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 Post subject: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:27 pm 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
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Location: Australia
This is an old project of mine that got put on the back burner for years due to accuracy and misfire issues.
With all that sorted I spent some time over the weekend putting ideas into play.

And seeing as this is the place to be for CRT heads I figured id share the entire project with you guys.

I present to you my SuperGun for Lightguns, or my SuperLightGun :mrgreen:
So far its compatible with Arcade, PS1, PS2, Dreamcast VGA. The same accurate aim and kick ass recoil across multiple platforms.
Image

The gun is an aftermarket NAMCO rep branded NAMED, but it is pretty much exactly the same as the original, seem to recoil harder too.
I've removed the sensor pcb from the gun and fit a Guncon2 3-legged sensor to a small pcb in its place with the shield cover.
A 100n capacitor was required across its power and ground to stop the crosshair teleporting.
I've increased the hose length to over 2 meters with no issues. Im using fully shielded RGBHV cable.
Image

The gun needed a recoil circuit so I put together 2 small 555 timer circuits, one is for single fire recoil and the other one controls rapidfire+recoil. I found they interfered with the trigger input unless a diode was used inline.
There's a plug on the back of the pedal for 24v input to power the solenoid.
Image
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The pedal is from a Time Crisis machine.
I've fit buttons and D-pad for console input (the D-pad is from a Dreamcast Mad Catz Blaster)
Theres a SPDT switch and button on the side for Arcade Service and Test
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The centre board is an input patch board. I'm using it to output inputs to a dance mat via the D-Sub 9 plug and that mess of white patch wires. After building it I found similar VGA breakout boards for less than $4.. Oh well.
I'm using patch wires as im unsure what mapping id like for the mat and i like being able to change things easily if needed.
The pedal also takes its input from the patch board incase I need to change it to something else.
I dont have a mat hacked up yet but as soon as i do ill be using it to play some Dino Stalker.
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The D-Sub 15 plug is input for the light guns I've padhacked.
Tore each gun down to its main pcb then covered them in some super thick heat shrink. They are as hard as a rock now. Replaced the caps onboard before too.
Image

Guns used are GunCon1, Guncon2 and Mad Catz Dreamcast Blaster.
I recommend using these guns if you want to make one yourself, especially the Mad Catz Blaster as it can be used for North American games and all other official Dreamcast guns are locked out.
The original sensor is removed and the NAMED gun is wired in its place.

Image

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The pinouts for the D-Sub 15 and each gun are

Guncon1 D-sub 15 pinout
1- Ground
2- Trigger
3- N/A
4- B
5- A
6- N/A
7- B
8- N/A
9- N/A
10-N/A
11-N/A
12-N/A
13- Sensor
14- +3.3v
15- +3.3v

Guncon2 D-sub 15 pinout
1- Ground
2- Trigger
3- C
4- B
5- A
6- Select
7- Start
8- Up
9- Down
10- Left
11- Right
12- Reserved
13- Sensor
14- +3.3v
15- +5v


Dreamcast Mad Catz Blaster D-sub 15 pinout
1- Ground
2- Trigger
3- B
4- B
5- B
6- Mode(B if you don't want the fire modes)
7- Start
8- Up
9- Down
10- Left
11- Right
12- N/A
13- Sensor
14- +5v
15- +5v

Best to route your pedal to pin 5 for cross system compatibility.


Here's a cheeky little video of me using 2 of these guns for Vampire Night on PS2 in rapidfire mode.
https://youtu.be/c4v_XDulfoM


Last edited by Syntax on Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm 


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Joined: 03 Dec 2015
Posts: 131
Location: Norway
Great effort man!


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:30 pm 


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Joined: 31 Jul 2017
Posts: 68
Glorious.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:41 pm 


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Joined: 17 Jan 2016
Posts: 232
Rad project man


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:13 pm 


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Joined: 04 Sep 2013
Posts: 266
Location: Portugal
Wow !


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:38 am 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
Posts: 510
Location: Los Angeles, CA
That's absolutely fantastic, man. I modded a foot pedal into the original GunCon back in the day but it still wasn't complete without the recoil.. and that was the step well beyond my ability or ambition. To see something like this - also with multiple compatibility - really strikes a chord. Great frickin' job.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:53 pm 



Joined: 24 Jan 2018
Posts: 9
As I've said it to you and I'll say it again, this is by far the cleanest mod ever on a light gun and I'm so jelly over it!! :) :)

I'm still cheering over finishing my build of version 1! :)

Once I get the second gun, I'll work on the gun driver v2 using your latest schematic and do a comparison.

