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View Full Version : Alternative option/hack for control panel interface



dmworking247
1st April 2008, 03:51 PM
Maybe an option/compromise between the encoder route and a 'keyboard hack'?

Strangely I dont see controller/joystick hacks discussed as an option in the debates between keyboard hack (cheap but time consuming and problematic) vs encoders (works well but expensive). Joysticks dont have ghosting problems and are in the middle price wise?

This looks like it might be easier to hack than a Playstation2 controller with a USB converter as its designed to plug&play with PCs via USB.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.9254

spot
1st April 2008, 04:06 PM
for the current cab i am building - i've hacked a usb ps2 clone and it works fine.

piss easy and cost me $25 for 2 off ebay.

dezbaz
1st April 2008, 05:49 PM
Cool

spacies
1st April 2008, 06:08 PM
Good point DM.

Hacking 3rd party controllers is cheap and a good option for those on a budget. It is very easy to do and it also becomes multi functional because it USB.

There are plenty of people doing it on BYOAC and seems the demand is there also for CPs made to order as well. Would be a good little niche market I reckon.

pcdos2k
1st April 2008, 06:55 PM
hacking is too cumbersome for most.

the problem with keyboard hack is masking/blocking. this limits the number of buttons that can be pressed at the same time. ghosting is solved by using diodes on each switch.

on keyboards that i have tested, only the "home keys" can be pressed at the same time (asdf and jkl;). you can go up or down one row (qwer and uiop) or (zxcv and m,./) rarely will it allow you to combine from another row. it works fine for a one player control panel (a,s,d,f for directions and j,k,l,; for game buttons).

my solution is to use the gameport with the keyboard hack. the gameport will provide for the direction pads + 2 buttons for each player. the home keys on the keyboard gives 4 more buttons for each player. for 8 button pad grab 2 more keys from the bottom and match this with the gameport buttons since the keys has to be in the same row to work.

[code]
button --- player1 / player2

button 1 - gameport button1 player1 / gameport button1 player2
button 2 - gameport button2 player1 / gameport button2 player2
button 3 - keyboard Z / keyboard M
button 4 - keyboard X / keyboard ,

button 5 - keyboard A / keyboard J
button 6 - keyboard S / keyboard K
button 7 - keyboard D / keyboard L
button 8 - keyboard F / keyboard ;
[code]

that is how i intend to do it on my next mame machine. i built one using snes controllers on the parallel port but i found out i had to use the keyboard for some functions. i prefer to make minimal changes on the config files. this makes troubleshooting easier. i hope this helps other DOS mamers here.

pcdos2k
1st April 2008, 07:03 PM
i was going to comment on the featured gamepad, which is why i had it attached. how come the button numbering is highly irregular?

GEMINI
1st April 2008, 07:19 PM
i was going to comment on the featured gamepad, which is why i had it attached. how come the button numbering is highly irregular?

the numeric version of chinglish i would guess

AdamC
1st April 2008, 07:31 PM
I need something like this for my jukebox ... still having problems with the plasma plate .

Worked well at home while I was testing it , but it was used at a 21st and the volume was up full bore .. and it was acting up.

dmworking247
2nd April 2008, 09:52 AM
Possibly better yet then:
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2633

Under $20 for single USB, DUAL controls good for a 2 player control panel?

If multiple people are interested in researching these product viabilities for hacks, I say we 'divide an conquer', ie we need to find one thats really easy to solder onto, unlike genuine PS2 controllers that have tiny tracks and a protective film.

Ironically, cheaper controllers may be better because they might have larger solder joints and/or no protective film on the boards. Thats what I thought about the original larger joystick posted in this thread.

Brootal
2nd April 2008, 10:13 AM
Just remember the PS2 style controllers the joysticks are analog, so not much use for the traditional digital 4/8 way joysticks, so you don't really have enough for 2 player, well not with a lot of buttons, 2 perhaps 3 buttons. I expect their switch from analog to digital is a software conversion so not suitable for hacking to a digital joystick.

But certainly hacking USB joysticks is definately doable, probably a bit cheaper than an IPac. Other disadvantages is that some software may only be designed for keyboard, not joystick use (eg jukebox software, etc)

dmworking247
2nd April 2008, 10:35 AM
Just remember the PS2 style controllers the joysticks are analog, so not much use for the traditional digital 4/8 way joysticks, so you don't really have enough for 2 player, well not with a lot of buttons, 2 perhaps 3 buttons. I expect their switch from analog to digital is a software conversion so not suitable for hacking to a digital joystick.

But certainly hacking USB joysticks is definately doable, probably a bit cheaper than an IPac. Other disadvantages is that some software may only be designed for keyboard, not joystick use (eg jukebox software, etc)

I don't follow...
PS2 style controllers may have analog sticks but they also have the D-pad which is your up/down/left/right digital control. Additionally you have 4 face buttons, a select, a start, and 4 shoulder buttons (thats 10 buttons each controller) that you could theoretically hack to a CP. Thats more than an ipac2 if you used this dual-controller?

I agree with the jukebox, but there's also the joy2key application which sits resident and maps joystick motions to button presses, so if your requirement was to work with native key presses of a jukebox... you could use joy2key and have it work with MAME/Jukebox/whatever like an IPAC would rather than it being seen as "Joy1, button x"

Further to the above...

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3683
$6.42 no analog... just keeps getting better.

Brootal
2nd April 2008, 12:09 PM
ah yea, didn't realise there were 2 controlers, only glanced at the pics and the overview wasn't clear on that point