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7 August 2010
Author: Giorgos Lazaridis
Men Of War Game Console

Worklog - More electronics - Last minute add - Reload timers (August 18 2010)

Many players say that playing with artillery is kinda noobish and Rambo would never do that... Well, i agree that Rambo would never do that, for he could kill a whole army without reloading his M60. Nevertheless, i always add one artillery piece in my tactics to support my infantry, and to kill those Panzerwerfers and Katyushas. And sometimes, when i have a lot of points to spent, i get my favorite weapon, the Sturmtiger. It rarely becomes useful, unless the enemy has advanced fortifications that i cannot easily break. But i love the destructive power of this piece. Some other times, i get the Panzerwerfer or the Katyusha, if the enemy is a infantry geek. The weapons that i mentioned before and some others, after firing it's primary ammo, they need some time to reload - that is 180 seconds (3 minutes).

The Stalin's Organ needs quite a while to reload (via Wikipedia)

I tripled the original countdown timer circuit and here it is, on a breadboard for test

And now imagine this - You are in the heat of the battle, and the enemy is advancing. You have already fire all the rockets from the Katyusha. But the enemy has a lot of infantry marching towards you, and the D1 cannot stop it. Your IS3 is fighting this damn Tiger, while you notice that a Puma along with 15 or so armed men is coming from the east to flank your artillery. After loosing 4 squads of SMG infantry and your D1, you realize that the Katyusha was already loaded... Damn... You could have stop them with a single strike.

The above scenario is not science fiction. In the heat of battle, you may forget to check your weapons if they are reloaded, or you may loose valuable time checking them often. That happens to me all the time. And here is another fore frustrating scenario. the enemy is an artillery lover. He has already 3 Katyushas behind his lines. When they are reloaded, he comes out of the sudden and BOOM, you hear the "Stalin's Organ". You do have this howitzer waiting them, but now it needs time to reload and rotate... If you just knew when he is about to hit...

So, i will add three 180 second timers to remind me these situations. If the enemy for example fires a slow-reloading weapon, i will click the timer to know when his weapon is reloaded. And if i use a slow-reload weapon, i will have the timer to inform me when this weapon is reloaded to fire again. The circuit is this Fixed Countdown Timer For -Geek- Gamers that i made exactly for this reason. I changed it a little bit, and added 3 independent countdown timers in a single chip.

The Circuit

Here is the new circuit:

The circuit is powered directly from the PS2 port, in parallel with the other PIC. The only thing to notice here is how i interfaced the 3 buttons. I only have 6 I/O ports (5 I/O and 1 I), which i have to interface 3 buttons 3 LEDs and a buzzer. To save one port for the buzzer, i used the 2 diodes. The buttons now sends a binary signal to the 2 ports. 00 means no button is pressed. 01 means the 1st button is pressed. 10 means that the 2nd button is pressed while 11 (through the diodes) means that the 3rd button is pressed. This way i saved one port to interface the buzzer.

The new firmware

Although the firmware is a tripled version of the original firmware from the Fixed Countdown Timer For -Geek- Gamers circuit, i will take it as a new one and start it from version 1.0. Here is the latest version of the firmware:

Version 1.1 - 25 August 2010
  • [Change] Changed the button delay time. Most left counts 150 seconds, middle counts 180 and most right counts 220 seconds.

  •  Men Of War timer - Assembly listing - V1.1

     Men Of War timer - HEX file - V1.1

    This is the very first:
     Men Of War timer - Assembly listing - V1.0

    And if you just want the hex file just to upload...:

     Men Of War timer - HEX file - V1.0

    Bill Of Materials
    R1-3Resistor 330 Ohm 1/4 Watt 5% Carbon Film 
    LED1-3LED 3mm red 
    D1-21N4148 Switching Diode 
    Integrated Circuits
    IC1PIC12F519 Microcontroller 
    SG1Buzzer 5V PCB-Mount buzzer



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  • At 9 October 2011, 4:46:45 user Chris wrote:   [reply @ Chris]
    • This is such a great project. I am truly inspired. Very cool. Love the site too. Please never stop showing us your great projects.

  • At 18 June 2011, 14:06:48 user Stefan wrote:   [reply @ Stefan]
    • Hi there,can you make a code for PIC16F876A or simular of it,because I don't have that microcontroler used in the project. :(

  • At 14 December 2010, 9:16:38 user Kammenos wrote:   [reply @ Kammenos]
    • Well, "lol", as i always, say "Use all your abilities to win". After all, you can get yourself a customizable controller from the market. And then, i hope i meet you in the battlefield... preferably at the opposite team... ;) ;) ;)

      PS: This is not cheating. I don't use a bot to do something that i can't, faster or more accurate. I mean, hey, be wise and gather all the shortcuts that you need close. You can do that. You can customize your shortcuts... You can use the shift key, the control, double clicks...Everything. Is this so hard to do? Or do you miss the LED effect that i have???

  • At 14 December 2010, 8:28:25 user lol wrote:   [reply @ lol]
    • man you are such a nerd, go, get a wife children and a life.
      with this frankenstein like thing you have clearly an unfair advantage
      you super nerd hardwarecheater.

  • At 3 December 2010, 4:03:43 user Don wrote:   [reply @ Don]
    • Oops! Just realized I was reading the comments in backwards chronology! My bad! Sorry, nevermind my last comment!

  • At 3 December 2010, 4:00:56 user Don wrote:   [reply @ Don]
    • Just ran across your site! Thank you! Very informative! A note to Marc Leonhart (since nobody answered him; AND although I haven't studied all the specifics): I believe an input device like this could do anything you would like it to do. It is custom made. I'm sure it could be modified to any purpose!

  • At 17 November 2010, 5:20:29 user Kammenos wrote:   [reply @ Kammenos]
    • brannen. read the worklog. its a construction from a scratch.

  • At 17 November 2010, 2:22:18 user brannen wrote:   [reply @ brannen]
    • i think you used a xbox 360 controller and some hot keys from a key bord

  • At 29 October 2010, 4:52:57 user Antonio wrote:   [reply @ Antonio]
    • respect!!!

  • At 26 October 2010, 19:53:48 user Kammenos wrote:   [reply @ Kammenos]
    • Of course it can. But there are in the market remarkable shortcut consoles for this. You may be interested in this project, either if you want to DIY and for you the trip is more important than the destination, or because you want to do something that the market consoles wont do. In my case, i fit in both cases. The joystick for example is not just a normal arrow key replacement. Does much more that a normal game console cannot be programmed to do. But most of all, i just wanted to do it...

  • At 26 October 2010, 18:50:17 user Marc Leonhardt wrote:   [reply @ Marc Leonhardt]
    • So can a project like this be fitted towards Photoshop and Sai, since I draw with the right I want shortcut keys for the left. But need more button option.

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