LightConn: A Wireless Dreamcast Gun That Works With HDTVs

You may recall the DreamConn - the wireless Dreamcast controller we featured here at the Junkyard some time ago. Well, it seems that Chris Diaoglou - creator of the DreamConn - has been hard at work on another prototype device for the Dreamcast, and this time it's a wireless light gun...that works on flatscreen HDTVs with the aid of a modified Wii sensor bar! The LightConn, as it's known, is the next step in the plan to rid all of the Dreamcast's peripherals of wires and we can't help but be impressed with the reverse engineering Chris has shoehorned into the LightConn.
As with his previous creation, the LightConn also incorporates software VMUs and appears to use the cannibalised innards of a Wii controller to allow for use on a flat panel TV screen. And while this isn't true light gun technology, it's impressive stuff nonetheless. From Chris himself, here's a rundown of the features LightConn will offer, and there's a video of the LightConn in action below:

Generally, LightConn utilizes the same features as DreamConn, along with:
  • Support for any TV including modern HD TVs
  • As seen in the pictures, LightConn makes use of a Wii controller camera (not the whole Wii mote) and a wireless Wii sensor bar (the sensor bar can also be wired)
  • Embedded VMU menu for settings and calibration. Calibration settings are saved internally into the gun
  • As with the DreamConn, LightConn embeds two internal virtual VMUs for saving
  • Auto-reload feature. No need for pointing out of the screen for reloading bullets
  • For the moment, VGA support only - no composite video
  • LightConn will come with wireless sensor bar, custom VGA cable for the Dreamcast and Dreamcast controller dongle (same as with DreamConn)
-Chris Diaoglou

Naturally, the project is still under development and more testing is required but we thought it'd be cool to bring this to the attention of the wider Dreamcast community. That said, Chris assures us that the prototype is fully usable and has 100% pointing accuracy on flat screen TVs. As stated above, the sensor bar only works with VGA connections at present, but this could change in the future.
Please note that this is a prototype and the finished article will likely be much more refined, and could look totally different. The final version is estimated to be ready and available for sale on eBay this December, but stocks will be limited due to the fact that light guns are hard to come by in Greece, and relatively expensive at this point. That said, Chris will also be offering a service where people can send their guns to him for modification...so there's always that option should you want to play House of the Dead 2 on your flatscreen TV.

Amazing work, Chris. We'll bring more information as soon as we have it folks!

Update
Here's a look at the LightConn in action:

4 comments:

Anthony817 said...

Looks amazing. Any clue on what Chris wants to sell the finished product for?

Chris Daioglou said...

:-) Many thanks to Tom, the JunkYard and to all that support my work.

Regarding the price of the LightConn: I'm struggling to keep it as lower as I can.
Please bare in mind that LightConn utilizes the exact wireless tech as DreamConn + I have to inject much more components + the Wii tech (camera, wireless sensor bar) , custom VGA cable. Also, light guns are hard to come by and are expensive.
So, unfortunately it will certainly be more expensive than the DreamConn.

Good news, is that LightConn is now 99% complete in development.
Added Rumble Pak support with hot-swap and only some testing remaining.

In next 1-2 weeks, I'll be designing and refining the final product(placing ON/OFF switch, indication LEDs and Wii camera frontal face).

David Hughes said...

This is what I've been waiting years for. I'll be happy to send you my light gun for modification!

Anthony817 said...

More than the DreamConn? Wow...