Ms. PacMan Mini

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ela
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Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by ela » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:44 pm

I will be the first to admit that I was greatly influenced by sam_thornley’s PACMAN Mini
. I would like to thank him for his write up. It is certainly better than what I could do.

The camera batteries started dying so I was only able to get a few basic pictures, I may try again later to get another view.

Image


No inside pictures because I forgot to take them during the building and I really don’t want to open up the case to take a picture of a mass of wires.

Basically I took a Namco Ms. Pac-Man and a 2.5â€

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Post by Tibia » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:20 pm

Pretty slick work! Awesome idea to use an old printer brick. It looks nice.
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Post by Kyo » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:47 am

Very sexy!

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by brojamfootball » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:16 pm

I am trying to do something similar, just instead of making it portable I want to build a mini home arcade cabinet, like we all dreamed those 1980s Coleco tabletop units would have been. I've got the master plan nearly complete except for one thing--what did you use to represent the twist control for Pole Position/how did you implement it? I have a mini Pac-man tv game that doesn't have Pole Position that I could use, but have the Ms Pac-man and another Pac-man one with several more games including Pole Position that I would rather use. I see it looks like you've got a spinner on the front, but maybe that's an analog stick working as digital. Posted some stuff in forums in other places but got no meaningful responses. PLEASE let me know. Thank you in advance!

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by Bibin » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:47 pm

brojamfootball wrote:I am trying to do something similar, just instead of making it portable I want to build a mini home arcade cabinet, like we all dreamed those 1980s Coleco tabletop units would have been. I've got the master plan nearly complete except for one thing--what did you use to represent the twist control for Pole Position/how did you implement it? I have a mini Pac-man tv game that doesn't have Pole Position that I could use, but have the Ms Pac-man and another Pac-man one with several more games including Pole Position that I would rather use. I see it looks like you've got a spinner on the front, but maybe that's an analog stick working as digital. Posted some stuff in forums in other places but got no meaningful responses. PLEASE let me know. Thank you in advance!
The regular pac-man joystick has innacurate NOAC-based versions, I checked. The analog stick has 3 pins - perhaps you can implement full left and right?
...

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by brojamfootball » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:56 am

Bibin wrote:
brojamfootball wrote:I am trying to do something similar, just instead of making it portable I want to build a mini home arcade cabinet, like we all dreamed those 1980s Coleco tabletop units would have been. I've got the master plan nearly complete except for one thing--what did you use to represent the twist control for Pole Position/how did you implement it? I have a mini Pac-man tv game that doesn't have Pole Position that I could use, but have the Ms Pac-man and another Pac-man one with several more games including Pole Position that I would rather use. I see it looks like you've got a spinner on the front, but maybe that's an analog stick working as digital. Posted some stuff in forums in other places but got no meaningful responses. PLEASE let me know. Thank you in advance!
The regular pac-man joystick has innacurate NOAC-based versions, I checked. The analog stick has 3 pins - perhaps you can implement full left and right?
I don't care about the accuracy, it's pretty much a good version, and doesn't require hundreds of dollars invested in crashable pc hardware to do it--costs like five bucks, won't crash, and is super easy to hack. Even a person like me with relatively limited electronics knowledge can hack the controls, power, and video/audio out, I just don't know what to do with the analog steering control. I have done the cartridge slot mod to an Atari Flashback 2 and know I can do this, I just don't understand that one little piece of technology.

Read what I'm trying to do--remember the Coleco home tabletop Units of the 80s? They used some kind of L.E.D. type of technology for the screen and toned the game WAY back, technology-wise. I want to make one that's virtually perfect(not for a purist, just for regular folks), and the plug and play tv games will easily satisfy that requirement. I don't care if my old pattern to clear 100 Pac-man screens works or if the sound is ever-so-slightly different. It looks fantastic compared to the old Coleco tabletops and also far better than anything we had for the home back then. Home console versions of arcade games back in the 80s were rough approximations. Excalibur is(actually was) making what are kind of reissues of a couple of the old home tabletops(Space Invaders and Frogger), but I want a machinethat's the way we all dreamed they would have been, UNLIKE the old Colecos.

