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Monsters Cheap Buttkicker Alternative


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#1 hq_Honeymonster

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 22:17

Not sure if this is the right forum as it's not actually a plane control device :?:

Anyway I've had this cheap bass shaker lying around for ages so I thought I'd give this a go.

The real one:

http://www.amazon.co...04546850&sr=8-1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.amazon.co...ButtKicker-BK-G … 850&sr=8-1

The el cheapo one I'm using:

http://www.phific.ee...ody-shaker.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.phific.ee...g-en/woofers/67 … haker.html

There are others out there.

It took about half an hour for a temporary hook up (the block conector is very temporary) and test so here we go. :grin:

Image

The only amp I had available was one side of my precious Soundstream mono blocks which will undoubtedly not be a permanent fixture. :|
Image

One problem with using this amp is the lack of a volume control and built in pre amp it's really designed to be driven with something with a much better output than a soundcard. This reduces the maximum output from this beast considerably.

There wasn't enough room under the chair to mount the shaker anywhere other than to one side and this unfortunately feels quite noticeable. So a better mounting solution or two shakers is really necessary for the best feel.

So does it work…

In a word yes. :grin:

I don't have a butt kicker to compare it with but I would say two of these would be more than enough for even the craziest amongst us and still a LOT cheaper if you can find a reasonably priced s/h amp.

Finding the right amp is the key. For settings I used the sub output on the pc then selected 5.1 with bass management in my realtek sound settings. I deselected rear and centre speaker as my headphones are only stereo and this works pretty darn well. If you select stereo the sub output gets disabled with the realtek system, others may be different. The low pass filter built into the pc/soundcard proved perfectly adequate. Noise is very minimal and completely undistorted but vibration is not. :grin:

You can feel the engine rumble and the bullets, not bad for half an hours work. The bullets could be sharper but I'm sure another one would sort that out. The worst thing is when you get a message on messenger and it sends a shiver up your spine. lol

Anyway hope some of you found my little experiment interesting.

Cheers

Ben
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#2 SirFreddie

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 23:06

Moderator please lock this thread, it's this kind of perversion that gives the internet a bad name :o
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#3 charlo

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 00:13

+1 to the OP from me!

(I've posted the rest of this elsewhere in other threads, but I'll add it here for those looking for another way to add immersion to ROF.)

I have been using the Buttkicker Gamer 2, which I first read about in Bass Noises, and find to be very immersive.

(I know, "Buttkicker" is a rather stupid name, but it's a better name than actually describing what this thing does - translate bass tones into vibrations sent into your chair so that you feel the noise as much as hear it.)

I only used headphones because my wife didn't want to hear what sounded to her like constant static (the rushing wind noise in ROF does sound like static if you are watching tv or reading in another room).

With the Buttkicker I am able to keep the game noise low enough that she doesn't hear it, but it sure seems plenty loud to me as I sit in my chair. Firing the machine guns is a visceral experience, an H/P or Gotha sounds immense, and I'm regularly startled by nearby flak.

I have rather poor hearing anyway, so was concerned wearing headphones was further damaging it. The Buttkicker is helping me keep what little hearing I have left.

Oh - and while I don't yet have CloD, just watching Youtube videos of CloD is really impressive when the Buttkicker translates engine noise into the chair. It probably makes for more satisfying engine sounds when you feel their rumble.

Whether you spend a bunch of money on the Buttkicker, or cleverly spend some time doing what Honeymonster describes above, I highly recommend adding this further dimension to your simming experience. :S!:

Charlo
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#4 hq_Honeymonster

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 18:21

Moderator please lock this thread, it's this kind of perversion that gives the internet a bad name :o

It's only perverted when you add the screw on ladies attachment chap. ;)

Seriously though I'm quite chuffed with this it works much better than I expected. It gives a pair of headphones the feel of a proper big system in near silence for surrounding friends and foes. Engine noises/vibrations are the most unexpected bonus to me. You can almost tune your mixture by feel. 8-)
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#5 HotTom

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 18:41

As I said in another thread, the applause for Buttkicker is not universal.

