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Author Topic: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks  (Read 6880 times)

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griffindodd

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$2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« on: September 08, 2012, 01:38:11 am »
So I was bored, and when I'm bored I usually start trying to burn the house down.

But tonight I managed to hack together something pretty fun, an ultra-cheap optical rotary unit to fit on the end of my Paradise Arcade LED sticks. The title of this post assumes you can pick up a cheap laser mouse for $2 or less, you can do this conversion in about 30 mins without any special tools. I did it because I want to play Ikari Warriors when I finally finish my cab and wanted a way to use my existing sticks rather than having to have dedicated ones just for that game.

Excuse the crappy camera work, but like I said I was bored and feeling 'experimenty'

I'd love to see what some of you guys can do with this idea and how well it would perform if crafted by more expert hands than mine.

Anyway here's the video
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 01:55:52 am by griffindodd »

Le Chuck

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 02:18:57 am »
You could make a stabilizing adapter similar to the Mark Oates 12 position rotary mod and then hook your mouse hack to that.  http://www.markoates.com/rotary/techsupport.htm

It would give you some nice spinner action and fix that encoder rotation issue.  I've always thought Mark's design could be retrofitted to just about any joy out there.  This takes it in a whole new direction.  Well done!  :applaud: :applaud:

ark_ader

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 07:38:24 am »
A mini CD?  Pure genius.

Thanks!  :applaud:
If I had only one wish, it would be for three more wishes.

brad808

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 08:17:42 am »
Really cool. That's the type of stuff I love discovering on this site.

Sent from my Desire HD

BadMouth

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 07:31:38 pm »
I planned to do rotary sticks someday using the same little rotary encoders that Bender used on his U360 mod, but they aren't cheap.

Was messing around with rotary ideas and came up with something that might be useful.
Instead of having everything attached to the end of the joystick shaft,
the disc would have a "+" shape cut out in the middle and the joystick shaft would be shaped to fit into that like a key with a little wiggle room.
The disc would then be restricted to a flat plane parallel with the bottom of the joystick body.
The disc would stay parallel to the bottom of the joystick body with the laser mouse mounted underneath it.
That way, the weight of the whole apparatus would be attached to the bottom of the joystick body instead of the joystick shaft.

I'm still leaning toward the little rotary encoders, but figured I'd throw this other idea out there for anyone who might want to tinker with the concept.

EDIT: an octagon shaped hole might be better, and you could use an allen head bit on the end of the joystick shaft.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 07:46:42 pm by BadMouth »

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 08:35:23 pm »
The problem with mounting to the joystick inseam of the shaft is the angle of lift that gets created between the surface being scanned and the laser.  Anything more than about a millimeter aand the laser won't track.  Keeping the laser and tracking surface inalignment is critical

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 09:03:39 pm »
Here I was about to object and you covered it in the last ten seconds.


Brilliant.

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 09:25:34 pm »
The disc would be sandwiched between two flat layers and not attached to the joystick shaft, so no lift.  That is the idea, but upon further thought, the normal joystick movement could result in the laser mouse tracking slight rotation when there is none.

Idea downed.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 09:52:29 pm by BadMouth »

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 10:20:55 pm »
I have a couple of these coming to me in the next few days, going to look at trying to embed them inside a split balltop/handle...

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10982

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2012, 10:24:23 pm »
the normal joystick movement could result in the laser mouse tracking slight rotation when there is none.
Yeah this is where optical can fall down unless you can calibrate a quantum flux level/dead zone. There's a reason Ikari warriors used switch rotation, I'm sure the stability of rotary position was one of them.

Fun stuff though, I'm enjoying the challenge here

Le Chuck

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2012, 10:39:15 pm »
I ran a thread about what folks were looking for in rotary joys a while ago and the overwhelming majority opinion was that while optical spinner hacks are great if you're going to go through the trouble to rotary hack a joystick it needs to be an 8 or 12 position clicky encoder.  Downside is that those are a ---smurfette--- to wire and don't do a good job of doubling as a spinner in a pinch.  I like this hack and would like to see you anchor the support bar to the joy body to prevent rotation while still allowing vertical flex but don't know what I'm going to do on mine.  Follow in the great work you've done here are copycat an encoder hack.  Either way I'll be standing on the shoulders of others. 

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 12:53:50 pm »
I'm also going to play with the RGB Switch rotary encoders that I have coming from Sparkfun, it's a different approach so I'll compare the two.

