Updates coming

SpaceOrb drivers and software discussions
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jroscher
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Joined: April 05 2016, 10:02 AM

Re: Updates coming

Postby jroscher » April 05 2016, 10:06 AM

Hi Victor,



I have a Orb 360 and would love to be able to hook it up to my computer to play games again.



Do you have anything available for sale? Do you plan to have anything soon?



Please let me know when you do!



Thanks!



Jeff

vputz
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Re: Updates coming

Postby vputz » April 08 2016, 16:24 PM

Jeff et al--



So frustrating! It's coming, but it's just horribly busy. We did get the first prototype boards and I'm having an odd problem... Programming them via the direct debugger loads the program OK but the USB port isn't working correctly. And there could be a ton of things wrong, but I have like NO time right now since it's crunch time at work, in moving in a couple months, and trying to see as much as I can while I'm still here, so it's a little crazy yet. The good news if my wife is a better hand with a soldering iron than I am and really wants the new one to work, so well keep at it.



I think I'll move back to the USB micro; the C is way too fiddly, but it almost works. And I'm still convinced the atsamd21e is a good choice... And found more code I can reuse. So I'm pretty confident in the upgrade; it may just be a few unfortunate months.



REALLY sorry for the delays, though; I know it's frustrating.

natefp
Posts: 3
Joined: April 19 2016, 7:45 AM

Re: Updates coming

Postby natefp » April 19 2016, 7:50 AM

Hello Victor,



I'm looking forward to buying one of your orb9k boards when it's available. For the time being, I'm trying to get your orb9k code working on my Arduino zero along with my Magellan space mouse plus and max 3232 breakout board. Could you please post the schematic for the orb9k board? I was going off the orbotron 9000 kicad schematic and I think I'm not connecting it correctly.



Thanks

vputz
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Re: Updates coming

Postby vputz » April 20 2016, 7:29 AM

Nate--



That combination should work; I've done it with a M0pro and my own serial shield. But the software has had to change from the Leonardo era just a bit. Let me try and put the work in progress onto girthing in the next few days; I got the joystick emulation working and mouse/keyboard shouldn't be much harder (though I have to slightly change the defaults).

natefp
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Joined: April 19 2016, 7:45 AM

Re: Updates coming

Postby natefp » April 21 2016, 23:54 PM

Thank you. Looking forward to trying it. What you have with the joystick emulation + the schematic is good enough for me, I don't need the keyboard / mouse.

vputz
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Re: Updates coming

Postby vputz » April 23 2016, 15:32 PM

OK Nate, welcome to the world of poorly-supported software flail :) I've probably got a few things wrong but we have to start from somewhere.



First, we're not cool enough to be an "official" Arduino library yet, so go to [url=https://github.com/thingotron/Orb9kLib]https://github.com/thingotron/Orb9kLib[/url] and download the zip file, so you should have Orb9kLib-Master.zip on your hard drive.



So start up your Arduino environment. I'm currently using Arduino/Genuino 1.6.7... go to "Sketch" and then "Include Library" and "Add Zip Library"



Choose the Orb9k-master.zip file you downloaded, and that should install it into your environment. Then you *SHOULD* be able to go to "File", "Examples" and under "Examples from Custom Libraries" you should see "Orb9kLib" and under that "BasicJoystickTest". That SHOULD compile (with a few warnings; I may have not gotten everything right) and upload to your Arduino M0, and you *should* see, under Windows' "USB Game Controllers" applet an entry which for me says "Ardu". When connected to the Orb, well... "it works for me".



My old serial shield connects to digital pins 0 and 1 (I think), so I'm guessing your shield should as well. Give it a go and see what you get--I really appreciate you being willing to give it a try. Sorry I haven't had time to deal with the mouse/keyboard emulation, but it shouldn't take time--it's just that I'm a little task-saturated with work and the upcoming move. Really sorry for the delays!



-->VPutz

scandiabbs
Posts: 3
Joined: April 07 2016, 6:04 AM

Re: Updates coming

Postby scandiabbs » April 24 2016, 7:39 AM

Early Spaceorb adapter here, hello to the group.



After 15 or more years of not playing games due to the lack of support of the Orb on post w98 PCs, the interest returned when Overload was announced.

I looked to see what was supported with the old serial devices and the new usb devices such as the Spacenavigator.



I only play Descent and have looked at posts on the DU and Overload forums to see what works.



Unfortunately it looks like nothing really works as far as reasonable ability to achieve smooth playing with ANY of the Orb devices.



I know some of you are much more involved with this area and would appreciate some guidance in what to use for the newer Descent games.



