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Author Topic: SpinTrak review with pics and vids  (Read 9714 times)

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blind_dado

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SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« on: August 17, 2008, 10:54:12 pm »
Just thought I'd share some thoughts (and pics and vids) of the new Ultimarc SpinTrak spinner that I recently purchased.
First off, the spinner arrived extremely quickly.  Two days from England to Chicago.  Amazing. The spinner looks like this:



I got two different knobs and both weights because I had no idea what I was going to like.



I was a little disappointed with the finish on the knobs.  I thought it was going to be polished shinny, but you could easily see the grooves in the surface:



I got the USB version, which looks like this:



The web site says that the USB Version "has 3 Mouse button connections" but there are no instruction at all included with the SpinTrak and I have no idea how to set the mouse buttons up.  Also, there are two rows of pins on the PCB that the harness could connect to, but no instructions as to which set to use.  I guessed and it worked out.  (No instruction on the web site about either of these.)

The unit fits into a standard 1 1/8" hole and is held in place with a plastic nut underneath.  It's really easy to install and feels rock solid.  Very professional grade industrial feeling. Here is a video of it spinning without a knob attached:

Ultimarc SpinTrak No Knob Spin


The knobs are held in place by two set screws on either side.  The weights are also held on by set screws (the weights go on the bottom of the shaft.  One annoying thing is that the knobs and both the weights all use different sized set screws, so you have to keep track of three different Allen wrenches.  It would have been nice if they just all used the same one. I liked the plain silver knob best, so I put that one on, but was horrified by the wobble:

Ultimarc SpinTrak Wobble


It took me forever to figure out why this was happening and to come up with an adequate solution.  Basically, when you tighten down on one set screw, it make the knob go out of level.  First I tried tightening one side slightly and then the other, etc., but that didn't work so well (really, I spent a good hour on this).  Here is the solution I came up with:
I used three razor blades on each side of the shaft as spacers, like this:



Then I put the knob on:



The spacers ensure that the knob is level and stays that way while tightening the set screws.  Then I used two Allen wrenches, one for each set screw, and tightened them slowly simultaneously.  As soon as they grabbed, I stopped to see if the razor blades were still tight.  If you don't do it right, one set of razor blades will be tight and the other loose.  Repeat this process, tightening a little bit each time until fully tightened.  Using this method, I was able to get most of the wobble out.  If you have a better solution, please let me know.
Here is a vid of the spinner with no weight attached (spin time was 11 seconds):

Ultimarc SpinTrak No Weight Spin


Here it is with the small weight (spin time was 16 seconds) (pardon the hungry cat)

Ultimarc SpinTrak Small Weight Spin


And here it is with the large weight (spin time was 36 seconds)

Ultimarc SpinTrak Big Weight Spin


Installation in windows is a simple matter of plugging it into a usb port.  No special drivers are needed.  It shows up in windows as a x axis mouse (it does not interfere with your normal mouse): (happy, fed cat)

Ultimarc SpinTrak in Windows


And the final test: TEMPEST! (The first bit of the video is one good spin on the knob.):

Ultimarc SpinTrak Tempest


It worked really well!  You can spin it as fast as you like and it wont skip back on you (I forget what that phenomenon is called.)  All the spinner games feel totally different now (like they're supposed to feel!).

In the end, I love the spinner.  But here are some pros and cons:

PROS:
Very solid, industrial build.
Fits into a standard 1 1/8" hole and is extremely easy to install.
Weights give different performance options.
USB 2.0, no installation required.
Very good performance and feels great.

CONS:
Knobs are not polished.
No instructions and a couple of things you need to know are not on the website.
Very difficult to get knob on straight.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 02:57:15 pm by blind_dado »

bishmasterb

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2008, 11:11:28 pm »
I've been thinking about one of these. Thanks for the review.
"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another." -Jonathan Swift

blind_dado

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2008, 11:20:20 pm »
I'm going to follow up with a review of the U-Track next week (it's being shipped now!)  The main goal is to just get some pics and vids up so people can see what it looks like close up and with the illumination on.

Ginsu Victim

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2008, 12:10:53 am »
Thanks for the review.

I don't get your gripe about the grooves in the top, but hey, whatever...

blind_dado

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2008, 12:49:15 am »
It's not really a gripe, just a preference.  I thought the tops were going to be polished shiny, with a mirror finish.  I think they look a bit rough when you can see the machining marks.

