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thejamestownoasis

X Arcade Tank Stick Was Working Fine, Then...

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Hi all,

By no means am I anything beyond an emu or LB novice so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Everything was working fine, I only use MAME and with that, 98% of the time, for Golden Tee. I came down today to find my CPU off. Turned it on, did some software updates, and that's when things went sideways. I immediately noticed that the tankstick was not working with GT upon start up. I could hit "TAB" on the wireless keyboard, get into the game menu and use the trackball to scroll and the "pinball" button to select menu items, but it won't do a thing during game play. 

I'm pretty bad with this stuff, I tried to go into the "OPTIONS"  on the LB home screen, then controllers/game pad, but nothing, I see a "refresh" screen with nothing in it. 

Is this something obvious I'm missing? My usb connections were a bit loose months back, causing issues, but they are firmly in place, and again, I can see the ball and buttons are connected by moving the pointer arrow on the screen and using the button to select.

 

Any help would be fantastic!

Thanks

James

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Maybe your controls got reset and you have to re-enable the use mouse for trackball games in the mame.ini file.

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Anyone else with thoughts? So frustrating, I use the trackball and button on the xarcade to select a game on the launch screen, then, once inside the game/mame, nothing. This has got to be an easy fix, right? Something I have to change in the mame menu or folder?

thanks again- it’s a shame, I do not TOUCH this thing just for this reason, I just select and play games. I have no clue wtf happened!

james

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Did you test the Tankstick outside of Launchbox? Since the Tankstick replicates keystrokes just open a text document and hit buttons to see if they register.

You could also try turning the NUMLOCK button on and see if that helps. Not sure how old your Tankstick is, but the NUMLOCK thing is something they have on their site. I used to have to use it until I updated the internals and got a newer board. 

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Are you able to go back into your game and remap your tankstick buttons and have everything work again?

 

This issue has happened to me for two different reasons.  

 

First was that I didn’t have MAME setup for stable ids on my arcade controller.  I wonder if you are having this problem with not having stable ids

https://docs.mamedev.org/advanced/devicemap.htm

What can happen is your usb device gets a new ID on boot up but your Mame button mappings were done against the prior device ID.  In the video and the link below they show how you can fix this by mapping your controller ID to a device ID (or something like that, it’s been a while I don’t recall the correct terminology)

 

A second thing that happened to me to cause the same problem was once I mapped a button on my arcade in launchbox to the exit emulator, every time I would lose my button mappings. I think whatever happened when Launchbox would kill the process would screw up my MAME config file where the mappings were stored. Once I turned that setting off and instead mapped my exit button on my cabinet to mame’s exit key then my mappings wouldn’t be lost. 

Im not sure if this is what’s happening to you.  If it is, you can either do like I did and not let launchbox kill the process and instead map a button to mames escape key.  I think another approach could be to figure out which file that is getting screwed up and set it to read only so MAME won’t replace it when launchbox kills the process. 

Im not 100% confident on either of those issues causing your problem but those both happened to me and I had to fix it twice as described above. Hopefully something in here will help. 

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Thanks all:

 

I can dig into the remapping, but the ONLY stroke of “genius” (really, luck, lol) I had in this entire operation was - somewhere- finding another “XArcade” controller config file (I’m certain it was on the xarcade site), dropping into the mame controller config folder and everything just worked, straightaway.

 

I checked and I can still see that file in there, I even cut it out and re-pasted it.

I’m going to try that notepad idea later. As mentioned, once that is open and I’m in the field, all the buttons should produce letters. I’m fully expecting that it will- again, the trackball moves the pointer and the flipper button will select an item in the LB menu or mame menu, but nothing will work inside a game.

this stuff is just so far above my head- Iniust have zero experience and when things go wrong I’m really stuck for what I’m sure is a ten second fix for anyone even semi-learned with this stuff.

 

thanks

james

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Glad you got it working!  You might want to go make that file read only so it can’t get messed up (if that was the problem). 

