OrbShield kits...

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vputz
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OrbShield kits...

Postby vputz » November 14 2009, 7:14 AM

I know the subject is mostly dead, but I did manage to get Seeed to put together a number of kits with all the needed parts to make shields. They're at [url]http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/orbshield-v10-kit-p-545.html[/url], and to my surprise two people have bought them. I bought a third one and tested it--works just fine. Hopefully they'll be of use to folks!

flauzus
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby flauzus » January 06 2010, 12:10 PM

Hi Victor.



I’m new to this forum and not a SpaceOrb user but was considering getting one. I found this posting while I was looking into available SpaceOrb support. I am a 3D CAD/CAM professional who has been using Spaceballs for over 10 years. I am also a gamer with my games of choice being the Descent series with 6 degrees of freedom. For years I have wished for the ability to use a Spaceball with Descent. If I understand the info on the linked page correctly the OrbShield will allow me to do this with a serial Spaceball 4000. I saw in one of your posts that you feel “the desk-mounted Spaceball devices, which are turning out to be even better gaming devices than the orb”.



This is a dream come true. (I am practically drooling on my keyboard thinking about this.) Thanks for all your hard work on this project, truly amazing. :D



Are all the necessary instructions provided with the Orbshield kit such as board assembly, which Arduino board to buy, what software is required and how to configure a Spaceball as a game controller?



Thanks again.

vputz
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby vputz » January 28 2010, 19:17 PM

Weird, board ate my replies! Short form: yes, works with D2X, just played some Descent 2 via Orb 4000; send me a message if you want more info! Sorry, not bothering to retype all in case it eats my message again.

jaycrowe
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby jaycrowe » January 28 2010, 21:00 PM

Man, I apologize... :oops: My web server was crapping out with a BSOD every few hours... Instead of troubleshooting/reviving that box, I moved everything to a new server. I did make a backup of the phpBB database before the move, but you either snuck in after that, or your post was lost via one of the blue-screens.



Should be ok again. i hope. :D

jaycrowe
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby jaycrowe » January 28 2010, 21:21 PM

Sorry for not responding earlier! I sorta lost track of checking the forums here.



Are all the necessary instructions provided with the Orbshield kit such as board assembly, which Arduino board to buy, what software is required and how to configure a Spaceball as a game controller?



Yep; the build guide is pretty explicit so you can probably do it even if you've never picked up a soldering iron before; that's not a problem. You also can't really go wrong with what Arduino to buy... I somewhat suggest the Seeeduino just because its components are a bit lower and you won't have problems with components on the shield contacting the Arduino, but it works fine with my Seeduino with 328 and my Arduino Diecimila with 168, so probably any board will work.



Having said that--mine has worked fine on a couple of computers with XP, Linux, and Windows 7, so I had a lot of confidence in it, but I am currently talking to a guy who has been having trouble with intermittent connectivity. We're trying to work through it, but it's a weird problem that's tough to diagnose remotely ("but it works fine for me!").



I say give it a go! But then it's not my $50 gamble. Still, if you like the orb, it's a good option!



Oh, one more thing:



For years I have wished for the ability to use a Spaceball with Descent. If I understand the info on the linked page correctly the OrbShield will allow me to do this with a serial Spaceball 4000. I saw in one of your posts that you feel “the desk-mounted Spaceball devices, which are turning out to be even better gaming devices than the orb”.



I'm not 100% positive on Descent! The Spaceball 4k DOES show up as a six-axis multibutton gaming device. The trick is getting descent to love it. You won't probably have luck with the original, but maybe the expanded versions (D2X-XL) will work; I'll give it a go next time I have some free time for Windows gaming...vputz



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Re: OrbShield kits...

by vputz » January 28 2010, 18:30 PM



Heh...



Yep, works like a champ in D2X-XL. I was playing Descent again! Ha! Well, the demo at least (they had the data available to download).



HOLY CRAP that game is hard. But it worked! And yes, one hand on SpaceBall, one hand on Mouse is probably the way to go.

vputz
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby vputz » January 29 2010, 5:01 AM

Ha! No problem, Jay--I was wondering since it looked like it was down for several days. Glad to hear it's still working (and thanks for keeping this site up, even though things are pretty slow...).

jaycrowe
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby jaycrowe » January 29 2010, 7:13 AM

Do you prefer the Arduino or Seeeduino ?



I am going to order a couple of the kits. I have been traveling for work nearly nonstop the last 6 months, I hope to get back into some hobbies. We'll see!



Thanks.



Jay

flauzus
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby flauzus » January 29 2010, 11:57 AM

Unfortunately I can’t seem to get D2X-XL to run on my hardware. I play the older versions of Descent using the DXX-Rebirth ports which also uses the Windows game controllers. I also play Descent 3 which is a Windows version and should not be a problem.



I am also curious as to any disadvantage to using the Seeduino.



I see the support for the Spaceball FLX 5000 (serial) is also mentioned. With the price of these units dropping on eBay, can you tell me what are the advantages and disadvantages of using the 5000 compared to the 4000?



