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Fully Enclosed Mech Simulator


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#1 NightlyReaper

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:34 PM

NEW UPDATES TO THE OLD WORKHORSE. CHECK IT OUT!
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More details to come.

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My son and I were excited about the upcoming release of MechWarrior Online so we decided to build a BattleMech Simulator.

Here's the full tour.
http://www.flickr.co...s/69142894@N08/

I was inspired by the following two creators greatly, but did not have their resources. I thank them for posting their stuff. It shames mine:

Choowy's Mad Dog:
http://simhq.com/for...or_Cockpit.html
and
TurboCorvair's PC Sim Pit:
(look for "PC Sim Pit" on youtube) Video not directly linked to avoid confusion with my (meager) build.

I am not trying to emulate those guys. They appear to be master builders. I wanted to see what could be done with the least amount of materials and money (and building skill). I was pleasantly surprised.

I had some spare lumber, an old subwoofer, a couple of spare PC's, a small monitor and it all sorta just fit together. This was not supposed to be a high-quality build. I think of mine as a jalopy of a mech. To all who are critical, please remember, my total build cost now stands at $55.00 USD. All the components were either bound for the junkpile or were donated by friends who were supportive along the way. I challenge anyone to do a better job for less money.

My build photos are available over at No Guts, No Galaxy's forums. http://nogutsnogalaxy.net/ You gotta register there to look at those. Thought I'd send some more business their way. Great guys, what with their hosting Teamspeak servers for MWO and all.

Special thanks to:
Galaxy Commander Aaron
Galaxy Commander Frank
Star Captain Andrew
Additional thanks to:
Point Leader Chris
Point Leader Addison.

Did I mention it's a MECH SIMULATOR!!!

See you on the battlefield folks.

NightlyReaper, Out.

Edited by NightlyReaper, 02 February 2013 - 06:22 PM.


#2 vonChewie

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:41 PM

that looks sweet!

#3 SeventhAngel

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:43 PM

freakin' sweet man...

#4 HackNFly

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:51 PM

Are you using this in Windows 7 64 bit or 32 bit?

#5 NightlyReaper

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:03 PM

View PostHackNFly, on 18 September 2012 - 05:51 PM, said:

Are you using this in Windows 7 64 bit or 32 bit?


I've got 2 PC's on the floor flanking the pedals. The keyboard/controller shelf flips up to allow access to their front panel USB's and CD drives. The backs of the PCs are accessible through the hinged doors of the "bottom jaw". Their fans help push hot air out the "mouth".

MWO, MWLL, MW4Mercs, MW3 and MW3 Pirate's Moon run on a Windows 7-64bit PC.

MW2, MW2: Ghost Bear's Legacy, and MW2: Mercenaries run on an MW2-era-appropriate 900mhz WinME machine. I chose WinME despite it's poor rep due to the fact that it includes networking features which make it easier for the faster PC's to see it on the network.

All the games run smoothly now, but getting the VT Controller to play in a 64-bit environment with unsigned drivers has a learning curve.

Right now, I just swap cables if I want to play the older games, but the goal is to eventually have a KVM switch on the dashboard. Donations? NightlyReaper@gmail.com

NightlyReaper, out.

#6 Nahte27

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:13 PM

Wow, that's one sweet setup! B)

All you need now is a ButtKicker so you can feel your mech walking or taking damage!
http://www.thebuttki...oducts/bkgr.htm

#7 HackNFly

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:18 PM

Reason I ask, is I"ve been working for a while on a driver for Windows 7 64 bit for the Steel Batallion Controller. I got it working for earlier games such as MW4 but not for MWO. I should have support for MWO soon, however I was unaware of any other way of getting the SB controller working in Windows 7 64 bit.

#8 Vengant Mjolnir

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:18 PM

I really like how you incorporated the Steel Battalion controller, nice touch. Is that what you meant by the VT drivers?

#9 NightlyReaper

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:26 PM

View PostVengant Mjolnir, on 18 September 2012 - 07:18 PM, said:

I really like how you incorporated the Steel Battalion controller, nice touch. Is that what you meant by the VT drivers?


Yes. In the Steel Battalion universe, Mechs are called Vertical Tanks and this controller has that VT terminology stamped and written all over it. As always, I refer all prospective disciples to vt.beckament.net, the keeper of knowledge for this technology.

I am but a ComStar Adept, he is the Primus.

NightlyReaper, out.

#10 HackNFly

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:31 PM

View PostNightlyReaper, on 18 September 2012 - 07:26 PM, said:


Yes. In the Steel Battalion universe, Mechs are called Vertical Tanks and this controller has that VT terminology stamped and written all over it. As always, I refer all prospective disciples to vt.beckament.net, the keeper of knowledge for this technology.

I am but a ComStar Adept, he is the Primus.

NightlyReaper, out.

Still, same question as to how you got it working with MWO in Windows 7 64 bit. The Windows 7 help link under vt.beckament.net,just points back to a blog talking about my software.

#11 Thoryn

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:35 PM

Wish i had the room for something like this. However i dont think that my wife would approve. grats on the build

#12 NightlyReaper

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:36 PM

View PostNahte27, on 18 September 2012 - 07:13 PM, said:

Wow, that's one sweet setup! B)

All you need now is a ButtKicker so you can feel your mech walking or taking damage!
http://www.thebuttki...oducts/bkgr.htm


Sir, there are two 10-inch subs an arms length from my face firing through the open ports on either side of the monitor.  There are two 4-inch surround sound speakers each about a foot from either ear.  Some of the loose wires you see dangling are set to be connected to a set of tweeters to be mounted at either side of the sim, just in front of the sticks.  It is an enclosed box made of wood.  When the mech walks, or the machine guns fire, stuff falls off those shelves you see in the pictures. The sound is not only loud, it is startlingly loud to person not expecting the bass hits.  I have a video of my son the first time he switched to guns in MW4Mercs. He visibly jumped. A Butt-Kicker would probably just induce incontinence.  And we can't have that.  No sir.  

