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Author Topic: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller **Finished**  (Read 11523 times)

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bfauska

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"Add-a-player" 2 piece controller **Finished**
« on: March 01, 2007, 10:29:15 pm »
I recently decided that I wanted to try a taste of the BYOAC lifestyle without too much commitment and thought that building a single player cp that I could use with my laptop or desktop computer would be a good way to start.

Because I wanted to use the controller w/ my laptop computer, USB was a must.  Because I am an impatient (and cheap) S.O.B. I wanted to order from a vendor in the U.S. to cut down on shipping time and cost.  These constraints landed me with a GPwiz eco from www.GroovyGameGear.com I have only good things to say about the service and products that Randy provides, the day I ordered (Thursday) I had second thoughts, emailed Randy to change my order, had third thoughts, emailed him to change it back, and asked 2 or 3 questions about which software I would want to use with the GPwiz.  If I were a vendor I would be sick of myself as a customer, but Randy's service was great in spite of me.  I think that I finally made up my mind at about 2pm pacific time (Randy's in NY) and still managed to recieve the parts on Tuesday (Monday was a Postal holiday.)

When the parts arrived I immediatly made a shoebox cp (did I mention that I'm impatient?)  I didn't have any wire at home so it wasn't functional, but it gave me a feel for the layout.  When I had some free time at work the next day I drew up a layout in AutoCAD and printed it fullsize.  After hours at work I quickly whipped up a little box, drilled holes, mounted my equipment, and wired it all up.  When I got home the software part of the setup was easy (as far as the controller went) and I started playing.

Having a friend from out of town staying with me, I realized that now that I was sure I liked having arcade controls I needed to make a 2 player CP... but most of the time I would be playing alone, and usually with the controls sitting on my lap.  I had to make a seperate cp for player 2. 

This is where I am.  A 1 player cp with grand plans (not really grand, just new (I think))  I am going to use DB25 connectors on the two control boxes and set it up so I can either connect them by clipping them together with the connectors mating or use a m-f DB25 cable to connect the units for use with the cp on the players laps.  This way I can use some more of the (plentiful) inputs on my GPwiz for player 2 and not have to buy another interface.  This solution also avoids wasting anything when I move all the parts into an upright cabinet.

Here are the pictures of where I am now.  I also have a thread in the artwork forum for my 2-part cp art if anybody is interested in helping. http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=63792.0



This is what the wiring job looked like for the initial test run.

And this is after cleaning it up.


Thanks for looking, feel free to comment (good or bad) I love praise almost as much as a good fight  ;)

Later,
Brian

« Last Edit: April 10, 2007, 11:32:43 pm by bfauska »

KenToad

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece Lap/Desktop controller
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2007, 10:50:28 pm »
Somehow, I'm mesmerized by your box and its fitting title.   :cheers:
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knave

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece Lap/Desktop controller
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2007, 05:13:12 pm »
I am oddly inspired by your box...  ;D

Did your Gpwiz come with all the cabling or did you buy a harness from ggg?

(Unless you just tore apart an old IDE cable.)

What's that piece you made to connect the leads between the switches and the GPwi?
(from radio shack?)

bmrust

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece Lap/Desktop controller
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2007, 05:44:51 pm »
What's that piece you made to connect the leads between the switches and the GPwi?
(from radio shack?)

That's exactly what I want to know....something like that would significantly clean up the cabling in my box...which currently looks a lot like the bottom of my closet.

What is that thing?!

psychotech

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece Lap/Desktop controller
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2007, 06:16:44 pm »
What are those? Seriously?

Here in Europe, at least, they're just the usual stuff like the scart connectors... Anyway, we call them sugar bits,  obviously because of their shape, but still they're just a kind of connection strip where you screw your leads in place...

Here's a (local (FI)) link, but I'm pretty sure you'll be able to buy them anywhere nowadays ;)

http://www.servcat.com/catalog.asp?product=95-9029

They're available for all the common wire diameters. Just ask for the euro connectors or the euro connection strips ..or, well sugar bit connectors...