AndyWarne

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2008, 04:07:18 am »
At the moment we have two batches of knobs, some Ex-Slikstik (while stocks last) and some not. All the silver ones are ex-Slikstik and hence the different allen key size.
Good point about the mouse button connections being missing from the website instructions. Will get them added.
Andy

Franco B

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2008, 07:06:09 am »
I thought the Slickstik tops had a 1/4" hole?

Correct me again but I thought the Spintrack had a 6mm shaft? If so thats 0.35mm difference which would cause the awful wobble.

Even if the hole is the 'right size' for the shaft, there shouldnt be enough play to give that kind of wobble. You also shouldn't have to mess about to get the spinner top level if they were machined correctly. Is the hole in the spinner tops reamed?

The surface finish is a bit poor too IMO.

cmoses

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 11:40:15 am »
I'm going to follow up with a review of the U-Track next week (it's being shipped now!)  The main goal is to just get some pics and vids up so people can see what it looks like close up and with the illumination on.


When you do the U-Trak review can you post some pictures on the installation.  I am concerned with how well it mounts because it does not have a template.  Also because of this I think it has the smallest footprint in a control panel.  Seeing how it mounts would be very helpful.  Do you plan to use the trim bezel or not?  Also curious about the illumination, so pictures of the colors would be nice as well.

blind_dado

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2008, 11:45:52 am »
I'm going to do a test mount both with and without the bezel, and I'll take lots of pictures with and without lighting.  According the the tracking info, it's just leaving England today, so I'll probably do the review over next the weekend.

Ginsu Victim

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2008, 11:47:29 am »
Leaving today? You'll have it tomorrow. Ultimarc shipping rules!

blind_dado

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2008, 11:51:18 am »
It's true, I've been amazed at the shipping.  I, however, am less reliable than Ultimarc shipping!  I'll try to get to it ASAP after it arrives.

Ginsu Victim

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2008, 11:54:04 am »
No hurry. We appreciate your SpinTrak review. I look forward to your next one.

davidgilmour

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2015, 03:29:21 pm »
I got the USB version, which looks like this:

The web site says that the USB Version "has 3 Mouse button connections" but there are no instruction at all included with the SpinTrak and I have no idea how to set the mouse buttons up.  Also, there are two rows of pins on the PCB that the harness could connect to, but no instructions as to which set to use.  I guessed and it worked out.  (No instruction on the web site)
I also have this spinner and want to attach it. Is it the correct way to attach it, i.e. To the upper side where there are only 4 pins?

Miskatonic

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2015, 09:27:14 am »
I've been thinking about buying one of these but the shabbiness of the knob placement/wobble issue has really put me off. When I put down that kind of money I expect things to be PERFECT. Fair play, it does look excellent for Tempest but I find it hard to believe the shaft isn't notched or anything to allow easy mounting of the assorted knobs to make sure they're on straight. Strange. Thanks for pointing this out.

I tried to build a spinner but I found it was not "spinny" enough, nor was it high enough resolution (inaccurate and jumpy). Back to the drawing board.... I don't understand why a chinese mfr isn't just blasting these out on ebay for next to nothing, a free spinning rotary encoder with a pre-programmed arduino board isn't really a bank breaker, the whole caboodle costs about $10 (but I have little to no idea what I'm doing with arduino, sadly)

mimic

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Re: SpinTrak review with pics and vids
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2015, 10:06:07 pm »
I've been thinking about buying one of these but the shabbiness of the knob placement/wobble issue has really put me off. When I put down that kind of money I expect things to be PERFECT. Fair play, it does look excellent for Tempest but I find it hard to believe the shaft isn't notched or anything to allow easy mounting of the assorted knobs to make sure they're on straight. Strange. Thanks for pointing this out.

I tried to build a spinner but I found it was not "spinny" enough, nor was it high enough resolution (inaccurate and jumpy). Back to the drawing board.... I don't understand why a chinese mfr isn't just blasting these out on ebay for next to nothing, a free spinning rotary encoder with a pre-programmed arduino board isn't really a bank breaker, the whole caboodle costs about $10 (but I have little to no idea what I'm doing with arduino, sadly)

Ummm, this review is from 2008 perhaps you might look into researching if this is still the case 7 years later before posting?

  
 

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