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Author Topic: 4 player Pedestal using existing media center as base  (Read 5258 times)

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KenToad

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4 player Pedestal using existing media center as base
« on: May 01, 2017, 11:36:15 am »
I'm back posting on BYOAC forums after a roughly ten year hiatus. I still have my old Williams multicade bartop with modular panels that I made in 2005. It still works great, but I've got the bug to make a free standing piece of furniture that can serve as a place for my kids and their friends to play some games, as well as watch TV and movies.

So I've been contemplating options for this thing. One of the biggest considerations is monitor. Getting the best-sized monitor/TV that isn't too laggy is highest priority at the moment. I was thinking maybe a 40-inch LED would work, but I'm worried about input lag. My kids probably won't notice, but I likely will. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Beyond that, I haven't decided if I want to mount the TV on the wall and go pedestal or make a wide slim cab  that would potentially make certain viewing angles from the couch less than ideal.

I'll post concept pics in a bit. I need to build this thing in June when my kids and wife will be travelling. Here is a link to my old project thread, if you're curious about my bartop that I'm basically trying to replace.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,37665.0.html
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 04:19:04 pm by KenToad »
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jimmyfloyd

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 04:34:34 pm »
Good luck with the new build and can't wait to see the concept. I've seen your original thread and it is one of my springtime goals to do something similar to that.

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 07:31:57 pm »
hey Ken welcome back. I remember talking to you long ago here.

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 05:50:10 am »
Usually putting the TV in game mode really helps with the input lag. I've never noticed it.

KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 10:26:26 am »
hey Ken welcome back. I remember talking to you long ago here.

Thanks, Nivo! I remember talking to you, too. And I see that you've got a new bartop project in the works. It looks cool. And I'm really impressed by how popular bartops seem to have become lately. I guess with Led monitors and TV's getting inexpensive and things like Raspberry Pi's, it was inevitable. 
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 10:33:54 am »
Usually putting the TV in game mode really helps with the input lag. I've never noticed it.

I have a 50 inch Samsung and, even in game mode, playing Super Mario World just feels off, as in you can't jump at the very edge of a ledge because you'll miss the jump and fall off. You can tell the difference between when you play it on a CRT.

My Raspberry Pi 3 also seems to be even worse with input lag. Maybe I'm imagining it.
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KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 10:44:58 am »
I can't seem to figure out how to link an image from the image thread to here, so I'll just attach it again.

Anyway, this cab was made by ArcadesRFun. It's definitely over the top. I would never pay $5,000 or whatever they're asking for this type of setup, but conceptually I think this type of design could work both as a cab and a media center. One of the challenges is that you don't want the TV to be too small or it's no fun sitting on the couch and you don't want the TV to be too big because then it's like you're watching a tennis match instead of playing games.

I'm thinking that the 40-inch may be the sweet spot. I saw another thread on here asking about these cabs and some of the more experienced guys replying that they thought that the monitor was way too big. I think I might just get the TV and test out the distances. I'm also concerned about the angle of viewing for the people on the couch. I might need to set up a swivel system so that I can tilt it back for arcade controls and tilt it forward for viewing from the couch, if that makes sense.
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KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 10:47:10 am »
Good luck with the new build and can't wait to see the concept. I've seen your original thread and it is one of my springtime goals to do something similar to that.

Cool! Can't wait to see what you put together.
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Mike A

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 01:28:12 pm »
You can't do both. It will suck at both jobs.

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 08:52:30 pm »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017, 06:12:28 am »
That is good advice.

KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2017, 06:46:51 pm »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?

A fair point. Really this is exactly the conundrum that I've been mulling over: Can I make a functional cab with a screen that can be comfortably viewed from the couch for other media purposes?

The thing that I don't like about a modular pedestal is that they have to be set up. I can just imagine my kids asking me to bring out the pedestal. Put it back, etc. I just want something fixed in place that's relatively foolproof. Whether or not the CP will be a huge distraction for watching media or playing consoles is sort of the big question. I guess I might have to try it out with a TV and a mocked up CP.
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 07:05:46 pm »
how about adding a 2nd display and simply output a movie to it from the cab? You keep the cab wherever you choose and output somewhere else in the room to the chosen display for the movie(s).  They do make wireless video transmitters as well should cable runs be impossible. Or a smart tv has options. NAS setup to play movies, etc etc.

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2017, 03:35:16 pm »
Wont work as a media center man, your best bet to use it as its intended, as an arcade cabinet.  What will piss you off is wanting to play a game and somebody is tied up watching Sing or Trolls.  If anything it could double as jukebox for parties, but not a movie theater.

