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Author Topic: 4 PLAYER RACING CAB – LED Outputs/ MameHooker/ OutputBlaster/ Physical RPM Tacho  (Read 1721 times)

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Pstylz

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  • 4Player Arcade Racer - WIP
I’ve been inspired by the amazing work in the emulation community, especially regarding "lamp outputs" to start a new project (:notworthy: thanks Boomslangnz and Howard_Casto).
My custom 4 Player Arcade racers.

I've previously built twin racers from the ground up around 10 years ago (they are huge) so decided it was time to start again and make them more compact, more professional-ish, more arcade-like and more immersive.

I'm really keen to set up output lamps etc to make the arcade experience more immersive. Things like the flashing RACE LEADER lamps, using WLED and LEDBlinky to control the RGB LED strip light effects and a PACDRIVE and MameHooker / OutputBlaster for controlling LED buttons and lamps.

I'm also hoping Boomslangnz can work his magic and find outputs for RPM so I can hook up a physical Tachometer and shift light! And then somehow figure out how to get MameHooker to talk to (I'm guessing) an Arduino which controls the Tachometer - if anyone has any experience with this pleaaaaase reach out! :woot

BIGBOX
All 4 cabinets are managed by one instance of BigBox on PLAYER 1.
  • Eliminates the need to use a frontend on each cab
  • Eliminates the need for the same game to be manually started on each cab at the same time
  • Stops the initial "network sync" errors with some games if they are not both started at the same time
  • Eliminates confusion for players
To find out more info, check out my other post: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,164636.0.html

HOME ASSISTANT
I use Home Assistant to “turn on” each cabinet (the wall plug) – Each PC Bios is set to TURN ON mode when power is applied (no need to manually turn each cabinet on).
When the cabinets are turned off via HA, a script is run on each cabinet to shut down the PC correctly, shortly afterwards, HA turns off the wall plug cutting all power to each cabinet.  This ensures every powered device is off.
I was also able to set up each cabinet to run an instance of IOTLink : https://iotlink.gitlab.io/.  This enables me to “select a game” in Home Assistant which, via MQTT, runs a “start” script on each cabinet. 
All of this is easily done via my phone or wall tablet.

WLED
I plan on using the WLED Project to control the colours / effects of the 3x LED strips (under cabinet, back of cabinet, footwell)
  • Example 1= setting each cabinets colours to their car colour i.e for Daytona USA.
  • Example 2= setting all LED strips to be SOUND REACTIVE i.e for Dirty Drivin’

CHALLENGES
  • Getting RPM Outputs to MameHooker
  • Translating those RPM Outputs to a Physical Tachometer
  • Controlling the Logitech Z5500 Sound system (solved - Z5500 Control bypass cable   https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322849191576 )
  • Designing / Building the bloody things! :banghead:

CONTROLLING THE Z5500 LOGITECH SOUND SYSTEM
This system is a beast!  And to have 4 of them running at the same time…. I may get complaints from neighbours haha… anyway, there are two challenges with these systems.. 1. is that they have a MASSIVE control pod and 2. You have to press the ON button every time the power is turned off to turn them on.  Not practical for my project considering each cabinet has all power cut when turned off.
SOLUTION: I found on eBay a Z5500 Control bypass cable   https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322849191576 this way I wont need to manually turn on each system or manually control the volume via a massive control pod. I can control the volume via the source (PC).
I can also “reset” the volume on each cabinet when a new game starts by setting the PC volume via game start script  😊

THE LG ULTRAWIDE MARQUEE / LIVE VIEW
At it’s most basic, this screen will show the current game marquee.
I think some games have a “LIVE VIEW” feature which I will investigate.
I’m trying to think of other uses also – perhaps Marquee and a live view of each players camera?
Any other ideas?

Here’s my parts list so far:  x4 :dizzy:

PACDRIVE to control:

Software:

I’m also working on a spreadsheet that lists games and their lamp outputs / num of players / num of gears / troubleshooting tips / resolution / etc which I’ll post soon and keep updating.

I’ll post progress photos soon 😊
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 01:17:16 am by Pstylz »

Pstylz

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01/08/2022 - UPDATE A
-------------------------------

SEATS -->
2x Seats came in - unfortunately they are damaged and out of stock for 4 to 6 weeks which is frustrating.
However, they are AWESOME!!!  They are all black and have a nice Carbon Fiber look on the backs.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/265236866204

CASTER WHEELS
I went 3 inch Heavy Duty Casters.  These are rated at 680kg / 1500lbs.  They seem pretty solid.
https://www.amazon.com.au/Moogiitools-1000lbs-Swivel-Locking-Casters/dp/B07CMTMHHT
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 01:24:36 am by Pstylz »

Pstylz

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01/08/2022 - UPDATE B
-------------------------------

I put some work into the design and shape over the weekend.

