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Author Topic: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 05/23: Carpet Install)  (Read 8963 times)

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Dmod

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Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 05/23: Carpet Install)
« on: September 20, 2007, 02:30:15 pm »
Since completing my first scratch-built upright cab earlier this year, I have been endeavoring to find a way to add driving capability for my kids (5 and 8 ).  As a test run, I purchased a Logitech wheel, clamped it onto my CP, dropped the pedals on the floor and let the kids have at it.  They LOVED it.

Lacking the space for a dedicated driving cab, and frustrated with the ergonomics of having to connect and disconnect the wheel, I started looking for an easier way to transition between a driving and upright setup.

The solution I settled on is a custom built sidecar (modelled after the styling of the California Speed and Cruisn cabinets) that can be rolled up to the cabinet or stowed.

At 4 feet long and 20 inches wide, the sidecar isn't exactly small, but it's small enough to park alongside the cabinet when not in use.  In order to clear the control panel, the seat is higher than most driving seats (about 2 feet off the floor) and it took some care to find a style for the steering mount that would fit with the profile of the cabinet and control panel.

Here's the sketchup mock-up.  I've already started building it.  It's probably about 30% done.  I'll get some pics up a little bit later.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 11:35:25 pm by Dmod »
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mountain

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2007, 02:47:20 pm »
Very interesting. I hope your monitor is not angled back too much. Be sure to post some pictures!

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 03:27:39 pm »
You all everybody! Oh, wrong Driveshaft. ;D

Interesting concept. Can't wait to see some build pics.

Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 04:45:30 pm »
Very interesting. I hope your monitor is not angled back too much.

Here's a picture of the cabinet from my cabinet project thread.  It's a Lusid cabinet with a minor change to the bottom front.  The monitor is parallel to the front of the cabinet which turned out to be terrible for window glare, but works out well for this project.

You all everybody!  Oh, wrong Driveshaft.  ;D
Yup.  My homage to Charlie and Lost for one of the coolest fake band names ever.   ;)  I almost said the coolest but that title belongs to Spinal Tap since their amps go to eleven.

I'll try to get some pics of the build up tonight.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 04:49:37 pm by Dmod »
My Projects:
Suspended Animation Scratch-built Cab
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Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2007, 01:22:18 am »
Here's a few pictures of the build so far.  The base is constructed out of 8x1 inch pine boards and 5/8 inch MDF.  The bottom is constructed as a platform and topped with MDF to keep it rigid.

For the seat support, I didn't want the weight to sit on the outer sides and didn't really trust battens so I added another small platform on top to support the seat.  In this way the weight is transferred down directly onto the lower platform instead of on the sides.

In order to mount the seat (and be able to remove it later), I'll need to cut a hole in the lower platform that's large enough to manipulate some bolts that will go into the seat base.

I currently have two casters and two 2x4's as legs.  The thought was that the 2x4's would prevent the base from sliding around and that some handles could be added to lift the end off the floor and drag it into position.  I can already tell by the weight of the base that the kids won't be able to move it easily so I'm going to need replace the legs with additional casters before this is over.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 01:33:45 am by Dmod »
My Projects:
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leapinlew

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft - Updated With Initial Build Pics
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2007, 08:38:11 am »
Pretty cool dmod - I'm curious to see how it all turns out.

theCoder

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft - Updated With Initial Build Pics
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2007, 09:26:24 am »
What are you planning for the seat?  I used a really nice car seat from my local wrecking yard on the Xcelerator project.  Regardless of the make/model, all seats were $25.  If you're thinking of going this route, look for a relatively newly wrecked sports or upscale car.  Mine was from a Ford Probe.  I picked up both seats, to have a spare in case the one in the cab got ruined.  Both are very comfortable. 

Smart move putting the wheels on the front.  I did the same on mine.  They really help when moving it around.

Good luck with your build.

IG-88

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft - Updated With Initial Build Pics
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2007, 11:50:43 am »
Cool idea. I agree with Mountain tho, for the little guys, the angle of the monitor may be a prob from the looks of the drawing.
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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft - Updated With Initial Build Pics
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2007, 04:31:35 pm »
Innovative idea & looking good so far, keep us updated of course!  ;)

Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft - Updated With Initial Build Pics
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2007, 02:34:22 am »
What are you planning for the seat? 

