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Peripherals Has anyone ever made a DIY Buttkicker?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Parge, 1 Aug 2014.

  1. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Has anyone ever made their own DIY buttkicker?

    I found this on ebay for £28 + post etc

    Has anyone hear done anything like this before? As an amp, would a Cambridge Audio A1 do the job (just a normal stereo amp)
     
  2. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    Problem is you don't really want a stereo source - i mean, it would work, but you want some kind of summed mono ideally, or a mono amp that is fed by a summed mono signal. Though actually, you could use your cambridge amp and just pan everything over to one side and use that side out to the buttkicker, it's not ideal but means you will get sound only out of the side you need on the amp to power the buttkicker.

    Plus - you will need to consider some kind of crossover else you will send full frequency to that buttkicker. You can get a passive crossover from maplins for 50hz but these aren't amazing.
     
  3. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the info! I'm trying to keep this cheap in case I hate it for some reason :)

    There's some good info on this here

    "The Aura Pro is not fussy when it comes to amps
    Bass shakers are NOT powered, which means you will also need an amp to make these babies go. The low power of the Aura means that you can attach them to a cheap, low watt amp, adjust the levels, and you're good to go. Other bass shakers (like the Clark or the ButtKicker) require expensive, 1000 watt amps, while Aura Bass Shaker is often more than satisfied with a 35 watt amp. Without any nasty surprises on your electricity bill, this is a power-friendly gadget.

    So if you're looking for the best amplifier for an aura bass shaker, don't look too hard! If you have an old, low watt amp lying around at home, try that first before spending money on a new one. The Aura often works perfectly with any cheap, lower power amp. However, if you're in the market for a new amp, I recommend getting one with crossover control, like the Dayton 70w subwoofer amplifier for under the $100 mark. The 70 watt version can power two 50 watt shakers, but many people go with the 100 watt for two. Whatever you decide, don't pump too much power into the Auras. The people at Aura sound recommend an amp that has 75% - 100% of the wattage of the Aura. Remember, an Aura is 50 watts, so you should not be plugging it into more than a 50 watt amp. (When you ask around, tho', you'll hear about people powering them with 200 watt amps and not having any probs. But I think that's overkill.)"
     
  4. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    In which case juse power it with the cambridge - but the cambridge might not be able to do speakers and the sub as it might not have enough speaker outputs.

    But I would definitely consider putting a cheap passive crossover inline between the amp and the sub, as then it should only get bass to play and not full frequency. Full frequency to any kind of sub can make it sound quite muddy.
     
  5. abezors

    abezors Lurking since '08

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    If you try this idea out I'd be interested to hear how you find it. I was looking at those Buttkickers a couple of years ago. Fancied mounting one to the underside of my desk near the keyboard for "force feedback" on both m+kb arms.

    If you want a cheapish amp a bridged Tripath "T-amp" might be sufficient and very small footprint.
     
  6. RagingMadman

    RagingMadman New Member

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    what is it?
     
  7. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    From the description on the eBay page:
    That just sounds kind of weird to me, but might add an entirely different sensation while watching adult movies.
     
  8. RagingMadman

    RagingMadman New Member

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    Thanks! This would be awesome to mount to my chair or couch for movies! Too bad I'd hate to run the wires.
     
  9. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    So, to those interested. This is coming along nicely.

    I discovered that Aura, who make the Aura Pro Bass Tactile transducer, also made something called the ‘Sega Interactor’ which was a kind of rumble vest for the Sega Saturn. Inside though, is an Aura tactile transducer, which can be fairly easily removed.

    Needless to say, these aren’t hugely in demand anymore, and I managed to find a brand new unopened one on ebay for £15 + £7 P&P – less half the cost of buying a new TT. This is on its way to me now.

    From what I’ve read, my Cambridge audio A1 (which I bought for £35 over a decade ago), should be fine for powering it as these require no more than 20W a channel.

    So, the setup so far consists of

    1x Ikea Markus Chair (already owned)
    1x Aura Pro Bass Tactile Transducer from an Aura Interactor Vest (£22)
    1x Cambridge Audio A1 Amp (already owned)
    1x Creative Labs X-Fi Pro (external soundcard with subwoofer out, had this spare) (already owned)
    X-Sim Software (free!)

    Now, since my soundcard has a Subwoofer only channel, I’m not 100% sure if I’ll need a passive Crossover yet (extra £10 if so). Going to test it without first, then see.

    Should have the Interactor vest later this week, but I’m away for 4 days, so its going to be slightly slow progress for a bit.
     
  10. abezors

    abezors Lurking since '08

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    Nice find! Should be a good and cheap proof of concept - though I'd hazard a guess that the Sega unit is not as powerful (I may well be wrong!).

    Shouldn't need a crossover since the subwoofer channel is already filtered.

    When you're setting the whole thing up would you mind testing it flat on your desk and see what the bass effect is like spread over the surface?

    PS: I wonder if you can interface it with the Force Feedback present in some games (as opposed to solely relying on the audio signal). Shooters and etc might be able to send direct rumble for shots fired/received and such like...
     
  11. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Just to update this thread!

    So, the Aura Interactor arrived a few weeks ago, but I've been so busy at work, I hadn't really had a good chance to check it out. Anyway, opened the pack - and it really never had been used. Would it still work I wondered? So, I plugged it in, and fired up a video I'd recorded of me and a few mates playing Battlefield 4 the other day.

    It totally worked. However, I didn't really like the feeling of having to wear a backpack while gaming (seriously, I'm already wearing headphones, and an Oculus Rift - do you want me to never have sex again?), so I strapped it tightly to my chair and used a spare towel to soften the kicks. This was MUCH better - not only were the vibrations deeper, and less rattley, it also shakes my whole chair!

