Late to the party...

SpaceOrb drivers and software discussions
Post Reply
ivorb
Posts: 2
Joined: February 27 2014, 7:36 AM

Late to the party...

Post by ivorb » February 27 2014, 7:49 AM

Hi Jay, Vic and all,

Last week I unearthed a 1990s SpaceOrb 360, still pristine from my VR research almost 20 years ago and started to see if it could be run with modern kit.

I got as far as Scott Hanselman's blog, but fell down at the hurdle of not being able to buy an Orbshield kit from Seeedstudio. Will any more be made?
Happy to pay a bit over the odds? And (if that can happen) what would be the latest equivalent of the Arduino board recommended back in 2010? :-)

Regards to all from wet and rainy London UK,

Ivor B

Tehrasha
Posts: 26
Joined: May 19 2013, 19:37 PM
Location: Midwest, USA
Contact:

Re: Late to the party...

Post by Tehrasha » March 02 2014, 14:57 PM

I dont think he plans to make any more orbshields.
But he might still have some of its younger brother, the Obritron 9000 left.

http://spacemice.org/index.php?title=Orbotron_9000

EDIT: updated weblink
Last edited by Tehrasha on May 04 2015, 17:03 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Spacemice -- Input Devices for a 3D World

ivorb
Posts: 2
Joined: February 27 2014, 7:36 AM

Re: Late to the party...

Post by ivorb » March 03 2014, 15:03 PM

OK - I've bought an Orbitron 9000... :-)

Next, to brush up on my soldering skills. My success with electronics kits in the 1980s was not notable.
ISTR a "Star Trek Space Alarm" kit using a 555 timer circa 1983-ish. It was supposed to make a repeating rising tone.
My build made a repeating falling tone.

To this day I have no idea why...

vputz
Posts: 339
Joined: March 25 2006, 20:21 PM

Re: Late to the party...

Post by vputz » March 20 2014, 23:39 PM

Hey, Ivor! Obviously I contacted you via email already, but I wanted to point out that there is both a "complete" version of the Orbotron (which comes ready-to-go as an SMD version) and there actually is a solderable kit. Since volume is pretty low, there are some periods in which I don't have any fully-assembled boards made, but I try to keep a few in stock; the kits generally don't go as fast (they're more trouble to put together and physically bigger) but because of that I usually have more in stock.

I hear you on the confusion of electronics... not the easiest and least frustrating hobby I could have tried out!

Tehrasha
Posts: 26
Joined: May 19 2013, 19:37 PM
Location: Midwest, USA
Contact:

Re: Late to the party...

Post by Tehrasha » March 21 2014, 16:14 PM

vputz wrote:I hear you on the confusion of electronics... not the easiest and least frustrating hobby I could have tried out!
But it is one of the few hobbies out there that allow you to laugh like a mad scientist when something works right. :)

Image
Spacemice -- Input Devices for a 3D World

vputz
Posts: 339
Joined: March 25 2006, 20:21 PM

Re: Late to the party...

Post by vputz » March 26 2014, 20:02 PM

I don't know, I feel like I do that all the time while cooking...

Whodda
Posts: 4
Joined: May 11 2006, 19:59 PM
Location: Michigan

Re: Late to the party...

Post by Whodda » May 19 2014, 21:00 PM

WooHoo,
I have been out of the orb game for quite some time and had pretty much given up hope of being able to use it again. :( That was until I was discussing this amazing controller the other day. I did a google search so I could show my buddies a picture of what the spaceorb looked like and stumbled upon this blog (http://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheBestCo ... hield.aspx) I was floored to find out the orb works with win 7. :mrgreen: All I need to do is get me one of those kits now.

Victor your continuing work is appreciated by those of use that still want to use this awesome controller. I cannot wait to break out ole glquake and reflect back on the countless hours of eye bleeding frag fests I used to participate in...man those were the times.

I found a website with an Orbotron 9000 kit. Is this the kit you developed?

Damn I feel like a kid waking up Christmas on morning :P

vputz
Posts: 339
Joined: March 25 2006, 20:21 PM

Re: Late to the party...

Post by vputz » May 20 2014, 16:58 PM

Hey, Whodda! Yeah, that's me (at least if it's http://www.thingotron.com). Unfortunately I'm out of the SMD prebuilt orbshields and I placed my order for new parts only to find that my supplier's out of the microprocessor until mid-june, so don't expect orb independence until maybe the 4 Jul holiday. I still have some through-hole kits if you're a decent hand with a soldering iron.

But yeah, it works! It's actually better than ever in some respects because if you have some programming skills you can do all sorts of neat tricks (mouse/keyboard emulation for games that don't take joystick) but even as a basic controller it works (and the desk-mounted spaceorbs work too!). Unfortunately a lot of modern games don't use DirectX and I don't directly emulate an x-box controller but there are some workarounds.

Good times! Eventually I may write other software to deal with other serial-based controllers (microsoft Sidewinder still has some fans, for example) and I even did a retrofit kit for the old Thrustmaster FLCS/TQS and friends, but I'm pretty happy with the Orbotron. Learned a ton!

JimH
Posts: 3
Joined: January 21 2013, 12:17 PM

Re: Late to the party...

Post by JimH » January 24 2015, 10:03 AM

Hi,
I was one of the testers for the development process. I failed to purchase one at the time. I would like to know how to purchase an Orbotron 9000 SMD and case. I'm in the US and the Thingatron website won't let me register because I'm in the US. How can I buy one?
Thanks

User avatar
SparroHawc
Posts: 3
Joined: March 02 2015, 15:23 PM

Re: Late to the party...

Post by SparroHawc » March 02 2015, 15:26 PM

JimH wrote:Hi,
I was one of the testers for the development process. I failed to purchase one at the time. I would like to know how to purchase an Orbotron 9000 SMD and case. I'm in the US and the Thingatron website won't let me register because I'm in the US. How can I buy one?
Thanks
From what I can tell, you don't need to register on the Thingotron.com website at all. Just add the Orbotron to the cart and check out. I'm in the US and I ordered one no problem.

vputz
Posts: 339
Joined: March 25 2006, 20:21 PM

Re: Late to the party...

Post by vputz » March 06 2015, 2:12 AM

Jimh, really sorry I never noticed your question--I'll send you an IM (also to learn more; it shouldn't give you trouble about registration, although as Sparrow says you shouldn't need to!)

Whodda
Posts: 4
Joined: May 11 2006, 19:59 PM
Location: Michigan

Re: Late to the party...

Post by Whodda » April 03 2015, 11:07 AM

Hey Vic.....what is the difference between the 2 different adapters. The website states the Orbitron 9000 smd comes with a smd board. I have no clue what the difference is between the 2 other then 8 bux :lol:

vputz
Posts: 339
Joined: March 25 2006, 20:21 PM

Re: Late to the party...

Post by vputz » April 17 2015, 0:53 AM

Whodda, if you have to ask, get the SMD version :) It stands for "Surface Mount Device"--the sort of circuit boards you see everywhere. The other one is "PTH", or "Plated Through Hole" (which means the kind of components that have wires and go all the way through the board), and the reason it's $8 less is that it's a bag of parts you have to solder together. So unless you really like that sort of thing (the only reason I made a kit version), get the SMD version--it's smaller, looks better, and more importantly assembled and tested!

Post Reply