 

It definitely takes a lot of reading and tinkering to get this stuff to work and becomes a bit more difficult when you get an automatic setup and then something goes wrong as opposed to configuring it yourself from the ground up. 

Hope it keeps working for you, good luck!

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4 minutes ago, Fry said:

Glad you got it working!  You might want to go make that file read only so it can’t get messed up (if that was the problem). 

 

It definitely takes a lot of reading and tinkering to get this stuff to work and becomes a bit more difficult when you get an automatic setup and then something goes wrong as opposed to configuring it yourself from the ground up. 

Hope it keeps working for you, good luck!

Just to be clear: I’m still not up and running again. I just meant that I placed that controller config in the folder the first time around and all just worked: I never had to configure/map anything (I’m assuming that’s what that config file did).

 

sorry I was unclear.

 

james

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Oh got ya!  

My suggestion would be to launch a game in Mame and see if you can hit tab on your keyboard and go manually configure your buttons for one game and go from there. That would tell you if the stick is able to be recognized. 

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Thanks- I think I have a fundamentally flawed idea of what/how I’m configuring things.

I also have a wireless keyboard connected. So when I go to configure this after hitting “tab” how do I know/accomplish configuring the arcade stick and not the keyboard?!

prolly something obvious I’m missing, sorry.

Am I just selecting a command and then hitting the arcade stick? Like selecting “left” and the.tapping the joystick left?

that’s easy enough, but then knowing what buttons to assign to what command would be a mess for me.

I’m so pissed this got messed up- everything was fine for months. I’m really concerned that I’m going to make things worse by trying to map the controller, honestly.

thanks

James

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Its pretty easy to do. As long as your tankstick is plugged in just open a game in mame and hit tab on your wireless keyboard. You will see options to set input for general use and for machine (game specific). Just move up or down to each control option. Choose a control to map and hit enter on your keyboard then hit the correspondong button on the tankstick for the control. It will allow you to set player 1 and player 2 controls.  

I would set the general inputs (universal) first and not game specific. 

You will have to look around in the options as things for coin 1, coin 2, and setting your button options to exit mame are in a different menu. 

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On 12/21/2018 at 9:46 AM, Fry said:

Glad you got it working!  You might want to go make that file read only so it can’t get messed up (if that was the problem). 

 

It definitely takes a lot of reading and tinkering to get this stuff to work and becomes a bit more difficult when you get an automatic setup and then something goes wrong as opposed to configuring it yourself from the ground up. 

Hope it keeps working for you, good luck!

Just to be clear: I’m still not up and running again. I just meant that I placed that controller config in the folder the first time around and all just worked: I never had to configure/map anything (I’m assuming that’s what that config file did).

 

sorry I was unclear.

 

james

 

thanks everyone- I was in florida for two weeks- I’m back now and will try this tomorrow. Hopefully it’s just a matter of reconfigging the tankstick and I’ll be set.

 

gulp. Lol.

 

happy new year everyone!

 

james

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Good luck!  Don’t worry about messing anything up, just try one thing at a time and see if it works. 

 

I think the best way to go about this would first be to ensure your controllers are being seen correctly in windows. If you’re running windows 10 you can hit start and type joy and the joypad and controller settings and go into properties and hit buttons on your tankstick and ensure that they are being registered by windows. You’d want to eliminate the possiblity that your buttons are not working at all. Then assuming the button clicks are recognized in windows you can move on to testing out your buttons in a Mame game by starting a game, hitting tab, and remapping the controls for the game. 

 

You got this, it’s not as hard as it might sound. Just poke around and you’ll figure it out!

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50 minutes ago, Fry said:

I think the best way to go about this would first be to ensure your controllers are being seen correctly in windows. If you’re running windows 10 you can hit start and type joy and the joypad and controller settings and go into properties and hit buttons on your tankstick and ensure that they are being registered by windows. You’d want to eliminate the possiblity that your buttons are not working at all. Then assuming the button clicks are recognized in windows you can move on to testing out your buttons in a Mame game by starting a game, hitting tab, and remapping the controls for the game. 

