New Shout Box Switch

Image of a Shout Box assistive technology device with microphone and switch adapted video game controller.

Image of a black and white box of electronics with dial, three LEDs and microphone grill. Text reads SHOUT BOX, with modes for pulse, toggle and normal.

The Shout Box is the result of a tie up between OneSwitch.org.uk and Jason Hotchkiss. It gives an extra sound activated switch input to anyone who can make a deliberate sound, or puff of air. For people not getting on with speech recognition, or needing something that's much faster to react, this is ideal. Here's some possible uses....
  • Use with a switch adapted toy or gadget.
  • Use to play a one-switch game.
  • Use with a C-SID II and be the wind in Flower on the PS3/PS4.
  • Use as an extra control for any video game with an adapted controller.
  • Use to create art or music (probably using head-phones).
  • Use with the OneSwitch Pulse system to control a mouse, on screen keyboard and play games.
Added to the OneSwitch Accessible Gaming Shop.

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New One Handed Controller Kit (Wireless)

Sony PS3 Navigation controller with wireless adapter and Titan One adapter for the brains of the kit.

Very pleased with a new wireless One Handed Controller kit I now have up for sale in the OneSwitch.org.uk accessible gaming shop. It works on PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Raspberry Pi and others are possible.

It has a range of custom modes to improve comfort, especially so for driving and exploration. The stick can act as the left-stick, right-stick, d-pad, touch-pad, six-axis, shapes/ABXY and hybrid modes. Extra controls and modes can be accessed via the methods explained in the instruction booklet (link here).

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Computer Space 2 Player (1972)


Old fart curiosity, a live recording from a 1972 Two Player Computer Space machine. You can play a simulation of the 1971 original one-player coin-op game over at the OneSwitch games area.

1972 Green with speckle-fleck glitter cabinet and brushed stainless steel shallow-V control panel with two joysticks, two buttons, coin slot and instructions.

Full view of a turned on Computer Space machine from 1972.

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Armor 3 (PS4): D.I.Y. switch accessibility help

Armor 3 pinout guide.

Armor 3 pinout guide.

Armor 3 pinout guide.

Armor 3 PS4 controller

Above is a pin-out guide for the third party Playstation 4 controller the "Armor 3". It's very easy to adapt for switch access. Removing the joysticks though is difficult (desoldering braid essential, plastic levering tools and patience). The sticks are also unusual in design, with very wide compressed springs. Click the small PCB image above for a big view.

D-PAD: 1 = GND, 2 = LEFT, 3 = UP, 4 = DOWN, 5 = RIGHT, 6 = SHARE.

SHAPES: 1 = GND [SAME AS D-PAD GND], 2 = OPTIONS/START, 3 = PS, 4 = CROSS, 5 = SQUARE, 6 = TRIANGLE, 7 = CIRCLE, 8 = vdd [R2 GND]

T9 = L1 and T11 = R1 (use shared ground point).

T19 + T28 = L2
T29 + vdd = R2

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Space Echo


Beautiful combination of a Rhodes 73 Electric piano and Roland space Echo box that uses looped tape. Oh, and buckets of talent to play with them.

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Profile Shifting (Titan One and Titan Two adapters)

Profile shifting diagram on a HORI Pro controller for PS3/PS4.

For people using a reduced number of controls, for instance a single stick and a few buttons, it's often very difficult to take part in modern day games on game consoles. One of a number of things that can help immensely is profile shifting. People have been doing this for a long time in the likes of JoyToKey and more recently the brilliant UCR (Universal Controller Remapper)

Above if you tap a special "SHIFT" switch (here linked to the share/view/select/back button), you can swap the right-stick in func
tion between acting as the left or right-stick (for someone perhaps who can only use the right-stick and a few buttons). If you hold "SHIFT" and momentarily push the right-joystick in one of four directions detailed above, it will change the stick to act as the D-pad, Shape buttons, touch-pad or emulate six-axis controls. Two switches (X and O) will also change in function to give quick access to the essential Playstation/Xbox and Start/Options button.