Here's a few pics of the seat.  In keeping with the Cruisn theme, it's a Happ/Midway seat that I bought from divemaster.  I also bought the slider which gives about 4" of seat movement.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the top piece which bolts onto the seat so I'll have to build something out of MDF to mount the seat to the slider.

Another surprise with the seat were a couple of hollow cavities where speakers can be mounted.  I'm not planning on adding speakers since I've already got the Klipsch speakers and sub in the cabinet.  I'm still undecided about what to do with these spaces but I think I'll probably cut some Lexan covers and mount some artwork there.  I think I might be able to add some LEDs to backlight it.

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ARTIFACT

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 9/21/07: Seat Pictures)
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2007, 07:54:08 pm »
OMG awesome... :)

Woah a driving cab from scratch... Nice to see Sketchup Action going on!
Good luck with it. Looking forward to follow this one.

Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Update 9/29/07: Inside the Logitech Driving Force Pro)
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2007, 03:40:38 am »
I've been flip-flopping on whether or not to try decasing my Logitech Driving Force Pro Wheel for this project or just create a clamp-on mounting for it and leave it in the case.  In the sketchup picture at the top of the thread, you can see it in it's case.

I had previously opened the Logitech wheel to take a look around.  I posted some pics in another thread while trying to understand better how this thing works.  In that thread I discovered it's an optical wheel that is physically restriced to a limited turning angle.

I've found a few downsides to decasing this thing.  For one, the wheel uses an interesting rack and pinion setup to allow 900 degree steering for some PC games.  The rack slides in a lubricated plastic groove that is part of the case.  A spring loaded stop slides in and out to convert between 900 and 200 degree steering.  The spring mount and track for the stop are also part of the case.

For another, where the steering wheel protrudes from the case, the plastic case is very thin.  If I decase the wheel, I'll have to come up with something similar to hide the gear case.  I'll also have to replace the case-mounted rocking shift knob with an arcade shifter.  This last one isn't quite critical because the buttons on the steering wheel can be used for shift buttons as well.

A final problem was that I couldn't quite figure out how the steering wheel is separated from the gear box.  But I've solved this mystery and show how this is done in another post.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 11:22:03 am by Dmod »
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art-ki-tech

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Update 9/29/07: Inside the Logitech Driving Force Pro)
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2007, 11:21:18 am »
This Looks Very interesting!! G :applaud:ood luck!
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Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Update 9/29/07: Inside the Logitech Driving Force Pro)
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2007, 08:37:41 pm »
Instructions for Separation of the Logitech Steering Wheel from the Gear Case:

Step 1:  The Driving Force Pro contains a Logitech emblem at the center with 8 small screws.  Using an allen wrench, it is easy to remove these screws.

Step 2:  Using the smallest jeweller's screwdriver you can find, insert the end of the screwdriver in the groove where the emblem meets the black plastic wheel and gently begin prying up the edge of the emblem.

Warning!  The emblem is made of very thin aluminum and will bend easily.   If you try this, you run the risk of damaging the emblem.

Try to extert pressure evenly by slowly moving the screwdriver around the edge of the emblem.  As you pull up, you'll hear a tearing sound.  This is a foam adhesive used to hold the emblem onto the steering wheel.

Go slowly with this.  I had my emblem about 1/3 of the way off, and became too exuberant trying to finish the job by pulling it off and ended up bending it.  Luckily the bend was minor and I was able to bang it out with the handle of a screwdriver.

Step 3:  After removing the emblem, there are 4 Philips Head screws that hold the wheel onto the steering column.  Remove these.

Step 4:  Gently twist and pull the wheel up to separate it from the column.  There is an 8-wire connector that runs between the steering column and the wheel, so don't yank the wheel off.

Step 5:  Grasp both ends of the connector and gently pull the white headers apart to separate the wheel from the base.

Congratulations!  You're done.   :)
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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Update 9/29/07: Inside the Logitech Driving Force Pro)
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2007, 10:32:50 pm »
It might be too late for this advice, but take a whole lot of pictures from different angles.  You never know which one will be needed when you go to reassemble.  How are you going to hold it all together behind the dash?  Does the entire assembly hold together as one piece?  Good luck with this aspect of the build.  If you can get this right, the rest should be easy.

Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Update 9/29/07: Inside the Logitech Driving Force Pro)
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2007, 03:10:14 am »
It might be too late for this advice, but take a whole lot of pictures from different angles.  You never know which one will be needed when you go to reassemble.  How are you going to hold it all together behind the dash?  Does the entire assembly hold together as one piece?  Good luck with this aspect of the build.  If you can get this right, the rest should be easy.

