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Author Topic: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel  (Read 10581 times)

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bkenobi

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On my driving cab, I have a pair of 360 steering wheels and a pair of analog pedals. These work AWESOME for 360 games (Sprint series games, Off Road, Danny Sullivan, etc.), but they work like ass for 270 games IMO. MAME handles the optical input in such a way that it basically requires a physical restrictor of some kind to keep things playing correctly. When you start a game that has 270 controls, the wheel is centered. If you turn to the right slightly, MAME sees that movement and accurately turns the wheel. Upon recentering, the game responds correctly. The problem comes in when you turn the wheel past the end of travel. MAME simply throws any movement away that occurs beyond the end of travel. So, as a result, if you turn the wheel to the right several turns and then move it back several turns, MAME doesn't see the wheel as centered, it sees a hard turn to the opposite side.

Now, this is probably something that people have just dealt with as something that couldn't be corrected and either accepted or moved on. Well, I did both in the past...but not any more! I have come up with a solution to make 270 steering wheel games in MAME play GREAT with a 360 steering wheel. I'm including the scripts and the GameEx setup as well so that others may utilize what I've found in their setups! In my script, when you turn past the end of travel, the joystick is simply maxed out. When you turn back, as soon as you hit the end of travel, the joystick will start responding and will move with you again. The only way to make this better would be to add a physical restriction for the movement, but that's a LOT more complicated. I think this works intuitively whereas MAME's default motion is confusing.

Btw, the other benefit to this is that it will now be possible to play games like Need for Speed, Test Drive, Carmagedon, etc. that need either a joystick or keyboard with a steering wheel and pedals. I'm REALLY excited about this capability, but have not tested it yet. I know it will work, I just haven't gotten that far yet. cool.gif

Follow these steps:
  • Download the attached archive (contains all scripts and configs you need).
  • Download and extract GlovePIE (I use 0.29, but 0.30 might work too...haven't tested it).
  • OPTIONAL: Install AutoHotKey.
  • Put "Mouse_to_270_Steering_Wheel.PIE" into your GlovePIE directory.
  • Download and install PPJoy.
  • Install a Virtual PP joystick with at least 1 analog axis. I have 3 so I can map my pedals to this controller as well. If you don't want to use the pedals this way, you will need to edit the GlovePIE script to remove the last couple lines of code or it could crash.
  • Copy the Init_270.ahk and Init_270.exe files to your MAME directory (or another location if you prefer). If you installed GlovePIE to "C:\Emu\GlovePIE029", then you can use the precompiled script. If you put it somewhere else, you need to edit the AHK script and recompile it (which means you need AHK installed).
  • In GameEx, you need to create an emulator for your MAME with 270 controls. This emulator will be combined with MAME, so you just need enough to make it work (you don't need snap paths and such). I suggest you just use my emulator setup since it has everything worked out to make it work right. You just need to correct the paths once you import it. The file name is MAME_270.ini.
  • Finally, to get the 270 games in the main MAME list to load with this emulator, you need to use the mameemumap.ini file that I've included. Just drop it in your C:\Program Files\GameEx\CONFIG directory if you don't already have one configured. If you do, you will need to combine what I've included with yours. Also, make sure you update the emulator number for these roms to whatever you set this new MAME emulator as. In my config, I have it set as emulator 1 but your setup may vary.

I think that's it. Restart GameEx and give it a try. If you have any issues with the scripts or improvements for this guide, let me know!

NOTE:  I originally posted this at the GameEx forums, but I don't think very many people using GameEx have 360 cabs so this technique was apparently lost to them.  This can easily be used on any other front end using the same settings in your preferred FE.

mimic

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2009, 11:28:02 pm »
bkenobi. Can you reup the file, I can't seem to be able to download it. (can't find... page)

wp34

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 11:36:17 pm »
Attachments currently are not working.

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=92511.0

Sounds like you can install Opera to get around it.

DeLuSioNal29

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2010, 08:19:40 pm »
You should dump this file in the File Repository section.  :)
Stop by my Youtube channel and leave a comment:

saint

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 09:10:48 am »
Attachment should be working now.
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jasonbar

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2010, 11:17:04 am »
 :)  The difference between a mechanical engineer & a software/electrical engineerish kind of guy.