The idea with these is to embed them inside a clear handle/balltop that is split so that the bottom half screws into the joystick shaft and just the top half of the handle/ball rotates with clicks. Looking at the output pins on these encoders I should be able to power them with the optipac spinner interface.

This way we have the whole mechanism for rotary and RGB lighting in the ball top which will convert any hollow shaft stick to both RGB and Rotary, not bad for $3.50
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 12:57:09 pm by griffindodd »

Le Chuck

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2012, 12:58:09 pm »
I'm anxious to see your prototype.  I think it might be over engineered but I don't want to stop anybody's creative impulses. 

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2012, 01:07:59 pm »
I think it might be over engineered

I love it when people use this term in this forum. I'm currently building a $2500 case to house a mediocre PC to play 30 year old games on a big ass CRT.... I think our entire hobby is the definition of the term  :laugh2:

Look up 'over-engineered' in a picture dictionary there is a picture of Le Chuck sitting on a 3/4 perfect scale model of a Speeder Bike  :droid

Le Chuck

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2012, 01:17:29 pm »
True.  However, when given the choice of adapting the bottom of a joystick to read rotation vice sawing a balltop in half and making the hemispheres stay connected while rotating independently of each other whilst lighting up and transmitting rotational data well call me old fashioned but...

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2012, 01:18:44 pm »
True.  However, when given the choice of adapting the bottom of a joystick to read rotation vice sawing a balltop in half and making the hemispheres stay connected while rotating independently of each other whilst lighting up and transmitting rotational data well call me old fashioned but...

pffft next you'll be saying you don't like rotating monitors  >:D

Le Chuck

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2012, 01:23:53 pm »
True.  However, when given the choice of adapting the bottom of a joystick to read rotation vice sawing a balltop in half and making the hemispheres stay connected while rotating independently of each other whilst lighting up and transmitting rotational data well call me old fashioned but...

pffft next you'll be saying you don't like rotating monitors  >:D

 :laugh2:

PL1

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2012, 01:23:53 pm »
Griffindodd - In order to keep the bottom of the stick from rotating, you might want to consider using the Import Flight Stick from Paradise (Ultimarc carries them, too)

It has a hollow shaft and is tapped for screws to hold the sides in place.

LMK if you want pics of the inside. (Got onoe just sitting around)


Scott

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2012, 01:25:06 pm »
The resolution on these cheap encoders is too low to be of use for spinner or steering wheel games,
but if it's only going to be used for the SNK rotary joystick games, this little one is interesting.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9117

12 pulses, 12 clicky indents.

Le Chuck

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2012, 01:26:16 pm »
Griffindodd - In order to keep the bottom of the stick from rotating, you might want to consider using the Import Flight Stick from Paradise (Ultimarc carries them, too)

It has a hollow shaft and is tapped for screws to hold the sides in place.

LMK if you want pics of the inside. (Got onoe just sitting around)


Scott
I'd like those pics. 

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2012, 01:27:36 pm »
The resolution on these cheap encoders is too low to be of use for spinner or steering wheel games,
but if it's only going to be used for the SNK rotary joystick games, this little one is interesting.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9117

12 pulses, 12 clicky indents.

yeah my main focus here is Rotary Stick games like Ikari Warriors, i say leave the spinners for spinning games (for now at least) Clicky indents RULE!!!

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2012, 01:37:08 pm »
Well done!  :cheers:

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2012, 01:42:55 pm »
Also for the handles I will be making my own ball tops.

Split ping pong ball or similar in two. A ping pong ball is 40mm in Diameter

- In the 'top' half place the clear knob that I got for the encoder and fill the half ball with 'Everlasting Elegance Arcylic'.
- In the bottom half cut a hole in the top of the half sphere,
- place a joystick shaft nut at the hole,
- make a small chimney for the joytsick shaft to screw up into (roll a tube from sode bottle plastic)
- place the encoder on top of the chimney & thread the wires down through the chimney from the encoder
- Make sure the enconder shaft is above the 'fill line' of the half ping pong ball
- Fill with acrylic

Once they are set, peel off the ping pong ball plastic, push the two halves together and Bob's yer Uncle  :cheers:
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 01:57:15 pm by griffindodd »

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2012, 01:53:05 pm »
I ordered the 12 position clicky ones.
When they come in, I'lll hook them up to the opti-wiz, fire up Ikari warriors and report back.