Thanks for the advice.  I've been trying to follow it.  I'm still not committed to trying to mount without the case.  I think if I do, it will be pretty easy to get 200 degree steering to work but 900 degree will be a lot harder.  It might be possible to use only the bottom half of the case to mount the wheel but this will take up a lot of room if I want to add a Happ gear shifter.

Either way, I think I've got to do it in one piece in order to keep the control board and whee together.  I've got some ideas on how to make this happen but I'll probably spend the better part of this week looking into it further and further dissecting the Logitech DFP.

In other news... I was able to spend some time today on the build and made some good progress.  More pics to come...
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Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (9/30/07: Build Update With Pics)
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2007, 12:04:33 am »
I was able to attack some more of the woodwork on Saturday.  I completed the sides on so now you can really see it start to take shape.  I also routed the sides and the seat base for T-molding and I was able to cut out the access for the seat.

Finally, I rolled/dragged the sidecar through the house and into the gameroom for a test fit.  Looks like it's going to work out great.  The seat still isn't mounted and will be raised a couple of inches.

To address the previous concerns about the monitor angle, I tried snapping a few pics from the seat.  While the 15 degree tilt on the monitor may not be optimal, it looks like it's going to work out just fine.

I wasn't really worried though... my kids will play Super Mario Bros on a 3" screen so a 15 degree tilt on a 27" monitor shouldn't really pose any problems at all.

Enjoy the pics.
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Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (9/30/07: Build Update With Pics)
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2007, 03:24:27 pm »
It's been a little while since I posted an update. 

I've spent the last few weeks thinking about adding a pinball machine to my gameroom.  That little thought spiraled into an obsession to find the 'perfect' machine and figure out some way to make everything fit.

Well, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Simpsons Party Pinball this weekend.  It's in almost new condition and doesn't require much work except replacing a few lamps.  I spent a lot of time this week trying to understand how to clean and maintain it, and I feel like I'm finally getting back to a point where I can concentrate on finishing my Driveshaft project.

Items left to complete:
(1)  Seat slider mount and assembly - This involves constructing something out of wood to mount the seat to the slider base
(2)  Wheel mount - My current plan for this is to remove the wheel from the case and mount it to a horizontal board running between the cabinet sides.  I'll add a wood stop to limit the turning radius of the wheel.  This will mean the wheel will only operate in 200 degree mode, which isn't optimal but will (hopefully) work out fine.
(3)  Wheel enclosure -  This just requires cutting some MDF to complete the cabinet.  For the front, where the wheel sticks out, I've purchased some hardboard which I'll mount either to a frame or will glue up to a piece of MDF.  To cover the hardboard, I'm thinking about using some adhesive vinyl from either Happs or Parts Express.

Will post additional pics as I make more progress.

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Driveshaft Arcade Seat Platform

Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/19/07: Seat Assembly)
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2007, 11:38:36 am »
Seat Assembly

Finally some progress to report. 

I came up with a strategy for mounting the arcade seat to the metal slider.  Since the mounting holes for the seat are underneath, I needed to find a way to raise the seat above the slider base to have room for the seat's mounting bolts.

This was accomplished by builiding a small wooden frame out of 2"x1" pine.  The rails for the frame run against the sides of the metal slider base.  Screw holes on the sides allow the rails to be secured.  The cross bars for the frame sit directly outside the mounting bolts that hold the slider rails to the base.  These mounting bolts add additional security to prevent the frame from sliding forward or backward on the base.

To mount the seat to the frame, a piece of MDF was cut and mounted to the rails using drywall screws.  After mounting the MDF, the newly constructed seat base was lifted off the slider and holes were drilled to align with the mounting holes in the bottom of the seat.  The base was then bolted to the bottom of the seat.

The final picture here shows the seat placed back on the mounting assembly.  In the picture, you can see that the white knob that is used to adjust the seat position actually sticks out past the front of the seat.  This was a mistake and was corrected later by shifting the seat forward by 3" and remounting the seat to the base.



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Driveshaft Arcade Seat Platform

Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/19/07: Seat Assembly)
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2007, 11:47:29 am »
Mounting the Seat

After constructing the seat base, mounting to the cabinet was a simple matter of drilling holes for the slider base and attaching the slider to the cabinet using the included bolts.  This was a simple process thanks to the access hole that I cut through the platform earlier.

