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Weapons console/controller

posted Apr 20, 2013 14:26:34 by martinvsamuelsson
Hi all

This is my first try at a dedicated weapons console, without screen so more of a controller I guess.
hacked keyboard, illuminated arcadebuttons, momentary switches and key switch to turn it on and off. Basically it lets me control all functions but targeting enemies, that still require mouse input.

All the lights are powered by the usb cable, hooked up to the red and black wire on the keyboard pcb, power is in turn routed to, and controlled by, a keyswitch on the back.

Next is a bit of play testing and locking down the design and making plans for a metal enclosure with plexiglass/acrylic top.

I had to use momentary switches since the game reads, not the press of buttons but the release of buttons, could we have control over this in the controls.ini file? a bit like SHIFT = NO, something like ONPRESS = YES/NO
This way we could use rocker/toggle switches and of course awesome rotaries to switch between frequencies.

Thanks for a great game!


[Last edited Apr 20, 2013 22:28:06]
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9 replies
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lucas99801 said Apr 22, 2013 08:31:02
I like it!

It would be neat to program the Missile buttons to only highlight the last press so you know which it's on by looking at the controller. But very solid anyway.

If like to see one in a black box with red fire buttons, and of course a cover for the Nuke selector :)
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martinvsamuelsson said Apr 22, 2013 09:19:53
Thanks Lucas

The last few days I've been thinking about incorporating something like an Arduino or Teensy
This would get me the kind of control your are suggesting, changing leds and even have analog inputs and of coarse toggle switches that isn't momentary like the ones I'm using. I think your right about the color on the fire buttons, white just doesn't feel right.

My overall goal is to move as much info as possible from the screen to the controller.

Color wise I'm leaning toward the classic TOS look, dark red/orange with contrast color under the buttons:

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100102191735/memoryalpha/en/images/thumb/4/40/Transporter_console%2C_23rd_century.jpg/1000px-Transporter_console%2C_23rd_century.jpg
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Auto_Pilot said Apr 23, 2013 06:18:35
Nice! I really like the mix of toggle and buttons. Very TOS like you said.

Where did you get the square ones from?
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martinvsamuelsson said Apr 23, 2013 07:38:22
Thanks Auto, square buttons are from a small swedish webbshop about 2$ each
http://www.arcadegames.se/sv/produkter/kontroller-joysticks/knappar/knapp-fyrkantig-gul.html

Ive found something similar at a german store
http://www.arcadeshop.de/Illum-Buttons-Pushbutton-lit-26x26-yellow_464.html

Something to think about regarding toggles, the ones I got where very cheap and have very different resistance, some are really hard and other are very soft, final console I'm going to test and match resistancse.
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LairdNickPark said Apr 24, 2013 20:29:23
its very nice, one can still use a rotary switch if using a pushbutton in series :)
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martinvsamuelsson said Apr 24, 2013 20:48:03
Thanks Laird
You just gave me something to think about, that should actually work and could even have a nice feel to it!

Does anyone know if the game behave the same way, registering buttons on release, when using a joystick / gamepad?
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LairdNickPark said Apr 28, 2013 17:23:48
Here's my first attempt at a weapons console:

I used an old keyboard and found the bindings using this online keyboard tester
http://www.keyboardtester.com/tester.html
The nukes are charged only when the key is turned, which in turn disallows firing until the key is removed and the big button is turned :)
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martinvsamuelsson said Apr 29, 2013 19:05:00
Nice!
I do have a key switch left so I might just steal your idea for the nuke selector ;)

I used Keyhook to read the bindings
http://arcadecontrols.com/files/Utilities/KEYHOOK.ZIP
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ethan.dicks said May 04, 2013 19:18:47
Another Arduino platform to consider for control panels is the Leonardo. It only has the ATmega32u4 microcontroller which does its own USB-serial, no FTDI chip (old Arduino) or Atmega16u2/8u2 (Uno) for that. The implication is that it's easy to load a sketch to become a USB keyboard or mouse.

http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/KeyboardAndMouseControl

It's cheaper to hack a USB keyboard PCB, but this would be a way to more easily integrate toggle switches and local lights and such.
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