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Author Topic: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab  (Read 66906 times)

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theCoder

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Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« on: August 31, 2006, 10:52:25 pm »
< original text lost in the hard drive crash of '07 > 

... I said something imaginative and thought provoking I'm sure.  Original concept drawing below.

leapinlew

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2006, 11:04:56 pm »
Awesome! This will be something to see. I'll watch this with a lot of interest.

You building this just big enough for 1 person or are you considering linking multiple systems? Racing alone is fun, but racing others is a blast.

Can't wait to watch it unfold.

Crafty

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2006, 12:16:56 am »
You are well ahead of me on this project. I will be watching with great interest...

I got delayed in building a driving cabinet because I fell upon a Crusin USA Jamma Cab that set me back a little bit. (Cant keep anyone off it at the moment - see picture)
I have to agree that a driving cabinet sure passes the time, and even though mine only has the one game it is a real hoot.

Keep the posts coming as it will keep me motivated and also I hope with your good grace to borrow some of your ideas...
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theCoder

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2006, 12:21:40 pm »
You building this just big enough for 1 person or are you considering linking multiple systems?
This will be a 1 seater.  I thought about making a 2 station system, but I want it small, cozy, loud, and engulfing.  A 2 seater might be a little too open for what I'm shooting for.  I'm planning on mounting a lan port somewhere on the exterior for linked multiple system play.  If I do a good job with the design/blueprints, maybe it will be a slam dunk making a second unit to sit side-by-side.

... I fell upon a Crusin USA Jamma Cab that set me back a little bit.
What kind of shape is it in, and, if you don't mind me asking, how much did it set you back? (don't worry, you're wife's not going to read this.)

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2006, 12:33:35 pm »
When I first saw the sketch, the "yellow" on the drawing looked like an air-bag.  Now that is taking your driving sim a little too far! :)

theCoder

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2006, 01:55:11 am »
Seat Purchase

Today I picked up a nice seat.  It took a few hours searching my local wrecking yard.  In my research someone recommended going with an older model seat because they have flat mounting brackets, making them easier to mount than newer ones.  So, I was in search of a dark (my cab will be dark green), sporty seat with flat mounting brackets.  All I could seem to come up with were light blue, light tan, or pimped out maroon crushed velvet.  Also, most all were rotted from the sun and rain.  I really didn

NightGod

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2006, 02:31:25 am »
Shoulda bought two seats in case you end up making that second unit-going to be a nightmare trying to find another one to match two months down the line...
$6.75 the hard way-one quarter at a time.

Crafty

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2006, 09:46:17 am »
... I fell upon a Crusin USA Jamma Cab that set me back a little bit.
What kind of shape is it in, and, if you don't mind me asking, how much did it set you back? (don't worry, you're wife's not going to read this.)

Well it appears in pretty good shape...
There is some minor screen burn in the top left corner, (apparently common with these units as the logo displays fairly regularly) 50" Rear Projection Screen
The Screen is probably 5/10 but the rest is 8/10.
The steering wheel is a happs active drive (Or something similar) and its really fun to play. I had Crusin USA on the N64 and it was nowhere near as fun. There is just something about sitting in front of a big screen steering wheel in hand, gear shift in the other, racing.
If and when the screen craps out I will replace it with a more standard size unit and modify the unit the Rear Projection currently sits in to size.
As for cost it set me back $450 Australian Dollars, which at the time seemed a lot but Ive already spent countless hours playing it in the last month...
Secondly a gutted Ridge Racer Cabinet was purchased by myself prior to this cabinet for $200 so overall, I'm happy with the price.
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theCoder

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2006, 05:25:42 pm »
Shoulda bought two seats in case you end up making that second unit-going to be a nightmare trying to find another one to match two months down the line...
Good call.  I just went and picked up the drivers side seat.  I forgot to mention, if you need just one, get the passenger seat because they typically see much less use than the drivers seat.  Even if I don't use it in another cab, it is darn comfortable as a gaming chair.  My daughter prefers it over the $49 gaming rocker chair.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2006, 02:36:05 pm »
Hacking a Fanatec Speedster 3 Wheel

I want to mount the wheel in my cab flush to the dash.  With a little encouragement from markvp's Pole Position project, I decided to take the plunge.  Ultimately I needed to remove all functional components from the housing then come up with a way to mount it into a flat dash board.  This write-up describes the steps involved in dismantling a Fanatec wheel. 

Remove Bottom Plate
The bottom section is held on with 11 Philips head screws.  Remove all screws and remove the cover.




Mark Connectors
There are two PCB's inside, each with lots of small connectors.  Using a Sharpie pen, make various marks on the connectors and their mating sockets.  I sometimes did one line, two, or three.  Sometimes on the corners, sometimes on the long edge, sometimes on the short.  Just make them different.  I made a mistake by not marking the plug portion.  When I removed my first plug, I noticed it was not marked.  I had only marked the PCB and socket.  Make sure to bring the pen all the way to the top (near the wires).  BEFORE YOU REMOVE ANY WIRES, take a couple of pictures, from different angles.  This way, if you can't figure out your markings, it will help in the re-assembly.  Also, make sure the pictures are not blurry before you proceed.  Using the macro mode of your camera usually helps for pictures like this.


Remove Connectors
Gently remove the plugs.  Some require a little persuasion, but they do come off.  I had the best luck by just grabbing it with my thumb and forefinger and pulling up while wiggling.  With all wires unplugged, you will need to cut a couple of larger wire ties to separate the wire bundles.  The picture only shows the green PCB, but you need to mark the wires and remove the connectors for the brown PCB as well.  I left a few connectors on that go to other components not associated with the main assembly.


Remove Wheel
The wheel is held in place with one large Philips head screw located on the bottom side of the steering wheel, where it goes into the housing.  Remove this screw.  Gently wiggle the wheel while pulling it off.  Once it initially separates, feed the wires through the hole as you pull the wheel.  Do not pull too tightly or else you will break a wire or connection. 




Remove Main Assembly
Removing the wheel exposes 4 screws that hold the metal housing in place.  Remove these screws and the main assembly comes off.




Rumblers
There are two rumble motors mounted in the wheel.  You do not necessarily need to get at them, but if you do, you remove the silver ring, then three screws behind that, then the two green strips on the bottom portion of the wheel.  The center plate can now be lifted.  The wires are kind of tight so don't lift it too high.  I was initially disappointed when I didn't see the rumblers when I removed the bottom.  I'm planning on mounting a series of them in the seat.  I was very pleased when I found them in the center portion of the wheel.  Each motor takes two wires, one pair is red/black and the other is blue/green.  Each pair has a 2-conductor plug that plugs into the green PCB.  These two sets of wires are wire-tied together near the PCB.  I'm planning on cutting these wires, using them to power a small relay that will drive the series of other rumblers I hack from other controllers.  In general, there is no need for you to go into the wheel unless you need to hack the buttons or replace the rumbler motors.



Fabricate a mounting plate.
The mounting plate needs to be made of thin metal, of a similar geometry as the area circled in the picture.  The plate will be attached to the backside of the dashboard.  I'll post pictures of the completed plate and dashboard interface when completed.


Crafty

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2006, 09:57:10 pm »
Thanks for the detailed photos and description, you are inspiring me to hack apart my steering wheel controller when I get to my driving cabinet...
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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2006, 06:49:07 am »
I forgot to mention that you still need that black circular piece of plastic in your picture above. 

The project looks great!!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2006, 09:00:32 am »
Sound like a cool project, can't wait to see the finished product.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2006, 03:54:39 am »
Seat Effects
I really want to max out the sensory stimulus on this project.  The drivers seat will provide two physical effects.  Both involve vibrations.  This entry describes a low frequency sound effect driven by the audio of the game and an array of rumbler motors driven by the rumbler outputs of the controller.

ButtKicker
In my research for this project I came across a thing called a bass shaker.  It is basically a subwoofer minus the paper cone.  Instead of creating sound waves in the air, they produce sound vibrations in whatever they are physically mounted to.  The net result is the chest thumping vibrations (or rear-end in my case) you get while cranking up the volume without blowing out your family or neighbors.  The Guitammer Company has a bass shaker product called the ButtKicker.



http://www.thebuttkicker.com/ButtKicker%20Gamer_home.html

It comes with its own 100-watt amplifier!  They regularly sell for $100 plus shipping, but I picked on up on Amazon for $39 ($89 minus $50 rebate plus free shipping).  I mounted it inside the chair, on the lower frame.

Seat Rumblers
I'm not sure if anyone else has done this, but I knew I wanted to do it when I first started brain storming this project - get the rumbler effect out of my hands and into my seat; just like a real car.  I'm a big fan of buying discounted or used electrical components to hack-up and reuse components from.  A discount outlet was selling discontinued PS2 controllers for $6.00.  I picked up three. 



Each controller has a low intensity and a high intensity eccentric motor. 



This got me three rumbler motors for the low effect, and three for the high effect.  Now the trick was how to drive three motors from the controller signal originally designed for one.  I assumed that the motors were 5vdc because that is the standard USB signal.  I decided to use the controllers 5 volt rumble signal to drive a relay, and use the output side of the relay to drive the three motors using a more beefy power supply (hacked transformer from Goodwill - $2.00)



I used two 5vdc relays from Radio Shack.  The circuit above was doubled, one for the low intensity motors and one for the high.  There are three incoming wire pairs, low and high plus & minus 5vdc from the controller to drive the relays and plus & minus 5vdc from the hacked transformer to drive the motors.



I really appreciate having the zipper on the back of the seat.  It really came in handy when mounting this stuff.  I epoxied the motors to large Popsicle sticks to make them easy to mount to the chair.  Each motor/stick is mounted against the foam rubber, held in place by the seat springs and hot glue.  If I don't get enough sensation from this layout, I'll try adding 6 more motors.  If that doesn't work, I'll try to track down a Lazy-Boy vibrating massage motor assembly.  I put quick connectors on the relay board and brought them to the lower end where the zipper closes.  This will allow me to mount and connect the seat without having to solder in-place. 





A number of ideas were recommended by my co-workers for this aspect of the project.  One important consideration was I did not want AC motors in the seat.  If I have a failure with a 5vdc circuit, no problem.  If I have a failure with 110 volt AC, in the back of a foam rubber seat, I might lose my house & family to fire. 

With the zipper closed you can't tell there is all this vibrating hardware mounted in the chair.  So there you have it, low vibrations when driving in the grass, high vibrations when driving on gravel, and rock'n vibrations from the sound system when you wreck.  I can't wait to try it out !


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2006, 04:49:53 am »
That's an amazing idea.....I'll consider it when I start to build my driving cab ;)


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2006, 09:52:56 am »
Wow, awesome project. Keep us posted.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2006, 07:05:45 pm »
I had a similar idea with the rumble packs that I know I won't get to for quite a while.  I also have something like this that I wanted to use.

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-QiPuv6tKMYZ/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?i=127SK1S&cc=01&g=229650

Since I likely won't be using the idea, I figured I'd throw it out there for someone to use.  Can't wait to see the project progress.  Maybe it will inspire me to get to my sit down some day.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2006, 12:55:46 pm »
... I also have something like this that I wanted to use...
That audio controller looks cool.  I'm not sure if I can use it on this project, but thanks for the input. 

I really want this thing to be an experience to play.  To that end, I'm planning on:

1)  Putting rumble motors in the seat to get the low and high vibration feedback from the game. (done)
2)  Put a bass shaker in the seat to get the low frequency vibrations from the sound system without having to crank the volume. (done)
3)  Limit visual distractions by making the doorway openings small.  Hopefully this will keep down the visual "noise" you get with other stuff and people in the room.
4)  Put in a 100 to 200 watt stereo system.  I'll probably go with an old school, 3 way speaker system.  You can get very high quality speaker stacks (12-16" woofer, 6" midrange, and tweeter) from Goodwill for $20-40 a pair.  I was considering the newer 5.1 systems, but I'm not sure about the quality of the speakers.  A friend recommended using carpet on the inside walls to improve the acoustics.  I'm thinking of having the woofers behind the seat, the midranges down at the pedals, and the tweeters near the top of the monitor. 
5)  Using a very comfortable chair.  I understand why commercial driving cabs have hard plastic seats (wear & cleanliness), but mine won't get 1/20th of the use, and I can clean the seat myself.  Small price to pay for comfort.  (done)

I NEED YOUR INPUT
We're a creative bunch of people.  What other systems might I put into this thing to increase the driving experience?  Lets think crazy, laughable, grossly impractical.  Or maybe even cool and functional.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2006, 03:20:39 pm »
Impracticle? Put in all the car functions you really don't need: headlights on the front of the machine (point the cab right into the living room so you can blind everyone), put a musical car horn in (with truckers pull-chain), rear-view mirror (with fuzzy dice) and side mirrors, turning signals, sun roof, small fans to simulate wind blowing in your hair (don't know how you could tell it when to activate realistically).

As far as somewhat practicle things that might be nice:
Hand brake, 6 gear shifter with reverse, extra buttons somewhere easy to reach to map to specific games needing radio and view buttons, light gun for player two (I can't think of any simultaneous driving/lightgun games, but it would be awesome), 2 or 3 part construction (meaning you can take the monitor of seat section apart from the main body to move it around).

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2006, 03:24:44 am »
While we are on the topic or whacky ideas for driving cabs why not.....

- Add a "car phone". hands free, or old skool handset "like the original car phones"

- Maybe audio controls for the cab controled by a car sterio unit, or even load the game DVD's from the sterio if you wanted a real challenge

- Cup holders would be easy and in keeping with the theme if sourced from a a car

- Cigarette lighter socket so you can run 12volt car accessories

- Interior light out of a car would work nicely, or even neons if you prefered

- Air conditioning, all you would need is a small fan/heater blowing in through the dash vents (sourced from a car again)

- Make the roof of the cabinet retractable like a convertable/roadster roof


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2006, 11:02:20 am »
 :o that is a very nice project
good luck
 :cheers:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2006, 01:20:11 pm »
Add a tray from a drive in (like "Sonic") so you have someplace to put your snacks while you're driving. :)
Make your cabinet look its best with custom art from
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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2006, 09:32:40 pm »
Crazy Idea ???

How about some ability to when you select rear view in the game what you actually need to do is look in to a real rearview mirror because the image is behind you on another screen..

Dont know if is is feasible or even practical but it sure sounds real....
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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2006, 12:59:41 am »
Thanks for the input.  Feel free to contribute more.  In a month or two I'll consolidate all ideas and write up the good, bad, and ugly.  Some of which will make it's way into this build, others of which are fun to laugh at.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2006, 01:20:17 am »
Pedals
A few weeks ago I picked up a used set of Happ pedals on eBay ($28 US delivered.)  The seller said they came from a Crus'n USA cab.  Today I wired them up to the Fanatec pedal assembly cable.  I really lucked out because the resistance on both the Fanatec Speedster 3 pedals and the used Happ pedals are 5K ohms.   This really simplified the job.  I just to needed document which wires from the Fanatec cable went to which posts of the pots, then solder them to the appropriate wires on the Happ pedal pots. 

These Happ pedals are stout!  Notice the heavy duty springs in the second picture.  You can't see it but the rack & pinion gears are also made out of metal.  This puppy is going to be able to handle lots of abuse, unlike the plastic Fanatec pedals. 

On this post, there is little text for each picture, so I've just attached them (saves on the page size).  On more detailed posts, I embed the images within the text.  Anyway, Pic1 is the original, as purchased Happ pedal assembly;  Pic2 shows the internals of the pedals;  Pic3 (sorry for the focus) is the internals of the Fanatec pedals; and Pic 4 is the Happ pedal assembly with the Fanatec cable wired and ready to plug in to the wheel.

FREE to good home - Original Fanatec pedal assembly, minus the cable.  You pay shipping from 97321.  It will probably be somewhere around $10.  Drop me an PM if interested.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2006, 07:28:57 am »
Along with the different sized weights the PS2 rumble motors have they are also powered by different voltages. So I'm unsure if you will feel the dramatic difference in force feedback that you pursue.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2006, 07:40:39 am »
Great job on the pedals.  Those are going to be perfect.  This project is looking great.

-D

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2006, 12:20:22 pm »
Will the seat be adjustable and I didn't notice if anyone else mentioned it but:

- Air freshener

-Turn key to start up the whole dealio!!!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2006, 12:26:08 pm »
-Turn key to start up the whole dealio!!!

I like that idea.

-D

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2006, 09:21:37 pm »
Will the seat be adjustable and I didn't notice if anyone else mentioned it but:
...Turn key to start up the whole dealio!!!

The seat will be adjustable both forward/backward & recline.  I'm a hair short of 6 foot tall, so I'll mount it all the way back minus one "click" of the seat (one more for any really tall friends that come over).  This will make it so it can move forward another 9" for small kids.

On the ignition switch topic...  I thought of this, and have already drawn up the circuit.  I'm concerned that it would confuse people however.  In the off position, all power is off.  In the center position, the power strip is energized.  In the "start" position, the Xbox reset button is pressed.  The power strip is energized when the key is in either the center position or the start position.  So the basic operation is:  sit down, turn key to start position then let go.  Key springs back to center position.  All systems power up including Xbox.  Navigate to prefered game and play.  When sick of playing a game, and want another, turn switch to start position which powers down the Xbox.  (With a mod'ed Xbox the reset is the only way to exit a game.)  turn switch to start position again to boot Xbox.  When done playing, turn switch to start position to power down Xbox, then turn key to off position to kill all power.  The custom circuit will need to isolate the two different systems via relays.  This would be pretty cool, but will a guest be able to figure out to turn the key to the start position to exit a game?  Is it worth the additional time and money for a little "gee wiz" factor.  I'm leaning more towards a well labeled toggle switch and reset button.  I could compomise and just use the ignition switch for the main power switch and have a reset button to cycle the xbox (no custom circuit required).  What do you think?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2006, 08:57:04 am »
Turn switch for power and a button for reset would do both...

