Archive for the ‘Geek’ Category

Project: Fightstick (Part 4)

March 20, 2009

It’s done!! Got my buttons from Gremlin Solutions, and Jamie soldered the pcm last night. A lot easier with thin wire. I’m pretty pleased with the end product. My box is rather amateurish – I managed to crack the plexiglass in the corner, and might replace it at some point. It works a treat though.


Project: Fightstick (Part 3)

March 11, 2009

Still waiting for my buttons to arrive from Gremlin Solutions. They’re now hoping to have stock in the next few days.

In the meantime I had a rather unsuccessful attempt at the soldering. A lot of lessons learned though. I’ve bought a Madcatz Gamestick controller to take the pcm board from. It’s alot easier to solder than the official xbox controller, as there’s larger contacts and no plastic coating to scrap off. It’s got a common ground too, so we can daisy chain the ground wire to every button. We used 20 AWG wire, which was too thick. Next time we’ll use 22 or 24 gauge. Going to buy a hot glue gun to secure the solder joints too.

I also got the box frame built, and painted. Photos below. Taking shape now!

Project: Fightstick (Part 2)

March 5, 2009

My joystick and small buttons arrived yesterday (action buttons will arrive next week) so I made a start on creating the fightstick. I cut out three layers for the face of the box. The top layer is made from plexiglass with holes for the buttons and joystick shaft. The next layer made of 3mm plywood has the holes for the buttons, and a rectangle cut out for the joystick plate. Then the third layer of 8mm wood has a smaller hole for the joystick box, allowing the plate to be screwed to it, and a large hole cut out around the buttons to allow access to screw the buttons to the other layers.

I’m quite pleased with the way it’s turning out so far, considering I have no experience in woodworking whatsoever. The wood isn’t cut extremely well, but this wont be seen when the artwork and plexi is on top. My biggest disappointment was the plexi glass has some cracks between the buttons, but this should be mostly covered by the button tops. I have another piece of plexi, so might take another go with that.

Tonight Jamie and I start soldering the electronics.

Photos speak a thousand words…

(After taking this photo I cut the rectangle out for the joystick plate)

Printed the artwork for the face, which will sit under the plexiglass.

Project: Fightstick (Part 1)

February 23, 2009

Last week marked the release of Street Fighter IV on consoles. I’ve always fancied an arcade joystick, really the best way to play such fighting games. Unfortunately I missed out on getting my hands on one of the very limited SFIV sticks (currently being sold on eBay for £200-£550!!). Looking around on the net I discovered lots of people have built their own joystick, and taking inspiration from some stunning examples, I’ve decided to design and make my own.

Put simply, creating the stick breaks down into…

  • Stripping the PCM board out an old controller
  • Building a box from wood and plexiglass, with holes for the buttons and joystick
  • Soldering wires between the PCM board and the buttons

I have enlisted the help of my friend, an electrical engineer, for the soldering and my brother is keen to help build the box (unfortunately he lives in Australia!). I have ordered the following parts from Gremlin Solutions. They are high quality arcade parts from one of the best manufacturers in the world, Sanwa..

  • 6 x OBSN-30 (White) for Punch/Kick Buttons
  • 3 x OBSN-24 (Blue) for Start/Select/360 Guide
  • 1 x JLW-TM-8 (White ball top) Joystick

Parts are going to take a week or two to arrive. Meanwhile I am designing the box in Adobe Illustrator, and working out the best layout for the buttons.

Mega Games Clearout!

December 9, 2008

It’s odd, sometimes I’m an obsessive collector then I’ll suddenly decide I need a clearout and want rid of most of my possessions. I’ve recently decided to sell my Wii (which is now sold) and a load of videogames. Get in touch if you’re interested in any of these…

edit: All gone now!

EyePet – This looks awesome!

August 20, 2008

Sony today announced the late 2009 release of EyePet for PS3 in PAL regions.

