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Author Topic: Paclink from ultimarc please help  (Read 2023 times)

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danyl

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Paclink from ultimarc please help
« on: June 15, 2016, 03:36:16 am »
Just bought a new ipac2 2015 board and I got all the P1, P2 controls working properly only after a 1.32 firmware upgrade using Winpac2 on Windows 10, but the main reason I upgraded from my old ipac is to use this Paclink that I also picked up. Whenever I plug it in via USB to the PC with it set to ps3/360 it goes all crazy like it's hitting every button on a 360 controller all at once non stop. My steam big picture opens up and starts shifting through screens. I have the Xbox 360 wired controller drivers installed. Also the Paclink won't do anything at all if it set to PC mode (xinput) and then plugged in via USB. If anyone can help me out that would be amazing thank you!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 10:23:07 am by danyl »

tkkara

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2016, 07:20:10 am »
Any luck with this issue? I'm having a similar problem.

DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 11:36:44 am »
+ 1.  I gave up on it months ago on my MAME PC.  Was wanting to try it on a newer PC, but just haven't had the time.

Let me know what you guys find.

DeL
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ghibu

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 05:23:42 pm »
+1

it seem like nobody found a solution....
and thanks for the waste of time and money    :banghead:

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 09:00:40 pm »
Andy?
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ghibu

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2017, 04:35:26 am »
Too bad. I am going to make my own hacked gamepad xbox360 .at least it will work for sure.  :-\

DolansCadillac

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 12:28:26 pm »
Yeah, another +1 here. I figure I'd catalog everything I've done so far to get them working since I bought two of them and I'm starting to feel a little burned - I got these specifically because I was really starting to hate the clunkiness of the PS360's I was using for X-Input before. I'm open to any suggestions.

So, starting from literally out-of-the-box: At this point the Pac-Links are not connected to the iPac, and both of their mode switches are set to X360. I have the MS driver for 360 controller support installed. The iPac is running firmware 1.33 that was stock with this iPac (see note 1). My goal is to use the iPac for X-Input only, no keystrokes, directinput not needed. This is on a fresh Windows 7 64-bit install.

- Connected iPac via main USB connection. iPac LED is lit, tested all inputs as keystrokes, all's well, no problems.
- Ran the WinIpac utility and checked the box specified for Pac-Link support and then confirmed that it programmed the iPac with that change. (note 2)
- Unplugged iPac USB connection, attached the P1 Pac-Link, plugged in the Pac-Link's USB connection. (note 3)
- The Pac-Link player 1 LED is lit. I load up my xinput test utility to test.
- The left analog stick readout in the utility shows very erratic numbers when I move the P1 joystick (which is digital). About a second later it stops working altogether.
- No response from any other P1 input in the utility even after reconnection, except the Guide button on the Pac-Link itself.
- Connecting the P2 PacLink causes the button freakout that others have mentioned, as if the P2 Guide button is in a 'normally closed' state. Holding the Guide button down stops the freakout until I let it go, then it resumes.
- I've tried the mode switch button combo that's mentioned to switch from analog stick to d-pad, but it doesn't appear to do anything.

(1) About the firmware, I do see a later version available but I'm not sure which to use, since I can't figure out what's being said on the Ultimarc page regarding Gamepad support. I don't know if that relates to the Pac-Links or not, and whether I should use the version with or without gamepad support (1.34 or 1.44). Does Gamepad refer to directinput support? Which firmware should I be using if I just want X-Input via the Pac-Links?

(2) Some weirdness about that checkbox in the utility: When it's checked and I have the main iPac USB connection plugged in (Pac-Link or no), pressing P1 down (down arrow keystroke) will cause it to repeat forever until I unplug the iPac USB connection. Unchecking that box corrects the problem, and down works normally.

(3) Something I couldn't find an answer on was whether to reconnect the iPac's main USB connection, when using the Pac-Links. I tried everything with and without the USB connection, and there's something weird there - half the time with the Pac-Links attached, the iPac's LED would blink about 15 times and then shut off when the USB is connected.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 01:03:41 pm by DolansCadillac »

TheDotEater

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 12:50:32 pm »
Wow, I'm glad I happened upon this thread. I was literally about to click submit on a purchase of an Ipac 2 with two PACLink adapters. I guess I'll hold off until this issue is resolved.

