I wanted light guns for my MAME cabinet, who doesn’t? Am I right!? So, basically the only choice now-a-days is the AimTrak from Ultimarc. This is a nice, semi-cheap option. I say semi-cheap because you can get the module by itself and put it in your own gun casing which can be pretty cheap off eBay if you don’t have anything laying around. I originally thought of using the NES Zapper, however after receiving the module and trying it out it didn’t fit so well. So, I ordered an old GunCon for the original Playstation off of eBay which I heard was a nice casing for the AimTrak. Here is a small tutorial of how I put it all together.
First, I gutted the GunCon of everything except the trigger and the secondary buttons board snipping the wires in the process. The most difficult part was getting the screws out.
As you can see in the picture, I even took the old trigger button out and cut the arm off the trigger. I did this so I could use an arcade style switch instead, also seen in picture. I feel the arcade switch is more reliable then the original little surface mounted button.
The issue with replacing the trigger buttons is an arcade switch isn’t exactly made to fit the casing. To solve this problem I used a couple of nuts to raise the switch and then hot glued it all down. The trick is to align the switch just right so that when the trigger is fully compressed the switch is activated.
The next step was to wire up the secondary buttons. I just soldered the wires off the board to the wires supplied with the AimTrak module. The red wires are for button 1 (left side), and the white are button 2 (right side). It doesn’t matter which wire goes to ground, but I wired A2 and B2 (they are labeled on the PCB) to ground.
The final step is mounting the actual AimTrak module into the GunCon casing. The module fits nicely into the place where the magnifying plastic formerly was. The issue is getting the module to stay in place. I thought about using hot glue again, but I didn’t like the idea of having something that permanent. So, I opted to use some sticky putty, it gives the module stability and can easily be removed.
I wrapped the USB cable around some of the posts to keep it from being yanked out, and then closed it back up. It is a fairly simple modification to do, and saved me about $30 from the official kit.
I tested the gun out and it works great, since I had been using the NES Zapper for a couple of days I did get used to having some weight in the hilt, so I might add some to the GunCon. I do need to clean the casing and I plan on painting this one blue to go better with my cabinet. When I get a second one I will paint it red.
Edit: I said I was going to paint it, so I picked up some spray paint and painted it. Picture is above. The orange tip somewhat bleeds through, I’ll have to add another layer later.