Maybe in 3 groups like this:



Old Spaceorb with Victors devices.



3D Spaceballs like the 4000-5000 serial devices with Victors devices



Straight usb devices like the 3Dconnexion 3DX-700028 SpaceNavigator.



Is anything really playable in the way the old Descent 2 worked in W98 with the Spaceware software and the Spacetech Spaceorb?



Thanks1

vputz
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Re: Updates coming

Postby vputz » April 26 2016, 2:27 AM

Scandia--



If there's a free Overload demo, I'll flail with it. Basically, though, I can only comment on the Orbotron, which represents the orb (or Spaceball 4000/5000 and serial Magellan Spacemouse) as a six-axis sixteen-button joystick + keyboard + mouse (as noted earlier, the new software for the new version later this summer doesn't have mouse/keyboard yet because I haven't had a free day to my name in a few months and won't for a few more sadly).



I can say that with the mouse and keyboard animation I haven't found anything that's not playable, because at the end of the day you can almost always map Rx and Ry to the mouse and everything else to keypresses; it's not "nice" because the others are boolean on/off, but it works. But MOST of the 6Dof shooters I've played with recently, like Retrovirus or Sublevel Zero, worked just fine (and I hear Miner Wars or something did as well?), as did the Descent-engine remakes (with original files) like D2X-XL and Rebirth (but you do need those; the original game won't understand it). You do run into trouble when games want an XInput device like an X-box gamepad, because I can't emulate that directly (yet? It's probably doable; I just have NO TIME until maybe fall).



What we don't have is a compatibility list like you ask for, but I should probably do a wiki page. I have yet to test Descent Underground and NeonXSZ, which are in my steam libraries, and if you point me at a playable Overload demo I'd be glad to test it out.

scandiabbs
Posts: 3
Joined: April 07 2016, 6:04 AM

Re: Updates coming

Postby scandiabbs » April 26 2016, 6:23 AM

Thanks Victor



I can only judge the performance of the devices on posts found on the gaming forums.



It is not easy to understand why in the same thread one person claims everything works, a few post down

you see inability to map axis and slow movement with the same axis being different speed left/right.

Sounds more like totally impossible to use?



I think there are some old school Descent players hanging around this forum that have tested most of everything made, they tend to get involved like that.

Would be very helpful if they would take a little time to put some sort of guide together.



The question remains:

Are there ANY ORB/3D devices out there that can play modern games like Overload the same way D2 played in W98?



www.playoverload.com

natefp
Posts: 3
Joined: April 19 2016, 7:45 AM

Re: Updates coming

Postby natefp » April 28 2016, 23:55 PM

[quote="vputz"]OK Nate, welcome to the world of poorly-supported software flail :) I've probably got a few things wrong but we have to start from somewhere.



First, we're not cool enough to be an "official" Arduino library yet, so go to [url=https://github.com/thingotron/Orb9kLib]https://github.com/thingotron/Orb9kLib[/url] and download the zip file, so you should have Orb9kLib-Master.zip on your hard drive.



So start up your Arduino environment. I'm currently using Arduino/Genuino 1.6.7... go to "Sketch" and then "Include Library" and "Add Zip Library"



Choose the Orb9k-master.zip file you downloaded, and that should install it into your environment. Then you *SHOULD* be able to go to "File", "Examples" and under "Examples from Custom Libraries" you should see "Orb9kLib" and under that "BasicJoystickTest". That SHOULD compile (with a few warnings; I may have not gotten everything right) and upload to your Arduino M0, and you *should* see, under Windows' "USB Game Controllers" applet an entry which for me says "Ardu". When connected to the Orb, well... "it works for me".



My old serial shield connects to digital pins 0 and 1 (I think), so I'm guessing your shield should as well. Give it a go and see what you get--I really appreciate you being willing to give it a try. Sorry I haven't had time to deal with the mouse/keyboard emulation, but it shouldn't take time--it's just that I'm a little task-saturated with work and the upcoming move. Really sorry for the delays!



-->VPutz[/quote]


Victor, I tried these steps, and I get Ardu showing up in joysticks when connected through the Zero's Native USB port, however, nothing happens when moving the spacemouse or pressing it's buttons. I didn't have any success with the OrbSerialTest either. Any ideas?

vputz
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Re: Updates coming

Postby vputz » April 29 2016, 1:29 AM

Hmm, Nate--OK, I admit I get a little confused about ports on the M0, and I don't know if I tested OrbSerialTest (and furthermore it'll change a bit again once I get the stupid board working... this is really frustrating--I'm having the opposite problem with my board; I can upload the software and step through programs so it seems to be working, but it's not sending anything through the USB).



