Main Restorations Software Audio/Jukebox/MP3 Everything Else Buy/Sell/Trade
Project Announcements Monitor/Video GroovyMAME Merit/JVL Touchscreen Meet Up Retail Vendors
Driving & Racing Woodworking Software Support Forums Consoles Project Arcade Reviews
Automated Projects Artwork Frontend Support Forums Pinball Forum Discussion Old Boards
Raspberry Pi & Dev Board controls.dat Linux Miscellaneous Arcade Wiki Discussion Old Archives
Lightguns Arcade1Up --- Bug Reports --- Site News

Unread posts | New Replies | Recent posts | Rules | Chatroom | Wiki | File Repository | RSS | Submit news

  

Author Topic: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works  (Read 327 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Zebra

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 424
  • Last login:Today at 01:02:57 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« on: November 25, 2019, 01:45:35 pm »
For anyone interested in how Raw Thrills IR guns know where you are aiming, the super deluxe manual goes some way to explaining the mystery of the 10 - 12 led monitor sensors:

https://rawthrills.com/wp-content/uploads/manuals/t4_sdlx_manual.pdf

Some here had assumed that there was a mechanism for the computer to know exactly which of the 12 led boards the gun was pointed at. According to the manual, this is not the case. The led's are placed around the screen to form a rectangle of led lights. When you tilt the gun to aim, the camera catches changes in the orientation of that rectangle. After calibration, that orientation is enough to accurately capture what the gun is pointed at.

It sounds fairly similar to the way the Sinden gun works except with led lights instead instead of the white screen border.

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17900
  • Last login:Today at 01:09:09 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 10:44:44 pm »
That's a good find but I don't know if it is particularly helpful.  The camera used for the samco and wiimote do all of the dot detection automatically and can only track 4 dots at a time.  Considering how many leds the bezel has they must be tracking more than that... it might be what the fpga is for, I dunno. 

Zebra

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 424
  • Last login:Today at 01:02:57 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2019, 01:29:33 pm »
That's a good find but I don't know if it is particularly helpful.  The camera used for the samco and wiimote do all of the dot detection automatically and can only track 4 dots at a time.  Considering how many leds the bezel has they must be tracking more than that... it might be what the fpga is for, I dunno. 

If I understand it correctly (and I'm not sure I do), they aren't tracking 12 led boards individually. The set-up uses smoked ir lens covers which would act like diffusers so it wouldn't be possible to see individual lights.

I think the camera sees just one object - a rectangular box of light. It then uses the orientation of the box to determine what the gun is pointed at. Kinda like if you were to try and draw a rectangle viewed from different angles, it would look different if viewed from the left than it would from the right. Plus, if you turned your head, the corners would be higher on one side than the other etc.

It's possible that we've been giving them too much credit by assuming they were tracking the gun's position relative to 12 led boards individually. I don't think they are tracking the gun's motion at all.

Using the orientation of the IR light box plus having defined screen edges seems like a simpler and more effective solution (assuming you have the capability to program it to translate the orientation to a screen position).

Further evidence, IMO, is in the circuit diagrams. It looks like only power is sent to the led boards on the monitor. Each board has four pins going in but only two are used on each board. It's different to the sega system where each led board has 6 wires going in and 6 going out to the next board. There is no method of distinguishing  one led from another that I can see on Terminator Salvation.

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17900
  • Last login:Today at 01:09:09 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2019, 02:17:54 am »
No it's probably not seeing the entire screen unless you stand 20 feet back.  Even with a super wide angle lens that isn't possible at a reasonable distance from a screen that large.  It can probably see 1/4th of the screen at a time, which is about the same amount a wiimote or something similar can see.  Besides, you are missing my point..... the inexpensive hardware we have to work with is stuff like the Samco and wiimote and it doesn't particularly matter how salvation does it unless it's something that can be replicated with them.  JayBee's firmware is probably the best bet we've got to getting a decent gun with the diy route that'll work a reasonable distance away from the screen. 