"Oh sweet, you turn it on with a key!!!"

and

"How do I go to another game?  Oh, just press this button, got it"

and

"How do I turn this thing off?  Oh, just turn the key, no problem"


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2006, 12:43:04 pm »
Pressing both triggers and the start and back button will take you back to your dashboard on a modded xbox if you have in-game reset (IGR) turned on. Then you don't have to shut down and restart your Xbox every time you want to switch games.


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2006, 08:55:14 pm »
Turn switch for power and a button for reset would do both...

Now that I think about it, I'll probably go with the key.  I can just forget to put in the key when the kids forget to do the dishes.

Pressing both triggers and the start and back button will take you back to your dashboard on a modded xbox if you have in-game reset (IGR) turned on.

Thanks, I'll look into it.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2006, 10:17:55 am »
Hacking an Xbox controller and soldering to the buttons is super easy.  You could hack a cheap controller and run all the "reset button combo" into a single switch!
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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2006, 12:10:36 pm »
Hacking an Xbox controller and soldering to the buttons is super easy.  You could hack a cheap controller and run all the "reset button combo" into a single switch!
I was thinking the very same thing.  combine all buttons into a single one.  Actually, I was thinking about hacking into the switches on the steering wheel.  I seem to recall that the first controller used during a single player game is the only one the system recognizes.  If that is the case, I'll have to hack the wheel.  I'd much rather use a second port and hack a cheap controller and leave the wheel alone.  I'll play around with it to see what will work.  Thanks for the recommendation.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2006, 12:39:38 pm »
I think working turn signals would be a fun addition.  Or you could have it permanently signaling for a left turn, just like the car in front of me this morning.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2006, 03:38:01 pm »
I think working turn signals would be a fun addition.  Or you could have it permanently signaling for a left turn, just like the car in front of me this morning.

If you think its a fun addition that must have been one heckova fun ride then.
I just kindly help those folks get over to the left they seek by pulling up besides them and nudging them to the curb.
PS: Thanks for sharing, that line just seemed LOL funny.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2006, 05:33:43 pm »
I'm going for the all out sensory experience.  I think I've got one for the sense of smell.  I can harvest a bunch of 6 month old french fries from under the seat of my car and put them under the seat of the cab.  Ah, that old familiar smell...

I'm hoping to cut wood in the next couple of weeks.  In the mean time I'm picking up more accessories, and playing with the controls.

I found out last night that I can reset games (IGR) from any controller plugged into any port, regardless of which one is "in control" of the game.  Maybe (??) I can get away with not hacking the wheel any more than I already have.  If so, I'll hack up a cheap controller, plug it into port 4, and call it good.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2006, 01:20:34 am »
More Toys
Today after work I dropped by my local wrecking yard and then to the pawn shop for more goodies.

Amplifier
I picked up a 230 watt Pioneer power amplifier for $49 from my local pawn shop.  In the shop, I plugged in my Xbox without a monitor, plugged in a small pair of cheap speakers, hooked the Xbox to the amp, pressed my memorized sequence of down twice, the A twice.  Up came the roar and thunder of the intro to Need For Speed - Most Wanted.  It really lite up the pawn shop with the sound of a car blazing from what felt like front left to back right.  The smile on the pawn shop guys face was priceless.  I can't wait to hear it through a nice set of speakers (still looking) in a space 1/3 the volume of my car.  230 watts of audio plus 100 watts of buttkicker low frequency seat vibration.  This thing is going to rock!  I've now got to rip into it and de-solder the volume pot so I can mount it in the dash.  <<Edit:  Went with a pot between the Xbox and amp, no de-solder required.  Written up on page 2 of this thread. >>  I'm not up for the challenge of putting in a cannibalized radio, hacking in my pot, and an Xbox DVD.  Perhaps on the next project.  Thanks for the suggestion anyway original_maxlamer.

Cab Light
The inside of the cab will likely be dark.  I picked up a dome light to light things up when I need to read something or point out the on-wheel buttons to a friend.  I was thinking about putting one in, and original_maxlamer recommended it as well. The plastic molding has a slight bow to it to match the profile of the car it came from.  I'll grind it all flat.  I suspect it requires 12vdc which I'm planning on having in the cab anyway.  I'll probably paint the molding flat black to match the seat.  << Edit:  Yep, it is 12vdc >>

Air Conditioning Duct
A co-worker friend of mine as well as Glaine & original_maxlamer recommended putting in a fan.  This one makes sense given the closed in nature of the cockpit.  I'll come up with a nice way to mount this register into the dash and put a small CPU fan behind it.  I don't want to pull air from the front compartment of the cab because it will likely be hotter than elsewhere.  I'll probably make a small piece of duct and pull air from just below the dash.  I'm also concerned about the white noise that fans produce, so I might put a resistor in series with the fan to slow it down, making it quieter.  A little soap and water and this will clean up nice. 

Thanks for the compliments and keep those recommendations coming.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2006, 02:03:00 am »
Air Conditioning Duct
A co-worker friend of mine as well as Glaine & original_maxlamer recommended putting in a fan.  This one makes sense given the closed in nature of the cockpit.  I'll come up with a nice way to mount this register into the dash and put a small CPU fan behind it.  I don't want to pull air from the front compartment of the cab because it will likely be hotter than elsewhere.  I'll probably make a small piece of duct and pull air from just below the dash.  I'm also concerned about the white noise that fans produce, so I might put a resistor in series with the fan to slow it down, making it quieter.  A little soap and water and this will clean up nice. 
Just wire in a pot so you can adjust the speed of the fan on the fly (or buy one of those nice light-up fan control units). There are about a million places to go to buy/find info on doing that.
$6.75 the hard way-one quarter at a time.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2006, 11:13:38 pm »
Xbox Boot Screens and Power Switch
I spent a little time today tinkering with my Xbox.  I want to get rid of all evidence of the fact that it is an Xbox and have it boot to my custom splash screen and menu skin.  I got rid of the green "flubber" animation screen at boot-up by making a change to a configuration file.  I also learned how to have Avalaunch (Xbox menuing software) display my own graphic instead of its own on start-up.  I also played around with some images for a skin, but don't like what I've come up with so far.

I hacked in a remote switch to power the Xbox.  I got the front panel off (remove cover, remove hard drive, unplug yellow wire bundle, gently pull, twist, & squeeze plate).  There were 4 terminals behind the power switch.  With the power on, I tried shorting out combinations of the leads.  With one combination, the machine shut down.  I either just fried my machine or found the magic combination.  The moment of truth came when I shorted them together again (drum roll please...) the machine started up.  When I picked up the dome light yesterday, there was a multi-wire connector on it.  I made sure to cut it off past the connector.  Using the connector will allow me or my son to quickly remove the Xbox from the cab if it is needed elsewhere.  (My son went to his first all-night Xbox LAN party a few weeks ago.  Apparently you are more popular if you show up with two boxes.)   I routed the wire out the back then soldered one side of the connector to the wires.  Shorting these two wires together now starts and stops the box.  I'll wire the other end to a dashboard mounted button and the other side of the connector.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2006, 11:43:35 pm »
It's going to be hard to get my son to give up the hardware I've acquired for this project.  Here's a shot of the him enjoying the components as they're coming together.  Even with cheap speakers, the stereo adds a new dimension to the game.  The car seat is very comfortable and the vibrations you get in your rear-end from each machine gun blast is also very cool.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2006, 12:19:51 am »
Hey hey!!  Great news about the reset on any controller.  Very rarely do good things like that work out that easily.
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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2006, 09:13:02 pm »
Controller Hack & Rumbler Test
Today I rigged up a controller to test the rumblers in the seat.  I figured that anything I do with the hand held controller will be leveragable to the wheel, and there will be times when I want to use a hand held controller anyway.  If I'm using a controller, it might as well make the seat rumble.  I needed to get the rumble signals from the controller.  I also need the controller to "plug" into the chair circuit.  Telephone hardware proved to be a good fit.  The current is low and hardware is cheap.

Getting the signals from the controller was very straight forward.  I brought the phone wire through a hole in the controller where the second expansion pack goes.  I tied a knot is the wire to keep it from tugging on the solder joints.  I then soldered the black to black, red to one of the motors red, and the green to the other motors red.  The black is ground and so I only needed one connection.

I picked up a 2-to-1 phone plug at the local dollar store.  This will allow me to connect both the wheel and a controller at the same time.  I'll just leave them both plugged in.  I wired the two relay commons from my custom circuit to the black, one primary to red, and the other to green.  I also hooked up a benchtop 5vdc supply to the contact side of the relays going to the motors. 

Good news and bad.  It worked.  Both sets of motors rotated.  I could definitely feel both sides, and one is stronger than the other.  I'm very pleased with how much vibration is transferred through the chair.  One stick came loose and I'm going to go in and put on a lot more hot glue all over the place.  The bad news is the relays chatter loudly when activated.  This is especially the case with machine gun fire.  I suspect the controller is providing variable voltage to the motors, which is going above and below the turn-on voltage of the relays.  I'll let it run for a few weeks and see if it wears out the relays.  If not, I'm good and will just move them to the front part of the cab (so I don't hear them as much).  I might also put in a capacitor to see if it smooths things out.  I'm not an Electrical Engineer, most of this stuff is trial and error for me.

One thing I have decided is that I don't want my custom circuit mounted in the chair.  Maintenance is going to be a pain back there.  I'll bring it to the front compartment and run some 5 conductor wire back to the seat.  This will minimize my chances of having to crawl back there or worse yet, have to remove the chair, to fix a bad relay.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2006, 01:21:25 am »
Here's a short mpg video (900K) of the rumblers in action.  I found a place in Halo that I could control this for the video.  In this action, both sets of motors are activated.  Listen to the noisy relays.  It goes off twice, each time I pull the trigger (in the lower left corner of the image). 
http://home.comcast.net/~larmead/images/rumbler_movie.mpg
Somethings got to change.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2006, 02:34:14 pm »
I just remembered there was some guy a whiles back that put a projector in a real car and used it as a game simulator, what was awesome was that he wired the speed meters to move along with the game. How, I don't know. He was using commands inside of a Nascar game I think.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2006, 05:12:54 pm »
Coder -

Excellent work as always! I've been reading this with a lot of interest. Keep it up!

Lewis

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2006, 12:47:37 pm »
how did you get rid of the xbox green flab start up screen ???
edit bios or . . . ??

project looking great so far !

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2006, 04:22:05 pm »
It's easy to remove the Xbox startup junk in the bios. There are a few programs out there that can do it. Just uncheck the box and save, threload the new bios onto the Xbox.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #49 on: September 21, 2006, 10:19:50 pm »
how did you get rid of the Xbox green flab start up screen ???
edit bios or . . . ??

project looking great so far !
My Xbox came with a version of the X2 bios (don't know the specific version).  I dug around and found that the more recent versions of this bios supports a config file.  It is called x2config.ini.  It lets you control a number of parameters of the boot sequence including turning off the flubber animation (green machine with floating balls), change its colors, turn off the sound, etc.  Google for x2config.ini for more info.

Thanks for the compliments guys. 

I'm on hold with the woodworking 'til my friends shop frees up.  Perhaps next week...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2006, 06:29:55 pm »
Volume Control
I was really sweating how I was going to get the volume pot out of the stereo to mount it on the front panel.  The pot has about 12 solder points to the PCB.  I could unsolder it out, but that makes me nervous.  It is on its own PCB that has two ribbon cables with about 20 wires.  It would be easy but time consuming to cut the cables and solder in 12

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2006, 03:22:05 am »
The rumble motors arnt just on/off, they are pwm controlled at various frequancies to give different sensations. This will be why the relay chatters. Its also going to kill the relay in a short time and not very nice to listen to while gaming.

You should be able to get away with some transistors to drive the motors in the seat instead of a relay. Throw an optoisolator in there if you want to keep the isolation that the relay gives you.

http://www.sampson-jeff.com/tcrobowar/motor1/bipolar.htm shows the idea of using a transistor. Use 1kohm for R1...

I can draw a schematic for it with an optoisolator if you want, no schematic software on the laptop so it will be a photoshop one tho.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #52 on: September 23, 2006, 12:16:59 pm »
The rumble motors arnt just on/off, they are pwm controlled at various frequancies to give different sensations. This will be why the relay chatters. Its also going to kill the relay in a short time and not very nice to listen to while gaming.

You should be able to get away with some transistors to drive the motors in the seat instead of a relay. Throw an optoisolator in there if you want to keep the isolation that the relay gives you.

http://www.sampson-jeff.com/tcrobowar/motor1/bipolar.htm shows the idea of using a transistor. Use 1kohm for R1...

I can draw a schematic for it with an optoisolator if you want, no schematic software on the laptop so it will be a photoshop one tho.
In college I built a PLC from a bag of opto-isolator chips I picked up from a surplus place.  You could save me a bunch of time and keep the magic smoke from escaping from the chips if you could spare me the time to draw it up.  Thanks for the offer.

This project would be much simpler if I  could drive 3 small motors off of the line designed to drive one.   I'm just concerned that the current might be too high for the XBox source to handle.  That is why I went with relays.  Is there a way to keep the analog nature of the input, but increase the # of motors (i.e. increase the current load)?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #53 on: September 23, 2006, 08:59:15 pm »
In college I built a PLC from a bag of opto-isolator chips I picked up from a surplus place.  You could save me a bunch of time and keep the magic smoke from escaping from the chips if you could spare me the time to draw it up.  Thanks for the offer.

This project would be much simpler if I  could drive 3 small motors off of the line designed to drive one.   I'm just concerned that the current might be too high for the XBox source to handle.  That is why I went with relays.  Is there a way to keep the analog nature of the input, but increase the # of motors (i.e. increase the current load)?

Try this, if the motors keep going when the xbox isnt signalling then it may need a pull down resistor on the input to the transistor depending on how leaky the optoisolator is. The last few things I have done have been fine, I just use whatever transistor is in the latest grab bag I have gotten, its only when you get to high voltages or currents you have to pay attention to the ratings and make sure you give it sufficiant base current. If the motors are too weak, then reduce R2, no lower then 100 ohms as that should be more then enough. it just depends on the transistors gain. The TIP120 is popular, but may have excess gain being that its a darlington

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2006, 07:41:11 pm »
Quote from: richms link=topic=57479.msg575021#msg575021
Try this...
Thanks.  This should give me something to do while waiting to cut wood.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2006, 02:38:51 am »
Platform
Finally !!!!! cut'n wood.
I picked up a big pile of wood yesterday, then headed to Jim's to initially rough in some big pieces.  One thing lead to another, and I've now got my base. 

The basic structure is made with 2x4's and the deck is 1/2" birch plywood.  The front side was made a little taller than the other sides to support the front access panel (I'll write this up later with drawings...similar to an Atari cab back panel.)

The build went very well and fast.  I used lots of wood glue and screws.  All that is left is to trim the top surface flush to the 2x4's with a router.  It feels so good to finally have some sawdust.

Work takes me out of town this weekend and into next week.  Lots more to do when I return.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2006, 02:07:45 am »
Speakers
I got back from a business trip to find my local Goodwill had replenished their supply of speaker stacks.  I picked out the best pair of the bunch for $35.    The 12" woofers will be mounted behind the seat, the mids in the dash, and the tweeters pointing down from the above the TV.  This should give me great separation. 

Tonight I also drew out the entrance profile on one of the side 4x8 sheets, hoping to cut it out.  One idea lead to another, and I decided to re-think my dashboard design before committing to the profile.  This project would be so much easier the second time around !

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #57 on: October 10, 2006, 04:03:57 pm »
The sides are finally cut!  The profile was hand sketched based on my scale drawing.  The two sides were screwed together to cut them at the same time.  I am not sure this was the best approach because the cut was not perpendicular in a number of places.  The blade angled in some cases up to 10 degrees.  To address this, I used a drum sander upside down as a makeshift hand tool.  Jim refused to have any pictures taken of this process.  I'm sure it looked comical using a large 30 pound bench top sanding machine as a hand held trimmer.  It was mostly safe (!! ??).  Anyway, a little more hand filing and sanding is in order, before cutting the t-molding slots then attaching to the base.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2006, 01:45:56 am »
Try this...
Works great!  Much quieter.  Thanks for the input richms.  I Googled the parts and found an on-line vendor.  The most expensive part was shipping.  I picked up 8 opto chips and 4 power transistors.  The optos are cool.  This should quiet things down quite a bit.  I'm also thinking of bringing the LED's to the dash somewhere to see what I'm feeling when the Xbox gives me a rumble.  Minus shipping, this was about a $3 project.  Much better than the original circuit using relays.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2006, 07:09:38 pm »
Awesome!

So, from micro to macro.. Looks mighty fine!

PS. "the cut was not perpendicular" - I had the same problem even with two sheets of only 10mm MDF clamped together.. Well, hand filing and sanding never hurt anyone...

All the best with the build.  :applaud:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #60 on: October 13, 2006, 01:48:28 am »
Awesome!  So, from micro to macro.. Looks mighty fine!
Thanks.  It`s really different, man handling 4x8 ft. sheets of plywood vs. finessing 18x1 inch cross members.  On the Partybox (micro) the focus was reduced size & weight and sweeping lines.  It came in at approximately 19 in. cubed and weighs around 29 pounds.  It was very tricky getting all the components to fit.  You can carry it with one hand.  On this project (macro) the focus is all about gaming experience.  Big amp & speakers, base shaker and rumbler motors in the seat, large screen, robust pedals, ergo considerations, etc..  The stereo components alone on this project outweigh the entire Partybox.  It will be around 4x6.5 ft. and weigh somewhere around 250 pounds when all is said and done. The Partybox can travel in the passenger seat of my car.  This thing is going to require a pick-up truck and a strong friend to move.  The funny thing is the macro will probably take as much time and money to build as the micro.  Go figure.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2006, 03:16:38 am »
Structure Roughed In
Today was very productive.  I've finally got the sides on !  This is something I've been waiting a long time to get to.  You can now get a feel for the size this thing is going to be.

