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  • Shifter missile control

    For some reason I've never liked trackpads on laptops... so when thinking of input strategies I was thinking of a shifter with a track-stick on the top and a couple of buttons where my index and middle fingers would rest.

    This would be very cool.. but might be pretty difficult. I have a 350Z that has a metal shifter (with some kind of polymer or rubber top). I doubt the shifter is hollow, so concealing any wiring would be difficult.

    Also.. where the hell do you get track-sticks? I'm thinking I'd probably have to rob a laptop.. and I imagine that the stick is integrated in the keyboard's interface with the bus.

    Any thoughts on the feasability of this?

  • #2
    I would look to a joystick you could disect with the buttons you need.
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    • #3
      Most shift knobs just unscrew from the post, and running a wire (or a small ribbon) along the post shouldn't be too hard to do. From a machining standpoint, you could just turn a shifter on a lathe from either metal or wood. Metal will get very hot in the sun and very cold in the winter; I knew a guy who made an aluminum knob to resemble a piston. While it looked cool as hell, it wasn't very practical. Another option is to make/buy a wooden handle with a metal core because the threads might be too fine for the wood.
      So head out to your car and see if the knob does unscrew (you might have to hold the boot in place so it doesn't get all twisted), and see how much room you have. I'd also look into getting the trackpoint and finding out how big it and the control circuitry is before going and making a new shift knob. If all else fails (and you have enough room to do it) you could cut the post short and re-tap it for a custom knob or a hollow extender that can hold your circuitry.
      All this stuff is easy to talk about but not so easy to do unless you have access to the tools, and your best bet for a lathe is a machine shop. I'm always optimistic about crazy ideas, and I have some experience with tools so if you need help figuring out particulars, just message me
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      • #4
        Originally posted by RPI Geek
        I knew a guy who made an aluminum knob to resemble a piston. While it looked cool as hell, it wasn't very practical.
        My dad had an actual piston as his gear knob for MANY years. Never caused him a problem.


        I've been looking out for a motorbike with an appropriately sized pistons (he used an old 3 cylinder engine), however they're really rare now-a-days


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        • #5
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          • #6
            Only 4 buttons, but neat and may work with girder.

            http://www.pac-audio.com/products/sk1.htm

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wizardPC
              Freakin' dope.

              Nononono...

              FREAKIN' DOPE!

              I want to do that to my '80 280Z (when I get it ).
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              • #8
                Holy CRAP that's cool! I would love to do that, but how would you deal with the pushbutton that locks the shifter into gear? I doubt the firebutton would be strong enough (not to mention in the wrong position) to take the place of the original...
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by deadweasel
                  Holy CRAP that's cool! I would love to do that, but how would you deal with the pushbutton that locks the shifter into gear? I doubt the firebutton would be strong enough (not to mention in the wrong position) to take the place of the original...
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                  Old plans out the window because of an accident .
                  Have: M1-ATX, EPIA M10000, 256MB, 60GB 2.5", slim slot load DVD
                  Need: Time, HU integration, ideas for Lilli

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                  • #10
                    Depends if he's using a manual or automatic. Manual shifters don't have buttons.

                    But if you really wanted to do it with an automatic you could set up a cable system, like a bike brake or like those remote shutter buttons for cameras. Perhaps a bike brake handle on the front of the shifter?
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                    • #11
                      man, a plastic shifter would last about 2 days in my car. (stick shift)
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                      • #12
                        This shifter is like that one. might even be the same one.
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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=sza]For some reason I've never liked trackpads on laptops... so when thinking of input strategies I was thinking of a shifter with a track-stick on the top and a couple of buttons where my index and middle fingers would rest.

                          There u go
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by VanMan69
                            Depends if he's using a manual or automatic. Manual shifters don't have buttons.

                            But if you really wanted to do it with an automatic you could set up a cable system, like a bike brake or like those remote shutter buttons for cameras. Perhaps a bike brake handle on the front of the shifter?
                            That's actually a pretty good idea! Manual would be okay, but man, you have to hit the stick so often, that that joystick handle would really start to **** me off after like a week of shifting.

                            Maybe something with buttons mounted farther down the shank, so that the top was wide open for gripping...? This sounds like a job for: FIBERGLASS!!!!
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                            Color Coding :
                            DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pimpJ
                              man, a plastic shifter would last about 2 days in my car. (stick shift)

                              Sorry, off topic, but have you seen this yet?? hahaha I can't stop playing with it!!

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