Jump to content


Photo

The CGnome Project


  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#1 RDC

RDC

    X-S Seraphic

  • Head Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,778 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:VA
  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v1 (xenon)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 03:15 AM

Ever wonder what would happen if a couple of motivated individuals decided to give the Rapid Fire controller deal a pass and do something new? This is one thing that could happen...

This project started almost 6 months back now between myself and jamz az, and will probably be in the works for at least a few more while we add, move around, tweak and get everything exactly how we want it, but we wanted to show off some of what the controller is capable of at this point and get some feedback on it also.

One thing that most consoles have never been able to do right, even the 'next generation' of consoles, has been letting the user decide what they want the buttons on the controller to do. This has been an option in PC gaming for years and years, while console games just omit or at best most times give the user a handful of options, and once in a blue moon actually let you remap the controller from in game how you actually want, this is an option that ALL games should have, not just a few of them. With a default controller layout, or even 4 or 5 setups to choose from you have to get used to that layout, which seemed like a fair challenge to do something about, so this project was started.

The controller has, for all intensive purposes, been hacked up so we have access to almost every single button and Analog line in the thing, minus Start and Guide for several reason, but mainly because those 2 buttons are the same in every single game and Guide only has but one use anyway, but every other function on the controller can be remapped, turned off or duplicated to any other function on the controller.

Here's an early Prototye, that we quickly outgrew, poor little thing..

IPB Image

..so it became updated to this version here..

IPB Image

From the start we knew there were going to be way, way too many options to be able to keep this all 'on controller' so a PC app (Mapper Zapper) was also coded up to control the new Hardware (CGnome) in the controller.

IPB Image

Here you can see the different Drop Down boxes to select what you would like the button to be...

IPB Image

Then here it is loading the new remaps...

IPB Image

...and finally loaded, all of which takes around 10 seconds right now.

IPB Image

The controller can store 5 custom remaps, and always has a 'Map 0' that is always the Default settings, so it's really 6 controllers in one, and you just tap the Sync button to 'cycle' thru the stored maps.

Right now the prototypes are at the point where this is all that you see on the controller..

IPB Image

..but there is still a good bit to do and things to iron out before we will consider it done.

Well, there it is, for now anyway, look forward to hearing some feedback and will answer some questions about it, there's still a lot in the works as well as some ideas we tossed out earlier on and are looking at putting back in, but feel free to ask away. wink.gif

Edited by RDC, 12 September 2009 - 07:06 AM.


#2 NineLime

NineLime

    X-S X-perience

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 494 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:CoD4 360, Halo 3, Making game videos
  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v2 (zephyr)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 03:37 AM

Wow thats awesome, does the board your building off of get sold online?

#3 Juvenal1228

Juvenal1228

    X-S X-perience

  • Dev/Contributor
  • PipPip
  • 389 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Xbox Version:v1.1
  • 360 version:v4.0 (jasper)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 04:03 AM

holy shit i just wet myself...



this is possibly the best project i have ever seen on the forums.



and BY FAR the most complex, i can only imagine how many traces you had to cut and how many points to solder.



Jesus...



makes a slot loader look like childs play biggrin.gif



#4 higgles5

higgles5

    X-S Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 120 posts
  • Location:Michigan, US
  • Interests:IT Intern/Student at Western Michigan University
  • Xbox Version:unk
  • 360 version:v3.0 (falcon)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 04:27 AM

RDC......I can't begin to express the amazingness..... love.gif

#5 rjburke377

rjburke377

    X-S Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 180 posts
  • Xbox Version:v1.3
  • 360 version:v1 (xenon)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 04:45 AM

QUOTE(RDC @ Sep 10 2009, 10:15 PM) View Post


..so it became updated to this version here..
...
Well, there it is, for now anyway, look forward to hearing some feedback and will answer some questions about it, there's still a lot in the works as well as some ideas we tossed out earlier on and are looking at putting back in, but feel free to ask away. wink.gif

Wow. The concept is spot on. I'm really pleased to see advanced moding and it's not another RF! Looks really cool guys! I like the PC app too.

