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Author Topic: Sinden vs Aimtrak - Getting rid of your Aimtrak? or whatís making you hold on?  (Read 1389 times)

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Rockstead

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Iím curious if anyone has been confident enough the sell their Aimtrakís? Or are you waiting to see what happens when the Sinden hits the market?

I keep hoping Andy (Ultimarc) will pull a rabbit out of his hat and announce some sort of software update that will improve the performance of the Aimtrakís to what the Sindenís have demonstrated on video, but Iím guessing the technology will prevent that.

Typically when I see an Aimtrak owner talk about the gun in a positive way, itís because they are using crosshairs and now have a perception that it is accurate, while those without crosshairs seem to be the most frustrated.

Personally I choose a small white border over crosshairs, Iím wondering where the rest of you stand?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 07:30:56 am by Rockstead »

lightgungamer

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I was thinking of it but then I thought I could just use it to get everything set up and ready for when my Sinden gun arrives!

I dont see what they could do with a software update. One thing I have wondered though is why no one releases a multi ir bar solution. My understanding is that arcades use IR guns but have bars all round the screen which drastically improves the accuracy. I know a lot of people wouldnt want ir bars all round their tv but I would certainly buy it if it was available!
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Titchgamer

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I still have mine connected to my mame cab and they wont be going anywhere.

I intend on using the sindens down stairs on my big tv to play more modern games as well as the oldies.

As for improving the ATís I think it would require more hardware which I would not want on my mame cab.

I used to have a top gun which had 2 bars and 4 reference points if I recall and that was utter crap so I think theres a little more to it than just the IR bars.

As I found with my ATs environment seems to have more of a impact than anything keeping away from heavy light and reflective surfaces.


AndyWarne

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Typically when I see an Aimtrak owner talk about the gun in a positive way, itís because they are using crosshairs and now have a perception that it is accurate, while those without crosshairs seem to be the most frustrated.



We do not receive that type of feedback. Once calibrated owners are generally not frustrated at all as far as we hear.

There are sometimes hurdles in getting calibrated but all are simple to overcome by reading through the troubleshooting steps on our site.

vandale

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Re: Sinden vs Aimtrak
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 04:08:51 pm »
I have aimtraks retro fitted inside Namco guns with the solenoid recoil mod. I only run Jurassic Park on supermodel and once calibrated they have been perfect for 2+ years. I use Deepfreeze to prevent anything in windows changing after boot so no calibration changes etc. The game has no cross hairs and is near pixel perfect for accuracy.  :D

Rockstead

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Typically when I see an Aimtrak owner talk about the gun in a positive way, itís because they are using crosshairs and now have a perception that it is accurate, while those without crosshairs seem to be the most frustrated.



We do not receive that type of feedback. Once calibrated owners are generally not frustrated at all as far as we hear.

There are sometimes hurdles in getting calibrated but all are simple to overcome by reading through the troubleshooting steps on our site.

As an outsider looking in with absolutely zero stake in either gun, one could make an assumption that there was a problem with the current light gun offerings for the Sinden to do so well in the Kickstarter and what it is promising to deliver, especially when your gun is the only other well established gun, has good brand recognition, but the market is telling you something and sometimes we go in to denial instead acknowledging there are issues.

In all honesty, I would prefer to see a well established and reputable company like yours back the best gun with long term support and not risk a product that could disappear from the market from someone new to the business which happens to a lot of companies, even when they have a better product.

Quote from the Sinden site:

ďIt interacts directly with the television and doesn't require additional hardware around the television or any calibration.  It is always accurate even if you change your position.Ē
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 07:14:47 pm by Rockstead »

lightgungamer

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My experience with the Aimtrak is that itís the best on the market at the minute but only just on the edge of playable. Itís not really like traditional lightguns as you donít consistently get the feel that you can aim with it.

Once you calibrate it, it is spot on but if you move even slightly the calibration goes off. So you canít hand the gun to another player without them calibrating it again.

I think that is the general interest in the Sinden light gun. It will just work without calibration and without problems if you shift position.

