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Author Topic: BIG control panel project questions!  (Read 2345 times)

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FormulaFox

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BIG control panel project questions!
« on: November 25, 2021, 09:59:09 pm »
So, in early 2020, I did a sizeable mod project of an Arcade1Up to create myself a multicade. Initially it had a very simple control board, but then I upgraded to something more robust, and now I'm plotting something a bit crazier. But I need help.

My personal multicade is an Arcade1Up Space Invaders(because I got it stupidly cheap) which I widened to fit an ASUS 22" IPS monitor. Seem overkill for retrogaming? Well, this ain't no Raspberry Pi build, this bad boy rocks a Windows PC running LaunchBox/BigBox and implemented games on Steam like Guilty Gear Xrd and the entire BlazBlue series as well as PS2 emulation. It's not coming to conquer anyone's super gaming PC of course but not many people go this route for an arcade build.

But there is a shortcoming with it: Many Windows games simply don't acknowledge the existence of the Xin-Mo arcade encoder I use. I can get around this by using Joytokey to make everything to keyboard inputs, but setting that up for every game can be annoying, AND it's one more thing to have to run the background all the time. So I've been looking for alternatives, and in the process of doing so I stumbled on this: https://www.amazon.com/SJ-JX-Controller-Joystick-Raspberry/dp/B08FJ74TPL

Upon seeing that, and thinking about the analog sticks, I was hit with a genius idea. I can use that to play games that prefer usage of an analog stick(such as Starblade - a gem of an arcade rail shooter that I missed back in the day) and even make custom analog stick caps in the form of a flightstick-style control to make it feel more properly arcadelike.

HOWEVER.... Is this better than my original idea? You see, the control panel I use is not attached to the arcade cabinet. I used one of those Microcenter two-player enclosures(the ones that can also be bought pre-packaged with a Raspberry Pi running Atari games), and it's so hefty that it doesn't NEED to be bolted down. This mean I can easily remove it and, say, swap it for another control panel that has other forms of input on it...?

So I was thinking of building a custom control panel with a cheap flight stick, racing wheel, and pedals, as well as possibly spinners and a trackball. I could do BOTH of these projects, or I could just do one or the other.

Thing is, I've heard that some PC driving wheels don't play well with Retroarch or MAME. And thus, why I'm here...

I need advice on whether the alternate control panel idea is even worth pursuing, and the best way to do it if it is. I need to know what the most ideal parts would be, what the cheapest parts that will work are, and most importantly I need USB encoders for my main control panel that have a hope in Hades of being recognized by most Windows games like Killer Instinct - preferably ones with analog stick options, but as long as the second control panel idea is in play that's not an absolute requirement.

I'm not the sort who can drop money on having multiple arcade cabinets, so turning this into my ultimate multicade is the best way to go. I've abandoned many an arcade project in the past(fortunately all in the planning stage), but this I've definitely got to go forward with - whether in one of the forms outlined above or something new conceived of in discussing this.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on the idea and seeing what components you can recommend for it! I'm really excited about this project and I hope to start it shortly after Christmas.

PL1

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2021, 12:10:06 am »
I stumbled on this: https://www.amazon.com/SJ-JX-Controller-Joystick-Raspberry/dp/B08FJ74TPL

Upon seeing that, and thinking about the analog sticks, I was hit with a genius idea. I can use that to play games that prefer usage of an analog stick(such as Starblade - a gem of an arcade rail shooter that I missed back in the day) and even make custom analog stick caps in the form of a flightstick-style control to make it feel more properly arcadelike.
So . . . you're thinking about using the thumbsticks that come with that encoder and make custom caps to make it feel more arcade-like?   :o



Sorry, but IMHO that is a complete and total non-starter.
- Hang a big custom cap off a thumbstick and you'll have all kinds of leverage and weight issues.
- Thumbsticks are not very precise compared to a yoke controller like Starblade used.



You might be able to use a small analog stick like the one I used for KADESTICK (see sig), but those can be hard to use in a wood panel unless you can 3d print a mount.
https://www.amazon.com/ServoCity-2-Functon-Joystick/dp/B00OS41QK2/
https://www.amazon.com/Potentiometer-JH-D202X-R2-Controller-Photographic-Accessories/dp/B07KNV9BYY/
https://www.amazon.com/2-Function-Joystick-Ball-Stick/dp/B00OS4U35G/
https://www.amazon.com/Exiron-Joystick-Potentiometer-JH-D202X-R2-Thermistor/dp/B07CWWM9WF/
https://www.amazon.com/JH-D202X-R2-Joystick-Potentiometer-Thermistor-Controller/dp/B07LH7DWC5/

If you can find an analog stick like the one in this thread, that would be larger and easier to work with -- AFAIK the ones here and here haven't been in stock for a long time.   :(

The closest I see on Amazon right now are several kits like this one.  The stick in the center has potentiometers.
https://www.amazon.com/SJ-JX-Controller-Microswitch-Raspberry/dp/B08Q7L5M2K/?th=1



Once you get into that price range, you might as well just step up to a USB analog triggerstick or a U360 flight stick.


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 12:32:28 am »
I should have been a bit more clear when I said "arcade-like" because that overstates what I'm going for. Much as I wish I could afford the 360FS(the first thing I saw when I started thinking analog joysticks long before I had this thought, I might add), that's pretty much a non-starter for me for the foreseeable future. When I said more "Arcade like" what I should have said was "stick like" - more like if the 2600 controller's stick was analog, not a big ball-topped arcade shape. I know not to go too far with these - I just need some form of proper grip for an analog setup that could fit in the existing panel, and I know going this route would require sacrifices in some way and will never be perfect.

I know the analog setups won't be as accurate as the original types of controllers, but 1) When you're cash-strapped you have to work with what you can find, and 2) I suck at those types of games anyway so the differences would probably not matter for me.  :P

The big appeal to the idea of using the analog sticks as a base is being able to remove the caps so that the analog stocks won't be in the way when I don't need them.

I should have done this in my original post, but in order to help address the matters of adding things to my existing control panel I should probably upload a photo to help explain where I'm looking to do what, as that can help inform advise better. Unfortunately, I actually have to leave for work pretty soon so I'll have to do that later. I'll get that done ASAP, but in the meantime any further info that can be provided in the absence of this info is still appreciated.

