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Steve LoBasso

My Home Page

 

My Descent Page

Descent Controls

Building a Descent Control Center

Descent Tactics

 

Other Links

www.descent2.com

Happ Controls

All Electronics Corporation

 

 

Building a Descent Interface

My Descent Page

Descent Controls

Building a Descent Control Center

Descent Tactics

The Descent interface parts I had to build.


All the external controls are soldiered to Sega Genesis controllers which are then connected to a ChoiceStick from Kernel Productions. Their current products are probably even better, but I haven't had a chance to try those yet.

This could also be done by finding keyboards with a few bad keys. Just open them up and soldier wires to the connections. Make sure the keys can be pressed at the same time so that you can do all of the maneuvers that you may want to do. Key Caps on the Macintosh is a good way of testing this.


Joystick
The joystick was purchased from Happ Controls. They sell arcade level equipment that is very rugged and easy to mount onto custom setups. This joystick has five microswitches. One for each direction and another for the top fire button. Some people prefer leaf switches others prefer microswitches. I prefer the speed and responsiveness of the microswitches. 

Click here to see a picture


Foot Buttons
The Foot Buttons are microswitches also purchased at Happ Controls. The buttons are mounted on an inclined board. The key is that you won't be able to comfortably control more than two operations at a time. Keep the buttons far enough apart so that your feet can rest in a central position. This will allow you to find buttons without looking.

Click here to see a picture


Headband
The headband, yes a womans headband, was the best solution here. It calibrates quickly, unlike a hat or headphones, it will be placed on your head at the same angle everytime. The mercury switches were purchased from All Electronics Corporation. They carry new and surplus parts. Buy more switches than you need so that you can find two that have similar thresholds.
Mounting the switches is very complicated. Turn the mercury switches so that there is very little thresholding (the mercury should slide over the contacts with very little stopping). Use tape to hold the mercury switches in place and test the positioning. As soon as the positions are verified as correct, they should be mounted. I used a hot glue gun, this allows me to reclaim the mercury switches at a later date but still holds them solidly.

Click here to see a picture