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Author Topic: Xanitron - A Return  (Read 442 times)

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gingecko

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Xanitron - A Return
« on: March 18, 2019, 04:11:17 pm »
Back in 2006, I mostly finished up a cab: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,52641.msg516195.html#msg516195

I barely knew what I was doing, but people were pretty impressed with what I had done. It got farther along than the last few pics, but sadly I didn't take any 'finished' pics. Too busy playing the thing or 'never completed syndrome'?

Flash forward, the wife is gone, the cab is gone, new wife, kids...and an itch to build again.

The cab is gone, but I kept all the joys, buttons, and the KeyWhiz encoder. Should be simple enough to throw something together, right? Well, been spending the last couple weeks browsing the forum here and looks like a lot has changed since then. A number of people I remember are gone, new people have come, new products, new designs. But most of all, lots of questions.

Design - pretty much settled on a Vigo Lix cabinet now. Those seem to fit the bill of aesthetics and space.

Encoder - I have my old PS/2 Key Whiz encoder, but I don't plan on using a large clunky old computer this time around. Has to be something much smaller. Maybe not a RetroPi, but definitely small. Likely won't have a PS/2 port, so that's a tough one. Leaning towards an Ipac because I might run Ubuntu. Also like the idea of controls lighting up for which game is getting played. Which seems to point towards I-pac Ultimate I/O. Though I'm also wondering if I can get am I-pac2 and add LED functionality later?

Materials - mdf vs wood. I used MDF on my first cab. It's heavy, cheaper, has the right finish when painted. It's also messy as @#$%. Months later, there was still MDF dust coating the garage. Wood, less messy, easier to screw up.

Brains - used computer or raspberry pi

Monitor - nope, I'm not doing the heavyweight monitor this time around. Was a beast to move and takes up too much space. Lighter weight flat panel computer monitor (sorry, purists!) this time.

Number of players: 1-2.

Controls: still have them. 4 joys, pushbuttons, and a trackball. Contemplating a Spinner. Possibly a dedicated 4-way joy. Layout I'm going to play out with initially is similar to last time, 2-players. 7 buttons. The 7-button layout is really nice for Defender. Would love a way to switch to a 2-way joy for that game. LEDs to illuminate active controls for each game, would be a huge plus.

Favorite games: Robotron, Joust, Defender, Dig Dug, Black Tiger, Centipede, Galaga, Phoenix, Ms Pac Man, Xenophobe, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, etc. I find that with most of those games the number of buttons is small. But you can't beat the Street Fighter like games for two-player fun. Still torn on the 'want to have it all' but also 'want to streamline'. Leaning towards streamline.

Paint: likely same as last time. Blue/Black.

Art: I managed to find my original vector illustration for the Marquee. I'll re-use that. Maybe touch it up a bit. This was a stopping block for me last time, especially the control panel and side art. This time around, side art will be a simple stenciled design of lines. I'll work something up for the control panel, after I've got the controls situated the way I like. I want to get this done sooner, so it's not an after thought that seems to never get finished.

Other: Plexiglass over control panel? I had that last time, but wondering about other options. Would like to mimic the rounded front/arcade control panel look. Speakers - already decided. Bezel - another unknown. Coin door - would love to get one, because of the fun/nostalgia factor.

Like I said, lots of questions. At least right now, I'm not feeling a rush. I would like to take my time on this project. Hopefully will have most of this worked out by by end of Summer.

Humble Beginnings!

« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 05:05:25 pm by gingecko »

J_K_M_A_N

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Re: Xanterion - A Return
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2019, 09:00:03 am »
I am guessing you would put the 4-way and/or spinner above the trackball? How does the reach feel for that? I would like to do an all in one (trackball/spinner/4-way/8-ways) but I worry that the reach would not feel great or the buttons would be tough to place for the 4-way games. I have been thinking about getting a servo stick to remove the 4-way joystick need. Maybe you can look into that as an upgrade. :) The one I am working on now actually has the U360 stick and I am thinking that might be ok too but I do like the feel of the restrictor plates.  :dunno

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gingecko

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Re: Xanterion - A Return
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2019, 11:00:02 am »
Yep, that's the idea. I had a joystick in there at one point. I don't recall how well it worked though. Seems like the reach wouldn't be too bad. Maybe better for a Spinner than a 4-Way. I'll be testing out the layout over time. I think I have a Happs 4-Way Super Joy w/ Top Fire button, which I would mount there.

I also have a Happs Perfect 360, which I guess are impossible to find now. I didn't like how stiff that joystick is though. I'm considering the 'heat the spring' trick or seeing if I can replace the spring with something else. Another item to test and get the feel for. The U360 is like a Happs Perfect 360? How is the U360 for most 4-Way games? Any games that it performs better or worse?

Spinner wise, I think I need to re-evaluate how many games actually use spinners. The price on them is steep, and not sure there are too many that would really compel me to buy. Arkanoid and Tempest are the two that come to mind.

Hmm, the spinner does sit lower on the control panel and would probably look better aesthetically than an additional joy. Combine that with a Servo stick, and it would be way less clutter on the control panel. Which is my end goal.

gingecko

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Re: Xanterion - A Return
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2019, 12:01:04 pm »
Well, I wasn't watching a lot of YouTube back in 2006. But it looks like there are a lot of videos out there now. Would've been nice to have some of these back then. I started watching some of the videos from Retro Active Arcade: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtK1dBCZzVTdjbXk_WUdAfQ

Good refresher on some basic stuff, and think he has convinced me to stick with MDF. So, crossing that one off.

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Re: Xanterion - A Return
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2019, 01:03:24 pm »
I really like the U360 in 4 way mode. I think it works great. But I do miss the feel of the restrictor so that is why I am thinking of trying the servo stick.

I do have a spinner and I like it but it is expensive. I basically use it for 2 games. Tempest for sure (one of my all time favorites). I also play Arkanoid at times but not as much.

I do sometimes regret buying things like that but then after 2-3 months you get back financially and it is nice to have. I still have a tough time spending that much though. I have to really want it or just I just keep going back and forth until I say screw it and just buy it.  ;D

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gingecko

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Re: Xanterion - A Return
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2019, 01:42:21 pm »
Which spinner do you use? I originally had grandiose plans of making my own using an old mouse and wheel, etc. But I don't have quite as much time these days, so I would likely buy one. I'll be buying things piecemeal to start, making it easier on the wallet.

Looks like the u360 just plugs in via USB? Do you use an encoder?

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Re: Xanterion - A Return
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 02:24:59 pm »
I got the TurboTwist from GGG. It is very nice. I got the extra weight also for more spin. It connects USB. You do have to get the setting in each game correct though to have the right feel. It worked well for me.

The U360 does connect to USB so I just use that. I believe you have to use that if you want analog function. I use that for Sinistar but it is not quite the same. At least playable for me though. I could not play with a regular 8 way.

You can hook it up the U360 to an encoder but then it is basically an 8 way from what I understand. The 8 buttons are not quite enough so I am going to wire some extras into the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi.

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gingecko

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Re: Xanterion - A Return
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 04:51:24 pm »
Oh man, I remember back when the TurboTwists were just coming out. Thanks for that video! Will be really helpful if I get one and need to configure it. I forgot that Tron also used a spinner. Another great game.

Sinistar is another game I really liked. I should try that out with the P360 as well.

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Re: Xanitron - A Return
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 05:16:49 pm »
I just noticed that it embedded the video. If you click to watch it on youtube instead, it has more info for games in the description.

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gingecko

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Re: Xanitron - A Return
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 10:31:36 pm »
Yea, I read through most of the comments on the video. One of which took me to a link back here on spinner rotation numbers for different games. Bookmarked that one too!