Main Restorations Software Audio/Jukebox/MP3 Everything Else Buy/Sell/Trade
Project Announcements Monitor/Video GroovyMAME Merit/JVL Touchscreen Meet Up Retail Vendors
Driving & Racing Woodworking Software Support Forums Consoles Project Arcade Reviews
Automated Projects Artwork Frontend Support Forums Pinball Forum Discussion Old Boards
Raspberry Pi & Dev Board controls.dat Linux Miscellaneous Arcade Wiki Discussion Old Archives
Lightguns Arcade1Up --- Bug Reports --- Site News

Unread posts | New Replies | Recent posts | Rules | Chatroom | Wiki | File Repository | RSS | Submit news

  

Author Topic: Lichtknarre: Unmodified Wii remote as a sight accurate Lightgun using 2/4 LEDs  (Read 11906 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
I was kind of hoping we could get it to a point to where off the shelf leds could be used without much fuss.   Right now, with these dead led stories it sounds like they are still fussy.

Mamehooker already supports wiimotes.   Depending upon his communication method they can potentially work independently of each other without interference.  It's a generic HID write if I remember correctly. 

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
I was kind of hoping we could get it to a point to where off the shelf leds could be used without much fuss.   Right now, with these dead led stories it sounds like they are still fussy.

Mamehooker already supports wiimotes.   Depending upon his communication method they can potentially work independently of each other without interference.  It's a generic HID write if I remember correctly.

Buying them from Amazon (provided they are also shipped from Amazon) is about as "off the shelf" as it gets nowadays :)  Don't let the LED comments spook you.  It's just the typical Chinese goods saga where shoddy QC is the order of the day.  You can use any IR LEDs you want to, if these give you the jitters.  You can even take the Nintendo route and use little clusters with a lower performance LED and just point them in slightly different directions from one another. These were just a good selection because they are relatively cheap, powerful, have wide viewing angles (which seem to match the datasheet) and are in a small and attractive case.  They also need only a simple wire connection, with no PCB or heatsink if used properly. There are others which are similar, but more money, and which may also have better QC...or they could be exactly the same and you just end up paying more.  It's always a crap shoot with Chinese stuff, but it's not like there's much of a choice :)

If you don't like soldering, you could probably also just buy a pre-made IR LED set with wires intended for a different light gun, so long as the wires are long enough for the screen size and the layout required.  It seems like the same camera module is used in those other guns, so if it works for them, it will work for the Wii remote.

You are probably correct about Mamehooker just working with the remotes.  As long as there's no low-level shenanigans, an HID device should just act on commands from whatever is talking to it.  It deserves a try if you already have something which works to identify the active process and relays recoil or rumble information.  It'll probably just work. 

« Last Edit: December 06, 2022, 10:42:19 am by RandyT »

BadMouth

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9134
  • Last login:Today at 10:28:23 am
  • ...
I was wondering when Howard would show up.   ;D

$3 with heatsink from AliExpress, but you only get one spare: https://www.aliexpress.us/item/2255800909434686.html?gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US
Step down voltage and current regulator like the one I'm using can be had for about the same price.  Long wait for shipping, but add some 18 gauge wire and a random wall wart and you can play along.
(assuming you already have a wii controller and bluetooth)

There is an official setup on the Lichtnarre website which uses heatsinks and separate lenses, but I wanted something smaller and cheaper.
I thought about using those heatsinks and cutting one side off to get the LED closer to the screen, but have too many other things going on at the moment.
I am happy with the way mine are set up now, but haven't had time to finish setting up the guns or put many hours on the LEDs.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2022, 07:50:46 am by BadMouth »

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
I'll throw a couple batches of those leds in my cart, thanks.   In regard to positioning the leds, couldn't we do that with a simple graphics displayed on the screen with guide lines?  I'm sorry I arrived late on this one, but I have several questions.....

Can the leds be powered via USB or do they draw too much current?

What's a good bluetooth adapter to use?  The last one I bought came over on the mayflower so my data on the subject is probably outdated at this point.

What about lenses?  You mentioned the wide-angle lens but I'm wondering how we can improve upon that.   I have a 3d printer, so if we can find a reliable, readily available and inexpensive lens with something to attach with (like some threads) I would be willing to work on adapters.  It seems like one for the standard wiimote, one for the zapper, one for the sega gun shell and one for the capcom gun shell would do it.

I remember at some point a third party was working on wireless nunchucks that piggybacked the I2C data stream and used it to inject their own data.  Did anything become of that?   I reason I ask is instead of hacking up wiimotes to add solenoids/ect.  maybe we could hook a avr to the I2c port and read the led and rumble data and control solenoids/motors/ect. that way.   I'm not sure what the best route is in regard to that, but I'm just throwing ideas out there.

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
but I have several questions.....

Hate to be "that guy" but you should probably take a few minutes to read the thread from the beginning.  There's a lot of "back and forth" there, but also the answers to most of your questions, as well as a little app I wrote which seems to work in helping to position LEDs.  I've used it twice so far and haven't had any position issues.  YMMV :)

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
I did but I'm still not following some of it.   

Is the ub400 dongle good or not?   The author seems to think so, but your responses seem to contradict that and then you say he fixed some things and it's working but it is a little unclear if you are referring to your built-in dongle or the suggested one that eventually works without issue.  I mean my new pc doesn't have built in bluetooth so I might as well order the suggested one, but it'd be nice to get a list of "what you need" a little more concrete so others can follow along.

Anything concrete on the wide angle lenses?  Product link?  I just don't know where to start in regard to that.   I'm assuming something similar to those clip on lenses you can get for cell phones but I'm not sure.

In regards to the leds themselves I think I can design something to clip them into that wouldn't add to their footprint.   Perhaps a disc with some lines printed on it to aid in alignment.   

It looks like you seem to think a standard 6.5v power supply is good for the leds but if we can get a system down to 3.3v 300ma (unlikely I know) then it could just be plugged into the usb port in the back of most modern flat screens and make the setup far less complicated, especially for non-permanent setups. Probably not worth the effort, but this seems like the first sub $100 method of getting an ir gun where you don't have to build it from scratch.  The closer we can get it to turn key, the better.   

Regardless, I'll order some stuff tonight.  Going to get those leds on the slow boat from China but I'll catch up eventually. 


Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
I bought the leds badmouth suggested.   I also bought these lenses to play around with:

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804461463984.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.order_list_main.4.9b611802HOwesz&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US

The fact that they come with the little clip to screw into means I can just tack them in place until I can determine if they are actually viable.  Now to order a bluetooth adapter.

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
Is the ub400 dongle good or not?   The author seems to think so, but your responses seem to contradict that and then you say he fixed some things and it's working but it is a little unclear if you are referring to your built-in dongle or the suggested one that eventually works without issue.

After some testing, my conclusion is that the built-in BT in my particular system didn't cause the software to behave any differently than the CSR 4.0 dongles I already had, or the UB400 (same CSR 4.0 tech) I purchased later.  But how well the internal BT works may vary across systems, as there are multiple different chipsets and the tech could be old and not fully compatible.  I tried an old laptop, and while the software worked, the updates were so slow it would be unusable.

