Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

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Sorgelig
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Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

Here i plan to post interesting controllers i've got and successfully adopted to MiSTer.
I won't post generic gamepads as i'm sure modern USB gamepads are much better than any old generic one.

Paddle/Spinner controller:
Some cores are better with either spinner or paddle controller. I've used Atari 2600 driving controller (Atari 2600 paddle can be modded the same way):
spinner.jpg
Original spinner inside is pure rubbish, so i've replaced it with Arduino rotary encoder shield. Together with Arduino Micro it gives a good USB controller.
spinner_int.jpg
Arduino rotary encoder originally has clicking mechanism which is better to disable for free rotation and higher resolution (one click is 4 steps). Fortunately the rotary encoder is easy to disassemble, so i flattened the internal "pimple" and thus disabled the clicks.

Here is the mr.Spinner firmware project for Arduino Micro:
https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Retro-C ... rollersUSB
Besides the spinner, it also emulates the paddle controller. So you get 2 in 1 controller. Project supports 2 controllers in a single board.

MiSTer detects this controller and overlays it on top of any other existing controller. So you may use for example DualShock4 as your main controller and mr.Spinner which adds additionally spinner and paddle the the same player.

___________________________________________________________________________


Super Famicom NTT gamepad:
ntt.jpg
It has many buttons, so can be useful in such cores as Coleco Vision, Intellivision where phone pad is used in controller. Or simply for some core requiring many buttons.

This is internals of the mod:
ntt_int.jpg
Firmware for Arduino Micro is here:
https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Retro-C ... rollersUSB
___________________________________________________________________________


Mad Catz Arcade Stick 360:
This is nice gamepad giving many different ways to control the game. Here you can see traditional long analog stick, D-PAD, small analog stick, and even spinner - wow!
madcatz.jpg
Because my controller died from unknown reason, i've decided to revive it using Teensy 3.2. Mod looks quite messy, but it's just connection of every button/axis to the teensy:
madcatz_int.jpg
I've added some special modes like swapping the sticks, better spinner mode and paddle emulation. So overall now it's pretty much universal arcade stick.
___________________________________________________________________________


Namco Playstation JogCon:

This is wonderful controller! Not only it has spinner, it also has force feedback!
jogcon.jpg
After some exploration in undocumented features i've made the mod fully utilizing this controller:
jogcon_int.jpg
Not only it has paddle emulation, it uses the motor to show the limits, so you feel it like real paddle with stoppers. Also it has steering wheel mode where jog will automatically go back to center. Spy Hunter (and Turbo Tag) control is great with this mode.
Firmware for Arduino Micro is here:
https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Retro-C ... /JogConUSB
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

If there are other interesting controllers exist, post it here.

Update:
What i call as "interesting controller"?
MiSTer is multi-system emulator so it needs wide range of input controllers like Keyboard, Mouse, Gamepad, additionally paddle, spinner.
So controllers mixing different types of input devices are considered interesting. For example Gamepad with keyboard.
BUT... Although there are many mini wireless keyboards with gamepads functions, they hardly can be used for normal game play. So they are not really useful for MiSTer. But otherwise gamepad with integrated keyboard can be useful. So it's gamepad with normal analog sticks and buttons and with some small keyboard - in theory it could be an ideal MiSTer controller as sometimes keyboard is needed.
Also gamepads with trackball/spinner is considered interesting and useful for MiSTer.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Newsdee »

I have two of these VSmile joysticks, but I'm hesitant to mod them.
It would be hilarious to use then with MiSTer for meetups, though.

Second video shows him using it with SF2:

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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

Well, i don't see anything special in this VSmile joystick. Just childish looking controller. It's not like joystick with paddle or rotary encoder. Basically it's not more than SNES gamepad.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Milongero »

Hello,

I think this is a nice pad for modding.
The hyperkin Ranger

https://www.hyperkin.com/ranger-premium ... erkin.html

Here is an interesting site for games that works with a paddle

http://wiki.icomp.de/wiki/DB9-Paddle
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

Milongero wrote:Hello,

I think this is a nice pad for modding.
The hyperkin Ranger

https://www.hyperkin.com/ranger-premium ... erkin.html

Here is an interesting site for games that works with a paddle

http://wiki.icomp.de/wiki/DB9-Paddle
From one point of view it's interesting controller. From other point of view it has too few buttons to be MiSTer compatible.
I suggest my Paddle USB adapter with original A2600 paddles. It will work as overlay on other gamepad and thus control won't be crippled.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

this controller possibly is ideal for MiSTer:
1557588-a.jpg
Unfortunately it's impossible to buy it today...
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Newsdee »

I wonder if this would work, it's a BT attachment to a PS3 gamepad:
ps3_controller_keyboard_02.jpg
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Atmosfear »

I use this one on my Xbox One Controllers and it works but uses a 2.4G Receiver for the Keyboard. I have also one for the old X360 wired Xbox Controller Receiver. Will test it later if it works too.

