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Thread: Would anyone want a "dumb" electro?

  1. #1

    Would anyone want a "dumb" electro?

    As a hobbies and for my arcade games I do some programing for I/O boards. Mostly off the shelf Arduino's. I wanted to see how easy it would be for me to write some firmware to control a marker. Then I had a forehead slap moment and realized that the basic functionality does not require an micro-controller at all. It would be super simply to just wire up a battery, micro switch, phototransistor (to function as ACE), solenoid, and a couple of resistors, and a capacitor (for analog de-bounce).

    There would be no modes, no ramping, no dwell, bells, whistles etc.

    I have no intention of building these. I just want to know if anybody want that? Why? Why not?

  2. #2
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    Sounds interesting, do a prototype!

  3. #3
    As an electronic frame, Mag specific? Or a whole marker?

  4. #4
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    To be honest, I do not think this would be a popular/successful product.

    Players who are looking for simplicity tend to avoid batteries in the first place and stick to mechs or pumps. I've never once heard a player who uses an electro gun complain about having a microcontroller that is too capable. They'll have issues with batteries, solenoids, eyes, and switches, all of which will still exist with this approach. So basically most or all of the reliability issues will still exist and the gun will be able to do less.

    Having said that, I wouldn't ever try to deter you from building one; it would be a cool project for sure! I just doubt it would appeal to the masses.

  5. #5
    So, basically, an electronic frame that has the same functionality as a sleeper pneumag frame? Except, maybe with ACE too?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Justus View Post
    So, basically, an electronic frame that has the same functionality as a sleeper pneumag frame? Except, maybe with ACE too?
    This is where I'm at... basically if an electro frame came out that's just bare bones and reliable, for under a $200 price point id be in.

    Saves the hassle of buying a frame, modifying it for pneus, setting it up etc... where typically you'd be around $200+/- to set up if you had to go buy taps, bits, set screws, etc.

    Plus you'd be bringing a product back to the market that hasn't been around for a while (unless bought used in whatever condition)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Sounds interesting, do a prototype!
    Haha. No. The electronics would be simple enough, I have most of it lying around. But I would have to haxor one of my Mags to instal it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cokrkilr View Post
    As an electronic frame, Mag specific? Or a whole marker?
    If I built it it would be for a Mag. The same concept could easily be applied to other markers but the old eyes would have to be hacked out and replaced. The photo transistor in this set up would function in-line between the switch and the solenoid rather than as just a logic feed back to the micro-controller. Both circuits would have to be closed at the same time in order to ground the feed to the noid.

    Quote Originally Posted by splat15k View Post
    To be honest, I do not think this would be a popular/successful product.

    Players who are looking for simplicity tend to avoid batteries in the first place and stick to mechs or pumps. I've never once heard a player who uses an electro gun complain about having a microcontroller that is too capable. They'll have issues with batteries, solenoids, eyes, and switches, all of which will still exist with this approach. So basically most or all of the reliability issues will still exist and the gun will be able to do less.

    Having said that, I wouldn't ever try to deter you from building one; it would be a cool project for sure! I just doubt it would appeal to the masses.
    I agree completely. As a product the only way it would have any viability is if organizations like NPPL started requiring it in order to completely prevent cheater modes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justus View Post
    So, basically, an electronic frame that has the same functionality as a sleeper pneumag frame? Except, maybe with ACE too?
    Yes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Cokrkilr View Post
    This is where I'm at... basically if an electro frame came out that's just bare bones and reliable, for under a $200 price point id be in.

    Saves the hassle of buying a frame, modifying it for pneus, setting it up etc... where typically you'd be around $200+/- to set up if you had to go buy taps, bits, set screws, etc.

    Plus you'd be bringing a product back to the market that hasn't been around for a while (unless bought used in whatever condition)
    Sans the ACE this would be absurdly simple to do. With ACE you're talking about modding at least the body and potentially the rail as well. Even then the cost of the electronic components is obscenely minimal. If somebody feels like building a frame for it I can spec it out and/or get quotes on having the electronics done. All I ask is that it be called an "IDIOT Frame".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgop2.0 View Post
    If somebody feels like building a frame for it I can spec it out and/or get quotes on having the electronics done.
    I don't think you would need to build a frame at all. The Intelliframe already has mounting points for a microswitch correct? And room for a small circuit board.

    Bare printed circuit boards can be made up at fairly reasonable prices for small quantities. You could then hand solder the components on yourself.