That set you linked on Amazon does look appealing if the second control panel option is necessary, but I don't think I could fit the analog stick in the existing panel. (it's joystick routings are square, so the rectangular-plate sticks won't fit)

PL1

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2021, 01:11:02 am »
When you're cash-strapped you have to work with what you can find
If your main consideration is budget, consider one of the KADESTICK-style analog sticks and an Arduino Pro Micro for the encoder.   ;D

LMK if you need help designing a custom 3d printable mount plate.

I don't think I could fit the analog stick in the existing panel. (it's joystick routings are square, so the rectangular-plate sticks won't fit)
You might want to check the measurements of the routings and the mount-screw pattern.
- Mount patterns are usually either Happ-style or Japanese-style.


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2021, 07:42:24 am »
When you're cash-strapped you have to work with what you can find
If your main consideration is budget, consider one of the KADESTICK-style analog sticks and an Arduino Pro Micro for the encoder.   ;D

My main consideration first is whether I can do anything that will fit into the existing panel before I fully commit to things that will only work by building a second unit.

Quote
I don't think I could fit the analog stick in the existing panel. (it's joystick routings are square, so the rectangular-plate sticks won't fit)
You might want to check the measurements of the routings and the mount-screw pattern.
- Mount patterns are usually either Happ-style or Japanese-style.


Scott

They're Happ-style. I seem to have developed a tendency to describe them as "square" or "rectangle" instead of Happ or Sanwa/Japanese because of how little people immediately around me know such things. Sadly I am unique amongst my friends about being this into arcade cabinets(they're happy with their stock Arcade1Ups).

Anyhow, attached to the post is a photo of my current control panel. The yellow buttons are menu buttons for quitting/accessing Retroarch menus. Obviously I don't NEED those, I can go to hotkey combinations for that, but at the time I built this it felt like the most convenient method. My thinking with the analog sticks was to replace one or both of the menu buttons with a removable stick - removable so it wouldn't be in view when unneeded. As you can see, there isn't much room to add anything other than maybe a spinner or two, which is where the original idea for a second control panel came into play originally. Any ideas that could fit into here are appreciated - everything else just moves back over to the second control panel idea.

I also still need suggestions for a better encoder to make Windows games natively recognize the control panel.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 07:47:38 am by FormulaFox »

Nephasth

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2021, 12:22:33 pm »
Mmm.... Toes....  :drool

 :puke
%Bartop

PL1

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 01:28:59 pm »
My thinking with the analog sticks was to replace one or both of the menu buttons with a removable stick - removable so it wouldn't be in view when unneeded.
Good news: A thumbstick will fit into a standard button hole.

Bad news: Even with a 3d printable part like this one, the removable stick part will be hard to fabricate and probably not very sturdy.   :-\

If you still want to experiment, do an Amazon search for "arduino analog joystick" and you'll find lots of inexpensive thumbsticks, many mounted on a PCB like this one.
- If you can desolder the 5-pin header and install it (or a 5-pin straight Dupont header) on the underside of the PCB, you might be able to make a workable mount that sits flat against the bottom of the existing control panel.



I also still need suggestions for a better encoder to make Windows games natively recognize the control panel.  ;)
Usually you chose the controls and number of inputs you need then you select the appropriate encoder.   ;)

That said, if you can solder and either use the KADE miniArcade 2.0 firmware or copy/paste/modify some fairly simple Arduino code (related thread here), two Arduino Pro Micros can handle the 30 microswitch inputs on your current panel and can also handle analog inputs if you do decide to go the thumbstick route.
- It's not plug-and-play easy, but I think it's the best encoder choice for a combination of least expensive and most flexible.


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2021, 01:33:19 pm »
You know that you can just tell someone it is a bad idea.
It takes way less words.

PL1

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2021, 01:56:26 pm »
You know that you can just tell someone it is a bad idea.
It takes way less words.

I did . . .

So . . . you're thinking about using the thumbsticks that come with that encoder and make custom caps to make it feel more arcade-like?   :o



Sorry, but IMHO that is a complete and total non-starter.

. . . then I offered other options.

Fortunately, FormulaFox isn't modding this panel for you or me.   ;)


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2021, 03:19:53 pm »
Good news: A thumbstick will fit into a standard button hole.

Bad news: Even with a 3d printable part like this one, the removable stick part will be hard to fabricate and probably not very sturdy.

My idea was actually to build it ONTO the caps they came with.

You know that you can just tell someone it is a bad idea.
It takes way less words.


Trust me, I get that. I'm continuing to go on about this because while I'm not looking EXCLUSIVELY at this idea, I want to go over all aspects of it - all potential concerns as well as any other ways implementing these kinds of sticks(without modding) could benefit the setup that I may have never thought of. This isn't the end-all-be-all point of the thread - I'm not here only to ask "is this idea good," I'm also trying to get suggestions on...
1) Any other ideas to address this specific idea that might be able to be implemented into my existing control panel
2) Suggestions for parts to be implemented into an extra control panel
3) An arcade encoder that won't break the bank and all(or the vast majority) of my Windows games will recognize

Since I first thought about this project, I've been leaning towards creating a complete secondary control panel containing an analog joystick, some form of driving wheel, and possibly a spinner and trackball. Ideas on parts for building this control panel is part of my inquiry, and PL1's already given a handful of decent analog joystick suggestions that will work for an alternate control panel arrangement. I don't yet have any questions for those parts because I haven't outlined the layout for the panel yet(I'll be posting a bad MS paint outline of the layout I'm thinking once I've worked it out a bit more). Not much point in asking about those in more detail until I start laying things out, so for the moment I'm focusing fitting a functional(and importantly, removable) analog solution into the existing layout.

Obviously I've thought about just swapping out the P2 joystick, but I'd like to retain 2 player capability.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 03:28:55 pm by FormulaFox »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2021, 04:40:48 pm »
Good news: A thumbstick will fit into a standard button hole.
My idea was actually to build it ONTO the caps they came with.
Sounds like you're thinking that you can put it in place of the button's plunger.

The thumbstick that I linked above will fit into a button hole (slightly off-center due to the tactile button on the thumbstick base) but it will not fit into the body of either a Happ button or a 30mm Sanwa button.
- When the thumbstick is centered on a 30mm Sanwa button nut, the tactile switch touches the threads of the nut.

There might be a thumbstick with a narrower profile (or no tactile button), but you'd still  probably need to replace the button entirely and design a custom mount.


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2021, 06:44:35 pm »
Good news: A thumbstick will fit into a standard button hole.
My idea was actually to build it ONTO the caps they came with.
Sounds like you're thinking that you can put it in place of the button's plunger.