You know I'm a technology weenie. Please give a brief tour of the IC technology. I think I see an MC chip in there: PIC32 or ARM? Tell me. Tell me. Tell me. smile.gif

/RJ


#6 NineLime

NineLime

    X-S X-perience

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 494 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:CoD4 360, Halo 3, Making game videos
  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v2 (zephyr)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:42 AM

QUOTE(rjburke377 @ Sep 10 2009, 11:45 PM) View Post

Wow. The concept is spot on. I'm really pleased to see advanced moding and it's not another RF! Looks really cool guys! I like the PC app too.

You know I'm a technology weenie. Please give a brief tour of the IC technology. I think I see an MC chip in there: PIC32 or ARM? Tell me. Tell me. Tell me. smile.gif

/RJ


It's alien technology they discovered left behind from thier mysterious predecessors in space. Then RDC recieved thier schematic in his dreams obviously. Just kidding but thats a hell of a lot of pins on that board...it almost looks like a desktop CPU in size. Too bad there wasn't a simple solution to using a mouse, unless the USB port can interface allowing the computer to input (I don't see why not but if you didn't mention it then probably not)

#7 ChunkierDonkey

ChunkierDonkey

    X-S Young Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 58 posts

Posted 11 September 2009 - 07:21 AM

That's just nice! I was wondering what and when you two was gonna drop it on us. That is impressive, hands down. Where to start on the questions? I like to know everything, but I settle for what are your plans on it? As in you going to sell the controllers or go open source or what? I don't think you're average modder could handle a kit but I would like one. Where do I sign up to be a beta tester? You guys rock and as far suggestions go. It does everything but make toast, it doesn't make toast does it, had to scan over it again no toast. love.gif I'm with rjburke377 can we get a tour on the IC technology and some specs. Dude this is just sweet

#8 gameguysz

gameguysz

    X-S Enthusiast

  • Members
  • 15 posts

Posted 11 September 2009 - 09:18 AM

i want to see this finished so when i use it i can go "AHHHHH BEAT MODE!"


Very good, keep up the good work

#9 RDC

RDC

    X-S Seraphic

  • Head Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,778 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:VA
  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v1 (xenon)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 02:22 PM

Thanks all for the interest and having a look, plus the questions. wink.gif


QUOTE(NineLime @ Sep 10 2009, 10:37 PM) View Post
Wow thats awesome, does the board your building off of get sold online?

If you're referring to the Prototypes, then yes, those are called Schmart boards and ya can find them at Mouser and the like and solder up whatever ya need to them, they have them in all types of layouts.

There is no 'building off' board for the CGnome Prototype that inside the controller though, it's a one off, that is was built from the ground up to fit inside the CG controller and has the parts installed on it that we have picked out.


QUOTE(Juvenal1228 @ Sep 10 2009, 11:03 PM) View Post
holy shit i just wet myself...
this is possibly the best project i have ever seen on the forums.
and BY FAR the most complex, i can only imagine how many traces you had to cut and how many points to solder.
Jesus...
makes a slot loader look like childs play biggrin.gif

When prepping the CG controller board for wiring, there are a total of 19 Traces that need to be cut, 28 Vias and 6 Traces that need to be prepped for soldering to, then 9 other solder joints that will be made on existing solder joints or TP spots, and those 9 are really the only 'easy' thing about this install.




QUOTE(rjburke377 @ Sep 10 2009, 11:45 PM) View Post

Wow. The concept is spot on. I'm really pleased to see advanced moding and it's not another RF! Looks really cool guys! I like the PC app too.

You know I'm a technology weenie. Please give a brief tour of the IC technology. I think I see an MC chip in there: PIC32 or ARM? Tell me. Tell me. Tell me. smile.gif

/RJ

The main IC there is a TQFP 64 pin PIC18F6722, the rest are an FTDI chip, DAC, Charge Pump and EEPROM the EEP has since been ditched.