EyePet is described as the ultimate pet for modern living. Developed by SCEE, EyePet will react to its owner’s every move and hopes to provide hours of virtual entertainment for the entire family. EyePet is a simian-like pet who lives in an on-screen picture of your living room which has been captured second by second on PlayStation Eye.

The power of the PS3 has been used to bring EyePet to life with lifelike fur and animations, plus intelligent interaction with its owners and the environment. The PlayStation Eye allows the EyePet to be aware of people in the room and will react with those it sees. Place an object in front of the camera that EyePet has seen before and it’ll know exactly what to do, but show it something new and it will examine it thoroughly. Tickle it by waving your fingers in front of the camera and it will laugh, poke it and it will jump, roll a ball and EyePet will chase after it.

AOL Customer Service Rant!

July 25, 2008

I recently gave my old iMac G4 to my mum. She wants to video-chat with my brother in Australia, so I looked into getting her on broadband. We decided to go with AOL, and signed up on their website on 22nd July.

A week or so later they sent a letter to say the phone line was ready and a router would be sent out in the next 3-5 days. We waited and waited, and I finally called to chase them up on 18th July. The girl assured me the router had been sent and asked that I allow until the following Monday for it to arrive. By Tuesday it still hadn’t arrived, so another call was made. This time I was through to their Indian call centre, and was told they would send another router and to allow another 3-5 days.

When I called back a third time a few days later, they dropped to bombshell – I was told that due to a glitch on their system no router had never been sent. They admitted I had been lied to by their staff in the previous two calls. They had no time frame for the problem to be resolved, and had no way of manually sending me a router. Their solution? They would pass me to the disconnections department where I could get a MAC code and go elsewhere for my broadband!! Unbelievable!

Please leave a comment to share your experiences, or to recommend UK broadband services you’re happy with.

Video Games Live

June 27, 2008

Sheila and I went through to Glasgow last night for the Video Games Live concert, and weren’t disappointed. The whole concert was incredible, and I was very impressed by the orchestra and chorus. Favorite parts were melodies from Metal Gear Solid, Halo 3, and Zelda. We had excellent seats, front row centre, which meant I got some great pictures.

The video below was taken by someone a few rows back from us.

Rock Band Photos

May 27, 2008

Had some mates round for a blast at Rock Band. Went down very well, although I was bullied into sticking on Eurovision by the end of the night! Lots of photos here.

Selling stuff online for free

May 24, 2008

Yesterday I decided to sell my Wii Fit. The novelty had definitely wore off on that one, and I needed to clear out some room for Rock Band. I was hoping to get as near to the cost price (£70) as possible since it’s sold out everywhere and copies are going for over £100 on eBay. 

I didn’t want to go down the eBay route. Even though copies of the game are selling well there, I didn’t want to deal with eBay/Paypal fees and postage on such a large and heavy item. Instead I looked into ways of selling the game locally. I placed an advert on four websites (all for free), and this is what I found…

  1. Hot UK Deals. I’m a big fan of this site for finding great deals. It was the first time I’d posted on it. I initially received some negative responses, so gave up on selling it there, although later on I received a few offers (£50, then £75 although I’m not sure if these people lived locally). 
  2. Facebook Marketplace. Submitted the advert, but it never seemed to appear on the Marketplace. Seems to be very buggy, I’ve noticed adverts appearing and disappearing. The most recent ads are from a week ago, so either it’s not popular or they have server problems.
  3. Game Radar Forum. This is a games forum I frequent. They have a Trading Post forum, so tried my luck there, but had no takers. They’re all such enthusiasts there that anyone with an interest in the game already have it.
  4. Gumtree. This was the definite winner. I quickly had lots of interest. Accepted the first offer (£70) although had another 8 offers over the weekend (ranging from £50 – £80). It will definitely be my first port of call next time I have something to sell, and I obviously recommend them to you. 
Ironically later that night, Sheila was talking to a neigbour who said she had been looking for Wii Fit, and couldn’t get hold of a copy!! LOL.