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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this at Halloweenforum ( while this site was down) and thought I'd share it here in case there is any interest in triggering VSA remotely.

While I am really into Halloween prop building, I used to be heavliy into building my own arcade video game cabinet for use with M.A.M.E. (The Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) program. Anyway, the jist is, folks run the MAME program (which emulates all those video arcade games that were popuar in the 80's/90's) from thier PC, but the problem is if you wanted a realistic arcade machine experience, you had to somehow wire arcade buttons and joysticks to your PC to make it work. There are 2 main solutions to this, both pertain to triggering VSA externally. The first, is a Keyboard hack. Basically, you take your keyboard apart (preferably an older one just to save $$) and use the little circuit board in it to control the hot keys on VSA. There are keyboard alternatives for mouse controls in VSA:

Play all: ENTER
Loop play: @
Play to first marker: ]
Play from second marker: [
Play between markers: TAB
Play frame at first marker: CTRL+TAB
Reset Device postions: BkSp

Wire a matswitch, or PIR or whatever to the keyboard circuit board to trigger the hot key in VSA...You would have to plug your keyboard hack into your PC, but if you want to keep your regular keyboard control, keyboard splitters are available.

The second solution is to buy a ready made device that does pretty much the same thing for about $30-$40 bucks..Those are made for those who have ALOT of controls wired to thier PC to prevent something called "Key Ghosting" which doesn't really apply here, so I won't go into it.

Here is a master link to www.arcadecontrols.com which goes into depth on the whole arcade cabinet making thing,( a VERY intersting read, BTW..a TON of examples but don't blame me if you get into this hobby. It is quite awesome!), but if you want just the keyboard hack, go here:
http://arcadecontrols.com/arcade.htm

[edited]..the site has frames, so just go to the menu on the left and click on "Interfaces"..that'll get you there.

Hope this is useful, I've never heard of anyone using this method to trigger PC controlled props, and I haven't done it either,(for props, but I HAVE hacked a keyboard circuit before, so if you any ??'s just ask.), but there's no reason why it wouldn't work for VSA triggering.
M
 

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SkullTroniX/VSA Input Device

Well, since the subject has come up... We're a few weeks away from releasing a new input controller for VSA tentatively named "Exorcist".

Essentially it is a USB device with 8 buttons and 8 input plugs. You can hook up PIR sensors, mat switches or other types of switches. You can also use a TV style remote control with it.

The software will allow almost any conceivable combination of control and allow you to run multiple VSA routines and quickly switch from one to another. You can even run several simultaneous VSA routines using different USB ports. So essentially you could have one PC running multiple rooms using sensors or buttons in each room.

VSA turns out to be a great way to control lighting and special effects as well as SkullTroniX skulls. We use it in every room at Scary U.

I'll try to announce more details about Exorcist later, including the price, which has not been established. If you want to receive more details please send me an email at [email protected] as I don't frequent this list very often.

Now go scare someone.
 

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SkullTroniX/VSA Input Device

Ah, I forgot to mention one thing. Running multiple VSA routines at the same time requires use of Brookshire Software's Console program. We've been secretly shipping Console to all SkullTroniX customers this year so that they will already have it installed when Exorcist is released. The VSA installer that comes with the SkullTroniX automatically installs Console also. No extra charge.... Just trying to make life easier.

Best regards

Jerry
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VSA Input Device

Here's a trick I picked up from my buddy Dennis. Use a program called AUTOHOTKEY on your PC to map the return key to a mouse button. Then run a wireless mouse or add USB extension cables to place the mouse somewhere in the haunt where you want to activate your VSA routine.

Jerry
SkullTroniX
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, it won't do the same thing, but it will control VSA using sensors and a prop1..I would be happy to make these for folks who are interested. I'll get one up and running this weekend (yes, it is THAT easy), and post a video of it in action. I'll have to charge for parts and labor, but I think it shouldn't be more than 40 bucks. Probably less.
 
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