The thumbstick that I linked above will fit into a button hole (slightly off-center due to the tactile button on the thumbstick base) but it will not fit into the body of either a Happ button or a 30mm Sanwa button.
- When the thumbstick is centered on a 30mm Sanwa button nut, the tactile switch touches the threads of the nut.

There might be a thumbstick with a narrower profile (or no tactile button), but you'd still  probably need to replace the button entirely and design a custom mount.


Scott

Well, its becoming quite apparent that the alternate control panel is the only viable option as the only thing that would work as a drop-in solution has too many problems, and I would need to find a way to reconfigure things to make the other options fit. So now the topic needs to shift to focusing on a secondary control panel, meaning I need to work out a layout idea and create a bad MS paint diagram of it to start the process of figuring out the best options.

FormulaFox

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2021, 07:12:35 pm »
I am attaching my initial layout thought for the alternate control panel. The idea behind that is that since the current control panel is not bolted down(it's hefty enough to not need to be) and the USB encoder can easily be disconnected, I can just switch to this alternate panel when I'm playing games that require(or work better with) a driving wheel, analog stick, trackball, spinners, etc.

The image is not to scale, it's just to give a basic layout to start from. I figure putting a trackball in the center and offsetting the driving wheel and analog sticks makes the most sense, with spinners off the side. I have deliberately left out other buttons I may need to control it since, depending on what can be made to work, there may be button options on the actual wheel/stick, so I figure add other buttons to the layout later based on what specific parts end up being needed. PL1 gave some good suggestions earlier, but the more the merrier.

My current control panel is 23" wide and 10.5" deep. I am obviously not constrained to these dimensions, but I'd like to stick pretty close to them if at all possible.

So what I need now are the best parts recommendations, the cheapest parts that will work, and will suggestions on a better layout.

And also a decently priced USB encoder that will be visible to most Windows games. :P (shopping for one is what brought me down this rabbit hole, after all)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 07:18:00 pm by FormulaFox »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2021, 08:36:47 pm »
First things first.

For a highly specialized panel like the one you're considering, you need to work through this design process in detail especially steps 2 and 4.
http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#What_type_of_build_meets_my_needs.3F

We can't give you good advice until you figure out what games you "can't live without" and exactly what controls are needed to support those games.

- Is the steering wheel a 270 degree (potentiometer) or a 360 degree (optical spinner) version?  Do you need analog or microswitch pedals?  What kind of shifter?  Have you read through this thread yet? (Protip: If there's a steering wheel in your build, you should.)

- You have a trackball and spinners, but no buttons?  Missile Command needs 3 player buttons.  Tempest needs 2 player buttons.

- "Analog flightstick" (as opposed to "analog joystick") usually implies at least a trigger and usually some thumb buttons, too.  It's not worth the effort to try to add a trigger and thumb buttons to one of the analog sticks mentioned earlier.

- Which admin buttons do you want/need for this panel?  Dedicated buttons or "shifted functions"?  Some inexpensive encoders don't support "shifted functions".
http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#Number_of_admin_buttons

Once you have answers to these questions, we can help.   :cheers:


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2021, 09:27:20 pm »
We can't give you good advice until you figure out what games you "can't live without" and exactly what controls are needed to support those games.

The thing with my "can't live without" list is that it covers, well, almost everything that was good... I used Starblade as an example earlier, but that's mainly because it was a recent discovery of mine, I'm also looking to get Star Wars arcade(and stuff like After Burner, but that works more than sufficiently with a standard microswitch joystick) running decently as well as nearly every driving game MAME supports - Outrun, Pole Position, Super Off-Road...

Quote
- Is the steering wheel a 270 degree (potentiometer) or a 360 degree (optical spinner) version?  Do you need analog or microswitch pedals?  What kind of shifter?  Have you read through this thread yet? (Protip: If there's a steering wheel in your build, you should.)

In a complete and utter fail of my thought process while posting, I completely omitted to the point of not even alluding to it an element of my existing control panel that is relevant here... There is a hole on the front for a lock to keep the panel shut. I have no real need to keep it locked, so this hole MIGHT be usable to install a 360-degree wheel(it is small, but there is room to expand it). There would have to be a way to do this where the wheel was removable for it to work, but if doable this makes the alternate control panel obviously require a 270.

I wouldn't bother with a separate shifter as I'm a bad boy and always used auto in my driving games, so I suspect a paddle shifter would do.
Pedals are the annoying part, as I have no idea if there's a one size fits all solution here.

Quote
- You have a trackball and spinners, but no buttons?  Missile Command needs 3 player buttons.  Tempest needs 2 player buttons.

I left the buttons out of the diagram due to lack of certainty of where they could ideally be placed. I know I'll need them, I just want to place the big stuff before I determine button placement. (as an aside, Missile Command in MAME works DISTURBINGLY well just on a joystick - not arcade perfect obviously, but better than the best console ports from my childhood) Unless the layout of the other components prevented it, I would probably place a common 6-button layout not unlike the current control panel somewhere on the right, with admin buttons on the top-left.

Quote
- "Analog flightstick" (as opposed to "analog joystick") usually implies at least a trigger and usually some thumb buttons, too.  It's not worth the effort to try to add a trigger and thumb buttons to one of the analog sticks mentioned earlier.

My lack of extensive past experience in such components and the odd nature of what I'm looking into here is causing me to use terminology interchangeably that probably shouldn't be.

Ideally, I would have an analog flight stick - trigger and thumb buttons and all. But I could settle for an analog joystick with smartly arranged buttons near it(that's pretty much how I've played After Burner to this point, after all).

Quote
- Which admin buttons do you want/need for this panel?  Dedicated buttons or "shifted functions"?  Some inexpensive encoders don't support "shifted functions".
http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#Number_of_admin_buttons
This would be a 1 player control panel so I could get away with as few as two, as I use Retroarch and it can map shifted functions regardless of the encoder(as long as RA can see the controls, obviously), though I do like having a dedicated button to access the menu(from which I can do any other necessary admin function).

And to be clear, I don't need this thing to look pretty. I'd just bolt a USB flight stick and driving wheel to a board if that would work AND be cheaper... But given the cost of the average USB driving wheel these days, I don't see that being any cheaper.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 09:46:28 pm by FormulaFox »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2021, 11:30:48 pm »
The thing with my "can't live without" list is that it covers, well, almost everything that was good.
Nothing personal, but if you can't even begin to define and narrow the game list, you are on the path to guaranteed failure and there's nothing more I can do to help you.   :banghead:

You don't have to list every game you eventually want to include, just the ones you want the most.