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0777H ... =UTF8&th=1
71svWnmeaML._AC_SL1500_.jpg
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

I'm aware of keyboard addons for XBox and Playstation gamepads. Unfortunately they are just mechanically attached but work completely separate through their own BT/RF connections and using their own batteries. So usage scenario is too complicated. You need to connect the gamepad, then you need to connect the keyboard. You need to charge them separately.
Nope, not good idea.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Atmosfear »

The XBox Chatpads have no own batteries, so no need to charge them seperatly. The Old chatpads for the Wired Xbox360 Controllers also dont need a BT/RF Dongle, they use the USB from the Gamepad but i have to check it first if they work with MiSTer.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

USB version should definitely work.
Wireless XBOX360 controller need a special USB RF dongle. so need to check if it also supports the keyboard.
I have wireless XBOX360 gamepad.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Atmosfear »

I have a wireless 360 Controller too. Once i find those old Chatpad i will test it on the USB and the Wireless 360 Controllers and report back.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by DaniGMX »

I find the Namco JogCon mod very interesting, but also I am quite hesitant to mutilate mine, as It's perfectly working on original systems and I'd really prefer to keep it unmodified.

Would it be possible to build an external (DaemonBite like) Playstation-to-USB adapter using the Arduino Pro Micro?
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Newsdee »

Doesn't the Jogcon work with a PS1 USB adapter? (I guess not, but I'd be interested to confirm it)
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

DaniGMX wrote:I find the Namco JogCon mod very interesting, but also I am quite hesitant to mutilate mine, as It's perfectly working on original systems and I'd really prefer to keep it unmodified.

Would it be possible to build an external (DaemonBite like) Playstation-to-USB adapter using the Arduino Pro Micro?
You don't have to open the JogCon at all. My adapter uses PS1 interface. So you just need to find the PS1 controller socket to wire the adapter.
I don't have PS1, and i've bought the JogCon exactly for MiSTer, so having native USB plug without any heavy objects hanging in the middle was my goal.
Even my internal mod is harmless and reversible - i still have the original cable, so just need unplug the arduino board and plug original cable.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Atmosfear »

Sorgelig wrote:USB version should definitely work.
Wireless XBOX360 controller need a special USB RF dongle. so need to check if it also supports the keyboard.
I have wireless XBOX360 gamepad.
To my Suprise, the wired 360 Controller dont work with the Chatpad. Same for the Wireless 360 Controller.
And also dont work on Windows 10. Looks like Microsoft not even Support the Chatpad for Windows.
Gooling for some Information about this brings only a Alpha Driver for Windows called chatpad-super-driver.
Also exits a xbox360wirelesschatpad Driver on Github but its 4 years old. So No working 360 Chatpad on MiSTer.
But i can live with the Xbox One Controller and those Chatpad. Its only 1 more Dongle and works out of the Box
with MiSTer.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

Well, i think it can be supported in Linux. Probably it can be seen in generic /dev/input device.
Just need to add a special support for that
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by peepsalot »

Regarding spinner type controls, I recently learned about the Arkanoid "vaus" controller for NES, which just uses a potentiometer, with ADC inside the controller to digitize the knob position for serial output. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkanoid_Controller

Just to be clear, I'm not asking for any special support of that specific NES controller on other cores or anything like that.
But its an example input which gave me an idea: Could MiSTer have an option to accept a raw analog voltage input from a potentiometer to some ADC pin?
This could allow people to DIY build their own custom controllers very cheaply and easily, with minimal circuitry! Just wire up the pot + a momentary switch for the "fire" button.

The only limitation of using a pot is that you don't get free-spinning 360+ rotation. I'm picturing this for Arkanoid Arcade core where full rotation doesn't really matter since the game field has walls on each side anyways. It could also be neat for racing arcade games with steering wheel input.
Only maybe a minor annoyance on something like tempest though.

I guess real spinners probably output rotary encoder pulses rather than an absolute position reading though?
So I don't know if it would require some extra code to simulate such pulses, but I think it could be fairly simple to do based on difference between current reading and previous reading.
Or is there's already such code that allows for analog joystick control on these types of games? (I only have a d-pad style M30 controller at the moment, so no idea).