Fusselkroete is currently looking at certain aspects of the software to see why it breaks on one of my systems.  He has already sent me a test version which disabled some things and it worked 100% better on that system, so he knows what's causing it and is now trying to figure out why.  On my 37" CRT with a quad-core, the normal release version works fine.

At least in my case, a $5 CSR 4.0 BT dongle works, so there's little reason not to get one.  Many probably already have one laying around nowadays.  But the software is free and available, so I recommend just testing the built-in BT and only try buying a dongle if the software isn't working correctly.

Quote
Anything concrete on the wide angle lenses?

Not at this point.  I bought one like you described, but I have no idea how much they vary across vendors, or whether it's even optimal for this.  One thing I can just about guarantee is that it will not perform as well as it could, if strapped to the front of a controller.  The distance between the camera and first lens should be as small as possible to prevent vignetting of the final image.  Focus could be affected as well, but that's probably not the biggest concern with this type of camera.  Oh, and center alignment is SUPER important.  While the camera MAY be in the exact center of that little window, it doesn't need to be to perform correctly as it's designed.  If it isn't, and this is what the mount is based upon, then it won't be correct so that stuff needs to be verified.

While not certain, I do believe that Fusselkroete will eventually need to add lens compensation to the 4-point tracking in order to make it perfect.  With a cheap "fish-eye" lens, the image will elongate at greater levels the further from center it is.  This would have implications for accuracy, so should be accounted for.

Without one, at least with a 4:3 monitor, I don't find myself needing to stand further back than I would normally with an actual lightgun.  Then again, I'm not a "screen basher" when I play. :)

Quote
In regards to the leds themselves I think I can design something to clip them into that wouldn't add to their footprint.   Perhaps a disc with some lines printed on it to aid in alignment.   

You certainly can, but it would really only be for cosmetics.  Some good, strong double-sticky on the back would be good for mounting as well, with the larger surface area.  Personally, I wasn't concerned with that, as both monitors have dark bezels and are in very poorly lit environments.  The black, cloth gaffers tape I found a long time ago at the dollar store worked perfectly. (I really wish I bought a case of the stuff...makes duct tape look like the junk that it is.)

Quote
It looks like you seem to think a standard 6.5v power supply is good for the leds but if we can get a system down to 3.3v 300ma (unlikely I know) then it could just be plugged into the usb port in the back of most modern flat screens and make the setup far less complicated, especially for non-permanent setups.

Unfortunately, it's not possible without giving up a lot.  The Wii could get away with cheap, low output LEDs because there were only two LEDs (well, clusters, but they were at different angles) and they were positioned a lot closer together.  That means you could be a lot closer to them so the output could be lower.  That said, the Lichtknarre software allows the use of a Wii bar with the correct plug-in, so you may be able to go that route if you are willing to sacrifice accuracy.  But I had no interest in doing that.  If you want the best results, it takes a bit more effort.

And more importantly, if you go with the 6.5v supply, make sure it's a GOOD one (i.e. well-regulated at that voltage and with more than enough current delivery) AND you use an appropriate resistor AND the wire gauge is sufficient to carry away some heat (or use heatsinks for the LEDs).  Otherwise, I wouldn't even attempt it as you'll risk your LEDs and maybe even whatever is around them.  Play safe.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2022, 01:36:34 pm by RandyT »

zeorangr

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 74
  • Last login:Today at 08:44:12 am
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,165836.0.html
Well, this definitely seems promising, and could potentially be a lot better than what I originally came up with for getting working lightguns on the cabinet.

I initially bought a Sinden lightgun to check it out, but it didn't really work well with my cab, because when I tested it the Sinden software didn't play nicely with a rotated screen (I'm using a 50" TV in portrait orientation in my cabinet), and it throws the tracking off by 90 degrees (so moving the gun up and down moves the cursor left and right, and vice versa).

I'm currently using two wii remotes in plastic gun shells as 'lightguns' on my cabinet, which are each connected via bluetooth to their own mayflash dolphinbar adapter on the mode 2 setting ('keyboard and mouse game mode').  For whatever reason, the tracking when trying to use either of the dolphinbar adapters (one at a time) as an IR source was kinda awful, so after testing it and noting that it worked WAY better than the dolphinbars did, I tucked both dolphinbar adapters inside the cabinet, then cut up an old spare original Wii sensor bar that I had laying around and mounted both of the 'LED Clusters' contained therein on my cabinet and wired them up to a little AC Adapter I had laying around so they're powered, and the wiimotes have something to 'see' and track.  I edited some smaller (than the default) crosshairs and played around with the control sensitivity in MAME, and while I still have to rely on the crosshairs more than I'd like this setup works far better than I'd expected it to in MAME.  I can only use a single gun in non-MAME stuff (likely because MAME utilizes RAW input so it can interact with them as distinct devices instead of just 'the mouse'), so for things like the recent House of the Dead Remake that was released on steam - it works ok, but is single-player only (because only one gun works).

So looking for alternatives, I had just about decided to start looking at what it would take to scrounge up all the assorted parts to try and build a couple of Gun4IR guns when I stumbled on this thread.

With the holidays basically here, I doubt I'll have a lot of free time to tinker with things in any meaningful way for at least a few weeks, but if I actually get some free time I may go ahead and try installing and configuring this on the cabinet and just see what all it can do.  Until I can do that though, I have a couple of (possibly dumb) questions.


1. Assuming the game itself supports 2 players, would Lichtknarre provide the ability to use 2 'guns' in non-MAME lightgun games (like HOTD:R)?  If not 'out of the box', then in conjunction with another tool like DEMULShooter or Troubleshooter (of which, the former I'd heard of but not researched, and the latter I'm just learning about in reading through the thread)?  I'm seeing something about a vJoy plugin on the Lichtknarre webpage (and thanks to RandyT for sharing that!), and it looks like there are some instructions there, but I'm not sure how that would work - does it translate the x/y positioning from the wiimote to a virtual gamepad's analog stick and then pass that analog stick position value to the game?

2. What about other non-mame emulators - DEMUL, as an example (for HOTD2 / Sports Shooting / Clay Challenge / Other NAOMI or Atomiswave shooters) or for the few actual PC-based lightgun (or lightgun-esque) games?

3. Conversely, are there any (lightgun) games / emulators that are known that Lichtknarre does NOT work with that I might want to be aware of?

4. While I'm looking for more accuracy and will definitely go with a 4-position LED setup eventually if this works for me, would I be able to start using Lichtknarre with my existing LEDs and add more / reposition them later?  (Based on what I'm reading here, it seems like there's an available plugin to use a standard sensor bar which should work with my current setup, but I wanted to confirm).

5. It's sounding like using Lichtknarre I won't need the dolphinbar adapters, and instead I can just use either the built-in bluetooth on the PC running my cabinet or I can get a cheap BT adapter to link the wiimotes with - just to confirm though, would both wiimotes be able to pair with a single bluetooth adapter and work simultaneously using Lichtknarre, or would I instead need a single BT adapter for each wii remote?

6. Having run into the issue with the Sinden, are there any known issues with using Lichtknarre with a portrait-oriented TV?

 Apologies if these are already answered elsewhere - I'm just really getting started seriously looking at this and it's looking pretty fantastic so far.  I definitely have more reading to do.