Love your work bud and thanks for putting up with my constant messages when I initially reached out to you to help with the completion of v1

Here's my version of version 1 rapid fire for the others on this thread :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_Imz0XP-ow


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:00 pm 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 1034
Location: Australia
Thanks for all the props guys :)
Finally got around to hacking up a dance mat and it was totally worth it.

My brother and I are trying not to cry watching each other take sniper shots in Dino Stalker :mrgreen:

https://youtu.be/wZC0o_MoZO8


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:59 pm 



Joined: 24 Jan 2018
Posts: 9
Finally got around to finishing the v2 design :)

It's not pretty, but she works!

The spaghetti of wires!

Image

The top side doesn't look too bad :)

Image

More wires! Now that it's tested, I'll try and clean it up in a project box and will attempt at making the pcbs swappable (will do a gcon and gcon2 mod, maybe at some point dc too)

Image

Video of it in action

https://youtu.be/SjrA-JaAec4


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:31 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 850
Any plans for an Xbox variant for House of the Dead 2/3, Silent Scope 1/2/3, and Starsky and Hutch?


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:12 am 



Joined: 24 Jan 2018
Posts: 9
nmalinoski wrote:
Any plans for an Xbox variant for House of the Dead 2/3, Silent Scope 1/2/3, and Starsky and Hutch?


For me, no. I only plan on gcon1 and gcon 2 - possibly a DC.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:56 am 



Joined: 15 Aug 2015
Posts: 88
Shut up and take my money.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:07 am 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
I like projects like this.

Are you sure about the need to remove the arcade sensor? The other Namco arcade gun / PS2 mods I have seen seem to connect the arcade gun sensor to the Guncon 2 I/o board. E.g.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h4PACUHxghw

On the recoil, I have been working on a simpler full auto solenoid mechanism for people like me that don't know what any of the numbers and symbols on your diagram mean.

I have a few PS2 and PS1 recoil guns that aren't very good for accuracy or recoil. My main issue on the recoil is how full auto is linked to auto fire so it can't be used on full auto games properly. You can only use it to make the regular Time Crisis gun act like full auto.

I also couldn't live with the need to flick a switch to go from semi to full auto every time I change guns in TC3. So this is what I came up with. You'll probably laugh at my prototype design....

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NNToH3yW60Y

The solenoid itself is set up to break the circuit as soon as it is activated and then complete the circuit again when it is returned by spring (as long as you keep your finger on the trigger). I have since replaced the exposed copper contacts with a small micro switch as I don't like sparks.

The net result is that it delivers semi auto recoil if you press the trigger and release and full auto recoil if you hold the trigger. It means that you always have the correct type of recoil for the game and gun you are using without breaking up gameplay with a switch. I like simplicity!


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:14 am 


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Location: Australia
I replace the NAMED sensor board with NAMCO parts. So yeah same end result.

Someone recently built a few boards which are really easy to put together, but so far only mine work?

https://www.aussiearcade.com/showthread ... -mod/page9


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:31 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
Syntax wrote:
I replace the NAMED sensor board with NAMCO parts. So yeah same end result.

Someone recently built a few boards which are really easy to put together, but so far only mine work?

https://www.aussiearcade.com/showthread ... -mod/page9



I was thinking of buying some of the Happ light gun sensors as they are cheap and I was going to try replacing the sensors in some of my underperforming 3rd party guns. From reading your info, it sounds like adding a capacitor might stop the crosshairs jumping and make it perform as well as my Namco guns.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:02 pm 


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Location: Australia
Dont bother.
Namco uses a 3 leg sensor.

All crappy guns use a 2 leg one.

They are not really interchangeable

All guns usually already have a decoupling cap close by anyway.

Dont waste your money on sensors, they are cheap as and can even be sourced from remotes.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:59 am 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
Syntax wrote:
Dont bother.
Namco uses a 3 leg sensor.

All crappy guns use a 2 leg one.

They are not really interchangeable

All guns usually already have a decoupling cap close by anyway.

Dont waste your money on sensors, they are cheap as and can even be sourced from remotes.


As far as I know, the Happ arcade light guns are compatible with the Namco ones and are considered a drop-in replacement. I've one in an arcade and as far as I can remember, they did the job and had nice recoil.

The reason for my interest in them, aside from the lower price point than Namco arcade guns, is that they advertise some kind of shock absorbing feature - essentially making them better able to stand up to a solenoid battering (if it's true).