Partway through reading this post, I already had the solution figured out......mechanically!

Some sort of hard stop fashioned from a protruding arm on the hub of the steering wheel, with a pair of removable, screw-on rubber bumpers to limit the travel.

Done!  (my way!)   ;D

Thanks,
-Jason


PS-I've got a 270 wheel & would love to play 360 wheel games on my cab...no love there...at least I can use my spinners for 360 games, though they're certainly not as good as a real wheel...

kronic24601

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 01:17:41 pm »
:)  The difference between a mechanical engineer & a software/electrical engineerish kind of guy.

Partway through reading this post, I already had the solution figured out......mechanically!

Some sort of hard stop fashioned from a protruding arm on the hub of the steering wheel, with a pair of removable, screw-on rubber bumpers to limit the travel.

Done!  (my way!)   ;D

Thanks,
-Jason


PS-I've got a 270 wheel & would love to play 360 wheel games on my cab...no love there...at least I can use my spinners for 360 games, though they're certainly not as good as a real wheel...

Hey Jason,

Can you take a few photos of that (if you have it built) ... I'm a visual guy :) ... (or perhaps your comment below implies the theory on not construction?). I got 3 of those 7" wheels from RandyT for the TT2 spinners ... they are quite hefty and give a serious spin.

jasonbar

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 02:07:25 pm »
Howdy kronic24601-

It's all in my head.  I don't have a 360 wheel, but if I did, I'd rig up the contraption described above.

I've made a superb sketch in Paint & attached it.

Essentially, a "tongue" (or 2) sticking out of the steering wheel hub, & a polyurethane bumper (or 2) fixed to the panel or the wheel base.  So, the tongue swings around & hits the bumper to act as a hard stop.

1 or 2 tongues, & 1 or 2 bumpers, depending on their relative sizes & the sweep angle that you want.


For bumpers, see mcmaster.com pp. 3728 & 3729 for inspiration, or check out the 2 bright red bumpers that I used on one of my BattleBots: http://s242.photobucket.com/albums/ff97/infernolab/Disko%20Inferno/  (but, come to think of it, if you used 1 screw to fasten a bumper to a panel & then pounded on it repeatedly in a direction perpendicular to that screw, you'd shear the screw or chew up that hole (if you used a wood panel).  You'd probably need a bumper attachment scheme that's  a little stouter or w/ more screws or w/ a shear pin...


Thanks,
-Jason

kronic24601

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2010, 03:53:35 pm »
For bumpers, see mcmaster.com pp. 3728 & 3729 for inspiration, or check out the 2 bright red bumpers that I used on one of my BattleBots: http://s242.photobucket.com/albums/ff97/infernolab/Disko%20Inferno/  (but, come to think of it, if you used 1 screw to fasten a bumper to a panel & then pounded on it repeatedly in a direction perpendicular to that screw, you'd shear the screw or chew up that hole (if you used a wood panel).  You'd probably need a bumper attachment scheme that's  a little stouter or w/ more screws or w/ a shear pin...

You do know that one day one of those Robots of your will turn on you. It's all but inevitable for all the destruction you put them though.  But it's still wicked cool ;D

bkenobi

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 08:58:15 pm »
Actually, I'm a mechanical engineer (MS) but I have done a lot of work with computer science (minor) as well.  I originally investigated ways to have a wheel both 360 and 270, which is VERY feasible if you are working from scratch (or don't mind permanent mods).  I have a Championship sprint cab and control panel that started out in excellent shape.  I didn't want to do anything that couldn't be reversed and with the stock Atari wheels on that cab there is no access to the shaft.  If you are working with a scratch built CP and don't mind modifying old parts, I suggest looking at a Pole Position wheel since it has an open cage where the mechanics are located as well as direct access to the shaft.

Actually, there are a couple threads I found but don't have links handy for designs that were intended to be switchable 270-360 wheels.  You might try a search if that interests anyone.

Martin0037

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Re: Making a 360 Steering Wheel "Work" Like a 270 Steering Wheel
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2018, 11:01:02 am »
Hi.  I know this thread is very old,  but Im wondering if this will work with hyperspin and what I need to do?

Thanks all

  
 

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