Bunker Project Log

One-handed Guitar Hero Guitar

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Goal

To modify a Guitar Hero Guitar so it can be played with one hand. All functions should be replicated as simply and cleanly as possible, so as to be easily copied. Finally, the Guitar should be modified in such a way that they are instantly reversible.   

Background

My friend Stub (his name, not mine!) has been talking smack about beating me in video game combat. My challenge always comes down to the same game… Guitar Hero. This is more because I can’t stand the the standard 2-player competitive games (for some reason it always comes down to fighters… blech.) And, I love playing Guitar Hero, regardless of the winning or losing (and I actually suck at it… having beaten only 1 or 2 songs on expert.) The problem is, Stub’s right arm ends a few inches above where his elbow would be. It is not impossible for him to hit the strum bar, just uncomfortable, and the Whammy is out of the question.

Influences

 I’m always amazed by the stuff Ben does at benheck.com, but I was really moved by his Single-handed wireless Xbox 360 controller project and the story behind it. I imagine if his controller was available in stores, there would be a lot of happy gamers, both new and returning.

Unfortunately, the hack is so amazing and drastic, that only a stud like Ben could pull it off. My project should be easy enough that anyone who has soldered before can do it.

Current Status

I have modified a TAC Freedom V Wireless Guitar to accept an external switch to replace the strum bar. I have made a simple foot switch (which worked surprisingly well) and modified a keyboard sustain pedal with less than stellar results. I have disabled the Star Power mercury switch, and placed Star Power buttons on both edges of the head. I am still trying to devise an elegant Whammy solution. I would like to be able to shake the guitar in and out, or up and down to simulate the Whammy, but I haven’t found a motion-sensitive potentiometer. ;)     

Post Log

Stub Hero V – Mistakes were made – Added Star Power Motion Activation Disabler switch and Star Power Activation Button
Stub Hero IV – Back in the saddle! - Hacked the foot switch to work
Stub Hero: Phase III – Stubbed - First attempt at using a commercially available foot switch
Stub Hero: Phase II - Mounted actual jacks and fabbed an okey-doke switch from wood and cardboard
Stub Hero: Phase I - Proof of concept using bare wires as switch

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