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[vox-tech] [OT] Electronics & hardware geek sought
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[vox-tech] [OT] Electronics & hardware geek sought



I keep playing games on my friend's Wii and thinking how trivial it would
be to make similar games, with interesting input devices (like a Guitar Hero
style controller, Rock Band style drums, and WiiFit Balance Board [*])
for my Atari computer.

Between the Atari's two controller ports, you've got eight digital I/O ports
(joystick up/down/left/right x 2), two digital input ports
(joystick fire x 2), and four analog inputs (paddle potentiometer knob x 4).

I've been swinging my Metro Electronics in downtown Sac recently to grab
some parts, and I finally got my own soldering iron to learn how to use.

I think it'd be pretty trivial to put together a Wii Balance Board clone
for the Atari using two or four of the analog inputs.  Someone on the
Atari 8-bit Usenet newsgroup suggested that a pivot point in the center,
plus some pulleys to rotate two POTs, should do the trick.  It wouldn't
be able to _weigh_ you, like the Wii Balance Board can, but it could
detect how off-center you are. [*]

He described it as follows:

  Make a base 1' x 1' On this base add a pivot point in the center and
  below this point put in 2 pots under the pivot. At each corner you
  need a lttle pulley wheel.

  Now make a top that sits on the pivot point and has a wire that goes
  from corner to opposite corner on the underside, in an X pattern.
  These wires pass through the pulleys on the base and wrap around the
  stem of each pot. Add a spring on each side of the base to hold thetop
  level and to return it to level. Now when the top is leaned in any
  direction it will turn the 2 pots and you will have the direction of
  lean.

Based on that, I imagine the analog data coming in (e.g., when you do
a 'PRINT PADDLE(0);" ";PADDLE(1)' in Atari BASIC) being something like:

  * Neutral:  128 128
  * Forward:  255 255
  * Back:     0 0
  * Left:     255 0
  * Right:    0 255

(Assuming leaning all the way in those directions.)


Since Mark Kim now lives in New York, I'm looking for a mentor who could help
me with projects like this. :)  (I'd really love to put together some
simple drums, and have a kooky idea for a violin/fiddle.)

Anyone out there who could help?  (It'd also help me get out of the house
for some adult time that isn't work. :) )


[*] Back in the early 1980s, a company called Amiga (yes, the one that went
    on to make the most excellent computers sold by Commodore) created a
    digital joystick controller that you stood or sat on called the Joy Board.
    It just had latches, so only detected left/right/up/down, and not
    varying degrees as such.

-- 
-bill!
"Tux Paint" - free children's drawing software for Windows / Mac OS X / Linux!
Download it today!  http://www.tuxpaint.org/
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