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Author Topic: Can you integrate iPac 2 with full iPac 4 System?  (Read 643 times)

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Davetrader2

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Can you integrate iPac 2 with full iPac 4 System?
« on: April 15, 2024, 10:44:55 pm »
I use an iPac 4 in my system that is full. Does anyone know if there is a way to add more controls by adding an iPac 2. What does the "enable expansion interface" check box do?

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Re: Can you integrate iPac 2 with full iPac 4 System?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2024, 03:30:18 am »
I use an iPac 4 in my system that is full. Does anyone know if there is a way to add more controls by adding an iPac 2.
Depends on which mode you're using it in and what controls you want to add.

If you're using your IPac4 in keyboard mode, then yes, you can add more controls with either another IPac or some other encoder like an Arduino with a keyboard firmware.
- There are a number of keystrokes that are still available.

If you're using your IPac4 in dinput or xinput mode, you won't be able to add buttons to the four existing gamepad devices created by your IPac firmware, but you should be able to add more gamepad devices/buttons with another IPac.

Everything up to this point assumes that you want to add more microswitch-style joysticks/buttons to your current setup.

If you want to add optical controls (trackball, spinner, etc.), analog controls (potentiometers), a mechanical rotary joystick (Ikari Warriors), or some other type of specialized control, you'll need an encoder that works with the type(s) of control you're trying to add.


Scott

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Re: Can you integrate iPac 2 with full iPac 4 System?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2024, 09:27:50 am »
I'm currently using the iPac 4 in keyboard mode. I've also connected an iPac 2 via USB, and I'm aiming to integrate an extra set of 7 buttons into the system using the iPac 2. Unfortunately, I've struggled to find any resources on this besides using two UIO boards. 

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Re: Can you integrate iPac 2 with full iPac 4 System?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2024, 06:20:30 pm »
I'm currently using the iPac 4 in keyboard mode. I've also connected an iPac 2 via USB, and I'm aiming to integrate an extra set of 7 buttons into the system using the iPac 2.
Windows sees an IPac as a composite device that has a HID keyboard.

Windows can handle having a large number of keyboards plugged in at the same time with no problem.
- There are 3 keyboards and 3 mice when I'm using the pinball controller in my sig and a wireless keyboard.

Obviously, you'll want to reprogram the IPac2 to send different keystrokes than the IPac4.
- If you want to send the same keystrokes, you can just wire several button/joystick microswitches in parallel to an IPac input.

Something that might give you problems is if you change the "multikeyboard" setting in mame.ini.
- It's better to leave this setting disabled (0) and program the second IPac to send different keystrokes instead of dealing with possible Windows device renumbering problems.
- With multikeyboard set to enabled (1), MAME looks for a specific keystroke from a specific keyboard number.   :banghead:

If you need to reprogram one of the IPacs, remember to unplug the USB on other one so the WinIPAC knows which board you want to program.


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Re: Can you integrate iPac 2 with full iPac 4 System?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2024, 12:43:52 am »
You're right, you have to unplug one of the boards while you program the other board, and it works. I was just thinking for the longest time theres no way they didn't build something into the software to toggle between multiple boards. I assumed you could use an iPac4 and an iPac2 together but theres nothing on the Ultimarc website that says they have that capability. They only talk about the UIO having this capability. So confusing. Ultimarc would save us and them a bunch of headaches if the would just create normal documentation like every other software/hardware company. How hard could it be? Their stuff isn't that complicated, but we have to jump through a bunch of hoops to figure out simple things that could just put in the help file.