grip under UV light. Really nice.






Push button from Maplins. About 2






Other components for the Push button. Micro switch, 5V LED and correct Resistor for the LED
to allow correct maximum current.









Used a RF connector case to screw the button into. Then sealed in the LED and assemled the parts.

















Now Epoxy the RF connector to the Micro Switch and paint.







Downloaded the Discs of Tron backplate template then enhanced it so its fresh and clear.
Also cut out some clear plastic from sweat box and tin from a tin of sweats.
Assemble the three and attach to 5V DC... Nice.!













Used 22mm Copper Pipe and 15mm reducer. This allows me to attach the Grip to the Magstick
shaft.









Made circlips out of washers which stop the grip from being pulled from the shaft.
Spacer made from Permanent marker which gives shaft a snug fit in pipe but still allows rotation.
Put the three elements together and paint blue.


















Put the whole thing together... Stick completed.











Test videos..





RIK

RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 10:39:41 am »
Hi again...

Doesn't seem to be any interest in my build..  :cry:

Anyway i have been working in the background on the Push Pull Spinner and thinking of CP designs.

I now want to base the shape of my CP on a vintage computer.. Either the Apple II or Tatung Einstein.
( build in the same shape, not build into one. )

I think both shapes would house the controls nicely and the PC and speakers could be placed in the unit behind.

What do you think. Apple II or Einstein.?? ( obviously they will be painted dark to go with my CP artwork. )

Edging towards the Einstein becase the UV light could be placed behind the grill in the middle and the DVD/CD drive can be placed in the same position as the floppy drive. To the right of the grill i could put the reset/power/volume and light controls.?
With a bit of jiggery pokery i might be able to get a small illuminated keyboard to slide out of the front of the CP.
( will have to factor in the depth of the controls. )





More close up images of the Einstein...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/isofarro/page27/

I have two question if someone could be so kind to answer.

When you mount the Plexi-glass over the CP artwork do you glue it or just let the buttons and sticks hold it in place.?
Would you indent the plexi at the edges into the CP so it is flat and level with the surrounding wood or can you just mount onto the wood and router the edges. Is it a clean clear finish.?

Cheers

RIK


« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 10:49:32 am by RetroRik »

GregD

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 11:11:31 am »
Great work so far.  Most just let the buttons hold down the plexi.  The t-molding also holds the plexi at the edges.  Doesn't sound like you are using t-molding though.  If not, I would chamfer the plexi at the edges so it doesn't feel sharp.

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 11:15:05 am »
Like the CP art!

RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 11:46:06 am »
Thanks Greg/Spark.. Finally some feedback..  :cheers:

I won't be using T-moulding. It would wreck the look being based around a computer.

The buttons are Blue and i will be mounting an LED in each. Nice soft blue glow. I have done a test print of the artwork on glossy photo paper and under UV light the light colours pop out nicely.  :)

I am even thinking of building the CP out of high density insulation board which i can mould into shape then fibre glass ontop of it for strength. It would be light and i could sand down to a nice plasticy finish.

I might be running before i can walk though so will try the shaped MDF route first..

I have two weeks holiday at the end of next week so i should get on well me thinks..

Are there any vintage computers/consoles you would base your CP around.?

Cheers

RIK
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 11:49:08 am by RetroRik »

GregD

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 02:08:55 pm »
If you do the led buttons they will light the edges of the plexi.  If the edges are left completely exposed, this could produce a very cool affect.

RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 02:25:18 pm »
If you do the led buttons they will light the edges of the plexi.  If the edges are left completely exposed, this could produce a very cool affect.

Ah nice one. I likes that idea.  :cheers:

RIK

RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2012, 02:46:33 pm »
Ok i have decided on a build around the Einstein design.



Here is a quick sketch.

Note the Control Panel can be detached from the main PC body behind so can be connected via USB to any computer and the main body can be used as a stand alone PC as well.