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2012, 02:00:22 pm »
Here's a cool tutorial on how to make acrylic spheres...

http://www.spencerandbrown.com/mbb/juggling/acrylicballs.html
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 02:11:43 pm by griffindodd »

PL1

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2012, 02:11:08 pm »
I'd like those pics.

You say it we play it.

Photo #1 - Bottom of the shaft (~1/4" inner diameter) Hemispherical pivot with tabs still on shaft.

Photo #2 - Shaft tapped for screw to hold shell.  Both sides are tapped.

Photo #3 - Hemispherical pivot with tabs clearly visible, upper spring holder, spring, lower spring holder, e-clip. (left to right along bottom)

Photo #4 - Closeup of socket where hemispherical pivot sits.  Recess for tabs clearly visible.


Scott
EDIT: Photo #5 - The correct order and orientation for the parts when reassembling the stick.  Insert the handle/shaft, dust washer, and hemispherical pivot from above the base and the rest of the parts from below the base.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 08:13:29 am by PL1 »

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2012, 02:31:08 pm »
I wonder if we can get ethernet cable through one of these shafts, I'm going to need 7 wires for RGB plus rotary. Anyone know of anything thinner with that wire count?

pinballjim

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2012, 02:35:38 pm »
I demand a custom trackball while you're casting acrylic.


griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2012, 02:38:08 pm »
I demand a custom trackball while you're casting acrylic.

Only if you let me use my Bedazzler Jim

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2012, 02:40:23 pm »
Eh.  Maybe?

I wasn't joking, but I get the impression from that accent you're overseas and shipping would kill the idea anyway.


griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2012, 02:41:37 pm »
Lol you can pick up my accent from text - damn you're good. yeah I'm English but I live in San Diego.

PL1

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2012, 03:16:44 pm »
I wonder if we can get ethernet cable through one of these shafts

Yes -- Measured two ethernet cables with a micrometer, both were the same size as the current wire.


Scott

griffindodd

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2012, 03:21:32 pm »
Isn't that an analog stick though?

My ultimate goal is to create an everything stick.

Switch Rotary in the handle
RGB Lit handle
4-8 Servo or top switchable
and maybe even optical rotary on the bottom with a lockable shaft

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2012, 03:22:27 pm »
Eh.  Maybe?

I wasn't joking, but I get the impression from that accent you're overseas and shipping would kill the idea anyway.

What do you want in the middle?  Monkey fetus?  Dead rat? Macaroni glued into an obscene shape? 

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2012, 03:38:22 pm »
If you're offering, how about one of these?


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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2012, 03:42:53 pm »
That's an awesome idea, might steal that

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2012, 04:03:40 pm »
Isn't that an analog stick though?

Umm, didn't you notice the microswitches?  It's an 8-way with the same footprint and mounting plate as an LS-32/Zippyy.



Switch Rotary in the handle - Can do easy

RGB Lit handle - Can do easy

4-8 Servo or top switchable - No restrictor plates available for this stick AFAIK.  Bryan or Andy may have more info about manufacturer options if available.

Optical rotary on the bottom with a lockable shaft - Not possible with the current tabs on the hemisphere pivot, might be able to make a retractable sliding collar to take their place, but not an easy process/build.

For the record, I just suggested the Import Flight Stick as a base for an Ikari Warriors style rotary switch/handle on top.


Scott
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 04:09:05 pm by PL1 »

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2012, 04:05:40 pm »
Thanks Scott, it's a very good option, obviously there are a lot of options to consider in the pursuit of the everything stick, I think it's pretty close to cold fusion and the god particle

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2012, 04:09:03 pm »
PBJ, Those sugar skulls are teh kewl.  I need to do some reading on casting in layers without a seam.  That's the problem I've run into doing suspensions in spheres is that you can always see either a filled nail hole or the seam from a pour done in stages.  Supposedly there's some goop that will set enough to remove supports but still blend the seams on this type of a pour.  What size are you looking for?  3"?

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Re: $2 USB Optical rotary upgrade for most joysticks
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2012, 04:17:08 pm »
PBJ, Those sugar skulls are teh kewl.  I need to do some reading on casting in layers without a seam.  That's the problem I've run into doing suspensions in spheres is that you can always see either a filled nail hole or the seam from a pour done in stages.  Supposedly there's some goop that will set enough to remove supports but still blend the seams on this type of a pour.  What size are you looking for?  3"?

Do you wait for a 50% set before putting in your embedded object or do you wait for 100% set before adding and putting in your next layer? It's my understanding that a 50% set is the right way to do this