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Author Topic: Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!  (Read 5395 times)

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KevSteele

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Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« on: May 23, 2003, 10:59:22 am »
I've just finished (finally!) a comprehensive comparison review of all the major MAME-compatible spinners: the Oscar Pro, Oscar Up/Down, Oscar Model 3, and SlikStik Tornado.

The review covers all of the spinners, including unique features, a comparison chart, and even a 3-minute video comparing the spinners in action.

If you're thinking of buying a spinner for your control panel, this comparison should help you choose the one that's right for your cab!

Review is on my site:

http://users.adelphia.net/~kevsteele/mame/index.html

Now I'm going to go play some joystick-only games for a change  :P

Kevin
Kevin Steele, Former Editor and Publisher of RetroBlast! and GameRoom Magazine

phizzle

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2003, 11:28:00 am »
I ejaculated again.

Good work, It will really help me pick out a spinner when i buy one.

Thanks!
Doug Sax  dnsax@yahoo.com aka Phizzle

KevSteele

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2003, 11:45:31 am »
I ejaculated again.

Good work, It will really help me pick out a spinner when i buy one.

Thanks!

You really need a girlfriend...  ;)

Thanks.
Kevin Steele, Former Editor and Publisher of RetroBlast! and GameRoom Magazine

phizzle

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2003, 11:49:40 am »
Worst part is, I have one.  :)

But no, really your doing a great deed for humanity, thanks a million.
Doug Sax  dnsax@yahoo.com aka Phizzle

rampy

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2003, 12:11:25 pm »
I ejaculated again.

Good work, It will really help me pick out a spinner when i buy one.

Thanks!

You really need a girlfriend...  ;)

Thanks.


Or some tissues... his keyboard must be pretty nasty by now.

rampy

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2003, 12:11:27 pm »
kevsteele,
I've just been lurkin' for the past 2+ years, but felt obligated to say thank you very much for your efforts.  Its this type of generosity that makes BYOAC a fine community.
--JamIt

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2003, 12:32:33 pm »
just want to say... thank you thank you for your review....

the side by side chart is very helpful.....
Another Brilliant mind ruined by education....  :p

Civilan

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2003, 02:47:01 pm »
Kevsteele,

Thanks for taking the time to put that review together. Great work! I will certainly benefit from your time in the near future when I make my spinner purchase.

I'm surprised that the cost of the spinners was not mentioned. When deciding on a purchase the price usually is part of the decision making equation. No big problem as this information is easily obtained.

For me it looks like the spinner ecomonics are like everything else, the more you pay the more you get. Since all the spinners perform well it simply comes down to how much you're willing to pay for the marginal increases in performance (and up/down feature).

Cheers,
Civilan

KevSteele

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2003, 02:51:57 pm »
Civilan:

Oops. That's what I get when I stay up late to finish a review -- I can't believe I forgot the prices! I'll fix it shortly. Thanks for pointing that out.

Hyiu & Jamit:

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you both found the review helpful.

Kevin
Kevin Steele, Former Editor and Publisher of RetroBlast! and GameRoom Magazine

KevSteele

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2003, 03:11:19 pm »
Okay -- prices have been added to the review.

Kevin
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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2003, 03:36:26 pm »
To be honest, I never cared much for a spinner, but now I want one! Damn you! Damn you all!!!


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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2003, 03:41:59 pm »
Dude...you gotta have a spinner......
".....its like a Koala crapped a rainbow in my brain!"

Civilan

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2003, 07:33:53 pm »
Okay -- prices have been added to the review.

Kevin

Kevin:

Ah! prices... I'm happy to see that you included everything you need to get the spinner operational. This makes it a fair comparision.

I'm sure that many people will be surprised to see the Oscar Pro and the Tornado come to about the same price when top of the line knobs are used. I've been looking into spinners for a month now and until a week ago I was always under the impression that the Tornado was way more expensive than the Oscar Pro (It took me that long to do the math  :D).

Also there's another thing that has been bouncing around my head since I read your review. You state that the Tornado is not compatible with the Opti-Pac. This confuses me because a Happ trackball works with the Opti-Pac and its uses the same Optic board as the Tornado spinner. Am I missing something? Maybe this is a question for SlikStik to answer.

To me a spinner is just as important as joystick - every CP should have a least one.

Cheers,
Civilan.