I had heard that ultimarc made multi led bar solutions for arcade machines that are much more consistent. I donít think home users can buy them though.

Anyone know if thats that the case ?

I have wondered before if more leds would fix the calibration problem.
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Howard_Casto

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Yes and no most likely.  Sinden guns basically search for the border of the screen (via the white border) and use the four corners of said border and their position on the captured image to determine angle and position from the center of the screen.  The same thing could be done with ir points. 

The problem with both methods is distance.... you have to have all or at least most of the gameplay area in frame for accurate calculations, meaning you have to stand pretty far back.  A stationary camera in just the right position that tracks a dot projected onto the screen fired from the gun, imho, would be the most accurate and fool proof setup.  So I'm placing my bets on laser based guns until I get my hands on a sinden to try it out. 

lightgungamer

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Yeah, that makes sense and the PDP Mars gun looks promising as a laser solution although thatís not available yet either.

If you had points on all 4 edges and could see 2 (a horizontal and a vertical, it should be possible to work out the position exactly from that though shouldnít it? (If you already knew the size of the screen)

I was more wondering about what was available now though and if it was possible to buy the Aimtraks solution with more leds (or if I had just imagined it!)

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Titchgamer

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Yeah, that makes sense and the PDP Mars gun looks promising as a laser solution although thatís not available yet either.

If you had points on all 4 edges and could see 2 (a horizontal and a vertical, it should be possible to work out the position exactly from that though shouldnít it? (If you already knew the size of the screen)

I was more wondering about what was available now though and if it was possible to buy the Aimtraks solution with more leds (or if I had just imagined it!)

Nah 2 points wouldn't work as if you are looking from a steep angle then the TV appears bigger at the front than the back side.
Although I never understand why people moan about that as I like to be sat/stood directly infront of the screen not 3 foot off to the side :s

As for howards point about the camera distance yes that is the only problem really but I like to be pretty far away from my screen not touching it so thats not a issue for me.
When I tested the Sinden prototype I was able to get pretty close to my screen considering its a large wide screen but mostly played it on my sofa at what I would call a comfortable distance LOL
It could be dealt with to some degree using a wide angle lens but that in turn creates its own problems so its a balancing act between distance and accuracy/distortion of the lens I would think.

But in regards to the more IR points for the AT's I understand Andy does do them but does not sell them?
Dont know but never seen them for sale personally :p


AndyWarne

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The problem with both methods is distance.... you have to have all or at least most of the gameplay area in frame for accurate calculations,

Exactly.

The "4 point" Aimtrak solution was never progressed for that reason. It has been used but it was done by a large-scale provider of installations where people are located a great distance from the screen. Its not suitable for arcade cabinet use.

Also a wide-angle lens such that the gun can see all 4 points introduces a great deal of distortion which makes it less accurate not more.

pbj

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Some how Iím playing gun games on location with good IR tracking.

 :dunno
This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

Howard_Casto

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Well from what we've all gleamed via pics and schematics, a lot of commercial games use a convoluted method of flashing leds in sequence, with led number ??  being in frame tells the game that the gun is in quadrant x/y and position is calculated from there. 

AndyWarne

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Well from what we've all gleamed via pics and schematics, a lot of commercial games use a convoluted method of flashing leds in sequence, with led number ??  being in frame tells the game that the gun is in quadrant x/y and position is calculated from there.

Thats right, the Sega system uses many LEDs around the screen which are individually wired to the game board. So the logic knows which LED is lit at any one time.

Using a system such as this splits the system up because host software would be needed to control a LED driver board and extra installation of LEDs around the screen.

kaz1961

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What is going to be the price of the Sindens?

Titchgamer

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What is going to be the price of the Sindens?

The KS price was £80 for a non recoil unit and £130 for a recoil unit.

Rockstead

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What is going to be the price of the Sindens?

The KS price was £80 for a non recoil unit and £130 for a recoil unit.

They also said they would sell them post Kickstarter for the same price with plans on reducing the price.

http://www.sindenlightgun.com/order/

Zebra

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Has anyone here received their Sinden guns yet? It would be nice to hear some actual independent user experiences and comparisons with Aimtrak guns. It's easy to make bold claims about something you are trying to sell but, in my experience, what users say on forums like this is usually right.

