Archive for the 'Hacks' Category

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Arcade Control Panel

So recently it was announced that they’re releasing a Tournament Edition of the new Mortal Kombat game due out next year.

As a long time Mortal Kombat fan this is obviously something I’m excited for, I’m even more excited since it’s an all new developer making the game and they seem to be making it a true sequel to the original 2D trilogy as opposed to continuing with the 3D mess that the MK series had become.

The Tournament Edition has me really excited because, well it’s a CE, which I love, but it’s also going to be limited to only 20,000 copies. The biggest thing about this CE is that it includes a Joystick as the main bonus item.  I’m making this post because it seems that a lot of people fail to realize how much of the “real deal” this included joystick is.  Allow me to demonstrate.

Here is a photograph showing the joystick included with the Tournament Edition:

Take a close look at the controls, that is a Happ Ultimate Joystick and Happ arcade buttons with Cherry micro-switches. I worked in arcade repair for several years, nearly ever arcade machine from the 2D Mortal Kombat era uses these joysticks and these buttons…

Need further proof? Take a look at these pictures:

That is an actual Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 arcade control panel, it’s a conversion machine but those are the buttons and sticks included with the kit from Midway. I wired this control panel myself, and this machine is sitting in my game room, and those are two Happ Ultimate joysticks and Happ buttons with cherry microswitches way back from 1995.

S14 LS1 Work Photodump

Over the last few weeks I’ve been spending time here and there just tying up lose ends on the S14… basically just going over every litt inch of the engine bay with a fine tooth comb making sure everything is put together correctly and tucked out of the way.

I started on the drivers side and I’m working my way across the engine bay. the passer’s side still has a few days worth of work left in it before I’ll be happy with it.

SR5 Cluster

The battery kept dying in the pickup, I determined it was from the aftermarket tach installed by the previous owner so I decided to install the SR5 cluster I purchased.

Installation was tricky because I had to swap odometers with my old cluster so that the mileage remained correct, Also this new cluster was out of a vehicle originally equipped with a V6 and my truck has an I4. This mean that the tachometer needed to be re-calibrated, thankfully I could use the aftermarket tach to “tune” the new one.

Above, you can see the adjustment potentiometer. No one else (to my knowlege) has ever published the adjustment value for the I4 engine, I found lots of people asking online but no answers. So after I adjusted mine I was kind enough to pull out the gauge and measure the appropriate calibration value.

The 3 circled screws on the left image need to be removed, once that’s done the the two locations on the right can be measured for resistance. The original V6 was tuned to 44.9K ohm, and I tuned the I4 to 63.8K ohm. It will likely vary  from vehicle to vehicle but the most important take away is that it’s a difference of ~19K ohm.

crappy pics I know but I think it’s a big improvement.

Only thing left to do is swap over the oil pressure circuit I got a new sensor since the old one was just an on/off switch for the idiot light. the new cluster has a pressure gauge. I bought a new sensor too but the electrical connector is different so I’ll need to swap that too before the gauge will work.

LS1 S14 Wiring

Here are a bunch of photos for the wiring harness conversion, it’s a lot more simple than it looks, if you can wire a car-stereo than you can do an engine harness, there are just a lot more wires and you need to do a bit more digging to determine what goes where.

MT Parts

wooo… got my 5 speed brake pedal in today.

I must have found the only person on the planet doing an AUTO swap and he traded me all of my auto parts for all of his S15 5-speed parts… the only thing I still needed at this point was the brake pedal but the rest of it is handy to have around.

I spent time time bolting up the new brake pedal, and the swapping the push-rod on the master cylinder and bolting up the clutch pedal.

it’s small but it’s something

I took some pictures documenting how I prepped the Willwood CMC

LS1 and S14 Harness Integration

A minor update on the LS1 swap. I finished removing the LS1 engine harness as well as some other unnecessary stuff. I also got some new tools as well as a proper engine stand (though the motor isn’t up on it yet). The Fujii boys also stopped by briefly last weekend and pulled the starter motor, the Auto flywheel and the headders off… looks like a totally different motor now.