The seat was then raised into position and set back onto the slider base and... voila.

The metal slider base will be boxed in and hidden by some additional MDF.  Mounting screws will pass through the outside of the box, through the slider, and then into the wooden frame to keep the seat securely mounted to the slider.
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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/20/07: Steering Test Fit)
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2007, 02:00:18 am »
Test Fitting the Steering Wheel

For those who are interested... here are a few miscellaneous pictures test fitting some of the pieces for the steering wheel mounting.  I've decased the wheel as mentioned in an earlier post and mounted it to an MDF shelf that runs across the cabinet.  It's held on with a few 1" corner brackets.  The top of the cabinet is also mounted with corner brackets.

The front panel of the steering cabinet has been cut out with a jigsaw to allow the steering column to pass through.  To get enough clearance for the wheel, I need a very thin piece of wood  (~1/8") to hide the gear box.  Rather than rout the back of front panel to 1/8", I decided to use a piece of hardwood thinking that would be stronger than a thin piece of MDF.  The hardwood will be added later.

The front panel has just been taped on for now to test for fit.

To limit the range of motion for the steering column, two wide corner brackets (actually these are left over mounting panel clips) were mounted opposing one another.  I figured two would be stronger than one, and hopefully retain their shape better than a single bracket.  The metal brackets have a bit of give that will hopefully limit stress on the steering wheel column.

A few other 1" corner brackets were mounted to provide some strain relief for the wiring to the control board.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 02:06:57 am by Dmod »
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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/19/07: Seat Assembly)
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2007, 12:46:35 pm »
Real cool idea.  Too bad I don't have enough room for something like this.  My son would go nuts over it.  One thing, now you are going to want a bigger monitor. :laugh2:

TTFN
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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/21/07: Construction Pics)
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2007, 02:00:23 am »
Got Glue

Was able to glue up most of the missing pieces today and was able to roll it back into the gameroom for some photos.

(1,2) The first two pictures show the cabinet from the side with the seat slider in the full back and full forward positions.

(3) Box hiding the seat slider.  Blue tape was used to hold pieces of the box together while the glue set.

(4) Steering control panel.  The front panel was routed about 1/2" on each side and a piece of hardboard was cut to fit and inset into the panel.  The hole for the steering wheel was drilled with a 2" hole saw.  Bondo will be added to fill the recessed areas around the hardboard and the entire control panel will be wrapped in vinyl.  I still may choose to add a Happ Hi/Lo shifter.  I haven't decided.

(5) View from the back of the cabinet.  Control board and wheel have been removed at this point.  A small panel will be cut to fill the rear opening and held in place with clips to allow access to the wiring and control board.
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Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/21/07: Construction Pics)
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2007, 02:25:52 am »
Here's some gratuitous pictures of the gameroom with the seat both in front of the cabinet and pushed into the corner.

My new TSPP machine is also prominently displayed.

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theCoder

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/20/07: Steering Test Fit)
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2007, 09:49:37 pm »
Test Fitting the Steering Wheel
To limit the range of motion for the steering column, two wide corner brackets (actually these are left over mounting panel clips) were mounted opposing one another.  I figured two would be stronger than one, and hopefully retain their shape better than a single bracket.  The metal brackets have a bit of give that will hopefully limit stress on the steering wheel column.
For what it's worth, I'm on my third wheel on my cab.  My son keeps whipping it so hard, the 270 degree stop broke on one, and the bushings wore out on the second.  I'm convinced that these consumer grade lap/desktop wheels are not strong enough to handle the forces generated by an excited kid when hard mounted.  To be fair, it gets probably 2-4 hours of hardcore playtime per week.  I hope you have better luck (or a gentler kid).

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/20/07: Steering Test Fit)
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2007, 12:35:51 am »
I hope you have better luck (or a gentler kid).

Thanks, Coder.  My kids are still pretty young so I'm not sure if that's better or worse.  By the time they have the strength to break it, this wheel won't be available anymore and I'll have to come up with a new mounting strategy.  Of course I'm probably underestimating the destructive strength of my 5 year old...

Are you running any MAME driving games on your cab or just using the XBOX?  Have you found any need for a dedicated hi/low or 4-gear shifter?  Right now I'm thinking to just rely on the paddle buttons on the back of the wheel for shift up/down.  Wondering if I need to cut another hole in the control panel for an alternate shift control.

