NUON Rotary Controllers for T3K

Stephen

NUON Lover!
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Sorry I forgot to respond to this. My Breakout demo with controller config is on there. I am posting the source to the latest version I was working on. I had to quit since it was just too hard burning to CD-RW every time. Sometimes I would change the order of a line of code and my framerate would drop from 60 to 30 - it was insanely frustrating.
 

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nicolaspersijn

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Thanks to all the great folks I met in Duisberg this weekend. Some great times and some useful brainstorming has ignited some new creativity on this project.

If I can't figure out the polyface myself, or recreate at least the wiring of the legendary original modded PC Wingman Warrior used to code the rotary controls then I need to think outside the box to come to a more creative solution.

I've decided to use the existing dpad controls to hack together some sort of digital rotary based on the left and right functions the dpad already has. An incremental quadrature encoder would not work in this case, as the inputs would need to be interpreted in software.

If some kind of momentary encoder was used, simulating a "press-release-press-release" input, then the desired end result would be attained. The main problem with this is that such an encoder (if one exists) would only be useful in moving in one direction. This is where I hit a creative block, so any help would be appreciated.

Sorry for the lack of new updates lately. Thankfully a recent new NUON owner has rekindled the need to complete this project ASAP.
 

nicolaspersijn

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Special thanks to Urs König aka QLvsJAGUAR for pulling some strings and getting ahold of some ex-VM Labs folks. Here's an excerpt from some emails he's sent me:

Hi Nick,

before I’m diving any deeper into this I had a look to my files and found several VM Labs pictures and documents relating to that topic. Please find them attached in the ZIP file. Maybe they are of any good for you.

My next step would then be to contact (a) former VM Labs engineer(s) but I’m unsure about the best timing (pre- or post-Christmas season, on one hand he/they may have some time to look at it, on the other hand it is a busy time of the year for many people).

Best regards,
Urs.

This email included some old documentation, available here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/l6fin7t9oa0klbt/NUON_VM_Labs_Polyface_Controller_selection-1.zip

Shortly after, he sent me this here:

Hi Nick,

got this answer minutes ago from a former VM Labs employee:

Looks like you guys had fun.

Unfortunately I don't have any of my VM Labs documentation - the bankruptcy was a legal mess so I deleted everything I had at home - and so I don't have anything on the Polyface chip. I racked my brains, but don't recall who developed it. I'll keep mulling it over and see if I can find anything.


I wish you and your family Merry Christmas and all the best for 2014.

Kind regards, Urs


Not the best news, but at least there's one more VM Labs dude out there that now knows what I'm doing.

Incidentally, Urs has a bunch of great NUON and Jag YouTube videos on his YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/QLvsJAGUAR
 

nicolaspersijn

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Another great update from Urs. Here he's gotten in contact with a German ex VM Labs employee:

"Hi Nick,

I’m playing Santa Claus. Here’s another response which I've received yesterday from a German former VM Labs employee:

> An wen (ex VM Labs Mitarbeiter?) könnte/sollte sich Nick wenden, damit er weiterkommt?
Also: Ich glaube mich erinnern zu können, dass Jeff Minter Tempest 3000 tatsächlich mal mit einen Rotary-Controller (Prototyp) getestet hat - d.h. es müsste SW-seitig im NUON BIOS unterstützt sein. Das ist ja die Voraussetzung - sonst hilft alles basteln nicht.
Soviel ich noch weiss, lässt sich mit dem "Polyface" Chip jede Controller Art aufbauen. Welche Art ist glaube ich nur durch die äußere Beschaltung der Widerstände codiert... Nach den Feiertagen mache ich im Keller mal meine "VMLabs" Kiste auf. Da ist noch Stapelweise Unterlagen drin. Evtl. finde ich noch eine Polyface Spec o.ä.

Slowly, slowly we're getting closer to the information needed.

Cheers, Urs"

For those of you who are rough in German, this guy here may remember the modded PC wingman warrior controller, and confirms the function of the polyface chip. He states here that what kind of controller is depends on the "äußere Beschallung der wiederstände". I think that means something about the pins.
He goes on to say that he's going to check his VM Labs archive and see what he can find. Here's hoping!

Thanks again Urs!
 

eltoozero

New Member
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Wizards.
All of you.
Well done.

Hey you! I need the T3K soundtrack I'm certain you've still got hiding somewhere! ;)

If you want the spinner details I'll share them privately before the public release.

Be weary, this is a major ordeal and very much risks the integrity of your precious working nuon controller, we will offer a retrofit service and we're working out the details now.

It wont be cheap I'm afraid, even if we weren't designing a new spinner board to carry the Polyface chip it will definitely require us to remove the chip and reflow.

In the case of a recycled "Brumby" you've got to cut traces and/or lift four pins on a 48-pin TQFP chip, definitely not fun and not easy or quick; which is why we're designing the new board and validating the (thankfully simple) Polyface circuit on a breadboard.

Currently the ONLY functional prototype is a hacked up Logitech Brumby in a test stand secured in a plastic parts bin to keep it safe. 8O
 

doctorclu

NUON Lover!
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Never the less, sounds like it would be fun. I might see if I have a extra Nuon controller around that I want to get hacked up. Let me know how much the "operation" would be. :D

All and all, strangely, this might be as close to the big "Battlesphere"moment that we had on the Atari Jaguar. I remember getting into the Jaguar in 1999 and in 2000 Battlesphere came out. Was a lot of fun, though I felt I missed most of the waiting time while everyone else had been waiting for years. And to be honest, I think Battlesphere was a fun game, great music, and worth a lot of the hype.

As for the rotary controller for Tempest 3000 since Tempest is considered to be the killer app on the Nuon more or less, this would be sought after thing for the Nuon.

Shame this spinner doesn't work for my regular go to game on the Nuon: Ballistic. :/
 

doctorclu

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Excited about the official release of the spinner controller at SCRGE yesterday. Photos and possibly videos would be awesome. :)
 

megarat

Cool Member
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This is terrific news. Include me as a supporter of this project. I will be happy to purchase one, and even sacrifice a controller for the task.
 

megarat

Cool Member
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I have a copy the T3k soundtrack; Minter's team gave me these files ages ago through their forum, so I think that qualifies them for the public domain. Let me know if other options don't work out and I can post them somewhere.
 
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