My First RC and First Crawler - The Axial SCX10 (First Unbox) [Part 1]

My first RC crawler, first Axial product :-)

Decided to plunge my $$$ on this one to get myself know more about RC (Radio Control) vehicle. I never thought that I'll be spending even more $$ after this purchase for more upgrades in the weeks to come. Aluminium upgrades, lighting kits, more transmitter/receiver channels, and even FPV, there are just so many parts and $$$ that one could spend to modding this rig!

Stay tuned for more pictures about which upgrades that I had done to this awesome RC truck!

Understanding a Pinball Cabinet System (Part 1)

* This is a Part 1 writeup that gives a quick general overview about pinball cabinet systems, pinball emulator/simulator and pinball front end when I'm setting up my Pinball arcade system on my Desktop setup *

** Stay tuned for Part 2 if you would like to know how I setup each Pinball emulator/simulator such as PinMAME, Visual Pinball, Future Pinball, Pinball FX2 and Pinball Front-end using PinballX **

Pictures will be added in the future...

After 3 months of work I'm proud to say that my HyperSpin setup is now complete! Featuring 130 systems and perhaps more since HyperList is updated very frequently now. I've completed almost all the major systems since the 90's :-)

With this setup I decided to try setting up a Pinball systems. And alas, this has opened up a brand new can of worms! Never have I thought setting up a Pinball front end would be this daunting. So this post is basically summarising what I've learnt and done to setup my Pinball arcade experience using a common Desktop setup. I've got a 30" Dell U3011 but unfortunately it doesn't support rotation, so no chance to flip it over and lay on a flat table.

My Complete Illustrated Experience to Mod X-Arcade TankStick (Part 2)

This is the SECOND of the THREE part posts that I wrote to share my experience to mod my X-Arcade TankStick.

The X-Arcade TankStick came with a very sturdy cabinet and offers a lot of room for modding. Search on Google and you'll find numerous mods that people had done with it over the years.

I decided to write this post to share my experience in modding the TankStick with little DIY background :-) I made sure to took pictures of every steps that I did not only to share the progress with you, but also as a flashback moment for me during the mod. The whole mod took around 3 days as I tried different joysticks every time I mounted a new one before finally deciding on one.

Modding the TankStick actually requires no woodwork AT ALL if you're only seeking to replace the push buttons and installing a spinner. Woodwork is only needed in case you want to mount a universal mounting plate such as the Kowal, which you'll then install it on the Japanese or Korean joysticks. This is mainly because the default mounting space is not tall enough to fit it vertically. The width fits perfectly though.

Please see the following post to find out which arcade parts I purchased for this mod project.

Note: This post contains a lot of high resolution images. Please view it only if you have sufficient Internet bandwidth.

In essence, I mod the TankStick in the following ways:
  • Replaced the stock X-Arcade push buttons with Euro iL Short Stem Convex Push Buttons (multi-colored)
  • Installed Ultimarc SpinTrak, a high resolution rotary device that provides analog X-Axis (left/right) inputs. It would shows up as a Mouse device on Windows.
  • Did some woodwork to expand the default joystick mounting place in order to install the Kowal Universal Mounting Plate.
  • Mounted Kowal Universal Mounting Plate on various joysticks, i.e. Sanwa JLW and Seimitsu LS-32. 
  • I also tried to mount the Eurostick iL Joystick without the Kowal plate since it is an exact fit. It's basically a drop-in replacement.
  • Connecting the other end of the JLF-5H 5-Pin wiring harness to the Quick Disconnect. I did it because I don't want to cut the quick disconnect as I might want to use the non-PCB joystick on some fine day :)

Purchasing Arcade Parts to Mod My X-Arcade TankStick (Part 1)

This is the FIRST of the THREE part posts that I wrote to share my experience to mod my X-Arcade TankStick.

See Part Two - My Complete Illustrated Experience to Mod X-Arcade TankStick to see a complete pictures showing you my progress of mounting/installing these parts inside the TankStick.

The first step is of course purchasing the arcade parts. Following are the arcade parts which I purchased from various sites:

  • Euro iL Short Stem Convex 28mm Push Buttons
  • Cherry DX44 Microswitches with 0.187" terminal size
  • Kowal Universal Joystick Mounting Plate (to fit with American/European and Japanese joystick)

  • Seimitsu LS-32
  • Seimitsu LS-32-02 (same as LS-32 but with PCB mounted)
  • Sanwa JLF
  • Shaft cover and dust washer for Sanwa and Seimitsu Joysticks
  • JLF-5H 5-Pin wire harness (to connect with the PCB on the Joystick)
  • Restrictor Gates

I decided to split my order into two separate shipments with declared value of ~USD150 each in order to avoid having to pay for custom duty. I'm just glad I made the decision!

First Box
  • Eurostick iL Arcade Joystick (White)
  • SpinTrak Steering wheel
  • Sanwa GT-0 Round Restrictor Gate
  • Sanwa JLW-TM-8 Joystick with Fine Mesh Ball Top (Green)

Second Box 
  • Euro iL Convex Arcade Start Button (Player 1 & 2)
  • SpinTrak Arcade Spinner with red/silver handle and Large flyweight

More about the parts
Ultimarc SpinTrak

Ultimarc SpinTrak with Large Flyweight, Red Knob, and PCB
Steering wheel
Euro iL Joystick (White)
Sanwa JLW Joystick and GT-O Circle Restrictor Gate

See Part Two - My Complete Illustrated Experience to Mod X-Arcade TankStick to view my progress on modding the TankStick using these arcade parts.

Turning Mouse/Spinner Into Steering Analog Input for MAME, Arcade and Other Games

It is possible to turn your mouse or spinner such as the Ultimarc SpinTrak into a virtual analog device detected by various emulator (arcade) as well as PC games.

Only two softwares are needed:
  • vJoy - Create virtual joystick on your PC. You'll need a feeder application to provide input to the virtual joystick.
  • FreePIE - Emulate a virtual joystick and send the key buttons to vJoy.