Make a list for each specialized control type (analog joystick, trackball, spinner, etc.) and at the top of each control-type list put the game that requires the most inputs.

For example:
Look through the analog joystick game list at http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/Joysticks#Analog_Joysticks.
- Star Wars (analog stick + 1 button) is usually the first game people think of adding to their analog joystick game list.
*** Both triggers and both thumb buttons do the same thing in this game, so you only need one button. ***
- Empire Strikes Back or S.T.U.N. Runner (analog stick + 2 buttons) might also make your list.  They have more inputs than SW so one of them goes to the top of your analog joystick list. (most inputs so far)
- Then you decide to include Apache 3 (analog stick + 3 buttons) so it goes to the top of the list and ESB and STUN Runner shift down the list.
- Then you consider Hyperdrive.  It needs an analog stick + 2 analog pedals + 4(?) buttons . :o  That's too many analog inputs for your build so you leave it off the list.
- Lock-On is next with analog stick and 4 buttons . . .


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2021, 11:34:50 pm »
The thing with my "can't live without" list is that it covers, well, almost everything that was good.
Nothing personal, but if you can't even begin to define and narrow the game list, you are on the path to guaranteed failure and there's nothing more I can do to help you.   :banghead:

You don't have to list every game you eventually want to include, just the ones you want the most.

Make a list for each specialized control type (analog joystick, trackball, spinner, etc.) and at the top of each control-type list put the game that requires the most inputs.

For example:
Look through the analog joystick game list at http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/Joysticks#Analog_Joysticks.
- Star Wars (analog stick + 1 button) is usually the first game people think of adding to their analog joystick game list.
*** Both triggers and both thumb buttons do the same thing in this game, so you only need one button. ***
- Empire Strikes Back or S.T.U.N. Runner (analog stick + 2 buttons) might also make your list.  They have more inputs than SW so one of them goes to the top of your analog joystick list. (most inputs so far)
- Then you decide to include Apache 3 (analog stick + 3 buttons) so it goes to the top of the list and ESB and STUN Runner shift down the list.
- Then you consider Hyperdrive.  It needs an analog stick + 2 analog pedals + 4(?) buttons . :o  That's too many analog inputs for your build so you leave it off the list.
- Lock-On is next with analog stick and 4 buttons . . .


Scott

I'm honestly not following the issue. I don't see why we shouldn't be able to fit enough buttons on a dedicated control panel - it's not like one game can't use the same buttons another game does.

And why is there a limit to the amount of analog options in my build?

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2021, 01:44:09 am »
How do you ask someone for directions if you don't know where you want to go?   :lol

The "gotta have it" game lists are how you can tell us where you want to go.
- You can get away with generic advice for a 2-player "joy+6 buttons" setup, but that's not what you're doing here.
- With specialized controls like these, there are too many games that require unique control combinations.

it's not like one game can't use the same buttons another game does.
Not always.  :banghead:

You need to consider things like:
- Function.  You can't use the same buttons for P1 spinner and P2 spinner.  Separate functions require separate buttons.
- Ergonomics.  Which hand on which controls?  Ambidexterous buttons for the spinners?  Does the layout feel good for each game or is your right hand on the trackball and your left hand is reaching for the buttons by P1's spinner?
- Number of encoder inputs.  Some buttons you can wire in parallel, but you will need to determine how many inputs are needed for the controls.

And why is there a limit to the amount of analog options in my build?
There is a limit on the number of analog axes you can put on a single gamepad and (obviously) on the number of inputs for a particular encoder board.
- Too many inputs, you need to add another encoder.
- That's not a problem for keyboard encoders, but you can run into the "Windows device renumbering" issue when you have more than one gamepad plugged in at a time.
- You can use 4 analog axes (stick + 2 pedals) for Hyperdrive, assuming you plan for it, but so far we don't know where you want to go so we can't give you good directions.   ::)


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2021, 09:04:54 am »
it's not like one game can't use the same buttons another game does.
Not always.  :banghead:

You need to consider things like:
- Function.  You can't use the same buttons for P1 spinner and P2 spinner.
P2 spinner...? Oh, derp, I failed to make something clear again. I only intend to use ONE spinner, I put two on the diagram as an example of two possible spots. vVerything on this panel is supposed to be single-player.

There is a limit on the number of analog axes you can put on a single gamepad and (obviously) on the number of inputs for a particular encoder board.
- Too many inputs, you need to add another encoder.
- That's not a problem for keyboard encoders, but you can run into the "Windows device renumbering" issue when you have more than one gamepad plugged in at a time.
- You can use 4 analog axes (stick + 2 pedals) for Hyperdrive, assuming you plan for it, but so far we don't know where you want to go so we can't give you good directions.   ::)

So basically this is an issue that's encoder dependent... But I haven't even decided on an encoder because none have been suggested and I don't know jack about any to be able to figure out potential options myself, so how does "my build" already have a limit?

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2021, 02:28:43 pm »
how does "my build" already have a limit?
At this stage, the limiting factor is the lack of clarity due to a lack of information.

Working through the process will allow you to gather and organize that information that will allow us to help you.
- It has to be you that defines what goes into the build, because the build is for your use and enjoyment and there's no one-size-fits-all advice for a driving-only panel, let alone a combination driving/analog/trackball/spinner panel.

How do you expect someone to help you without them knowing what you want to accomplish?

How will they know what you want to accomplish if you don't tell them?

But I haven't even decided on an encoder
Q:  How does one choose encoders?
A:  You choose encoders based on the number of inputs for each different type of control -- digital (microswitches), analog (potentiometers), optical (spinner/trackball), matrix (keypad), rotary joystick (Ikari Warriors), etc.

Q: How does one find the needed number of inputs for each different type of control?
A: You decide what games you want to play then use that list to determine what controls you need to play those games.

Games list ==> control types + input quantities ==> encoder choice.

No matter what, to finish this build you're going to do all three parts of the process eventually, so why are you fighting doing them in the order that gives you the best odds of success?   :soapbox:

I haven't even decided on an encoder because none have been suggested
*ahem*
Usually you chose the controls and number of inputs you need then you select the appropriate encoder.   ;)

That said, if you can solder and either use the KADE miniArcade 2.0 firmware or copy/paste/modify some fairly simple Arduino code (related thread here), two Arduino Pro Micros can handle the 30 microswitch inputs on your current panel and can also handle analog inputs if you do decide to go the thumbstick route.
- It's not plug-and-play easy, but I think it's the best encoder choice for a combination of least expensive and most flexible.