My friend has this great tool (I forget the name) to put screws in at a 10 degree angle.  It is designed for this type of application.  Instead of screwing in a block of 2x2, you just screw the two pieces of plywood together.  Apparently this is how the pro's do it (check your wooden desk or chest of drawers.)

Before putting the sides on, I marked the height of the TV shelf, and put in a couple of supports.  I figured this would be easier to get right while the sides were off.

The sides went on fairly easy.  I first put on the back piece.  It was very critical that this piece be square to the edges.  It took a little finessing to get it right.  A lot of glue and woodscrews later, and it's taking shape.  This was definitely a job for two people.

I'm thinking of using smoked Plexiglas on the top surface.  I haven't figured out yet how I'm going to handle the rounded edges; maybe just a series of 2 to 5 slats.  I probably won't spend all the effort of doing a ribbed/skinned surface like my previous project.

Ideas or comments?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2006, 09:45:07 am »
Structure Roughed In
Today was very productive.  I've finally got the sides on !  This is something I've been waiting a long time to get to.  You can now get a feel for the size this thing is going to be.

My friend has this great tool (I forget the name) to put screws in at a 10 degree angle.  It is designed for this type of application.  Instead of screwing in a block of 2x2, you just screw the two pieces of plywood together.  Apparently this is how the pro's do it (check your wooden desk or chest of drawers.)
Pocket Jig, of which Kreg seems to be the most popular brand.
$6.75 the hard way-one quarter at a time.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #63 on: October 25, 2006, 02:23:00 am »
I've been spending a lot of quality time around the house this week, away from the project (storing up the shop time credits).  While sitting on the couch, I started messing around with artwork for the project.  Given that this is an Xbox based cab, I wanted to include the Xbox X in the title.  With a little search I found a photoshop tutorial on the topic at:  http://www.pagecurve.com/tutorial.php?id=46_0_1_0

Any comments on the following drafts would be appreciated.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #64 on: October 25, 2006, 04:34:36 am »
As this thread is about Xcelerator I'd say you should get rid of the other c on the logo ??
Other than that, hmm, are you sure it has to be the 'actual' Xbox X in there ..

Well, anyway; more pix, more pix, as always ;)

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #65 on: October 25, 2006, 05:38:51 am »
bigger text and thicker border would be better and black background maybe. white is too "xbox 360ish" :dunno

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #66 on: October 25, 2006, 02:34:28 pm »
Why not use a font that makes the letters look like they are xcelerating. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #67 on: October 25, 2006, 06:00:15 pm »
Why not use a font that makes the letters look like they are xcelerating. 

..don't know 'bout if these are 'xcelerating', but anyway ..here's my take.. The Cab (still) looks good - but we're yearning for new pictures ......................................., U know

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #68 on: October 25, 2006, 06:10:55 pm »
Damn man... this thing is looking good. Nice to see it taking shape. Good work coder (as always!)

As for a name:
LeapinLew's Lamborghini

and I'll give you a shipping address so you can send me this cab when it's done.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #69 on: October 25, 2006, 11:27:39 pm »
As this thread is about Xcelerator I'd say you should get rid of the other c on the logo ??
The car part referenced here is an "Accelerator".  I go back and forth on the spelling.  I think I'll keep it with one C per the thread topic and your comment.  Good catch.

bigger text and thicker border would be better and black background maybe. white is too "xbox 360ish" :dunno
Good input.  Thanks.

Why not use a font that makes the letters look like they are xcelerating. 
Nice, I'll give it a go.


...we're yearning for new pictures ........
Work & home life have been hectic lately, not enough hours in the day.  I'm about to start a major bathroom remodel and need to get this cab ready to paint soon.  I hope to play hooky from work Friday and make more progress.  Stay tuned.

Damn man... this thing is looking good. Nice to see it taking shape. Good work coder (as always!)   As for a name:  LeapinLew's Lamborghini
and I'll give you a shipping address so you can send me this cab when it's done.
Sure.  You pay shipping and handling.  Shipping will be somewhere around $600.  The handling on the other hand will be somewhere around $4,500.  PM me and I'll tell you where to send the money order.

Thanks for the input guys.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #70 on: October 26, 2006, 04:58:10 pm »
As far as the fan system:

Easiest way is as said before - to hook it up with a variable pot.
But would be really cool to just put it on an On/Off rocker and when it's on have it blow harder or softer by using the gas pedal as a register. So you really get the Wind in the Hair effect.

Man its great to throw out fun ideas of increasing difficulty when you don't have to do em. I can't even build a box for the life of me. Speaking of, I like your wood frame too.

I like your overhead light, my dad's truck has that same light. And I like the italic font art submitted by crackn. Though I personally don't like the X-Box symbol, but of the choices I like that.


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #71 on: October 26, 2006, 05:41:50 pm »
Seems weird to me that you would go through the trouble of removing the Xbox load up screen, then still use the logo in the name. You didn't want people to realize it was an Xbox, but then you are reminding them.

Xcelerator is a good name, but you don't need the Xbox 'X' in there I think.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #72 on: October 26, 2006, 10:53:56 pm »
So a few folks donít like the Xbox X.  I think it is cool.  Ultimately it is my decision, but what do you think?

Woofer Cabinet
Here are some pictures of the 12Ē woofer speaker ďcabinetĒ for the project.  It is one large piece of ĺĒ plywood.  The edges are cut at 45 degrees for a nice fit with the cab.  In an attempt to get good sound (like I know how to do this???) I put in a divider between the two speakers and a port hole per side.  The divider will effectively make them two separate acoustic devices.  Without it, one would affect the other.  Apparently you can tune speaker cabinets by the diameter of the portholes.  Unfortunately I donít have all the high tech gear to do this.  A 1 ĹĒ Forstner bit was handy and I decided to use it.  Iím sure it will be fine.  I havenít decided how to cover it yet, maybe with the original fabric, or maybe some felt.  The seat will be approximately 6Ē in front of these puppies.  This thing is going to rock !

More Wood
I also cut the top wood piece and frames for the front-top surface.  The top piece was very tricky to get in.  I was by myself and had to rely on 4 clamps, and a bit of finesse.  It is not in permanently though.  Iím planning on covering the entire back and top surfaces with a sheet of smoked Plexiglas.  I still need to route a groove in this piece so the Plexiglas will mate flush. 

The top front needs to be removable.  This is so I can get to the TV in case it dies.  Iím going to make a structure similar to the one I did on the PartyBox project.  The contoured sides will have 1x2Ē ribs between them with a 3/16Ē skin of pressboard.  The entire piece will slip in and out.  Iím thinking of using a slot and clamp at the top because it will be tight in there with the TV in place.  At the bottom Iíll have more access room so it will be pinned with wood screws.  More to come.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #73 on: October 27, 2006, 02:35:32 am »
About the Xbox X, what I think is that the whole image should look as one.

I can't wait to see this cab finished! Keep up the great work and write up! :applaud:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #74 on: October 27, 2006, 12:37:30 pm »
I don't know how visible the back side of the cab will be, but if it will be visible, consider putting in a license plate marquee as well.  The Xcelerator logo would be good there as well.

Keep up the good work.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #75 on: October 27, 2006, 09:59:58 pm »
I got in some more time today.  My primary objective was to get the front frame piece done.  I didn...<whoa, part of this post got dropped, I'll try to re-create >

I didn't quite make it, but got all but the outerskin done.  I need to be able to access the TV in case it dies someday.  It won't come through the door, so it's got to come out the front.  The front frame will be removable, held in with rotary clamps.  I had to put in small blocks to pull the frame down and in.  The skin will be 1/8" pressboard screwed & glued to the ribs.  I also made small wedge blocks for the angled supports on the seat, and a cross beam at the top rear to support the Plexiglas.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #76 on: October 28, 2006, 02:18:51 am »
This cabinet will require a video... make sure to post one of the cabinet in action.

The opening to the cab... it big enough for a portly fellow?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #77 on: October 28, 2006, 03:27:03 am »
Seat Effects
I really want to max out the sensory stimulus on this project.  The drivers seat will provide two physical effects.  Both involve vibrations.  This entry describes a low frequency sound effect driven by the audio of the game and an array of rumbler motors driven by the rumbler outputs of the controller.

ButtKicker
In my research for this project I came across a thing called a bass shaker.  It is basically a subwoofer minus the paper cone.  Instead of creating sound waves in the air, they produce sound vibrations in whatever they are physically mounted to.  The net result is the chest thumping vibrations (or rear-end in my case) you get while cranking up the volume without blowing out your family or neighbors.  The Guitammer Company has a bass shaker product called the ButtKicker.



http://www.thebuttkicker.com/ButtKicker%20Gamer_home.html

It comes with its own 100-watt amplifier!  They regularly sell for $100 plus shipping, but I picked on up on Amazon for $39 ($89 minus $50 rebate plus free shipping).  I mounted it inside the chair, on the lower frame.



i think the dudes in the unit next door have several of those bolted to the fricken floor! gets so i cant think straight! anyway, love what youre doing so far! very complicated, but it sure is going to be worth it...


ROUGHING UP THE SUSPECT SINCE 1981

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #78 on: October 28, 2006, 12:49:08 pm »
The opening to the cab... it big enough for a portly fellow?
The widest spot is a little more than 2".  I'm 210 lb. & 6 ft. and have a bit of a gut, and have no problems getting in and out.  I know this because yesterday I went in and out about 100 times building the front panel - my knees and back are killing me.  A 300 lb. 5 ft.  5" guy might have a bit of a problem getting in.

i think the dudes in the unit next door have several of those bolted to the fricken floor! gets so i cant think straight!

I'm about to become one of those neighbors.  <cue evil laugh sound effect>

...very complicated
If you break it down, there is no real rocket science here, just a lot of little things.  I'm no genius, I just do a lot of research on how other people have done things, and am not afraid to try and fail.  For example, the relay circuit I did took 2 tries to get right.  Even then, I threw it out to make the one recommended by richms.  And the Buttkicker thing, I just did some research on home audio, found the reference to base shakers, looked a little more and found this item.  It just plugs in.  Nothing fancy. 

As long as it's not too expensive, I've got safety glasses on, and a fire extinguisher handy, I'll pretty much try anything.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #79 on: November 03, 2006, 10:05:53 pm »
...never mind.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #80 on: November 03, 2006, 10:06:39 pm »
No Saw at Home Depot
I picked up a sheet of pressboard at my local Home Depot the other day.  My car isnít big enough to handle a 4x8 sheet, and I really only needed a 2 ft. section.  Unfortunately their saw was broke.  I freaked out a couple of customers in they isle by placing the sheet on the floor, putting a 2x4 on it, standing on it, then pulling the sheet Ďtil it snapped.  I brought the mangled pieces of wood to the checker and paid for it.  It was great.

Wheels
This cab is going to be big and heavy.  Initially I thought of putting 4 or 6 wheels underneath.  My concern was that it might move around when getting in and out.  Iím also concerned that it will crush the carpet if all the weight on just 4 Ė 6 touch points.  Instead I decided to mount two wheels on the front.  I had to cut off part of the brackets so the wheels could be mounted closer to the ground.  This way, it is just above ground level when the cab is flat, but takes all the weight when I pick up the back end.  The majority of weight will be at the front.  Iím expecting to wheel it around like a wheel barrow as needed.  The wheels are not mounted yet, but I wanted to see how it will look.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #81 on: November 04, 2006, 06:34:14 pm »
I freaked out a couple of customers in they isle by placing the sheet on the floor, putting a 2x4 on it, standing on it, then pulling the sheet Ďtil it snapped.  I brought the mangled pieces of wood to the checker and paid for it.  It was great.

 :laugh2:  :laugh2:  :laugh2:

That's so awesome.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #82 on: November 06, 2006, 02:20:01 am »
The removable round frame was having troubles being held in place with the 4 rotary clamps.  They were causing the frame to widen out as they were tightened.  I replaced the bottom two with strips of hardwood held in place with a wood screw.  This pulled the sides in a bit to the nominal 32 inches internal width.  I made sure I got a picture of this before skinning the frame to show how to remove the top frame if the TV dies.  Iíll include it in the documentation if/when I sell this cab.  < frame_screwplates.jpg >

I mounted the kick plate and bottom dashboard plate.  I used the pocket jig to mount the wood without support strips.  Iíll go back and strengthen up the joints between these two boards because they will be taking all the forces from the pedals.  <kick_plate.jpg>

The front round skin went on much easier on this project compared to the PartyBox project.  I think this is because the radius is larger and the skin is under less stress.  The top and bottom edges have screws about every 3 inches.  On the cross members they are about 6 inches apart.  Before screwing them down, I put on lots of wood glue.  I countersunk the screws before putting them in.  A few of the screws were countersunk too much and the screws pulled through so I had to quickly add a few more.    In the first shot, notice the piece of walnut wood leaning against the cab.  This is going to become the front surface of the control panel.  Its a beautiful piece of wood that my friend has had for years, just waiting for a project like this.  <pictures skinned_1.jpg & skinned_2.jgp>

The cavity in the front will house the Xbox, amplifier, switching circuit for the seat, base shaker amp, power supplies, ect.  It is a little less than 12 inches deep and about 24 inches high.  <back_compartment.jpg>

While the glue was drying, I had time to design the pedal mounts.  More to comeÖ

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #83 on: November 06, 2006, 10:58:07 am »
Looking good!

I am following this one closely, I might have to relocate the air hockey table out of the game room to get one if these in......(luckely air hockey is the wifes game and is my best chance to get into a different room) :applaud:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #84 on: November 06, 2006, 12:12:11 pm »
Does anyone else see this and get incredibly frustrated knowing that they will probably never, ever have the opportunity to actually sit inside it?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #85 on: November 06, 2006, 11:00:17 pm »
Looks great Coder! I like the 12" subs right behind the driver's seat. It reminds of the days when I was doing car stereo and we used to shove the biggest subs we could fit behind the seat of a pickup truck.

What are the dimensions of the woofer enclosures? If you can get me the dimensions, I'll do some calculations to let you know what would be ideal for porting. What are you going to use to power the speakers?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #86 on: November 07, 2006, 01:04:44 am »
Thanks guys.

Does anyone else see this and get incredibly frustrated knowing that they will probably never, ever have the opportunity to actually sit inside it?
Whoa, now that's a complement.  Thanks.  But you know, you can releave your frustration by making one yourself.  The alternative is to buy one, but I hear they are kinda spendy.

What are the dimensions of the woofer enclosures? If you can get me the dimensions, I'll do some calculations to let you know what would be ideal for porting. What are you going to use to power the speakers?
Thanks for the offer.  The inside cavities are prism shaped.  They are 45-45-90 degree triangles.  The hypotenuse is 15.25 inches.  The width of each prism is 15.5 inches.  If you could post the equation I (and the community) would greatly appreciate it.

I'm using a 230 watt Pioneer amplifier I picked up at a pawn shop.  The woofers are 8 inches from my lower back, the mid-ranges will be on the dash, just arms length away, and the tweeters will be arms length away just above the monitor.  This box is going to rock!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #87 on: November 11, 2006, 01:36:07 am »
Front Door
Today I finished the front door.  The bottom of the door has a strip of wood to keep it from coming out, and small blocks on the sidewalls keep it from going in.  There is a similar strip on the top of the frame to keep the door from going in too far.  With a couple of key locks, this should all sit flush.  I based the design what my first cab had for a back door (1980 vintage Atari).   Notice on the second photo the rounded corners I put on the strip.  I try to do this to all pieces that I may bump into later.  It just takes a few minutes to do, but adds a nice touch and avoids blood down the road.  < front_door.jpg & front_door_bottom.jpg >

In the third photo you can see the completed front frame, its mounting hardware, and the top portion of the front door.  It was a pain to make the front frame removable, but it will pay-off if/when the TV dies.  I will primer all of this when I get to paint. <front_frame_from_inside.jpg>

Wheels Mounted
The front wheels got mounted today as well.  I used large ľ inch lag bolts to hold them in.  When mounting, I put down a small scrap of wood about 1/8 inch thick to let the wheels ride slightly above ground.  My thinking here was that as Iím setting it down, it will stop rolling just before it is all the way down, allowing me to control it a little better and to help me get my fingers out of the way.  I did not have the nerve to try to lift it yet.

Dashboard
I have been avoiding starting on the dashboard, but ran out of things to do, so...  The top piece coming down from the TV is a critical piece.  The front edge needs to be flush with the foot-well piece.  I wanted the dash to have a slight slant upwards so I left the straight edge on the foot-well piece (it comes up at a slight angle).  The top dash piece has an angle cut on the face to be flush with the plane of the edge of the foot-well piece.  To accommodate the front glass, I had to make an angled cut on the backside of the top dash piece to be horizontal when in place.  This was a tricky piece to make.  <dash_frame.jpg>

I decided to go with a different piece of wood on the dash.  My friend offered up a nice piece of walnut.  Unfortunately it had a slight crack on one of the ends.  We have a specialty hardwood store a few miles from where I work.  Over lunch I picked up a nice piece of Bolivian Rosewood.  Its not like I know this stuff or anything, it just looked so cool.  It is chocolate brown with black grain.  I bought it a little oversized so I can center the steering wheel in the center portion of the grain pattern.  A little bit of oil should make this wood really stand out.  <dash_wood1.jpg & dash_wood2.jgp>

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #88 on: November 11, 2006, 07:11:49 pm »
Not only does the Bolivian Rosewood look cool, it sounds cool ta boot.  "yes, we have here a custom dash featuring Aged Nigerian Zebra Wood."  mmm

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #89 on: November 12, 2006, 01:33:09 am »
Coder....

I know you like planning things out and all... but this arcade is out of control! Did you plan on things becoming this involved?

Amazing work. I don't know if I could keep focus long enough to put together such a detail oriented project.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #90 on: November 12, 2006, 03:47:07 am »
I know you like planning things out and all... but this arcade is out of control! Did you plan on things becoming this involved?

