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GUN4IR - The Ultimate 4 Points Lightgun System

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Zebra:
I can send you the Arcade Guns Aimforce dongle software to look at if it would be helpful?

It looks like they borrowed some of your work with mame hooker and added their own front end with some additional options. It essentially allows you to set up recoil for each game individually including the type of recoil (auto or semi) and the speed of recoil. It works with any gun game including Model 2 and 3. Plus, it also has a hooker option to take instructions from the game like mame hooker, and space to add your own code.

Changing the speed of a solenoid should just be a case of changing the frequency. I do it manually with a pot on my ne555 board. I use the 0-50hz jumper and then turn the pot until I get roughly 6-10 activations per second. I assume this would be possible to set any solenoid to the right speed for the game in software with the right know how.

JayBee:

--- Quote from: Howard_Casto on October 16, 2019, 07:57:13 pm ---Honestly getting m2emulator ready to run with mamehooker is a giant pain in the butt, mostly because I'm getting it to do something it isn't supposed to do.  I'm working on it though. 

Yeah getting the pulse synced up is an issue.  Wait commands can be used to hold the solenoid open a bit longer so things can be slowed down somewhat, but that's about it.  I guess finding a solenoid that fires at the same rate as some of the positional guns would be the ideal solution, but I don't know how hard that would be.

--- End quote ---
Yeah I guess it has to be very hacky to get support in m2, like memory read and stuff? looks like a huge headache to make that work  :-\

By the way, in Mamehooker if I use the mamestart in a game ini file, it's overwriting the default ini mamestart, right?
Is it possible, in some way, to no overwrite it but execute both in order? (default mamestart => game mamestart => playing game => game mamestop => default mamestop)
With my setup pretty much all lightgun games will need to open/close the serial connection, and send the default parameters commonly used by mame (used screen aspect ratio for instance), then some games have specific parameters I need to send (recoil/rumble mode).
I can of course copy paste the commands one by one for each games, but I wanted to ask you in case you have a better way of doing it.

JayBee:

--- Quote from: Zebra on October 18, 2019, 11:06:48 am ---I can send you the Arcade Guns Aimforce dongle software to look at if it would be helpful?

It looks like they borrowed some of your work with mame hooker and added their own front end with some additional options. It essentially allows you to set up recoil for each game individually including the type of recoil (auto or semi) and the speed of recoil. It works with any gun game including Model 2 and 3. Plus, it also has a hooker option to take instructions from the game like mame hooker, and space to add your own code.

Changing the speed of a solenoid should just be a case of changing the frequency. I do it manually with a pot on my ne555 board. I use the 0-50hz jumper and then turn the pot until I get roughly 6-10 activations per second. I assume this would be possible to set any solenoid to the right speed for the game in software with the right know how.

--- End quote ---
It is technically possible to activate the solenoid at the right frequency with Mamehooker and my arduino code, with a 3-5ms precision, but unless we have the matching solenoid for each game, the activation/hold/release/pause timings will not match my solenoid, and won't work or make it overheat. It's not really an issue with games without variable speed full auto, where speed of solenoid activation doesn't matter so much.
For instance games like terminator 2 have a recoil working clearly way faster than any of our solenoids can handle, so it gets out of sync when its speed is changing (gun overload and all).
Right now, I am actually building a rumble system beside the solenoid that I want to use instead of recoil in those games, it won't feel the same but will sure work better and more in sync.

Zebra:
I think there's two different issues. One is obviously choosing a solenoid that is rated for continuous duty and that can handle full auto recoil. That has to be done no matter what. I have rescued and repurposed a lot of arcade guns and any that used full auto recoil via a solenoid in the original coin-op will generally work fine with other games, even if other games had faster recoil.

The second issue is setting the recoil speed for each game. Now, it's true that there are differences between solenoids because the length of piston and range of travel varies. As does the force of the return spring. Also, a lot of full auto only arcade guns use a recoil motor instead of a solenoid. This doesn't mean you can't use one solenoid for multiple games. It just means you can't switch solenoids without redoing the speed settings.

With software that allows you to adjust recoil speed for each game (like the Aimforce software), you can simply find one gun with a decent full auto solenoid and set each game to your liking. Or, with mame hooker, you can use the original games frequency. But...Unless you had direct knowledge of the original recoil speed for each game, I doubt you'd get it exact. But, it wouldn't be far off as most of my arcade solenoids have around 10mm of travel. For games that used a solenoid, I doubt most people could perceive a difference between 10 activations per second and 12.

It's also worth noting that one T2 cab (for example) would vary in recoil speed to another, just based on the age of the solenoid and how recently they oiled the piston. The difference is huge immediately after you add a little oil. So the original speed we remember may not be exact either. Most Time Crisis guns I have used in the wild have really slow and anemic recoil due to poor maintenance. My TC arcade gun recoil is a beast.

Personally, I think it's more trouble than it's worth to worry about making the recoil speed exact. The amount of enjoyment it adds is minimal compared to the headache. I think it's more important to make the full auto recoil speed feel convincing to me than it is to make match an original speed.

I set mine up to recoil once when I pull the trigger and full auto when I hold it down. This works well for 99% of the gun games I ever played. The only one it doesn't work so well on (so far) is Alien 3 the gun, as I get full auto recoil even when I have the flame thrower...



Perhaps the bigger issue for me is that I prefer to use the PS2 for light gun games, so none of the current software solutions are compatible. The Arcade Guns guys said they were working on a recoil box that would offer Aimforce-like recoil control for any console, computer or PCB. I haven't seen it yet though. I might invest in something like that as the PS2 is unmatched for this genre. Kickstarter anyone?

Howard_Casto:
Well the main reason for recoil is to make the player aware of the gun's status, as gun games and be frantic and an excitable player might not notice that they are out of ammo, or the gun has over heated, ect.  So long as "firing", "overheat", "empty" and possibly "special" are distinguishable from each other, it should be close enough. 

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