View Full Version : Novint Falcon Grip Challenge.

03-28-2010, 09:54 PM
Hey everybody. I've been talking to some guys at Novint (http://home.novint.com/) about them sponsoring a contest here. Most of the details have been hammered out, and the last few are being sorted out now.


The challenge will be to modify a Novint Falcon ball grip. All those participating will receive a ball grip for free to modify. I will post a video showing how to disassemble so it is easy for everyone.

In short you will need to have the fab skills for a grip of your design and the ability to solder four buttons (it's really easy).

The contest will run (tentatively) from April 15 to June 1.
The winner will receive a Novint Falcon for free to use with your custom grip!
Those of you that do not win can purchase anything from the Novint Store (https://home.novint.com/store/store.php) 20% off with the coupon code modsandends.

What I need from you guys now is a head count of how many people want to participate. Who's in?

03-29-2010, 12:04 AM
Ill enter it.

03-29-2010, 10:39 AM
Maybe I've been living under a rock.....but what is that? :facepalm:

03-29-2010, 10:58 AM
Maybe I've been living under a rock.....but what is that? :facepalm:

It's a haptics feedback gaming controller for the PC. I own one. More or less it allows you to feel what is happening in the game, but it works in a very similar way to a normal mouse. After about 3hrs of Team Fortress 2 I was good enough to have the 3rd highest score on a 16 man team.

03-29-2010, 11:17 AM
That's a pretty sick looking controller! And they GIVE you one to mod? hmmm.....

03-29-2010, 12:04 PM
Just to clarify, would we be able to keep the unit we modify or does it go back to the company?

03-29-2010, 12:07 PM
I'm definitely interested

03-29-2010, 12:24 PM
Normally I would love to participate in this but I'm away from home for almost the entire contest. Should be cool to see what people come up with.

03-29-2010, 01:31 PM
I'm in.

To clarify, you get one of the ball grips to modify; not the entire controller. Check this page for details about what you'd be modding.

Side note: I wish they would make an interface to Bioshock, Bioshock 2, or Borderlands (= Diablo 3d crack)

03-29-2010, 01:56 PM
Sure, sounds fun. The timeframe is convenient too, since that'll give me about 20 days after the end of the semester (ie, more free time to work on it).

03-30-2010, 02:15 PM
sounds fun, im in.

04-01-2010, 09:11 PM
Sounds fun to me! Count me in.

Do we pay shipping and all that jazz for the ball?

04-02-2010, 12:12 AM
Do we pay shipping and all that jazz for the ball?

No, I will be shipped a box of ball grips and then I will pay the cost to get them out to all the participants. It's no big deal and I'm happy to do it.

That said, if anyone decides to buy a falcon (for testing during the contest or if you do not win), please use the referral code "modsandends". You will get 20% your order, I will get a little money, and Novint will be able to quantify sales made because of this contest exposure.

04-02-2010, 12:14 AM
Yeah, with that 20% off, I think I'll definitely be buying one. Force feedback and 3D control for only $160? Hells yeah!

04-02-2010, 02:08 AM
wish I had money to blow on this. stupid. I need a real job. :)

04-02-2010, 10:21 AM
wish I had money to blow on this.

Hahaha, tbh I actually don't right now either (stupid tuition...and rent...and utilities...bah!), but I will in a month or two. ;)

04-02-2010, 11:32 PM
http://www.falconarmy.com (http://www.falconarmy.com/index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=registers&Itemid=&referrer=AUPRS-4BB6B1EB81CAF)

04-03-2010, 02:53 PM
The Falcon is designed for the full 2.0 standard. Ports in the front of most cumputers though act more like hubs though because they are connected through pins on the motherboard. As a result they are running under the necessary speed for the Falcon. The ports on the back of the motherboard are intergrated and are more likely to offer the needed speed.

The on board ports operate at the same speed the external ports that are plugged into the header pins on the motherboard operate at. Where ever you heard this from is wrong.