It's a shame though, I was really hoping this would be the silver bullet that solved all my configuration woes.  :cry:

AndyWarne

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 01:21:31 pm »
Just been made aware of this thread.

We have had a couple of people report via email about the "all buttons pressed" issue, and I have replied by email and not heard back so assume the reply cured the issue.

The issue is this: On an Xbox 360 the "Home" button needs to be pressed after power on, to initialise the controller and the host assigns an ID to it. This is not possible to do, in a cabinet. So, the I-PAC stores a flag at power-up which tells it that no controls have been yet pressed. If the expansion interface is enabled, when the first control is pressed, it "presses" the home button on the PacLink interfaces. Then the host assigns the ID.

This means these cant be hot-plugged. When setting this up, the final configuration needs to be connected with power off, then the PC powered on. After boot is complete the controls can be used and initially the PacLinks will be started and the ID assigned. One of the 4 LEDs should light.

Thsi might be the issue. If its not, I will investigate further.

Andy

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2017, 01:48:18 pm »
Ah, interesting. Thanks Andy, I'll give that a try later. Just to be clear, when I shut down the PC, should I disconnect the main iPac USB cable, or is it still needed if you're just using the Pac-Links?

Also, could you give me some pointers on what firmware (1.34/1.44) to update the iPac with if I just intend to use it only for X-input duty? I'm not too clear on the text on your site re: gamepad support.

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2017, 11:40:16 pm »
Okay, I just figured it out. Took some trial and error but it would appear the issue was with the P1 expansion jack on the iPac itself - both Pac-Links worked without issue when connected solo to the P2 jack, but when either was connected to the P1 jack it caused the weirdness.

What finally fixed it was updating the firmware - I uploaded the 1.44 (no gamepad) version using the utility, then went into device manager and deleted the iPac's entry for USB Composite Device under USB Devices, then rebooted to get the iPac detected (why not), shut down the PC, reconnected a Pac-Link to the P1 jack, unplugged the iPac's USB, started the PC back up and it worked. I've got both connected and they're both reporting properly in the x-input tester (well, apparently I mangled the button assignments, but that I can handle). Might want to give it a try if you haven't already.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 11:47:58 pm by DolansCadillac »

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 11:00:24 am »
Just a note for TheDotEater or anyone who might be put off by this thread, now that I've got them both running and properly configured, I'm definitely happy with them. They certainly don't do any of the annoying things the PS360's I was replacing would (reversing P1 and P2 randomly at boot, slowing down boot time, randomly shutting off, minuscule but still perceptible lag, hilariously terrible firmware update process, etc), and they're much cheaper too. Since the options out there for x-input compatibility are pretty small, you can't beat one that just works the way it should. I've never had issues with any Ultimarc parts before, so I figured whatever the problem was could be fixed.

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 12:55:09 pm »
So in the end, the ipac2 doesn't need to be connected via USB?  Only the 2 paclinks via USB?
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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 01:25:57 pm »
That's right. You can have the iPac's USB connected simultaneously with the Pac-Links (make sure the PC's off first), which you'll need to for any programming, but while it's connected it'll send out keystrokes as well as the gamepad inputs.

TheDotEater

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 04:47:53 pm »
Hey DolansCadillac,

Thanks for getting back to us with your experiences using the PACLink and how you resolved your issues with it, it really helps a great deal. Andy said in his response that, because of the design of the Xbox 360 controller and the assignment of ID's, that the PACLinks can't be hot-plugged. I initially took this to mean you can't swap between sending Xbox 360 inputs and keyboard inputs on the fly. From your post it seems that plugging in both the iPac2 and both PACLinks via USB that both inputs will be sent simultaneously. This is a potential fix for my configuration concerns but I was hoping you could answer a couple follow-up questions.