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece Lap/Desktop controller
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2007, 08:36:35 pm »
The ide cable is a hacked up ide cable.  The white thing connecting the IDE cable and the buttons is called a terminal strip.  Oddly, as psychotech just pointed out they are more common in Europe than in the states.  I have used them in the pro audio world several times.  If you cant tell from the picture they are basically a bunch of steel tubes with a set-screw in each end so that you can slip in
the cable and tighten it in place with the screw.  They are grouped together into an insulator so that their is no contact between the seperate channels.  They were a little tricky to use with the ribbon cable because of it's little wire, but I made it work by stripping about 1/2" of the wire and then twisting it back onto itself (over the remaining shield) so that when I screwed it in I was clamping a thicker wire.


BUT here's the cool part... I ordered them from GGG when I ordered my other equipment.

Here they are:
http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=69&products_id=201

On an update note:

I just recieved the parts for the second box and will probably construct it sometime this week. 

Later,
Brian

« Last Edit: March 06, 2007, 08:48:45 pm by bfauska »

knave

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece Lap/Desktop controller
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 01:20:23 pm »
Thanks,

You using "Joytokey" to send your keypresses?

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece Lap/Desktop controller
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 09:41:30 pm »
I haven't had to use Joy2key yet, not because I have a keyboard on my laptop, but because the only things I couldn't control with a joystick so far are AtomicFE and Nestopia.  In Nestopia I can use a Joystick, but I am limited to 20 (i think) buttons, this is only a problem for 2 player games, and even then I think that I can configure it so that it works, I just need to map the buttons right.  I am trying to avoid any extra software, and would love to use AtomicFE so I may try to persuade them to incorporate native JS compatibility.

I am currently working on the box for player 2, my plans have stepped down on the "cool factor" a little, but I think that I should still be able to connect them in an effective way.

Later,
Brian

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece Lap/Desktop controller
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2007, 10:38:32 pm »
WELL,

I "Add-a-player"ized my cp.  I was going to have them hook together with the connectors directly and have the cable be optional.  Well after giving it some thought, I decided that the  panel would be too small for 2 players to use comfortably, so I made the connection require the cable.

I had to totally jumble up my wiring job to get it to work with the wires I had, so I am not too proud of the wiring, but it functions.  I also haven't mounted the connector on the player 1 box either, but I will eventually.

Here are the pics.

This is the two boxes hooked together and ready to play


This is the new messy wiring job in box 1


This is the inside of box 2, I skipped the hinge on this one and I think I like the look when it is closed better because of it.


I still need to come up with some art for an overlay, but by the time I do that I may have my guest-room/theater back and then maybe I'll just build an upright.

Later,
Brian

bfauska

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Version 2.0
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2007, 10:31:40 pm »
I got tired of the MDF/no artwork version of my controls so.....


Introducing version 2.0  :woot


The top is 3/8" Plexiglas back-painted red.  It's hard to tell from the photos but the top's perfectly flush (it looks like the wood is higher because of the plexi thickness.)  The access to the 4/8-way switching is accomplished by removing the back (not bottom) of the box and sliding out the plexi (I am looking at ways to change this but I don't want a hole in the bottom of the box.)



The finished box is player 2.  I finished it first because it had fewer parts.  I am not sure of the paint I want for player 1 (player 2 is less orange in real life.)  I may leave it clear, but that would mean cleaning up the wiring (probably soldering) which I may do anyway.



I had originally planned on reusing the parts for my full size cab, but now I wonder if I could sell these finished products when I am ready for the cab and use that money for my new parts.  I think that the finished product is worth more than the sum of it's parts (at least the parts I paid for.)  I think that this would be the best outcome since I think these are too nice to end up in the garbage when I am done.  At the very least maybe I'll post the boxes (empty) for free in the BST when I move on to a cabinet.

Thanks for looking, as allways I would love feedback.
L8R,
Brian

leapinlew

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2007, 10:35:04 pm »
Very nice!

The only thing you need is black carriage bolts.