    It definitely has its downsides - at the moment I've just got it hooked up to the main audio port - so it sometimes booms at odd moments (like when music is playing during the loading screen in Elite), and the fact that its ANOTHER set of cables on a desk that is beginning to look more like a snake pit every day. However, once I've got the necessary cable to run it straight from the Sub port (ordered for £2 on ebay), then at least the first issue should be solved.

    Its not for everyone I don't think, some people definitely won't like the feeling of having their entire chair rumbling while gaming - probably the same people that dislike force feedback joysticks etc, but when you hit the boost button in Elite its a pretty goddamn incredible feeling. Once, I was sitting in dock, not looking at the Rift as I was adjusting voice attack and a ship exploded nearby - almost crapped myself!

    So, all in all, I'd say it most certainly adds extra immersion, and if you too can pick one up for £20 and can handle a few extra wires, then you should definitely check it out!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    Basically it's a musical ***** :D
     
  13. GTIgeneral

    GTIgeneral Member

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    wouldnt mind one of these to mess around with, looks like something else to add to my wanted list :D
     
  14. rainbowbridge

    rainbowbridge Well-Known Member

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    coincidence!!
    I just ordered the buttkicker gamer 2 around 3pm
    Tuesday delivery.

    I've just signed up to iracing because I need to do their online school, I tried driving the Shelby corba around Monza (asset corsa) I just cant do it.

    If I get a lot of over time in the coming months, then I might add a few more buttkickers to my obutto, but what im more interested in is sound / vibration isolating my cockpit, I am going to post on a few sim rig cockpit forums about it.

    My level game play here is crazy, I just don't know which cool game to play, I think Parge your right about this kind of hardware, defiantly its a huge plus to the gaming experience, it would be great if every one had one of these type of devices.
     
  15. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

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    A bit like this?
     
  16. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees is not The Piper at The Gates of Dawn

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    When I say the title of this thread, before opening it, I thought you wanted home-made hobnail boots....
     
  17. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Little update:

    I've now got to the stage where I cannot play some games without this now! They really do add a huge heap of extra immersion. As good as the Interactor is, it looks very ‘ghetto’ and I think its stopping all the supermodels I bring back to mine from going through with the business. Now, although there is no way I’m dropping £200 or whatever on a Buttkicker, I’ve kind of gone and ordered two Dayton Audio PUCKs from the Amazon.com. $18 apiece, so £31 inc shipping for both.

    Amp wise – I’m going to use the Interactor Amp. Apparently its 40W – and people seem to be powering at least two of these from low end 25W subwoofer amps with room to spare. It also has a inbuilt crossover to double filter the Bass sounds (I’ll be using the Sub line out on my soundcard anyway).

    My new tactile transducers are due to arrive on the 30th – currently they are somewhere in Kentucky. Will update when they do!
     
  18. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    My Pucks arrived! Just waiting for my 70mm hole saw.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also, abandoned the idea of using the Buttkicker amp for now since its only 4 Ohm and my Pucks are 16 Ohm. Instead have picked up this super sweet Lepai Amp for £6.95, which Outputs 8 Ohm. Reading this suggests that I can wire them in parallel to get match the 8 Ohm output of the Amp (I'm learning as I go!)
     
    Last edited: 28 Oct 2014
  19. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Update time!

    So, my hole saw arrived, but been so busy with work in the run up to xmas I haven't had the chance to do rebuild my rig for watercooling, mount my monitor or do this! Finally got some spare time yesterday.

    So, badass hole saw and arbor arrived!
    [​IMG]

    Mounted them on my trusty Bosch drill
    [​IMG]

    And put some Jimi Hendrix on?
    [​IMG]

    Before getting stuck in!
    [​IMG]

    I chose to mount the Pucks directly below my butt cheeks, not too far forward.

    One hole sawed. There was a bit of metal frame inside which I didn't notice (you can see it at the bottom of the hole). That got sawed too. Oopsy.
    [​IMG]

    Test fit... Perfect!
    [​IMG]

    And the next
    [​IMG]

    And then installed the Leipi Amp. Its rear faces forward so its easier to insert power and input cables.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And wiring everything in. I've almost no knowledge of electronics, but since my pucks are 16ohm and my amp 8ohm, I had to wire them in parallel, apparently if you don't... bad things happen....
    This is a useful guide, for anyone who is as clueless as I am.

    I'm also not soldering anything. I do have a soldering Iron, but these cable couplers seem to do a sterling job, and its not as if sound quality is important
    [​IMG]

    And wiring finished and held in place with screws through the couplers and a single wire tidy.
    [​IMG]

    You can't even tell its there unless you get on the ground. Much less geeky than the Aura + towel combo.

    Tested and all working. However, because Creative Sound cards stupid pieces of crap, I couldn't get the sub out working, so I've ordered a Xonar U7 from Amazon Warehouse deals (£65) which should arrive tomorrow. This will allow me to only send the bottom end of the soundstage to the Pucks.

    Initial thoughts are that it is slightly less powerful than the aura, but still absolutely awesome. Will give you all a full review as soon as it arrives.

    My total cost was

    Dayton Pucks - £32
    Lepai Amp - £6
    12v 2A Plug - £4
    Speaker wire - £1
    Drill/Arbor - £10

    If anyone wants any help making their own bass shaker chair then shout.

    Happy holidays you *******s! :thumb:
     
  20. Big_malc

    Big_malc Well-Known Member

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    what no sleeved cables :D
     

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