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John Reder

  Home | Downloads | Gear | Tactical Neuronics   Updated JUNE 2023
Two Player Cockpit Project

Arcade Projects




Concept 1 Concept 2 Cockpit A Cockpit A Cockpit B


My goal this time was to make the cockpit experience more immersive by creating the feeling that you are actually in a cockpit and behind the controls of the real thing. I also found a place where Steel Battalion can be played online now that XBOX Live is no longer supported on the original XBOX using a free product called XLink Kai.


Cockpit - Full Immersion Version: It can still roll, but it has increased in size and scope to wrap around the player. The setup once used a projected screen (ceiling mount projector with 88" display) The cockpit unit also integrates with not only the original XBOX Steel Battalion controls but with the proper USB adapter it can also play games on the PC. Other controls have been integrated for XBOX 360 simulations (Ace Combat 6 Flight Stick controllers) as well as keyboard and ready access to standard controllers for all the other integrated gaming systems.

In its current form it uses a color TV with a Fresnel Lense to magnify and add to the illusion of 3D depth.




Steel Battalion is a game where you pilot a large Battletech/MechWarrior style walking vertical tank. You use over 40 controls to operate it and it is the most immersive video game you can own to date. The controller can be attached to PC's with a special USB dongle purchased separately.


My goal was to to make them portable (wheels on the bottom and easy to move in place and put away when not in use) I wanted to minimize the hardware by reusing existing TV's already in place and simply repurpose them temporarily when I want to play this game in either single player or using both for two player competition.


Cockpit A: simply rolls in front of a 25" TV (mounted atop an old dresser - about 3 feet above the floor)

Cockpit B: rolls in front of the ArcadeX cabinet and uses a Freznel lens to correct the angle and pull the image forward 3.5 feet to be above the controls. The Lens doesn't look very good here because the screen light is overly magnified since I took the picture from several feet back. When up close the game image fits perfectly framed and gives you a slight curve on the edges which enhances the 3D wraparound effect the lens already gives you.


Requires two Steel Battalion Kits and two copies of "Line of Contact" (the 2nd multiplayer release of the Steel Battalion software)

The two systems are powered by standard XBOX consoles that are networked together with a Linksys Router/Hub and have the final SBLoC TEKKI patch downloaded form XBOX Live.

I repurposed two old pieces of furniture  an old microwave stand and an old book shelf and added large tops to pull the controls over the lap of the player and placing foot controls farther back to match the feel of something like sitting in a cockpit.


Steel Battalion by Capcom can only be purchased used from vendors eBay or Amazon Marketplace.

Approximate Project Costs (as of April 2010)



Xbox CPU Used x2

$49. or less each

Steel Batallion x2

$100. or less each ($200. new)

Link Sys Hub

$50. more or less

Line of Contact Software

$14. or less used x 2

Microwave Stands x2

$49. or less each

Scrap Wood


Door Stops x4

$4.75 each

25" Fresnel Lens (TV Magnifier) x1


Primer & Semi-Gloss Paint Black (small can)


Misc. Screws and hardware


Finishing plastic runner on front edge 6 feet



Already had them. I prefer to use 24" screens.

2.0 Upgrade

DLP Projector


Yellow/Black tape roll


Wood Panels


4 Extension Cables


90" Projection Screen

Wood/1 black sheet/1 white sheet /staples and staple gun $25

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