(edit - added question 6)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2022, 03:47:51 pm by zeorangr »
-z-

holmes

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
  • Last login:December 15, 2022, 05:38:19 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Hi,

I have been trying for a while to build gun4ir guns but I have not been so successfull because of my poor soldering capabilities. My "working" prototype generally freezes after a few minutes.
So I am very interested in this thread and have done some tests. I used the LEDS I had prepared for the gun4irs, the 2 wiimotes I bought when I tried a dolphinbar and the BT device integrated to my motherboard.


Notice the leds are not so powerful.


Notice the quality of precision of the leds positionning

I downloaded all the software. I positionned the leds with the LK_LED_PLACE tool and noticed I passed the Lichtknarrel step 3 without doing any adjustement. I did not try to use the offsets.

I used vjoy and made some tests with the Lost world (Model 3) and Transformers:Human alliance. It worked reasonnably well for 2 players.
I have however 3 questions:
- I have nunchuks and they do not seem to be recognized (buttons not detected). Is it normal?
- if using a gun-shaped wiimote holder, how to reload without having to use one of the top buttons (not convenient)?
- I understood using a wide lens in front of the wiimote to shorten the usable distance should work. Am I correct?

Thanks

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Getting the other inputs/accessories to work should be trivial.  I made a test program a few years back in vb6 and I managed to read all accessory controllers fairly easy... it's just i2c stuff like everything else.   If the author isn't willing, I'd be glad to add it with their permission.  We definitely need more options in terms of defining buttons though.  I would think for most games one would use the vjoy method and since gamepad buttons can be remapped it wouldn't matter much.   

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
Getting the other inputs/accessories to work should be trivial.  I made a test program a few years back in vb6 and I managed to read all accessory controllers fairly easy... it's just i2c stuff like everything else.   If the author isn't willing, I'd be glad to add it with their permission.  We definitely need more options in terms of defining buttons though.  I would think for most games one would use the vjoy method and since gamepad buttons can be remapped it wouldn't matter much.

What is really needed is a driver (signed would be nice) which can emulate a hardware USB combo device under Windows for RAW compatibility.  Ideally, it would be able to emulate an Absolute mouse device, keyboard, an analog joystick with the usual compliment of buttons and D-Pad, and the ability to re-assign mapping on-the-fly.  Anything less may be useful, but probably a bit of a "partial-measure".  My research into this shows it to be possible, but I'm not a heavy Windows OS programmer, so outside of my wheelhouse.

Unless you have something like that up your sleeve, it might be wise to hold off a bit to see which direction Fusselkroete is heading with the software.  I think we might be seeing another update at some time in the first part of the new year. 

On a side note, I just did some testing on yet another system comprised of a more recent Gigabyte MB with an i3-10100f and a built in Intel Wireless chipset.  It appears to be working fine with the internal BT, to include the use of all of the buttons.  Fixed mapping (currently) but functional in applications which support the current input methodology.  I'll be checking for any performance differences between the internal BT and an external dongle on this system and will report back if I see any difference worth mentioning.   

greymatr

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6
  • Last login:February 13, 2023, 08:17:26 am
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Just a note about a driver that could do an absolute mouse device. I picked up an Arduino Leonardo board that some projects used (such as the Vive Lighthouse ones) and have used it in some testing.

It very easily emulates an absolute mouse. It can be programmed so that it can receive a X and Y co-ordinate from Serial COM communication which is very easy to do and can position the mouse to those co-ordinates via USB.

It only needs one USB cable to plug into it which gives this bi-directional communication, that also provides it's power.

The board I got was called Arduino Compatible Leonardo R3 ATmega32U4 Development Board on eBay and only cost $16.75 Australian dollars including express postage so was very cheap.

Although this is more hardware I think it would be much easier than a software driver unless it was signed and very easy to use.

I'm hoping Fusselkroete can get the plugin system working soon so that I can write a plugin driver for it.

I'd also like to write a Vive Lighthouse plugin but that's another story ;)

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
Just a note about a driver that could do an absolute mouse device. I picked up an Arduino Leonardo board that some projects used (such as the Vive Lighthouse ones) and have used it in some testing.

It very easily emulates an absolute mouse. It can be programmed so that it can receive a X and Y co-ordinate from Serial COM communication which is very easy to do and can position the mouse to those co-ordinates via USB.

I've already considered this approach.  While it would certainly work, the biggest concern, aside from additional cost, user complexity and the occupation of another USB port for an approach like this would be the possible addition of more latency.  The less that the data needs to be repackaged and shuffled around, the better.  A well-written driver would directly inject the pre-formatted data into the same Windows routines responsible for servicing the external hardware, so theoretically, it could happen in a much smaller period of time.

I.e. :

Data path for proposed hardware method=:  ([USB hub] is a possible inclusion)

Lichtknarre-->Virtual COM Port Driver-->USB Chipset-->[USB Hub]-->External USB device-->[USB Hub]-->USB Chipset-->Windows USB Processing-->Application

Whereas a purely software approach =: 

Lichtknarre-->Virtual USB Driver-->Windows USB Processing-->Application

Which one ends up being better with regard to implementation is an unknown at this point.  But I have seen people who try to use a hardware approach like this to implement cheats for online MP games complain that the lag it introduced eventually made it not very useful.  That doesn't mean it can't be done, but it would need to be done in a very efficient manner to be viable.

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
It's the signed driver thing that really kills it.   Getting an unsigned driver to install on some versions of windows is annoyingly difficult.   Signed drivers cost a decent amount to purchase a license.  Vjoy is probably the best option.   Yeah, it isn't turnkey, but it is more automatic than unsigned drivers.

I agree with you on the Arduino thing... we don't need to add more lag via more processing of data.  If you are going to use an arduino then the two diy ir-gun projects we have on this forum make much more sense. 

BadMouth

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9134
  • Last login:Today at 10:28:23 am
  • ...
I used vjoy and made some tests with the Lost world (Model 3) and Transformers:Human alliance. It worked reasonnably well for 2 players.
I have however 3 questions:
- I have nunchuks and they do not seem to be recognized (buttons not detected). Is it normal?
- if using a gun-shaped wiimote holder, how to reload without having to use one of the top buttons (not convenient)?
- I understood using a wide lens in front of the wiimote to shorten the usable distance should work. Am I correct?

Thanks

I do not have nunchuks, but you probably have to configure them in vjoy for them to work.
 Fusselkroete had more axis and buttons in his vjoy configuration than me.  I assume they are for the nunchuck.

Usually games support reloading by shooting offscreen. 

I can't comment on the lens.  I am happy with the normal distance, but am using 3rd party guns that might already have a fisheye lense in them.

EDIT: The option to rotate the controller 90 degrees may be added in the future.  With a custom or 3D printed housing, this would put the buttons on the side where they would be more easily accessible.
I'd love to be tinkering with this, but will be eyeballs deep in home renovations for a couple months.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2022, 10:00:08 am by BadMouth »

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Speaking of which.   Can you still buy those?   I've been having trouble finding them even on the ebay.

BadMouth

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9134
  • Last login:Today at 10:28:23 am
  • ...
Speaking of which.   Can you still buy those?   I've been having trouble finding them even on the ebay.
They were never sold in the US.  The back of the package has languages and flags for a bunch of European countries, but the only people I've come across online with them bought them in Germany.