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:41 am 


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Posts: 1034
Location: Australia
If you want your signal to go through conversions by all means be my guest an hook it straight up to one of those crappy happ guns. Have fun with accuracy issues and such.

They are effectively a virtua cop 2 gun with a solenoid inside that clacks away lightly with 0 slide action.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:35 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
Syntax wrote:
If you want your signal to go through conversions by all means be my guest an hook it straight up to one of those crappy happ guns. Have fun with accuracy issues and such.

They are effectively a virtua cop 2 gun with a solenoid inside that clacks away lightly with 0 slide action.


I wasn't interested in the whole gun, just the sensor to replace one in a light gun I have with accuracy issues.

I have the PS1 and PS2 Dessert Eagle light guns. The PS1 variant has decent recoil. I.e. Semi and full auto with a slide. As I don't really need a PS1 version (because I have a jolt arcade gun with pedal) I wanted to replace the Guncon 1 with Guncon 2 electronics or just replace the sensor with an accurate one.

For my main gun, I want to use my Namco brand Guncon 2 insides in my Steyr AUG stock with my full auto recoil mechanism. It won't be capable of making non auto games like vampire night into full auto but it will let me play Time Crisis 3 as intended. I.e. When I choose the machine gun, I'll get full auto recoil when I hold the trigger and when I choose the shot gun or pistol, the solenoid will activate once for one trigger pull without needing any switches.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:54 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
This is the shell I made to fit with Guncon 2 electronics:

Image

These bullpup stocks have a good amount of room for a large solenoid and you can position it a good distance from the sensor to avoid shock issues.

I wish I had your electronics skills. I bought a 555 timer a while ago but I can't figure out how to use it.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:29 pm 


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Location: Australia
Classicgamer wrote:
Syntax wrote:
If you want your signal to go through conversions by all means be my guest an hook it straight up to one of those crappy happ guns. Have fun with accuracy issues and such.

They are effectively a virtua cop 2 gun with a solenoid inside that clacks away lightly with 0 slide action.


I wasn't interested in the whole gun, just the sensor to replace one in a light gun I have with accuracy issues.

I have the PS1 and PS2 Dessert Eagle light guns. The PS1 variant has decent recoil. I.e. Semi and full auto with a slide. As I don't really need a PS1 version (because I have a jolt arcade gun with pedal) I wanted to replace the Guncon 1 with Guncon 2 electronics or just replace the sensor with an accurate one.

For my main gun, I want to use my Namco brand Guncon 2 insides in my Steyr AUG stock with my full auto recoil mechanism. It won't be capable of making non auto games like vampire night into full auto but it will let me play Time Crisis 3 as intended. I.e. When I choose the machine gun, I'll get full auto recoil when I hold the trigger and when I choose the shot gun or pistol, the solenoid will activate once for one trigger pull without needing any switches.



How the hell does that work? What tells the gun you have equipped a machine gun???

In the arcade versions theres a signal wire that sends that info but it was never an intention for ps2.

I really want to know what let's the gun decide its fire mode.

Maybe it taps the sensor and everytime it sees a spike it fires... something for me to work on.
A monostable 555 timer that's triggered off a comparator reading the sensor voltage.

Thanks a tonne!!

I have the desert eagle too, looks cool but subpar performance.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:27 am 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
It's nothing that complicated. The gun doesn't need to know what mode the game is in. It simply delivers full auto recoil if you hold the trigger and semi auto if you press it and release - I.e. Exactly what you would do if you were playing the game as intended.

One of the main issues I have with the recoil mechanism on guns like the desert eagle is that full auto seems to be achieved with a combination of autofire and a relay. That's fine if you want to simulate full auto on games that don't support it but it doesn't work on real full auto games. On Crisis Zone, for example, you press and hold the trigger for full auto fire.

On games like Time Crisis 3 where you switch between auto and semi auto guns regularly in-game, any type of switch (between auto and semi recoil) is just annoying.

I posted a video of my recoil mechanism above (at proof of concept stage). I use the Solenoid itself to break the circuit as it activates. The solenoid cylinder is resting on (and pressing) a micro-switch in it's resting position. When the solenoid is activated (with a second micro-switch on the trigger), the cylinder moves forward releasing the first micro switch which breaks the circuit. If you keep your finger on the trigger, the circuit will get reconnect when the cylinder returns and presses the micro switch again.

If you release the trigger after firing (I.e. Semi auto), it recoils once per shot.

