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Author Topic: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...  (Read 2635 times)

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Zebra

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My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« on: December 04, 2019, 12:23:53 am »
I made an interesting discovery for light gun fans today. Using this adapter, Windows recognizes the Guncon 1 as a 4 axis, 16 button analog joystick and... I actually got it moving  the crosshairs...



There were no custom drivers needed. It works (almost) natively as an analog joystick like the USB2Gun board found in America's Army cabs. I.e. It uses the same 0-5v analog X Y signal it would output to the PS1.

There is nothing special about this adapter (I think). It's just one I found on ebay for $5 to use a PS2 joypad (with 2 analog sticks) on a PC. I connected the sync cable to the composite sync out from my Extron RGB interface. It does not work with my Konami gun (AKA "norgun"). This is not surprising as those guns take sync from the light gun pin on the PS1 joypad port. If I hack a sync signal to that pin, I think it could work but whatever. Konami guns suck.

It's not 100% plug in n play. I have a little more work to do to calibrate it for accuracy. I was able to move  the X axis crosshairs without issue in Windows 7 but calibrating the Y axis will need a small mod (I think that USB2Gun boards have a similar issue in Windows 7). The problem is that the "screen out" pin is permanently tied to what it identifies as button 3. Sega type 2 guns have a similar problem in Windows as it messes up the calibration by pressing the finish button before you are ready. With Sega guns, this is solved by removing the screen out pin and reattaching it after calibration.

The other Peculiarity is that it uses 4 axis in calibration. In addition to X and Y, it asks you to move it through it's Z axis up / down and it's Z rotation axis Up / down. I need to learn what that means to calibrate it properly. Usually a Z axis goes back and forward, not up and down or round and round.... It's trial and error time...

The more important part of this discovery is that all the light gun pinout diagrams I have looked at  (for almost every gun on every console and arcade) output generic analog X axis wiper and Y axis wiper cables back to the console (or arcade PCB). This means, with a simple mod, many others will work with Windows PC's via devices like the Apac or Uhid. They will also work on other consoles via an analog joypad hack. Most of the custom stuff happens upstream in the I/O board or the chip on the gun PCB. What they spit out is generic (once your machine recognizes the device as an analog stick which is what the adapter is for with the Guncon 1).

With this method you'd only be able to use light guns on real light gun games. The Guncon 1 doesn't add it's own flash when you pull the trigger like a USB2Gun board or an Act Labs gun. Sega's type 2 arcade IR guns can be used on positional gun games like T2 though. As can other arcade guns.

I tested the Guncon 1 in 480p on my crt arcade monitor. I believe these guns will work better in 15khz. I'm not sure exactly why but Namco make almost all their light gun games 15khz even on arcade platforms that usually use EGA or VGA monitors.





« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 12:25:31 am by Zebra »

bimm25e

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Re: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2019, 11:53:34 am »
Can you please post a link to buy one?  I cant find that exact model on ebay.

Thanks!!

Zebra

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Re: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2019, 08:52:41 pm »
Can you please post a link to buy one?  I cant find that exact model on ebay.

Thanks!!

I bought my one used off ebay. There's not much that can be done if there isn't another for sale except wait and keep an eye out.

I'm not even sure if there is anything special about this particular model or if any PS1 to USB adapter would do the same. If you can't find the same one, they are usually cheap enough that it is worth trying any other that is compatible with PS2 dual shock controllers (as they use the same analog signal as the guncon 1). Just make sure to test it in 15khz and composite sync. The timing device in the guncon 1 is not fast enough for higher horizontal refresh rates.

Or, if you can wait a while, I just bought an analog 0-5v meter to find which pin on the board outputs the 0-5v for the X and Y axis. I also got a Uhid mini to experiment which is the best way to hook it up to a Windows PC. The adapter might not be needed at all (or optimal).


















Titchgamer

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Re: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2019, 03:38:16 am »
Sounds promising have fun with the experiments :)

Zebra

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Re: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2019, 12:48:27 pm »
Yup. Experiments.

There's technically no reason for me to do this as I've got a USB2Gun. I just can't help myself. I have more fun with the projects than I do playing sometimes.

My main motivation for continuing to work on getting analog control output from these guns is to use them on certain console rail shooters that currently have no gun support at all. If those games are played with analog joypads and the gun is seen as an analog joypad then... you get the idea.

bimm25e

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Re: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2020, 04:10:02 pm »
What are you doing to get sync to the guncon?

Zebra

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Re: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2020, 08:00:34 pm »
What are you doing to get sync to the guncon?

I just use the composite sync port on my Extron RGB interface with a BNC to RCA adapter. The interface is not necessary though. It's just convenient. You can connect composite sync directly from vga or BNC cables as long as the PC is outputting composite sync. It needs to be 15khz though as the Namco guncon chip is not fast enough for anything higher.

arfink

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Re: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2020, 04:02:18 am »
I'll have to keep this in mind. The ps2 to USB adapters are dirt cheap, so they're probably worth trying with this. I wonder if it would be possible for a program to be written that can add the flash for games that don't have it. Do you think this could work with two guncons?

Also, if this just requires a flash and composite sync and throws an analog value and is all in hardware, then in theory this should work with, say, an SBC like Raspberry Pi, yeah?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 04:11:37 am by arfink »

Zebra

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Re: My Guncon 1 works in Windows without any custom drivers...
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2020, 02:10:09 pm »
I'll have to keep this in mind. The ps2 to USB adapters are dirt cheap, so they're probably worth trying with this. I wonder if it would be possible for a program to be written that can add the flash for games that don't have it. Do you think this could work with two guncons?

Also, if this just requires a flash and composite sync and throws an analog value and is all in hardware, then in theory this should work with, say, an SBC like Raspberry Pi, yeah?

I only like to use real light guns on games that used them in the arcade, so adding a flash to non-light gun games is not something I've researched. I have positional guns and IR guns for the ones with no flash. Plus, my USB2Gun board and Act Labs guns both add their own flash.

Having 2 players with two PS USB adapters would be no issue as they output like regular analog controllers in Windows. You'd have problems with emulators like model 2, older PC CD ROM games like HOD3 and teknoparrot because they only work with a mouse though. Mame and Dolphin would be fine.

I've never used a Raspberry Pi so I have no knowledge of whether PS USB adapters work with them, or how well you could calibrate a Guncon as an analog controller.

My advice to any moderately serious light gun fans would be to get Act Labs guns if you have the cash. I own a lot of different PC, arcade and console guns and the Act Labs pistols are easily the best light guns on any system in terms of accuracy and compatibility.

You may need a little patience to find a fair deal these days though. A lot of jokers on ebay have got it in their heads that their old Windows 98 non-USB act labs guns are worth $150+. Ignore those listings. Nobody is paying that. I paid around $50 a piece not that long ago for my USB VGA versions. I wouldn't go above $70 delivered for the USB /VGA variant, no more than $40 for Svideo /USB and no more than $0 for the old gameport version.