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Author Topic: Pedals for a 360 degree wheel cab?  (Read 607 times)

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stevepax

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Pedals for a 360 degree wheel cab?
« on: November 15, 2018, 03:31:44 pm »
So, I'm still working on my racing cab with a Logitech g29 wheel with pedals and full 6 sped shifter. I'm putting on several of the classic MAME, Model 2, and Model 3 games we all played back then.

I'm now thinking my next step is another system where I use an arcade spinner as a 360 degree wheel. I want pole position, Super Off Road, and stuff like that.

What do I use for pedals in a system like that? Or high/low shifters, etc, for games that need them?

I have built arcade systems and virtual pinball machines before, so I get how all this works, I'm just not sure what hardware to use with a 360 wheel.

BadMouth

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Re: Pedals for a 360 degree wheel cab?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2018, 09:08:38 pm »
Try and find original analog (potentiometer based) pedals.  Short of that, make your own or use PC ones hacked into a gamepad or .
If this is going in the same cab, you can just use the G29 ones.
Analog pedals are needed for a few important games like Pole Position.  It's pretty much unplayable without an analog gas pedal.
Stay away from the ones that just use an on/off microswitch.

The best hi/lo shifter is an original one.  These stay in place unlike the up/down sequential shifters on modern games.
To save money they only put one switch in them.  If you weren't in hi, then the game would default to low.
Problem is that there was no consistency as to which side they put the switch on.  So you'll have to add a second switch or use the NC tab on the switch that is there.
Using the NC tab  will work, but that button will always register as being pressed so you'll also have to add a bypass to turn it off while mapping other controls.
MAME also had to be configured in a specific way to work with the original shifter.  The default is to treat it as a toggle that's activated and deactivated by pressing the same button.
See the driving cab info thread stickied at the top of this forum.  If you weren't worried about the full experience, you could just have a shift button and use MAME as is.

I'd also recommend an original wheel.  They usually aren't that expensive used and are built to survive abuse.  Make sure it comes with the optical boards and then interface it with the PC using an Opti-Pac.
Opti-Wiz is another option, but it only works with "active-low" controls.  Most original controls are active low, but if you end up with one of the oddballs that was active high, the Opti-Pac can be configured to work with that as well.
I haven't kept up with new devices being offered.  IIRC, Ultimarc might have a device that can be configured to handle both the optical steering wheel and analog pedals.
Do a search on the forums as to what active high and active low mean....or maybe PL1 will take the time to explain.  :)


PL1

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Re: Pedals for a 360 degree wheel cab?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2018, 10:20:37 pm »
Do a search on the forums as to what active high and active low mean....or maybe PL1 will take the time to explain.  :)
Here's the short version:

- With an "active high" device, when you apply logic high (usually 5v) to an input, it triggers the related output.
-- Example:  A ZD encoder has a 5v daisy-chain on the outer pin row and individual inputs on the inner row -- easy to see on the near edge of the PCB in this photo. (click photo for full-size)
-- It's easy to confirm that the daisy-chain is 5v with a multimeter.


- With an "active low" device, when you apply logic low (ground) to an input, it triggers the related output.
-- Example:  I-Pac encoder  input ports have a built-in "pullup" resistor that keeps the port voltage at logic high when ground is not applied to the port. (i.e. when the related button is not pushed)
-- It's easy to confirm that the daisy-chain is ground with a multimeter.


Scott

stevepax

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Re: Pedals for a 360 degree wheel cab?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2018, 10:55:42 pm »
Try and find original analog (potentiometer based) pedals.  Short of that, make your own or use PC ones hacked into a gamepad or .
If this is going in the same cab, you can just use the G29 ones.
Analog pedals are needed for a few important games like Pole Position.  It's pretty much unplayable without an analog gas pedal.
Stay away from the ones that just use an on/off microswitch.

Wait, make my own pedals? That sounds like exactly what I want to do. Any idea if there is a tutorial out there for this? Or a specific potentiometer I should use? 10k? 5k? Something else? (I don't actually know much about potentiometer except what they look like...)

BadMouth

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Re: Pedals for a 360 degree wheel cab?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2018, 10:51:24 am »
Try and find original analog (potentiometer based) pedals.  Short of that, make your own or use PC ones hacked into a gamepad or .
If this is going in the same cab, you can just use the G29 ones.
Analog pedals are needed for a few important games like Pole Position.  It's pretty much unplayable without an analog gas pedal.
Stay away from the ones that just use an on/off microswitch.

Wait, make my own pedals? That sounds like exactly what I want to do. Any idea if there is a tutorial out there for this? Or a specific potentiometer I should use? 10k? 5k? Something else? (I don't actually know much about potentiometer except what they look like...)

I haven't seen any tutorials (your google is as good as mine).  I'm sure plenty of people have build their own pedals.

What potentiometer you use might depend on what interface you are using.
Some cheap gamepads might require 10k pots.

The ultimarc interface will work with any.  Never used the ultimarc interface, but based on tinkering with other interfaces, the higher the ohms, the smoother the response.  Original arcade 5k ones had a tendency to take steps; the computer would detect the pedal moving in chunks instead of one smooth motion.  It shouldn't happen in theory, but that was my experience.

The original Happ pedals used a fan gear.  You want to use as much of the potentiometer's travel as possible.
If you have a 3D printer, you could print a fan gear that attaches to the back edge of a pedal and spins a pinion gear on the potentiometer.
...or there's probably some way to do it with a rack and pinion.

If you're just going for the old scool simple pedal like was on super off road, it will be a lot easier than realistic sim style pedals.
Basically just a block with a hinge on the front, spring underneath, and some way to spin the potentiometer as the pedal  moves up and down. 



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Re: Pedals for a 360 degree wheel cab?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2018, 05:05:44 pm »
One other thing to look for in a potentiometer is that it is rated for "long life" like an Allen Bradley or a Honeywell/Clarostat RV4 series like this one "tested to 25,000 cycles" according to page 4 of the spec sheet.


Scott

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Re: Pedals for a 360 degree wheel cab?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2018, 07:31:28 pm »
Thanks for all the tips and info. I hope I get around to working on this one after I finish my 270 degree wheel cab!

  
 

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