I don't own an XBOX right now and was just planning on using MAME and possibly augment with a PC game or two.  Mistake?
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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/21/07: Construction and Gameroom Pics)
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2007, 09:54:46 am »
Thanks, Coder.  My kids are still pretty young so I'm not sure if that's better or worse.  By the time they have the strength to break it, this wheel won't be available anymore and I'll have to come up with a new mounting strategy.  Of course I'm probably underestimating the destructive strength of my 5 year old...
Initially, I'd be more concerned about your over zealous brother or friend.

Are you running any MAME driving games on your cab or just using the XBOX?  Have you found any need for a dedicated hi/low or 4-gear shifter?  Right now I'm thinking to just rely on the paddle buttons on the back of the wheel for shift up/down.  Wondering if I need to cut another hole in the control panel for an alternate shift control.

I don't own an XBOX right now and was just planning on using MAME and possibly augment with a PC game or two.  Mistake?

Mame is on there, but really doesn't get used.  Mame driving games are not really up to par with what you get with a modern console or Windows platform.  I'm running a mod'd old school Xbox console.  The paddles on the wheel works well, although I had originally planned on putting a shifter on a panel at seat level on the right side; similar to a real car.  Unfortunately I got it running before building that component and got too caught up in playing it.  I'm now pretty used to using the paddles. 

Mistake is a strong word, but, there really is no comparison of Mame driving games vs. PC/Console driving games.  Assuming you are running a PC in there, I'd consider some Windows based driving games.  It will be a lot simpler hardware wise and there is a large selection of good cartoon type drivers (like Midtown Madness) and driving sims (like Need for Speed).  Also, if you're into it, there are some good flying games available that "feel right" played sitting down.  On the web you can find "No-CD" hacks of most windows games that allow you to load and run your games from the hard drive, no CD required after initial configuration.  Be careful though, some come with viruses and the sites are usually sponsored by porn vendors.

Great progress so far.  Is the pinball machine brand new, or just new to you?  I'd love to own a real pin, but am a little concerned about the initial cost and ongoing maintenance.

Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/21/07: Construction and Gameroom Pics)
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2007, 12:27:22 pm »
Mistake is a strong word, but, there really is no comparison of Mame driving games vs. PC/Console driving games.  Assuming you are running a PC in there, I'd consider some Windows based driving games.  It will be a lot simpler hardware wise and there is a large selection of good cartoon type drivers (like Midtown Madness) and driving sims (like Need for Speed).  Also, if you're into it, there are some good flying games available that "feel right" played sitting down.  On the web you can find "No-CD" hacks of most windows games that allow you to load and run your games from the hard drive, no CD required after initial configuration.  Be careful though, some come with viruses and the sites are usually sponsored by porn vendors.

Great progress so far.  Is the pinball machine brand new, or just new to you?  I'd love to own a real pin, but am a little concerned about the initial cost and ongoing maintenance.

Thanks for the advice.  Hadn't heard of Midtown Madness before.  I'll take a look into that.

I tried mounting up my steering wheel without the metal support that was in the case and it feels kind of flimsy with too much front to back rocking.  Going to have to work out a way to put that back in and secure the wheel a bit better.

I purchased the pinball from someone local who was the original owner and had it in his home for about a year and a half.  It's in like new condition except for two or three very minor scratches on the cabinet.  While shopping, I found that "almost new" pinballs can be found fairly readily and you can typically save around $1000 off the price of a new machine.  Even with the discount, though, it's still a pretty big investment.  Prices on older machines have a huge range depending on the popularity of the title.

As far as maintenance, I've been told that it's fairly simple to rebuild/replace the mechanical parts and lamps.  You've got to wipe down the inside about once a month.  I think as long as there's no physical damage to the playfield/artwork, the kind of maintenance required isn't too much worse than what I put into tweaking my MAME cab.

The TSPP is definitely addictive.  I have a couple of friends who collect pins and they tried to warn me off it.  It seems most people after buying one pin start shopping for more.  I'm out of space (fortunately or unfortunately). 

But if I got rid of that air hockey... hmmm...   ;)

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blueznl

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/21/07: Construction and Gameroom Pics)
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2007, 04:59:44 pm »
Totally unrelated... sort of  :laugh2: What's with that dancemat? What program are you running?

Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/21/07: Construction and Gameroom Pics)
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2007, 05:10:58 pm »
Totally unrelated... sort of  :laugh2: What's with that dancemat? What program are you running?