I parked my Aimtrak gun a while ago because I couldn't get the arcade-like experience I wanted with it. You have to stand too far back and I find it intensely annoying when the crosshairs or shots never line up with the gun sights. So I went back to real light guns on a CRT.

I have a renewed interest in getting my Aimtrak working right lately as I saw these "Extreme" IR sensor bars on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Extreme-IR-Bar-for-Arcade-Light-Guns/192961040205?hash=item2ced5fcf4d:g:aZEAAOSwiHFdEN2w:sc:USPSFirstClass!10530!US!-1

Apparently, they solve the biggest issues with the Aimtrak. I.e. They let you stand closer, it improves accuracy and stops you losing calibration from a slight movement in your position. If I could make my Aimtrak accurate, that would be my preference over adding a white border. I'll believe it when I see it though.




Rockstead

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Has anyone here received their Sinden guns yet? It would be nice to hear some actual independent user experiences and comparisons with Aimtrak guns. It's easy to make bold claims about something you are trying to sell but, in my experience, what users say on forums like this is usually right.

I parked my Aimtrak gun a while ago because I couldn't get the arcade-like experience I wanted with it. You have to stand too far back and I find it intensely annoying when the crosshairs or shots never line up with the gun sights. So I went back to real light guns on a CRT.

I have a renewed interest in getting my Aimtrak working right lately as I saw these "Extreme" IR sensor bars on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Extreme-IR-Bar-for-Arcade-Light-Guns/192961040205?hash=item2ced5fcf4d:g:aZEAAOSwiHFdEN2w:sc:USPSFirstClass!10530!US!-1

Apparently, they solve the biggest issues with the Aimtrak. I.e. They let you stand closer, it improves accuracy and stops you losing calibration from a slight movement in your position. If I could make my Aimtrak accurate, that would be my preference over adding a white border. I'll believe it when I see it though.

The Ultimarc site does have a large sensor bar to pair with the AimTrak already, was that the one you were using already? With the same poor results?  Reply to Andy Ďs response in this or the other Sinden thread,  he reported here that he never hears about those type of issues, contrary to what you see reported from users on forums and Facebook groups.

I was re-looking at one of the Sinden videos and it says no calibration required!

There were independent tests done on the Sinden by a member of this forum and all the great stuff about it was confirmed.

Iíll take white bars with no calibration, no crosshairs, no sensor bar and accuracy, worthy trade off.

Iím hoping this drives Ultimarc to solve the current issues, but Iím guessing Andy canít using the technology he is using and I hope I can sell my AimTrakís once Sinden hits the market but Iím guessing they will lose a lot of their value since a better product will be out.

Personally I will wait for the 2nd or 3rd run Sindenís, as Iím suspecting there will be a tweak here and there that they will resolve on the physical hardware.

pbj

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Okay, thanks, Mr. Sinden Social Media Marketing Man.

This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

Titchgamer

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What is supposed to be so special about those IR sensors exactly?
I cant see how they would let you get any closer as the distance is physically restricted by the view of the sensor in the gun?

As for the Sindens they are running a little late so nobody has one yet I think everyone was expecting a delay anyway as these kind of projects never hit every deadline.
I would be expecting him to send out his monthly update any time now though.

But having owned aim traks and used the prototype Sinden I would say the Sinden is far more accurate and fuss free.
It had a few minor issues but I am told Andy has ironed them out now so I am looking forward to getting my hands on the finished product once its finished :D


Zebra

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What is supposed to be so special about those IR sensors exactly?
I cant see how they would let you get any closer as the distance is physically restricted by the view of the sensor in the gun?

As for the Sindens they are running a little late so nobody has one yet I think everyone was expecting a delay anyway as these kind of projects never hit every deadline.
I would be expecting him to send out his monthly update any time now though.