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2007, 10:48:05 pm »
They're countersunk screws, but I do agree that black would be better.  I also think that polishing the little bit of countersink that shows would be good.  I didn't like the idea of the heads sticking up so the countersink gets them flush.  I didn't like the look of philips or slotted screws (wow, that would be asking for trouble slotted screws with a plexiglas cp) so I went with square drive.  I think they look cleaner than the other options.  The only other head I think I would like is spanner, it's the security head with only two little holes. 

L8R,
B

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2007, 10:50:02 pm »
Thats really neat.

Where'd you get the 3/8" plexi?

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2007, 11:00:09 pm »
I work in theatre and plexiglas is frequently used in scenery, so we had some sitting around.  Too much actually we were about to toss it out.  I also had some 1/2" from my dad that I sort of traded with my shop for the 3/8".  I can't remember who our primary supplier is, but I know that sometimes we use TAP plastics.


I don't know if anybody is curious but, to cut my holes I used the old mdf cp as a template and used a flush-cut router bit to cut the plexiglas.  I also ran a rabbit around the outter edge that goes into the dado in the pine.  I did that on the table saw.  The little latches that hold the back panel on work great and when the panel is all closed up you can't see any fasteners except the ones on the Joystick.  I am really happy with the outcome on these and that is not normal for me.  I usually only see the flaws in my projects.

L8R,
B

leapinlew

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2007, 11:13:44 pm »
I don't know if anybody is curious but, to cut my holes I used the old mdf cp as a template and used a flush-cut router bit to cut the plexiglas. 

Thats the way to do it. good job.

beardawg252002

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2007, 01:03:37 pm »
really nice job on those controllers.  i made one for my xbox 360 and it is so much more fun to play arcade games now.  enjoy!!
XBLA - Paperboy, SF2, TMNT 1989, Galaga, Frogger, Pac Man, Dig Dug, Rush'n Attack, Xevious, Cloning Clyde, New Rally-X, Defender, UNO, Joust, Gauntlet, Double Dragon, Centipede/Millipede, Pinball FX

javeryh

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2007, 01:37:57 pm »
Wow - excellent job on those things.  They look great and you clearly have some skills around the shop.   :cheers:

shardian

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2007, 02:32:57 pm »
your original looks way better than my "nerd stick".
The new ones are excellent!

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2007, 04:55:16 pm »
Thanks for all the compliments guys, I have had more than a little practice in a shop and with odd materials.  I have been working on theatre and movie sets and museum type displays since college, and theatre is what I went to college for (building and designing, not acting.)  The people who really impress me are the folks who do totally unrelated things professionally and only touch tools as a hobby.  When I worked at a high school in the theatre department trying to teach "non-tool" people how to use tools was about the hardest part of the job.  People who can learn to use tools as just a hobby and make a good product are rare, but apparently most of them have projects here.  So much good work  :applaud: for us all.  :cheers:

Thanks again,
Brian

Edited for spelling
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 04:56:55 pm by bfauska »

Chris G

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2007, 02:32:26 pm »
Hey nice work, Brian!  I thought you were in an apartment?  Where you got room for all dem tools?

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2007, 04:06:18 pm »
I do live in an apartment... and work in an office, but this is the view out of my office window



That's the shop floor at the Theatre I work at, and I can play down there in nonworking hours.
That doesn't include the part of the shop directly below my office where we do all the welding, electronics, hydraulics, and pneumatics.

Chris G

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2007, 05:38:38 pm »
Aha!  Very nice job perk.

