New run of orbshields

SpaceOrb drivers and software discussions
A Future Pilot
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Joined: February 26 2013, 22:12 PM

Re: New run of orbshields

Post by A Future Pilot » June 25 2013, 8:05 AM

So would it be better to get a Spaceorb 5000 with USB or a 5000 with serial and use the orbotron 9000?

Also would y'all suggest a 360 or a Spaceorb 5000 for gaming? I think I like the idea of using one hand on the keyboard and one on the Spaceorb. Will that work well?

Thanks!

vputz
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Joined: March 25 2006, 20:21 PM

Re: New run of orbshields

Post by vputz » June 25 2013, 12:25 PM

It's a good question, particularly since cost-wise it's almost a wash. What I can't tell you is how (or if!) the 5000USB works with gaming--Tehrasha, any input?

I can say that the 5000+Orbotron is very tweakable, which may or may not be a good thing. Want to bind two axes to the mouse for looking, but have two other axes push keyboard keys for WASD because your game doesn't support joystick? You got it. Change sensitivity or response curves? Sure thing. Push a button and have the X and Y axes get damped so you can pull off a sniper shot without swinging everywhere? No problem.

The only catch is that the flexibility comes with a complexity cost and writing programs to do that remapping may be too annoying. You can also leave it as a joystick and use other programs like X360ce to do the remapping.

And actually, the few times I've used a spaceball with gaming, rather than orb and keyboard, I've found myself using spaceball in the left hand and mouse in the right (or nowadays spaceorb in left, Novint Falcon in right). No matter how I tweak it, I just don't like the orb for fine aiming; I've tried a lot of shenanigans with mouse binding and smoothing and "sniper mode" ... all sorts of things and while they help, it still just doesn't feel "nice". For fine aiming, you can't beat the mouse.

Still, fun to play with!

I'm out of SMD stock for a couple weeks; I'm going to try and run a SMD workshop at the local hackspace and build a few, and the rev2 prototypes should be here in a week or so so I'll have "proper stock" again in a month. Sorry for the delays!

Tehrasha
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by Tehrasha » June 25 2013, 20:11 PM

vputz wrote:It's a good question, particularly since cost-wise it's almost a wash. What I can't tell you is how (or if!) the 5000USB works with gaming--Tehrasha, any input?
Gaming with these devices is definitely not my strong suit, so file this heavily under AFAIK.

I know of no way to make the 5000USB show up as a joystick/gaming device.
I believe the primary problem is something that VPutz ran into early on (page 2 of this thread I think).

http://www.jaycrowe.com/phpbb3/viewtopi ... t=15#p1371

I am fairly certain that the 5000USB (and all other USB spacemice) show up as (X/Y/Z Rx/Ry/Rz) devices in their HID report, so games do not see them.

If you were using a current spacemouse (Navigator, SpacePilot, SpacePilotPro, SpaceMousePro) you could use the 'joystick mode' in the latest beta drivers from 3dConnexion. Unfortunately, he driver software does not recognize older discontinued spacemice models.

{RANT} 3dConnexion has a history of making hardware obsolete through their drivers, even though the new devices are identical the the old devices at the communication protocol level. :evil: {RANT}

For gaming, I think your best bet is the Orbotron plus your serial device of choice. (SpaceOrb, 4000, 5000, SpacemousePlus)
Definitely less hassle. Once the Orbotron is set for your device, you calibrate your 'joystick' and 'it just works'.
Spacemice -- Input Devices for a 3D World

A Future Pilot
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by A Future Pilot » June 26 2013, 8:08 AM

So you would suggest the spaceorb and a keyboard for gaming? How can I hold the controller if I'm using the keyboard as well? Or do you mean you don't have a hand on each at the same time?

And finally: How does a Spacenavigator do for gaming?

Thanks!

Also, how is the spaceorb for fine aiming? And is the spaceball really that bad?

vputz
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Joined: March 25 2006, 20:21 PM

Re: New run of orbshields

Post by vputz » June 26 2013, 14:02 PM

I probably confused things with terminology. The orb itself with the Orbotron isn't as bad as you might think once you get used to "chording"--it's alien at first, but the idea is the edge buttons choose the "page" for the face buttons--that gives you 16 buttons (six is just way too few these days).

But spaceball in left hand, mouse in right isn't bad at all either, and for complex games or games where you need fine aiming, it's a nice combo.
Also, how is the spaceorb for fine aiming? And is the spaceball really that bad?
They're about the same. The problem is that the orbs are "pressure for rate of turn" devices, which means that in combination with the need for a small dead zone you tend to overshoot your target a little bit and "wander"; it's hard to pull off precise shots. If you've ever used one of the "pencil eraser" laptop mouse controls, you can get the idea of what I mean. The orbs/spaceballs are great for complex motion (IF games support proportional motion, but with gamepads becoming more common, remapping to an x360 gamepad using x360ce or similar could work). But fine-grained aiming is tricky; always has been. Back when the original "Team Fortress" came out lo these many years ago, I completely owned as a scout because I could run and dodge better than anyone on keyboard and mouse, but I could never ever ever line up a shot as a sniper.

I tried all sorts of things to help (my latest using mouse emulation was to have a little zone in the middle of motion which was "absolute", ie position translated to position, and then when you got outside this it would go back to "pressure is rate") but it just never felt "nice".