But having owned aim traks and used the prototype Sinden I would say the Sinden is far more accurate and fuss free.
It had a few minor issues but I am told Andy has ironed them out now so I am looking forward to getting my hands on the finished product once its finished :D

With the caveat that I haven't tried them yet, so I can't confirm if what they say is true, apparently the Extreme ir sensors have 120 degrees of illumination vs 20-40 degrees with the standard and extra wide sensor bars. This allows the gun to see them from the more extreme angles needed when you stand closer to the screen.

The other thing is that it is two sensor bars in one with a switch. It has two sensors spread further apart for larger monitors or projector screens (where you stand further back) and a second set close together for smaller monitors and closer (to the screen) play. It all sounds vaguely plausible to my non-technical brain but I still think the set-up would benefit from a larger and higher quality lens in the gun.

The Sinden project is exciting although it's all mute until finished product is available to order and actually in stock. For now I'm just happy to see someone finally working on improving products for this genre. All of the current and previously available home IR guns have been a big step backwards over the real light guns of yesteryear. I think we've all heard enough excuses about why they can't improve on what's available today.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 02:39:34 pm by Zebra »

Titchgamer

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What is supposed to be so special about those IR sensors exactly?
I cant see how they would let you get any closer as the distance is physically restricted by the view of the sensor in the gun?

As for the Sindens they are running a little late so nobody has one yet I think everyone was expecting a delay anyway as these kind of projects never hit every deadline.
I would be expecting him to send out his monthly update any time now though.

But having owned aim traks and used the prototype Sinden I would say the Sinden is far more accurate and fuss free.
It had a few minor issues but I am told Andy has ironed them out now so I am looking forward to getting my hands on the finished product once its finished :D

With the caveat that I haven't tried them yet, so I can't confirm if what they say is true, apparently the Extreme ir sensors have 120 degrees of illumination vs 20-40 degrees with the standard and extra wide sensor bars. This allows the gun to see them from the more extreme angles needed when you stand closer to the screen.

The other thing is that it is two sensor bars in one with a switch. It has two sensors spread further apart for larger monitors or projector screens (where you stand further back) and a second set close together for smaller monitors and closer (to the screen) play. It all sounds vaguely plausible to my non-technical brain but I still think the set-up would benefit from a larger and higher quality lens in the gun.

The Sinden project is exciting although it's all mute until finished product is available to order and actually in stock. For now I'm just happy to see someone finally working on improving products for this genre. All of the current and previously available home IR guns have been a big step backwards over the real light guns of yesteryear. I think we've all heard enough excuses about why they can't improve on what's available today.

I would like to see one tested and reviewed. My problem is with it that for the Aim trak to work it has to be able to see that IR LED at all times.

Now this is where it seems misleading to me.
The ATís sensor points slightly upwards so when you are pointing to the bottom of the screen it still looks up a little.
But if you are to close to the screen it still will not be able to see the top of the bars even with the increased  angle.

Now if you are playing on a little 14Ē screen I would guess you could probably get quite close but if you are on a large screen you will still need that distance so the sensor can physically see it.

I would guess it would certainly improve tge distance required but I dont think its going to let you have the gun right against the glass like yesteryear.


Zebra

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Using a white border instead of led sensors would have the same issue with distance if it worked in the same way as an Aimtrak. I'm not sure it does though.

From the info provided on the Sinden Youtube videos, it sounded like it uses an infrared laser dot to determine where you are aiming while the white boarder just defines the screen edge for the camera. I.e. It takes a photo when you pull the trigger and calculates where in the white box the dot is after making adjustments for your angle. Perhaps it could still function if one of the white borders was out of the camera view. It seems like it could work with just two visible borders.

I guess we'll see for certain when people start receiving their finished guns. It looks like he's sitting 8 - 10 feet from the screen in all the video's. It's hard to know if this is due to a design limitation or just the guy's preference. It will matter to a lot of people if it can't be used at arcade-like distances (this was most people's number two complaint with Aimtraks after accuracy).

Titchgamer

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Using a white border instead of led sensors would have the same issue with distance if it worked in the same way as an Aimtrak. I'm not sure it does though.