I ordered them from Amazon.de which was the only place I could find them.  I don't recall how much shipping to the US was, but it wasn't bad.
This was something like 8 or 10 years ago.

BadMouth

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9134
  • Last login:Today at 10:28:23 am
  • ...

1. Assuming the game itself supports 2 players, would Lichtknarre provide the ability to use 2 'guns' in non-MAME lightgun games (like HOTD:R)?  If not 'out of the box', then in conjunction with another tool like DEMULShooter or Troubleshooter (of which, the former I'd heard of but not researched, and the latter I'm just learning about in reading through the thread)?  I'm seeing something about a vJoy plugin on the Lichtknarre webpage (and thanks to RandyT for sharing that!), and it looks like there are some instructions there, but I'm not sure how that would work - does it translate the x/y positioning from the wiimote to a virtual gamepad's analog stick and then pass that analog stick position value to the game?

I wasn't going to answer since I hadn't had time to actually set things up and verify (and won't have time to for a month or two), but it should work with anything that will accept vjoy input.  Yes it translates xy position to the virtual gamepads sticks.  (separate virtual controller for each player)

Quote

2. What about other non-mame emulators - DEMUL, as an example (for HOTD2 / Sports Shooting / Clay Challenge / Other NAOMI or Atomiswave shooters) or for the few actual PC-based lightgun (or lightgun-esque) games?


Works fine and I have used it in mouse mode for a single player.  Two player will require Troubleshooter 2 for Nebula M2 emulator and Demulshooter for Demul and Teknoparrot games.
Again, I have not set this up yet, but see no reason it wouldn't work.  MAME doesn't accept input from a virtual mouse, so mouse mode does not work for MAME or any other emulator that does not accept input from a virtual mouse.  (I am not aware of any other emulator that won't accept input from a virtual mouse)

Quote

3. Conversely, are there any (lightgun) games / emulators that are known that Lichtknarre does NOT work with that I might want to be aware of?


Anything that works with a virtual controller should work.

Quote
4. While I'm looking for more accuracy and will definitely go with a 4-position LED setup eventually if this works for me, would I be able to start using Lichtknarre with my existing LEDs and add more / reposition them later?  (Based on what I'm reading here, it seems like there's an available plugin to use a standard sensor bar which should work with my current setup, but I wanted to confirm).

Have not used it in 2 LED mode, but yes it will work with a standard LED bar (and be much less accurate).  I remember reading somewhere that it does not work with dolphin bar, but that's probably just as an interface.  If the dolphin bar were not connected to the PC and you only using it for the LEDs using an external power source, it would probably work for that.

Quote

5. It's sounding like using Lichtknarre I won't need the dolphinbar adapters, and instead I can just use either the built-in bluetooth on the PC running my cabinet or I can get a cheap BT adapter to link the wiimotes with - just to confirm though, would both wiimotes be able to pair with a single bluetooth adapter and work simultaneously using Lichtknarre, or would I instead need a single BT adapter for each wii remote?

Only one bluetooth adapter.  The website states that it does not work with dolphin bar.

Quote

6. Having run into the issue with the Sinden, are there any known issues with using Lichtknarre with a portrait-oriented TV?

It doesn't know or care where the screen is, only the LEDs.  But this might require that the top  or bottom LEDs be mounted in front of the screen next to the 4:3 or 16:9 image.  This might be a dealbreaker if you are stretching the vertical games.  The LEDs might end up being on top of the gameplay on vertical games.  If you are only using the extra screen real estate for marquees and artwork, then they could be placed on a divider.

If 90 degree rotation is added later, that might work out better for you.

I don't see why the sinden gun wouldn't work since it relies on a white outline in the overlay template.  As long as the white outline is around the gameplay area (which in your case might require making custom templates) it should have worked.

 

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
It's probably time we talk about the "malformed, human-flesh-eating twin in the attic" of lightgun gaming.  The software-side.  Some things will work so well straight from the start, that if you start with those, they will give you a false sense that getting things to work properly for that game or classic system you've been aching to play again, will simply be a matter of doing some minor configuration and calibration.  When reality kicks in, gird your loins and get ready for the unavoidable rabbit-hole which will consume a good chunk of your free time.

What isn't immediately apparent when diving in, is that joystick emulation, such as vJoy, only works if A: the game accepts it for input (which most if not all do to some extent) and B: the application treats that input as an absolutely positioned cursor for aiming, similar to the little controller test box in Windows.  That last part is the rub, with many an application treating the joystick input as a simple direction and pushing the cursor along at timed intervals based on the extent of the throw, never stopping unless centered.

Games require specific patches for specific controller hardware and/or specific emulators which support specific methods for collecting the data from the controller.  And sometimes, even when you think you've "cracked the code" and everything works great, your actual shots might end up a reliable half-inch to the left of the on-screen cursor you are using to debug, and there's no easy way to calibrate it.  However, in a case like this, the offset adjustment in Lichtknarre could be the stopgap solution.  It's just not (currently) automatically applied.

For me, much to the chagrin of my wallet, HOTD:R has been impossible to make work.  I've tried old versions by rolling it back in Steam, using the available patches, vJoy, and even berating it verbally without success.  The closest I've come to getting that cursor to do anything but stupidly stare back at me without changing its position was with vJoy, and then it felt like pushing a virtual hockey-puck around on a virtual-ice-covered screen.  I guess I should have been happy with that, as some Steam-based games won't work at all.  Maybe just as well, as even the ones which do, aren't all that great and the one really good one I found (Mad Bullets) seems to be maddeningly buggy. 

Unfortunately, I think much of this, aside from authors not supporting other input methods well, is due to the lack of RAW-input compatibility, and some sort of hardware may be the only solution.  With Microsoft's recent acquisition of the COD franchise, where virtual controllers are the primary vector of attack for cheating (which devalues the title considerably), I agree with the conclusions from an author of the only signed, commercially available virtual HID driver I have been able to find, who decided to cease support only a few days after I found them.  He states that MS is jacking the cost to sign these types of drivers, making them more difficult to implement on Windows 11 and beyond, and expects them to eventually go away completely.  So, it looks like COD cheaters have again spoiled the party for everyone, even for those who don't play the game.   

I don't know if it's still the case, but even the drivers for the Sinden required disabling signing in the OS at one time.  Probably not the end-of-the-world for a dedicated machine, but I'm not sure I would want to do that on an everyday gaming/general use system and it does entail a bit of OS hackery on the part of the user.

I hope Fusselkroete (he IS a smart guy) has some tricks up his sleeve, but I'm not super confident that a simple, purely software solution will be found.  All of that stated, there are still a ton of games which can be made to work, with sometimes more than a little effort.  But some will just leave you screaming into the void, and if the one you really want to play is on that list, then you'll need to figure out how to fix it yourself, wait for someone else to do it or use a different controller solution.