Zebra

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 424
  • Last login:Today at 01:02:57 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 03:39:11 pm »
I don't see why the Raw Thrills method couldn't be replicated by someone with the right coding know-how. I.e. The knowledge to use the orientation of the led's to calculate coordinates instead of gun motion in relation to sensor bars.

I think the assumption that it is not possible for a camera to see all the led's mounted around the screen at once is wrong. Even my phone camera can comfortably see all the edges of my 77" OLED from 5 feet away, which is far closer than I would stand for a screen that large. The PS3 eye camera can also see the whole screen from fairly close by.

We also know the Sinden gun apparently works by needing to see all 4 edges of the screen. And, for the Raw Thrills method to work, their gun camera has to be able to see all 12 led's. I don't know what the limitations of the Wii camera are though. Wii remotes are very fussy with distance from the sensor bar. Perhaps there is an alternate option if the Wii camera lens is the limiting factor. Maybe it could use the PS3 eye camera instead?

Or... perhaps there is a way around the problem. If the Raw Thrills gun uses the orientation of the led rectangle to calculate aiming coordinates, the shape is more important than the need to mount led's to the bezel. Maybe a smaller led rectangle could be mounted behind the screen. I believe the led's on Terminator Salvation are mounted above and below the marquee and not around the bezel.




thet0ast3r

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
  • Last login:Today at 01:44:13 pm
  • Chihiro ftw
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 04:22:41 pm »
My guess on the functioning of this system is that it works just like any other (modern) IR gun system out there, but with way more IR leds than needed (12 instead of 4) for better redundancy. Alternatively it could be a setup like the Sega type II IR gun used, which didnt have a traditional camera, but IR leds and a "light direction detection" assembly consisting of 4 photodiodes and a rectangular shutter, which determined the direction of 1 ir led. all the IR leds were flashed separately, and so the type II ir gun didnt even need a camera in the gun. I also assume that this system does not have to see al leds at a time. seeing more than 4 lets should only add redundancy (and probably extra accuracy).

I kinda don`t like the modern taito guns, they seem to have noticeable input lag, which might come from a combination of lcd screens/dlp projector latency, ir camera latency (probably 60 fps) and a little bit of processing latency. 

Also, in most modern lightgun games you have to be at some distance for the guns to work.
@Zebra: yea, the "screen" is not needed at all. for instance, on a 16:9 screen it can be pretty beneficial to mount the leds on the top and bottom; and more in the middle, so that the fov of the camere doesnt have to go to all the way to all edges to see all ir leds, but only 2/3rds or something of the screen.
thet0ast3r

Zebra

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 424
  • Last login:Today at 01:02:57 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2019, 09:36:39 pm »
IR arcade guns definitely don't all operate the same way. The way Raw Thrills IR guns work is described in the Terminator Salvation manual. It's definitely not like the Sega type 2. As I said, they have a camera in the gun that uses the orientation of the led boards (which are covered with a smoked lens) to calculate aiming coordinates.

Raw Thrills led boards have no intelligence or instruction from the IO board. Their only input is 12v DC. I can't see any output.

I have a Sega type 2 set-up at home. I haven't figured out how it works under the hood yet but I can't see any evidence of it lighting led boards individually. I'm not sure where that info came from originally. I thought it was just a guess. Have Sega ever released any concrete info on this? My guess is that it works by sensing proximity to each led board as the tech looks like what you see in motion sensing security lights. There is no camera. Each led board has connections to feed info to the I/O. I.e. It knows which boards the gun is facing and therefore, where you are aiming.

Namco uses at least 4 different HD screen gun technologies. Crisis Zone uses a laser pointer with a camera facing the screen (like the PDP mars). Time Crisis 4 is identical to Sega Type 2 (they are interchangeable). Time Crisis 5 is a new design with 9 wire gun sensors instead of 6. Razing Storm is unique again.