Amazing work. I don't know if I could keep focus long enough to put together such a detail oriented project.
Out of control is relative.  I work with some pretty anal planners.  The level of involvement grew as the details came in.  The removable front for example was a trade-off when I realized that TVs die occasionally.  I wanted the side doors to be small to minimize visual distractions.  The TV would not fit through a small side door.  This lead to the need for the front to be removable.  Good planning I guess, but it complicated the build a bit.   The original plan was to have 4 latches, but I hadnt planned on the sides stretching.  The lower screwed in straps were a on-the-spot adjustment to the plan.  I try to start at a high level (objectives), then work backwards from there.  Start simple, then add complexity only as needed.  I didnt plan to the screw size level of detail, but I think the big stuff has been thought through. 

To help me plan and juggle the various aspects of the project, I use a tool called Freemind.  It is great for brainstorming and arranging random pieces of info.  I've included a screen shot for this project.  I drop random thoughts in, then arrange and re-arrange as needed.  It is pretty free-formed in nature.  In reality I am pretty scattered, but this tool helps me focus just long enough to fake it. 

Freemind is available at:  http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #91 on: November 12, 2006, 09:01:49 pm »
I want to see the finished product, this is taking forever!!   :hissy:  What does your wife think about this huge machine?
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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #92 on: November 13, 2006, 12:17:48 am »
I want to see the finished product, this is taking forever!!   :hissy:  What does your wife think about this huge machine?
You and me both.  Unfortunately I can only get in about 2 sessions per week, ranging from 2 to 5 hours each.  Maybe I will start working like javeryh, early morning, perhaps even before work.  The kids are pretty demanding with homework and sports.  Actually, it is more the journey than the destination.  The cab is going to be fun to drive, but I am enjoying the build process. 

I finally showed my wife a picture of the cab last night.  She did not seem to excited.   She is very forgiving though because things at work are pretty stressful right now and this is a great creative outlet.  The basement is big and is pretty much devoted to gaming (pool table/air hockey combo, Foosball table, Xbox area, and PartyBox.  This project will just take up the corner where my first arcade box stood (donated to my kids school for charity auction / tax write-off).

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #93 on: November 13, 2006, 01:36:41 am »
I managed to get in a few hours tonight, working on some loose ends;  dome light, seat mounting holes, top dash mounting strips, and the round back Plexiglas supports.

Dome Light
The dome light was not flat; it had a slight rounded surface to mate with the car roof top profile it came from.  I had to sand it flat.  The dome light will be mounted in the front top piece of wood, just above the monitor.  To simplify life, I took this piece off to work with it.  While I had it off, I rounded off the leading inside edge with a 1/4  inch bull-nose router bit.  I hate sharp edges on anything that people might come in contact with.  The light wires will be embedded in a slot routed into the wood.  I will tack the wire down, then cover it up with Bondo.

Plexiglas Back Supports
The back half and top will be covered in grey smoked Plexiglas.  I needed to make two half round supports to mount it.  I started by holding a piece of plywood up to the existing profile and marking with a pencil.  I then cut to the line with a band saw.  I then used a compass to get a consistent 3/4  inch width for the following cut.  The edges were sanded and I rounded over the inside edge with the bull-nose router bit (done after left & right pictures were taken).  As soon as I know the thickness of the Plexiglas I will glue & screw these down.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #94 on: November 13, 2006, 07:25:32 am »
WOW!!! Not sure how I missed this but this is one of the coolest projects I've seen in a long time - awesome work as usual theCoder.  I will definitely be following this project.

EDIT: working in the early morning is great - I find I am most productive when no one else is awake but lately I've been walking around like a zombie due to lack of sleep.... it's worth it though because building these things sure is fun!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 03:14:59 pm by javeryh »

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #95 on: November 14, 2006, 09:21:27 pm »
Financial blunder!!!!!
Last week I went to my local glass shop to order the Plexiglas for the top/back.  It is 1/8 inch grey Plexiglas, approximately 3 ft by 4 ft.  I was a bit surprised when the estimate came in at $47.  Ouch!  The next day I got a call from them saying that they did not have the stock, and it would be another 4 weeks before they could get any.  Today I went to another glass shop near work and asked if they had any in stock.  Sure enough they did, and they went to work right away to cut it to size.  Ten minutes later, with the cut piece in hand, the lady behind the counter said I owed her $80.  Double ouch.  After a half hearted complaint, I paid the money and left. 

Lesson Learned:  Get the quote before you commit.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #96 on: November 14, 2006, 11:01:25 pm »
Financial blunder!!!!!
Last week I went to my local glass shop to order the Plexiglas for the top/back.  It is 1/8 inch grey Plexiglas, approximately 3 ft by 4 ft.  I was a bit surprised when the estimate came in at $47.  Ouch!  The next day I got a call from them saying that they did not have the stock, and it would be another 4 weeks before they could get any.  Today I went to another glass shop near work and asked if they had any in stock.  Sure enough they did, and they went to work right away to cut it to size.  Ten minutes later, with the cut piece in hand, the lady behind the counter said I owed her $80.  Double ouch.  After a half hearted complaint, I paid the money and left. 

Lesson Learned:  Get the quote before you commit.

Wow talk about price fluctuations! I might have considered walking out.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #97 on: November 15, 2006, 01:17:19 am »
"My wallet is in the car, would you mind waiting here while I run out and grab it?"

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #98 on: November 15, 2006, 08:33:44 am »
"My wallet is in the car, would you mind waiting here while I run out and grab it?"

I would not have even done that, I would tell them exactly why I was walking out. They were charging almost double.

And as a business they should always quote and ok a price before they cut product.

I bet what it came down to is coder did not want to wait a month to get it.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #99 on: November 15, 2006, 10:00:39 am »
Financial blunder!!!!!
Last week I went to my local glass shop to order the Plexiglas for the top/back.  It is 1/8 inch grey Plexiglas, approximately 3 ft by 4 ft.  I was a bit surprised when the estimate came in at $47.  Ouch!  The next day I got a call from them saying that they did not have the stock, and it would be another 4 weeks before they could get any.  Today I went to another glass shop near work and asked if they had any in stock.  Sure enough they did, and they went to work right away to cut it to size.  Ten minutes later, with the cut piece in hand, the lady behind the counter said I owed her $80.  Double ouch.  After a half hearted complaint, I paid the money and left. 

Lesson Learned:  Get the quote before you commit.

That $47 amount is a good price! I been paying about 10 bucks a square foot for the stuff.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #100 on: November 15, 2006, 10:56:28 am »
Will the seat be adjustable and I didn't notice if anyone else mentioned it but:

- Air freshener

-Turn key to start up the whole dealio!!!


At Fry's I actually saw a keyed lock with built-in switch. It's simple on/off, though. And it uses a barrel lock. Still, it's a good start.


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #101 on: November 15, 2006, 10:59:03 am »

Now that I think about it, I'll probably go with the key.  I can just forget to put in the key when the kids forget to do the dishes.


I have a few "keyless" locks that you could use to build a simple circuit. It fits the form factor of a barrel lock, but instead of having a key hole, it has a flat knob that you turn in place. (Does that make any sense at all?) If you're interested, you're welcome to have one.


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #102 on: November 15, 2006, 03:56:53 pm »
Quote
What are the dimensions of the woofer enclosures? If you can get me the dimensions, I'll do some calculations to let you know what would be ideal for porting. What are you going to use to power the speakers?
Thanks for the offer.  The inside cavities are prism shaped.  They are 45-45-90 degree triangles.  The hypotenuse is 15.25 inches.  The width of each prism is 15.5 inches.  If you could post the equation I (and the community) would greatly appreciate it.

Coder - apologies for the late reply as I've been away from the forums for about a week. I've run some quick numbers and if the dimensions you are giving me are the external dimensions of your enclosure, you don't have a whole lot of internal box volume for these 12" woofers (please see image below). With a 15.25 inch external hypotenuse, you have about an 8.25"x8.25"x15.125" internal box volume for both speakers, or cut that number in half for your volume per speaker - in this particular case about .3 cu. ft. per woofer. Typically 12" speakers should be placed in an enclosure roughly 1.0-1.5 cu. ft. depending on the Thiele-Small parameters of the woofer and a general rule of thumb is the more volume, the deeper the bass.

If you have some extra wood, I would see what you could do to increase the volume of the box a little bit by redoing the woofer board. If you can increase the hypotenuse dimension from 15.25" to 23.25", you'll be able to increase the internal volume for your woofers by a factor of 3, or roughly increase each chamber to 1.0 cu. ft. This increase in hypotenuse length will only add 5.5" to the distance from the back of the cabinet to the back edge of your seat. I don't know if you've mounted the seat or if it has the ability to slide back further from your images, but it does appear as though you have enough space to do this.

If this isn't an option or you don't wish to go down the path of redoing the enclosure, one thing you can do to 'virtually' create additional volume is to place damping material in the enclosures. Typically this is done with acoustic fiberglass, but typical home-grade fiberglass (without the paper) or polyester batting from a fabric store will suffice. You may even have some from the original enclosures. You want to put as much damping material in the enclosure as possible without packing it in too tight Ė itís ok to have the speaker rest in the stuff, but you donít want to compress it too much. Even if you do go down the path of redoing the enclosure, I suggest using the damping material in addition.

As far as porting goes, if you donít do anything and leave the enclosure as it is, I recommend picking up a couple of these ports from David Levy Corp. These particular ports will effectively tune your existing enclosures to somewhere around 70-80 Hz. Iíd recommend tuning the box lower, but with the current volume and lack of depth available for longer ports, I donít think itís feasible.

You can use the following site as an easy reference for tuning any size box Ė http://home.new.rr.com/trumpetb/audio/fboxjs.html

One other thing Iíve noticed from the images is that the only place where I can tell the woofer board is secured is along the enclosure dividing wall. Iím not sure if this is the case, but these woofers are going to be moving quite a bit with 230 watts driving them Ė youíre going to want to have that enclosure as secure as possible or there will be an awful lot of unwanted buzzing going on.

Keep up the good work - it's looking great!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #103 on: November 15, 2006, 08:41:03 pm »
Thanks fiscap.

After your first post I did a little more digging.  I found a site with various speaker enclosure calculators.  I was a little disappointed when I determined that the internal volume of my enclosure was around .5 cubic foot (cf) per speaker, when the calculators said I need at least 1.5 cf for optimal sound.  They also recommended a port hole around 7 inches long.  I really dont have the room to lengthen the bottom, but I can increase the height.  More like a 30-60-90 triangle rather than the current 45-45-90 triangle.  This will not necessarily get me more room for the port hole length, but it will increase the volume.  I will run the math and see what the triangle would look like to get 1.5 cf.  At this stage the plywood is cheap.  If I didnt try this I would always wonder how much better it would have sounded.  The batting and secure mounting is good advice.  Thanks again.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #104 on: November 16, 2006, 02:33:11 am »
I just found this thread :o  Congradualtions on an amzing project! ;D

Just a comment on the ports.  Ports don't neccessarily have to be straight.  You can construct a bent, or u-shaped port if need be, it's the length of the port that really matters.  An alternative would be to create an sealed box, and filling it with acoustastuff (as mentioned by fiscap) this allows you to slightly shrink the box's litre dimensions as the acoustastuff slows the air movement symulating a larger box.

Basically to compare, a ported box = higher DB - but not as "low", and a sealed box = lower DB but it can handle lower frequencies (also reduces booming at certain frequencies that ported boxes tend to suffer from).  The thing you need to be careful of with a ported box is that you don't send a lower frequency than it's been tuned for, as it will unload.  Sealed boxes don't have this limitation as the back pressure prevents this from happening.

I'm not sure how technical you plan to go with tuning and driver selection, but hopefully that helps. :)

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #105 on: November 16, 2006, 11:32:55 am »
I just found this thread :o  Congradualtions on an amzing project! ;D
Just a comment on the ports.  Ports don't neccessarily have to be straight. 
Thanks.  From what I've learned, to get better low end base sound, I want the largest internal volume I can afford (within reason per some of the charts on the net.)  The enclosure will have a bad booming sound if I send it frequencies lower than it is tuned for.  The longer the port hole, the lower the tuned frequency (within reason per charts on the net.)  Internal batting improves the sound quality. 

For some reason, I thought the port hole needed to be perpendicular to the cabinet face.  Based on your comments, I think I have the room to make the port hole longer if I mount it at an angle.  There is room for the height of the triangle to increase quite a bit.  This will give me an internal volume of around 1.4 cf, and plenty of room for a 2 to 3 inch port, around 8 to 10 inches long.  This should tune it to somewhere around 25 to 35 Hz.  Much lower had I just gone with the original volume and the ports fiscap suggested as a compromise.  Thanks to both of you for the input.

I did not really intend to get that technical as far as tuning and driver selection, but I will go with thumbnail geometries based on the summary above.  The cool stuff you learn with this hobby...I love it.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #106 on: November 16, 2006, 04:51:36 pm »
I put together a little spreadsheet to help you determine your optimal enclosure size given the space you have to work with inside your cabinet. You can modify the external depth (the space between your back wall and seat base) and the desired frequency of your box at the top of the worksheet. The sheet will calculate your internal dimensions, box volume, theoretical volume with damping and port length based on your desired frequency. The sheet reads down in .25" increments for the desired height at the back of the box for your woofer board. I put in the ability to adjust the depth dimension at the base of the cabinet on the off-shoot that you have a little bit of room to move it forward - even an inch or two is going to give you quite a bit additional volume.

Keep in mind that your ported frequency is going to be the 'sweet spot' of your enclosure and where your woofers are most efficient. I'd shoot for a tuned frequency somewhere around 50-60 Hz, but you may even want to go as high as 80 Hz. Tuning the box down to 25-30 Hz is too low since the wavelength of frequencies in that range is 35-50 ft, which is well outside the confines of your driving cabinet and proximity to the speakers. People in the other room might benefit from this added frequency boost, but the effect inside the cabinet would be nil.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 04:53:45 pm by fiscap »

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #107 on: November 17, 2006, 10:53:32 am »
I have a few "keyless" locks that you could use to build a simple circuit. It fits the form factor of a barrel lock, but instead of having a key hole, it has a flat knob that you turn in place. (Does that make any sense at all?) If you're interested, you're welcome to have one.
Given that this is a car theme cab, I really want to go with an ignition switch with a key.  Thanks for the offer anyway.

I put together a little spreadsheet to help you determine your optimal enclosure size given the space you have to work with inside your cabinet. ...  Keep in mind that your ported frequency is going to be the 'sweet spot' of your enclosure and where your woofers are most efficient. I'd shoot for a tuned frequency somewhere around 50-60 Hz, but you may even want to go as high as 80 Hz. Tuning the box down to 25-30 Hz is too low ...
Thanks a lot for the spreadsheet.  I did not get the notion of a sweet spot from my other research.  I took some more measurements last night and determined I can go 13 inches on the base & 27 inches on the height of the speaker enclosure.  That will give me a tad more than 1.4 cf and a much shorter port hole.  I will re-do the enclosure on my next build day.

Last night I snuck away to get in a few hours of build time.  Instead of cutting wood, I spent the time with my friend discussing speaker mounting options, flooring, etc., etc.   

I am thinking of adding rosewood "center consoles" on the left and right of the seat.  A beverage holder and a few buttons on the left side, and a hard mounted flight stick on the right.  I had originally planned on cutting pockets in the dash to hold various buttons.  The wood is beautiful, so I hate to cut it away.  I subscribe to the less-is-more way of thinking.  Most of the buttons I was considering already exist on the steering wheel.  The few others needed (CPU reset and software reset) will go on the left console. 

We also discussed paint options.  I am still thinking of hunter green on the exterior.  But instead of the bright green t-molding I was originally planning, we discussed going with black t-molding.  I will be doing side art as well and will try to tie the colors together.

I was planning to cover the floor with aluminum diamond plate.  It would sure look cool.  Unfortunately it will be very cold in the winter, will really complicate mounting the seat and consoles, and add about $75 to the build.  I am now thinking of going with a very short ply industrial carpet.

I have abandoned the idea of putting in a fan.  Yes, cars have them in the dash, but I really dont need it and it will complicate things unnecessarily.

I was a little disappointed that I made no visible progress last night, but the brainstorming was good.  Any comments or recommendations?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #108 on: November 17, 2006, 02:29:48 pm »
I have a recommendation for you that is purely aesthetic.  The picture says it all.  Very easy to make.  I bought a marine fire extinguisher, dispensed the contents, removed the top and fitted it with plumbing coupler.  I bought the sticker off eBay, I believe it is for a 10lb bottle.  This addition was one of my surprises on my two seater driving cab, but you are making progress at a faster pace than I.  Hope you can use it!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #109 on: November 25, 2006, 12:19:53 am »
Speaker Enclosure Rebuild
Based on feedback and additional research, I decided to re-make the speaker enclosure, basically tripling the volume.  Each speaker now has about 1.5 cubic feet of volume.  I also made port holes with tubes to tune the enclosure.  Based on the volume of the enclosure and length of tube, they are tuned for around 55 Hz.  The speakers will be bolted in place with t-bolt inserts.  The 1 inch thick batting on the back, sides, and bottom should deepen the base tones, and generally do good things as recommended by fiscap and numerous websites.

A couple of other odds-n-ends taken care of today include creating the wood strip for the bottom of the Plexiglas, mounting the half rounds for the Plexiglas, rounding off the front edge of the dash wood, and cutting it to size.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #110 on: November 25, 2006, 12:49:10 am »
I am thinking of adding rosewood "center consoles" on the left and right of the seat.  A beverage holder and a few buttons on the left side, and a hard mounted flight stick on the right.  I had originally planned on cutting pockets in the dash to hold various buttons.  The wood is beautiful, so I hate to cut it away.  I subscribe to the less-is-more way of thinking.  Most of the buttons I was considering already exist on the steering wheel.  The few others needed (CPU reset and software reset) will go on the left console. 

