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Old 18 January 2004, 10:17   #1
Akira
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Amiga Lightgun replacement?

I want to look into those few Amiga lightgun games in existance (forgot the name of the lightgun, whatever), but I haven't seen a single Amiga lightgun for sale on ebay or any other place, ever.

So I was wondering how that thing works, because I'd like to know if I could somehow modify a Megadrive Menace lightgun for use on the Amiga. It would totally rock!!

Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 18 January 2004, 13:50   #2
Bloodwych
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I remember as a kid wondering how that lightgun with the NES actually worked and knew it must have had something to do with the flashing screen.

Found out in a mag years ago that:

Quote:
When you press the trigger, the game senses that you have fired the gun and needs to know which part of the screen the gun is pointing at. The next frame the game displays to the screen is then flooded with a colour, usually white. (This is why the screen flashes all the time to the observer, you don't actually notice it too much when you're playing). Now, the screen is drawn in a raster scan fashion, far quicker than the eye can see. That is, first the top line is drawn (from left to right), then the second line (from left to right), then the third line and so on until the entire screen has been drawn, which usually takes about one sixtieth of a second.

Anyway, you're pointing your gun at the screen, and the gun is essentially a light sensor. When the part of the screen which the gun is pointing at gets flooded in white, the sensor detects it and sends a signal to the game: "I can see white now, I'm pointing at the part of the screen you've just drawn". At this point the game can work out how far down the screen it has drawn, and how far along the current line, which gives a pretty accurate position of where the gun is pointing. At this point it no longer needs to flood the screen in white and can carry on drawing the game scene for the rest of the frame.
Do modern gun games still use this method?
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Old 18 January 2004, 22:06   #3
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I think they do!

Anyway, does anybody have a clue if I can modify a Menacer to use for the Amiga?
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Old 19 January 2004, 00:10   #4
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Why would you need to modify the Menacer? The Mega Drive uses the same joystick standard as the Amiga, so there's really no reason why the gun shouldn't work out of the box. Alternatively, look into getting a Spectrum or Master System lightgun. There's no reason why these wouldn't work either.

Some ebay links:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...&category=3642 - MD lightgun

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...category=50223 - Spectrum lightgun

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...&category=4303 - Master System lightgun

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...category=36617 - Another Master System lightgun.
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Old 19 January 2004, 00:29   #5
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The reason is that they probably ARE different. The Genesis joystick port has a +5V in the place where POTX resides in the Amiga, therefore there are possible problems with this. Since I don't have an Amiga phazer pinout nor a Menacer pinout, I don't know fi it should work straight out of the box or not.
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Old 19 January 2004, 00:43   #6
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Five minutes of Googling produces this:

http://www.epanorama.net/documents/j.../lightgun.html

-----

Light guns are floating around from old video games. The best know light gun might be the Sega light gun. The light gun has a special connector, which is not suitable for any other than Sega game systems. Fortunately the electronics in the light guns are quite generic, so conversion is usually possible just by changing the connector. One method for converting Sega light gun connectors was presented in article "First look: Inside the XE Game System: Hardware surprises revealed!" in Antic Magazine, August 1988, Vol. 7, num. 4. Using the same ideas and correct pinout configuration it is possible to convert Sega light gun to Commodore Amiga computer.

To modify the Sega gun for the Atari, you'll have to cut off the incompatible connector. The wires must be stripped back and soldered into an Atari joystick connector as follows:

SEGA GUN ATARI JOYSTICK PORT
Blue wire Pin 1 stick FWD
Gray wire Pin 6 trigger
Green wire Pin 7 +5 volts
Black wire Pin 8 Ground

Once it's all hooked up, you'll notice that gun fires when you release the trigger, which is annoying. The Sega trigger wiring is the opposite of what the Atari light gun uses. To rewire the trigger switch, remove the five screws (one is under the Sega logo on the side). Find the trigger micro-switch with three connections. Wire to the normally closed contacts instead of normally open.

-----

Not sure if that's refering to MD or MS lightguns. I imagine it's MS guns, as the Menacer is an infra-red jobbie. It's also worth noting that the same page indicates that the Spectrum gun uses a different system to detect "collisions", so that probably won't work with the Amiga.

EDIT:

Looks like the above was stolen from this page:

http://www.gamesdomain.com/faqdir/at..._5200_7800.txt

The lightgun in question *is* the Master System gun.

ANOTHER EDIT:

This zip contains a few more re-wiring ideas, targeted at the C64 this time:

http://www.64hdd.com/download/lightgun.zip

FINAL EDIT:

According to this page, "The Justifier was not compatible with Menacer software":

http://www.classicgaming.com/museum/faqs/megadfaq.shtml

Konami's "Justifier" is the gun in the first eBay link I posted. This raises intersting questions: Does the Menacer use the Master System lightgun system, or something similar to the Spectrum system? Does the Justifier use the other system, or does it just have different pinouts? Why isn't this information available on the net (people have written Menacer-compatible MD emulators, after all)?

So, in answer to your original question: I have no idea. I'll go now.

Last edited by ant512; 19 January 2004 at 01:13.
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Old 19 January 2004, 02:50   #7
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Thanks for that, looks like I was an arse for not finding anything by myself. I'll have a look at this and will try to dig deeper to find info about the Menacer.
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Old 23 January 2004, 17:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bloodwych
I remember as a kid wondering how that lightgun with the NES actually worked and knew it must have had something to do with the flashing screen.

Do modern gun games still use this method?
The C64 lightgun games never flashed the screen - but you did have to have the brightness up enough for it to work! crappy NES!!!!!
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