Just for an example in action, here's the NES controller (skip to ~10min for play footage):

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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Atmosfear »

Sorgelig wrote:Well, i think it can be supported in Linux. Probably it can be seen in generic /dev/input device.
Just need to add a special support for that
If you want to Tinker around with the x360 Chatpad, just pm me with you adress and i donate one to you and also a Xbox One Wireless Adapter which supports 8 Xbox One Controller at the same time. Maybe you can add the Linux Driver for it also.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

Atmosfear wrote:
Sorgelig wrote:Well, i think it can be supported in Linux. Probably it can be seen in generic /dev/input device.
Just need to add a special support for that
If you want to Tinker around with the x360 Chatpad, just pm me with you adress and i donate one to you and also a Xbox One Wireless Adapter which supports 8 Xbox One Controller at the same time. Maybe you can add the Linux Driver for it also.
It's not a problem for me to buy this chatpad addon from ebay - they are plenty there. I will order one. No guarantee there will be support for that. I need to look where it's is now and how much need to do.
peepsalot wrote:Regarding spinner type controls, I recently learned about the Arkanoid "vaus" controller for NES, which just uses a potentiometer, with ADC inside the controller to digitize the knob position for serial output. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkanoid_Controller

Just to be clear, I'm not asking for any special support of that specific NES controller on other cores or anything like that.
But its an example input which gave me an idea: Could MiSTer have an option to accept a raw analog voltage input from a potentiometer to some ADC pin?
This could allow people to DIY build their own custom controllers very cheaply and easily, with minimal circuitry! Just wire up the pot + a momentary switch for the "fire" button.

The only limitation of using a pot is that you don't get free-spinning 360+ rotation. I'm picturing this for Arkanoid Arcade core where full rotation doesn't really matter since the game field has walls on each side anyways. It could also be neat for racing arcade games with steering wheel input.
Only maybe a minor annoyance on something like tempest though.

I guess real spinners probably output rotary encoder pulses rather than an absolute position reading though?
So I don't know if it would require some extra code to simulate such pulses, but I think it could be fairly simple to do based on difference between current reading and previous reading.
Or is there's already such code that allows for analog joystick control on these types of games? (I only have a d-pad style M30 controller at the moment, so no idea).
There are 2 similarly looking but completely different rotary input devices:
1) paddle: a simple potentiometer with ~270 degree rotation limit and absolute value from 0 to max.
2) spinner: rotary encoder using pulses - has unlimited rotation and providing either just pulses on every small rotation step or amount of steps made since last check.

While spinner can emulate paddle by implementing the counter to simulate 0-max range of ADC, the paddle cannot emulate the spinner for obvious reason. Being more universal, the spinner is better than paddle. Arcade Arkanoid requires exactly the spinner, so it won't work with paddle.

My project mr.Spinner is targeted exactly for simple Spinner and/or Paddle input. So, the only you need is Arduino Micro board. So either spinner or paddle connects directly to arduino board and you get USB input device (for 2 players!). It also can simulate the paddle from spinner input, so spinner is enough. While paddle (potentiometer) is also supported, so you can open that NES controller and wire that potentiometer with button directly to arduino micro (remove all other boards if there is any).

Actually you can get any linear potentiometer with value anything from 10K to 100K and make a paddle device with arduino.
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by PsyFX »

Sorgelig, How well does your modded Jogcon work with (Joystick/Spinner/Multi Button) games Such as Tron, Discs of Tron?
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by uXe »

I have one of these neGcon controllers:
neGcon.jpg
what's interesting about this one is - the whole thing twists in the middle, giving a proportional analog output! The two red buttons also give analog values... the Arduboy sitting next to it can also be used as a USB controller (has the same ATmega32U4 as the Arduino boards you are using :) ) maybe not as special / interesting, but highly programmable!
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by jim150 »

That negcon controller is amazing! I wonder if it works with the jogcon firmware.
I have this old dreamgear minikey for the ps2. It works ok for occasional button presses (not for intense gaming).
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Re: Special/Interesting controllers for MiSTer

Post by Sorgelig »

There are other opinions about negCon telling it as quite crappy controller :)
As far as i know it's spring based awkward wheel controller which is similar as paddle - just with centering.
Analog buttons - not sure where to use them. DualShock 3 actually has all buttons analog(!), but no place to use this feature.

Actually JogCon is much better and also simulates paddle with centering spring on my adapter.
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