Less is more. I agree totally in this case. The cab will be pretty intimidating to the uninitiated already. K.I.S.S.

We also discussed paint options.  I am still thinking of hunter green on the exterior.  But instead of the bright green t-molding I was originally planning, we discussed going with black t-molding.  I will be doing side art as well and will try to tie the colors together.
Love it. You may want to consider the colors of the xbox - the glowing matrix style green is pretty cool. I like the black t-molding - it seems like it'll be plain but it'll really outline all the color. I used it on my red cabinet and it's probably my favorite.

I was planning to cover the floor with aluminum diamond plate.  It would sure look cool.  Unfortunately it will be very cold in the winter, will really complicate mounting the seat and consoles, and add about $75 to the build.  I am now thinking of going with a very short ply industrial carpet.
Carpet is a good choice. Some dark color?

I have abandoned the idea of putting in a fan.  Yes, cars have them in the dash, but I really dont need it and it will complicate things unnecessarily.
It sounds like this project is being scaled back in a good way - dropping off the complicated low impact items. No harm there - don't worry about it.

I was a little disappointed that I made no visible progress last night, but the brainstorming was good.  Any comments or recommendations?
I think with a project this size, brainstorming is not only a good idea, but absolutely necessary. A cabinet of this complexity has a lot of things that could go wrong, it would only seem natural that it would take longer than a smaller cabinet.

Your making great progress theCoder - move at a pace thats comfortable for you(unless your trying to get it done by christmas and if thats the case you need to hurry your ass up). This is going to be one killer machine.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #111 on: November 26, 2006, 01:09:48 am »
Thanks for the compliments/comments. 

There is no way I will be done with this project by Christmas.  It could be done, but getting finished is not my primary objective.  This project is just too fun to try to finish it up.  I do need to hurry up with the major wood working pieces however.  This thing is taking up a lot of room in my friends shop.  The shop is about 5 miles from my house, and getting in small blocks of time is very difficult.  I will be able to put in much more time on it once I get it out of the shop and in my basement.

It is about time to start thinking about paint and its associated prep.  Painting is going to be a pain.  I live in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon USA) and it is now the rainy season (for the next 6 months or so).  This is going to be interesting.

Regarding colors, I want to keep it relatively dark.  My wife does not like big flashy stuff.  For example, I love GameCreatures recent cab, but it would not go with our decor.  The primary color will be hunter green.  I picked up a yard of fabric for the speaker covers that matches the green of the steering wheel.  I will get paint to match.  The dark wood looks very regal next to the dark green.  The second color will be black;  black at the bottom, on interior cross members, t-molding, and other accent pieces.  I am also thinking of black for the carpet.  I plan on going with the bright Xbox green in selective artwork such as the cab name and button labels.  Any comments or recommendations?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #112 on: November 26, 2006, 01:59:59 am »
Coder, I just got up to date on your project. Man, now I understand where your PM was coming from bro. First off, really great job on it all. I really love the looks of it. You might even think about some lightguns on the sides for this project.

There is some special wall prep I was told to use, but it was kinda late when I was told to use it, so I have some normal tintable primer on my cab (that I had tinted grey, becuase initially I was going to paint the sides black). Maybe someone can chime in on what that special stuff was again. The reason for the special stuff is becuase it does not let out a gas and could possibly bubble up artwork. Another idea for you, is once you have it in the game room and you are working on the final touches, you might want to set up a de-humidfier, that will help the paint dry and cure faster. Also, unless you have full artwork to be added to the sides already made up, you might consider using formica rather than going through all of the sanding and painting on the outside and then laying down some smaller artwork over that. It will save ya some big bucks I bet.

If this cab was mine I would have to add some El Wire or something like it to bring out the lines inside the seated area at least. To really trick it out I would put in the sound module so it will flash and dim with the music and game play.

Good luck on it buddy, I'll keep and eye out on your project, and PM any time.
Tom
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 08:57:31 pm by TeamTEOR »

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #113 on: November 28, 2006, 12:28:04 am »
Mounting the Dash
Mounting the dash went much easier than I expected.  It will be held in place with six 10-24 button-head machine screws.  The screws go through the rosewood dash and into threaded brass inserts.  This piece of wood cost $18 and I really did not want to screw it up.  I put masking tape down to keep from scoring it with a deep pencil mark. All measurements were double and triple checked.  I center punched the marks, and adjusted the drill press to a high rpm.  Then came the white knuckle momentÖdrilling the first hole.  It went fine.  The chips look really cool, like fresh ground coffee.  I then held the dash in place, and drilled one hole through to the supporting plywood.  I then drilled it out to the diameter required for the insert.  With the first insert in place, I put the dash in place and put in one screw.  I then drill for and put in another insert on the opposite side.  Then with two inserts in place, I tightened the screws down and drilled and installed all remaining inserts.  Tomorrow I will pick up the screws to hold it in place.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #114 on: December 01, 2006, 11:00:51 pm »
I put in a couple of hours today after work. 

I fabricated a couple of strips to support the top Plexiglas and temporarily mounted them.  This enabled me to drill the holes for and mount the Plexiglas.  I measured off marks at 3 inch intervals and pre-drilled the holes at 1/2 from the edge.  I made the holes about 10 thousands over size to accommodate the Plexiglas bending.  I assume the holes will get slightly smaller at the bottom and slightly bigger at the top.  The holes were drilled in mass on a drill press.  With my friend helping, I mounted the Plexiglas.  The primary objective was to see where the end of the Plexiglas met up with the top wood piece so I could cut a ledge in the wood so the Plexiglas would be flush.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of this process.  Off it came, and it is safely stored until after paint.

I made and temporarily mounted the remaining strips to mount the Plexiglas to.  I did not put them on permanently because I need to place them after the ledge is cut in the top piece to ensure a nice flush fit for the Plexiglas.

The dashboard screws went in without a hitch.  They are low profile socket head button screws. 

I priced glass today.  I can get a piece of 3/16 tempered glass for about $39.  I really dont want to use Plexiglas for the monitor because I am afraid it will scratch with cleaning.  Also, it is only an additional $9 to get the glass tempered, making it approximately 7 times stronger.  It should be worth the few extra bucks.

Not a whole lot of progress, but it is coming.  Fabricating the front glass retainer and mounting the pedals are the last bits of work remaining in the shop.  Then this puppy comes home.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #115 on: December 02, 2006, 01:16:13 am »
With this kind of project I guess you don't wanna do everything in one day if you could... to much fun ;D That way you can stand back, watch and admire it and have some time to think things out.

Why did you leave those button-head machine screws in sight? Do you still wanna have access to the compartment or is it for the looks? People always seem to get rid of them.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #116 on: December 02, 2006, 07:35:13 am »
Progress!!!  It's looking really really god so far.  What else are you going to put on the dashboard or is that just for looks?  Keep on going!!!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #117 on: December 02, 2006, 11:51:11 am »
Why did you leave those button-head machine screws in sight? Do you still wanna have access to the compartment or is it for the looks?
I really pondered this for a long time.  I need to get access to the backside of the dash for maintenance.  I thought about putting a hinge on the top of the foot well to swing down to get at the dash.  Working in this posture would really kill my back & shoulders.  So it needs to be removable.  I though about screwing it in from the back side, but the reach through the front of the cab would be too long.  I also thought of quick release stuff, magnets, etc.  My friend recommended making them a feature rather than trying to hide them.  The top Plexiglas will already have long lines of screw heads (unless I did something really fancy), so this will tie in.  Kinda like rivets on an airplane or Formula 1 car.  I saw this done on a cab somewhere in this forum and it looked pretty cool.  It was a compromise for sure, but in the end I think it will look good.  Regardless, I am committed at this point.

Progress!!!  It's looking really really good so far.  What else are you going to put on the dashboard or is that just for looks?  Keep on going!!!
Originally I was thinking about tons of stuff on the dash;  All buttons on the controller (A, B, X, Y, Start, Back, Left Trigger & Right Trigger), soft reset button, ignition switch (powering the power strip), air vent, and volume knob.  My thinking now is to ditch the air vent, and only have the ignition switch, volume knob and soft reset on the dash.  All of the controller buttons already exist on the steering wheel anyway.  This will keep the dash clean and show off the wood.  Any recommendations?


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #118 on: December 04, 2006, 01:03:18 pm »
This will keep the dash clean and show off the wood.  Any recommendations?
Show off the wood!  If not, what was the point is spending all that $$ on rosewood?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #119 on: December 05, 2006, 02:00:59 am »
Thinking about all those extras brings to mind two things: when I was a kid, playing cars, I used to stop some times and imagine I was in the car, hanging out playing video games in the windshield; also, when I was in cub scouts, this one kid got first place for design in our pinewood derby, that year....by hand, and it looked a bit like a jag.   All of which brings me round to the the idea of why not actually make it look like a car?  (Of course, the windshield thing would be tough....)

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #120 on: December 06, 2006, 10:03:34 pm »
... All of which brings me round to the the idea of why not actually make it look like a car?  (Of course, the windshield thing would be tough....)

Thanks for the recommendation, but maybe on the next one.  I'm trying to focus more on the gaming experience than on the external appearance.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #121 on: December 14, 2006, 12:18:55 am »
Mounting the TV
To hold the TV in place I made a bunch of small blocks with counter sunk screw holes.  I carefully centered the TV.  The blocks are placed at the back corners and along the front edge of the TV.  This should keep it from moving around.  A 1x2Ē strip of pine mounted on the top holds the TV down and in the nest created by the blocks.  Notice the tension on the wood strip in picture 4.

Glass Edge
The bottom of the front glass will sit on a ledge.  Today I made the ledge piece and mounted it to the top of the dash.  The top of the glass will be loosely held in a deep slot at the top of the cab.  The glass will be lifted up into the slot, then moved inward to sit on the ledge.  The glass will drop down a bit on the ledge, but still be inside the slot at the top.  Iím planning on coating the surfaces with black felt to keep it from vibrating.  A small piece of dark rosewood will push the glass against the ledge, keeping it in place.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #122 on: December 14, 2006, 12:24:15 am »
Mounting the Pedals
I finally started and made significant progress on mounting the pedal assembly.  The pedal mechanisms came (from Ebay purchase) in a metal box.  I needed to come up with a way to mount the box in place.  I figured out the angle I wanted (about 45 degrees un-pressed, straight up & down when pressed).  The pedal box will be mounted on the back and top surfaces of the foot well.  I really want to be able to slam these pedals, so Iím going to over-do it on the mounting hardware.  My friend had a large piece of alder wood.  This wood is 2 inches thick and very hard.  To mount on the top, I cut three large wedges.  They are held in place with large #12 wood screws and lots of glue.  To mount to the back surface, I made two side plates.  They will be held to the box with ľĒ bolts and mounted to the box with a bunch of large wood screws and glue.  This design should put up with a lot of abuse.

Given the size of the wood screws and harness of the wood, I needed to pre-drill the holes.  I remembered a trick my wood shop teacher taught me when drilling angled pieces of wood.  If you have two or more same angled pieces, you can stack them together to get the surface perpendicular to the drill.  Good stuff.

Overhead Light Wire
I hid the wire to the overhead light in a slot routered into the roof.  The wire was stapled down to keep it below the surface while the Bondo was applied.  I messed up and didnít put in enough hardener in the Bondo.  It did not dry in the typical 5 minutes.  After a few hours, it was firm, but a little tacky.  Hopefully it will be hard enough to sand tomorrow.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #123 on: December 20, 2006, 12:44:49 am »
Done in the Woodshop
Iíve finally finished the major woodworking aspects of the project and am ready to prep for paint.  I mounted the pedal assembly with 2Ē long ľĒ lag bolts.  It took 7 on the top surface and 2 on the back.  That should hold it.  I also made the bottom glass retainer strip.  Once the cab is painted and the glass is purchased, I will drill the holes and put in the inserts for the screws.  It will have the same look as the dash.  One of the last pieces of woodworking was to finish up the supports for the Plexiglas.  Iíve got a lot of countersunk screws I need to Bondo over and sand.  The last two pictures are of the cab, in its current state, ready to prep for paint. 

My friend Jimís wood shop sees a lot of projects and people coming though it.  This cab has been a major conversation piece for all that have entered.  While Jim will be glad it is out of his way, I suspect he will miss it as well.  The remainder of this project will take place in my very cluttered and cold garage, then the game room.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #124 on: December 20, 2006, 06:33:39 am »
Nice progress! I guess you have to lift it quite a bit to use those casters at front (last picture). Maybe it just looks like that from the photo.
Anyway, keep up the great work and documentation! :applaud:

Have you allready decided on the artwork?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #125 on: December 20, 2006, 05:36:53 pm »
Nice progress! I guess you have to lift it quite a bit to use those casters at front (last picture). Maybe it just looks like that from the photo.
Anyway, keep up the great work and documentation! :applaud:

Have you allready decided on the artwork?
The wheels are mounted just 1/8" from the ground.  I just have to lift the back end up about 6" before all the weight is on them. 

Regarding the artwork, I want to do something with the project name on one panel, and something car related on another.  For the car, I found a site with high resolution Formula One pictures.  I took one of the better shots and photoshop'd out everything but the car.  I'll probably put it on a checkered flag or some other background.  Any recommendations?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #126 on: December 22, 2006, 03:05:17 am »
This is the image I'm thinking of using.  I would give credit to the photographer, but it wasn't tagged.  This and many more high resolution Formula One pictures are available at:  http://www.imagesf1.com/

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #127 on: December 22, 2006, 03:39:13 pm »
I am very much impressed!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #128 on: December 22, 2006, 11:58:39 pm »
Handles
This cab is going to be very heavy.  I put wheels on the front end, assuming the lighter back end could be lifted to drive it around like a wheel barrow.  Iíve been worrying about how to make and mount the handles.  The cabinet handles at my local hardware store are very wimpy and wouldnít hold the weight.  I thought about creating a rail, or maybe attaching a board with finger slots.  In the name of keeping things simple, I decided to just cut handle holes in the bottom of the frame 2x4.  It was very tricky getting a sander underneath to round the inner edge.  Before actually working on it, I supported it with three large blocks to keep it from crushing me if it fell.

Securing the Buttkicker
Nothing fancy here, butÖ  The Buttkicker in the seat has a long screw with a large knob on the end to tighten it down.  Unfortunately the screw was so long that it keeps the chair from reclining.  I was also concerned that it would loosen up and getting back there to tighten in up will be difficult.  So I drilled two holes through the brackets and put in a couple of bolts with lock nuts.  I also cranked down on the knob one last time, then cut it off.  Now it is on there for good and the seat can recline.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #129 on: December 25, 2006, 01:45:45 am »
I had an interesting conversation with a couple in their 40ís in traffic today.  I was driving the cab across town from the shop to my house.  While stopped at a light, the conversation went something like:

ďWhatís that?Ē  He asked
    ďItís a driving arcade cabinet.Ē
ďWhereíd you get it?Ē She asked.
    ďI made it.Ē
ďWow!  Could you make us one?Ē  He asked.

Right then the light changed and I waved as I drove away.  I would probably go broke making these things for people, but it feels good knowing people would want one.  Iím curious what price they would agree to pay?

Its now on my back porch ready to prep for paint. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #130 on: December 25, 2006, 02:25:25 am »
Looking at the F1 picture I guess you're going for the 'real'-look. Was it something you thought about?

I had an interesting conversation with a couple in their 40&#146;s in traffic today.  I was driving the cab across town from the shop to my house.  While stopped at a light, the conversation went something like:

&#147;What&#146;s that?&#148;  He asked
    &#147;It&#146;s a driving arcade cabinet.&#148;
&#147;Where&#146;d you get it?&#148; She asked.
    &#147;I made it.&#148;
&#147;Wow!  Could you make us one?&#148;  He asked.
Well, you can ask any ridiculously high price you want! They pay if they really want it. On the other hand, you're most likely committed to a deadline...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #131 on: December 26, 2006, 01:45:56 pm »
Looking at the F1 picture I guess you're going for the 'real'-look. Was it something you thought about?
I originally didn't have a preference.  I was thinking about using something like the image below, but I can't find a cartoon image of high enough resolution to print.  The one above (on my computer at least) is 3000 x 2000 pixels.  It should work out fine, but I'm open to suggestions.

...On the other hand, you're most likely committed to a deadline...
That sound too much like work.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #132 on: December 26, 2006, 02:17:59 pm »
Iím curious what price they would agree to pay?

You better sit down for this...

They would probably want to pay as much as 4 or 5 hundred!!! Almost everyone here can attest to attention their cabinets get. In my house, it always follows a series of steps:

Step 1: Bewilderment (Wow! I didn't know people could make something like this)
Step 4: Nostalgia (I remember all these games and the good times I had playing them)
Step 3: Desire (I want one of these)
Step 4: Curiousity (Can you make me one?)
Step 5: Balls

Now... I say step 5 is balls because people have the balls to want you to make them one for 3-5 times less than it actually costs. It seems the amount friends and family are willing to pay is in the $300 - $400 range.  You stand more luck selling it to a complete stranger - who might be more willing to pay the proper price. The proper price is subjective. Someone like Spacies knocks these cabinets out quickly and has really reduced the amount of labor needed to build. If you only plan on building a few cabinets you better have fun building it because your labor will most likely go cheap!

The main thing that would suck about building someone else a cabinet would be dealing with the support and building a cabinet that is completely idiot proof.

Auction is your best bet, but that can backfire too. I sold my driving arcade and it went for a fraction of what I think it's worth.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #133 on: December 26, 2006, 02:33:21 pm »
I had an offer for 2000 dollars for my portable arcade machine. I didn't sell it yet, though. May in the future in order to fund other projects.
I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #134 on: December 26, 2006, 04:13:00 pm »
I had an offer for 2000 dollars for my portable arcade machine. I didn't sell it yet, though. May in the future in order to fund other projects.