The dancepad was for my daughter.  She seemed to like that more than the arcade games.  It would drive me crazy though because she'd play the same song over and over and over again. 

Not much room for it now.   ;) 

The program is called stepmania.  It plays a lot like DDR.
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Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/24/07: Steering Control Panel)
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2007, 03:30:30 am »
I got some more work done on the steering control panel today.  The first thing I had to do was wrestle with finding the best mounting position for the control board with respect to the hole in the steering control panel.  This should have been easy but turned out to be a huge pain due to the location and inaccessibilty of the corner brackets.

I tried removing the corner brackets and experimented with some cabinet latch clips but it didn't work out the way I hoped.  I'll probably stop by Lowes tomorrow and pick up some different clips.  If all else fails, I think I came up with corner bracket locations that are workable.

With the control board mounted, I needed to find a way to reinforce the steering wheel to avoid it rocking back and forth.  This was accomplished by cutting a 2x4 2" high and mounting it to the control board to brace the metal support that came with the steering wheel.  This solved the problem.  The brace is held in place by drywall screws under the board.





If you look carefully, you can see a little bit of masking tape holding the upper leaf switch closed.  This is necessary for the wheel's firmware to recognize that it is in 200 degree steering mode.  If you don't close this switch, the wheel powers on with two flashing LED's and its unresponsive.

Here's some pictures of the side view of the control panel after unscrewing it from the cabinet.



While I had it off, I decided to do a little patchwork around the hardboard.  I smothered it with Bondo, waited about 20 minutes, and then went at it with the orbital sander.  It came out nice and smooth.





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theCoder

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/24/07: Steering Control Panel)
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2007, 02:02:23 am »
While I had it off, I decided to do a little patchwork around the hardboard.  I smothered it with Bondo, waited about 20 minutes, and then went at it with the orbital sander.  It came out nice and smooth.
Ooh Bondo.  Great to work with and smells good too.  I don't think I'll ever go back to wood putty again.

You look like you're almost ready to paint.

Look'n good.

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/24/07: Steering Control Panel Pics)
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2007, 03:18:25 am »
[You look like you're almost ready to paint.

Look'n good.

Thanks.  I'm getting close.  :)

Cab is currently playable but there's lots of loose ends to tie up.  Hoping to complete the wood build by this weekend.  Still missing a couple of panels, and got to finish the Bondo touchup.

Carpet and vinyl have been ordered from Parts Express.
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Dmod

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/25/07: More Steering Control Panel Pics)
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2007, 03:11:46 am »
Here are some pictures of the change I made for attaching the control panel.  In the left corner, one of the corner brackets has been replaced with a new roller-pin catch clip.  The corresponding clip is mounted to the back of the control panel.




To mount, I simply lift the back lip of the control panel onto the rear corner bracket, swing the control panel down over the steering wheel and slide back so that the clips lock. 



With the steering wheel mounted, the panel cannot slide forward so it's actually pretty secure even without screwing in the corner brackets.  Here's some pics of the "finished" product with the steering wheel attached.





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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/25/07: More Steering Control Panel Pics)
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2007, 05:53:28 pm »
After experimenting with some more of the MAME racers last night, I found some games that are set up with one key (button) controlling high and low gear.  Since this won't work easily with the paddle switches, I decided to order an arcade shifter to the control panel.  The microswitch on the arcade shifter will be wired to the Logitech control board so it looks like a gamepad button.

To simplify things, in my front end, I'll have one set of games that use the shifter.  Another set of games will use "tiptronic" shifting (i.e. the paddle switches).  This should enable me to handle games with either shifting style.  The turbo button used on some games will be mapped onto one of the steering wheel buttons.

I haven't really checked yet but I'm hoping that games that expect a single button for high/low all use the same sense... for example, button pressed = high, button unpressed=low.  If not, I'm going to need to find a workaround or eliminate some games.

I also wonder if AHK can be used to remap the perceived switch behavior.  If so, it might be possible to use the paddle switch to emulate 4-gear tiptronic shifting.
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leapinlew

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/25/07: More Steering Control Panel Pics)
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2007, 12:50:01 pm »
After experimenting with some more of the MAME racers last night, I found some games that are set up with one key (button) controlling high and low gear.  Since this won't work easily with the paddle switches, I decided to order an arcade shifter to the control panel.  The microswitch on the arcade shifter will be wired to the Logitech control board so it looks like a gamepad button.