I'd get a Pi or smart TV and stream movies from a server to a 50"-60" tv on a wall.

There's also been the debate of a 40" TV being too much TV for such a short viewing distance.  Max I'd do is 32".

   

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a1pharm

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017, 08:22:06 pm »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?

This is perfect advice.  I build my cab to do everything, and intended to use it as a media center of sorts.  Long story short, the angle of the monitor, the height of the monitor, and the joysticks make the TV viewing experience craptastic.  Either make a pedestal or a stand alone.  Don't rely on a stand alone cab to do much of anything useful aside from playing games.  You'll be disappointed if you do, trust me!

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2017, 08:37:18 pm »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?

This is perfect advice.  I build my cab to do everything, and intended to use it as a media center of sorts.  Long story short, the angle of the monitor, the height of the monitor, and the joysticks make the TV viewing experience craptastic.  Either make a pedestal or a stand alone.  Don't rely on a stand alone cab to do much of anything useful aside from playing games.  You'll be disappointed if you do, trust me!
Thank you, I'm not trying to be a cabsole, but I think it's pretty clear you're going to either need a low built arcade cabinet, or a couch that's really high to have good viewing angles. Just build the pedestal and forget about the Moviecade.
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2017, 09:49:53 am »
Moviecade???

Just stick a projector out of the back of the arcade machine and angle it against the wall... boom! Moviecade!
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Ian

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2017, 09:51:08 am »
You can't do both. It will suck at both jobs.

Like those combo charcoal/gas grills.... two proven grills split in two and combined to give you a small crappy charcoal grill and a small crappy gas grill.

 ???
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KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2017, 08:09:30 pm »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?

This is perfect advice.  I build my cab to do everything, and intended to use it as a media center of sorts.  Long story short, the angle of the monitor, the height of the monitor, and the joysticks make the TV viewing experience craptastic.  Either make a pedestal or a stand alone.  Don't rely on a stand alone cab to do much of anything useful aside from playing games.  You'll be disappointed if you do, trust me!

I checked out your cab build. Very cool. So you never hooked any old consoles to it? I'm also in Wisconsin, Milwaukee area, by the way.
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KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2017, 08:23:52 pm »
Wont work as a media center man, your best bet to use it as its intended, as an arcade cabinet.  What will piss you off is wanting to play a game and somebody is tied up watching Sing or Trolls.  If anything it could double as jukebox for parties, but not a movie theater.

I'd get a Pi or smart TV and stream movies from a server to a 50"-60" tv on a wall.

There's also been the debate of a 40" TV being too much TV for such a short viewing distance.  Max I'd do is 32".

Thanks for your thoughts. I recently had the opportunity to play on a candy cab. Maybe I'm just imagining it, but it seemed at least as big as a 40" in 4:3 mode. My kids will play literally inches from our 50" upstairs if I let them. And that's on a PS3 in widescreen.

Anyway, I really do appreciate the thoughts. The cab would be primarily an arcade cab and I would not use lighted controls. I would also use a mounting solution that would allow the TV to be easily tilted.

Man, back in 2006 I remember people saying that my bartop didn't have room for two people and that I should have made it single player only. Now there are cottage industries around two player bartops.

So yeah, size, angle, position, I'm definitely going to mock this up before building it.
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KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2017, 08:36:17 pm »
how about adding a 2nd display and simply output a movie to it from the cab? You keep the cab wherever you choose and output somewhere else in the room to the chosen display for the movie(s).  They do make wireless video transmitters as well should cable runs be impossible. Or a smart tv has options. NAS setup to play movies, etc etc.

This is a great idea and I would do it, but I'm running out of space. Also, I like the idea of a multipurpose cab.
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2017, 07:53:01 am »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?

This is perfect advice.  I build my cab to do everything, and intended to use it as a media center of sorts.  Long story short, the angle of the monitor, the height of the monitor, and the joysticks make the TV viewing experience craptastic.  Either make a pedestal or a stand alone.  Don't rely on a stand alone cab to do much of anything useful aside from playing games.  You'll be disappointed if you do, trust me!

I checked out your cab build. Very cool. So you never hooked any old consoles to it? I'm also in Wisconsin, Milwaukee area, by the way.

I am from Milwaukee as well! This is a good thread.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 05:34:18 pm by Ian »
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2017, 09:34:31 am »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?

