Monday, April 10, 2006

I started officially working on the arcade project this weekend. I started by hooking up my Happ Controls trackball to a Hagstrom Electronics ME4. The ME4 basically just makes a trackball (and optionally a spinner) look like a mouse to your PC. So the trackball went off without a hitch, but then I tried to hook up my SlikStik Tornado spinner and that did not work. So I spent some time debugging (hooked up the spinner to a breadboard to make sure that it was working, etc.). It turned out that the spinner is active low (meaning the signal lines need to be pulled UP to 5V) and the ME4 expects an active high signal (meaning it is pulling the signals DOWN to ground via some 2.2K resistors). So I emailed Hagstrom Electronics at 11PM and the next morning before 9AM they had replied and said I was indeed correct and I needed to pull up the signal lines to 5V using a 1K resistor. I'm pretty impressed with their customer service. Nice job Hagstrom. I think I'll test out the fix tonight.

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