    I myself am not terribly into electros anymore, but I'm an electronics guy professionally and would love to watch this develop. I say you should at least build a prototype on a breadboard and post up your results.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgop2.0 View Post
    I just want to know if anybody want that?
    If you sent me a schematic, I'd at least breadboard one up to play around with. I might even put something together. I miss playing with electronics.

  11. #11
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    There is no such thing as "drop in" for a mag platform that would be 100% reliable without various means to make adjustments and tuning. Ask Coolhand how he made out with those UEMF frames.

    "I'm not happy unless you're not happy"

  12. #12
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    Spider had a nice lil build like this..here is a thread he made awhile back:
    http://www.mcarterbrown.com/forums/c...g-control.html

    interesting thread here...most of his threads are tho!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by pgop2.0 View Post
    As a hobbies and for my arcade games I do some programing for I/O boards. Mostly off the shelf Arduino's. I wanted to see how easy it would be for me to write some firmware to control a marker. Then I had a forehead slap moment and realized that the basic functionality does not require an micro-controller at all. It would be super simply to just wire up a battery, micro switch, phototransistor (to function as ACE), solenoid, and a couple of resistors, and a capacitor (for analog de-bounce).

    There would be no modes, no ramping, no dwell, bells, whistles etc.

    I have no intention of building these. I just want to know if anybody want that? Why? Why not?

    Is a capacitor alone really enough?

    Don't you need some form of comparator and transistor?
    "Accuracy by aiming."


    Definitely not on the A-Team.

  14. #14
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    I'm not real big on electric guns. My ancient RT still hums. That said. I have an old trigger frame I'm not afraid to hack up. My wife's minimag that she wouldn't care if I played with. I'm drawing cad schematics now at work. And I play with wires. I'm interested to play with the idea. Use a big battery in the hopper and feed it in the trigger frame. It would just look like a old switch assisted hopper.

  15. #15
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    BTW. Instead of eyes why not a pressure switch at the base of the ball feed. Any force fed hopper would have enough pressure to trip it. And it could be hid easily.

  16. #16
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    If you want a couple local guys to test'em out for ya, I know a few lol

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by GoatBoy View Post
    Is a capacitor alone really enough?

    Don't you need some form of comparator and transistor?
    Just a cap and a resistor will do the job. RC debounce. It swamps out the switch for r x c. Would have to do some math, but in theory this could be used to limit bps to tourney legal.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by blackdeath1k View Post
    I'm not real big on electric guns. My ancient RT still hums. That said. I have an old trigger frame I'm not afraid to hack up. My wife's minimag that she wouldn't care if I played with. I'm drawing cad schematics now at work. And I play with wires. I'm interested to play with the idea. Use a big battery in the hopper and feed it in the trigger frame. It would just look like a old switch assisted hopper.
    Have at it. I thought about a pressure switch as well but dropped the idea because paintballs are so light. I hadn't considered the effect of a force feed. Might run into trouble an the last few balls and/or when the marker is tilted.

    My mental model of this has produced a number of funny results including full auto if the debounce isn't set up properly. Then again, that could be considered a feature. I can set it up with a trigger, debounce, eye's, and noid, no problem. There are mechanical variables that I won't be able to work out until I get it mounted on a marker.

    Please keep us updated about your build. I'll start a thread for my own once I have something to show.

  19. #19
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    I've got a project and I'm right down the road... Let's say it's a sort of modified FASOR. Lemme know if it hits prototype stage.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigEvil View Post
    There is no such thing as "drop in" for a mag platform that would be 100% reliable without various means to make adjustments and tuning. Ask Coolhand how he made out with those UEMF frames.
    EM setups are right on the edge of what will trip the sear and what will fit in the frame. Devil mags and the UMEF are both good indicators of that.
    Quote Originally Posted by need4reebs View Post
    Spider had a nice lil build like this..here is a thread he made awhile back:
    http://www.mcarterbrown.com/forums/c...g-control.html
    This EP I did had a similar rationale (simplicity of operation). I still play with it. The only problems I've had are the quad o-rings getting old and the lack of a firing rate limit. Since it is uncapped and even I can hit 14bps with it, I can't say it is really limited to 13bps. It has no eyes either. You could set the firing rate to max out at 13bps, but without any code you have to throw away any trigger pulls outside of that speed. If I'm willing to shoot 10 or 11 bps, I'm probably willing to settle for 8 and go mechanical.