The UV light will be placed behind the grill in the middle of the main body with DVD rom, Card reader, power/reset buttons and power/hard drive LEDs to the left...

The Top Left and Top Right of the main body are the speakers. I have some nice quality ones that are small enough.

The whole thing will be painted almost black. More like a very dark midnight blue to match my CP artwork.
So with the illuminated buttons and UV on the artwork it might look pretty smart.

Looking forward to the challenge now... :)



RIK
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 08:21:46 am by RetroRik »

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2012, 07:48:48 am »
I'm confused now.  Are you building a CP or a Cabinet? 

What does the Tatung Einstein have to do with it?   :dunno
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RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2012, 08:32:33 am »
I'm confused now.  Are you building a CP or a Cabinet?  

What does the Tatung Einstein have to do with it?   :dunno

lol. Its effectively a CP but i wanted to build the PC into a case that could compliment the CP.

Since i am into my Retro computers i fancied the idea of making the two together look like an old Micro Computer.

I chose the Einstein just because its shape works well with the CP and the PC behind it.

I suppose on its own the CP is a CP but together it becomes a desktop cabinet of sorts... :)

RIK
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 08:34:23 am by RetroRik »

ark_ader

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 09:52:24 am »
I'm confused now.  Are you building a CP or a Cabinet?  

What does the Tatung Einstein have to do with it?   :dunno

lol. Its effectively a CP but i wanted to build the PC into a case that could compliment the CP.

Since i am into my Retro computers i fancied the idea of making the two together look like an old Micro Computer.

I chose the Einstein just because its shape works well with the CP and the PC behind it.

I suppose on its own the CP is a CP but together it becomes a desktop cabinet of sorts... :)

RIK

I'm even more confused now.  A Discs of Tron + Tatung Einstein + Mame Control Panel.  Why?  I know you want to do it, which is your choice.

It will look ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---.  I owned a Tatung Einstein ages ago and it still isn't a pretty home computer.  Why not something Tron'esque.  You have the graphics down right, and the controls but not enclosing it in a sleek black neon ITX case with blue cold cathode lighting?

 :lol
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capsule

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2012, 10:26:43 am »
It will look ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---.

That's worth a try, like RetroRik  I think it can look pretty awesome and original. Nice work on the joystick!

RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2012, 11:46:30 am »
Why not something Tron'esque.  You have the graphics down right, and the controls but not enclosing it in a sleek black neon ITX case with blue cold cathode lighting?

 :lol

Because thats exactly what everyone does...lol..

I hear what you are saying but i reckon the design will turn out pretty cool and original.

At the end of the day im only going to have to spend 20 on wood and paint so if it turns out pants i can do it again.  :P :)

RIK


RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2012, 12:02:25 pm »
It will look ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---.

That's worth a try, like RetroRik  I think it can look pretty awesome and original. Nice work on the joystick!

Cheers mate. :cheers: Push Pull spinner nearly complete. Here is a sample. ( not complete as micro switches and optics to be installed. )

Cost of spinner so far, 5...





RIK


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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2012, 12:20:02 pm »
Why not something Tron'esque.  You have the graphics down right, and the controls but not enclosing it in a sleek black neon ITX case with blue cold cathode lighting?

 :lol

Because thats exactly what everyone does...lol..

I hear what you are saying but i reckon the design will turn out pretty cool and original.

At the end of the day im only going to have to spend 20 on wood and paint so if it turns out pants i can do it again.  :P :)

RIK



Well watch that ledge or you will mash your trigger fingers.  :dizzy:
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Xiaou2

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2012, 07:22:25 pm »
Hate to rain on your parade... but I had a near identical design of your Push Pull spinner, years ago.

 Problems:

1)  The encoder disc has to be absolutely perfect.  If its off center, or the encoder spaces are off by a hair... there will be problems with tracking.  The mouse pointed may stutter, jump erratically, or even reverse direction.