This is perfect advice.  I build my cab to do everything, and intended to use it as a media center of sorts.  Long story short, the angle of the monitor, the height of the monitor, and the joysticks make the TV viewing experience craptastic.  Either make a pedestal or a stand alone.  Don't rely on a stand alone cab to do much of anything useful aside from playing games.  You'll be disappointed if you do, trust me!

I am from Milwaukee as well! This is a good thread.
I checked out your cab build. Very cool. So you never hooked any old consoles to it? I'm also in Wisconsin, Milwaukee area, by the way.

Another Ian in Milwaukee who posts on BYOAC? That's crazy. ;)
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2017, 05:34:55 pm »
I thought your name was Toad? or Ken?...  ;D
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2017, 10:13:51 pm »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?

This is perfect advice.  I build my cab to do everything, and intended to use it as a media center of sorts.  Long story short, the angle of the monitor, the height of the monitor, and the joysticks make the TV viewing experience craptastic.  Either make a pedestal or a stand alone.  Don't rely on a stand alone cab to do much of anything useful aside from playing games.  You'll be disappointed if you do, trust me!

I am from Milwaukee as well! This is a good thread.
I checked out your cab build. Very cool. So you never hooked any old consoles to it? I'm also in Wisconsin, Milwaukee area, by the way.

Another Ian in Milwaukee who posts on BYOAC? That's crazy. ;)

Wow, I'm about 40 min from Milwaukee.  Maybe we need to meet up at Lakefront for some beers...

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2017, 01:39:31 pm »
Just mount the TV on the wall, build a pedestal you can wheel out of the way when you want to watch movies, and do it that way. Seriously, who wants to sit in front of an arcade cabinet for 2 hours watching Star Wars with those joysticks in the way?

This is perfect advice.  I build my cab to do everything, and intended to use it as a media center of sorts.  Long story short, the angle of the monitor, the height of the monitor, and the joysticks make the TV viewing experience craptastic.  Either make a pedestal or a stand alone.  Don't rely on a stand alone cab to do much of anything useful aside from playing games.  You'll be disappointed if you do, trust me!

I am from Milwaukee as well! This is a good thread.
I checked out your cab build. Very cool. So you never hooked any old consoles to it? I'm also in Wisconsin, Milwaukee area, by the way.

Another Ian in Milwaukee who posts on BYOAC? That's crazy. ;)

Wow, I'm about 40 min from Milwaukee.  Maybe we need to meet up at Lakefront for some beers...
Absolutely, I'd be happy to meet up there and have a beer.  I'm in Shorewood, literally half a block from the city line, so that's not far at all.

In project news, I just ordered a 40" TV for about 200 bucks. It's a dumb TV, Sceptre brand. I couldn't find out too much about lag or viewing angles. However, it is 1080p and has a vga input, which I love. All the reviews say the picture is good but the sound is bad. I'll be hooking it up to external speakers anyway.

I should get it next week and start testing input lag and acceptable viewing distances and angles. If it seems to work, I'll use its dimensions to start designing a cabinet around my specific gaming/media requirements. Or maybe I'll just find out that I need to go pedestal, as several of you have suggested.

In 4:3 mode, it seems to be nearly identically proportioned to a 32" CRT, so I'm hopeful that I can make this work.
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2017, 03:13:22 pm »
I think we need definitely need to discuss the plans for this cabinet at lakefront...  :cheers:

I am in the South Side of Milwaukee by Bayview.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 03:16:41 pm by Ian »
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2017, 12:01:21 pm »
Yes, sounds like the meetup at Lakefront will happen. Someone suggest a time.

In project news, my off brand not smart 40-inch LED TV is here. So far so good. The size is perfect, at least for me. The couch isn't too far from where the TV will be mounted in the cabinet. I'd say 7-8 feet max from eyes to screen, fully reclined. Viewing movies and TV will be a secondary feature, so this works for me. My kids watched our old 26" from this couch, so this is an upgrade. The picture is pretty good. I can get decently close without eye strain or feeling like I'm going to get simulator sickness.

For its primary purpose, I'm detecting just the tiniest bit of lag. I've tested both on my old bartop through VGA and through HDMI with my raspberry pie 3. One weird thing is that the TV seems unable to change aspect ratio. I don't know if this will be an issue for any emulators or hyperspin. Anyone have any experience? I guess the suckiest part is that my hyperspin themes are almost all 4:3, so I will have to go and find suitable widescreen alternatives. nvm I'm an idiot. It's a menu option. Not ideal, but works.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 01:09:05 pm by KenToad »
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2017, 06:38:03 am »
Instead of a large pedestal you could make a detachable control panel on the wall below the tv, and put a small pc inside.