I threw mine in the trash after trying it for a month.

But, obviously, some folks really like them.

With gadgets and circus sideshows, you pays your money and you takes your chances ;)
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#6 hq_Honeymonster

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 16:32

With gadgets and circus sideshows, you pays your money and you takes your chances ;)

I appreciate you have your own opinion Tom which you are of course entitled to.

Your description of circus side show gadget is thoroughly incorrect though. The technology is well researched and recognized.

http://en.wikipedia....i/Tactile_sound" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia....i/Tactile_sound

"In addition to being produced naturally, tactile sound can be produced by a transducer in the same way that sound can be produced through a loudspeaker. Tactile sound has been used by the military for flight and tank simulators."

Cheers
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#7 SirFreddie

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 23:45

An example of unthorougher reaserch :?


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#8 =MR.FOX=

=MR.FOX=
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Posted 07 May 2011 - 00:56

I use the buttkicker gamer, and I think when used right it can bring some nice immersion into flight and race sims. even shooter games are better. I call it my " engine simulator " different sims have a different feel. but I guess its up to the sound quality. in fsx you can really feel for example the ground on take off, and you can feel when you lift off. also you can feel the difference in prop pitch. Plus their tech support at Guitammer is great. this week one of the pins on my buttkicker cable broke. I called to see if I was still covered with the 1 year warranty. I was! I purchased may 27th of last year! just made it. I emailed invoice yesterday and they shipped me a new one today. no hassle.
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#9 =AH=_Sid

=AH=_Sid
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Posted 02 July 2011 - 21:46

You can build your own Tactile Transducers fairly easily.

But a cheap and very simple way is to hunt around on EBay/Amazon for the old "Aura InterActor" playstation backpacks. Just strip the tactile transducer out of the backpack and bolt it to the underside of your seat. The "Aura InterActor" comes complete with its own amplifier/power supply.

I paid around £20 for two backpacks and the cushion version a couple of years ago.

Image

Having stripped my seat down, the "Cushion" replaced the original foam padding perfectly,

Image

I mounted the two standard "Transducers" under the seat in some old electrical boxes just to give them some protection.

Image

The Aura Amps, are hidden round the back of the monitors,

Image

and with the seats cover replaced,

Image

the only clue to the "Transducers" is a few cables around the back of the seat.

It was all a bit of an experiment at the time, just the one "transducers" under the seat would have been sufficient, although the "Cushion" version does work quite well as well.

Does it work? you bet, it adds a whole new dimension to flight sims. It really enhances the sound system and the feeling of being part of sim, not just a spectator.

It's a shame that RoF doesn't seem to have any sound associated with pre-stall buffet though, in other sims I've been able to fly "seat of pants" so to speak, just judging the stall by the vibrations through the seat (and as I don't have a force feedback stick, this is something I really miss).
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#10 jimcarrel

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 00:21

That is extremely clever -Sid- !
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#11 hq_Honeymonster

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 09:49

Damn you have one of those proper Spitfire simulator setups. 8-)

I bet that cost about the same as a small familly car.
At least it looks very similar or did you build it yourself? :D
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#12 =AH=_Sid

=AH=_Sid
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Posted 03 July 2011 - 17:43

;) Yes one of those "SpitSim" setups.

I've heavily modified it with the electronics striped out of a Thrustmaster Cougar, but it's still just a static spring driven device, so not ideal for RoF. With the lack of force feedback the first I know of the approaching stall is usually a wing drop or spin. I'm currently looking at ways to convert it to FFB using the electronics from a MSFFB2, but it's early days so far with that project, DIY force feedback.