NightlyReaper, Out.

Edited by NightlyReaper, 18 September 2012 - 07:37 PM.


#13 HackNFly

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:40 PM

This sounds like an awesome Father-Son project. I hope to do these types of projects when I have kids. It looks pretty slick. I like how you have all the systems you could possibly contained within the simulator. Nice job.

#14 Foust

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:47 PM

I love that roof hatch. Bravo!

#15 NightlyReaper

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:54 PM

View PostHackNFly, on 18 September 2012 - 07:18 PM, said:

Reason I ask, is I"ve been working for a while on a driver for Windows 7 64 bit for the Steel Batallion Controller. I got it working for earlier games such as MW4 but not for MWO. I should have support for MWO soon, however I was unaware of any other way of getting the SB controller working in Windows 7 64 bit.



Is that YOUR software? God, this is like meeting Elvis! Thank you so much for all you've contributed. I followed the process there, and the VT seems to be working on MW4Mercs and MWLL, but I have only had time for a cursory check and have not yet been able to set it up on MWO. I ONLY GOT INTO THE BETA TONIGHT. The MWO screens you see were installed on my son's beta access. I know, I know. I build a mech, HE gets into the Beta. Where's the justice? Just as well. I've been too busy with the sim pit to play. I'm IN the Beta now and you can bet I'll be on there soon! And you need to Get Crackin' on completing MWO support. :-) Thanks for all you've done, and Good Luck!

NightlyReaper, Out.

Edited by NightlyReaper, 18 September 2012 - 07:56 PM.


#16 NightlyReaper

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 08:01 PM

May I get some upvotes on Reddit? http://www.reddit.co...ully_armed_and/

NightlyReaper Thanks You.

#17 HackNFly

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 08:21 PM

Haha, Thanks for the compliment, I actually had the source code to the project opened up on the other monitor, and was surprised to hear someone else had got it working in MWO on Windows 7 64 bit. I got access to BETA only a week ago, opened up the game and was stunned to see it didn't work. PPJoy is a bit old and newer games don't recognize it. I spent a few hours looking for a new solution. I about gave up. I managed to find a new library called vJoy. I've double checked it just now, and MWO does recognize both axes and buttons for it. Still a lot of work to do to make my software work with that library instead, but a solution is around the corner.

#18 NightlyReaper

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:43 AM

View PostHackNFly, on 18 September 2012 - 08:21 PM, said:

Haha, Thanks for the compliment, I actually had the source code to the project opened up on the other monitor, and was surprised to hear someone else had got it working in MWO on Windows 7 64 bit. I got access to BETA only a week ago, opened up the game and was stunned to see it didn't work. PPJoy is a bit old and newer games don't recognize it. I spent a few hours looking for a new solution. I about gave up. I managed to find a new library called vJoy. I've double checked it just now, and MWO does recognize both axes and buttons for it. Still a lot of work to do to make my software work with that library instead, but a solution is around the corner.


I have spent little time on these boards, mainly as a proselytizer for the virtues of the VT controller. It looks like I am to be reliant on your prospective MWO solution to hold this whole thing together. I had previously been playing MW4 on vista-32 but when my son gained Beta Access to MWO, he installed it on the 'Mech 'Pit PC and he found it to be a horribly inadequate machine, so it became a homework box and one of my friends donated a box with more grunt, but it has a 64-bit processor. I verified that MW4 works but don't have time for much more right now as I'm giving that homework PC a workout....on homework. I am assuming that you are working on these drivers for your own use and hoping that someone will take advantage of them. Hope no more. Please email when you are ready for stuff to be tested. I will help in any way I can. NightlyReaper@gmail.com Thanks again for your continued work, you have at least one fan.

#19 HackNFly

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:51 AM

Funny thing is, other than the lights I don't even like the SB controller that much. I just thought it was unique enough that it deserved some support, and I love hacking old joysticks. Its actually my brother's joystick, he's just cool with me borrowing it until I finish development. The switches are cool, but I like a more HOTAS control, and there simply aren't enough buttons accessible via the joysticks. Personally my favorite joystick is the Microsoft Sidewinder Forcefeedback Pro. The original version. I still remember playing MW3 with it back in '97. It was an awesome Xmas gift. I love that joystick because it will never wear out, and the forcefeedback felt awesome back in the day. Back in '97 Microsoft was making use of custom chips and a specialized camera that read the joystick position using special leds. It's also one of the most ergonomic joysticks I've used to date. Neat thing is, I've built an adapter to allow it to work with Windows 7. I didn't program this one, I just followed the plans, and gave feedback to that developer. Thats the type of hardware approach I would have ended up creating if I couldn't get the software for the SB to work.

Here's a link if you're interested.
http://code.google.c.../adapt-ffb-joy/

I'll be happy to send you the latest program to test. I only have a limited amount of time to work on this project, but since I'm close, I hope to get it working by early next week. I may not have all the button to keyboard functionality I had for the previous version, but I should have access to 32 buttons and 8 axes, which should be plenty until I get the keyboard mapping functionality fixed to work with MWO.

#20 PlayinItSafe

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 07:56 AM

I gotta try to talk my gf into letting me build a rig like that! lol Great work!





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