Currently I have an iPac4 (holdover from when I thought I was going 4 player cab) in my cabinet and it's been working great for me thus far. I chose the iPac because I specifically wanted keyboard input on MAME and all my emulators. For more finicky systems such as the Taito Type X I just reprogram the iPac from command line to that game's specific bindings on launch and set it back to default on exit. However, I've recently begun adding specific Steam games that I feel are well suited to play on my cabinet. For the most part, PC games do a decent job of having bindable key inputs. For the games that do not, the same method used for Taito Type X games works well enough. However, I have two problems with this approach. It makes playability difficult on account of the fact that any on screen prompts are of what key an action is bound to and unless you have your iPac profile memorized you're left sussing out the controls each time you play. Additionally, I have LED buttons and creating context lighting for controls must be done on a per game basis through LEDBlinky.

My solution to this problem was to try and find a universal control solution to playing Steam games. This, naturally, brought me to the conclusion that I need to somehow get Xbox 360 controller support on my cab using arcade controls. Since the iPac4 supports gamepad input I thought I may be able to use any one of the various pieces of software that translate gamepad input to Xinput. However, since the iPac4 is recognized as a single device getting it to register as two separate controllers was not possible. I gave up on it for awhile but just a couple days ago I started researching again and came across the PACLink. All of this brings me here...

So, a couple of questions:

1) Having all three plugged in (the iPac2 and both PACLinks) are the PACLinks registered as two separate input devices with their own unique ID's and the iPac2 is still registered as a single device?

2) Are you able to program the iPac with a profile that does not have the PACLinks enabled then reprogram it with the profile that does have it enabled without a restart of your PC?

Sorry for the long winded post and thanks again for your help.

DolansCadillac

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2017, 05:18:13 pm »
Oh no problem, I'm still thrilled about finally being able to kick the PS360s to the curb, so I'm happy to help if I can.

1) Yes to all of that. Although as I said, any input to the P1/P2 switches will mirror on the iPac and the respective player's "gamepad" when both interfaces are connected. The Pac-Links are hardwired to trigger via specific keys - Player 1 button X is always triggered by Left Shift, P1 Y is always Ctrl, etc.

2) It doesn't look like it, although I could be wrong. The only mention of the Pac-Link expansions in the WinIPac utility seems to be the checkbox you use to enable the expansion jacks, which itself is tucked away to a different tab from the rest of the programming interface. Whether that can be toggled via script, I've no idea. Personally I go about it the opposite way to what you're suggesting, I think - when I need an x-input interface to do keystrokes for games without gamepad support (Hydorah, for instance), I'll configure a profile for it in Joy2Key, I find it's usually the least amount of hassle.

TheDotEater

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2017, 06:05:04 pm »
Yeah, it probably would be easier to use Xinput by default and account for the exceptions seeing how most emulators support Xinput. My personal preference however has always been to use keyboard input wherever possible. This isn't an issue anywhere except for Steam games where I wish to have the universal control scheme provided by Xinput. If the iPac in conjunction with the PACLinks sends simultaneous keyboard and Xinput inputs upon button press then this shouldn't be an issue for me provided my emulator configurations don't register said Xinput inputs. So, conceptually at least, this should serve my purposes well regardless of whether or not I can reprogram the iPac with profiles that disable the Xinput commands. Although if my understanding is correct the key presses that register an Xinput command in the PAClink are non-configurable so it will likely require a full reprogramming of all my configurations. This is a cost I am willing to pay if it addresses this issue although potential performance hit of registering two simultaneous inputs is a bit of a concern.

The only question that lingers at this point is whether I can switch between digital and left analog configurations without manual inputs. Since I use RocketLauncher in conjunction with Hyperspin as my front-end I assume I can create an ahk script to send those commands for mode switching prior to launch of the game where necessary. Although this is something that I won't know for sure unless I can test it myself.

At any rate, I think this has given me the confidence necessary to take the $80+ plunge and find out for myself. It's not like this hobby is cheap or anything. It will probably take awhile as I have a lot of time-sensitive projects at work prohibiting me from spending as much time on this as I'd like but I plan on updating this thread with my experiences in the case that someone in my predicament happens upon this thread.

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2017, 11:03:03 am »
... this shouldn't be an issue for me provided my emulator configurations don't register said Xinput inputs.
One alarm that went off for me here is you might want to consider the reverse - games where you want to use x-input exclusively, but the game can't be configured to ignore the corresponding keystrokes generated by the iPac. I could name a few off hand that would probably give you issues here. Some of the Pac-Link hard key bindings are outside the usual MAME setup - for instance, player 2's back button is bound to F11, which in a few games I can think of toggles fullscreen / window.

