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Thread: Duo Pinball controller CAN be made to work on a Windows tablet

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  1. #1
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    Sep 2012
    Sheffield, UK
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    HOWTO: Use the Duo Pinball controller on PC

    I bought a Duo Pinball for £12.59 off Amazon, a fairly simple Bluetooth device that simulates two flipper buttons and a plunger. Its normally only compatible with Pinball HD Collection on iPad but as I have just bought an Asus Transformer Book T100TA and it runs Pinball Arcade well enough (with everything off except texture filtering, which still looks better than on PS Vita), I figured it was worth a look.

    I am happy to report that with my very first functional C# application I have made the Duo Pinball compatible with PC. Its mapped to left/right shift for the flipper buttons and space bar for the ball launcher.

    While the plunger is technically only digital (its just pressing and releasing a button) what actually happens is pulling down on the plunger presses the space bar, after releasing the plunger it hits a button internally that triggers releasing of the space bar. This feels surprisingly authentic as it means the ball is hit at exactly the time you would expect it to in relation to the plunger returning to its home position.

    Map space bar to Menu Select in keyboard configuration in Pinball Arcade. That way when you get a hiscore you can select the letters with the flipper and okay them with the plunger.

    The lack of analog plunger support may be a drawback for some people, but if you are good at timing the release of the plunger its still quite easy to get skill shots. When actually playing on a tablet however you can just use the touch screen anyway.

    A more major failing for pros is the lack of nudge support, as naturally the iPad would have this built-in but as far as I am aware neither Pinball Arcade or Pinball FX2 support motion sensors on PC, even if you have a tablet with motion sensors in it like I do. (I could be wrong as I noticed Pinball FX2 does support touch screen controls, even the Steam version)

    Known Bugs:
    If the application is closed while a button/plunger is still being held down then that key will remain held. Simply press the corresponding key on your keyboard a few times or (if possible) launch the application again and the key presses will be reset.

    1.0 (2013-12-30) - Initial release

    1.1 (2014-01-03) - Typo fixed where it said "Flippers Released" instead of "Pressed" when you held both fippers.

    Added code to automatically reconnect after 280 seconds idle as Duo Pinball goes to sleep after this time.

    Added code to check carrier on the serial port so it automatically tries to reconnect if you go out of range of bluetooth or replace the batteries.

    1.2 (2014-01-04) - Added icon and window title.

    Download from my website. You will need .NET Framework 4.5 installed.
    Last edited by Alex Atkin UK; 01-06-2014 at 09:08 AM.

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