Arcade spinner

The spinner is completely homemade, using an old mouse. A cleaner solution would be a microcontroller with a custom firmware and a single sensor, but mouse hack is waaay faster! The starting point is this VHS VCR head drum. When You remove the motor, You have a nice flywheel and a 6mm shaft already mounted on two wonderful ball bearings.
In the picture You see the head drum I used, already fitted with a short steel tube fixed on the shaf.
Take an old PCB (or any other scrap piece of thin and strong material) to make ad adeguate support for the head block
Find a potentiometer knob with the same inner diameter as the drum shaft, and a metal bar (aluminium or iron) of the same diameter. The bar lenght should be choosen to make the knob stay 2-3mm above the panel surface of the box that will contains the spinner.
The mouse encoder disk was too tiny to be useful, so I decided to print a new, bigger, one.
I used a little postscript file to create my disk. THIS is exactly the disk I’ve printed, the original file comes from the now dead link and allows to print disks of any size and resolution. You must print the disk on a laser or inkjet transparent sheet.
This system allows to change speed and resolution of the spinner just by printing another disk.
If you have an old laser or inkjet printer, and the black ink is too transparent, print 2 or 3 copies of the disk and glue them together.
This is the disk in its position, fixed to the flywheel with a old miniCD and a part of its plastic case. (recycle recycle recycle :-) )
This is the mouse PCB. The PCB will be glued to a metal support that will be then fold in the correct position.

And this is the full assembly: flywheel + encoder disk + mouse PCB + cable. It’ll never works! :-)

Just kidding! It worked at the very first time!!! The only problem is that, to test the spinner, I played Arkanoid all the night and now I’m reeeeally tiiiiiired :D

Seriously, the only *true* problem is that the controller works in inverted way: by rotating knob to the right, the arkanoid paddle moves to the left. So, I inverted quadrature signals on the sensor, because the PCB shape does not allow a 180 degrees rotation.
I’ve also glued in a better way the PCB to the metal support.

Speak Your Mind