Thanks.

vputz
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby vputz » January 30 2010, 8:28 AM

[quote]Do you prefer the Arduino or Seeeduino ?[/quote]

Jay:



I prefer the Seeduino, and not just because Seeed Studios helped me out with the PCBs/kits. The main reason is that it's got lower-profile components, so my layout mistake is easier to ignore (on the Arduino, you have to put a piece of paper between some contacts on the bottom and the USB port on the Arduino PCB). A secondary reason, more for hobbyists, is that the Arduino has a weird design defect in that the pins on one side are staggerd so that it doesn't interface neatly with perfboard--the Seeduino has a second row of headers that do, so it works with Arduino shields as well as regular perf.



Disadvantages: 1) chip is hardwired in, so you can't replace it if you need to, and 2) for purposes of the Orbshield, you'll need two USB cables since the USB B port on the Seeduino is a mini.



Either way, they're functionally about the same.


[quote]Unfortunately I can’t seem to get D2X-XL to run on my hardware. I play the older versions of Descent using the DXX-Rebirth ports which also uses the Windows game controllers. I also play Descent 3 which is a Windows version and should not be a problem.[/quote]

As long as it sees game controllers, you should be fine; the Orb shows up as a HID gaming controller, pretty standard (if it only accepts X-box controllers, you're out of luck--some modern games have this issue and I have to go with keyboard/mouse).


[quote]I see the support for the Spaceball FLX 5000 (serial) is also mentioned. With the price of these units dropping on eBay, can you tell me what are the advantages and disadvantages of using the 5000 compared to the 4000?[/quote]

Couldn't tell you, honestly. I haven't been able to properly test with a 5000; I've tested with a Magellan SpaceMouse, which is supposed to have the same protocol. One of the previous users had a 4000 that had the 5000 firmware, so that's a bit strange too. For our purposes, I'd guess the 5000 and 4000 are pretty much the same thing... but I can't really answer that, I'm afraid.



One other item on the 5000-- if you're using it with an Orbshield, make sure you get the serial version, not the USB! "Obvious", but maybe not so obvious. I see a lot of USB 5000's on ebay, and of course they won't work with this.

theclarkster
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby theclarkster » May 07 2010, 17:18 PM

Hey Victor,



I stumble across the site every year or so checking for updates. It looks like I missed the chance to order those kits.



Are you planning to get any more made? Is it a problem of volume, as in you can only order 10 and hope they all get sold? Because I'd buy one in a flash. :)



Thanks for all the awesome work you've done here. Please let me know if ordering a kit is a possibility otherwise I'll have to try and make my own.



Thanks!

Chris

vputz
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby vputz » May 12 2010, 16:07 PM

Hey, Chris:



We have two issues actually. One which gives me a bit of caution is that I still (to my embarassment) haven't figured out why it's not working for Jay, so there may be a problem in design. Having said that, it's still going fine for me, so it could be an isolated thing, some ghost in his hardware. I just wanted to at least voice the caution.



The second thing is that I'm a bit confused by Seeed; they've done great work for me, but last contact we had they had said they were going to build the next set without my funding (this is totally OK; it's open-source hardware and so not only are they free to do this, I encourage it). But ... then they never did build them! So I'm not sure what to make of that. I'll check with them and see what their plan is.



So in the short term, no kits! However, if you're still interested and don't mind a bit more work, there are some options.



1) In the original thread, there's still a PDF of a home-etch board. Bit more work, but they do actually do the job.



2) I recently sent Seeed an order for a bunch of "HID shield" boards, which just encapsulate the "USB connection" part of the board; you'd still have to build the "Spaceorb" part (with the MAX233, the serial port, the DIP switch, etc). But it's something.



3) I'm trying to get a tiny CNC mill set up for milling PCBs in early summer, so I could mill you a one-off board if necessary, but no guarantees on how long it will take me to set it up (I wanted something for doing prototypes).



4) Eventually I'll get Seeed to build more.



Sorry no more encouraging news, but them's the breaks with small batches I'm afraid. Thanks for the reminder, though--I'll get back in touch with the Seeed folks and see what their plans are!



-->VPutz

theclarkster
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby theclarkster » May 12 2010, 16:16 PM

Thanks for all your help here. Yeah I was reading through the issue you were talking about. No clue how to help though. I know nothing about hardware, but was thinking about fiddling with the software code for fun, and hopefully be helpful in the distant future.



I'll look into etching it myself. But who knows when I'll get the free time, at least having the kit here would have motivated me more to finish it.



I'll keep an eye out anyways in case they do end up making the kits. Thanks for the offer of doing one for me yourself, if I fail horribly at home etching I may come crying for that. :)



Thanks,

Chris

flauzus
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Re: OrbShield kits...

Postby flauzus » May 13 2011, 12:14 PM

[quote="vputz"]I know the subject is mostly dead, but I did manage to get Seeed to put together a number of kits with all the needed parts to make shields. They're at [url]http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/orbshield-v10-kit-p-545.html[/url], and to my surprise two people have bought them. I bought a third one and tested it--works just fine. Hopefully they'll be of use to folks![/quote]

The link in the beginning of this thread is no longer valid. The current link is:



[url]http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/orbshield-v10-kit-p-671.html?cPath=132_134[/url]


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