I don't know jack about any to be able to figure out potential options myself
So stop arguing with a guy who does know and is trying to help you through the process.   :banghead:

Now man-up and make some choices on the games you want to play on your build or stop wasting my time and GTFO.   :angry:


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2021, 05:09:04 pm »
Okay, then...

Spinner games:
Arkanoid
Arkanoid-Revenge of DOH
Arkanoid Return
Breakout
Super Breakout
Tempest

Trackball games:
Liberator
Crystal Castles
Marble Madness
The Simpsons Bowling
The Grid

Driving:
Cruis'n USA
Cruis'n World
Daytona USA
Hard Drivin'
Hydro Thunder
Outrun
Pole Position
Race Drivin'
Ridge Racer
Sega Rally Championship
Super Off-Road
Super Sprint

No, I'm not being facetious with this list - It is heavily paired down. There's a reason I tried to go with "everything." I left off anything I've found works fine with standard microswitch joysticks(like Missile Command and Centipede) in addition to anything "minor" in the big picture, but this is still a legitimate list of things I'm hoping to get working.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 07:58:02 pm by FormulaFox »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2021, 06:18:05 pm »
I built a driving cabinet with a 360 wheel and micro-switch pedals. The games that worked best for it were Super Sprint and Off-road. I did have a return to center shifter, but it's not very arcade-like. Once I started going through the game list, it was crazy how many different variations the controls for the games had. Some of the control panel variances: hi\low shifter, hi\low shifter with buttons, manual shifter, manual shifter with buttons, analog pedals, micro-switch pedals, 270 degree steering wheel, 360 wheel, view buttons, turbo buttons, and various other buttons.

Bottom line, I eventually got rid of the cabinet because the driving games I really enjoyed didn't work all that well with the controls.


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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2021, 06:24:34 pm »
Missile Command and Centipede work fine with a joystick?  I've never heard that before.  I mean, I've never tried it either but it doesn't seem like it would work at all to me.

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2021, 06:55:10 pm »
Missile Command and Centipede work fine with a joystick?  I've never heard that before.  I mean, I've never tried it either but it doesn't seem like it would work at all to me.

They are not arcade perfect by ANY stretch - anyone who's played the originals with any regularity will be able to list in detail how differently it plays(only one speed of movement being the most obvious one) but weirdly they work better than ANY console port that was made back in the day. I think MAME emulates it to move at the highest possible speed at all times - I can't say for sure since it's been so long since I played an original cabinet(or even a trackball reproduction), but the big issue I have playing it on my joystick is it being too fast for some smaller movements so my experience certainly points that way.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 06:58:42 pm by FormulaFox »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2021, 07:57:46 pm »
Good start on the list, FormulaFox.   :cheers:

The next two things to do are:
1. Find which game in the spinner and trackball lists uses the most buttons and add that info to the list.
- Off the top of my head, Tempest uses 2 buttons and Missile Command uses 3 buttons.  Do any of the others use more?

2. Break the "Driving "sub-list into "360 Wheel Driving" and "270 Wheel Driving" since they don't play well at all on the controls for the other type of game.  Like oil and water, they don't mix. :lol

You can find that info by looking in the Owner's Manual for each game.
- Go to https://www.klov.com/. (redirects to https://www.arcade-museum.com/)
- Put the game name in the search window. (upper right)
- Click on the link to the game page.
- Scroll down to "Manuals".
- For Pole Position, the first link is to https://www.arcade-museum.com/manuals-videogames/P/Pole_Position_TM218_7th_Printing.pdf
- Look for either a parts breakdown (easy way) or the schematic to see if it has an optical encoder wheel (360) or a potentiometer. (270)
-- On page 38, you can see the optical encoder wheel for the steering wheel.
-- If you want to dig into the schematics on page 90 of this Pole Position manual, you see the Steering Coupler PCB schematic.  The LEDs () and phototransistors () confirm that it is an optical steering wheel.
- Next check if the pedals are microswitch or potentiometer.
-- On page 44, you can see the potentiometer for the gas pedal. There's also a note indicating that the brake microswitch is for the sit-down cabinet with dual pedals.  If you configure this game as "upright cabinet", you won't need the brake pedal.
-- Schematics on page 86, lower left here show the gas potentiometer () and the brake microswitch. ()
- As leapinlew pointed out, there are tons of variations in driving cab controls so you'll need to check every driving game and write down what you need for that game so it's easier to sort the games later.  Be sure to include things like the view buttons for Daytona.
i.e. 360 Wheel Driving -- Pole Position (potentiometer gas pedal, hi/low single switch shifter)


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2021, 08:00:06 pm »
I'll do that when I have time, but I have to reiterate my request for USB encoder suggestions for the existing control panel. I don't know a lot about this stuff, but I don't see why I need the alternate control panel specced out before I can get a suggestion for a component meant for the existing control panel.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 08:02:36 pm by FormulaFox »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2021, 08:33:47 pm »
Regarding your current panel, here are several options:

1. The easy but a bit more expensive way is an I-Pac2.  https://www.ultimarc.com/control-interfaces/i-pacs/i-pac2/

2. The slightly more difficult but less expensive way uses two Arduino Pro Micros.
if you can solder and either use the KADE miniArcade 2.0 firmware or copy/paste/modify some fairly simple Arduino code (related thread here), two Arduino Pro Micros can handle the 30 microswitch inputs on your current panel and can also handle analog inputs if you do decide to go the thumbstick route.
- It's not plug-and-play easy, but I think it's the best encoder choice for a combination of least expensive and most flexible.
If you want to use Pro Micros for the optical and/or analog encoders on your new panel, you can get some practice by using them on your old panel.   ;D

3. Just noticed that RandyT added a USB keyboard encoder to his lineup last year.
https://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_94&products_id=417


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2021, 08:54:19 pm »
I've seen the I-PAC before and was hoping there was something I could plug into as easily as other encoders, but part of that is not wanting to buy yet more wires. (though I'll need to anyway since as of a few minutes ago I found a use for the Xinmo encoder and its wires after I make the switch)

I can't solder to save my life(I've tried) so the Arduinos are a nonstarter. I wish I could - a lot of things would be cheaper if I could just do it myself, but as it turns out my hands are too unsteady to do most small electronic stuff....

