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Author Topic: Retrofitting X-Arcade Tankstick with 2 TurboTwist2 USB Spinners - Mame settings?  (Read 8924 times)

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roger

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I have an X-Arcade Tankstick with a built-in USB Trackball, and would like to add two spinners for 2-player games such as SuperSprint etc. that I would like to play with my son. I would also like to be able to play Arkanoid in a manner that doesn't suck. After quite a bit of searching, it appears that the TurboTwist2 is the only spinner that has both the resolution for Arkanoid and a small enough form factor to fit the TankStick.

So, I know what spinners I want, mostly thanks to this forum, but I still have few questions to which I was not able to find good answers. I'm a newbie, so please forgive me if this has been asked and answered before.

- When ordering the TT2 USB spinners, should I get a master and a slave, or should I get 2 masters with different IDs? Which combination works better in MAME?
- I would like the trackball in the X-Arcade to be mapped to the mouse and player 1 analog control like the default, and I would like to use the spinners for analog controls for player 1 and player 2. I.e. I wouldn't necessarily need support for 'multimouse', the trackball could act as my default mouse, and the spinners could act as X and Y axes of the same default mouse. What should the settings in mame.ini be for this type of setup? What should the game settings be?
- And, this is probably just a question of personal preference, I'm wondering what kind of knobs I should get, and whether I need the fly-weights or not.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

u_rebelscum

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- When ordering the TT2 USB spinners, should I get a master and a slave, or should I get 2 masters with different IDs? Which combination works better in MAME?

Either work fine.  Both will require remapping and/or changing one setting in mame.ini, but IMO both are easy.  (See next part)  I'd worry about other games, and price, rather than mame.
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- I would like the trackball in the X-Arcade to be mapped to the mouse and player 1 analog control like the default, and I would like to use the spinners for analog controls for player 1 and player 2. I.e. I wouldn't necessarily need support for 'multimouse', the trackball could act as my default mouse, and the spinners could act as X and Y axes of the same default mouse. What should the settings in mame.ini be for this type of setup? What should the game settings be?

- Master + slave: Remap in "Input (general)" so each player (probably just player2, but see note) uses the correct "mouse" axis for mame's dials at least.  Note: TB movements will affect the spinners if moved and vice versa, unless -multimouse is enabled where player 1 might need to be remapped, and maybe the TB too.
- 2 masters, one on X, one on Y axis: same as master + slave, with same notes.
- 2 masters, both on X axis: Enable -multimouse in mame.ini.  Remap the spinners to both players dials, and the TB might need to be remapped, too.  (This is how I'd do it, but I'm very picky about not letting one control mess up other controls.)

Anyway it's done, you might want to look into using the ctrlr file to save the remapping.  It's a little safer at saving the remaps.  (I can help you at this if you at this if you're interested.)

Quote
- And, this is probably just a question of personal preference, I'm wondering what kind of knobs I should get, and whether I need the fly-weights or not.

It is opinion, and the fly-weights depends on which knob you get.  Most people seem to like the TokenTop knob, and this does not need the fly-weight.  (I have the TT2, but don't have that knob, so....shrug)
Robin
Knowledge is Power

roger

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- Master + slave: Remap in "Input (general)" so each player (probably just player2, but see note) uses the correct "mouse" axis for mame's dials at least.  Note: TB movements will affect the spinners if moved and vice versa, unless -multimouse is enabled where player 1 might need to be remapped, and maybe the TB too.
- 2 masters, one on X, one on Y axis: same as master + slave, with same notes.
- 2 masters, both on X axis: Enable -multimouse in mame.ini.  Remap the spinners to both players dials, and the TB might need to be remapped, too.  (This is how I'd do it, but I'm very picky about not letting one control mess up other controls.)

Thanks a bunch! This is really helpful information! I'm glad to know that, no matter what I order, there is way to make it work in MAME. Puts the mind at ease a little bit. So, I'm going to look at some of the other games and emulators I may be wanting to play in the future to see what configuration I should get. Can you think of any particular disadvantages of one versus another option? The only one I can think of right now is that, when using your option 3 with 2 masters on X-Axis and -multimouse enabled, I'm not sure how to guarantee that the mouse/trackball/spinners are always mapped to the same mouse number after a restart or power cycle of the system. I don't know how a Windows PC assigns the IDs of attached mouse devices at startup, i.e. whether it actually looks the device IDs and makes the same assignment every time, or if just depends in which order it discovers the devices on the USB bus.

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Anyway it's done, you might want to look into using the ctrlr file to save the remapping.  It's a little safer at saving the remaps.  (I can help you at this if you at this if you're interested.)

Thanks, I appreciate the offer. I will try to figure it out my self, but in the event that I fail, I will report back.
You're right, adding the configuration to the ctrlr file does make sense since the spinners will be part of my X-Arcade, i.e. the x-arcade.cfg file should contain all that. I suppose I could use the menus in MAME to create all the mappings and then just cut the information from the default.cfg and paste it into x-arcade.cfg?