04-03-2010, 09:23 PM
The on board ports operate at the same speed the external ports that are plugged into the header pins on the motherboard operate at. Where ever you heard this from is wrong.

Odd this should come up - I've heard of things like this happening - it can come down to the quality of the wire connecting the front ports to the motherboard - low quality wires can have a nasty effect. You can lose speed and power - I built a scrap PC for a guy who's giving my son some guitar lessons in return and his front ports won't power his 2.5" external HD while the back ones do.

What you're saying is technically correct - the headers on the motherboard you connect the front ports to are almost always connected to the same USB controller as the rear ones but the wires really can make a difference.

04-04-2010, 02:34 PM
Whatever that peter guy is saying it should be ignored. I've used my falcon with several different USB ports no problem. The device itself is powered by its own AC-DC brick, so USB is for communication only.

04-05-2010, 06:51 PM
GameON20OFF for 20% off the falcon. No expiration as far as I'm aware.

04-05-2010, 07:58 PM
modsandends for 20% off the falcon. No expiration as far as I'm aware.

Use that one. It's my code for this promotion. Also 20% off and no expiration date, so it will work years from now and gets you 20% your entire order. You can even use it multiple times if you go back and buy something else at a later date.

Hear that everyone? Use coupon code modsandends for 20% off your order for forever at the Novint store (https://home.novint.com/store/store.php). https://home.novint.com/store/store.php

04-05-2010, 11:22 PM
I don't suppose I can use both. ;) :twisted:

04-06-2010, 12:15 AM
gameon20off is MY promotion code :) so... take turns? haha

04-06-2010, 12:25 AM
gameon20off is MY promotion code :) so... take turns? haha

I figured after your link to falcon army that you might be doing that. It's fine with me if people use your code. If any of you here decide to buy a falcon please use one of our codes and then just tell us that you made the purchase.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the guys at Novint, so hopefully I get some grips before the 15th.

04-07-2010, 09:11 PM
Looking forward to this... ideas are going through my head so fast it's giving me anxiety! haha

04-14-2010, 10:05 PM
I would be very interested in entering

04-17-2010, 10:22 PM
Any word?

04-18-2010, 12:54 AM
They said that April 15 to June 1 sounded good and that they wanted some numbers so they could get grips out, so I put up this and then responded, but still haven't heard back from them. The back and forth has been slow on this, which is alright because we are getting free stuff which is really nice, but it just means that we have to wait and be flexible. Hopefully I'll hear back soon.

04-18-2010, 02:36 PM
They donated 200 complete packages to EdgeGamers.


04-18-2010, 04:13 PM
Tom (the CEO of Novint) really likes community stuff. He's pretty active on the steam forums, Hardforums, and a few others. He likes to give Falcons away as advertising. I feel like if I was working directly with him instead of someone else that this would have started already. Oh well, a month left for school for me. Hopefully we can be started by then.

04-24-2010, 04:30 PM
Got an email two days ago. We need to revise the schedule (since the other start date was missed). I'm going to try and get the grips as soon as possible and then send them out, which means that we'll just try and figure out an appropriate end date once everyone receives a grip.

What I need from you guys is an address to send a grip to. If you could PM that to me that would be great. Thanks!

05-01-2010, 08:23 PM
I've sold 2 so far with my code. I need ONE MORE!!


05-01-2010, 09:57 PM
Aw man! I still have zero. If you guys are going to buy one though use Buzz's code first so he can get his reward and then start using mine please. Thanks!

05-07-2010, 06:32 PM
Update! The grips have shipped and will be here soon. I have a tracking number, but no estimated delivery date. I still need some addresses of where to send the grips, so send me that PM!