Until the check clears!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #135 on: December 26, 2006, 04:41:55 pm »
I know there's a few people on this forum that crank out cabs for full-time or part-time money.  You could really get the process down by the 5th or 6th one.  But again, I think it would be too much like work.  But hey, if this software gig doesn't work out...

I've mentioned this somewhere else, but I donated my first cab to my kids school for a fundraiser auction.  I claimed it is worth $1,800, which will equate to around $600 return on my taxes.  I think it sold for around $1,200.  This for a two player conversion cab. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #136 on: December 28, 2006, 01:51:08 pm »
Wrong time of year to paint
Today I woke up to start sanding the putty over my screw holes and hopefully get on my first coat of primer.  Unfortunately it was 34 degrees outside and very foggy.  I guess I'll be painting in the garage on this project.  I don't want dust throughout my garage, so I'll be sanding outside in the cold and painting in the space heater-heated garage.  I've got about a half days work ahead of me just clearing a spot in the garage to make a paint booth. 

I picked up the paint yesterday;  a high gloss hunter green.  To get my wife involved, I asked her recommendation on the shade and sheen.  Now if she gets sick of the way the thing looks in the basement, it's partly her fault. 

I'm now pondering the color of the trim.  Either black or brown.  I was thinking about going with black for the odd trim (along the bottom, wood around the pedals, etc.) but brown will go with the dark wood of the dash.  I may just go with brown for all the trim.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #137 on: December 30, 2006, 12:49:33 am »
Paint Booth
Instead of a full blown cleaning of the garage I decided to just rearrange things to make room for the paint booth.  I swept the floor and laid down a layer of newspaper.  A long time ago I picked up an ďend rollĒ at my local newspaper printing place for around $5.00.  It has lasted me for years.  A roll of cheap 1 mil drop cloth covered almost 2/3 of the wall space.  The remainder was done with a leftover roll from a previous project.  I kept the light inside, but made sure it was far enough away from the plastic to keep from melting it.  The space inside is about 11 by 9 foot and should be plenty big.  I also lucked out on the heating.  There is an air conditioning duct that goes into the garage.  It was almost rusted shut, but with a little persuasion I got it open.  Hopefully not too much cold air will enter the house from this duct being open.  Iím expecting it to get to between 60 Ė 65 degrees in there. 

Bolt Plugs
There are 6 large bolts holding the wood blocks into the side of the pedal assembly cage.  My local hardware store only had two plugs the right size.  Instead of looking around town for others, I found these furniture slider feet things.  With just a little glue they look like they were made for the job.

I made a second pass patching scratches and screw holes today.  One last pass tomorrow, and I should be ready for the first primer coat.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #138 on: December 30, 2006, 02:07:12 pm »
Just a heads up on a problem you might have.  I had also set up a paint booth about 1 year ago, very similar in style but in my basement.  The issue becomes very evident when you begin spraying, overspray and airborne paint.  If this is in your garage, I would definitely recommend some sort of ventilation system to move some air when spraying.  My system consisted of a box fan placed in a window, and a furnace filter taped into place on the opposite side of the booth.  It still didn't 100% eliminate the issue but made a huge difference.  Not only could I now see after 1 minute of spraying, I cut down on overspray drastically.  I posted a pic so you could see my highly sophisticated system  ;)   Hope this will help reduce or eliminate any headaches.  Now stop posting so I can catch up on my driver! :cry:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #139 on: December 30, 2006, 04:54:21 pm »
With some paint everything looks so much better! ;D
Good luck with your paintjob. :applaud:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #140 on: December 30, 2006, 08:55:17 pm »
Just a heads up on a problem you might have.  I had also set up a paint booth about 1 year ago...
I was too worried about keeping in the heat to consider letting out the mist and fumes.  I'll do something similar.  Thanks for the tip.

Tools
I had a little money left over from my Christmas bonus so I decided it was time to pick up a few tools.  Most of my wood projects are done at my friends wood shop.  At home I have barely any power tools.  I picked up a brand new in the box 2 hp. Craftsman router from my local pawn shop for $40 (including about 7 bits).  For $5 more he through in a used 16" adjustable t-square and a small hand planer.  I was planning on spending about $100 or so, so I went to Home Depot and picked up a nice set of Forstner bits.  I've bummed off my friend long enough.  Now I don't have to run to his house every time I need to drill a hole or router a slot.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #141 on: December 30, 2006, 10:14:58 pm »
Air Intake
I used my new Forstner bits and router to make air intake holes.  Iím using 2 fans on the top and need somewhere for the air to come in.  The holes have large radius round-over treatment.  While the tools were handy, I put in holes for the power and LAN cords as well.

First Coat
I canít believe it but Iím finally painting.  I spent the day fine sanding, sweeping, and vacuuming out the cab.  The last step was to wipe it down with a damp rag to remove the fine dust.  I used a large bucket of hot water.  It was about 40 degrees outside today, so it felt good rinsing out the rag.  I used a brush to put on the first coat of primer (Kilz Latex).  Even with the household heater pumping hot air into the garage, it is still only around 55 degrees in there.  Iíll probably let this first coat dry for 3-4 days.  Too bad itís not summer right now.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #142 on: December 31, 2006, 12:28:42 am »
those are good holes.

Lookin' goode coder!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #143 on: December 31, 2006, 02:35:39 am »
Yes indeed... looking great! I've been keeping my eye on your progress. With you being so thorough, there isn't much to comment about.

Also, those are some great finds on tools. I need to check out my pawn shop more. I go straight to ebay most of the time.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #144 on: December 31, 2006, 03:57:19 pm »
A great habit in anything done is to organise as you go; even better to train the family that way, if not already inclined.   Nice work on the cab.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #145 on: January 01, 2007, 06:14:14 pm »
Thanks for the complements guys.

...With you being so thorough, there isn't much to comment about.
Thanks.  I love documenting here because it is non-formal; just freeform info (unlike at work.)  Sometimes it is no-brainer dribble, but hopefully someone will find a nugget now and then.  Just a quick comment here and there keeps the motivation up and occasionally keeps me honest.  You know what its like to have 50 hits and no posts.  Thanks again.

...Also, those are some great finds on tools. I need to check out my pawn shop more. I go straight to ebay most of the time.
Why buy a hammer or pipe wrench new when you can get one for 25% the cost at a pawn shop.  Plus, no shipping cost.  Its great for simple tools that don't really wear out.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #146 on: January 01, 2007, 06:24:30 pm »
Sanding & Trim Paint
Man, this beast has a lot of surface area.  Today I sanded down the primer coat.  It took the better part of 3 hours.  The sand paper kept getting clogged up.  I used an orbital sander for the larger areas, then hand sanded the nooks and crannies.  Wiping down the dust with hot water felt good on the hands again (its around 38 degrees outside). 

Before I start on the color coats, I figured I had better paint the trim.  I'm going with gloss black at the edges, side entry, and sides of the pedal assembly.  Once dry, I'll put on another coat then tape these sections off.  I propped the cab up on paint cans to get up underneath the side pieces for complete coverage.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #147 on: January 02, 2007, 02:22:51 pm »
What I like most about the racers you guys are making is that you are using actual car seats. This will make it so much nicer (among many things) than what you get at the commercial arcade. Hours of racing and no sore ass. Plus you can definatley drink and drive if you want, which is usually frowned upon at Circus. Even though it is just a game, I would need the seat  belts attached for when stuff gets really intense man!  :cheers:

After seeing the results of "PartyBox Bartop" I'm really excited to see this one come together.

Nice work man! 
Carved Signs, Custom Gameroom Signs, and Arcade Game Decor and now CNC MACHINES by Melissa Jones

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #148 on: January 02, 2007, 03:59:16 pm »
Wow - 3 hours of sanding per coat!?!?!?!?!  You've got some patience.  Hopefully you aren't planning on 5 or 6 coats!  It is really coming along great - I can't imagine how cool it will feel when you get to race that first game.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #149 on: January 02, 2007, 08:08:21 pm »
What I like most about the racers you guys are making is that you are using actual car seats. This will make it so much nicer (among many things) than what you get at the commercial arcade. Hours of racing and no sore ass....
I'm looking forward to it.  I picked up two seats from a dead Ford Probe.  The Probe is a high end model for Ford, so they didn't go cheap with the seats.  At $25 each, they also make great gaming chairs to sit in front of a console; much better than the cheap $75 gaming rocker chairs at Stuff-Mart.

Wow - 3 hours of sanding per coat!?!?!?!?!  You've got some patience.  Hopefully you aren't planning on 5 or 6 coats! 
That was for the first hand brushed primer coat.  It went on very uneven and stripped.  I will be using a Wagner sprayer for the color coats.  Hopefully it will go on even so I can go straight to the 600 grit paper.  I'm going with a high gloss paint.  It will probably take more coats to get it right, but it will sure shine when it is done.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #150 on: January 02, 2007, 10:22:45 pm »
That was for the first hand brushed primer coat.  It went on very uneven and stripped.  I will be using a Wagner sprayer for the color coats.  Hopefully it will go on even so I can go straight to the 600 grit paper.  I'm going with a high gloss paint.  It will probably take more coats to get it right, but it will sure shine when it is done.

Coder.... I used a wagner gun and an air based gun I got from Harbor Freights. The Wagner isn't very durable. I went through 8 of their medium duty models painting while redoing my house. What I found was getting the consistency right was key to a good job. I really had to spend time getting the mixture right so it would flow through the system easier. I used water based paint so I could thin it down with water.

As for the air based gun - I used a 30 gallon tank with a 5hp motor and it could just barely keep up painting my projects. It was much better than the wagner and I'll never go with the wagner again.

The wagner cost me $75 and the air based gun cost me $15 (not including air tank, hose, etc).

Let me know your results - I'd like to see what you think once all is said and done.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #151 on: January 02, 2007, 10:52:14 pm »
I was going to recommend the same thing.  I have used a wagner power painter, wagner hvlp spray gun, and a Menards hvlp gun.  leapinlew hit it on the head when he said he diluted the paint to spray.  With a hvlp you will need to dilute your paint quite a bit.  I have a Rigid 5 gallon 9 cfm compressor.  Since the capacity is small it ran continuously, but no issues.  I would recommend the hvlp or do a TON of test sprays with the wagner to get the spray volume just right. 


That was for the first hand brushed primer coat.  It went on very uneven and stripped.  I will be using a Wagner sprayer for the color coats.  Hopefully it will go on even so I can go straight to the 600 grit paper.  I'm going with a high gloss paint.  It will probably take more coats to get it right, but it will sure shine when it is done.

Coder.... I used a wagner gun and an air based gun I got from Harbor Freights. The Wagner isn't very durable. I went through 8 of their medium duty models painting while redoing my house. What I found was getting the consistency right was key to a good job. I really had to spend time getting the mixture right so it would flow through the system easier. I used water based paint so I could thin it down with water.

As for the air based gun - I used a 30 gallon tank with a 5hp motor and it could just barely keep up painting my projects. It was much better than the wagner and I'll never go with the wagner again.

The wagner cost me $75 and the air based gun cost me $15 (not including air tank, hose, etc).

Let me know your results - I'd like to see what you think once all is said and done.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #152 on: January 03, 2007, 04:41:41 am »
Nice to see that you even pay attention and finishing up on things like underneath air intake holes that no sole is ever gonna notice! :applaud:
I was gonna say "stop posting, start painting!", but with drying times of a few days, you have plenty time to post. So, more pics... please. ;D

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #153 on: January 04, 2007, 02:42:05 am »
Glass
Today my front glass came in.  It is approximately 32x18" by 3/16Ē thick.  For an extra $9.00 they tempered it, bringing the total cost to $24 bucks.  The tempering process added about a week, but I'm in no hurry.  Apparently tempered glass is about 7 times stronger than standard glass.  Well worth it for the "accidental" punch to the glass on a high speed crash or screw-up.

I don't have access to a decent cad system, so bare with me on the following diagram.  This is a block diagram of how the glass will be held in place.  The purple represents fixed wood mounted to the cab frame.  To keep it from vibrating, the glass will not touch the wood directly but will have a thin layer of felt (red in the picture, but actually black).  The slots are approximately 1/8Ē bigger than the glass to accommodate the felt.  The brown color piece is a 1/2" thick, 1.5" wide strip of the same dark wood used on the dashboard.  This piece is removable and held in place with the same screws used on the dashboard.  To install the glass, it is lifted up into the top slot, rests on the bottom ledge, then the removable strip is pushed against the glass and screwed in place.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #154 on: January 04, 2007, 03:00:38 am »
Glass
...
I don't have access to a decent cad system, so bare with me on the following diagram.
...

You might wanna look at A9CAD http://www.a9tech.com/. The free version is pretty good.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #155 on: March 20, 2007, 11:08:52 pm »
After a few months away, playing (urÖuh, teaching) high school robotics and remodeling my master bathroom, Iím ready to take up this project again. 

Back in January, with 20 degree weather outside, I tried applying my first color coat of paint.  I created a booth in my garage with a few drop cloths and duct tape.  I borrowed a butane heater from my neighbor and dusted off my Wagner sprayer.  What a mistake.  I didnít thin the paint as recommended and I suspect the temperature in my garage never made it above 45 degrees F.  Things went fairly well, then at about ĺ of the way  the nozzle clogged up and started spattering blobs of paint.  I though about scrapping it off, but decided to let it dry and sand it off.  Well that was 2 months ago.  The weather is warmer now and Iím all caught up with my honey-doís.   I picked up a new Dewalt orbital sander, and Iím ready to give it a go again.  Iíve got a bit of sanding to do before attempting another coat.  If I canít get it right next time Iíll go with the tried & true roller.  Recommendations?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #156 on: March 20, 2007, 11:17:50 pm »
Yay!  I'm glad this project will be getting back on track!  As for painting recommendations, I'd definitely use a foam roller if you aren;t going to spray - I've tried just about everything known to man (short of spraying) and I've found that they put on the nicest coat. 

You could go all crazy like I am going to and do THIS instead.  I've made one test panel so far and it came out freaking great - it's a super slick finish and it is unbelievably smooth to the touch.  I made a few mistakes during the sanding process so I'm making two more test panels right now to try and nail down the process.  It's going to look great when it's finished...

Let's see some progress!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #157 on: March 22, 2007, 12:33:07 am »
Yay!  I'm glad this project will be getting back on track!  As for painting recommendations, I'd definitely use a foam roller if you aren;t going to spray - I've tried just about everything known to man (short of spraying) and I've found that they put on the nicest coat. 

You could go all crazy like I am going to and do THIS instead.  I've made one test panel so far and it came out freaking great - it's a super slick finish and it is unbelievably smooth to the touch.  I made a few mistakes during the sanding process so I'm making two more test panels right now to try and nail down the process.  It's going to look great when it's finished...

You've got to wonder about a sanding tutorial that starts off with 2000 grit sandpaper.  It gives one a different appreciation for the word "smooth".  I don't know if I'll be buffing with 2 grades of polishing compound, but I'll probably try for a better finish than I was originally planning on.  Thanks for the link Javeryh.  You mentioned "a few mistakes".  Could you elaborate?

Today after work I drug the box out of the garage to the back porch.  I gave my new sander a workout.  Man, I thought it was smooth, but after reading that tutorial, no way.  I spent about 30 minutes going over the entire surface, inside and out.  I'm using 220 grit sandpaper on an orbital sander.  I'll never sand by hand again.  The paint did a good job of filling in the scratches from my initial pre-primer sanding.  The primer went on when it was about 20 degrees outside and was very streaky.  I sanded past the primer in some spots near the big runs from the sprayer disaster.

I think I'll ditch the sprayer and go straight to the roller.  The sprayer was very messy, was a pain to deal with, and made some pretty big splotches.  If it's warm and dry tomorrow I'll pick up a foam roller and give it another coat, low tech this time.


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #158 on: March 22, 2007, 10:08:48 am »
Glad to see this project getting off the ground again.  Welcome back Coder.

TTFN :cheers:
Kaytrim

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #159 on: March 22, 2007, 10:13:01 am »
 :(

.. but, yes, use a good quality foam roller, that'll do it!

Now, off to redo my CP ... :banghead:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #160 on: March 22, 2007, 04:17:55 pm »
You've got to wonder about a sanding tutorial that starts off with 2000 grit sandpaper.  It gives one a different appreciation for the word "smooth".  I don't know if I'll be buffing with 2 grades of polishing compound, but I'll probably try for a better finish than I was originally planning on.  Thanks for the link Javeryh.  You mentioned "a few mistakes".  Could you elaborate?

Sure.  First off, I couldn't find 2000 grit sandpaper so I had to "settle" for 1500 which I found at NAPA along with the rubbing compound and polish (it's an auto parts store).  The 1500 worked great - I can't imagine anything smoother.  I wish I could capture it with my digital camera but I just can't seem to get a good shot of it.  The finish is mirror-like but it's definitely not like a mirror... if that makes any sense.  You can see your reflection but it's not totally obvious unless you are looking for it.  Plus, I used a pink enamel-based paint for my base which my not be as reflective as the black enamel-based paint that the example I linked to showed.  Also, I will not be using this process on the inside of my cab around the monitor where I will be painting black - I don't want the monitor to be reflected anywhere and be a distraction while playing.

One thing I definitely learned is that 220 grit and even 600 grit aren't really smooth (believe it or not).  They are good enough for staining furniture that you will cover with a poly but if you want to apply a slick finish with no brush strokes or "orange peel" from spraying then a super high grit is the way to go.  It is a perfectly flat, perfectly even finish - like straight out of a plastics factory or something.  Definitely use a sander though - doing the whole thing by hand would be too hard, I think.

Now, there were three major mistakes I made the first time around that I think I've remedied this time (I have to sand and polish on Saturday so I'll let you know).  All are related to sanding.

