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Vectrex Programming Docs

These pages are for all vectrex lovers. If you look for information about Vectrex, and how the thing is programmed, you have come to the right place. There are not many places where you will find so much information about the Vectrex as this little place.

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This collection of Vectrex programming related documents was started by Chris Salomon and is now maintained by the museums staff. Back to coders index page.

Vectrex - 3DWHEEL.TXT

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(Information provided by Zack Ethridge (zacketh@ibm.net) in December 1995)

SOME VECTREX 3D GOGGLE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

The accompanying files 3dplacement.gif and 3dwheel.gif show details of
the positioning of the wheel in the goggles and a generic wheel. Actual
wheels have varying amounts of red, green, and blue areas that correspond
to the relative amounts of each of these colors in the associated game.

> In what direction the motor (and the wheel) should rotate?
> Clockwise or conterclockwise, in the user view?

As seen from the viewpoint of the wearer, the wheel turns counter-
clockwise.

> Also, on the goggles pictures there seem to be some
> mirrors inside of it. What are their purpose?

There aren't any mirrors in the goggles. There is a clear plexiglass
viewport for each eye, and the front of the goggles is clear plexiglass
also. No mirrors.

> Is there a particular type of 5V motor that work best?
> Does it need to have a specific RPM. Could a little walkman 3V motor
> work as well?

I don't think it is very critical what kind of motor you use. I think the
Vectrex will compensate for individual variances. Probably. I think...


> How does the color wheel attach to the motor ? Do we have to use some
> kind of strap or is it directly fixed to the motor shaft ? Does the
> wheel have a special kind of support ?

The color wheel has a rather wide thick-plastic center section. This has a
square hollow-wall receptacle into which a matching square protrusion on
the motor axle fits. On the other side of the color wheel is a round boss
which fits into a non-turning receptacle which acts as a pivot point,
allowing the color wheel to be turned by the motor. See the 3DCOLORW.GIF
to illustrate this. Probably. I think... :]

> In an early article in the Vectrex newsgroup, someone talked about the
> plans of the goggles themselves that could be done on autocad (or drawn
> in any other way). I don't really have problems with the electronic.
> But with the design, it's something else. Do you know if there is a way
> to get plans of the body of the goggles and the layout of all the
> components ? Particularly, I have difficulties with the photo transistor
> and the led. Where do you place them ? How far one from each other ?
> The same problem with the motor (and the color wheel).

I don't know of any plans available for the goggles, nor a layout. As for
the LED/phototransistor, see the GIF for placement. In the goggles, they
are separated by about 3/4" (2 cm).

> Do you know if it will be possible to efficiently reproduce the color
> wheels ? I have a multicart that has all the 3d games but no wheel.
> Could you give me a physical description of one ? I have the diagrams
> available at the ftp site but no idea on the material which they are made
> of, neither the thickness or the weight (if these details are important).

The wheels are fairly simple: the transparent part is about 1/64" (.5 mm).
The thicker opaque center section is about 3/32" (3 mm).

I was told by a fellow that it should not be so hard to manufacture the
wheel yourself. Look at the drawings of the wheels in the archive at the
vectrex site. Then go to a photo shop and order "KODAK GELATIN FILTER"

Blue =#47 CAT 149-5787
Green=#58 CAT 149-5860
Red =#25 CAT 149-5605

These are the right colors but very thin. Then buy some thin plexiglass and
glue them on the plexiglass.

> Also, I wondered if I could use 1/4 watt resistors instead of 1/8 watt.
> Do you think it may work as well ?

I think the wattage is not critical here; the 1/8 watt parts were probably
used for size and cost. Probably. I think...


 


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