The great thing about the Titan One and Titan Two adapters is that do away with the complexity and expense of an added PC for some benefiting from an easier set-up. For this, all that's needed is a printed crib sheet which can eventually be memorised ideally. Oh, and what's also needed is more games like FIFA that offer a simplified control scheme, so that you don't need every button, stick and feature on a controller to play. Roll on the day when "simplified controls" is a common option in games....


Titan Two adapter mock-up. Two USB ports on a grey and green box. Two buttons marked with up/down arrows. A small single digit seven-segment display.

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Red and black Ferrari branded steering wheel, with Xbox 360 triggers in place.

Rear view of steering wheel, with two black Xbox 360 triggers cut from an original joypad controller fixed to the steering wheel.

I recently finished off a controller that came to me part-built by Gav Tan for SpecialEffect. It was a Thrustmaster T150 Ferrari Steering Wheel (for PS3/PS4/PC). The aim was to transfer the analogue foot pedals to steering wheel mounted controls.

Perhaps because I wasn't as methodical as I might be, it was a bit of a horrible job. For anyone considering it, here's some tips that I wish I'd better followed myself.

1. Install the firmware updates and PC/Mac test driver from http://ts.thrustmaster.com.

2. Test everything is working up front, especially so the pedals.

3. Make a note of where the screws go, as you can damage the case with overlong screws in the wrong place. Open up the main steering wheel shroud.

4. Order some custom 12 core curled cable from CurlyFlexDirect.com or the like. The specifications I inherited that worked well are 12 x 0.14mm Curlyflex Pur Black. Closed 75mm extends max 300mm. Cable diameter 5.6mm. Curlyflex diameter 20.20mm. This was not cheap but worked very well internally in dealing with the amount of turning possible with the controller from full lock to lock.

5. Very carefully take note of the wiring to the pedals left and right-side potentiometers. You will have to replicate this exactly with the additional wiring you'll be taking from the main-unit and threading through to the steering wheel.

6. With the pedals attached, test your soldering to the steering wheel extra wiring. If good, disconnect the pedals as they'll no longer be needed.

7. Within the disassembled steering wheel, cut a clear path for the extra wiring to go to the 10 to 2 o'clock position where you'll be fitting the triggers. Make sure nothing is snagging, such as on the paddle-shifters (which should click nicely when put back together).

8. Use a salvaged Xbox 360 standard controller cut in half and shaved down as small as you can, but still with space to fit two bolts through into the controller. I used M4 standard nuts and bolts and a drill to make big enough holes for them. Use hot-glue to keep things tidy and secure.

9. Recalibrate the steering and "pedal" controls within the game to suit. For steering, consider only turning a small way of the possible range for the lock to lock calibration. Otherwise it's very hard to keep hold of the triggers if turning 360 degrees to get a hard left or right turn.


Alternatively, there's a fantastically engineered alternative via SimAbility.com as pictured below. This uses a pair of metal rings that allow for full analogue hand controls with a greater range of movement allowed for.

Added to the OneSwitch Accessible Gaming Shop Various section.



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Electronic Soup Podcast: Audio Games and How far we've come....


Above I've uploaded the 2010 SpecialEffect electronic soup podcast's to YouTube. The four-parts include audio games and playing with a visual impairment.

These were put together by Dark of AudioGames.net and myself for the much missed SpecialEffect Accessible GameBase and the Dave Banes Access Collective podcast. There's been some heartening progress since those podcasts, with audio games making it to more platforms, especially so iOS devices. Sony and Microsoft have added some good features to the PS4 and Xbox One, as indicated in the video below in the PS4 game Unchartered.



Microsoft have also just announced some helpful software development tools for live text to speech and vice versa for in game communications. Would love to see that expanded to emoticon use too and translated to whatever language you're using. A basic form of Bliss and Esperanto to help people of all kinds communicate.


Image of a customised set of over the ear headphones, themed on Michael Jackson's Thriller video. A werewolf bursts out of a door attached to a headphone, and zombies rise from their graves. Text reads, Special Effect, electronic soup podcast. A small can of Game Base condensed Electronic Soup can be seen at the bottom right.

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