Xbox 360 Tilt Controller – Finished!

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The Xbox 360 tilt controller is finished! I got rid of my breadboard mess, switched to mostly surface mount components and put everything onto a circuit board. It sure is easier to play games without wires hanging everywhere! I will be releasing a video of the finished version of this soon, but nothing has changed game play wise since the phase two video (below). You can find all of the details about this project in the phase two post also.

Let me know what you think about this and whether or not I should make a wireless version. Also, I would like my projects to start becoming self sufficient, so if you are interested in buying a 360 tilt controller or maybe just a soldered circuit board, let me know. You can either leave a comment or send me an e-mail at: adam@adamthole.com

Xbox 360 Tilt Controller – Phase Two – Video

Here is the video of the tilt controller in action. I played Full Auto and Marble Blast Ultra for the Xbox 360, Crimson Skies for the Xbox (on the 360), and Goldeneye 007 for the N64 on a Windows laptop. I wish I could have gotten better quality on the Xbox titles, but I only had a CRT to play the games on.

When I play Goldeneye 007 on the laptop I am using the keyboard to shoot because when I shot that video I didn’t have the controller guts inside the controller yet so none of the buttons worked.

Enjoy!

LADAR Basics

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Over the Summer of 2006 I was a co-op at the Redstone Arsenal. My task for the summer was to make a LADAR scanning system. I was given a laser range finder, a DAQ, a pan and tilt gimbal, and a computer. At the end of the summer I was successful and had to compile everything I did into a report. I’ve seen some questions on various internet forums from hobbyists asking about LADAR and I thought my report might be helpful to those who want to learn more.

You can download the report by clicking here.

Special Thanks To:

Joe Grobmyer
Amos Christiansen
Mark Bales

Xbox 360 Tilt Controller – Phase Two

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Once I took the controller apart and learned about it (see phase one) it was time to solder wires to the points I needed and to cut a couple traces. First I needed power so I soldered a black wire to ground and a red wire to the +5V from the USB. The blue wire gets the 1.61 V maximum voltage from the potentiometer. I needed a wire to each of the center potentiometer pins for the Y and X axes. I used a white wire for the Y axis and a yellow wire for the X axis. Because I would be outputting a voltage and the potentiometer would be outputting a voltage it was necessary to cut the trace from the center potentiometer pin and solder my wires further down on the trace. If I did not do this I would be getting an input voltage from the potentiometer on my output pins on my microcontroller and that would not be good. I ended up soldering to test points TP23 and TP24. Below is a picture of the controller board with all of the wires soldered and both traces cut. The green wire was for switching between using the analog stick and the controller’s tilt for input which I later decided not to do (with this version anyway) so the green wire should be ignored.

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After doing more research I found out that I only need a two-axis accelerometer to measure the left/right and up/down tilt. The tilt is determined by measuring the force of gravity on the axis. Both axes start out perpendicular to gravity and no force from gravity is felt. As you tilt the accelerometer gravity starts acting on it more and more. When it is tilted 90 degrees so the axis is parallel to gravity it will be experiencing the full force of gravity. When it is in between perpendicular and parallel it will experience varying amounts of force. You can figure out exactly what degree you are tilted by taking the arcsine of the output. More detailed and full information is available in this document by Freescale. For this project’s accelerometer I decided to go with the MMA6260Q. It is a two-axis accelerometer that does everything I need it to do and is priced reasonably.

Continue reading “Xbox 360 Tilt Controller – Phase Two”