2)  The encoder shouldnt move vertically... because then the encoder reading optics also have to move with it.  Even if you can a decently smooth action on a sliding mechanism... its doubtful that it will not suffer from issues that will effect tracking.

 When I finally saw how a real Discs of Tron spinner worked... I totally Face Palmed myself.   Its really simple genius.

 A simple screw-pin on the main shaft, and the encoder assy. has a carved out slot to allow sliding.  The pin / shaft slides vertically... but the optical encoder only spins.  No vertical movement.

 Another way to do a similar thing, would be to grind the bottom of the shaft into a D shape.  Then cover part of the encoder holes to make them fit the d shape.  This will allow the shaft to move vertically but still able to turn the assembly.


RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2012, 09:59:24 am »
Thanks Xiaou2.

Great input. Just what i need.. I am going to read over it again to try to imaging it in action.  :)

Im near enough to test mine as it is which will show how good or bad it is.

Just a quick question.

Isn't the Blackhawk fixed to the shaft.? How do they approach the problem.?



RIK

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2012, 10:53:20 am »
It will look ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I think this could turn out really slick.  I think using an old computer case is a great idea... IF ...you can integrate your new work into it.  You might miss the mark if you make the CP components too modern looking.  But that case just screams retro... and if you could put together a CP that looks original, I think you'll have a great build! :)

...or... mod the case so that you retain the lines, but make it modern.   :cheers:

Complete mini arcade cabinet plans available.

Xiaou2

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2012, 02:35:02 pm »
Quote
Isn't the Blackhawk fixed to the shaft.? How do they approach the problem.?

 If they do in fact move the unit, then I think the reason boils down to the much wider Optics
board spacing.   Most spinners use optics that are much closer together.  They might be using a
custom higher-powered system.

 However, Im not a fan of how they implemented the switches.  The problem is that when you press
up or down, and are spinning at the same time...  the discs are going to scrap the switches.  This
will slow your movements down, as well as wear down the microswitch activators.

 There is no such a problem on a true Discs of Tron spinner... and any friction is very minimal compared
to the drastic friction of the micros scraping.

 Also, the DOT spinner uses leaf switches, which are easier to press, less fatiguing, quicker responses, and
no clicky noise.


 I didnt say this before, but as others have noted... you dont really seem to have enough space for all the
parts you want to put on the thing.  The DOT stick could smash your hand if placed poorly.. and the trackball
will be unusable with exception to menu operations.  (else you ram your hands into the nearest joysticks)

 The DOT stick mod you made also may need a heavier duty spring, because of the added mass and leverage
that the new shaft you put on has made.  I also had that problem with my home-made sticks (however, mine
might have been a litter heavier, due to that they were made of wood.  Then again, there were no metal inserts
either)

 The computer case idea might be ok with controls that fit.  But you could also achieve the same kind of thing (or better) with use of glued on decorative parts / wood, and cuts in specific places.  Thus gaining you the needed space, and giving you the look you desire.

 Ill try to pop a sketch up with the D-Spinner design a litter later.

Xiaou2

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2012, 01:32:21 am »
Ok, heres some examples...

 The original DOT spinner is something very close to figure D.  There's a Pin thats screwed into the main shaft.  That pin (red), can slide up/down in the Notch that they machined into the encoder assembly.   This beautiful design is simple, but very effective.   There's only a small bit of horizontal slop, and its pretty much acceptable for the games design.   

 The only thing I really didnt like about the original design, was that its a little too much horizontal friction.


 Figure A

 - Shows the main shaft, with the bottom half ground flat.  The light blue part is an E-Clip (that activated the leaf switches).

Figure B

 - Shows the concept of the encoder wheel mass.  Half of the hole is either blocked off. with small fixed plates,   ..or seen in:

Figure C

 - Part of a dowel / shaft  is either stuffed, glued, & or use of a set-screw, to lock it in place.   There should be enough play, so that the main shaft slides easily.  The hole-blocker might be better of using high density plastic like cutting board material.  Something smooth and low friction.