QUOTE(ChunkierDonkey @ Sep 11 2009, 02:21 AM) View Post
That's just nice! I was wondering what and when you two was gonna drop it on us. That is impressive, hands down. Where to start on the questions? I like to know everything, but I settle for what are your plans on it? As in you going to sell the controllers or go open source or what? I don't think you're average modder could handle a kit but I would like one. Where do I sign up to be a beta tester? You guys rock and as far suggestions go. It does everything but make toast, it doesn't make toast does it, had to scan over it again no toast. love.gif I'm with rjburke377 can we get a tour on the IC technology and some specs. Dude this is just sweet

IC specs above, and we have a few pins left, so making it 'toaster compatible' wouldn't be that difficult. wink.gif Right now it's a fairly closed project, only 3 of these things even exist right now, the 2 main prototypes and the one that is closer to a final prototype, which will soon be joined by another one here before long for more testing, and even if we spent the next 10 years testing we'll never get thru every combination of just button layouts there are, let alone the other things it can/will do.

Yes the install would be right difficult indeed, it's not something for a beginner or even an intermediate person to even consider. It's by no meas impossible, but it is right up there on the list of things you'd probably rather not do without having a fair amount of knowledge and experience under your belt first. Even using 30awg wire, when you have to cram 40+ of them in there plus the CGnome board, that gets right difficult right fast because there are only so many ways to get 'in between' the buttons on the controller and for some of them there are only 1 way to do it, and none of those connections are what I'd call easy.

As to the plans for it, that remains to be seen. It's already been close to a 6 month road to get to this point, and while the coding is all jam az, I can say it's not going to be open sourced. There are many, many technical hurdles to get over even thinking up something like this, let alone just saying "lets go for it", which is exactly what we did, and here's where we are now. This has pushed both jam az and my abilities, him coding around issues that cropped up and me dealing with hardware issues I never could have imagined, and we've just kept pushing back, plus it's always been about just doing it to see if we could really, so we'll just have to see where/how it goes from here now that we've tipped out hat.


#10 Hazeree

Hazeree

    X-S Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 204 posts

Posted 11 September 2009 - 05:33 PM

I agree. Quite simply amazing. I had a half-done programmable macro code at one point, but that was simply over-lay signals, not an entire remap of the controller. You bet your arse this is not your average project.

I am curious as to if you are using a boot-loader to update the code or not. I am also surprised you are using the FTDI chip instead of one of Microchips USB chips. I can only guess that the PC side of the coding is easier with the FTDI vs Microchips drivers.

I dont know if you are early in this project enough for some suggestions, but here goes: You could make half the install easier if you use a flex pcb to cover the face buttons (dpad, x, y, a, b, select) so you would have new pads for the buttons and not have to cut as many traces to remap those buttons. Also the flex PCB would be alot easier to locate the hardware in the controller. If you havent already, do make a boot-loader. As you have said, testing the possible combinations is unrealistic. So instead of trying, just keep the ability to rewrite the internal PIC code as needed if any bugs come up. Even though you have opened up the controller to a full remap, about 90% of those combinations would be counter-productive to the user, so there is no real reason to test all combinations. Just get a few of the common ones done and let time determine any need to squash bugs with a boot-loader.

Lastly, if you go the flex PCB route you could go the one extra step and make it wireless. You could easily plant wireless transciever and ditch USB altogether (zigbee?). You can always use USB on the PC transciever, but that would be the final touch to the ultimate controller. Complete stealth.

Oh, I didnt see it mentioned. I am assuming you have remapped the sync button too. Do you have it so you can use that button as a 'mode select' and not accidently trigger a controller sync?

Edit: Almost forgot. I finally get to see a working RF PC application that surpasses my own. My congratulations to you guys. I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen.

Edited by Hazeree, 11 September 2009 - 05:44 PM.


#11 RDC

RDC

    X-S Seraphic

  • Head Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,778 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:VA
  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v1 (xenon)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 09:50 PM

Thanks for the suggestions Hazeree, and your PC side app was really nice to see also, something new and more user friendly compared to what was out at the time.