Besides, the Ms Pacman Mini shown at the top of this thread is based on a Namco TV plug-and-play game--that's what this thread was talking about, not knocking the game's inaccuracies, but reveling in the lovely hack executed.

Now back to my question at hand, which was the analog twist control. Again, read what I'm trying to do--steering for Pole Position won't work with simple on/off digital control, that's why the TV game has analog steering, the "twist" control, in the first place. IGN.com called it "The best playing Pole Position since the arcade," specifically due to its control. It looked to me like the Ms PacMan Mini has an analog stick and wondered how its creator hacked that part of his TV game.

I essentially want to do what he has done but in the shape of an arcade cabinet. Maybe that says it better.

Someone please respond with something pertinent about the steering "twist" control...

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by Triton » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:38 am

my guess would be its probably something like a spring return potentiometer or just a regular potentiometer (like the paddle controllers for the atari 2600) but i havent actually seen the thing your talking about in person so i wouldnt know for sure. this is the most likely thing tho!

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by brojamfootball » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:38 pm

Triton wrote:my guess would be its probably something like a spring return potentiometer or just a regular potentiometer (like the paddle controllers for the atari 2600) but i havent actually seen the thing your talking about in person so i wouldnt know for sure. this is the most likely thing tho!
Thank you so much for your reply! I can't yet figure out how to put pics here, but here is a link to them at a forum on Atariage:

http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.ph ... 139521&hl=

The labeling of the solder points on the board may be the clue to exactly what it is. Yes, it is spring return of some sort--you can probably see the silver coil spring wrapped around the white joystick base.

The left/right/up/down and fire buttons are super easy--one hot wire each(all labeled, btw) and attach to ground. Pretty much any joypad/stick or buttons could be used. Twist? Still a mystery, though I've been searching like a big dog. Actually being able to use a pot with a little toy steering wheel attached would be the ultimate, although an analog stick stolen from a console controller would be relatively okay; not sure if that's a spinner or an analog stick I see in the pic of the Ms PacMan Mini. The more I look at it the more it looks like an analog stick from PS2 controller or something similar. I'm REALLY hoping to have twist control of some sort.

Seems like you, Triton, may be my new messiah. Thank you so, so very much for taking the time to look. As all the kids these days are saying(or actually were saying a few years ago--dang I'm old), you da man!

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by Triton » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:30 pm

after looking through that thread im pretty sure that it uses a potentiometer (aka pot) for the rotary bit and is spring centered. it MIGHT also be a rotary encoder (like what some computer mice and trackballs use) but i would think the pot would be the more likely choice (probably a lot cheaper) quick way to find out is hook up a multimeter to the center and either left or right pins of it, set the multimeter to ohms and turn the thing, the value should change depending on the position and will possibly be zero when centered

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by brojamfootball » Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:30 pm

Triton wrote:after looking through that thread im pretty sure that it uses a potentiometer (aka pot) for the rotary bit and is spring centered. it MIGHT also be a rotary encoder (like what some computer mice and trackballs use) but i would think the pot would be the more likely choice (probably a lot cheaper) quick way to find out is hook up a multimeter to the center and either left or right pins of it, set the multimeter to ohms and turn the thing, the value should change depending on the position and will possibly be zero when centered
Thank you so much for taking your time!

Now that I've gotten more into it, I'm seeing my pics are not good enough--probably need some even closer ones with more disassembly done, or just figure it out with my own eyes from what you said. If my limited knowledge serves me correctly, a rotary encoder would involve some kind of wagonwheel/spoked wheel looking thing on a shaft(like inside a computer mouse), right?

I don't think this TV game has that, but gotta check--I'll also see if I can try the multimeter thing. I have an old, super crappy one that I don't even know how to use. Gonna take a day or two to get around to that.

Thank you again--very, very much!