Konami IR guns work like the Guncon 3 with two mounted led clusters mounted on the top corners of the screen. However they work, they use two points of reference instead of one like the Aimtrak and are noticeably more accurate.

So.., there is no "just like any other IR gun".

thet0ast3r

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
  • Last login:Today at 01:44:13 pm
  • Chihiro ftw
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2019, 03:45:39 pm »
So we have some different designs:

1. gun has IR laser pointer, ir camera faces screen: (DPD mars light gun, Crisis zone)
     flaws: how to deal with multiple guns/how to separate the guns, screen has to deflect enough of the laser pointers light to be seen from the IR camera pointing at the screen


2. gun has ir camera installed, ir leds mounted near the screen, facing the gun

    A: gun tracks 2 or less points: wii remote, aimtraks, PS guncon3 ?,  etc...
          flaws: these systems assume (have to assume) you are centered in front of the screen, and after being calibrated, if you move to another position, the gun will be inaccurate
    B: gun tracks 4 or more points: LCD TopGun series, taito arcade guns, etc... (special case, but same principle: sega type II ir guns)
          flaws: -

    flaws: camera fov has to see atleast a) 1/2  or b) 4 or more  points for tracking 


Also, both aimtraks and guncon 3 use 2 points of reference if im not mistaken.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 03:55:46 pm by thet0ast3r »
thet0ast3r

Zebra

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 424
  • Last login:Today at 01:02:57 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2019, 07:54:03 pm »
It's more complicated than that. Using the same type of hardware doesn't make it the same design. It's the method (of calculating coordinates) and the implementation that matters.

The Aimtrak and Wii remote use the same design. They simply track motion in relation to a single point of reference. There is no method of calculating what the gun is pointed at, only how much it moved in related to the led bar. This is why the crosshairs don't line up with your iron sights if you move even a little.

The Guncon 3 appears to use a different design and not just because it uses two led clusters instead of one. Each cluster has 3 led lights facing different directions. My assumption is that this is used to provide data on what direction  the gun is pointing, kinda like a cheaper version of the Sega system. However it works, it is considerably more accurate than an Aimtrak or Wii remote if set up right.

Konami Teraburst guns also use two sensors but each one has 9 LEDs in a square formation (all facing forward). Again, we have no reliable data but my guess is that the orientation of the square led formations are used like on Raw Thrills guns. Interestingly, their guns work way closer to the screen than Wii remotes and Aimtraks.

If we were to break it down by method, you have:

1: Simple motion capture with a gun camera and one point of reference (Aimtrak, Wii)
2: Using a photo diode with intelligent led boards to calculate which direction the gun is facing (Sega, TC4 and possibly Guncon 3)
3: Using a ccd camera with a square or rectangular led formation and using to orientation of the led formation to calculate aiming coordinates (Raw Thrills and possibly Konami guns)
4: Still screen facing camera with a laser pointer in the gun (Crisis Zone, TC3 HD, PDP mars)
5: Camera and laser pointer in the gun plus white box around screen (Sinden)
6: However Time Crisis 5 works (we just know it's different to TC4 and Sega type 2

I've never opened an EMS Topgun 3 or a Taito IR gun so who knows how they use their LEDs...

I think the laser pointer method has the most potential for a low cost accurate gun. Two players is easily achieved with two different color (or different wavelength) laser pointers. Or, worst case, also using two cameras with color filters to make sure each one only saw the appropriate laser pointer. As long as you used an IR laser that's invisible to the naked eye, it would be more accurate than a light gun with no visible crosshairs (or red dot) on screen.

thet0ast3r

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
  • Last login:Today at 01:44:13 pm
  • Chihiro ftw
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 08:32:34 am »
I don`t know why you are so confident that the wiimote and the aimtrak use only 1 light to track their position, when they clearly track TWO, 2.

There even is a test program in the wii software that lets you check if all two light sources of the bar still work.
As for the aimtraks, if you take a look at their pcb-only bar, they also clearly have two independent light sources. There is no system out there that has only one light source.