Corvette LS1 Corvette LS1

Next time I have a 2nd set of hands to help me I’ll throw it up on the stand (I don’t trust my ghetto-ass cherry picker to do it myself) then I can swap out the oil pan then drop it back down and throw on the new LS6 clutch… yummy

LS6 Clutch

I also spent some time pulling off a bunch of unneeded brackets and other crap from the transmission and cleaned it up a bit while I was at it and mocked up the new transmission cross member.

T-56 with Daft Innovations Transmission Mount and Crossmember

My main attention now will be on the harness, I dumped all of the harnesses that I need to tie together into a big box and brought it into my office… looks kind of overwhelming.

LS1 engine and tramssion Harness and S14 Engine Control Harness

Though spreading the KA harness out on the floor so you can see the whole thing all at once it doesn’t look so bad. Trimming off the KA bits will be the easy part… the hard part will be weeding through what is and isn’t needed on the LS1 harness.

Nissan 240sx S14 Engine Control Harness

Nissan 240sx S14 Engine Control Harness

Killer Bunnies Case

Years ago a good friend of mine turned me on to a great card game called Killer Bunnies. I instantly fell in love with the game and like most of my hobbies I decided to actively collect all the different expansions and rarities associated with it. The starter box holds a number of cards and Dice and had room to spare for 2 or 3 of the expansion packs. Past that I purchased 4 more expansions but never used them, simply because they wouldn’t fit in the box and carrying a whole stack of boxes around with you when visiting friends and family is rather cumbersome. Not to mention using the starter box you had to be creative when putting the game away to ensure that everything fit.

For months I looked for a reasonable case, poker cases were nice but they only held a small number of cards and the rest of the space was dedicated to chips, not easily modified either. Card cases for baseball collectors were either cheap cardboard boxes that held cards en-masse for storage or books where the cards were made be looked at rather then used. Even card holders for other games were almost always emblazoned with logos and artwork dedicated to that game (like Pokémon or Yugi-oh). I eventually found a company called Vanguard who makes cases for photo equipment. The cases are nice looking sturdy and contain half-cut foam cubes that you can remove to appropriately store your equipment. Most of the cases were too thin or small for what I needed but I finally found a case with a depth appropriate to fit cards, the Vanguard VGP-3202.

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202) Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

Removing a few foam peaces you can easily create rectangular shapes just popping out foam with your hands. Each foam square is 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch and there are 2 depths, half way down the case and all the way down the case. (~2 3/4 inches total depth)

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

After determining the layout I wanted to use I removed all the appropriate foam pieces and did a test fit. I was careful to nail down the layout before I started and not break-off any foam that I didn’t intend to. I suppose I could have tried to glue some of it back on if I made a mistake but luckily that didn’t happen.

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

now that I have the cards in it would seem that the lid requires pressure to close completely. This would be find if I was using it to hold camera equipment but I’d rather not put pressure across the cards. They have a slight amount of pressure across them horizontally and that holds them in place, I would imagine vertical pressure from the uneven foam lid could potentially cause damage to the cards down the road.

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

Checking the depth of the lid’s foam with a needle there is more then enough space for the lid to close comfortably if I remove the foam. Carefully pulling the foam out and testing this proves correct. But now I have a different problem.

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

The glue used on the lid is some nasty stuff, breaking out my trusty Goo-Gone (never failed me in the past) only seemed to make it worse! After scrubbing at it for a half hour and wasting nearly a quarter bottle of goo-gone to no avail i decided it might be best to cover it up. The walls of the case are covered with a a thin foam material similar to what you might find in a crafts store. Off to Walmart down the street I picked up 2 sheets of foam for 48 cents a piece, even better the foam has a peel and stick backing, so I wont even have to break out the spray adhesive. While I was there I had the idea to affix an envelope to the lid to hold the manuals. Now that the original egg-carton foam has been removed there is ample head-room for the game manuals. So picked up some envelopes while I was there.

