Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

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Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby VirtuaIceMan » 2017-2-17 @ 23:11

I recently picked up a Hot Wheels mouse like this one http://www.terapeak.com/worth/mattel-ho ... 728452065/ as it includes a Hot Wheels Rally game (see here: http://web.archive.org/web/199701131423 ... index.html).

You can download the drivers CD with the game in it from this discussion thread https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewt ... 14&t=31781

Now, I got the game working on Win98 virtual machine, but you can't drive the car without using the mouse and it's custom Win3.1/Win95 drivers (although the readme file cryptically talks about using a regular mouse with "special keystrokes on your keyboard along with your regular mouse" but doesn't indicate what those are).

So I picked up said mouse. However, my main PC has no serial port. My older, WinXP machine, DOES have one, and the mouse will work, but the drivers won't install, as it says they are not for Windows XP (as they're for Win95).

I could install Win98 (should be compatible) on the old PC, but as it's a Pentium4 it generally has parts that are too new for Win98 to understand.

Anyway, after all the text above, my actual question is: if I bought a serial-to-PS/2 converter, or a serial-to-USB converter, might the mouse then work in my virtual machine (using VMWare)? And would a serial-to-PS/2 convertor, or a serial-to-USB one be better?
My PC spec: Win8.1, i7-4970K (not overclocked) MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor
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Re: Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby skitters » 2017-2-18 @ 03:33

VirtuaIceMan wrote:if I bought a serial-to-PS/2 converter, or a serial-to-USB converter, might the mouse then work in my virtual machine (using VMWare)? And would a serial-to-PS/2 convertor, or a serial-to-USB one be better?

You might be able to get the mouse working in your VM, but I don't think it would be detected as a Hot Wheels serial mouse. Would those Hot Wheels mouse drivers work with a different serial mouse? VMware used to be able to emulate a Logitech serial mouse, though I don't know if they still do.
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Re: Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby VirtuaIceMan » 2017-2-18 @ 10:45

The drivers allow crazy things like a horn and motor vibration effect in the Rally game, so it needs detecting as one, really.
My PC spec: Win8.1, i7-4970K (not overclocked) MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor
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Re: Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby Jorpho » 2017-2-18 @ 16:27

VirtuaIceMan wrote:Anyway, after all the text above, my actual question is: if I bought a serial-to-PS/2 converter, or a serial-to-USB converter, might the mouse then work in my virtual machine (using VMWare)? And would a serial-to-PS/2 convertor, or a serial-to-USB one be better?
If the principal goal is to get these special vibration and horn effects working, then that might be tricky. The serial-to-USB would almost certainly be the way to go, but those don't always support all the features of a full serial port.

This might come down to hacking the game to make it think the special mouse is connected, even if Device Manager says otherwise.
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Re: Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby VirtuaIceMan » 2017-2-18 @ 22:54

If there was a way to deduce the special keystrokes needed to make a regular mouse work that'd be easiest!
My PC spec: Win8.1, i7-4970K (not overclocked) MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor
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Re: Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby shiva2004 » 2017-2-19 @ 00:44

There are PCI and PCI express serial cards, probably you could put one in your main PC and allow the virtual machine access to it.
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Re: Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby Jorpho » 2017-2-22 @ 04:20

VirtuaIceMan wrote:If there was a way to deduce the special keystrokes needed to make a regular mouse work that'd be easiest!
I had a look at the download. That's really quite infuriating, isn't it? I tried looking at HW95.EXE, HW31.EXE, and HWMOUSE.DLL with a hex editor to see if there was any obvious text strings with further instructions, but no luck.

Considering there's a Windows 3.1 version on the CD, you might want to consider DOSBox (or maybe PCem) instead of VMware.
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Re: Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby VirtuaIceMan » 2017-2-23 @ 15:09

Thanks, I've ordered a serial-to-PS/2 convertor, to see if I get anywhere with that. Otherwise I may need to install Win98SE (don't have earlier) on my older PC (which has a working serial port, but is running XP).
My PC spec: Win8.1, i7-4970K (not overclocked) MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor
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Re: Advice needed regarding serial port Hot Wheels mouse

Postby VirtuaIceMan » 2017-10-14 @ 22:41

Zeus (of nGlide) looked at it for me, and sussed it out:

I looked at the code and here's what I found: the secret combination that activates keyboard controls is "DMW" pressed one after another without releasing.

After that you can use:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - car speed (left click to brake)
G/L - sound effects?
S - save screenshot to windows\temp
Q - quit game
Space - next level
NUM+ - finish level
NUM- - restart level
F2 - level 2
F3 - level 3
F4 - finish game

P.S. You need a slow CPU to play the game, otherwise it won't sync properly.
My PC spec: Win8.1, i7-4970K (not overclocked) MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor
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