Tehrasha
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by Tehrasha » June 26 2013, 14:13 PM

A Future Pilot wrote:So you would suggest the spaceorb and a keyboard for gaming? How can I hold the controller if I'm using the keyboard as well? Or do you mean you don't have a hand on each at the same time?
Again, gaming with spacemice not my strong suit. I was primarily commenting on the difficulties of getting a USB spacemouse to be recognized in a game vs. a serial device + Orobotron.

If the game requires more buttons than the SpaceOrb has (16), then it doesnt make much sense to use that kind of setup. Unless you can limit functions to the keyboard that do not require split-second timing. Like inventory screen, map display, etc..
And finally: How does a Spacenavigator do for gaming?
Never tried it, though my personal thoughts are that they are too delicate to stand up to 'gaming abuse'. When a player is really -into- a game, stress builds up, and starts to express itself in the way he handles the controls. For example, in a game where the only control is up/down/left/right, at about level 3 the player will start slamming and holding the joystick hard in the direction of travel, in the vain hope that PacMan will run a little faster.... :D

I do not see the SpaceNavigator standing up to that kind of use for very long.
Also, how is the spaceorb for fine aiming? And is the spaceball really that bad?
As with any device, it would be something you would grow accustomed to and get better at through use. Mice are counting devices, and count every little movement. Joysticks and spaceballs also detect movement, but have a dead-spot at the center which you have to get past before movement is registered. So training your hand to do very fine movements without falling into that deadspot would take practice. (ie: you will die a lot at first.)

Personally, I do not see Spaceballs or indeed any joystick being useful for aiming in anything other than flight simulator style games. When you say 'fine aiming' I think FPS games, and IMHO nothing beats a good keyboard/mouse combination.

For example, I cannot comprehend how anyone gets headshots on console-systems without lots of built-in 'mouse help' from the game itself.
Spacemice -- Input Devices for a 3D World

A Future Pilot
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by A Future Pilot » July 03 2013, 19:45 PM

OK, so I'm ready to buy the SMD version and a case, but it says they're not in stock :/ When will there be more available?

A Future Pilot
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by A Future Pilot » July 03 2013, 20:16 PM

Is this a "real" 5000, or a rebranded 4000? http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Compaq-Space ... 1c33955ca0

vputz
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by vputz » July 04 2013, 4:52 AM

I'm running a small SMD stenciling workshop this Sunday, which should produce 2-6 more SMD boards depending on if the participants want to keep them. The new prototypes came in, but since I'll have to cut them out myself, they'll be a little rough... once I prove the new design, I'll stock up about 20, which should last us a while :)

Tehrasha
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by Tehrasha » July 04 2013, 5:03 AM

A Future Pilot wrote:Is this a "real" 5000, or a rebranded 4000? http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Compaq-Space ... 1c33955ca0
Be better if I could see the bottom label, but my bets are on this being a rebranded 4000.
The key being the 'FLX-A' in the name. FLX was a 'Spaceball' term for their newer ball design which gave the ball a softer feel.
Old pre-FLX spaceballs are extremely rigid. So rigid that you do not so much move the ball as apply pressure.
Real 5000s are built on Magellan technology instead of Spaceball.

EDIT: Whoop! I have to modify some of what I said....The 'FLX-A' is the rebranded 4000.
Even -real- 5000 serial models have FLX in their model name, which separates them from the USB models.
Last edited by Tehrasha on July 04 2013, 19:09 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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VDX
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by VDX » July 04 2013, 10:00 AM

Hi Vic,

... regarding the problems with installing the orbotron drivers on one of my Win7 64Bit-PC's - all other PC's and notebooks with Win7 64Bit I could get hands on, did it -- so I've give it up on this one :roll:

This driver-fuzz seems to be related to the different USB-handling of older (1280) vs. newer (2560) Arduino Megas - here one of the drivers or switching betweend them seems to have changed the USB installation behaviour :?:

Viktor

A Future Pilot
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by A Future Pilot » July 04 2013, 10:46 AM

Do any of you have a Spaceball 5000 (Magellan) that you'd be willing to part with? (I'm having trouble finding one on Ebay for a decent price).

kenyee
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by kenyee » July 04 2013, 13:26 PM

VDX wrote: This driver-fuzz seems to be related to the different USB-handling of older (1280) vs. newer (2560) Arduino Megas - here one of the drivers or switching betweend them seems to have changed the USB installation behaviour :?:
Have you tried uninstalling all traces of the Arduino IDE and drivers? Make sure you clean out the registry as well?
That's pretty bizarre that only one machine has this issue...sounds like you know how to work around the unsigned driver issue on the other machines.

VDX
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by VDX » July 04 2013, 14:25 PM

Hi kenyee,

... won't do this, as it's only one specific PC -- and rechanging this sort of intra-systemic stuff can provoke other issues as well :roll:

Viktor

Tehrasha
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Re: New run of orbshields

Post by Tehrasha » July 04 2013, 22:01 PM

A Future Pilot wrote:Do any of you have a Spaceball 5000 (Magellan) that you'd be willing to part with? (I'm having trouble finding one on Ebay for a decent price).
Any reason you want a 5000 specifically?
Serial 5000s are comparatively rare compared to the USB version, and vastly outnumbered by 4000s.
Apart from the added weight in the wrist-rest, there is not much difference in the feel/action between the two.
Also, the current Orbotron basicJoystick sketch doesnt support 3 of the buttons on the 5000, bu my guess is that will change soon. :)

Hard to go wrong with a $700 device (13 yrs ago) for $40 new-in-box.
( eBay item 390613063957 or 271226292680 )
**i have no affiliation with any eBay auctions**
Spacemice -- Input Devices for a 3D World

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