Price wise the keyboard encoder is barely different to the I-PAC.

Tough call between the I-PAC and keyboard encoders....

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2021, 09:24:21 pm »
OH! Something else. Pretty minor overall, and while I believe I alluded to this idea earlier, I never expressly asked about it.

I've on occasion thought about swapping the 2P joystick for a flightstick-style microswitch joystick similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/Flight-Joystick-Console-Accessories-Trigger/dp/B09233XPML/ but I've never found one that uses HAPP-style mounting. At least, I've not found any aside from the triple-digit-price official HAPP sticks.... Anybody know if such a thing exists? Or if there's a reliable way to mod a Sanwa plate to fit in an opening routed for HAPP?

I've thought about this on occasion because of a handful of games that work fairly well with microswitch joysticks even if they originally used analog(After Burner's a good example - certainly works better with microswitches than Starblade does! :P ), and MAME's ability to map a 2P input to 1P on single-player games. What's more, literally everybody I know holds arcade joysticks in a way that the buttons wouldn't interfere with 2P play of any other sort of game.

But this is obviously dependent on finding something that could be done with at all, which looks like it might be a problem.

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2021, 10:20:23 pm »
I can't solder to save my life(I've tried) so the Arduinos are a nonstarter. I wish I could - a lot of things would be cheaper if I could just do it myself, but as it turns out my hands are too unsteady to do most small electronic stuff....
Any chance a friend could solder the headers on the Arduinos for you?

Assuming that your button microswitches have 0.187" tabs, you could use Dupont M-F jumpers, euro-style terminal strips, and these pre-crimped 0.187" QDs or hack up a Jamma harness to go between the terminal strip and the buttons
  or
you could use some of these 4-wire harnesses or individual Dupont to QD wires like this one to connect the wiring.

Paradise also has pre-fab daisy-chains like this one.  Highly recommended.   ;D

I've on occasion thought about swapping the 2P joystick for a flightstick-style microswitch joystick similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/Flight-Joystick-Console-Accessories-Trigger/dp/B09233XPML/ but I've never found one that uses HAPP-style mounting.
Paradise has a replacement plate here that should work for sticks like that one that are knockoffs of the LS-32.

I'm skeptical about the ergonomics of the "new style" stick that you linked to.

You might want to look at the "old style" version of that stick carried by Ultimarc. (Warning: The ones that Paradise sells here and GGG sells here are a short shaft version that is ONLY for metal panels or top-mounting.)

Related thread with some Amazon links to some of the "old style" triggersticks.
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,165803.0.html


Scott
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 10:23:06 pm by PL1 »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2021, 10:32:34 pm »
I can't solder to save my life(I've tried) so the Arduinos are a nonstarter. I wish I could - a lot of things would be cheaper if I could just do it myself, but as it turns out my hands are too unsteady to do most small electronic stuff....
Any chance a friend could solder the headers on the Arduinos for you?

Sadly no. Only friend I know with the soldering skills to do it is WAAAAY too busy to worry about such things for the foreseeable future...

Quote
Assuming that your button microswitches have 0.187" tabs, you could use Dupont M-F jumpers, euro-style terminal strips, and these pre-crimped 0.187" QDs or hack up a Jamma harness to go between the terminal strip and the buttons
  or
you could use some of these 4-wire harnesses or individual Dupont to QD wires like this one to connect the wiring.

Paradise also has pre-fab daisy-chains like this one.  Highly recommended.   ;D

And now my brain will shut down from overload. :P I will figure out eventually, though.

Quote
I've on occasion thought about swapping the 2P joystick for a flightstick-style microswitch joystick similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/Flight-Joystick-Console-Accessories-Trigger/dp/B09233XPML/ but I've never found one that uses HAPP-style mounting.
Paradise has a replacement plate here that should work for sticks like that one that are knockoffs of the LS-32.

I'm skeptical about the ergonomics of the "new style" stick that you linked to.

You might want to look at the "old style" version of that stick carried by Ultimarc. (Warning: The ones that Paradise sells here and GGG sells here are a short shaft version that is ONLY for metal panels or top-mounting.)

Related thread with some Amazon links to some of the "old style" triggersticks.
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,165803.0.html


Scott

Well, I did use that more as "example" than "definitely going with that shape." Thanks for the info, I'll make sure to take this into accou-- AAAH GORF THREAD NOOO NOW I AM SAD....  :'(

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2021, 12:44:44 am »
Sadly no. Only friend I know with the soldering skills to do it is WAAAAY too busy to worry about such things for the foreseeable future...
If you can find an electronics repair place nearby, they should be able to do the soldering for you in just a few minutes.
    or
There are some on e-bay that have the pin headers already soldered on, but they are more expensive.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/184563351837?hash=item2af8d5411d:g:JKUAAOSw3XBfyBEe
- You want the 5v/16MHz version with the Atmel Mega 32u4 chip. (some listings are for the 3.3v/8MHz version or different boards that use an Atmel Mega 328 chip)
- If you're not sure, post a link and I'll let you know if it's what you need.   :cheers:

And now my brain will shut down from overload. :P I will figure out eventually, though.
To clarify, you start at the male pin header on the Arduino . . .



. . . where you connect the female side of the Dupont M-F jumper . . .



. . . and the male side of the jumper goes into one side of the euro-style terminal strip . . .



. . . and on the other side goes the stripped end of the wire with the pre-crimped Quick Disconnect that connects to the tab on the button microswitch.



Buttons have switch tabs that are either 0.110"/2.8mm (mostly Japanese buttons or Goldleafs) or 0.187"/4.8mm (most arcade microswitches) or 0.250"/6.3mm. (some microswitches)




Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2021, 02:20:29 pm »
While I sift through and consider my options(it's worth noting I likely won't be able to move on this until after Christmas), a friend has asked me to pass long a question about the encoder I linked in my original comment(https://www.amazon.com/SJ-JX-Controller-Joystick-Raspberry/dp/B08FJ74TPL?th=1).

Now he hasn't decided if he's gonna go Windows PC or Raspberry Pi for his cabinet, and he's actually still waiting on his cabinet(he's gonna mod an Arcade1Up X-Men), so he's just gathering some general info. He wants to know if that encoder would do what we're talking about with the I-PAC and the Arduinos - work with nearly all Windows games. Of course he follow whatever I choose if he went with Windows, but one of the few things he knows for sure right now is that he's going with a single-player control panel, so the I-PAC might be overkill. To which I pointed out that the linked encoder would also be overkill at that price! But still, covering all bases and everything.