That's my take on things as they are currently.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2022, 04:04:20 pm by RandyT »

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Yes this in the entire reason troubleshooter 1/2 and demulshooter exist.   For many games, the only way to make them behave is to hack the code and let an external program control the cursor via manual raw positioning.  It happens  on a case by case basis.   The good news is I may be back in the game assuming this new method works so I'll work on it.  ;)

So while I'm patiently waiting on my leds to arrive I've been doing some digging and I'd like to share my thoughts here.   So the guns Badmouth has are virtually unobtanium at this point which is unfortunate as they are ideal.  I feel like the cost and accessibility should be taken into account with any solution as obviously we have other solutions at this point, but they rely on hard-to-find parts or rather expensive guns.  So with the replica guns going for serious bucks what else is there?  Well, the easiest option would be one of the gun shells on the market.   The nyko perfect shot is probably the most popular shell:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/165848822309?hash=item269d5c3225%3Ag%3AOBsAAOSwMo5jpb7T&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAoJPkbsqyYJPvn7L9zRuJtrnMusK4qx8yLeBlKK6pEAMf0obl6o%2FzieWflxtAqqJk%2FWkle73mIeg8mSbSSOakykKEMio5bq46royiGC8j6PDCSE43RtCoyyI5eH%2BuH29%2F3EVIIn20wyGhfkY0Tg83CkOgd5EUnBjMLhGzW2chDtvke433XXiv%2FR2ZuCyLkk6z4iU1%2FxALyB6Or8Ki0oitR2I%3D%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR_T35JaqYQ&LH_ItemCondition=1000

New they are around 35 and used you can usually find a pair for around the same price.  There are problems with it though, most notably the Trigger, which mechanically pulls the B trigger and just feels mushy and bad.  Nyko later released a solution to this, namely the nyko action pak:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/115630531933?epid=102416133&hash=item1aec1de55d:g:PjcAAOSwi7Fjj-c-&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAAoNjra0wSe7EE7eCpFbEFCqHvJtqijUohwMJ3hRuBXn8YxCG65SXgqY41dl3fNETrJDipHGAreysSZ4A3LOjly%2BJWhRUzk9NdYNzRCYApx0ddKgK%2F9Ft6FwYohrhAb%2BQDtkPIezQDzOTWtz0JfufsDO42PJmAIRBYa6phOR0Cf8vf3Bq2fPh6wevzZLtRdLrnfUlMUt6TmaB%2BkszANjGPdcs%3D%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR7r--paqYQ

With this improved shell there is a legitimate trigger with a microswitch but you'll immediately notice the problem, namely they are rare these days and fetch a fairly hefty price.  All is not lost though.   The way the press of the A/B button is transferred to the shell is via three contact pins on the back of the "wand" (I'm assuming for ground, a and b).  While the gun shell is expensive, the wand, with those three contacts, is not and can usually be had for around 10 dollars:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/175297607865?hash=item28d08d38b9:g:YhsAAOSwzSxikH3y&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAA4MUIyaMqdCm%2F%2BkJ6tO6a7WGDFoJQw%2FgzNq06et9ZfVufA8DxOxuC0a8UyTwidbGvPWQOh0tjdmzKr%2Bv6MgFW%2BuS%2BygeiUFp5orMccm4rjUbm4fGP1PO0dkWsOfwd8AtI56KD8ihJxkPs2Y4vc0dMjydv7l1Vdn39tOwcFd3cJSdrY9RUY6x6lf%2BVVDhaF4v%2FZ01366NkvnHEkaAgx8o%2BV%2FPXH%2BqRRnoi9RZqNmnxZi7ixIJe5HvWWK8UzkJ381qHrNEktYaNFbI0X8TPYCmsO7uK%2FfVM%2BlOMMt5q%2BtH5ibTp%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR5bGrJeqYQ

So buy one of these, solder on three wires (or get fancy and make a pcb with some pogo pins), and you can mount the whole thing in a modified shell with a real trigger.  These seem like a good candidate for modding:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/313699774683?hash=item4909f6b0db:g:urIAAOSwsvFhXIQ5&amdata=enc%3AAQAHAAAA4FtzKPtGsfEMMEZSDXn5lPvB8fAm6onJEMoA3ni09MmCqdkgikXx6SmZLz7TuF1uhGteY0yW2nfVENUMoK8ilHL4Q6RCcEYdaf4Xv0AG9lTAcJcCc15h6dTKMj5Sx5Jd1aD4rzZOnFloLv%2BHqQ3te6qLoBLHC8FWHBjGzL3p%2FoX2c4iWMxEBTpoq2E%2FSFAzeNhftH2dMeEo2Qa%2Bg3Zpo87UUNRtSJf%2Bg5vCvpGiRNxqoRnwGHUx%2Bnp6icY3CwDtAypRKpla7KPWdNZaG2QjCEOR8H%2BtcP0Y60G7i9IqGVxiO%7Ctkp%3ABFBMwoLHl6ph

You can get them in a variety of colors, and they often come in a two-pack new for 30 dollars.  In addition, they have a sight on the front that the nyko perfect shot lacks.  I say take one of these and create a 3d printed adapter to go inside the gun so it can have a real trigger.   

Of course, there is a much simpler option to get a better trigger.   There are shells out there that arrange the controller in such a way that a nunchuck is used for the grip and you use the z-trigger as the fire button.   This is much better than the mechanical solutions of course, but the z-trigger is a bit mushy for lightgun action and the weight of the wiimote being so far out (because it has to be ahead of the nunchuck) often makes long gameplay sessions tiring.   So I think the previous solution is best for those wanting to level up the stock options.   


As for force-feedback and such... again, we have options.   Of course getting the wiimote rumble to work is trivial.... this is supported in mamehooker and I might be willing to integrate it into troubleshooter 2 directly since it is so easy.   The only problem with it is if you want a solenoid you are going to have to hack in a relay and bring in external power.   Once you do that, you have a wiimote tethered to your cabinet and at that point it really makes little sense to bother hacking the wiimote for outputs.... just use one of Randy's boards or an arduino attached to the cab and then you just have to run power up your tether to power the solenoid.  The software side would be more complicated, but I think that could be helped via a dedicated layout for hooking up devices. Something like:

Output 1 = P1 recoil
Output 2 = P1 motor (for some positional gun games)
Output 3 = P1 LED 1 (usually for indicating the player has a grenade or bomb to fire in positional games)
Output 4 = P1 LED 2 (Green led in T2 and Rev X)
Output 5 = P1 LED 3 (Red led in T2 and Rev X)
Output 6 = P1 Start LED
Output 7 = P1 Coin LED
Output 8 = P2 recoil
...ect....

The software could assume that the outputs are hooked up in this order and thus eliminate the need for a lot of user configuration.  Or that might make it even more complicated, I'm not sure.


As for the physical solenoid itself, this seems to be a good choice:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/273905080548?var=573757180843&_trkparms=amclksrc%3DITM%26aid%3D777008%26algo%3DPERSONAL.TOPIC%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20220705100511%26meid%3D5b3b4b299ac941a7aa67936f04cf25ee%26pid%3D101524%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26itm%3D573757180843%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057%26algv%3DRecentlyViewedItemsV2%26brand%3DUnbranded&_trksid=p2380057.c101524.m146925&_trkparms=pageci%3Af2312632-8592-11ed-a319-fe3aa990576e%7Cparentrq%3A51885cb81850aaecb52df242fff6d678%7Ciid%3A1

It seems to retail for around 10 bucks and has two threaded holes for mounting.   This could be mounted to the underside of a gun shell or potentially be put inside the area where the mechanical plunger is normally housed.   It Comes in 5- and 12-volt varieties, making it pc power friendly.  A metal plate for it to bang into and a wire feeding 12 volts to it from a relay in your cab is all that's really needed. 