It was a little tricky and took several tests with people and kids of different heights to get the seating, pedals and steering wheel positioned correctly.
Still playing around with the dimensions and shape of the foot side panels and top side panels - these will most likely be in a similar shape to Daytona USA cabinets, although I plan on including a RACE LEADER marquee also.

I finished the base which is pretty heavy when the 10" Logitech sub is in place.  The 18mm MDF makes the unit very solid though.

I've pulled apart the Logitech G27 Pedals and flipped them upside down and attached them to an angled piece of wood - this is a more comfortable/realistic feel.  I'm not including the clutch or 6 speed shifter - instead using a 4 speed HAPP shifter for that more authentic Daytona USA feel.

The base-top piece has been separated into 3 pieces.  One that surrounds the subwoofer, one that will be used to access the PC and electrical pieces and the last is support under the pedals.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 01:24:53 am by Pstylz »

Pstylz

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01/08/2022 - UPDATE C
-------------------------------

I also played around with the 4 Speed HAPP shifter holder.  Most likely going to angle it slightly for easy access.
These 4 speed shifters really make the whole arcade experience more genuine.  On my old twin racer cabinet, people would always miss gears on the 6 speed Logitech shifter.

Pstylz

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17/08/2022 - UPDATE
-------------------------------

Managed to put a bit of time into the design over the weekend.  :)
I found it quite challenging to get the shape I wanted on the side panels as its quite an odd shape but I think they've come up quite well.  I think the angles really give it more character rather than lots of square edges.   :D
« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 05:13:15 am by Pstylz »

Pstylz

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18/08/2022 - UPDATE
-------------------------------

Snuck a few more hours in today.
It's beginning to really look like an arcade machine now  :applaud:

bobbyb13

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Nice work.
That's looking great.
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

javeryh

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Wow this is a super ambitious project.  I'll be following along.

Pstylz

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04/09/2022 - UPDATE
-------------------------------

Cut the wheel shape out of the control panel and attached the shifter housing.
Need to do a bit of sanding and work on the "Race Leader" marquee  :)

theolditguy

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This looks awesome so far! Question, are you planning on using WLED with software like LEDBlinky or just setting up profiles manually?

Pstylz

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This looks awesome so far! Question, are you planning on using WLED with software like LEDBlinky or just setting up profiles manually?

Thanks mate  :)

I'll probably play around with a few ideas.
Initially, I think I will use WLED to control the colours.  WLED has HTTP API functionality so I can send colours or effects directly to each cabinet at game launch.

For example, when Daytona USA starts, I can send an HTTP API colour parameter to each WLED controller (via AHK) to set each cabinets LED colours to match the in-game car colour. (Cab 1=RED, Cab 2=BLUE, Cab 3=YELLOW, Cab 4=GREEN).
I'll also use the PAC DRIVE to "flash" these LED's for RACE LEADER, along with the dedicated RACE LEADER Marquee.

DaOld Man

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Impressive!
Wish I had room for racer cabs.  :'(
Following this project.

Pstylz

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03/10/2022 - UPDATE
-------------------------------

Sorry it's been a little while between updates, my son was born.
A little arcade gamer in the making 😉❤️🕹️🎮🚘🏎️

Managed to squeeze in a few hours recently (probably should have caught up on sleep haha).
Found a few challenges, especially with bevelled angles and not having the right tools/knowing how to use them properly. Also need to pick up a router to have a go at the T Molding and routing out where the "race leader" marquee will go.

I've added the marquee panels and hung the marquee screen.
I'm still playing around with the layout of the control panel and the positioning of the shifter.
There are sooooo many screws in this thing haha. Definitely a solid unit.

Not far from complete now. (Well the timber side of things anyway)
Need to hang the TV, add the race leader marquee and upper speaker panels, add the brake lights and a few minor touchups and then I'll probably pull it apart and stencil some some of the pieces and begin the 2nd cabinet and then apply paint.

Once I've completed two of them, I'll build the other two 🤪
« Last Edit: October 03, 2022, 09:18:47 am by Pstylz »

Greenman

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Looking awesome!

Will you have enough front screen width to allow access between seats for players 2 and 3?  Bit hard to see at this stage.  Any interest in running e-racing or project cars while you're at it?

Sides do look arcadie.  Well done on them!!   :cheers:

My previous projects:

Pstylz

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Looking awesome!

Will you have enough front screen width to allow access between seats for players 2 and 3?  Bit hard to see at this stage.  Any interest in running e-racing or project cars while you're at it?

Sides do look arcadie.  Well done on them!!   :cheers:



Thanks mate :)

Good question.  I believe so, probably a tight squeeze, so im likely to group player 1 and 2 cabinets together and player 3 and 4 cabinets together so if you can't fit in-between the chairs, access can still be made from the outer sides.
I've got interest in everything :) so most probably.