OK... so just so we're clear (it's totally not clear :) ), when you're doing OrbSerialTest the serial monitor should be attached to the programming (EDBG) port (the one nearest the power jack on the M0); when you're doing BasicJoystick, you should have it plugged in via the Native USB port. "Works for me", which means, ugh, something's up for you that means your orb is just not playing.



So try OrbSerialTest with the orb hooked up and the serial monitor attached to the debug port. My guess is you still don't have anything, but worth a try. Then make sure that your serial shield is using pins 0 and 1 for RX/TX (you probably already have). Also I think you said but just confirm what serial shield you have.



We'll get it working. May just take a while :)



ScandiaBBS: Partial success with Overload (hopefully I'll have time this weekend to faff with a lot of things). Good and bad news on the playable "non-demo":



1. Good news: all controls detected wonderfully in the control mapping, for all axes and buttons.

1.5 ...and all buttons worked fine in the game

2. Bad news: for some reason rotation axes didn't work in the actual game at all despite being detected (?) but maybe I'll try again.

3. Bad but probably fixable on our end news: Could only move right, down, and backward :D In other words, only half the axis seemed to be working.



The reason for the latter is that the devs are... "lazy" isn't quite the word but I haven't seen this in other games. The orbotron puts out axis values from 0 to 1023, and since the values are never negative, it only moves in the positive direction. Or something like that. That should be fixable in Orbotron software, though (I'm just surprised it's necessary; most games do it fine). But it should be possible to report -512 to +512 and that may fix it; not sure. Would probably be best if the devs paid better attention to the reported axes min/max (all HID devices send a "these are my min and max readings" so that software can calibrate).



So the good news is the devs are allowing HID joysticks to work, but as of now it doesn't quite. I think it'll be doable with a bit of flailing, but I should probably get on the overload boards and mention it; they may not realize it could be an issue with other devices.

vputz
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Re: Updates coming

Postby vputz » April 29 2016, 12:29 PM

As an addendum, I tried the latest Orbotron with "Descent: Overload" and NeonXSZ, and it worked fine for all axes on both. It's pretty hard to control, but the truth is I don't actually use the orbs much myself; I think you could mitigate much of that with fine-tuning of the sensitivity settings, but it plays about as I remember the original orb playing (IE great for rough movement, tough for fine aiming).



In Descent: Overload, I had



Control/Axis/Reversed?

Pitch/3/no

Yaw/4/no

Roll/5/yes

Forward/1/yes

up/2/yes

left/0/no



And then mapped things to the buttons as appropriate. But it worked just fine for those. I should have given NeonXSZ a bit more play, but it's the end of a long week so I didn't have much time to fiddle with it :)

scandiabbs
Posts: 3
Joined: April 07 2016, 6:04 AM

Re: Updates coming

Postby scandiabbs » May 08 2016, 6:26 AM

Thanks for the update Victor.



I finally did settle for a 3dconnection Spacenavigator model 28.

The solution for stabilization was fixed with pressure sensitive hook and loop velcro directly to the desk making it completely solid to the surface.



The Spacenavigator for rough movement left hand and a lasar mouse for aiming/fire right hand.



The software from 3dconnection was useless and was totally ignored.



The combination of Vjoy and the S2xVjoy configuration utility makes a perfect solution for the Descent games, the utility makes it easy to set up profiles for the variation in the various Descent games.



I did not test Underground.



I will await your new serial to usb adapter for a spaceball 4000 serial.

vputz
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Re: Updates coming

Postby vputz » May 27 2016, 10:32 AM

[attachment=0]orb_proto.jpg[/attachment]

Sorry for slow details; the good news is that I have a breadboard prototype running using a chip mounted on a breakout board, and unlike the first PCB prototype (which you can see on the left), I can communicate with the chip and upload a modified Arduino bootloader--and upload software via that bootloader on the USB com port. This is great progress actually, and it would be a lot further if I had more time. Unfortunately the house is getting packed up in a week, and I'm having an odd problem where once I upload an arduino sketch via the bootloader, the USB com port disappears (WAT?).



But that's all fixable, once the move happens. Of course, I'll be overwhelmed by househunting... so this is all going to take a long time and I'm really sorry for the delays. I honestly thought I'd be done with it by now and in production, but life as always has a way of taking over. I'll be putting the prototype and solder gear in my "fast shipment" so we can work on it in evenings to relieve househunting stress :) and we'll see what comes of it ... and once I have a proper workshop again I do think things will proceed apace.



So--still working! Sorry for the delays!



Vic
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