Anyway these are just thoughts giving me a rough plan of attack for when my stuff comes in.   I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. 



« Last Edit: December 26, 2022, 10:24:57 pm by Howard_Casto »

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
If you don't mind a bit of soldering, hotmelt and have a remote which you no longer care is functional in it's original form, the Nyko is very hackable.  I suspect other shells are as well.  There are some pretty nice ones coming out of China, but they may not meet the "toy gun" requirements where you live.  It looks like they are doing their best to make them compliant, as they are now available in solid bright colors for places where that might be a requirement.

The Nyko shells come apart quite easily and there is a fair amount of open space inside for playing.  The only slightly tricky part is popping off the grip panel on the side with the screws, as there are a couple more underneath. 

I'm still working out a few details, but the big picture with the Nyko is that forward portion of the trigger mech can be cut off and the original remote trigger can be removed for a handy wiring exit from the remote body, though a drill may still be necessary.  From there, it's just a matter of using some good hotmelt to put your trigger switch of choice in the correct spot and attaching the wires between the PCB and whichever switches you want to be accessible at locations other than the top of the gun.  In most cases, this will be only the main trigger, a reload button, and a secondary fire button.  Any other buttons which might be mapped are fine where they are for 95% of most use cases.  The spring tension on the trigger is nice and only needs a little silicone/white lithium grease to smooth it out.

It would also be necessary to add a means of getting 3vDC to remote.  I opted to add an inexpensive, enclosed battery compartment to the flat on the underside front area.  Surprisingly, it doesn't look too bad there and it's very accessible.  But one could go crazy and build in a rechargeable battery with a tiny buck converter and charging circuit if they wanted to be fancy.  There are even 3v LiFePo CR123A batteries out there with a micro-USB connection for direct charging.  My only concern with these would be capacity, but they would work.   

Another approach for buttons would be to use one of the newer XBOX controllers (or preferably a tiny, compatible BT controller) paired to the PC and holding it in the off-hand for extra functions, provided the app you are using allows for mapping multiple controllers as one.

Doing things this way keeps everything wireless, which is one of the main reasons I like this approach to the lightgun controller problem.  The only hitch at the moment is the somewhat spotty recognition of the buttons in some applications, which is a bit in limbo if not using vJoy (which I prefer not to use due to the extra lag).  One of the emulators I tested would strangely recognize the A and B buttons and the directional pad, but none of the others, and my preference would be to not mess up the function of the directionals.  So, I'm holding off a bit on other permanent buttons until I have a better idea of what might be coming down the pike from the author.

*Edit*  Fusselkroete is aware of the buttons situation in the mouse plugin and already has plans to address it.  His todo list on this is pretty long, but I expect it will be remedied with some time.  He also gave me some better insight on the sliders than I had before.  The reports per second cap can actually increase performance if adjusted properly.  Even very fast systems may benefit from setting this to a lower value, as it places a cap on the frequency of reports sent to vJoy for processing.  i.e. a fast system may still have limited resources allocated to those functions, so it can still be detrimental to overburden them with unnecessary data.  My takeaway on that is to keep the report frequency only as high as is necessary for smooth gameplay, especially if using vJoy to translate the data.  Anything over 60 reports per second probably isn't necessary anyway.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2022, 01:34:30 pm by RandyT »

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Here's the thing though.  You might not like using vJoy, but you are going to use vJoy.  Mame will not accept simulated mouse movements at all, full stop.  It MUST be a simulated joystick.   Also a lot of modern (ish) pc gun games support two joysticks out of the box for two player mode but not two mice. 

Personally, I could care less about a wireless solution.  The novelty of not having a tether wears off pretty quickly once you realize it limits you to the wiimotes puny rumble motor for force feedback and having to constantly worry about battery levels.   My thought was to make the tether removable.... wireless if you want it, but honestly, I can't see a scenario where I would need to go full wireless. 

I don't have any problems with hacking up a wiimote personally, but I'm trying to think of solutions that are going to make this as turnkey as possible.   One thing that hacking might help is a solenoid mount.   If the batteries were removed and re-routed (or external power fed in) that would leave a rather large cavity for mounting the solenoid.  Honestly the bottom of a wiimote's pcb is pretty flat except for the b trigger and the battery terminals so removing the bottom of the housing would free up a lot of space.   

I have the nyko perfect shot and honestly, as good as it is, it has issues.   The main one is the handle is too thick... it just feels wrong.   Another thing is that the orange band that holds the wiimote in place tends to break off.   Honestly though all the shells are pretty ok but I'm trying to figure out which one I'm willing to spend my time making an adapter for so others can easily use it.   The one I linked to is cheap and readily available.  I can still make one for the perfect shot since I already have one though. 

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
So what about larger shells for terminator 2 and the like?

I really don't know what to look for but these can be had for around $20.

https://www.halloweencostumes.com/toy-uzi-9mm-machine-gun.html

With this size you could even add a cordless drill battery and keep it wireless with recoil!

it'd be nice to find something this seize that's more wiimote friendly in terms of mounting.

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
Here's the thing though.  You might not like using vJoy, but you are going to use vJoy.  Mame will not accept simulated mouse movements at all, full stop.  It MUST be a simulated joystick.   Also a lot of modern (ish) pc gun games support two joysticks out of the box for two player mode but not two mice. 

This is of course, mostly correct.  One will always need to deliver the application, or the combination of emulator+game, the input it is looking for.  While vJoy is common and it works, it may not be the best or only means of getting to that point.  And while I personally don't care if any title or method supports 2-player simultaneous use, I understand how important that is for many.  I'd probably have a different opinion if I actually played alongside a skilled player, but I always felt bad when playing alongside less-skilled players because I would usually be stealing their targets to keep from losing my own lives.  Therefore, I tend to play solo.

Quote
Personally, I could care less about a wireless solution.  The novelty of not having a tether wears off pretty quickly once you realize it limits you to the wiimotes puny rumble motor for force feedback and having to constantly worry about battery levels.   My thought was to make the tether removable.... wireless if you want it, but honestly, I can't see a scenario where I would need to go full wireless. 

Nothing wrong with this either.  But personally, as someone who has shot pistols of much larger caliber than a .22, most if not all motors and solenoids are clicky, noisy gimmicks which don't add much to the experience.  The one exception in my opinion is the motor in a game like LA:MachineGuns, which is so large and heavy that it literally shakes the player when shooting.  Of course, they are also mounted to a cabinet.

My monitor is 5' from where I "shoot" and I do find the cable distracting and annoying to manage and store between sessions.  If one has pets or small kids who like to run around, they can also be problem.  Still, if one needs more power for add-ons, there are few practical alternatives.  I've never had issues with cables connecting things like gamepads.  But on something like a gun controller, where the controller is the physical object being manipulated for interaction, a cable just feels wrong.     

Quote
I don't have any problems with hacking up a wiimote personally, but I'm trying to think of solutions that are going to make this as turnkey as possible.