It's very simple. No 555 timers, no relays, no switches. Just a pair of micro-switches. While it is largely a factor of my lack of electronics skills, now that I have tested it, I think it is the best solution for PS2 games. It is certainly better than all the commercial home recoil guns I have tried so far.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:30 am 


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Location: Australia
My auto fire circuit works the same but you could mod it to hold trigger easily to work between games.
I'll have a crack at installing a switch for it tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:25 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
Syntax wrote:
My auto fire circuit works the same but you could mod it to hold trigger easily to work between games.
I'll have a crack at installing a switch for it tonight.


What would the switch be for?

If it is to switch between one mode where full auto is delivered via auto fire to create full auto in games that don't have it, and a second mode that's like mine to play games as intended, maybe you could just borrow the circuit from an auto fire joypad?

What is most important (and where most commercial full auto light guns fail) is seperating the autofire trigger function from the pedal. The desert eagle turns on autofire for all buttons so in games like Time Crisis, you keep popping in and out of hiding.... it's very annoying.

Personally, I think I prefer a mechanical solution. It somehow more closely recreates the rhythm of a real gun. It's far simpler too.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:24 pm 


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All the switch does is route the rapid fire signal away from the guncon but still sends it to the solenoid.

The switch does nothing in single fire mode but in rapid fire mode it controls whether the input can be held or not.

So my gun has 3 modes now, Auto Fire+autorecoil, Single Fire+autorecoil, Single Fire+recoil.
No other buttons are effected.

The system you have made for the solenoid is called a "Limiter" system.
If it works for you then great. The out of rhythm fire rate and service life would send me nuts.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:36 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
Is the middle mode the one that works with Time Crisis 3? I.e. You press and release the trigger, it recoils once, you press and hold the trigger, you get full auto recoil?

If so, that would cover all games if you wanted to play them as intended. It is nice to have the ability to make games like Vampire night full auto too though. You probably wouldn't need the single fire plus recoil mode as it is covered by single fire with auto recoil.

If I was going to add an autofire option, with my lack of electronics skills, I'd probably have to add a third trigger micro switch on the other end of the solenoid so it presses it when it recoils. It would keep the recoil in exact sync with the firing on-screen though.

If I try and follow your advice to fix the accuracy issues on my Desert Eagle and buy a capacitor, would you mind helping me figure out where to solder it's pins to?

I had a look inside one of my Namco guncon 2's yesterday. It looks like the easiest hack for adding a pedal is to use the wires from the button on the bottom of the grip. I can't think of any other use for that button.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:37 pm 


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Your on your own with that project buddy. GL

I give your limiter system a lifespan of about a fortnight before the micro switches burn out.

You could make them last longer with backlash diodes and some resistors but then you change the intensity of the recoil.

Maybe try some solid state relays and wire them to contact plates.


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:26 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 283
Is there a specific type of 100n capacitor that is needed for light guns? I was looking on eBay and they seem to be available in 100v, 200v, 400v and they come in a variety of materials such as polyester or ceramic.

Does any of that matter or can I use any type of 100n capacitor?


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:30 pm 


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I think you have a misunderstanding of the whole 100n cap scenario.

You need one on the board you make if you decide to replace the NAMED board. This is because of the length of cable from sensor to IC.

Any premade gun has that cap there already. You only need it for the above. ^^^


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 Post subject: Re: One Lightgun to rule them all?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:39 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
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Syntax wrote:
Your on your own with that project buddy. GL

I give your limiter system a lifespan of about a fortnight before the micro switches burn out.

You could make them last longer with backlash diodes and some resistors but then you change the intensity of the recoil.

Maybe try some solid state relays and wire them to contact plates.


We're all on our own with projects like this...

I am not worried about the micro-switch wearing out. A good microswith is designed to handle a continuous hammering in arcades. They are also very cheap and easy to replace. The solenoid will go first (on your design and mine).

If I chose to put a micro switch on the other side for autofire (which I probably won't), I could see that being an issue with the solenoid constantly smashing into it. The micro-switch would have to be carefully placed at the end of the solenoids travel range to minimize the force.

The micro switch I am using for recoil doesn't receive much force at all. When the solenoid is activated, it releases the swith (so no force) and there isn't much energy left by the time the spring returns it to it's resting position. It's just about enough to press the switch.

I think I might have found an easier method of adding autofire. Arcade guns is offering a USB add-on to enable full auto recoil. It looks like an autofire thing as it doesn't connect to the power lines at all.


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