The Tactile Transducers go a long way to help with the lack of feeling here, it's just a shame there is no sound associated with pre-stall buffet in RoF, so there is nothing for the "Transducers" to work with.
:(
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#13 kirock7

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 00:41

Man, you should be working for either Disney or NASA! :-)
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#14 hq_Honeymonster

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:08

I'm currently looking at ways to convert it to FFB using the electronics from a MSFFB2, but it's early days so far with that project, DIY force feedback.
Funnily enough I was just discussing something like this with Peter Z the other day. It would be essential to have a well balanced or adjustable output though as in game adjustments are limited. Even with a linear buffer circuit once you've added huge motors, gearing and stick lengh the original joystick output balance will be all over the place. A really cool, interesting and fiddly project though. It's a shame no one has developed a universal FFB controller like they have for joystick control. Programming your own PIC would be a lot of work for one system but it would reap benefits in the long run as you could make adjustments within its software to suit your hardware.

The Tactile Transducers go a long way to help with the lack of feeling here, it's just a shame there is no sound associated with pre-stall buffet in RoF, so there is nothing for the "Transducers" to work with.
:(

Maybe something that will be added in the future? Gotta love the engine rumble though. :)

I was playing GRID (racing game) the other day and every time I nibbled one of the the red and white track edges I could feel the vibration so I knew I was getting the best line in the corner. People really don't know what their missing with out these transducers, It adds a whole extra sense.

Man, you should be working for either Disney or NASA!

Maybe on the Space shuttle ride at Disney? :D

Cheers
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#15 Tiger27

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 04:53

You can build your own Tactile Transducers fairly easily.

But a cheap and very simple way is to hunt around on EBay/Amazon for the old "Aura InterActor" playstation backpacks. Just strip the tactile transducer out of the backpack and bolt it to the underside of your seat. The "Aura InterActor" comes complete with its own amplifier/power supply.

I paid around £20 for two backpacks and the cushion version a couple of years ago.

Image

Having stripped my seat down, the "Cushion" replaced the original foam padding perfectly,

Image

I mounted the two standard "Transducers" under the seat in some old electrical boxes just to give them some protection.

Image

The Aura Amps, are hidden round the back of the monitors,

Image

and with the seats cover replaced,

Image

the only clue to the "Transducers" is a few cables around the back of the seat.

It was all a bit of an experiment at the time, just the one "transducers" under the seat would have been sufficient, although the "Cushion" version does work quite well as well.

Does it work? you bet, it adds a whole new dimension to flight sims. It really enhances the sound system and the feeling of being part of sim, not just a spectator.

It's a shame that RoF doesn't seem to have any sound associated with pre-stall buffet though, in other sims I've been able to fly "seat of pants" so to speak, just judging the stall by the vibrations through the seat (and as I don't have a force feedback stick, this is something I really miss).

Just so happens that I picked up a vest and a cushion for about $20au a few years back and have been meaning to do this myself, should have some time in the near future so I might give your idea a go, looks great and they work okay, but have always been to awkward to wear as a vest, nice work.
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#16 =AH=_Sid

=AH=_Sid
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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:12

Leaving the FFB aside for the now (that deserves a thread on its own).

Maybe something that will be added in the future? Gotta love the engine rumble though. :)

I was playing GRID (racing game) the other day and every time I nibbled one of the the red and white track edges I could feel the vibration so I knew I was getting the best line in the corner. People really don't know what their missing with out these transducers, It adds a whole extra sense.
Agreed, the sounds for the engines, guns and flak work very well at the moment. Other areas aren't working quite so well (still good, but not as good as some other flightsims), in particular; the ground roll when taking off and landing, the "bump" on landing or crashing, and for me; the tactile feedback around the stall.

Hopefully when the RoF team has had their well deserved summer vacation, they might be able to improve some of the sounds to work better with these low frequency transducers, or introduce dedicated support along the lines of the FFB support the game currently enjoys.

Just so happens that I picked up a vest and a cushion for about $20au a few years back and have been meaning to do this myself, should have some time in the near future so I might give your idea a go, looks great and they work okay, but have always been to awkward to wear as a vest, nice work.
LOL, I didn't fancy wearing the "vest" either! You're lucky to have bought the "cushion", I haven't seen them for sale for a long time now.

In addition you might need to buy a couple of audio splitters: "3.5mm Stereo Plug to 2 x 3.5mm Stereo Socket"

Let us know how you get on.


