'bout damn time.

SpaceOrb drivers and software discussions
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vputz
Posts: 339
Joined: March 25 2006, 20:21 PM

'bout damn time.

Post by vputz » January 28 2017, 15:01 PM

OK, got one minor change in the physical board to move the reprogramming connector about 0.1 inch, and there are a couple minor dings in the code that cause warnings on compilation, but the new version works; the "basic_joystick" sketch now takes up only 8% of program storage due to the new chip, and so far I like it. I know this was too long in coming, but I'll do my best to make those changes today and figure out how to get production up again.
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Agent_13
Posts: 29
Joined: March 19 2006, 14:43 PM

Re: 'bout damn time.

Post by Agent_13 » March 07 2017, 0:21 AM

Look how small it is! That is going to fit in the Orb chassis nicely. I can't help but notice the Packard Bell logo on your Orb. I purchased a dozen of them online in 1999 (if I remember correctly) when Packard Bell was dumping the line, and after Spacetec was sold off . I gave a few away to friends, and I have six or more still in their original bubble wrap, that have never been opened. I wanted to make sure I had spares in case mine broke. The joke is I'm still using the original one I purchased retail. Ha! I'm curious if you got yours from that same auction.

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Sparky
Posts: 7
Joined: September 05 2007, 21:38 PM

Re: 'bout damn time.

Post by Sparky » March 20 2017, 21:47 PM

Wow! Can't wait! I put together two of the orbshields. One just recently went bad and I'm using the other. Will the new firmware be as easy to program as the orbshield?

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

Re: 'bout damn time.

Post by vputz » March 28 2017, 14:37 PM

Sparky-- yeah, pretty much the same. If anything it may be a little easier (there's slightly simpler integration with the Arduino environment--mostly their doing, not mine). The advantage of the new Arduino firmware is that with some additional hacking, you can define the HID report on the fly... what that basically means is that you aren't fixed to the six-axis sixteen-button joystick + mouse + keyboard that the original orbShield was.

Mind you, I don't know for the life of me what else you'd do with it :) But if you wanted to represent axes very differently or whatnot it's a lot easier. And with the move to the SAMD21E chip, you have a LOT more memory and speed to play with if you want to do transforms or more complex cues, stuff like that. I'm considering revisiting an idea I had about having the very center of the rotational axes be "absolute" for mouse, so that you could do small motions that would "recenter", but if you deflected a little more it "slewed over time" the way it does now. I've always been frustrated that these devices didn't actually do fine aim very well.

Agent_13: Actually may have been from that auction :) I grabbed several models off eBay, not just SpaceOrb but SpaceBall 3000, 4000, 5000, and Magellan SpaceMouse. The irony? I pretty much never use any of them :) Ah well.

Agent_13
Posts: 29
Joined: March 19 2006, 14:43 PM

Re: 'bout damn time.

Post by Agent_13 » March 28 2017, 16:57 PM

Crazy! Small world!
Side note: I don't know how I missed the Kickstarter for Overload, and didn't read anything about it, but I'm up to speed now. Seems the original team that made Descent 1-3 are back with a new 6dof game. I've been playing the Playable Teaser for it and must say it is out of this world. Its to bad they can't use the Descent name since the I.P. is help by someone else. The controls for Overload can be fully customized, even at this early state. Jupiter is aligning with Mars - A true modern Descent style game, combined with the SpaceOrb, working on modern hardware. Nice!

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

Re: 'bout damn time.

Post by vputz » March 29 2017, 11:06 AM

I'll definitely check it out--I'd actually downloaded Overload, but a lot of things in life got Overcome By Events. There were actually a few 6dof games out recently that played pretty nice with the orb, but I don't remember the names offhand.

At any rate, I hope to have three boards available by the end of the weekend assuming the parts come in and the silly things work (2/3 of the last prototypes did not work, but I've never been able to figure out why). If they work pretty well, I'll do a larger batch and we'll (literally) be in business again.

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