From the info provided on the Sinden Youtube videos, it sounded like it uses an infrared laser dot to determine where you are aiming while the white boarder just defines the screen edge for the camera. I.e. It takes a photo when you pull the trigger and calculates where in the white box the dot is after making adjustments for your angle. Perhaps it could still function if one of the white borders was out of the camera view. It seems like it could work with just two visible borders.

I guess we'll see for certain when people start receiving their finished guns. It looks like he's sitting 8 - 10 feet from the screen in all the video's. It's hard to know if this is due to a design limitation or just the guy's preference. It will matter to a lot of people if it can't be used at arcade-like distances (this was most people's number two complaint with Aimtraks after accuracy).

The sinden still has distance limitations as the camera inside the gun needs to be able to see the full border at all times to work out where it is in relation to the corners.

What makes it different to the Aim Trak is that because it uses a camera it can use a wide angle lens making the distance shorter.

I never got to testing the minimum distances and he has changed the camera since so it would be different now anyways but I was playing on my 42Ē screen at around 5/6 feet.

I could of gone in to around 4 I think but I then would of been sat on the floor not my comfy sofa lol

But regardless with this type of tech you will always have some kind of screen size to distance ratio.

Obviously for a 4:3 this will be less than a 16:9.

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Iím probably going to pick up that extreme sensor bar. According to my camera one of my ledís on my original sensor bar pcb is burnt out anyway. The fact that it remedies the problem that you can shoot however you feel comfortable and not have to worry about calibration issues makes it worth it, not to mention Iíll be able to stand closer to my monitor. Itís a win win.

Zebra

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Iím probably going to pick up that extreme sensor bar. According to my camera one of my ledís on my original sensor bar pcb is burnt out anyway. The fact that it remedies the problem that you can shoot however you feel comfortable and not have to worry about calibration issues makes it worth it, not to mention Iíll be able to stand closer to my monitor. Itís a win win.

Please let us know how it works out for you. I'm sure there is a lot of us here that would want one once you confirm that it delivers what it promises.

Zebra

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Using a white border instead of led sensors would have the same issue with distance if it worked in the same way as an Aimtrak. I'm not sure it does though.

From the info provided on the Sinden Youtube videos, it sounded like it uses an infrared laser dot to determine where you are aiming while the white boarder just defines the screen edge for the camera. I.e. It takes a photo when you pull the trigger and calculates where in the white box the dot is after making adjustments for your angle. Perhaps it could still function if one of the white borders was out of the camera view. It seems like it could work with just two visible borders.

I guess we'll see for certain when people start receiving their finished guns. It looks like he's sitting 8 - 10 feet from the screen in all the video's. It's hard to know if this is due to a design limitation or just the guy's preference. It will matter to a lot of people if it can't be used at arcade-like distances (this was most people's number two complaint with Aimtraks after accuracy).

The sinden still has distance limitations as the camera inside the gun needs to be able to see the full border at all times to work out where it is in relation to the corners.

What makes it different to the Aim Trak is that because it uses a camera it can use a wide angle lens making the distance shorter.

I never got to testing the minimum distances and he has changed the camera since so it would be different now anyways but I was playing on my 42Ē screen at around 5/6 feet.

I could of gone in to around 4 I think but I then would of been sat on the floor not my comfy sofa lol

But regardless with this type of tech you will always have some kind of screen size to distance ratio.

Obviously for a 4:3 this will be less than a 16:9.

5-6 feet from a 42" screen would acceptable imo. I play 4-5 feet from my 29" crt arcade monitors with my real light guns so it seems about right (if it's as accurate as an official namco guncon 2 at that distance).

The old light guns have the opposite problem in that they work best closer to the screen and stop registering shots when you stand too far back. I had to put one of the new amplified Namco sensor boards in my Time Crisis arcade gun to make it register shots at the distance I like to play from. It is worth remembering that no light gun tech is perfect, including real light guns on a crt.

On the wide angle lens, it should be possible to add that in any IR gun. The arcadeguns.com chaps sell a modified aimtrak with a larger / wider and apparently higher quality lens. It's just a shame they made it too expensive to be worth considering.