The conversation with him that led to this inquiry also gave me another thought. The microswitch-operated mini-flightstick for the 2P joystick came up(friend loved the idea, BTW), and my friend asked me why I don't just do an analog joystick for it. Answer is simple: I want the 2P joystick to have the feel of an arcade joystick when playing non-analog games. I then remembered I have a few broken microswitches lying around - they still click, they just don't send any input when they do. This makes me wonder if there is a way to mount them so that an analog stick would make them click. If so, that could lead to a whole new approach to this project....
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 02:31:09 pm by FormulaFox »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2021, 04:11:20 pm »
Now he hasn't decided if he's gonna go Windows PC or Raspberry Pi for his cabinet, and he's actually still waiting on his cabinet(he's gonna mod an Arcade1Up X-Men), so he's just gathering some general info. He wants to know if that encoder would do what we're talking about with the I-PAC and the Arduinos - work with nearly all Windows games. Of course he follow whatever I choose if he went with Windows, but one of the few things he knows for sure right now is that he's going with a single-player control panel, so the I-PAC might be overkill. To which I pointed out that the linked encoder would also be overkill at that price! But still, covering all bases and everything.
The "will it work with nearly all Windows games" part of the question is way too vague and broad to answer accurately because it covers far too many possible options over the last 30+ years of gaming and emulation.
- That said, I can't envision a general purpose use-case where that encoder would ever be a top-tier option.

Now, stop me if you've heard this one before.

Your friend needs to decide which games he wants to play on his system . . .

http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#What_type_of_build_meets_my_needs.3F

He'll probably figure out that a standard "Joy + 6" setup with optional spinner/trackball will cover 99% of what he wants to play.

Add a Neutrik NAUSB-W-B USB feedthru on the cab and you can easily plug in a USB gamepad/flightstick for the console, dual-stick, or analog games.



The few remaining games require highly specialized controls.

The conversation with him that led to this inquiry also gave me another thought. The microswitch-operated mini-flightstick for the 2P joystick came up(friend loved the idea, BTW), and my friend asked me why I don't just do an analog joystick for it. Answer is simple: I want the 2P joystick to have the feel of an arcade joystick when playing non-analog games. I then remembered I have a few broken microswitches lying around - they still click, they just don't send any input when they do. This makes me wonder if there is a way to mount them so that an analog stick would make them click. If so, that could lead to a whole new approach to this project....
The short answer is NO.

A microswitch joystick outputs only two states based on the lever position: Not pressed (centered) and pressed.
- They are designed with a limited range of motion before a switch engages.

An analog stick outputs a wide range of possible values.
- They are designed with a wide range of motion so it's easier to accurately control those values.

Q: How do you combine a short-throw design with a long-throw design and have it do both functions well?
A: You can't.

Theoretically, it might be possible to hang an actuator under the gimbal (the curved part that translates the shaft position into potentiometer rotation) of an analog stick . . .



. . . and put a Seimitsu-style PCB with switches in some sort of spring-loaded slider frame, but that would ruin the smooth feel of the analog stick motion and be an insane amount of engineering effort just to feel a fake click.   :dizzy:



Unlike a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, these are two great tastes that do not taste great together.   :lol


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2021, 06:08:58 pm »
Now he hasn't decided if he's gonna go Windows PC or Raspberry Pi for his cabinet, and he's actually still waiting on his cabinet(he's gonna mod an Arcade1Up X-Men), so he's just gathering some general info. He wants to know if that encoder would do what we're talking about with the I-PAC and the Arduinos - work with nearly all Windows games. Of course he follow whatever I choose if he went with Windows, but one of the few things he knows for sure right now is that he's going with a single-player control panel, so the I-PAC might be overkill. To which I pointed out that the linked encoder would also be overkill at that price! But still, covering all bases and everything.
The "will it work with nearly all Windows games" part of the question is way too vague and broad to answer accurately because it covers far too many possible options over the last 30+ years of gaming and emulation.

Well, when we say "all windows games" we're talking about modern stuff - Street Fighter V, Streets of rage 4, Guilty Gear Xrd/Strive, Killer Instinct... Not the ancient stuff. Basically stuff that should be able to see Xinput controllers.

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Now, stop me if you've heard this one before.

Your friend needs to decide which games he wants to play on his system . . .

Nothing that won't work with microswitch joysticks. He doesn't care about driving games, or flight games, or anything like that. He's a fighter/beat 'em up guy and will DEFINITELY just be using a single joystick/six button interface. He doesn't need layout help, he's just concerned with what encoder to choose should he decide to go with a Windows PC. I'm encouraging him to go with a Raspberry Pi, though - I don't think he'll play the newer stuff on there enough to justify it.

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The conversation with him that led to this inquiry also gave me another thought. The microswitch-operated mini-flightstick for the 2P joystick came up(friend loved the idea, BTW), and my friend asked me why I don't just do an analog joystick for it. Answer is simple: I want the 2P joystick to have the feel of an arcade joystick when playing non-analog games. I then remembered I have a few broken microswitches lying around - they still click, they just don't send any input when they do. This makes me wonder if there is a way to mount them so that an analog stick would make them click. If so, that could lead to a whole new approach to this project....
The short answer is NO.

A microswitch joystick outputs only two states based on the lever position: Not pressed (centered) and pressed.
- They are designed with a limited range of motion before a switch engages.

An analog stick outputs a wide range of possible values.
- They are designed with a wide range of motion so it's easier to accurately control those values.

Q: How do you combine a short-throw design with a long-throw design and have it do both functions well?
A: You can't.

Theoretically, it might be possible to hang an actuator under the gimbal (the curved part that translates the shaft position into potentiometer rotation) of an analog stick . . .



. . . and put a Seimitsu-style PCB with switches in some sort of spring-loaded slider frame, but that would ruin the smooth feel of the analog stick motion and be an insane amount of engineering effort just to feel a fake click.   :dizzy:



Unlike a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, these are two great tastes that do not taste great together.   :lol


Scott

That's certainly an... interesting way to put it, but just to be clear I'm not looking to alter the function of the stick, just make it give that clicky feedback when used with games that don't read it as analog to begin with.

