Using DIY arcade machine parts to make a custom shortcut panel.

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by T-ravisty, Jun 28, 2015.

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  1. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    There I was, using my x230t on the train and I realised how difficult it is to use it in tablet-mode while moving around.
    I have zero tolerance with on-screen shortcut panels, I prefer the tactile feel of knowing I pressed a physical button. Using the Nostomo is pointless and difficult to reason with while out and about, and other small gamepads just don't cut it.
    I'm envious of the Cintiq Companion having its own shortcut buttons, I long for something similar but I just can't warrant the expenditure of the CC2 or wish to part with my x230t any time soon - I've got it setup just the way I like it.

    I then had the idea of concocting my own custom build.
    I have a 3D printer at my disposal that doesn't nearly get used enough, why not make a custom housing for the x230t to accommodate some shortcut buttons... But what could I use?

    I spent a while digging around online for some DIY kits and I stumbled upon some USB arcade controllers... bloody perfect. I can program the controller board for keyboard shortcuts, the issue being getting smaller arcade buttons under 30mm, I'm wanting at least 8 buttons at my disposal.

    I'm still digging around for ideas on parts and will shortly be designing the enclosure in 3D, I'll upload more images and project files as they come about, along with all 3D files so you guys and print your own.
    If successful I may even build a few more and sell them... Who knows, there's heaps of options here.

    So here's a rough draft of the concept, more detailed concepts will come.
    Feel free to offer some input here, guys.
    Outside of tinkering with an Arduino, 3D printer, and Raspberry Pi this will be the first time I've used any arcade controllers - I don't know what to expect.

    I'm thinking of designing it in a way that it clips onto the x230t, or maybe has some straps that run around the machine pulling it together - I'm not sure. It's a working project.

    I've also considered using X-Keys, but they're damn expensive (I think I can build this cheaper) and by no means anywhere near as much fun as bashing your head against the desk wondering why something isn't working in your DIY build.

    Thoughts?

    (I should note that when using the x230t by itself I use it with the battery facing up - just so the button layout makes a bit more sense)
     

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  2. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    I gave up on this dude. I thought of 3D printing a housing, smashing a cheap USB keyboard and salvagin the control board. But in all I didn't find the extra cost and time all worth it. so i settled with the Zeemote for $20 bucks. We've discussed several options in the accessories thread.

    Good luck
     
  3. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Sounds similar (potentially more ambitious though) to this little controller board a member at Conceptart made for his LE1700 back in the day.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    To complement stone's post
    http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index....2fa766865ec4ed03&topic=1808.msg13004#msg13004

    Here is an approach similar to your concept
    http://www.davidrevoy.com/article83/gamepad-hack-for-more-button-on-cintiq21ux

    Anyway do have a look at the Zeemote as ron had stated. The controller can be velcro-attached easily to the side of the x230t. It also has 3 buttons + a 4-direction stick. All are programmable.

    *edit: While we are on Zeemote, there is also the PS3 Navigation Controller. However it's tough to make it firmly held on the tablet. I had thought something similar to the Razer Edge controller, by putting the convertible in tablet mode inside a container, which has an extension attached to a PS3 Nav Controller.

    [​IMG]

    Nevertheless the container is not mandatory, as long as the Nav controller can have a firm grip on the tablet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
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  5. Largrande

    Largrande Pen Pal - Newbie

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  6. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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  7. Largrande

    Largrande Pen Pal - Newbie

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