 (heck, the entire assy might be made of cutting board material)

 
=====

 The Other sketch, is my design for a specialized multifunction spinner.
It features the ability to use two different resolutions, via an optional geared assembly, that you can lock / unlock from the knob on top of the Control Panel.

 It also has dual bearings, for smoother action, than the typical DOT spinner.
The gearing mode also allows you to have extra friction... as not all games play as well as with near frictionless bearings.

 The geared option might be good enough for Arkanoid play.  Though, Ive not done the math to know for sure.  It certainly would make things better for such a game, even if it wasnt perfectly spot-on.

 The idea was to machine the knob and designer top plate, out of UV Reactive plastics, so that they would glow in blacklight.  The shaft itself might even be good enough to be plastic instead of metal as well.  Which would help with under illumination.

 The Top Plate & Spinner knobs were both to have ridges carved in, to match the DOT Disc.

 The main assembly is enclosed in a metal squared tube to keep things squared and true.

 Its not perfect, but its a pretty decent design.

RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2012, 09:47:04 am »

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I think this could turn out really slick.  I think using an old computer case is a great idea...

Thanks Flunky. I tend to agree with you. Time will tell. If it doesn't work then i try again. People change their designs all the time.  :) :cheers:

RIK

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2012, 10:01:07 am »
Quote
Isn't the Blackhawk fixed to the shaft.? How do they approach the problem.?

 If they do in fact move the unit, then I think the reason boils down to the much wider Optics
board spacing.   Most spinners use optics that are much closer together.  They might be using a
custom higher-powered system.

I think it will all come down to the testing at the end of the day. The spinner has cost very little to build and if it doesn't work i will think again.

However, Im not a fan of how they implemented the switches.  The problem is that when you press
up or down, and are spinning at the same time...  the discs are going to scrap the switches.  This
will slow your movements down, as well as wear down the microswitch activators.

I thought about that. Im using Micro switches with rollers..Slightly smaller and less noise. Also some give in the spring..  :)



I didnt say this before, but as others have noted... you dont really seem to have enough space for all the
parts you want to put on the thing.  The DOT stick could smash your hand if placed poorly.. and the trackball
will be unusable with exception to menu operations.  (else you ram your hands into the nearest joysticks)

Im not so sure about the lack of space. The artwork around the parts gives you a false idea of the spacing. The parts are inside the inner walls of all the artwork. The spacing seemed fine when i layed it all out for a test.
There are bartops i've played on that are not as wide and i took that into consideration.
However once again it will all come down to the testing phase. I've got no problem changing it if needed.

Really great input so far though and im taking it all onboard.
Hey i might have beginners luck and get it down first attempt. I tend to do that  :D

 :cheers:

RIK

RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2012, 10:14:41 am »
Quote
Ok, heres some examples...

Xiaou2.

That is some great information and i really thank you for taking the time to post it.

Just like you said its face palm time.. lol..  And i understood it all.. 8)

Its got my head ticking over already. Even if my spinner works i can see myself re-designing another whilst using mine as a stop gap.

Got to say your design is excellent. Did you ever build and use it.?

Many thanks.

RIK
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 10:17:31 am by RetroRik »

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2012, 02:22:23 pm »
RetroRik,

You do know that Randy makes this, right?


Scott

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2012, 02:40:00 pm »
RetroRik,

You do know that Randy makes this, right?


Scott

Hi Scott. Yes i've seen that. I always like to try building things first and only buy them if i cannot. :)

That spinner is $129 where as mine is so far about $4..

Of course his will be much higher quality and work better but if mine works ok enough i will be happy.

Cheers

RIK

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2012, 07:14:33 pm »
Quote
Got to say your design is excellent. Did you ever build and use it.?

 Thanks Rik,

 I was having some medical / health issues at the time, so it never got built.