I'm afraid it will never really be "turn-key" as an integrated, all-in-one unit unless one is happy pushing buttons on top of the gun.  Outside of that, the options for relocation are a foot pedal (or two, again probably with wires) or a tiny add-on gaming controller.  At some point, Fusselkroete will probably add simulated off-screen reload, which will help a lot, but still won't eliminate the need for button re-location entirely.   

Quote
I have the nyko perfect shot and honestly, as good as it is, it has issues.   The main one is the handle is too thick... it just feels wrong.   Another thing is that the orange band that holds the wiimote in place tends to break off.

The grip on the Nyko has roughly the same circumference as the GC1 and GC2.  It's thicker, but less deep and somewhat less contoured.  I don't find it awkward to hold.  What does affect the feel more than anything is the "pull" which occurs as the trigger mechanism bottoms out on the remote.  Unfortunately, all shells will exhibit this behavior if they use this type of mechanism, as it offers no over-travel on the trigger.   Again, this is where adding an actual proper switch to the assembly will make a huge difference.

RE: Orange thing

Heh.  That's one thing I forgot about in the disassembly.  That orange part needs to be separated from one of the halves to split them.  It's actually kind of finicky to pop loose without breaking the nub it pivots on, but it's not too bad. If one is going to dedicate a remote to the gun controller and tether it with a cable, it should be possible to provide power through the appropriate pins on the nunchuk pass-through in the shell. So, no need to ever remove it in that configuration.  In that sense, the Nyko is better than those where the port is located at the top section of the gun.

I'm actually working on something which will accommodate just about any "bell or whistle" one would want to put together.  But it's a WIP and I want to wait until I'm sure it's functional before I show it off. :)

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Well like I said, the nyko wands already have the A and B buttons outputted to a set of three contacts below the accessory port (A ground and B respectively).   Three pogo pins installed at the back of the shell could make it a solderless hack.   Something I'm wondering is if wii motion plus is required.  If so that makes a difference on which wiimotes we need.   
« Last Edit: December 29, 2022, 01:02:44 am by Howard_Casto »

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
Well like I said, the nyko wands already have the A and B buttons outputted to a set of three contacts below the accessory port (A ground and B respectively).   Three pogo pins installed at the back of the shell could make it a solderless hack.   Something I'm wondering is if wii motion plus is required.  If so that makes a difference on which wiimotes we need.

Well, something still needs to be connected to those pogo pins somehow.  Maybe we have different definitions for "turn-key" :)

There's also the possibility that the camera in those remotes is similar, or maybe even the same as the cheap aftermarket remotes, which either work poorly in this particular application, or possibly not at all.   And even if the Nykos do work as well, they are far less common.  Quite a few unknowns with these, unless you already have one and have tested it.

RE: Motion plus

If you mean with regard to Lichtknarre, I don't believe it is currently supported.  From what I have been able to gather, the remotes with it built-in are incompatible with pretty much all of these enthusiast applications.  I'm surmising that the reason for this is the difference in firmware on those devices. 

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Drill three holes in the shell and glue/epoxy the crimp style pogo pins into said holes that are crimped to wires leading to switches.... seems a lot easier than hacking up the wiimote.   Nyko wiimotes and all third party wiimotes behave the same.   Did some of the testing on my old software via a 3-dollar knockoff as well as the standard version.   I suppose the quality of the camera could be different, but I didn't notice any difference.   Nyko wands are literally the most abundant third party wiimote besides rock candy.   I posted a link to just one of the myriad of sources on ebay.

Supporting wii motion plus wiimotes isn't difficult..... it just requires a different handshake if I remember correctly, and it'll show up like a wiimote with wii motion plus plugged in... did it with my test software years ago.  I figured most of this stuff out years ago, but I needed help with the math to calculate position... asked for help several times and got crickets.   


RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
Nyko wiimotes and all third party wiimotes behave the same.   Did some of the testing on my old software via a 3-dollar knockoff as well as the standard version.   I suppose the quality of the camera could be different, but I didn't notice any difference.   Nyko wands are literally the most abundant third party wiimote besides rock candy.   I posted a link to just one of the myriad of sources on ebay.

Howard, just type "nyko wii remote" into Google and click on the reviews in the right panel.  You'll see that there are many complaints about dropped connections and camera accuracy issues.  The same issues have been reported widespread with other 3rd party brands.  The camera modules in the remotes are "smart", and whatever tech magic is in the originals, isn't in the knock-offs.  It's also been reported that the accelerometers are of lower quality and much less sensitive, which, from my understanding, will likely affect accuracy in a major way.  Also, the German lightgun guy did a review of Lichtknarre recently on YT and immediately got a comment from a viewer complaining about his remote constantly dropping the connection when testing the software.  It was a 3rd party remote.

*edit*  I removed some comments about the + enabled version, as some headway appears to have been made out there, either in the MS BT stack or in some of the libraries.  But unless something has changed, Fusselkroete doesn't have one of those units to test with, according to his site, so support for them might take a long back-seat to more pressing concerns.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2022, 01:47:13 pm by RandyT »

BadMouth

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9134
  • Last login:Today at 10:28:23 am
  • ...
I still like the idea of a 3D printed shell with a wiimote pcb mounted on edge, or entire wiimote mounted on edge utilizing the nun-chuck connector for trigger and other buttons.
(making progress on my home repairs/remodeling, but it will still be at least a month until I have time to mess around with any projects.)

A couple guns I hadn't seen before came up while I was searching for a pic of something else.
Both from 10+ years ago and not easy to find, but worth looking at.  Maybe some Chinese company still has the molds or are using them for some other system.

Scorpion VII - One of the posts I came across said the connection would drop when dolphin was launched.


Possibly better quality, the Penguin United Crossfire Remote Pistol




RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
I still like the idea of a 3D printed shell with a wiimote pcb mounted on edge, or entire wiimote mounted on edge utilizing the nun-chuck connector for trigger and other buttons.

That would be a good solution, so long as the monitor isn't too large.  The vertical and horizontal FOV of the camera is supposedly different by about 10 degrees, so using it sideways could require greater distance from the monitor to get good accuracy.  Maybe paired with a wide angle lens.

But I don't think I could see myself using the trigger in the off hand.  It's weird enough holding a miniature BT game controller for the reload function (which I do currently) but it's better than the alternative.

*edit*  Maybe I misunderstood the nunchuk comment there.  It may be possible to incorporate one into a grip, so long as Lichtknarre gets the button reporting under control.  Currently, I haven't been able to get pretty much anything other than the test area in Lichtknarre to recognize them, but I haven't tried it with vJoy....maybe they work in there.  This arrangement (with the remote in normal orientation) is used in the Cabelas "shotgun" shell, so it could be an approach to take with some cable management somehow.  That said, I was never thrilled with the "button as a trigger" with that unit, but I'm picky :)
« Last Edit: December 29, 2022, 04:06:26 pm by RandyT »

BadMouth

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9134
  • Last login:Today at 10:28:23 am
  • ...
Yeah, was thinking of the nunchuck connection as an interface for trigger and other buttons incorporated into the grip.  Just as in interface so hacking the wiimote would not be required.