KevSteele

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2003, 11:37:19 pm »
Civilan,

The Tornado uses the combined Y-axis optic + encoder board from the Happ trackball -- at least, it was originally designed to do that, before Happ changed the layout of the main board, moving the Y axis optics to the center of the board instead of the edge (which ruined the layout for the Tornado.)

The current Tornado uses both Happ optic and encoder boards, (X-axis optic board connected to the Tornado, then connected to the Y-axis optic + encoder combo board via a cable) but that is due to change, and SlikStik will be going back to a single optic/encoder board again as was originally designed.

In the meantime, if you get a Tornado, you could actually hook up two spinners to the electronics, since you have both optic boards (X & Y axis) from the Happ trackball. You could even remove the Y axis + encoder combo board and use an Optipac, but there's no need to since you've alreay got an encoder.

Be warned that the dual-optic boards on the Tornado is a "feature" that will be removed when the board design changes.

More pics of the current two board setup can be found in my full review of the Tornado:

http://users.adelphia.net/~kevsteele/mame/tornado.html

*Note that the first picture of the Tornado in the review is a picture of the prototype, and shows the original single-optic/encoder combo board being used. The other pictures show the dual-board setup, and if you look closely at the second (unattached) board, you can see the change Happ made, moving the optics to the middle of the board instead of the edge.

Kevin
« Last Edit: May 23, 2003, 11:41:56 pm by kevsteele »
Kevin Steele, Former Editor and Publisher of RetroBlast! and GameRoom Magazine

Generic Eric

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2003, 02:36:56 am »
Great review.  Thanks

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2003, 07:18:50 am »
Also there's another thing that has been bouncing around my head since I read your review. You state that the Tornado is not compatible with the Opti-Pac. This confuses me because a Happ trackball works with the Opti-Pac and its uses the same Optic board as the Tornado spinner. Am I missing something? Maybe this is a question for SlikStik to answer.

My guess: Kevin is leaving out that he is using the happs USB & PS/2 trackball boards used in this trackball, instead of the normal arcade TB boards (the new red or old green ones)?  

Kevin?
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KevSteele

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2003, 09:15:37 am »
Yes, you're right on the money.

I guess I should have clarified that the Happ boards used in the Tornado are from Happ's USB/PS-2 version of the trackball!

I'll fix that in the review. Thanks for pointing out where the confusion was coming from!

Kevin
« Last Edit: May 24, 2003, 01:03:53 pm by kevsteele »
Kevin Steele, Former Editor and Publisher of RetroBlast! and GameRoom Magazine

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2003, 11:58:26 am »
Yes, you're right on them money.

I guess I should have clarified that the Happ boards used in the Tornado are from Happ's USB/PS-2 version of the trackball!

Kevin

Everything is clear now! I've visited the Happ Controls site many times and always ignored USB/PS2 versions of their trackballs.

Thanks,
Civilan


KevSteele

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2003, 01:05:06 pm »
Okay, I've updated the review to specify what Happs control board is used with the Tornado spinner.

Kevin
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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2003, 08:45:43 pm »
I just realized you missed one thing: you missed the "spinner" joysticks from Happs, the optical ones.

While I understand they are not true spinners, they are optical spinning devices that some folks pressed for space might be using as an actual spinner.....

.....maybe...

;)

I wonder...are those sticks free-spinning or are they friction-fit to only move when you want em to?

".....its like a Koala crapped a rainbow in my brain!"

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2003, 06:55:40 pm »
So which spinner would you say is the overall winner?  


KevSteele

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2003, 07:52:59 pm »
So which spinner would you say is the overall winner?  

I decided at the beginning of the review that it was probably not a good idea to crown a "winner", since all of the spinners performed well and basically, in the end, it all boils down to personal preference.

Unfortunately, that's one thing I can't completely convey in a written review: the "feel" of each of the spinners.

My personal preference? As I mention in the review, it's the SlikStik Tornado assembly paired with the Oscar DOT knob. It, to my taste, strikes the perfect play balance for both fast and slow spinner games, while still giving me great control (and it has a small enough installation footprint to fit in my control panel!)

Kevin

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Re:Spinner "Roundup" review now ready!
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2003, 07:59:06 pm »
I think thats what I'm going to get.  As I'm having a serious wobble issue with my Oscar.