Thank you! The sides were quite tricky to get right, but has a great "arcade" style effect once complete.


Pstylz

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10/11/2022 - UPDATE
-------------------------------

Hi all, so who would have thought that it'd be rather challenging to find the time to work on this project alongside a new born, a toddler and a full time job.... hahaha
I've had a fair bit of "thinking time" whilst working on the first cabinet and decided to redesign the base.
After putting the first one together (mostly) I felt the base was very square.  It also didn't allow me to add T-Molding to the edging similar to how I have designed for the upright part of the cabinet.
It also presented challenges for what I could use as the foot plate - checker plate became out of the question because there was no lip on the sides to place it between.
I've done a complete redesign of the base to allow for T-Molding, raised the sides 3mm all round to give it a lip which will also allow me to put some checker plate metal for the foot plates, made a cutout for the 10" Logitech Z5500 subwoofer (I'll put a grill over it) and made it a more polished looking finish.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2022, 05:53:13 am by Pstylz »

Pstylz

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10/11/2022 - UPDATE
-------------------------------

Pstylz

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13/11/2022 - UPDATE A
-------------------------------

Somehow I managed to find sometime in-between family and work to smash out a few hours a night for the past few days.
Built up the footwell and managed to get the sides up too.  Wow the sides were challenging.  With my "revised" design, I'm trying to leave the outside of the panels as clean from screws as possible so it meant getting rather creative to hold the heavy side panels in place to measure out the support posts etc.  Measurements were taken and checked many times over, plus I had to make sure they matched on both sides and were level.  I have a new found love for my bar clamps :notworthy:

Side-note: for those of you following along, I apologise for the mess that is in the background of some of my photos.  I have limited opportunities to work on this project so unfortunately my cleanliness suffers.  :dizzy:
« Last Edit: November 13, 2022, 05:41:45 am by Pstylz »

Pstylz

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13/11/2022 - UPDATE B
-------------------------------

The next challenging part was aligning the angled / beveled back panel, 2 angled panels and the top panel.  I had to get a little creative with the clamps again haha love those things!

Pstylz

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13/11/2022 - UPDATE C
-------------------------------

I Boxed in where the speakers will go on the front steering wheel control panel.  From experience on a previous project, I learnt the Logitech Z5500 4" speakers do not perform well unless they are enclosed.
Also put some time into the RACE LEADER marquee panels.  These were rather tricky as I have put them on 10degree angles (which inversely matches the steering wheel control panel).
I'd never used a router before but after a few practice cuts and assuring I had a guide set up correctly I was able to groove out where the RACE LEADER acrylic will go.
This will be 2 pieces of acrylic with the printed marquee between them.  Im using an opal coloured acrylic on the back to diffuse the LED light and clear on the front.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2022, 05:56:33 am by Pstylz »

nitrogen_widget

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are there supports in the middle under the MDF section for the seat?

Pstylz

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are there supports in the middle under the MDF section for the seat?

Yeah, there will be a Logitech Z5500 10" subwoofer that will act as a middle support under the seat.  It's a very solid subwoofer box, so between that and the side supports and 18mm MDF, I think it'll be right but I'll be doing more of a stress test once it is complete 💪

Pstylz

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17/11/2022 - UPDATE
-------------------------------

Snuck in a few more hours this week.
Finished off the last piece of routing for the RACE LEADER marquee, which all slid in nicely.  Picked up the OPAL and CLEAR acrylic, just need to design the marquee now.  If anyone would like to help, please let me know  :notworthy:
I'm no genius when it comes to Photoshop  :banghead:  I also am thinking I'll need some assistance with the artwork for the sidepanels and base, but I'll get to that hurdle later  :P
Added the inside panel for the marquee speakers to create a "box" for better sound.
Mounted the top piece and fixed it in place.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 07:38:36 am by Pstylz »

Pstylz

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21/11/2022 - UPDATE
-------------------------------

Finished the top Marquee for the LG Ultrawide.  It's on about a 10degree angle.  Not sure if I'll fix it to the front or set it a few cms back.  Something I'll play around with.
Installed all 4 speakers - that fit like a glove.  I also ordered some 4" speaker covers from Aliexpress to cover them up.
I pulled apart a few Logitech Z5500 speakers - pretty easy process.
Mounted the buttons and went to work on cutting out the Triangle buttons - these were a little challenging and time consuming to get right.  Not a lot of room for error with these compared to square or round buttons.
Still need to fasten the seat, install the Logitech Z5500 subwoofer and perhaps add a few supports for it.
Also need to have a go at cutting out the T-Moulding groove - will probably do a few practice runs before I hit the main pieces.
Hopefully paint it all black soon and then investigate about designing some artwork.  :D :D :D :D :D :D

danny_galaga

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Excellent project! Also, what is the brand of those seats?


ROUGHING UP THE SUSPECT SINCE 1981