05-07-2010, 09:55 PM
You got my PM right? You might post a list of either who needs to PM you, or who already PMd you. Your choice :up:

05-07-2010, 11:44 PM

05-17-2010, 01:42 PM
Hahaha, ok, so I got a strange little package today from Moscow! :eek: (Indiana :P ). Kinda freaked me out at first, but when I got it open, it all made sense. :D


Now, let's see about getting this puppy open. :twisted:

First thing I found was that in order to actually get the ball off, you have to peel off the plastic sheet in the contact surface. Fortunately, the sheet it fairly thick, and the surface it bonds with is not solid, so it comes up fairly easily. Not so easily that it feels like it would come off accidentally though. Plus, once you put it back together it seals back nicely. not sure how many times you can do that and still get a good seal, but I have a feeling I'll find out. :P

I marked one of the corners so I would be sure to put it back on the correct orientation.


Better. Now let's get that ball open.

Now I just need to pick up some modeling clay from the hobby store on the way home, and we'll be in business. :D

As a side note, d_stiglar or BuzzKillington, do either of you have a contact at Novint who might know when they're gonna have pistol grips in stock again? I'm planning on buying one soon to test my design (at least that's the justification I'm using :P yay for extra money from Microcenter clearance resales :D ), but they're out of the pistol grip, and thus the best priced bundle. I could always buy one separately later (though that would end up being more expensive), but if they're gonna be back in stock soon, say within the week, then I'll just wait.

Forgot to mention this, but after dis/remantling (Is remantling a word? Firefox doesn't seem to think so..eh, oh well, it is now. :P ) the grip, I must say I'm quite impressed with the build quality. Thick, well made plastic, smooth edges, perfectly fitting pieces, even real switches! I can't wait to see the whole unit!

Also, Buzz, do you still need another on your code?

05-17-2010, 06:01 PM
I have Tom Anderson's direct e-mail so I'll shoot him an e-mail about the pistol grips. I'm not sure about the code, the reports are only viewable on the 1st of each month. There's a good chance I still need it though. I can't wait to get my ball to start prototyping! :D

05-17-2010, 06:24 PM
Thanks Buzz! I checked on the FalconArmy forums to see if there was any word on there, and found this thread (http://www.falconarmy.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=55&func=view&catid=16&id=8560) saying that they haven't been in the store for quite a while. :( Ah well, here's hoping there's news on that!

05-17-2010, 06:26 PM
E-mail sent. He usually takes a few days to reply but I'll update the minute I get the response.

05-17-2010, 07:55 PM
Alright! Good to see you got it. I made a quick video showing how to take it apart that I'll upload to youtube here soon when the contest is officially started. You did it perfectly though.

I shot an email to Novint a while back about a pistol grip. They haven't been in stock for forever, but if you contact them directly requesting one, and then get the go ahead to send them some money via paypal, they will process the order and send you one. I talked about the pistol grip a bit in one of my videos and some of its drawbacks despite the fact that it is so much better than the ball grip in almost every way.

I'll say now that you guys should wait til monday to get started. I'll officially start the contest then.

Also, I have received PMs from Trace, Buzz, Farlo, x88x, and Mach. I still need the address of Oneslowz28 and Knowledgegranted. Myself included in the 11 "yes" poll answers (although I'm not competing) leaves three people who have responded to the poll, but haven't posted a definite yes or sent me a PM.

05-17-2010, 10:08 PM
got mine in the mail today

05-17-2010, 11:41 PM
stig, can you PM me your paypal, I owe ya for the controller! Came in today! +++rep!

05-18-2010, 02:09 AM
The controller or the grip? In either case it is no big deal. If you got a controller through the coupon code then just encourage everyone to use my code from now on. If you got the grip then it's no biggie. Shipping is only $1.50 per.

05-18-2010, 03:18 AM
The grip, sorry.

05-21-2010, 07:26 PM
I just got a response from Tom on an e-mail from the 4th of May so it may be a while until he gets to my recent e-mail. He said he's a little behind on e-mails right now.

05-22-2010, 03:22 PM
received my grip, will begin modding soon!

05-22-2010, 06:38 PM
ive gotten mine disassembled, trying to figure out how to remove and place buttons.