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
It's certainly an option.   Nunchucks are far cheaper and are easier to hack up.  I like those guns you linked to but unfortunately you can't buy them anymore.   I've looked so if I'm missing something please tell me.   Shells seem to be the only things that are readily available.   In terms of gutting the wiimote, the pcb would need to be in the original orientation.  I mean all the positional data would be off and it'd be a pain in the ass to correct.   The thought had occurred to me though, so I went on the fleabay looking for arcade shells.   Eh they are a bit pricey.   Not sure why as most are junk, but it'd get things up into the "it's so expensive you might as well try one of the diy solutions" category.   

I've been looking at the aliens extermination guns on aliexpress.   They'd be good shells for a larger gun setup but the shipping on even the shells is insane.   It's a shame as they'd make terrific positional gun controllers.

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
In terms of gutting the wiimote, the pcb would need to be in the original orientation.  I mean all the positional data would be off and it'd be a pain in the ass to correct.

I honestly don't believe it would be that difficult to allow alternative orientations. Each frame of beacon data would just need to be normalized (due to the way the camera scans for them) and the appropriate offset direction applied, based on the selected orientation.  The only place it could get tricky is the accelerometer.  If it happens to work better in the normal orientation, then it may not be ideal to use a different one than specified by the manufacturer.  But even this seems unlikely.

If the tracker plugin framework is open-sourced, which it probably will be at some point, this type of change could even be implemented without touching the main code.  Lots of possibilities at that point.

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
I'm referring to the accelerometers.   Any math used to take their data and improve position calculations would be off and it'd take a re-write to fix assuming now that the wiimote's resting position would be on it's side.   Or we could just not be jerks and use it in the proper orientation.   

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
I'm referring to the accelerometers.   Any math used to take their data and improve position calculations would be off and it'd take a re-write to fix assuming now that the wiimote's resting position would be on it's side.   Or we could just not be jerks and use it in the proper orientation.   

The accelerometer data is most likely translated into degrees and everything is based on offsets and directions from a "normal" reference.  Where complications could arise would be if the remote itself already does orientation corrections internally.  If that's the case, then it may be difficult to predict how it reacts to different usage scenarios.

And as for the "jerk" comment, you'll probably find yourself in that camp once you get beyond the theory phase and start trying to do some actual integration into existing shells.  The camera hangs below the pcb in it's normal orientation, which makes it very unfriendly to mounting in any shell where the barrel is close to top of the gun, as most all of them are.  Not a game-ender for some shells, if you don't mind a little cutting of plastics, but if alternate orientations were possible to implement, it would open up a lot more possibilities for integration.  If not, it is what it is.

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Not sure what you aren't getting here.   There are three axis of motion, X, Y and Z.... if you put the pcb on it's side you just swapped X for Y and thus any code as to account for that.   Also each axis on a wiimote has different practical limits..... in theory acceleration is read the same on all three but in practice I believe Y axis has a slightly larger threshold than X.   These are issues that can be eliminated by simply putting the wiimote in the proper orientation.  I mean later on it would be something to look into but at the moment getting a working, accurate solution that others can replicate should be a priority.   

In other news I've started compiling a rather lengthy shopping list for this project.   I'll post it later this evening when I get a chance.   

Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
My leds and lenses came in today.   Hopefully I can get a test rig up and running tomorrow.   

RandyT

  • Trade Count: (+14)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6768
  • Last login:Today at 11:04:13 am
  • Friends don't let friends hack keyboards.
    • GroovyGameGear.com
Not sure what you aren't getting here.   There are three axis of motion, X, Y and Z.... if you put the pcb on it's side you just swapped X for Y and thus any code as to account for that.

I assure you that I get it just fine :)  That data needs to be processed, regardless of the "normal" orientation, so the PC can make sense of it.  Changing the orientation is simply changing the manner in which it is processed.  It's really no different than if I were to alter the code in a trackball interface to make the axes work whichever way I please so a trackball can be installed in a non-standard orientation.  It's all relative.

Now, if there are issues with the accelerometer in different orientations, which can't be accounted for with code, then yes, it's a non-starter.  But theoretically, based on how they work, it shouldn't care.

BTW, I actually found a way to get HOTD:Remake (and Big Buck Hunter: Arcade, and probably some other Steam games) to work with the mouse plugin.  But it's more of an odd hardware exploit than a fix, so it's not really useful, other than perhaps to help identify why these aren't working at the moment.  I sent the info to Fusselkroete to see if it means anything to him...


Howard_Casto

  • Idiot Police
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 19388
  • Last login:Yesterday at 11:09:19 pm
  • Your Post's Soul is MINE!!! .......Again??
    • The Dragon King
Changing the subject gracefully.   Here's a rough list of stuff I want to buy to build some guns.... one set in the more standard pistol style and one in an overkill Operation Wolf/T2/Rev X style.

First off solenoids for the recoil.   Here's what I found for the big guns:

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804442738525.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.b2ce38dacAUmqY&mp=1&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US

These are the replacement solenoids they sell for the Aliens Extermination guns.   They should be a good choice as they are relatively inexpensive and have been proven to work as a rapid-fire recoil in commercial guns.  I actually thought finding one for the bigger guns would be harder.   

This one should be a good choice for the smaller ones:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/273905080548?var=573757180845

Not used in any commercial guns but they are small enough to fit into the handle of most wiimote pistol shells with room left over for the trigger switch.   Originally, I thought a 12v version would be the way to go but since the alien coils are 24volts anyway, might as well go with the beefier ones.   

Speaking of 24 volts......

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/2251832731286018.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.b2ce38dacAUmqY&mp=1&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US

I'm thinking a cheap wall wart at 24v 5A should work fine.   Not sure if I should go with this or a more traditional power supply.   Ultimately, I'd like to be able to supply power to the wiimotes so maybe a different approach is in order.   

To trigger the coils I'm thinking something like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/225300679603?var=524280063022

This is one of those rare instances where I'm willing to pay a little extra for convenance.  Triggers by an avr's working voltage, it'll work active low for avrs and active high, in case you want to tap into the wiimotes outputs directly in a solderless solution, for under 3 bucks.   Yes please.   These are glorious times we live in for tinkerers.   


Now shells are obviously the problem.   For the pistols a wiimote shell will do for now.... I might fancy one up with some 3d-printed add-ons.   The big guns are a bit more challenging.  Seeing as how we need a great big machine gun to handle a bunch of buttons and a solenoid an Uzi seems like the logical choice.   You can find these NOS all over ebay.....

https://www.ebay.com/itm/374109263408

I figure it's a big plastic rectangle, so it'd be easy to mount a wiimote inside... just cut off the barrel, make the wiimote stick out a bit and then take some pipe and/or 3d print and over-sized barrel to go around the wiimote (or a decased pcb).   Hell the Operation Wolf series uses a very similar style of Uzi.  The only problem is I don't think these are full-sized.   There's a non-water gun version costume shops sell, but I don't think it's any bigger.   I've found some older toy Uzi's on ebay that seem to be a larger size, but they are hit and miss and it's hard to find a matching set.   Any help on this would greatly be appreciated.   I know gun regulations make it hard to find realistic toy guns these days but I find it hard to believe that here in 'merica somebody doesn't sell a fully accurate toy Uzi in blaze orange or something.   

Anyway, I'm just sharing as I go in case anyone wants to follow along.   As I find good buttons and ect I'll post them.   
« Last Edit: December 31, 2022, 09:36:32 pm by Howard_Casto »