1.  In my first test panel I can see very very tiny white spots in certain areas on the surface.  This is a result of the primer showing through after the sanding process because the initial surface I used wasn't 100% flat/smooth.  I'm using MDF.  MDF is really smooth, right?  I thought so but I guess not.  The first mistake I made was not sanding the MDF surface completely smooth before applying any primer.  On my second attempt I used a sanding block and 600 grit sandpaper to sand the entire surface of the MDF smooth.  The difference is very noticable to the touch.  Hopefully this will remove any "sand-through" spots.

2.  The next mistake I think I made was not sanding at all in between coats of primer and paint.  I think this makes a difference - even though I was using a high quality roller that appeared to be laying on an even coat I should have sanded each surfac smooth before recoating.  This time I used 600 grit sandpaper to knock down the current layer of paint.  I think this played a part in the white spots showing through because imagine putting on some primer but one dot dries higher than the rest - when you sand down when finishing it could show through because every other layer on top of that dot is on a higher plane.

3.  The third mistake I think I made was not sanding the edges of the MDF prior to applying any paint.  I noticed that when using the roller paint tended to collect along the edges of the MDF panel causing that area to be raised.  When I sanded it down during the finishing process I ended up completely removing the pink paint in some areas near the edge.  This time, I used 600 grit sandpaper and completely knocked off the corner edge of the panel - probably the equivilant of using a 1/32" chamfer bit or something.  This edge will be built back up by layers of paint and then hidden by the t-molding or whatever else is normally used to hidge the ends of panels.  Also, regarding the edges, I think I'm going to hand sand near the edges this time to be extra careful. 

Going through the process once really gave me a feel for what I was doing and I think I've pin-pointed where I went wrong.  With all that said, the panel still looks and feels amazing and I was very pleased with the results - I just want to make sure I get it perfect before trying it on my cab.  I hope this helps.    :cheers:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #161 on: March 24, 2007, 11:29:10 pm »
Thanks, helps a lot.  I think I'll give this a try.  It will probably add 2 weeks to the process, but I'm in no hurry.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #162 on: March 24, 2007, 11:42:38 pm »
With my new appreciation for what ďsmoothĒ means, I sanded down my first color coat.  Itís amazing what you see when you are really paying attention.  I used to just knock down the high spots when sanding before.  Now, Iím shooting to get most all of the orange peel affect sanded smooth.  It takes a lot longer, but it should (?) help get a much better finish. 

Lesson learned:  In trying to save $$, Iím using the same piece of 220 grit sand paper from my previous coat.  Stupid idea!  A new piece works much better.  Even though it was not clogged up, it was truly ďdullĒ.  I accidentally buzzed a little deep at first, but got the job done much quicker.

The sound system in this thing is going to really rock.  When sanding on the back side of the speaker compartment, it amplifies the sound big time.  A neighbor 3 housed down the street heard the noise and came to see what Iím up to.  If he thinks itís loud nowÖ.. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #163 on: March 25, 2007, 12:55:10 am »
Lesson learned:  In trying to save $$, Iím using the same piece of 220 grit sand paper from my previous coat. 

Hey Coder...

Long time no see. Glad to see you back on this project. I'm totally guilty of trying to save some money with sandpaper too.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #164 on: March 26, 2007, 09:36:23 am »
With my new appreciation for what ďsmoothĒ means, I sanded down my first color coat.  Itís amazing what you see when you are really paying attention.  I used to just knock down the high spots when sanding before.  Now, Iím shooting to get most all of the orange peel affect sanded smooth.  It takes a lot longer, but it should (?) help get a much better finish. 

Lesson learned:  In trying to save $$, Iím using the same piece of 220 grit sand paper from my previous coat.  Stupid idea!  A new piece works much better.  Even though it was not clogged up, it was truly ďdullĒ.  I accidentally buzzed a little deep at first, but got the job done much quicker.

The sound system in this thing is going to really rock.  When sanding on the back side of the speaker compartment, it amplifies the sound big time.  A neighbor 3 housed down the street heard the noise and came to see what Iím up to.  If he thinks itís loud nowÖ.. 


This made me laugh because I had the exact same thoughts the first time I decided that I needed to use 1500 sandpaper to get a really smooth finish.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed the orange peel and it trying to get rid of it.  I am curious about a couple of things -

1.  How are you painting the sections that a roller cannot reach (like inside corners)?  I decided to use a foam brush and it looks OK but it's not as nice as the rolled on sections.  I'm wondering if there is a trick or something that I'm missing.  I'm not planning on putting the high gloss super smooth finish on the interior part around the monitor because I don't want a glare while Bella is trying to play but I still want a nice uniform finish, if possible.

2.  What is your process for sanding in between coats?  I've been using 600 grit sandpaper and a sanding block but it seems to gum up really fast and I'm going through sandpaper like gangbusters.  If I use 220 grit will I just completely strip off the layer of paint I just put on or will that do the trick?  Also, how do you know when to stop sanding?  I just go until my arms get tired of doing it but that's not so scientific...

Keep up the great work - that green looks really cool!  You have a lot of area to cover...

 :cheers:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #165 on: March 26, 2007, 11:57:51 am »

Just read through this whole thread - great work.  I'm considering throwing a simpler Xbox driving cockpit into my future plans and it's great to see projects like this leading the design effort.

I'm also seriously guilty of scrimping on sandpaper. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #166 on: March 27, 2007, 02:29:21 am »
1.  How are you painting the sections that a roller cannot reach (like inside corners)?  I decided to use a foam brush and it looks OK but it's not as nice as the rolled on sections.  I'm wondering if there is a trick or something that I'm missing.  I'm not planning on putting the high gloss super smooth finish on the interior part around the monitor because I don't want a glare while Bella is trying to play but I still want a nice uniform finish, if possible.
I'm also using a foam brush.  It doesn't match the rolled surface, but comes close when it is dry.  Anyone else have any ideas?

You got me thinking about the glare around the monitor.  I think I'll go with a flat black around the screen.  This will pose a bit of a challenge, transitioning the black to the green.  It will work out fine on the top and bottom.  On the sides however, I will need to merge the two.  I really don't want the entire inside to be black.  I'll probably make the transition happen along the front top portion of the entrance.  I'll wait 'til I'm done with the green.  This will save me a bit of polishing as well.  Hopefully this part will be done in the next few days/weeks.  Pictures to follow.  Thanks for the idea.

2.  What is your process for sanding in between coats?  I've been using 600 grit sandpaper and a sanding block but it seems to gum up really fast and I'm going through sandpaper like gangbusters.  If I use 220 grit will I just completely strip off the layer of paint I just put on or will that do the trick?  Also, how do you know when to stop sanding?  I just go until my arms get tired of doing it but that's not so scientific...
I haven't quite figured this out yet.  My primer coat was a disaster.  I sanded most all of it off.  The second coat went on very streaky, and I sanded a lot of it down as well.  The first color coat I tried to spray, and it too was a disaster.  Too cold & blotchy.  I sanded almost all of it off.  Now, I'm going about it a little more carefully. 

I followed your advice, and am using a micro fiber foam roller.  I'm kind of getting the hang of it.  The first coat was put on fairly thick.  I go over it horizontally, then vertically, then horizontally... each time pressing lighter and lighter.  This makes the roller lines less noticeable.  After 5 minutes or so, I go over it one last time, VERY lightly.  I think this cuts down on the orange peel a bit.  In one spot, I went over it after about 20 minutes, and really messed it up.  After this coat, I sanded about half of it off with a orbital sander with 220 grit.  I basically quit sanding when most all of the orange peel was gone.  I had just read the link you referenced and really noticed the flaws.   There were some deep flaws that I sanded completely flat, through the primer into wood.  In a few others, rather than sanding a deep gouge, I put on some wood putty.  I let the first coat dry for 3-4 days before sanding.  That may be the cause of your paper clogging problem, sanding too soon.  I put the next coat on a little thinner, and sanded it with the orbital sander and 220 grit paper as well.  Again, I probably took off about half of the paint.  But when done, there were very few non-green spots.  On the current coat (3rd), I'm giving it a couple of days to dry (it is still in the 30's at night, warming up to the mid 50's in the day).  I've got some 1000 grit sand paper that I will use for the next pass.  I've got a small vibrating sander (Sears, $29.00) that I'll use for this.  I'll be putting on thinner coats and sanding lighter.  Hopefully it will only need a few more coats before I pick up the polishing rag.  Thanks again for pushing me towards a better finish.  I'll probably curse you next week, as my arm falls off polishing this thing, but in the long run it will be worth it.

Keep up the great work - that green looks really cool!
Thanks.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #167 on: March 27, 2007, 02:38:36 am »

Just read through this whole thread - great work.  I'm considering throwing a simpler Xbox driving cockpit into my future plans and it's great to see projects like this leading the design effort.

I'm also seriously guilty of scrimping on sandpaper. 
Thanks.  Lots of spare time on your hands? 

You mentioned simpler?  What would you leave out?  Anything I could help out with, just ask.

I think I've got a couple of cool new features on this project, but I'm just adding to the already huge knowledge base represented by this forum.  I'm not leading, just "leveraging".  Steal from the best, invent the rest.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #168 on: March 27, 2007, 09:25:45 am »
Thanks.  Lots of spare time on your hands? 

Sadly, no, but we aren't going anywhere either.  :)



Quote
You mentioned simpler?  What would you leave out?  Anything I could help out with, just ask.

One of the things that concerns me with what you've done here is the amount of individual connections, custom electronic work, etc.  That's not a criticism so please don't take it as such.  I'm a little worried about the potential failure rates on all of those custom hacked parts, components, connections, etc.  That's one thing I would want to simplify, especially on the wheel.  For the wheel I'd probably try to find a way to make the cabinet design accommodate the wheel with as little modification as possible, rather than totally hack up the wheel in order to embed it in a standard type CP and take advantage of the fact that it's a totally custom build.  The wheel is so important to this project that if any aspect of it doesn't stand up to use it's really going to hurt performance.

Also, for my cab, I'll just use less of the cool custom work you have here, like the controller motors and the keystart, etc.  Keep the bass shaker, probably go with 5.1 and a single small woofer, let the shaker do most of the bass feedback.  I'm thinking of keeping the sides a lot more open and using curtains to close off external visual distraction.

The pedal box is great.  Love that.  It's a subtle concept but being able to stomp a stiff metal pad really adds to a driving game.



Quote
I think I've got a couple of cool new features on this project, but I'm just adding to the already huge knowledge base represented by this forum.  I'm not leading, just "leveraging".  Steal from the best, invent the rest.

I think you're understating how much you've added here.  The dual level controller based feedback is really cool.  I think the next step would be to componentize it a little bit, make it a little more serviceable, for the next project that uses your concept.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #169 on: March 27, 2007, 01:44:14 pm »
[I'm a little worried about the potential failure rates on all of those custom hacked parts, components, connections, etc. 

I agree Chad, but I think TheCoder is the kind of guy who is secretly happy when he hears something isn't working.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #170 on: March 27, 2007, 02:06:38 pm »
I'm also getting some great ideas from this thread.  I have an extra modded xbox, and just ordered a Fanatec Speedster wheel off of ebay, and plan to make a similar project in the future.

I just picked up a San Francisco Rush the Rock Alcatraz driving cabinet a bit ago, and I think I will borrow heavily from that design.  I obviously won't have the molded plastic parts, but I think the design does a great job of removing outside distractions while remaining open and smaller so the wife will like it (she loves the san francisco rush game).

I'm definately going to use arcade pedals (if I can ever find a decent price on them from ebay), but I will probably leave the wheel fairly unmodified, just mount it to the cabinet (I guess it depends what I think of it, after using the monster stepper motor driven force feedback from San Francisco Rush, would be hard to use a wimpy system, but I hear this wheel has good "fake" force feedback, so I guess we'll see when it arrives).

I like all the little extras you're doing, and am really excited to see this project completed.  Thanks for sharing your progress with the rest, sounds like it's inspiring many of us to make a similar project...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #171 on: March 27, 2007, 02:26:13 pm »
1.  How are you painting the sections that a roller cannot reach (like inside corners)?  I decided to use a foam brush and it looks OK but it's not as nice as the rolled on sections.  I'm wondering if there is a trick or something that I'm missing.  I'm not planning on putting the high gloss super smooth finish on the interior part around the monitor because I don't want a glare while Bella is trying to play but I still want a nice uniform finish, if possible.
I'm also using a foam brush.  It doesn't match the rolled surface, but comes close when it is dry.  Anyone else have any ideas?

You got me thinking about the glare around the monitor.  I think I'll go with a flat black around the screen.  This will pose a bit of a challenge, transitioning the black to the green.  It will work out fine on the top and bottom.  On the sides however, I will need to merge the two.  I really don't want the entire inside to be black.  I'll probably make the transition happen along the front top portion of the entrance.  I'll wait 'til I'm done with the green.  This will save me a bit of polishing as well.  Hopefully this part will be done in the next few days/weeks.  Pictures to follow.  Thanks for the idea.

Glad I could help!  I'm actually only giving the "full treatment" to three of the panels on my cabinet - the two side panels and the coin door panel.  I am also painting the top panel and back panel pink but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to apply the mirror finish in those spots (unless people think otherwise).  The top might be somethign I want to do but the back seems a bit unnecessary.  The rest of the cabinet (the interior around the monitor) will be painted using a flat black paint.

2.  What is your process for sanding in between coats?  I've been using 600 grit sandpaper and a sanding block but it seems to gum up really fast and I'm going through sandpaper like gangbusters.  If I use 220 grit will I just completely strip off the layer of paint I just put on or will that do the trick?  Also, how do you know when to stop sanding?  I just go until my arms get tired of doing it but that's not so scientific...
I haven't quite figured this out yet.  My primer coat was a disaster.  I sanded most all of it off.  The second coat went on very streaky, and I sanded a lot of it down as well.  The first color coat I tried to spray, and it too was a disaster.  Too cold & blotchy.  I sanded almost all of it off.  Now, I'm going about it a little more carefully. 

I followed your advice, and am using a micro fiber foam roller.  I'm kind of getting the hang of it.  The first coat was put on fairly thick.  I go over it horizontally, then vertically, then horizontally... each time pressing lighter and lighter.  This makes the roller lines less noticeable.  After 5 minutes or so, I go over it one last time, VERY lightly.  I think this cuts down on the orange peel a bit.  In one spot, I went over it after about 20 minutes, and really messed it up.  After this coat, I sanded about half of it off with a orbital sander with 220 grit.  I basically quit sanding when most all of the orange peel was gone.  I had just read the link you referenced and really noticed the flaws.   There were some deep flaws that I sanded completely flat, through the primer into wood.  In a few others, rather than sanding a deep gouge, I put on some wood putty.  I let the first coat dry for 3-4 days before sanding.  That may be the cause of your paper clogging problem, sanding too soon.  I put the next coat on a little thinner, and sanded it with the orbital sander and 220 grit paper as well.  Again, I probably took off about half of the paint.  But when done, there were very few non-green spots.  On the current coat (3rd), I'm giving it a couple of days to dry (it is still in the 30's at night, warming up to the mid 50's in the day).  I've got some 1000 grit sand paper that I will use for the next pass.  I've got a small vibrating sander (Sears, $29.00) that I'll use for this.  I'll be putting on thinner coats and sanding lighter.  Hopefully it will only need a few more coats before I pick up the polishing rag.  Thanks again for pushing me towards a better finish.  I'll probably curse you next week, as my arm falls off polishing this thing, but in the long run it will be worth it.

Wow - it's the simplest of things I can never seem to think of... it makes perfect sense that I wasn't giving the paint enough time to dry before sanding!  I read the can and it said recoat in 4 hours so that's all I was waiting - of course the can also said it would fully dry in 12-24 hours but that's not what I wanted to hear.  I was trying to apply multiple coats in a single day when the best course of action would probably be to limit myself to a single coat in any given day.  I checked on the cab last night and it definitely felt dry - definitely moreso than after only 4 hours of waiting.  The difference was very noticable. 

It gives me comfort to hear that you are also getting a "feel" for the process because I was afraid I was hopeless.  You do actually get better at it the more you do, I think.  You will definitely be cursing up a storm - it doesn't take much to tire my arms and you've got a lot of surface area to cover!  Good luck!

Tonight I'm going to try and apply the final coat of primer after sanding everything fully so I might be ready to apply a coat of pink paint on Saturday!

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 02:27:55 pm by javeryh »

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #172 on: March 28, 2007, 12:45:06 am »
One of the things that concerns me with what you've done here is the amount of individual connections, custom electronic work, etc.  That's not a criticism so please don't take it as such.  I'm a little worried about the potential failure rates on all of those custom hacked parts, components, connections, etc. 
I'm usually into simple elegance, fewer points of failure, etc.  There are a lot of other things I have chosen not to include.  I've had good luck so far with the custom hacks.  If done right, the result is as reliable as the original.  Besides, 80% of the fun is challenging yourself to do/learn something new.

I'm definitely going to use arcade pedals (if I can ever find a decent price on them from ebay),
I searched ebay on and off for about 4 weeks until I found a good set at a decent price.

Wow - it's the simplest of things I can never seem to think of... it makes perfect sense that I wasn't giving the paint enough time to dry before sanding!  I read the can and it said recoat in 4 hours so that's all I was waiting - of course the can also said it would fully dry in 12-24 hours but that's not what I wanted to hear.  I was trying to apply multiple coats in a single day when the best course of action would probably be to limit myself to a single coat in any given day. 
I was making a large batch of painted Popsicle sticks for my wife a bunch of years ago.  They needed a thick, shinny finish.  I put on about 8 coats of paint in 2 days.  The paint was not truly cured for weeks.  Ever since then, I have allowed at least 24 hours, and sometimes more between coats of paint.

Glad I could help!  I'm actually only giving the "full treatment" to three of the panels on my cabinet - the two side panels and the coin door panel.  I am also painting the top panel and back panel pink but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to apply the mirror finish in those spots (unless people think otherwise).  The top might be something I want to do but the back seems a bit unnecessary.  The rest of the cabinet (the interior around the monitor) will be painted using a flat black paint.
With all the surface area I have work with, I'm probably only going to polish the outsides. 

