Does the IOBoard need an overhaul?

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redsteakraw
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Does the IOBoard need an overhaul?

Postby redsteakraw » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:28 pm

The IOBoard is great at what it does and it does what it does as simply and effectively as possible. However due to recent developments and experimentation does the IO Board need to redesign several of it's elements to become even more effective given these new developments. There are two main constraints as far as I see that is GPIO pins and physical space. There will always have to be trade offs given the constraints but there are things that maybe should be re-evaluated.

The SNAC is wonderful it has proven that a physical port that works as a direct input is exactly what many need if they want to play lightgun games or use native controllers. The problem is that there is only one port and you have to modify the board if you want to use the most widely used controller port(db-9). So if you want the second controller port you have to take from something else. Most people now aren't using the second SD card slot and given it has just the right number of pins for an extra SNAC or controller port. More experimentally instead of a USB port why not just use db-9 ports, you can buy a cheap $3-5 adapter to rj-45 and use MC Cthulhu pinout controller adapters for everything from PS/2 for AO 486 to SNES controllers. Furthermore mostly anyone with a rj-45 crimper could make their own cables if need be.

Now layout will have to change to accommodate this but this can be done by moving the buttons and putting the two snac ports above the ethernet and otg ports on the DE-10. The buttons can be smaller but placed more or less by where the Mister logo is. The LED and EXT buttons can be moved anywhere space permitting where the SNAC is now or where the SD card is. Optionally if space is permitting add two toggle switches for difficulty(or arcade dip) and a select / pause button for perfect 2600 support and for other cores where pause or other buttons are on the console itself.

What do you think? Do you use the second SD card slot? Would you trade it for a second SNAC? Would you simply rather keep it as is and just swap the SD for a SNAC USB connector? Are all these ideas garbage? Comment below and chime in.

dshadoff
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Re: Does the IOBoard need an overhaul?

Postby dshadoff » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:53 pm

I think it would be beneficial if you created a working prototype.

I think that most everybody working on MiSTer already has their own priorities to implement, and are happy to accommodate and integrate things which are already shown to work, but are busy enough that new ideas from other people will only be worked on if they overlap with what they were already intending to do.

redsteakraw
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Re: Does the IOBoard need an overhaul?

Postby redsteakraw » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:10 pm

dshadoff wrote:I think it would be beneficial if you created a working prototype.

I think that most everybody working on MiSTer already has their own priorities to implement, and are happy to accommodate and integrate things which are already shown to work, but are busy enough that new ideas from other people will only be worked on if they overlap with what they were already intending to do.


I have the IO Board files and will see about making a prototype, just need to know if the idea is crazy or just scratching my itch. Would others be interested or if I am overlooking something? I also don't know if someone is already working on a similar project.

Sorgelig
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Re: Does the IOBoard need an overhaul?

Postby Sorgelig » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:02 pm

You can make the board you like. The only problem - it won't be official. You may re-compile the cores, but later it may start to be less and less compatible as more GPIO will be used for purposes they assigned.
Current USER I/O with 7 (after tweak of the board) GPIO is enough to handle more than just direct pin connection. Connected board may have simple splitting logic to have more GPIO.

MiSTer with tweaked jspoll/xpoll providing the same "lag" as direct connection (in case you use a good controller). There is no point to use SNAC beyond its original task - supporting non-standard input devices such as gun.

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Re: Does the IOBoard need an overhaul?

Postby ChocoboTime » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:18 pm

Sorgelig wrote:MiSTer with tweaked jspoll/xpoll providing the same "lag" as direct connection (in case you use a good controller). There is no point to use SNAC beyond its original task - supporting non-standard input devices such as gun.


Hello Sorgelig, first of all, amazing job. I joined the MiSter club recently and I love that thing.
Is there any plan to merge jspoll/xpoll tweaks into main? Or at least add this as an option ?
I was on the fence to get a blisster, but with those tweaks, I guess a regular USB hub will be more than enough. Your thoughts?

And keep up the great work :)

Sorgelig
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Re: Does the IOBoard need an overhaul?

Postby Sorgelig » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:27 am

ChocoboTime wrote:
Sorgelig wrote:MiSTer with tweaked jspoll/xpoll providing the same "lag" as direct connection (in case you use a good controller). There is no point to use SNAC beyond its original task - supporting non-standard input devices such as gun.


Hello Sorgelig, first of all, amazing job. I joined the MiSter club recently and I love that thing.
Is there any plan to merge jspoll/xpoll tweaks into main? Or at least add this as an option ?
I was on the fence to get a blisster, but with those tweaks, I guess a regular USB hub will be more than enough. Your thoughts?

And keep up the great work :)

It's already merged into kernel. Main has nothing to do with these tweaks, it's loaded way before MiSTer binary.

ChocoboTime
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Re: Does the IOBoard need an overhaul?

Postby ChocoboTime » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:05 am

Sorgelig wrote:
ChocoboTime wrote:
Sorgelig wrote:MiSTer with tweaked jspoll/xpoll providing the same "lag" as direct connection (in case you use a good controller). There is no point to use SNAC beyond its original task - supporting non-standard input devices such as gun.


Hello Sorgelig, first of all, amazing job. I joined the MiSter club recently and I love that thing.
Is there any plan to merge jspoll/xpoll tweaks into main? Or at least add this as an option ?
I was on the fence to get a blisster, but with those tweaks, I guess a regular USB hub will be more than enough. Your thoughts?

And keep up the great work :)

It's already merged into kernel. Main has nothing to do with these tweaks, it's loaded way before MiSTer binary.


Excellent, thanks for the good news! Have a nice weekend.


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