Wow, thanks for that link BadMouth. You mean I could ditch the little spinning wheel altogether?
Yup. And the boards that go with them.
I guess all I would have to do is count the number of little openings on the original encoder wheel to see what the original count was right? As long as I aim for that and don't change the gear ratio between the wheel and the encoder things should "feel" relatively the way they are supposed to???
I wouldn't bother going to all that work. I'd ditch the gears altogether and just couple a higher count encoder directly to the steering shaft.
I'd just buy whatever encoders I can get the cheapest then use the sensitivity settings in MAME to adjust them until they feel right.
If you want to work out the math, there were apparently two different gearing setups used.
Since the BYOAC Wiki is down, here it is from the MAME driving game spreadsheet from the stickied noob thread:
a) 154.286 OR b) 164.57
a) 60 teeth on the steering wheel shaft, meshes with a 14 tooth gear on the encoder shaft, which has 36 teeth (slots?) on its encoder wheel b) 96 teeth on steering wheel shaft, to 14 tooth gear on encoder shaft, which has 24 teeth on encoder wheel.
I think that means 154 or 165 pulses per revolution, but it's been so long since I looked at it I'm not sure anymore.
I'd still go for a higher count encoder and adjust it in MAME.
(or stick with the original setup if you can work it out for a decent price)