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2007, 01:29:20 am »
DAMN :banghead: :angry: :hissy:

I started painting the clear cp last night.  My wife was hoping that I would make this one pink but I didn't want a red one and a pink one so I decided that black with pink graphics was a good idea.  So...  I printed out a copy of my old art but with a Ms. Dorkstick label instead of a Dorkstick label.  Then I taped off the whole piece of plexi and carefully cut out the shape of the graphic so I could remove all the non-art and paint black then peel off the art and paint the pink.  I have done similar with radio controlled car bodies in my youth.  I applied the first coat of paint last night before leaving work and when I looked at it this morning there were spots of clear still around all the tape.  So... I went downstairs afterwork today and added a 2nd coat of black paint, and went to dinner.  When I got back I discovered that the second coat of paint had totally bubbled and ruined the first coat.  I think this is because any time somebody posts a question about painting the back side of plexi I respond that it's the easiest thing in the world, no problems, looks great every time.  I AM A BIG FAT LIAR, you can screw it up, I am not sure what went wrong, but I think that I grabbed a different can of spray paint today for the 2nd coat and it had some effed up reaction with the first coat.  Knowing that whatever I did to remove the paint was also going to remove the masking, I removed the masking first to see what it would have looked like.  POOP, that's what it was going to look like.  I should have had the graphics cut out of vinyl.  Anyway here is the pic of the bubbled paint, and what would have been the graphics.


THEN... when I went to remove the paint, the stripper (not the kind with money their G-string, the paint stripper) totally jacked up the plexi.  :angry: :timebomb: :hissy: :censored:

Oh, well.  So be it.  I guess I'll have a frosted CP.  I sanded the CP down and after several passes I have a frosted plexi CP.


ISSSALLLRIGHT, I got my cabinet the other day so really this was just me trying to finish up an unfinished project.  I am not even sure if these will live any longer I may strip out all the hardware to use in the cabinet.  Unless somebody wants to buy the pair of them for the price of replacement hardware.  I'll have to think about a good price and then add it to the BST section.  Anybody think I should charge something different than the retail price of the buttons, joysticks, and controller?  I didn't pay for any other materials, but there is definitely some time involved.

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2007, 02:29:44 am »
Great shop.  I guess you don't have to worry about toxic smells and/or overspray.  Good recovery on the second coat mess-up.  Regarding selling your controllers, I'd just give them to your brother, or a neighbor.  If you try to sell them, you will get miffed when you get only $0.78 cents per hour for your labor. 

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2007, 03:04:00 am »
You can't see it in either of the pictures but we even have an OSHA approved spray booth.

As far a selling them goes, I am really interested in getting enough money to buy slightly different versions of the components I made these out of.  Sort of like a trade up kind of thing.  I get parts, make them into something usefull and then sell it so I can buy parts that are a little cooler.  I need to research the price for my next setup and see if that seems like a reasonable price.  I may even consider replacing the frosted plexi with a matching red one like player 2 has if it would help these sell.

Thanks for the compliment on the recovery, I actually think that it could look really cool this way with some LEDs inside, I may try it just to play around.

javeryh

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2007, 11:11:06 am »
That's a great looking arcade stick.  I actually think the frosted plexi looks better than the artwork you originally planned... it's like modern style or something.  One suggestion - take out the 4 screws that are holding the joystick in place and spray them black or better yet use four of THESE (they come in black and cost about $.05 each at Home Depot).


bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2007, 12:00:55 pm »
I will probably go black with the screws.  I like that they are flush with the surface now, and adding the caps would make them into little bumps, so paint is probably the way to go.

Chris G

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2007, 12:08:22 pm »
Yo B,

Looks like you put a little "comfort design" effort into your button layout.  What center offsets did you use?  Looks like around 1/4"-1/2" up between 1 and 2, then maybe 1/8"-1/4" back down between 2 and 3?  I'm doing something similar on mine and am being all Visio-anal about it while I'm at work.  (You probably just eye-balled, right?)  :)

Thanks,
Chris

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2007, 12:30:40 pm »
Eyeball, shmyball.

I used CAD and they are based on a radius. I made some PDFs of the layout if you want them.  The first one is just the buttons full size on a 8-1/2x11" paper, if you print it 100% not scaled to fit the page it should work perfectly for a template.  The second one is dimensions if you want to use it as reference for you layout, it will also print right at full size, but takes 11x17 paper.  The two rows of buttons are not concentric arcs, one is a copy of the other offset by the shown amount, they both have a 6" radius arc.

Don't know if it helps or not, but at least now I have an answer and post to point people to when the allways popular button placement questions come up.

