Act Labs PC USB Light Gun -- Must Buy for CRT Users

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Act Labs PC USB Light Gun -- Must Buy for CRT Users

Postby ConversusVans » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:20 am

Hello everyone! Not directly related to Supermodel or Model 3, but this topic relates more to SEGA shooters.

Does anyone have the Act-Labs PC light guns? They are pretty old guns as they were released in the early 2000s (and you need a CRT monitor to use them), but I ordered one about a month ago off eBay for $50, got an external CRT to plug my laptop with, and after calibration, it worked absolutely perfectly with House of the Dead 1 on the Model 2 Emulator. I 1CC'd the game many times and stopped using the mouse to play HotD as it was just too easy for me (quoting you, dan76 :P)
My only complaint is that sometimes Virtua Cop 2 on the M2 Emulator won't reload off-screen all the time; I have to pull the trigger 2 or 3 times to reload on VC2. They work fine with newer versions of MAME, but I had to reconfigure the gun's X and Y axis with my AimTrak gun by plugging it into the same USB port, as the cursor on the Act Labs will only update after you shoot on the screen.

I need to try the gun with The Lost World: Jurassic Park on Supermodel, but I'm afraid the game would look kind of strange with the white flash as the original cabinet used LEDs to track the gun's movement.

Otherwise, CRT owners, try to find one of these and blow some zombies' heads off. :) I got the arcade experience at home, f'real.
- Conversus W. Vans (Paul)
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Re: Act Labs PC USB Light Gun -- Must Buy for CRT Users

Postby skyrider » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:31 pm

...And if you put those Act-labs into real Arcade Namco-like guns, the experience feels even more real ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V0vAdq4SxY
Yes I'm old. Old enough to remember when the MCP was just a chess program!
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Re: Act Labs PC USB Light Gun -- Must Buy for CRT Users

Postby Bart » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:18 pm

skyrider wrote:...And if you put those Act-labs into real Arcade Namco-like guns, the experience feels even more real ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V0vAdq4SxY


Have you had any experience wiring these up? Was thinking about picking something like this up and using it with HoloLens in a one-off experience.
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Re: Act Labs PC USB Light Gun -- Must Buy for CRT Users

Postby skyrider » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:44 am

Bart wrote:Have you had any experience wiring these up? Was thinking about picking something like this up and using it with HoloLens in a one-off experience.


It's not as simple as just swapping the guts inside, but with patience, it's doable.
Keep also in mind that the act-labs are made to work only with CRT monitors!!!
The most difficult part is, perhaps, to align the diode with the sights. Other than that, you have to swap the original diode pcb with the Act-labs one and solder the corresponding wires.
You will also need:
a Solid state relay (DC for Input and Output, not AC!), a 24v Power Supply, a PAC-Drive from Ultimarc and you also need Mamehooker if you want the recoil to work with MAME (Or any other emulator that supports it like Supermodel ;) )

Fast and dirty howto for the recoil system: You have to connect the two wires from the Recoil-Solenoid to the Power Supply and the Output* connector on the relay: GND from the Solenoid to GND on the PSU. + from the Solenoid to the SSR + Output (#2) and - from the SSR (#1) to the + PSU Connector.
GND from the PAC-Drive to - on the SSR (Input*) (#4) and + (Any free slot) from the PAC-Drive to + on the SSR (Input) (#3).

The numbers 1,2,3 and 4 are the numbered connectors on the SSR.
*Output: I.E.: 5 - 60 VDC
*Input: I.E.: 3 - 32 VDC
If you want to try it and have any questions, just ask me :)
Yes I'm old. Old enough to remember when the MCP was just a chess program!
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Re: Act Labs PC USB Light Gun -- Must Buy for CRT Users

Postby Bart » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:31 pm

skyrider wrote:
Bart wrote:Have you had any experience wiring these up? Was thinking about picking something like this up and using it with HoloLens in a one-off experience.


It's not as simple as just swapping the guts inside, but with patience, it's doable.
Keep also in mind that the act-labs are made to work only with CRT monitors!!!
The most difficult part is, perhaps, to align the diode with the sights. Other than that, you have to swap the original diode pcb with the Act-labs one and solder the corresponding wires.
You will also need:
a Solid state relay (DC for Input and Output, not AC!), a 24v Power Supply, a PAC-Drive from Ultimarc and you also need Mamehooker if you want the recoil to work with MAME (Or any other emulator that supports it like Supermodel ;) )

Fast and dirty howto for the recoil system: You have to connect the two wires from the Recoil-Solenoid to the Power Supply and the Output* connector on the relay: GND from the Solenoid to GND on the PSU. + from the Solenoid to the SSR + Output (#2) and - from the SSR (#1) to the + PSU Connector.
GND from the PAC-Drive to - on the SSR (Input*) (#4) and + (Any free slot) from the PAC-Drive to + on the SSR (Input) (#3).

The numbers 1,2,3 and 4 are the numbered connectors on the SSR.
*Output: I.E.: 5 - 60 VDC
*Input: I.E.: 3 - 32 VDC
If you want to try it and have any questions, just ask me :)


Fascinating! I'm actually not interested in the light gun mechanism itself but purely in the recoil system. If paired with a VR or AR device (like the HoloLens), the gun itself would need to be tracked with some custom-built 6-DOF tracking. It's the recoil that is of interest to me. I imagine there are PC guns with recoil, too. How do those compare?

I was thinking it'd be fun to hook up one of the guns from LA Machineguns or Gunblade NY to a HoloLens or Vive and build some sort of shooter demo. There are a couple LA Machineguns parts for sale online but the seller is unresponsive to questions and frankly seems a little shady.
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Re: Act Labs PC USB Light Gun -- Must Buy for CRT Users

Postby skyrider » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:49 pm

Bart wrote:Fascinating! I'm actually not interested in the light gun mechanism itself but purely in the recoil system. If paired with a VR or AR device (like the HoloLens), the gun itself would need to be tracked with some custom-built 6-DOF tracking. It's the recoil that is of interest to me. I imagine there are PC guns with recoil, too. How do those compare?

I was thinking it'd be fun to hook up one of the guns from LA Machineguns or Gunblade NY to a HoloLens or Vive and build some sort of shooter demo. There are a couple LA Machineguns parts for sale online but the seller is unresponsive to questions and frankly seems a little shady.


The only PC gun with recoil is a kit available from Ultimarc, but in comparison with real arcade guns, the recoil effect is rather weak.
If you don't plan to use the PC light gun mechanism, I would go with a genuine Arcade gun cause of the heavier feel and stronger solenoid.
Yes I'm old. Old enough to remember when the MCP was just a chess program!
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