Quote
The only question that lingers at this point is whether I can switch between digital and left analog configurations without manual inputs.
I'm not sure about that. By the looks of things it's handled by the Pac-Link and not the iPac (via a shift button combo, P1 start + a direction). I don't think the iPac is aware of which control is being used (stick or d-pad), the Pac-Link just listens for it to send out a particular keycode and then adjusts the active control, but I may be wrong.

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2017, 11:17:47 am »
I think I may have actually found my solution. For MAME and other emulators I can continue to use my current default iPac profile, or even create a new one with minimal overlap with PACLink hard key bindings. Again, this shouldn't matter as these emulators aren't configured to register Xinput. Then for Steam games I am already running AHK scripts when my Steam games launch, I can just modify my existing scripts to ignore all key input or more likely just the offending keys. So this way, even though I'm sending both key and Xinput commands I'm ignoring key inputs. Unfortunately it does appear there is no way to switch modes without manual input. I thought the PACLink had separate key bindings for d-pad and left analog but it appears they both work off of the same inputs and the mode the PACLink is in determines which fires. This hopefully shouldn't be a concern for the majority of my Steam games. For the more finicky games I may find success using something along the lines of UJR or the like. It's not a 100% perfect solution but it's darn close.

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2017, 04:11:30 pm »
hello,


Ok it  seem that someone found  a solution to get the paclink to work.

i will give them a second chance because  i really think it could be  a good solution but before to retry i would like to ask a few question

@DolansCadillac


Sorry because english is not my mother tongue, i don't know if i really understand everithing that you wrote.

1)
Does the paclinks could be hot-unpluged - hot-plugged ?
i ask you this question because  i create  my own cab and sometime, i need to remove my pannel and to unplugged the cables (usb)


2)
did you succeed to switch between analog and digital modes?

3)
which firmware do i need exactly ? i attach a picture from the archive  i download,  it would be a real help    :applaud:

(i don't  know  how to show an image directly sorry)


and thank you in advance...   ;D






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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2017, 04:57:41 pm »
No problem, hope this clears it up:

1. Hot-plugging is a definite no. Andy mentioned the reason in his post earlier, but the short version is that the PC must be off when the cables are connected, or it will trigger the 'repeating guide button' result.

2. Actually haven't bothered to test that since I did the firmware update, but I don't see why it wouldn't work now. I'll try it out.

3. The version I used was IPAC2_144_noGC.ufw , seemed to do the trick.

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2017, 05:17:02 pm »
Thank you very much DolansCadillac fot the fast reply !   :applaud:

i saw this revision of the firmware but i hesitate to use it because  i had fear to make the ipac inoperable if  i was mistaken.

the second reason was  the name "noGC" in the name of this firmware.  ( no game controller  :dunno ) but paclink are supposed to replace Game controller no?


did  you try to play steam games whith 2 players (2 paclinks) : games such as  doa5 or MK x or else ultra street fighter, guilty  gear XRD sign,  ?

i own these games and it is why  i bought these paclinks!

hope it work whith my next try to make them work!    :D

thank you for the help!


ghibu


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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2017, 05:30:01 pm »
Sure thing man, happy to help. Yeah I wasn't sure about that firmware either, since the language on Ultimarc's site about gamepad support is somewhat unclear. I think it's referring to programming the iPac to pass DirectInput commands instead of keystrokes, which I'm not interested in. At any rate, my PC thinks there's two 360 controllers connected at all times, which is exactly what I wanted.
 
As to your second question, I own all those games as well (other than DOA5) and they all work, I've tested with two players in each without any issues. My experience is that if it works in MKX, it'll work everywhere, that game is finnicky.

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2017, 05:46:52 pm »
Hey! thank you again  DolansCadillac!  :applaud:

You gave me a new hope!

i will try to make  them to work again and  i'll give  you my opinion.

bye!

 ;)

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2017, 07:26:08 pm »
Hello dudes  :D

I finally got paclinks to work!