To simplify things, in my front end, I'll have one set of games that use the shifter.  Another set of games will use "tiptronic" shifting (i.e. the paddle switches).  This should enable me to handle games with either shifting style.  The turbo button used on some games will be mapped onto one of the steering wheel buttons.

I haven't really checked yet but I'm hoping that games that expect a single button for high/low all use the same sense... for example, button pressed = high, button unpressed=low.  If not, I'm going to need to find a workaround or eliminate some games.

I also wonder if AHK can be used to remap the perceived switch behavior.  If so, it might be possible to use the paddle switch to emulate 4-gear tiptronic shifting.

And here lies the biggest issue... on my driver - I mapped everything to one button and used a return to center shifter. End user experience was not that good. If I had to do it all again - I'd use a modded xbox instead of mame.

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/25/07: More Steering Control Panel Pics)
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2007, 04:44:36 pm »
If I had to do it all again - I'd use a modded xbox instead of mame.

Hmm... between you and theCoder that's two votes for xbox.  What mods are used to make the xbox cabinet friendly?  Can you slap a front end on it and run games directly off the hard drive?  I tried searching but I couldn't really get a good idea of how a modded xbox differed from just using a virgin xbox.  Is there any advantage to using an xbox over running games developed for windows?
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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 10/25/07: More Steering Control Panel Pics)
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2007, 02:14:05 pm »
So after playing around with a PC version of Crazy Taxi last night, I must concur that the playable 1980's era MAME racers don't really make the grade anymore.

Went by Frys this morning and picked up a Midway Arcade Treasure Deluxe Edition for the PC.  It was on clearance but they still got me for $19.99.  If that plays OK, I think it will keep us busy for a while...  SF Rush 2049, Rush the Rock, Hydro Thunder, Off Road Thunder, and some others. 

I'm trying to stick with shallow-depth arcade style drivers since they're short and kids/guests can have fun while taking turns playing.  Saw some downloadable demos for Midtown Madness and Need for Speed I can try as well.  Any other PC drivers that fit into the arcade style category?
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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 11/08/07: Gear Shift Software Solution)
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2007, 04:46:12 am »
And here lies the biggest issue... on my driver - I mapped everything to one button and used a return to center shifter. End user experience was not that good. If I had to do it all again - I'd use a modded xbox instead of mame.

Gear Shift Software Solution

Some good news to report on this front...  :)

Using only the Happ Hi/Low shifter with a single microswitch and the Logitech Wingman software which can be used to configure the behavior of a Logitech game controller, I'm able to replicate the following three modes of shifting:

(1) "Taito" - Single button when held places car in low gear and in high gear when released.
(2) "Jaleco" - One button to switch into high gear and a second button to switch into low gear.
(3) "Outrun/Spyhunter" - One button when pressed and released toggles high/low gear.

(1) and (2) are straightforward and just requires wiring one terminal (either "NO" or "NC") of the microswitch to one button and the other terminal to another button.  With the Driving Force Pro, I wired the Happ shifter outputs to the connector that was previously used for the two Logitech shifter buttons.  Since there is only one microswitch, one of these buttons is always closed and the other is always open. 
(3) is accomplished by using the Wingman software to map macro "commands" to the shifter buttons.  In my case, the macro for each button was set to the sequence:

Shifter Button Click
0.2s Pause
Keydown 'S'
0.2s Pause
Keyup 'S'


Even though there is only one microswitch, using the two terminals causes the Wingman software to perceive two different buttons... one for shift backward and another for shift forward.  The macros were set so that each Wingman button sees the appropriate button click, but both buttons send an 'S' keypress to the emulator.

Unless the command is sent to repeat, the Wingman software only sends the command once when the button is pressed.  Only one command is sent when the shifter is toggled in either direction.

Therefore whenever the shifter knob is switched, one of two button clicks is sent along with an 'S'.  This allows the Taito and Jaleco game modes to be used by configuring the game specific Mame controls to expect the button clicks for the shifter control.  Games like Outrun and Spyhunter are configured so that the Gear Shift button is mapped to the 'S' key.

Just got this working tonight and played with it for a while.  It seems that this software "hack" correctly handles all three game shifter styles.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 12:20:55 pm by Dmod »
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leapinlew

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Re: Dmod's Driveshaft (Updated 11/08/07: Gear Shift Software Solution)
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2007, 07:04:46 pm »
I can't help but notice that as soon as you got your shifter working (over a month ago) you disappeared...

progress pics?

  
 

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