Since last time, we’ve created custom button boards and we have also created a support plate to hold and orient those boards along with the analog joysticks for the ‘Duke’. This gave us a rough component stack we used to determine where we needed to roughly trim the ‘Duke’ internals to allow for a good fitting. As fate would have it, we were well on our way to the wiring/bridging process when we made an unfortunate discovery.
After getting the controller together and playing around with it for a bit we found that the switches we are using were producing an audible and tactile click. Even when they were cushioned by the original silicone mats the click was strong and loud. But moments like theses give us a chance to reflect on a project’s priorities; in this case the most important thing in this project is to end up with an enhanced ‘Duke’. If the button ‘feel’ isn’t right, then our intent fails before it can even get out of the gate. Still, given the amount of time and effort it took to get to this point just to realize this solution has to be scrapped, was well, pretty disappointing. So I begrudgingly disassembled the controller and started from scratch seeking a new button solution that would more closely mimic the feel of the original.
This is why we make things. It can be easy to ideate and plan around solutions to a problem, but until we make something, we can’t know for sure what will work. In this case, discovering something didn’t work was as valuable as finding success. Going back to the drawing board was just the reset we needed to see the problem with news eyes. As it turns out, the solution we came up with was so simple, and so embarrassingly right in front of us, that it made me feel pretty dumb not to have thought of it in the first place. But this is the unpredictable nature of making things. I also believe failure to be an important type of progress during this process. It is never wanted, and it is never fun, but it can be learned from. And I think as long as we can manage that, we are still making progress.
Here’s the 3D data we created for the support frame (printed on our in-house ‘Dimension’ machine). While we are not using it anymore, I thought it would be a good thing to share. Who knows, it might be useful later on.
Xbox 360 Duke Conversion Frame 1
For the next post we plan to get the ‘Duke’ wired up, assembled, and hopefully if all goes well, connected to a 360!