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Thread: Shifter missile control

  1. #1
    sza
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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. #2
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    I would look to a joystick you could disect with the buttons you need.
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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate RPI Geek's Avatar
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    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. #4
    Raw Wave Confused's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Raw Wave wizardPC's Avatar
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  6. #6
    What can I say? I like serial. Curiosity's Avatar
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    Only 4 buttons, but neat and may work with girder.

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  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate VanMan69's Avatar
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    Quote 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. #8
    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    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. #9
    Constant Bitrate RPI Geek's Avatar
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    Quote 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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  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate VanMan69's Avatar
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    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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