That likely will not really work. The Tankstick is recognized by Windows as a keyboard so the controller set up in Windows will not show it listed. Its buttons are keystrokes. All you need to do to make sure it is working is simply open a blank text document and start hitting buttons on the tankstick and you will see keystrokes being entered. Xgaming also has a test program on their site you can use. 

@thejamestownoasis Chances are you simply need to remap your controls directly in Mame. 

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Posted (edited)

Ok I will try the re-mapping when I return home from work. Question: when all was “working” with the tankstick (recall that I never initially mapped it, I just added that config file to the mame folder) why would my connected mouse and keyboard disrupt my game (the mouse would cause the player to swing, for exp, and I could pause with game with “P” on the keyboard).

 

Wouldn’t mame just “see” the arcade stick for operation, if properly set up/mapped?

I realize the tank-stick just acts like a keyboard, but I thought it would override another keyboard when properly set up.

I would love to program a “pause” right on the tankstick, btw. 

 

thanks again

James

Edited by thejamestownoasis

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pause in MAME is just P so you would just set up one of the buttons to be P

 

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Ok guys, can you take a quick look at this, before I mess things up, please?

 

https://support.xgaming.com/support/solutions/articles/12000003090-x-arcade-programming-guide

 

This is essentially telling me to set things up (in MAME, in my case) as we're discussing, for each emulator I care to run, correct?

 

Just want to be sure, thanks!

James

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Yes, you always need to set up your specific controls in every emulator. I know mentioned early on about the Xarcade config and you dropped it in and it just worked. That is true, but sometimes things can break and it is best to set up controls yourself to meet your needs. This way you also learn how to do it in case things break again. You do not really need to worry about the stuff on the Xgaming site except 1 thing. Make sure the switch on the back of your tankstick is set to position 1 (the position closest to the bundle of wires coming out the back). That is the default setting. The other 3 positions are for custom mapping. 

If the switch it set to position 1 then mapping is easy in Mame. 

Open a game in Mame and hit tab on your keyboard. Choose the "Input (General)" as this will set controls across the board. 

Set controls in Player 1 and Player 2 options. Also go into "User Interface" option and set an exit button for "UI Cancel" (this exits mame). You can hit two buttons at the same time so exit is set to a combo (Ex: I use P2 Start + Right Pinball Button). Also for Pause you can do the same. When you are done just exit the menus. Test and make sure you are happy. 

You can also set controls for a specific game if you want them to differ from the general settings. To do this just choose "Input (this machine)" when you are in the game you want. This will set controls specific to that game only. It will override the general inputs you set. 

 

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On 12/21/2018 at 9:46 AM, Fry said:

Glad you got it working!  You might want to go make that file read only so it can’t get messed up (if that was the problem). 

 

It definitely takes a lot of reading and tinkering to get this stuff to work and becomes a bit more difficult when you get an automatic setup and then something goes wrong as opposed to configuring it yourself from the ground up. 

Hope it keeps working for you, good luck!

Just to be clear: I’m still not up and running again. I just meant that I placed that controller config in the folder the first time around and all just worked: I never had to configure/map anything (I’m assuming that’s what that config file did).

 

sorry I was unclear.

 

james

 

thanks everyone- I was in florida for two weeks- I’m back now and will try this tomorrow. Hopefully it’s just a matter of reconfigging the tankstick and I’ll be set.

 

gulp. Lol.

 

happy new year everyone!

 

james

 

 

Hi all:

 

I finally had a chance to get back at this...

I start GT, hit TAB and then enter in the keyboard. Then I try to use the joystick or buttons to assign a command: nothing.

Again, the mouse moves the pointer and left flipper button acts as the mouse left button. Nothing else.

 

ugh.

 

thanks again

james

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