It was rainy and cold today.  No progress.  I did however pick up some supplies.  Two grades of polish, and a bag of rags.  I should have bought these rags years ago.  I've long since burned through all the stained onesy's, baby t-shirts, and other kids cloths for rags.  This bag of 50 12" square cotton rags cost me less than $10.  That's less than 20 cents a piece.  Now I don't have to agonize over which of my favorite old t-shirts to sacrifice when I need a rag for something.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #173 on: March 30, 2007, 08:00:11 pm »
The thing is you need to recoat before the underneith coat has gone hard, otherwise they will not stick together well. Most paint says recoat in 4 hours, and if you leave it more then 24 you have to give it a sand to give it something to grip to, and after seeing some of my left for a week then repainted coats just peel off, I would agree somewhat with that.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #174 on: March 31, 2007, 12:50:34 am »
The thing is you need to recoat before the underneith coat has gone hard, otherwise they will not stick together well. Most paint says recoat in 4 hours, and if you leave it more then 24 you have to give it a sand to give it something to grip to, and after seeing some of my left for a week then repainted coats just peel off, I would agree somewhat with that.
I've been waiting a day between coats, with a heavy sanding in between.  It it getting thicker & smoother.  I'm on coat 6, moving from 220 grit to 1000 grit paper.  Today I tried polishing the front door piece, just to check it out.  Man, you really have to have ALL of the orange peel sanded out or it really shows.  It is going to take a few more coats to get it thick enough so I can sand it truly flat.  This is going to be a long process. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #175 on: March 31, 2007, 02:43:42 pm »
I guess what @richms means is, that you can easily put more then one coat on, before sanding. I you paint one and sand it off, this project is going to take forever! ;) You have a lots of patience and that's what you're gonna need with this.

btw, don't put on to big artwork that would be a damn shame for all your effort with the painting.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #176 on: March 31, 2007, 11:42:41 pm »
I found a new tool for dealing with paint runs.  For the veteran painters out there you probably think Iím dense, but this was quite an eye-opener for me.  A ďPainters ScraperĒ works great for dealing with hardened runs in paint.  The edge is sharp and just shaves off the run, flush with the previous coat of paint.  Good stuff.  It also works well for knocking off the embedded bugs and pocks.

Today I put on coats 7 & 8, hopefully the last.  In the second picture you can see the front door that I tried to polish.  In getting all the orange peel out, the paint got a little thin in three spots.

And as for trimming the bushes Ö maybe next week-end honey.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #177 on: March 31, 2007, 11:52:32 pm »
Wow - nice job on that polished panel.  Is it as shiny as it looks in person?  I'll try and post a pic of mine tomorrow but I'm not sure how to get a good picture with my digital camera.  They always come out with a reflection from the flash and everything looks washed out...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #178 on: April 01, 2007, 01:08:21 am »
Wow - nice job on that polished panel.  Is it as shiny as it looks in person?  I'll try and post a pic of mine tomorrow but I'm not sure how to get a good picture with my digital camera.  They always come out with a reflection from the flash and everything looks washed out...
The picture is misleading.  The paint is still wet.  Notice in the flat panel how dull the paint looks in the center.  That area is sanded flat.  The shinny parts are fresh, wet paint.  It would be really awesome if I could get the entire thing looking as shinny as the rounded piece in the background.  I'm going to wait a few days to let the paint get good & dry before I try sanding it all flat.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #179 on: April 02, 2007, 03:49:18 pm »
Wow - nice job on that polished panel.  Is it as shiny as it looks in person?  I'll try and post a pic of mine tomorrow but I'm not sure how to get a good picture with my digital camera.  They always come out with a reflection from the flash and everything looks washed out...
Well, don't flash. ;D Use a tripod or let the camera rest on something steady. Oh, and use the timer.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #180 on: April 06, 2007, 12:51:20 am »
Also dont autofocus or it will focus on the reflection, not your panel. Mind you if your trying to impress with the gloss, that may not be a bad thing.

in that case close up the aperture and let it expose for a long time, so the tripod will be essential, that will at least give some detail to the panel itself. I guess you may just want to find the happy median that shows it all.


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #181 on: April 08, 2007, 12:08:58 am »
Lacquer Coats
Well after 6 coats of lacquer, it is time to move on to the polish stage.  It took 7 cans of spray lacquer to get the 6 coats.  On the first coat I tried to get complete coverage, but generated a lot of runs. Most of that first coat got sanded off.  From there I just tried to get consistent close stroke lines.  With each coat I alternated the angles approximately 30 degrees.  There are lines of missed coverage and overspray, but they were covered by subsequent coats at different angles.  I suspect it would have gone on much more evenly if I had rolled it on, or gone with a compressor/sprayer.  The lines came out with a light wet sanding with 1000 grit paper.  Between coats I rubbed it down with the shop rags I picked up last week.  This took care of most of the bugs, pocks, and overspray.  In the first set of pictures you can see the surfaces with 6 layers of lacquer before wet sanding.

When I woke up this morning, it was raining.  The front door piece was exposed, but I was very pleased to see the entire surface covered in beads of water. 

Today I buffed the front panel and door with the first ďrougherĒ buffing compound.  Man, this stuff really works.  Notice the reflection in the surface on the last picture.  Unfortunately it also brings out any minor flaw in the surface.  There are a few small ones, but Iím the only one who will ever know where they are.  My arms are killing me !   Buffing these two pieces twice with the buffing compound took about an hour.  Iíll be doing two passes with the finer compound, then one of wax.  The cabinet itself is probably about 8 times more surface area than the two pieces Iíve done so far.  This is going to be quite a work-out for me.  But, hey, I guess the exercise will be good for me.

Perhaps I will postpone the wax until after Iíve applied the side art.  At least that will give my arms a break for a while.  Comments?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #182 on: April 08, 2007, 12:49:36 am »
Excellent job!  That last picture really shows off the reflective finish.  So did you end up sanding the last coat of paint or did you leave it rolled on with a little orange peel?  Also, where did you get the rubbing compound?  I bought some compound at an auto parts store but I'm not sure it is the right stuff.  It never turns into paste or anything and there's really no noticable difference to the surface after applying it.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #183 on: April 08, 2007, 11:31:47 am »
Looks great  :applaud:

If you're going to polish the entire machine by hand remember to take before and after pictures of your arms/biceps too  ;D

Anyway, ain't that Turtle Wax rubbing compound? Shouldn't be too hard to find ... (see http://www.turtlewax.com/)

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #184 on: April 08, 2007, 11:55:10 am »
Excellent job!  That last picture really shows off the reflective finish.  So did you end up sanding the last coat of paint or did you leave it rolled on with a little orange peel?  Also, where did you get the rubbing compound?  I bought some compound at an auto parts store but I'm not sure it is the right stuff.  It never turns into paste or anything and there's really no noticable difference to the surface after applying it.

Looks great  :applaud:
If you're going to polish the entire machine by hand remember to take before and after pictures of your arms/biceps too  ;D
Anyway, ain't that Turtle Wax rubbing compound? Shouldn't be too hard to find ... (see http://www.turtlewax.com/)
Thanks guys.

I sanded almost all of the orange peel off before starting with the lacquer.  The places where I didn't get it all was the few spots where I knew the color layer was thin.  There are about 5 of these, mostly around the edges.  The good news is they are all towards the bottom, and one in the middle front (the side that will be against a wall).

You're right Psychotech, I'm using TurtleWax.  Back in post #173, you can see a picture of the stuff.  They have a "rubbing compound" which is the coarser stuff, and a "polishing compound" which is the finer stuff.  I picked it up at a small Oregon auto parts chain place Knecht's.  You might also check your local Stuff-Mart.  It shouldn't be hard to find.  It is very cheap at $2.00 per can.  I figured it would work as well as the $9.00 stuff, and so far I'm pleased with the results.  It pretty much behaves as the write-up describes.  It starts out as a gritty paste (grains much smaller than a grain of salt), and ends up as a milky film. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #185 on: April 08, 2007, 01:02:49 pm »
That is looking really nice.

For a project that size you might want to go out and get a cheap electric buffer. That will save you a lot of time and sore arms. You can always reuse it to polish your cars.  :P

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #186 on: April 08, 2007, 11:03:34 pm »
Excellent job!  That last picture really shows off the reflective finish.  So did you end up sanding the last coat of paint or did you leave it rolled on with a little orange peel?  Also, where did you get the rubbing compound?  I bought some compound at an auto parts store but I'm not sure it is the right stuff.  It never turns into paste or anything and there's really no noticable difference to the surface after applying it.

Looks great  :applaud:
If you're going to polish the entire machine by hand remember to take before and after pictures of your arms/biceps too  ;D
Anyway, ain't that Turtle Wax rubbing compound? Shouldn't be too hard to find ... (see http://www.turtlewax.com/)
Thanks guys.

I sanded almost all of the orange peel off before starting with the lacquer.  The places where I didn't get it all was the few spots where I knew the color layer was thin.  There are about 5 of these, mostly around the edges.  The good news is they are all towards the bottom, and one in the middle front (the side that will be against a wall).

You're right Psychotech, I'm using TurtleWax.  Back in post #173, you can see a picture of the stuff.  They have a "rubbing compound" which is the coarser stuff, and a "polishing compound" which is the finer stuff.  I picked it up at a small Oregon auto parts chain place Knecht's.  You might also check your local Stuff-Mart.  It shouldn't be hard to find.  It is very cheap at $2.00 per can.  I figured it would work as well as the $9.00 stuff, and so far I'm pleased with the results.  It pretty much behaves as the write-up describes.  It starts out as a gritty paste (grains much smaller than a grain of salt), and ends up as a milky film. 

Thanks for the description.  I'm definitely using the wrong stuff.  Time to pick up some Turtlewax I guess!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #187 on: April 09, 2007, 09:30:27 am »

Seriously, bro, get a $25 random orbit sander and a buffer pad.  It will save you so much work and you get a useful hand tool out of it.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #188 on: April 11, 2007, 01:31:32 am »

Seriously, bro, get a $25 random orbit sander and a buffer pad.  It will save you so much work and you get a useful hand tool out of it.

Thank you!  Thank you!  johnm160  & ChadTower

Polished Finish
I picked up one of these today at lunch.  It is amazing what happens when you use the right tool for the job.  My previous hack involved wrapping my dinky 4" palm sander with a shop rag.  While it did work, the 10" buffer works MUCH better.  All yours for $29.  In about 1.5 hours, I rough buffed the whole cab twice and polished about half of it once.  It sure is shinny!!!!!!!

Next up, painting the top of the dash and area surrounding the monitor a dull, flat black.  It was a long haul, but it looks like I'm almost done with the paint phase of this project. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #189 on: April 11, 2007, 07:29:12 am »
You are so disciplined and dedicated... I'm jealous.

Don't put any artwork on that cab! ;)

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #190 on: April 11, 2007, 09:06:05 am »

Awesome, glad that worked out for you.  You can use that to wax your car, too, and it will do an awesome job.  I also have buffer attachments I use on a low end cordless drill to clean and wax pinball playfields as well as details on the car.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #191 on: April 11, 2007, 12:23:58 pm »
Wow!!!!  It looks great!  Just so I'm clear, you are using the Ryobi to put on the Turtlewax rubbing compound and finishing polish, right (not to sand or anything)?  I think I might pick one of those up before I go through the same process...

You got a fantastic finish on there - I hope I am as fortunate...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #192 on: April 11, 2007, 01:44:49 pm »
that look OUTSTANDING 

 :notworthy:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #193 on: April 11, 2007, 04:28:44 pm »
Just so I'm clear, you are using the Ryobi to put on the Turtlewax rubbing compound and finishing polish, right (not to sand or anything)? 
The process went something like this:
Primer coat, Heavy sand, Color Coat  - dead of winter, with sprayer, really messed up!!!, Sand most all off, rolled color coat, light sand with 200 grit, rolled color coat, rolled color coat, etc (x8), sand out most all orange peel starting with 200 grit, ending with wet sand 1000 grit, 6 coats of spray can lacquer, wet sand with 1000 grit, ruff polish, re-sand missed spots or orange peel, repaint screw-up from re-sand (insert lots of swearing and re-work of previous steps), rough buff with hand sander hack with Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound, purchase Ryobi orbital buffer including extra buffing pads kit (1 extra paste applicator & 1 extra finishing pad), rough buffed with buffer 1 time, 1000 grit sanded remaining orange peel rough spots, rough buffed again, Finish buff 1 time with Turtle Wax Polishing Compound.  I will hit it once again with the polishing compound.  After I create/get my side art, I'll buff it one last time with a finishing wax.

Don't put any artwork on that cab! ;)
Why not?  I'm already into this thing this far, why not go all the way.  There will still be plenty of shinny surface to look at.  Besided, I'm looking for an excuse to learn more Photoshop.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #194 on: April 11, 2007, 11:33:49 pm »
That is a lot of work for a paint job.  But if you want an automotive paint job then I guess the work is worth it.  You need to post at least one high quality image so we can see the full results of your hard work.

OMG I can see myself. :dizzy:

TTFN :cheers:
Kaytrim

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #195 on: April 13, 2007, 03:27:13 am »
If you're going to polish the entire machine by hand remember to take before and after pictures of your arms/biceps too  ;D
Well, I didn't polish the whole cab by hand, but I did get quite a workout even with the buffer.  Here are the before and after pictures you asked for.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #196 on: April 13, 2007, 06:43:43 pm »
Well, I didn't polish the whole cab by hand, but I did get quite a workout even with the buffer.  Here are the before and after pictures you asked for.

I am trying to decide which is more disturbing.  The fact that these pics have been viewed several times, or the fact that the before pic has been viewed more times.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #197 on: April 13, 2007, 10:34:36 pm »
 ;D

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #198 on: April 25, 2007, 12:40:22 am »
Finished Painting
I've finally finished painting!!!!!!!!   I put on a couple of coats of flat black paint on the inside.  I was concerned that the glare on the sides from the TV would be too distracting.  To dull things up even more, I lightly scuffed the surface with some steel wool.

I made the cab 33" wide to make sure it would fit through larger 36" doorways.  Unfortunately, the sliding glass door in my day basement is 32" wide.  Oops, minor oversight.  Removing the sliding door portion brought the width to 34".  A very tight fit, but I made it.  I put a blanket over it to keep from scratching the surface.  Right at the end, the blanket slipped off and I got a deep 1/2" gouge in the side.     :censored:   :banghead:  I'll have to cover it up with my side art. 

From here on the final assembly will take place inside.  It took me a while to clear a path to get the cab into place.  I had to move my pool table (cheap light one) and lay the Foosball table on end.  This thing is big and awkward.  With the back end up in the air, front end on the wheels, It took many back-n-forth movements to get it into place.

And by the way, in the before and after pictures above, the before picture looks NOTHING like me.  I don't own any blue shorts.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #199 on: April 25, 2007, 10:20:47 am »
Woo hoo!!!!  Awesome!!!  This thing is really coming out nice - I think the hardest part is over and now the real fun begins when you install everything.   It looks great int he game room!

 :cheers:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #200 on: April 25, 2007, 07:52:32 pm »
Pedal Covers
I picked up a pair of pedal covers today at my local auto parts store.  I'll probably have to replace the cheap clip system holding them on, but, hey, for $15.00, they look a lot better than the smooth slabs of steel that are on there now.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #201 on: April 26, 2007, 07:56:02 am »

Strong velcro is your friend here.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #202 on: April 26, 2007, 03:52:39 pm »
I've had those cheap pedal covers on my Tracker for about six years - trust me, they ain't going anywhere. ;D

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #203 on: April 27, 2007, 12:38:00 pm »
Pretty boring stuff, but progress just the same.  This morning I securely fastened the pedal covers on.  The pedal clips assumed you were putting them on car pedals, not arcade pedals.  The clips did not line up quite right.  Instead I put them on with 3 flat head cap screws.  Drilling into the pedals was a major pain.  The metal was very hard.  A trick I learned in school was to drill first with a very small diameter bit.  This makes the second, ďto sizeĒ bit cut more effectively.  It has to do with the amount of rubbing (instead of cutting) that goes on at the very tip of the bit.  Thereís less rubbing going on with the smaller diameter bits.  Even with that, it took about 2 minutes to drill each hole.  For good measure I put on a small dab of epoxy.  Iím planning on slamming these pedals and donít want them rattling loose. 

Öand a quick shot of the fans and grids.  Nothing fancy here.  When possible I prefer to use socket head screws instead of Philips head and definitely avoid straight blade screws.  I had a heck of a time finding very small long socket head cap screws for the fans, but tracked them down at the third (and last in town) hardware store.

Last night I put in the top retainer for the glass.  The cab is slightly skewed to the left.  The glass goes in fine, but it is a tight fit at the top right and lower left.  Hopefully it wonít break when the cab is lifted or jostled around.  If so, Iíll have to get the next piece about 1/16Ē narrower.  The glass will be held in with strips of dark Rosewood that match the dashboard.  Iíll keep you posted.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #204 on: April 27, 2007, 09:13:15 pm »
Woofer Installation
The woofers are now installed.  It was a chore leaning the cab on its side to route the wires, but I managed to do it without breaking anything or adding any more scratches to the paint.  I really donít want to have any problems with the wires coming loose, so they are soldered directly to the speaker posts.  I put lock-tite on the threads because there is no way to get lock nuts on the backside of the screws.  Iím looking forward to these puppies generating some serious vibrations, and donít want them shaking loose.

OPINIONS WANTED Ė Which speaker covers look better?  The large grills or the original cover that came with the speakers?  The grills look big and intimidating, but the original cover is stylish.  What do you think?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #205 on: April 27, 2007, 09:21:34 pm »
I think the grilles look tough  >:D



...but the solid mesh looks clean and modern.  I need a reference shot to see where this is located.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #206 on: April 28, 2007, 06:23:36 am »
Over the edge = grills.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #207 on: April 28, 2007, 08:34:42 pm »