    Wow, four years. I still think of that one as a newer mag. At least it got on the field faster than any of the EM designs, start to finish. I was actually wanting to make it EM originally, but I didn't like the margin of operation with the ULT and the tiny solenoids or the electronics with the larger solenoids.

    I really do like the simple operation. I use a B2 (and level 10) and it feeds flawless, as fast as I can go. I leave it on all day, probably aired up too. It's like shooting a classic mag with a turbocharger that will kick in when you push it.
    Last edited by Spider-TW; 03-24-2013 at 02:08 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgop2.0 View Post
    Have at it. I thought about a pressure switch as well but dropped the idea because paintballs are so light. I hadn't considered the effect of a force feed. Might run into trouble an the last few balls and/or when the marker is tilted.

    My mental model of this has produced a number of funny results including full auto if the debounce isn't set up properly. Then again, that could be considered a feature. I can set it up with a trigger, debounce, eye's, and noid, no problem. There are mechanical variables that I won't be able to work out until I get it mounted on a marker.

    Please keep us updated about your build. I'll start a thread for my own once I have something to show.
    The lowest voltages I generally play with at work are 24 and 32 volts. I do a lot of customs control wiring with PLC. And high voltage cabling. I'm more than interested to play with your idea. But you would have to shoot me a pm with a basic electronics wire diagram and what rating and part for me to get the stuff together and solder it up. A basic diagram without any eyes or switches other than a trigger would be great. Other than that I'm useless. I haven't played with this small scale of electronics since college.

    Idk how much logic them little chips hold. But couldn't it be done to where when you pull the trigger it will open the gate to pass current to the noir for x milliseconds for fire. Then times out and won't reset till the trigger is released? The time out could be set up and used as a cap for bps as well.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by pgop2.0 View Post
    Just a cap and a resistor will do the job. RC debounce. It swamps out the switch for r x c. Would have to do some math, but in theory this could be used to limit bps to tourney legal.
    You may need a dead zone (read: hysteresis) to get things to debounce reliably.

    That's just on the debounce end. There are going to be some issues on the solenoid end as well I think.

    I'm sure you'll figure it out.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by blackdeath1k View Post
    The lowest voltages I generally play with at work are 24 and 32 volts. I do a lot of customs control wiring with PLC. And high voltage cabling. I'm more than interested to play with your idea. But you would have to shoot me a pm with a basic electronics wire diagram and what rating and part for me to get the stuff together and solder it up. A basic diagram without any eyes or switches other than a trigger would be great. Other than that I'm useless. I haven't played with this small scale of electronics since college.

    Idk how much logic them little chips hold. But couldn't it be done to where when you pull the trigger it will open the gate to pass current to the noir for x milliseconds for fire. Then times out and won't reset till the trigger is released? The time out could be set up and used as a cap for bps as well.
    In a word: lots. These are the boards I typically work with:
    http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardUno

    And you can do some very sophisticated stuff with them. My idea here however is to create a hardware only solution that does not use an IC (i.e cheaterproof). As far as the diagram goes, I'm still learning myself. My original concept (as the electro-literate here probably already figured out) does not work. Setting up the eyes inline produces automatic full auto. Every new ball completes the circuit. I'm testing the concept using LED's as stand ins for the outputs and break beam eyes (from arcade redemption games) as stand ins for the switches.

    I have three concepts that work in my mental model but I'll have to mock them up. I'm sure there will be some unexpected results that seem obvious in retrospect. What I've learned so far is that the results being produced by modern electro's are likely impossible to achieve without some combination of ramping/queuing. In testing one I found something that (IMO) is disturbing. That is for another thread.

  24. #24
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    Hmmmmm. I'm gonna talk to our small scale electronics guy at work about what I / we are talking about here minus the eyes. See what pops in his head. Doing the system itself would be easy. A whole working system popped in my head quick. But I'm thinking with larger scale items. If I'm gonna mess with this I want everything in the grip frame except maybe the batteries. I will pull our smale scale guy in to this and see what parts we can get together that are smaller than general din rail mount relays and timers.

    Maybe tonight I will throw the basic system I'm thinking of in print. If I get that together I'd be more than willing to email you the cad file if you want. You might be able to look at my system and know what smaller scale parts are needed to pull this off.
    Last edited by blackdeath1k; 03-25-2013 at 10:10 AM.

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