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Thread: Zapper Question

  1. #1

    Default Zapper Question

    The NES Zapper does not work on modern tv's, and it is my understanding that this has something to do with the speed at which the white box (ie, in Duck Hunt) flashes on the screen.

    This is most likely a gross oversimplification, but would it be possible to overcome this issue by changing the frame rate of an emulated game?

  2. #2
    Controller Man ulaoulao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zapper Question

    LCD TVs don't output enough light like CRT TVs do. The only way you could modify the zapper to work is if you could adjust the sensitivity levels and there is no way to do that. Plus there is just as much light output by white as there is black on an LCD I believe. Either way the contrast is not good enough to sense. So no you can't overcome that. Some plasmas get hi contrast but no one has ever made a zapper work on it yet.

    I assume you know there are plenty of new age zappers that will work?
    Last edited by ulaoulao; August 19th, 2013 at 19:30.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Zapper Question

    Yes, I use both the EMS Top Gun and the Wiimote. Both work as nice alternatives, but nothing matches the real aiming afforded by the original Zapper.

    If there's no way to salvage any functionality from the Zapper, I'm considering putting 2 or 3 infrared LED's in the front of the barrel, and setting the Wiimote on top of the tv to track the gun. I'd just need a way to add a mouse click function to the trigger.

    It wouldn't match the performance of the original form, but it would work as well as anything out there now.

  4. #4
    Controller Man ulaoulao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zapper Question

    hmm, well... I do make usb gamepad adapters( see sig) and I do know how to send the trigger to the computer( mouse click or gamepad button press). If this is important to you and you plan to make a write up on this, explaining how you did it, I may be willing to help you. Open souse is very important to me, as helping people for the greater good of learning is key IMO. It would require a purchase of one of my universal boards and I have to get a gun to play with ( of if that does not sound scary ). Feel free to email me or PM if you are interested.

    ALSO: Some people have used an accelerometer to get gun moment but that can get tricky. The guts of a nun chuck may fit in the gun .
    Last edited by ulaoulao; August 20th, 2013 at 17:01.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Zapper Question

    Ha! You read my mind! I had a third party wii nunchuk with a crappy joystick, so I didn't mind using it for this. I ran the nunchuk cable out of the bottom of the gun, and I'm using a wireless wii accessory to usb adapter by mayflash. Then I used joy2key to map the nunchuk Z button to the L-Click.

    As for the infrared light, I got an IR LED from radio shack for about 2 dollars, and one of those long necked LED book lights from the dollar store. I swapped the book light LED with the IR LED and ran it through the barrel of the gun. I filed a rectangular opening into the top of the gun casing, and fit the on/off switch for the book light into it.

    I did all this with one of those after market (retroware, I think) zappers. I didn't want to experiment with the real deal, until I was sure it worked.

    I modified the plexmouse glovepie script - inverted the Y axis and multiplied mouse movement by 5 in order to increase the targetable area on the tv screen. It works pretty well. Although I'm thinking some reflective tape and/or a second IR LED in the barrel might help with tracking gun movement (especially when aimed at an angle).

    The only big change I'd want to make in my second draft would be leaving the Zapper trigger in place. I was unable to do that with the third party zapper I used in my first attempt (it had an extremely shoddy trigger mechanism, compared to the original). Right now, I just have the two nunchuk trigger buttons in place of the plastic trigger.

  6. #6
    Controller Man ulaoulao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zapper Question

    Well if it were me I'd run the nun chuck data signal in to the data line of the nes ( 2 wires ). Trying to replace manual triggers is not fun and even if it works it is sure to give up on you at some point.

    My idea.
    here is the nes wiring.
    _ 1 ground
    7 2 + 5
    6 3 nc
    5 4 nc

    1 ground
    2 clock
    3 nc
    4 nc
    5 trigger
    6 detect
    7 +5

    I'd use 2 and 6 ( 3 or 4) depending on what wires are there. 2 is for clock but its not needed so it could be cut on the zapper end. and then run the data from the chuck down that wire ( two pins hold the data). We dont have a +3.3 volt but that is very easy with a simple regulator.

    This way the adapter can get the trigger and the position in a game pad HID controller.Yes no may flash adapter needed as I do my own code. I may play with this if I ever get bored.
    Last edited by ulaoulao; August 20th, 2013 at 20:32.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Zapper Question

    The biggest benefit of using the mayflash adapter is that now the gun is semi-wireless. The computer and TV are across the room, but the gun is just plugged into the wireless adapter on the coffee table right in front of the couch.

    I'm also thinking of getting one of those generic, universal GPS dashboard mounts to mount the wiimote in front of the TV, and that way I'll be able to adjust it to whatever angle works best.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Zapper Question

    Although I think you are right. My days with a working trigger will be numbered.

  9. #9
    Controller Man ulaoulao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zapper Question

    Let me see what I can do for you. What I need from you is does the accelerometers work well enough for precision. Since they auto calibrate in the nun chuck they should be ok. What I noticed with the nun chuck is point it at the screen gives you Y look up and down, X tilt right and tilt left, but no Z ( spin ). I think mounting it up right may fix some of that. I can play with my nun chuck here and see about translating this to 2d mouse coordinates. I that works ill try getting a gun and messing with it.
    Original, the only way to play.

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  10. #10

    Default Re: Zapper Question

    Unfortunately the adapter only gets input from the trigger buttons and joystick. Accelerometers are no-go with this particular setup. It's not optimal, but a workable first attempt, I think.

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