As far as the flexPCB goes, I personally wouldn't touch it as I prefer the stock hardware for most things. The 8 buttons the flexPCB allow ya access to with no trace cutting is a drop in the bucket really, though 3 of the 4 D-pad ones are right rough to do, so there would be at least that plus to it, but that stuff a person can nuke or tear in a second if they're not careful with it, plus I wouldn't want to switch over to gold plated button contacts. For it only getting ya 8 buttons out of the deal it just wasn't advantageous enough to go that way versus the 8 trace cuts, though kinda early on it was considered. That part is a definite 'this or that way' where each has something good/bad about it, we just went with the hardware way on this one.

The Sync button isn't remapped, just overlaid, and only taps are used to cycle maps, so while triggering a Sync is likely, and even doable, if ya just tap and don't hold it then it's not that big of an issue. Right now the PIC is updated via ICSP, kind of crude considering other options that are available, but for this project here it was more of a 'do it' mentality instead of a sit down and plan it all out before deciding on how to go about what, so with a lot of things right off we stuck to a solid base we knew worked and could both do, me hacking traces and jam az coding the way he does, and trust me, there have been a TON of idea changes, better ideas and flat out new ones we never even considered along the way that are all on a nice list now. wink.gif But again this was a "go" project from the start and we really didn't consider some ways of doing things versus others until later on or we already had another idea figured out. a USB chip, Wireless and a mountain of other options have all been discussed, and looking back at this point it's very easy to see the paths we should have taken for some sections of this, but as far along as it is right now it would take a do over to implement some of these things, but again, it's all on the list. wink.gif




#12 Hazeree

Hazeree

    X-S Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 204 posts

Posted 11 September 2009 - 11:13 PM

Oh no, I did not mean to say "you should have done this/that". I was merely suggesting some extras that quite honestly should take you guys no time at all to add on.

The boot-loader is actaully quite simple (in the PIC). The hard part is transferring the hex file, and thats only hard if you dont have alot of PC coding knowledge (from your PC app, it looks like you guys have a good handle on that end). All of the example code you would need is at microchip, and its actually really easy.

Keep up the good work.

#13 RDC

RDC

    X-S Seraphic

  • Head Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,778 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:VA
  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v1 (xenon)

Posted 11 September 2009 - 11:36 PM

Thanks, and I know ya weren't, just getting some of the specifics out there is all on how it progressed. wink.gif Even with us it's easy to look at some things now and go, "man, that would have been a much better idea", and for some we even knew it, just for some reason didn't take that road. Like the CLK, up until about 2 weeks ago we were just running on the internal OSC at 8MHz, that's been replaced with an external 8MHz Xtal now (again, like we should have started off with but for some unknown reason just didn't) and PLL'd so it runs at 32MHz.

The boot-loader is something we've talked about also, updating from the app is much more efficient, not to mention a lot more kool, but that was considered kinda after the fact, and if it needs to be updated that much then we didn't do the job right in the first place. wink.gif It's definitely something we're considering for the future, but for right now the update thing is all in the prototype stage where the controller is all apart and ICSP is just right there to use, and always would be to correct and serious dumps that could happen along the way, but yes a boot-loader does have it's advantages and is something that will get done, sooner or later, as that list is right long now.

Edited by RDC, 12 September 2009 - 12:17 AM.


#14 RDC

RDC

    X-S Seraphic

  • Head Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,778 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:VA
  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v1 (xenon)

Posted 12 September 2009 - 12:52 AM

Here's a short video of the latest prototype in action, nothing fancy, just shows the map selecting and a few remaps..



IPB Image



#15 NineLime

NineLime

    X-S X-perience

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 494 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:CoD4 360, Halo 3, Making game videos
  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v2 (zephyr)

Posted 12 September 2009 - 07:19 AM

I think we should play COD4 RDC, I have killer teammates to compliment your killer controller smile.gif




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users