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by Triton » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:07 pm

no problem! thats what these forums are for :D

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by tom61 » Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:42 pm

I have the blue version myself. In the blue version, it's definitely a potentiometer with a stop, but the spring mechanism only lets it turn a small amount from center.

As for a simple way to hack that feature into a handheld, you could just cut off the joystick shaft near the base and glue a toy steering wheel to it. You'd probably also want to glue it to where the joystick switched won't move anymore, and then just hack the switches the way you intended to use use a D-Pad.

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by Bibin » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:39 pm

brojamfootball wrote:
Bibin wrote:
brojamfootball wrote:I am trying to do something similar, just instead of making it portable I want to build a mini home arcade cabinet, like we all dreamed those 1980s Coleco tabletop units would have been. I've got the master plan nearly complete except for one thing--what did you use to represent the twist control for Pole Position/how did you implement it? I have a mini Pac-man tv game that doesn't have Pole Position that I could use, but have the Ms Pac-man and another Pac-man one with several more games including Pole Position that I would rather use. I see it looks like you've got a spinner on the front, but maybe that's an analog stick working as digital. Posted some stuff in forums in other places but got no meaningful responses. PLEASE let me know. Thank you in advance!
The regular pac-man joystick has innacurate NOAC-based versions, I checked. The analog stick has 3 pins - perhaps you can implement full left and right?
I don't care about the accuracy, it's pretty much a good version, and doesn't require hundreds of dollars invested in crashable pc hardware to do it--costs like five bucks, won't crash, and is super easy to hack. Even a person like me with relatively limited electronics knowledge can hack the controls, power, and video/audio out, I just don't know what to do with the analog steering control. I have done the cartridge slot mod to an Atari Flashback 2 and know I can do this, I just don't understand that one little piece of technology.

Read what I'm trying to do--remember the Coleco home tabletop Units of the 80s? They used some kind of L.E.D. type of technology for the screen and toned the game WAY back, technology-wise. I want to make one that's virtually perfect(not for a purist, just for regular folks), and the plug and play tv games will easily satisfy that requirement. I don't care if my old pattern to clear 100 Pac-man screens works or if the sound is ever-so-slightly different. It looks fantastic compared to the old Coleco tabletops and also far better than anything we had for the home back then. Home console versions of arcade games back in the 80s were rough approximations. Excalibur is(actually was) making what are kind of reissues of a couple of the old home tabletops(Space Invaders and Frogger), but I want a machinethat's the way we all dreamed they would have been, UNLIKE the old Colecos.

Besides, the Ms Pacman Mini shown at the top of this thread is based on a Namco TV plug-and-play game--that's what this thread was talking about, not knocking the game's inaccuracies, but reveling in the lovely hack executed.

Now back to my question at hand, which was the analog twist control. Again, read what I'm trying to do--steering for Pole Position won't work with simple on/off digital control, that's why the TV game has analog steering, the "twist" control, in the first place. IGN.com called it "The best playing Pole Position since the arcade," specifically due to its control. It looked to me like the Ms PacMan Mini has an analog stick and wondered how its creator hacked that part of his TV game.

I essentially want to do what he has done but in the shape of an arcade cabinet. Maybe that says it better.

Someone please respond with something pertinent about the steering "twist" control...
Well, the NOAC-based Pac-Man one has no twist control, and no analog. The Ms. Pac-Man unit is the one you are wondering about.

Oh, easter egg: On the Jakks Pacific license screen wiggle the joystick all about and mash A and B and you can get a debug screen.
...

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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by eurddrue » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:00 pm

what is a "debug screen?" all I can find on google is crap on how to "debug" windows.
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Re: Ms. PacMan Mini

Post by brojamfootball » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:15 pm

[/quote]
Well, the NOAC-based Pac-Man one has no twist control, and no analog. The Ms. Pac-Man unit is the one you are wondering about.
[/quote]
I also have a Pac-Man with analog control for Pole Position, but still looking for solution. Probably just going to have to use the actual stick from the factory for the analog.

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