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2021, 08:35:54 pm »
Well, when we say "all windows games" we're talking about modern stuff - Street Fighter V, Streets of rage 4, Guilty Gear Xrd/Strive, Killer Instinct... Not the ancient stuff. Basically stuff that should be able to see Xinput controllers.
There's the key info.

You need an Xinput-compatible encoder.

I'll let someone with experience with those encoders weigh in -- I don't play any of the modern games.


Scott

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2021, 09:47:48 pm »
Well, when we say "all windows games" we're talking about modern stuff - Street Fighter V, Streets of rage 4, Guilty Gear Xrd/Strive, Killer Instinct... Not the ancient stuff. Basically stuff that should be able to see Xinput controllers.
There's the key info.

You need an Xinput-compatible encoder.

I'll let someone with experience with those encoders weigh in -- I don't play any of the modern games.


Scott

Unfortunately that seems to not be sufficient... That's what my understanding always was, however the Xinmo encoder I use is supposedly Xinput, but several games(most notably, Killer Instinct) don't see it. I have a workaround for it which is why I'm prioritizing the control panel changes over a new encoder, but the workaround is a bit annoying to set up when I encoutner a game insists I only have a keyboard and mouse connected.

But there have been some funny moments from all this - Guilty Gear Xrd went VERY derp with this encoder. It registers the controllers fine, but when I first got going it swapped up/down and left/right on the 2P joystick. I had to disconnect and reconnect the microswitches(not move them, just unhook the leads from the switch and put them back on) to fix it. Then it randomly decided to reverse 1P and 2P joysticks. ONLY the joysticks, not the buttons. Uninstall/reinstall fixed that one.

That said hope an encoder expert drops by because that will be quite helpful.

In the meantime I've got plenty of time to think things through on the secondary control panel, so don't wait at they keyboard for the updated details on the games. On top of having Christmas to deal with I actually had a car problem develop barely an hour after I started the thread so I'm not doing anything on this quickly.

I have decided NOT to do any swapping out of the 2P joystick anytime soon, though. I have a bucket of modeling clay here, so I'm going to wrap the 2P joystick in painter's tape then make a custom flightstick-like grip for it. No flightstick buttons but I've gotten so used to using the panel buttons that it won't matter. It'll be janky AF, but it'll give the cab more character as well.  :P

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2021, 09:48:27 pm »
The plan has changed drastically for reasons I am absolutely kicking myself for not thinking of the instant PL1 mentioned listing games I cannot live without.

I showed my friend(same one who asked me to pass on the encoder inquiry) the initial molding of my 2P joystick grip(which I have attached for your amusement), and he asked me, "Why don't you do that to both and play Cyber Sled?"

Cyber Sled... Cyber Sled.... CYBER ****ING SLED HOW DID I FORGET YOU?! :banghead:

Now my little extra grips aren't going to work with Cyber Sled because they won't have working trigger/thumb buttons, and no way am I playing that game using the panel buttons to fire. So now I need two flightsticks on the control panel instead of just one, which takes up more space, and with the trackball and spinner will make comfortably fitting a steering wheel too great an issue.

Yes, I am willing to give up all the driving games just for Cyber Sled, though I won't actually have to. At some point I will take the lazy route and get a USB wheel that can clip to the control panel, and settle for it limiting my driving game options.

What I don't know is if Cyber Sled used analog or microswitch joysticks. My recollections of how it played would indicate microswitches, but I was young enough that I may have just noticed noticed they were analog. Google has been sadly unhelpful....

EDIT: Almost immediately after posting this I took to Google again and actually found a scan of the Cyber Sled operator's manual, which has a section on maintenance of the joystick potentiometers, thus answering my question. If my recollections are anything to go by, I could probably make microswitch sticks work, but it's probably best to just get some analog. *looks at the UltraStick 360FS price* Oh, boy, this is gonna sting.... But it'll be worth it.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 10:05:27 pm by FormulaFox »

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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2021, 07:32:37 am »
Cyber Sled... Cyber Sled.... CYBER ****ING SLED HOW DID I FORGET YOU?! :banghead:
Glad you remembered it before you got too far in the build process.   ;D

EDIT: Almost immediately after posting this I took to Google again and actually found a scan of the Cyber Sled operator's manual, which has a section on maintenance of the joystick potentiometers, thus answering my question. If my recollections are anything to go by, I could probably make microswitch sticks work, but it's probably best to just get some analog. *looks at the UltraStick 360FS price* Oh, boy, this is gonna sting.... But it'll be worth it.
Have you considered using a USB Playstation2 controller (or similar with two analog thumbsticks) for Cyber Sled?

Emulation for Namco System 21 games still has some rough edges, but there have been some recent advances IIRC.

Pretty sure you'll need to use a networking connection for a 2-player game, but I'm not sure about the current state of network emulation in Cyber Sled.   :dunno


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Re: BIG control panel project questions!
« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2021, 01:57:46 pm »
Cyber Sled... Cyber Sled.... CYBER ****ING SLED HOW DID I FORGET YOU?! :banghead:
Glad you remembered it before you got too far in the build process.   ;D

This exact possibility is why I wanted to plan out as much as possible in advance despite the car issue pushing this back even further.

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EDIT: Almost immediately after posting this I took to Google again and actually found a scan of the Cyber Sled operator's manual, which has a section on maintenance of the joystick potentiometers, thus answering my question. If my recollections are anything to go by, I could probably make microswitch sticks work, but it's probably best to just get some analog. *looks at the UltraStick 360FS price* Oh, boy, this is gonna sting.... But it'll be worth it.
Have you considered using a USB Playstation2 controller (or similar with two analog thumbsticks) for Cyber Sled?

Definitely. But I think It'd rather implement the controls for this into the panel - bolting on a USB steering wheel will look less odd overall when using a cabinet.

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Emulation for Namco System 21 games still has some rough edges, but there have been some recent advances IIRC.

Pretty sure you'll need to use a networking connection for a 2-player game, but I'm not sure about the current state of network emulation in Cyber Sled.   :dunno


Scott

Not much of an issue for me. Nobody else I know likes Cyber Sled so it'll just be me vs the CPU. In the unlikely event I convince someone to play, they'll probably just netplay via Retroarch on their main PC with a common gamepad.

I've seen some videos of MAME emulation of Cyber Sled on Youtube, and it appears to be working well enough.

I also realize I forgot to attach the amusing image of the initial molding of my add-on grip to my previous post. So here it is now.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 02:03:54 pm by FormulaFox »