I found an old review of the Aura InterActor here: AVSIM Hardware Review
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#17 SYN_Flashman

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  • Posts: 539

Posted 11 July 2011 - 16:09

Hi Sid,

I liked the idea of tactile transducers so much I did what you suggested and bought an Aura interactor from ebay.

Im not sure if im setting it up wrong (audio is not a strong point for me… stereo all thw way) but it produces both the vibration as well as sound.

Personally I just want the vibration and not the sound. If i strip the transducers from the case will that remove the sound?

I often wear headphones to avoid annoying 'er indoors so having stuff boom out of ..er… my backside so to speak would be helpful.

Does your setup produce sound or just vibration, and if so how did you do it?

Cheers

Flashy
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#18 =AH=_Sid

=AH=_Sid
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Posted 11 July 2011 - 16:39

Well, the firmer you bolt it to something the more the vibrations will be transmitted allowing the "Volume" to be turned down.

I have mine firmly bolted to the under side of the seat inside sealed electrical boxes, on the Aura amp I have the "filter" set to 10 (max) and the "power" (volume) set to just 3 (so that the 4 is just showing and no more).

There is very little sound (even less with me sat on the seat), but they are still just about audible in the room, they are just a form of speaker after all.
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#19 SYN_Flashman

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 17:40

Well, the firmer you bolt it to something the more the vibrations will be transmitted allowing the "Volume" to be turned down.

I have mine firmly bolted to the under side of the seat inside sealed electrical boxes, on the Aura amp I have the "filter" set to 10 (max) and the "power" (volume) set to just 3 (so that the 4 is just showing and no more).

There is very little sound (even less with me sat on the seat), but they are still just about audible in the room, they are just a form of speaker after all.

Ok, thanks!

I might have a look at them and see if its possible to remove the sound cone but keep the transducer part. Will let you know how I get on!
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#20 hq_Honeymonster

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 19:19

You should get virtually no sound at all from a tactile transducer. Mine is being fed the best part of 300 watts RMS and is pretty much completely inaudible, In fact the only time you hear anything is if I go crazy with the volume/amplification and the voice coil bottoms out on the metal casing. :mrgreen:

If you're getting sound it would suggest your low pass filter is set too high. It's no different to a sub in this respect. I see these premade things have a filter adjustment as Sid has mentioned. Also it's absolutely critical its securely mounted as has also been mentioned. Are you feeding it with your sub out or full range though Flashy? You should be using the sub out ideally as I wrote some pages back.

Cheers
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#21 SYN_Flashman

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 20:38

Im using the centre/bass out socket on the 7.1 onboard sound connection. I haven't tested it fully yet, RL getting in the way and that. I have a feeling its designed to act like a speaker as well as tactile but will mess with the two controls to see what i can do.

Truth be told I havent tried in on RoF yet, i was trying it on ARMA 2 today.

Will post what I can work out.
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#22 hq_Honeymonster

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:47

Any chaps looking to do a cheap DIY transducer set up might want to check this site out:

http://shop.rightthi...a748abc43599a03" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://shop.rightthi...l/index.php?mai … bc43599a03

They also sell the Rock n Ride and some weird headtracking systems. :D

Cheers
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#23 casperpitbull

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  • Posts: 13

Posted 24 November 2012 - 22:07

Hello all, first post here.
I just wanted to offer up what Ive done with a single Aura interactor. I fixed the transducer to a 12mm piece of chipboard and mounted it to the front of my joystick table, which is fixed to an office chair.
Connected through the orange port on my soundcard and the interactor set as follows; Filter 10, Game, and B. The important addition is a 330uf 25v capacitor soldered between the interactors terminals.
All this done you sould only get the bass rumble and intensity differs betwwen aircraft. Either way this eliminates the white noise that was doing my Wifes head in.
I fly infront of the TV, Wife on the couch behind me reading.

Anyway hope this helps anyone wanting to add the extra level, and it really does.

Kind regards
Danny
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