I still don`t quite get what leaves you thinking that the GC3 has no ir camera in the gun.

I have EMS topguns and they clearly have ir cameras in them. they aren`t even covered or anything, just mounted in the nozzle.

Ill agree that an IR laser pointer should be the most cost effective AND accurate method at the same time, but expanding this system for two or more players is harder, since most people don`t like having multiple visible, colored dots on their screen most of the time.
thet0ast3r

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17900
  • Last login:Today at 01:09:09 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 01:50:15 pm »
I don`t know why you are so confident that the wiimote and the aimtrak use only 1 light to track their position, when they clearly track TWO, 2.

Actually they track up to 4.  The wii/wii u only use two though.  This is well documented online in the wiibrew wiki.  I don't know why people ignore me.  I'm a frikkin programmer, I've wrote software that use the wiimotes.  I've kind of given up steering people in the right direction at this point since they don't want to listen. 

Zebra

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 424
  • Last login:Today at 01:02:57 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Info on how Terminator salvation gun works
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2019, 07:30:09 pm »
I don`t know why you are so confident that the wiimote and the aimtrak use only 1 light to track their position, when they clearly track TWO, 2.

There even is a test program in the wii software that lets you check if all two light sources of the bar still work.
As for the aimtraks, if you take a look at their pcb-only bar, they also clearly have two independent light sources. There is no system out there that has only one light source.

I still don`t quite get what leaves you thinking that the GC3 has no ir camera in the gun.

I have EMS topguns and they clearly have ir cameras in them. they aren`t even covered or anything, just mounted in the nozzle.

Ill agree that an IR laser pointer should be the most cost effective AND accurate method at the same time, but expanding this system for two or more players is harder, since most people don`t like having multiple visible, colored dots on their screen most of the time.

I'm not confident on how any of them work internally beyond what I can see when I open them up and how they perform when used (for the ones I've tried). I'm not positioning myself as an expert. I don't read code like Howard or have any extra access to manufacturers designs. I can just see distinct hardware designs and therefore that they work differently but, for the most part, I don't understand the significance of the differences in hardware.

I currently own an Aimtrak, a Wii with Wii remotes, a Guncon 3 and a Sega type 2 gun set-up. What I know for sure (which ain't much) is that the Guncon 3 is noticeably more accurate than the Wii or Aimtrak and it uses two sensor cubes positioned at each screen edge with 3 LEDs in each, facing in different directions. The Wii and Aimtrak use one sensor bar with 2 or 4 LEDs all facing the same direction. Beyond that it's all just guesses.

The Sega Type 2 / Time Crisis 4 guns are the ones that have sensors instead of a traditional camera. It looks like some kind of photo diode with an IR filter. I'm going through the set up process now for my PC. I don't know how these work either. Just that it uses 10 or 12 led boards with two LEDs on each and that the order matters. I.e. If you mount sensor one in position nine you lose accuracy, Plus, it has 6 cables going in and out of each, which is more than is needed for power. My assumption is that there is a mechanism to sense which LED boards the gun is pointing at. Nothing else makes sense.

Someone here asked Andy at Ultimarc why there isn't a two sensor version of the Aimtrak to make it more accurate. The answer essentially said there was no mechanism for the gun to distinguish two sensor bars from each other so adding a second would make it less accurate. From that, I assume the Guncon 3 must be able to distinguish between the right and left sensor bars so it knows which one you are pointing at, or it would have the same issue.

As far as I know, nobody here has concrete info on how the various arcade IR guns work or, at least not enough to replicate the design for a diy version. If I'm wrong on this, it would make me happy and save me a fortune. I posted the info on the Raw Thrills guns as I thought it might help the guys here who are working on diy IR gun designs.

BTW, The Terminator Salvation method is not my info / guesswork. It's described in Raw Thrills manual. It's clearly a different design to the Sega, Namco, Aimtrak and Wii remote. It uses a simple camera module though so I thought maybe the design could be replicated.