A single sheet of the foam covered the base of the lid perfectly covering up the bulk of the ugliness.

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

Unfortunately there was some glue spillage from the original foam on the walls as well so using a razor blade (and a scrap 2×4 as a backer to protect my desk) I cut some strips out of the second piece of foam and re-covered the inside walls of the lid

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

Once the lid was completely lined in fresh foam I put an envelope down for a test fit. I specifically went for a square flapped envelope as opposed to a triangle cut. I also have enough foam left over that I’ll be able to cover the envelope once it’s in palace.

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

I peel off the backing from the remaining foam sheet and center the envelop with the bottom aligned along once edge. I then cut off a bit of the envelope’s top so it’s the same size as the foam. The foam should hold it in palace once installed but to keep from accidentally putting the manuals BEHIND the envelope as opposed to IN the envelope I placed a thin strip of electrical tape along the back edge of the envelop that will create a smooth connection between the lid and the envelope making it easier to open the pocket and slide in papers.

Once that’s done the case is ready for use, and holds all the current decks as well as leaving space for the future installments

Killer Bunnies Case (Vanguard VGP-3202)

I’m very please with how the case turned out, it’s portable and durable and holds everything current and future which is exactly what I was looking for. Since it was originally intended as a camera case it has locks on the latches which is also very beneficial considering the card collection inside is easily worth over $100.

Out with the KA…

So Joe, Dan, and James stopped by tonight and pulled my KA.

Even taking their time, and taking frequent breaks to make fun of my lacking toolbox (I believe “even MacGyver had more to work with than this” was stated by Joe at some point) they still managed to get the thing out in about 2 hours time… I’ve even got ABS and AC and they managed to pull the motor leaving all of that equipment in place.

Quite impressive, and now the seal is broken so it’s time to start cleaning the engine bay and prepping the LS1…

KA24DE being removed from an S14 KA24DE being removed from an S14 KA24DE being removed from an S14

KA24DE being removed from an S14 KA24DE being removed from an S14 KA24DE being removed from an S14

KA24DE being removed from an S14 KA24DE being removed from an S14

KA24DE being removed from an S14 KA24DE being removed from an S14

Saturn to 360 Adapter Revival?

cracksolth left a few comments on the page for my Saturn to 360 adapter, as a result I started looking back into it. I contacted the guys from Acid mods (great guys BTW) to see if they were doing anything different that would help me streamline the design. In terms of communicating with the older “Matrix” style 360 controllers I didn’t really learn much that I hadn’t already discovered; however I did learn that the newer Common Ground style controllers are getting easier to find by the day and that most of the new colored controllers all use that style of innards.

They even supplied me with this handy graphic to determine the difference between a Matrix and a CG controller without having to crack it open.

Difference between Matrix and CG style controllers

As a result I’ve decided to abandon the Matrix style controllers for the time being and just track down a CG style controller to work with since that will allow me to dramatically reduce the pin count.

I’m going to do some playing around and if I like the results I might re-open this project…

My goals this time is to get it to a point of making a “kit” or perhaps even making it easy enough that I can lower the costs involved as well as the ease of install so that more people can get their hands on this. If this is something you’ve been waiting for then you’ve only got cracksolth to thank.

Shoot me an email or post a comment if you have ideas for features you’d like to see.

Door Handle Illumination Circuit

One of the members on Vehicross.info wanted a circuit that would light up the interior door handles of his car for a few seconds after he turned the key off to allow passengers to more easily find the door handles in the dark (they are actually difficult to find in the VX since they’re mounted quite low).

I came up with a circuit using a 555 timer in Monostable mode that looks for the ACC signal to dissappear, since it goes from 12V to float and since the 555 needs a pulse I used both a pull down resistor  to ground as well as an RC circuit to pull the 555 trigger back up.

 Door Handle Illumination Circuit