05-22-2010, 07:24 PM
ive gotten mine disassembled, trying to figure out how to remove and place buttons.



05-22-2010, 10:41 PM
my soldering iron kinda sucks, i want to get a station with variable temp, i dont want to scorch the board.

i actually figured out its easier in this case just to heat the tip of a flathead precision screwdriver 1.4mm, and the buttons pop off almost effortlessly

05-23-2010, 03:33 PM
I have 2 designs so far, just waiting for them to dry so I can get to the glass stage.

05-24-2010, 02:27 PM
So when is the contest running until, do we simply post our final pieces or mail them in for testing, testing criteria, etc more info would be greatly appreciated.

Ordered required parts and am hoping to start tomorrow.

05-28-2010, 11:25 PM
On a side note, I listed my falcon code on eBay. Here's my listing......

Please do not attempt to purchase this as this code is a giveaway. Any bids will be considered donation. Nothing will be sent to the winning bidder.

This coupon code is to save 20% off of a Novint Falcon controller for PC, or the Novint Falcon Game Bundle. (available in white or black, see website for details.)

$40.00 off Discount code:

This has been tested, and will save you 20% off of a Novint Falcon or Novint Falcon Game Bundle.
You can purchase this item at https://home.novint.com/store/store.php The remainder of the listing was the specs on the Novint Falcon.

Anyway, I got a hate mail today from some newer ebay user asking what exactly it was I was selling and if I was trying to steal money from trusting ebayers. Shortly after my listing was removed from eBay. I love people. No... no I don't.

I realized my mistake was giving away the code and mentioning "donation." This listing would be allowed only if I were to actually auction off the code, print it out and mail it to the winning bidder. Technically, buying XBL subscription codes or any other non-physical items on ebay and getting them emailed to you is against eBay policy.

It's just funny how the same listing can run multiple times... if people bid I would e-mail them confirming their bid was just showing their appreciation for the 40 dollars off, then one stupid fjsudhgvuh comes along trying to patrol eBay. This made my blood boil.

05-29-2010, 12:22 AM
lol. Read fail. :P Probably just saw the title, 'donation', and got confused/mad/etc. :facepalm:

06-01-2010, 02:31 AM
Doh! So, just in case anyone else was like me and didn't notice this, we have official rules and stuff here:

I just happened to find it searching for this thread to see if dates had been officially set yet. :facepalm: Ah well, now I know. 'And knowing is half the battle! G.I. Joe!' ...the other half is fabbing the grips, I suppose. :P

Anyways, I finally got some work done on one design the last couple days, so I guess I'll be starting a worklog for it soon.

06-04-2010, 10:37 PM
Dear Michael,

Thank you again for applying to the Novint Referral Program. As of June 4th, 2010, you have accumulated an additional 2 referral(s). Prior to this month, you earned a total of 2 referral(s). Therefore, you have now met the requirement of 3 overall referrals for your free Falcon bundle offer. Your remaining 1 referral for this month will be converted to commissions, at a rate of $25.00 USD per referral. This brings your total commissions for the month of May to $25.00 USD.


06-04-2010, 11:44 PM
Nice! Congrats dude!

06-05-2010, 12:37 AM
Alright, no more using Buzz's code. It's time to use my code, the one we're supposed to be using for this contest. That code is MODSANDENDS. Now that Buzz has a free falcon we can all use that one. Thanks!

06-05-2010, 12:40 AM
I'm stoked. 2 months of minimal effort = a free $200 falcon package with free shipping basically since I can put the 4th referral towards shipping.

06-08-2010, 04:13 PM
UPDATE: Word from Novint is the ETA on the pistol grips and the pistol grip bundles is August. Seems like that'd hurt sales quite a bit.

06-08-2010, 04:56 PM
Wow, that means they will have been officially out of stock for almost a year. :eek:

06-09-2010, 08:56 AM
and out of the combos for ~3 months.