Game controller update

(relevant digression) We got new puppies – rescues. Now the last time we did a rescue, the dog had Parvo. Three days after getting the puppy it was dead. So it’s the day after they’re brought home, and I’ve got two lethargic puppies losing it out both ends and running a fever. It’s not the ugly stuff the other puppy was putting out near the end but I can’t recall the beginning. SO, the family went into intensive mode so we could keep the puppies alive till the vet could see them. PedialightFluids every 20 minutes, Saline solution with a couple of sets of syringes and needles ready for subcutaneous hydration, enema sets ready… And my shift was 11 pm to 7 am.

To finish the digressive introduction, it wasn’t – it was apparently “just” a stomach virus. The puppies are fine.

But over that eight hours – and a bit more, actually – I realized again why one of my projects is a better Xbox 360 controller. Yeah, I got off on the tangent of computer controller, partly for remote use, that I was entangling with the brailler. And that’s still on the table.

But I suck at shooter games even though I enjoy playing them. The reason is I don’t get good control with my thumbs – I find myself yanking the sticks to the stops. It’s awkward. So for big chunks of today I did some work.

I have drafted a schematic and the PIC program. I’ve actually got two drafts on the table – one will give a much smoother response to the tilt-board but I suspect it’ll draw more power. Need to run numbers. For “the deal” – Accelerometer to analog angle conversion is a table lookup, and I need one for each dimension – and I’m going to be adding some stops. I can have a larger memory chip that has three lookup tables OR I can have three separate but smaller chips that do the lookup. Because I’m ‘just’ running wire from the handle to the original spots on the board I don’t need any other chips.

I’ve been researching chips – both ’tilt’ (three-axis accelerometer) and PIC chips – and hope to order a handful this week. I’ve started carving a handle model, but am beginning to think I’ll be better off by cutting apart a pair of squirt guns instead.

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