Chris G

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2007, 12:49:59 pm »
Ok, that's way more thought than I would have expected anyone to have put into this.  ;D

So this begs the question - why a 6" diameter?  Is that the distance from your wrist joint to your finger tips or something?  And for that matter, why a circle to begin with?

Thanks for posting the files.

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2007, 03:13:23 pm »
Wrist to fingertips with arched fingers ;D

I was doing it in cad anyway, I draft as a major part of my job so it didn't take anymore time to do that then doing anything else, short of just picking some totally arbitrary spacing.  The dimensions and stuff weren't done until I made the PDF this morning, I just printed full size, taped it to my wood, centerpunched and drilled.

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2007, 03:28:10 pm »
short of just picking some totally arbitrary spacing

Hey, I resemble that statement!  I have a feeling my layout's pretty close to yours, though.  I'm on test panel #3 right now - hopefully nearing a final...

javeryh

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2007, 03:29:09 pm »
Awesome.  Thanks for posting the layouts - if I ever build a 6 button CP I'm definitely using this.   :cheers:

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2007, 03:45:14 pm »
I REALLY like the frosted look. It is neat to get just a peek of the internals to get you interested.

bfauska

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2007, 06:10:33 pm »
Awesome.  Thanks for posting the layouts - if I ever build a 6 button CP I'm definitely using this.   :cheers:
Thanks, I posted it hoping it could be helpful and I will be flattered to hear anybody uses it.

I REALLY like the frosted look. It is neat to get just a peek of the internals to get you interested.
Yeah, the look is growing on me, I'm just concerned about the dourability.  It will hold dirt fairly well because it is rough, and in spite of it being basically covered in scratches (frosted with a sander) it will show new scratches fairly well (experience during the sanding process.) 

I am really considering putting some LEDs in to see what that does, it may mean I have to treat the inside of the box for a more or less reflective/diffuse surface, but it could still be fun to play.

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2007, 08:09:42 pm »

I am really considering putting some LEDs in to see what that does, it may mean I have to treat the inside of the box for a more or less reflective/diffuse surface, but it could still be fun to play.
lol
since led lights came out i wanna put em in everything :D

ive been thinking lots about a quick connect system for cps recently, did it occur to use anything 'job' related at all.
the possibility of rack mounted stuff becomes a possibility then.
 5 pin dmx for example, i know thats only 5 core but yknow theres loads of other types of connectors, just thinking cos of their durability.
easy to make multicores up if you get me
got COLOR codes from projects, post them here

add stuff to the uk wiki section

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2007, 09:02:20 pm »
ive been thinking lots about a quick connect system for cps recently, did it occur to use anything 'job' related at all.
the possibility of rack mounted stuff becomes a possibility then.
 5 pin dmx for example, i know thats only 5 core but yknow theres loads of other types of connectors, just thinking cos of their durability.
easy to make multicores up if you get me

I just received a catalog from Digi-Key and the first section is nothing by all kinds of connectors.  400 pages :o  Plenty to choose from anything from the standard molex to edge connectors to chip sockets.

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2007, 09:32:08 pm »
cheers kaytrim
ill be coming back to you for some recommendations as im not sure of my requirements yet.
i shouldve explained in my post ,me and bafuska are kinda in the same industry so i was asking for his thoughts on some stuff we use in work, but again cheers as i'm not set on what ill use.

ta
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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2007, 09:46:33 pm »
I actually found the DB25 at work.  It was used on an old custom made piece of scenery automation.  We tend to use whatever is readily available for all of our automation connections.  I did look at some of our MIL style connectors, but they screw together and that seems excessive and time consuming.  If I changed them out I think I would change to a DB15 I use 13 conductors out of the 25 right now and running a 5v would put me at 14.  The price of DB15 connectors at Mouser is not too bad.

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Re: "Add-a-player" 2 piece controller VERSION 2
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2007, 08:54:23 pm »
If I solder all those wires to clean up the rats nest that's in there now, do you think I will loose some of the sale price?

  
 

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