First, i have upgrade the firmware, (1.44_noGC). Then i reprogramm the key binding because like a real joypad, keys are hardcoded, so i remaped the keys of my ipac2 using the table that can be found on the ultimarc website.

Then, i powered off the pc.

I pluged the 2 paclink on the ipac and unpluged the ipac usb cāble.
I powered on the pc

But i remember having experimented the weairdness like someone is pushing quickly on all button of the controller.

From the control pannel of windows i was going to the controller settings and saw that it'like controller were crazy.  :dunno

So, i recalibrate each controllers and it stop to be mad..

At this point. I would like to test the buttons but they were not good for my configuration so i retry to bind the keys using winipac (need to poweroff the pc and pluged the usb ipac side).

So , to sumarize: (because i wrote from my phone) ;p,

It work very well but i experiment some weairdness....

Sometimes my controller 2 become my controller1  :hissy:
One time, none of my controllers (stick direction only) would not want to work.. i have to rebbot my pc to fix it.....   :dunno
And i don't know yet how could i switch from analog to digital on the fly (but one time i had my 2 paclinks set in analog but i really don't know how i have done it. And after a reboot i think, i it has roll back to digital.  Really weaird....   :o

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2017, 12:24:53 pm »
But i remember having experimented the weairdness like someone is pushing quickly on all button of the controller.
That's odd, that's what mine was doing before I upgraded the firmware, after that it was fine. One thing to try if you haven't done it already, go to Device Manager, and remove the USB Composite Device entry for the iPac, under USB devices. After a reboot (with the iPac's USB cable connected) it'll re-detect and re-create it with the new firmware's parameters (read that on Ultimarc's site).
Quote
Sometimes my controller 2 become my controller1  :hissy:
Yeah I've seen that too, specifically in anything using DirectInput, like the frontend I use (Attract-Mode) - it gets confused sometimes about which is device #0 and which is #1. I got around it in that case by duplicating the inputs for P1 and P2. I figure if I run any older games that use DI instead of X-Input I'll just configure them to use keyboard only, and set up a Joy2Key profile. I haven't seen it switch controllers on an X-Input game yet though, fingers crossed.
Quote
And i don't know yet how could i switch from analog to digital on the fly (but one time i had my 2 paclinks set in analog but i really don't know how i have done it. And after a reboot i think, i it has roll back to digital.  Really weaird....   :o
Yeah, that is weird. Personally I can't get the control mode swap hotkey to work at all, but like you I tried it after moving inputs around in the programming utility, so I'm guessing I broke the hotkey assignment or something. Thankfully I haven't run into any cases yet where having it set as P1 analog left is a problem.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 12:59:37 pm by DolansCadillac »

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2017, 08:23:50 pm »
Okay, I just figured it out. Took some trial and error but it would appear the issue was with the P1 expansion jack on the iPac itself - both Pac-Links worked without issue when connected solo to the P2 jack, but when either was connected to the P1 jack it caused the weirdness.

What finally fixed it was updating the firmware - I uploaded the 1.44 (no gamepad) version using the utility, then went into device manager and deleted the iPac's entry for USB Composite Device under USB Devices, then rebooted to get the iPac detected (why not), shut down the PC, reconnected a Pac-Link to the P1 jack, unplugged the iPac's USB, started the PC back up and it worked. I've got both connected and they're both reporting properly in the x-input tester (well, apparently I mangled the button assignments, but that I can handle). Might want to give it a try if you haven't already.

How did you map the buttons? Every time I click to map a Button, it goes back to keys. I wish they had more detailed and thorough instructions on ultimarc site.

DolansCadillac

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Re: Paclink from ultimarc please help
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2017, 05:02:58 pm »
In my case I just re-wired the button leads to the iPac, seemed to be the most painless method. I traced each button hit to whatever input responded in my x-input tester utility, and then just re-configured to match the button layout I'm using. If you're getting keystrokes, my first guess would be that you've still got the USB connection plugged in - you only need the Pac-Link cables hooked up to the PC via USB, not the iPac's USB connection itself.

And yeah, agree completely about the instructions. Just checked and they appear to be unchanged since back in January when I was trying to get them sorted. Good news is they're still working perfectly.

  
 

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