 I looked it over once more.  There are two flaws that I see right away.  One is that if somehow it gets turned upside down, the encoder section may slip off its bearing.  It might fall back into place, however, its far better to add a removable cross-member to prevent this as seen in this new pic.

 The red "bushing" might not even be needed.  Just a bar with either a hole or U-shape cut into it, that allows the main shaft to go thru it.  The bar could rest 2mm or so above the mass unit, so theres no friction involved... yet will keep the assembly from coming falling out if inverted.

 The other issue has to do with the top bearing.  Its better to place it as close to the top of the spinner handle as possible... otherwise someone who is heavy handed might be able to bend the main shaft.   Either the bearing could be raised... Or, a non-touching bushing could be placed in the control panel hole.  That could just be part of the blue deco ring thats placed on the top of the CP.

 Ohh, and one more thing... A method to lock & unlock the gearing section would be needed.  I think it could be as simple as a lift up, then turn... and when it gets to the right spot, theres a notch / hole, where the assy drops & locks into place.



 

Xiaou2

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2012, 09:38:52 pm »
Fixed

Malenko

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2012, 11:04:49 pm »
kudos rik, not just for the spinner (which I think you should build and see how it works before changing your plans around) but for being able to read Xiaou2's walls of text  :cheers:
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 12:07:05 am by saint »
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RetroRik

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2012, 06:56:10 am »
kudos rik, not just for the spinner (which I think you should build and see how it works before changing your plans around) but for being able to read Xiaou2's walls of text  :cheers:

Cheers Malenko.  :cheers:

Im a big believer in trying before buying....  :lol

Xiaou2 posted some good information. Must admitt i had to read it more than once but he took the time to post it and for that i thank him very much...  :angel:

Side note...  I had an idea to use a high resolution Optical mouse against the outside of a material covered barrel.
As you rotate or push/pull the spinner the barrel moves and the mouse thinks it is being moved as normal.

A crude test does show it to work. Even when the optics are not actually touching the material.

It would eliminate any need for micro switches, encoder disc or encoder optics.

Anyone ever tried this.? Just an idea.  :)

RIK

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2012, 08:42:24 am »
Sort of, people (myself included) have made spinner hacks with optical mice, mine was on a pole position wheel but it worked!   I was going to use the same premise for my vpin for the plunger.
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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2012, 09:56:14 am »
Quote
I had an idea to use a high resolution Optical mouse against the outside of a material covered barrel.

 I had the idea as well.  However, the only mice that were suitable were Laser mice.  The older optical mice were flaky, and didnt always read perfectly when sliding On the material... and many wouldnt read at a distance... or read well at a distance.

 Laser mice were almost half the price of a pre-built spinner, so I never bothered.  Maybe they have gone down in price since.

 As for Vertical DOT action, Im not sure.  At one time you could use the mouse to move the pointer vertically.  They may have taken that hack out however.  You will have to do get to like level 6 or 7 before its activated to find out.

 Only problem will then be physical differences.  Level changes on a real DOT are single click increments, unless you hold for a few moments, then the cursor will move several places.  It might make the game more difficult, as you would have to hold the knob at the right height without moving it, while turning it as well.   On the other hand, it might make the game easier, with more fluid aim changes.

 Calibration and sensitivity may also be an issue.  If the game somehow loses your vertical position... it would be very difficult to get it back.  If the game is too sensitive, it may make aiming difficult... and if its not sensitive enough, it may need like 3 inches of travel on the shaft.

 Other games which use Push button spinners, such as Forgotten Worlds, may not be possible to play due to the mouse vertical position not being functional.

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Re: Riks Discs Of Tron Console Build
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2012, 07:07:12 am »
I did later wonder about the up down control using the optical mouse. You have explained well what i was fearing.

Hmm.. Need to think on that one. Maybe just use the optical for left right and a clever micro switch setup for up down...   ???

RIK