Quote
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- And, this is probably just a question of personal preference, I'm wondering what kind of knobs I should get, and whether I need the fly-weights or not.

It is opinion, and the fly-weights depends on which knob you get.  Most people seem to like the TokenTop knob, and this does not need the fly-weight.  (I have the TT2, but don't have that knob, so....shrug)

Thanks, the TokenTop knob looks very nice, but I wonder how good it would look on the X-Arcade:

I think any of these should look pretty good as they seem to fit the color scheme:

I haven't quite decided where to put the spinners. Depending on where they go, there might be a constraint on height and diameter.

Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it.

Roger
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 05:17:29 pm by roger »

dmel75

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I'm very curious to know how did this work out for you? Did you order the spinners and install them yet? I have one of the original 2 player x-arcade sticks in my mame cabinet and want to add the same two-player racing functionality.

Thanks!

roger

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I'm very curious to know how did this work out for you? Did you order the spinners and install them yet? I have one of the original 2 player x-arcade sticks in my mame cabinet and want to add the same two-player racing functionality.

Yes, I did order the spinners (a master and a slave), and I went with the black knobs with the dimples, as well as the fly-weights.
It took me a little while to decide where to put them. I needed a place that both worked space wise with the stuff that is in the controller as well as a place that works ergonomically. I ended up using double-sided tape to stick the buttons to the controller in the locations that had room for the spinner to get a feel for how well gaming would work. The best place turned out to be at the top edge of the controller, in line with the player 1 and player 2 buttons, and between buttons 2 and 3 of the button arrays for each player. The Tankstick has 2 buttons in the back. One for programming and another one to disable the x-axis of the trackball. I had to relocate the programming button further to the left because it would interfere with the left spinner otherwise. Now I have an extra hole in the back through which I bring out the USB cable for the spinners for now. Eventually I will install some sort of strain relief for it so that the cable can't be yanked out.
The spinners work really well. I'm glad I went with the TT2s, they're really worth the money. Arkanoid, Tempest, SuperSprint, etc, are really great to play. GoldenTee Golf works really great too, BTW. It's a lot easier on the wrist than constantly having to whack the trackball. I use the right spinner to shoot and the left one to select clubs.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 01:50:58 am by roger »

TPB

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Has anyone installed the TT2's on an X-Arcade XXL panel ?

http://www.xgaming.com/mame-panel.shtml


... there's plenty of free real estate on the left & right sides of these panels ... just waiting for the installation of some spinners, methinks.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 02:26:28 am by TPB »

roger

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Has anyone installed the TT2's on an X-Arcade XXL panel ?

http://www.xgaming.com/mame-panel.shtml


... there's plenty of free real estate on the left & right sides of these panels ... just waiting for the installation of some spinners, methinks.


Yeah, you should have plenty of room. Although, if you put the spinners on the sides you will have different layouts for player 1 and player 2. I.e. Player 1 would have to use the spinner with the left hand and the buttons with the right hand, while it would be the opposite for player 2.
It seems as if there is enough room for the spinners above the buttons, similar to the layout I chose.

You might want to do what I did, and tape the knobs to the locations you consider using double-sided tape, and see what feels comfortable to you, before drilling holes (BTW, i used an 1 1/8" boring bit, which works great. Just use it at a slow speed initially in order to not damage the veneer. Drill from the top, not the bottom).

roger

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One more thing to consider. If you're playing with the thought of perhaps using the steering wheels that are available for the TT2s (for racing games), you need to keep some clearance from the joysticks so that they don't interfere with the wheels. On my arrangement I could use up to 7" wheels if I wanted to, however, since the spinners are close to the buttons, I would have to reach underneath the wheel to press them. Not a huge deal since there is clearance under the wheels. But if you have room to move the spinners further away from the buttons (e.g. further up, closer to the top edge), it should work better with wheels.
I'm probably going to order a s pair of wheels at a later time (probably the 5"), maybe when it is time to build my cabinet. I might even get a pair of pedals, who knows.

TPB

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Roger,

Thanks for the tips.   :D

roger

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Thanks for the tips.   :D

You're welcome. Post some pictures when you're done.

molton

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I bought an Xtension arcade cabinet to use my X-Arcade Tankstick with, which is basically the cheapest and easiest way for someone to get a Mame arcade cabinet even if they can't do woodworking or don't have $3,000.  I never used my X-Arcade Tankstick too much before using it as an actual front panel for an arcade cabinet, but now that it was the front panel of my arcade machine it needed some modifications.

I added 2 Turbo Twist 2 spinners from groovygamegear.com to the X-Arcade following Roger's lead with the placement, except I turned some of the buttons near the spinner locations around to allow the spinners to go a little closer to the buttons.