Might work better on smaller screens though :)

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2017, 02:45:36 pm »
For the CP, I'm planning to go full on 4 foot wide frankenpanel with 2 spinners and a trackball.

I'm NOT interested in LED lighting, trigger grips/flight sticks, 4 way controls, analog joysticks, 270 degree steering wheels or tons of admin buttons.

For the spinners and trackball, what do people like? I'm thinking of just getting Groovy Game Gear stuff. Usually, I like RandyT's products. I haven't tried any non-original arcade spinners (besides my own), though.

Speaking of 2 spinners and a trackball, I assume that they will play nice together, ie that I will have 2 mice in Windows that can be recognized and remapped by MAME and other emulators? In other words, how easy is it to setup a trackball interface as a first mouse and 2 spinners as a second mouse? Anyone who has experience or researched this topic, tell me what I should buy.

I'm also going back and forth on whether I should have graphics or a theme. It's a piece of furniture (media center with arcade cab shape), so I would think abstract art would be the way to go. I want to do a CP overlay just for the tactile benefit (much prefer the feel of vinyl as opposed to resting your palms on plexiglass or a painted surface) and being able to label buttons and sort the controls.
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2017, 02:49:28 pm »
Spinner is only one axis.  You can have one connected to the trackball X axis, and the other to your trackball Y, and frankly run all of them off one mouse input. 

Unless for some reason you need them to operate independently from each other.

 

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2017, 02:50:31 pm »
Just for Off The Wall. And maybe Warlords.  :cheers:

*Edit* I'm not even sure if MAME supports 2 spinners and the X axis of a trackball for 3 player Off the Wall, probably does.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 03:04:24 pm by KenToad »
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2017, 03:12:57 pm »
Ah, well, if you're determined that someday, somehow you're going to get 2 other people interested in playing Off the Wall, then my solution won't work.


KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2017, 03:55:10 pm »
Maybe I'll message RandyT to see what he thinks of the setup.

Does everyone like Groovy Game Gear spinners and​ trackballs​?
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2017, 04:52:41 pm »
I can speak for the TurboTwist2 spinner. I love it, slim design(no bigger than button hole) and the weighted spin is spot on. Nothing to complain about. The light kit for the trackball works awesome as well.

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2017, 05:08:06 pm »
Just for Off The Wall. And maybe Warlords.  :cheers:

*Edit* I'm not even sure if MAME supports 2 spinners and the X axis of a trackball for 3 player Off the Wall, probably does.
The answer you're looking for comes in two parts:

1. Two Optiwiz boards with different ID numbers - one for trackball and the other for the spinners.

You can't piggy-back optical axis data lines because optical encoders translate the high-low transitions of the quadrature waveforms on the data lines into mouse movements.

If you piggy-backed two data lines (i.e. trackball X-axis A and spinner X-axis A), I'm not sure if high would beat low, low would beat high, or if they would average together preventing the encoder from reliably detecting a clean transition between high and low.   :dunno

All three piggy-back possibilities = fail.



2. Multimouse enabled in mame.ini.

Does everyone like Groovy Game Gear spinners and​ trackballs​?
The TT2 is the best arcade-style control I've ever used.   ;D


Scott

KenToad

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2017, 06:39:34 pm »
Awesome! Perfect answers. I will order some stuff from GGG soon.
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2017, 02:03:35 pm »
Do any of you guys have the premium knob for Turbo Twist 2? If so, do you adjust the tension much?

Anyone have a GGG trackball or a link to a review?
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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2017, 03:24:05 pm »
dont have the premium knob, just the regular black one. Never had to fiddle with the set screw. I did make my own knob out of solid aluminum but havent mounted it yet. I dont foresee any trouble though.

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Re: 4 player Cabinet for games and media
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2017, 01:58:50 am »
These are the modular panels that I will be cannibalizing for this project. They have served me well over the years, but I've grown tired of storing extra control configurations. Also, I'm looking forward to upgrading to Turbotwist spinners and a trackball. In other news, I think I'm going to take the advice of the majority and make a pedestal. It seems to offer many advantages. It's​ a smaller building project and I can mount the TV on the wall and just build the pedestal under it. I want the lower part of the pedestal to be shelves for consoles and storage for USB converted original controllers. I just hope my carpentry skills are up to the challenge.
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