I'm also planning on adding the omni2 4-way / 8-way switchable joystick, absolutely perfect for the xtension cabinet x-arcade combo, just make a hole on the bottom panel of the x-arcade and lift it up the x-arcade a little and switch it between 8-way and 4-way with no wood working except for making a big hole in a thin piece of wood nobody will ever see, I can handle that.  I'll just add it on the one side because I spent enough money on this stuff already, and most 4-way joystick games only had one joystick anyway.

Fyi I used a 1 1/8 spade drill bit with nice spurred edges and I slowly drilled until the laminate came loose and started spinning as someone suggested on some forum, then continued to drill the wood at high speed after the laminate was out of the way.

...---steaming pile of meadow muffin---, I thought I was done buying stuff but then someone on this forum showed me that the x-arcade does in fact suck, well, the digital, computer end of it anyway.  Someone on these boards mentioned that the X-arcade has serious simultaneous button pressing issues, he was absolutely right, I never noticed before that player 2 can completely disable all controls by smashing 6 buttons at the same time, other weird things happened like buttons that weren't being pressed were showing up during the button mash tests, this will not do at all for an arcade cabinet.  Maybe as a controller that sits in the corner of my living room.  I already got an Ipac on order, it looks like I'll have more than enough wire in the x-arcade already to just change a few things around and fix this problem, this is an informative website.

DarthMarino

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x-arcade does in fact suck, well, the digital, computer end of it anyway.  Someone on these boards mentioned that the X-arcade has serious simultaneous button pressing issues, he was absolutely right, I never noticed before that player 2 can completely disable all controls by smashing 6 buttons at the same time

How long ago did you buy the X-arcade?  You can buy an electronics update from the site that will solve the issue. It's a simple replacement and should solve these problems.

http://www.xgaming.com/store/x-arcade-adapters/product/x-arcade-usb-adapter/

If you aren't sure, there is a link on that page to help you identify if you have the old electronics.

molton

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I have the USB model, either mine is defective or it just doesn't work like they claim, other people have the same problems, the x-arcade is not bad, but It doesn't work with over 6-8 simultaneous inputs at a time, which sucks considering a diagonal is 2 inputs and some people like to mash many buttons at once for some reason,which interferes with the other players input on the x-arcade, or my x-arcade at least.  If you have one do the diagnostic test on a mame rom with 6 buttons and an 8-way joystick and see how the game reacts when you hold sticks in diagonal position and hold several buttons.

DarthMarino

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I held diagonal and 12 buttons and it still worked fine.  It didn't used to when I used USB but when I upgraded the circuit board, it fixed the issue.  Just to clarify, you are having these issues and you have the bottom version in this picture?


molton

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Thanks for the reply, it must be my specific controller causing the issue, it has been like this for as long as I can remember, it is definitely the USB, newer version.  I'm glad your X-arcade works fine for you, but I have heard other people complaining about this on the internet, I'm thinking either their quality control needs some work or those encoder boards are just crappy and tend to lose functionality.

DarthMarino

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I just find it strange that your controller is doing the exact same thing that mine did with the old circuits.  I would do what you said, and usually my character would get "stuck" for a few seconds.  I can't get it do that now.  I am actually using a regular dual x-arcade so I'm not sure if it's a different circuit board than the tankstick.  Have you tried contacting them?  The unit is guaranteed for life so they need to replace something if its faulty.

molton

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I think this is possibly a matter of crappy quality control, and possibly a crappy conversion of their old boards to their new boards.  I did talk to x-arcade and they gave me a vague answer, practically exactly your response DarthMarino, when I asked them for a more comprehensive response they told me that all the techs are away and they'd get back to me, I told them I already ordered an I-PAC and I had enough of this ->  :blah:

btakem

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>> Someone on these boards mentioned that the X-arcade has serious
>> simultaneous button pressing issues, he was absolutely right, I never
>> noticed before that player 2 can completely disable all controls by
>> smashing 6 buttons at the same time

I had issues with USB and the 6 button problem too.  This exists with a LOT (if not all?) of standard USB keyboards normally (try it!).  My solution to this was to hook up the PS2 instead and through this, I can receive EVERY button pressed at the same time plus two joysticks going diagonal without any problems (can't trigger all four joystick dirs at once <grin>).  One issue that exists in doing this is that I also had to have a real PS2 keyboard connected through the TankStick too.  After that was done, multi-smashing buttons was a dream again.  I think I remember that some odd PS2 keyboards weren't happy through this - normal generic memorex PS2 keyboard worked great for me.  Fast reaction times too and no lockups or lags on my end.  Look up the USB spec for keyboards and you'll see LOTS of problems with simultaneous keys.  The USB GP-Wiz40 gets around this issue by being a USB multi-button game controller rather than a USB keyboard if you're looking at another controller, but the TankStick (in PS2-mode) works great for me.  Hope this helps if it wasn't answered before by anyone else?  My trackball is USB.  The only real issue I can see with this is legacy-free motherboards - D'oh!  You're fubar'd there...
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 02:59:03 am by btakem »

  
 

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