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The Intellivision controller matrix - Guide!


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#26 Akito01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:59 PM

I did some additional work since I last posted, and it seems that as long as the diagonals are set by a separate contact, everything works fine. In other words, where there are eight contact points, it is possible to have an eight way controller on the Intellivision without any of the issues caused by trying to generate those 9-pin diagonals with only four contact points. The joystick assembly from the Super Action Controller sounds interesting; in fact, based on my experience so far, would be perfect. I think mounting it might be problematic, however, though I say that without having one on hand. I think I'd also prefer to have a modern joystick assembly, even though it inherently means giving up on the idea of incorporating clean diagonals.

If it's helpful, the ColecoVision Super Action Controller has sort of an 8 way joystick. The diagonals have two switches each, physically separate from the main four. For instance, if you press the joystick in the NE direction, the N and E switches do not activate, but two other switches do activate. For the ColecoVision, these switches are of course in parallel with the N and E switches, so it works like a 4 way. However, if you were to properly hack the controller, the diagonals could be separated from the horizontal and vertical switches.



#27 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:19 AM

If it's helpful, the ColecoVision Super Action Controller has sort of an 8 way joystick. The diagonals have two switches each, physically separate from the main four. For instance, if you press the joystick in the NE direction, the N and E switches do not activate, but two other switches do activate. For the ColecoVision, these switches are of course in parallel with the N and E switches, so it works like a 4 way. However, if you were to properly hack the controller, the diagonals could be separated from the horizontal and vertical switches.

Yes, like an arcade stick; 8 separate "clicky" contacts. Problem is I need one that's about the size of a d-pad rather than an arcade stick. Nice idea though!

#28 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:13 AM

One reason there could have been the issue when you tried it was that when pressing 4 way you use the N, E, S, W contact plus ground, when pressing NE, SE, SW, NW it uses pin 6 (blue contact in diagram on 1st page) and not ground.

If you used an IC switch, it would need to work with the following logic: (eg for NE position):

IF "N" AND "E" pressed at same time THEN use pin 6 ELSE use pin 1 (ground). (pins 3 and 4 would still be combined for NE as usual).

How can this be done without causing anything to not work?

#29 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:02 PM

Ok, tried the GP2x digital joystick, had lots of trouble trying to work out the 2nd ground for the 2nd set of 4 contacts, didn't seem to work. I should have kept the joystick on the GP2x board and cut it out through the motherboard.

Not really an issue, the GP2x stick was notorious for being inexact as although the internal contacts look ideal, the way they get struck with the internal pins in reality means some of the directions get more coverage than others, so in other words it can be a bit hit and miss on accuracy; this is why the GP2x MKII version had the joystick rotated for the diagonals to be the left, right, up and down; still wasn't ideal but was "playable".

Tried making a mechanical version, home made, would work from what I started to make experimentally but would need to be made smaller - rather than bothering, decided not to go for a home-made 8 way digital "joystick" but to go for the better solution - so bought some IC chips off Ebay, some AND and some XOR logic gates.

The issue is that the left, right, up and down each use a different pin, fine, and if you press for example up and right both these contacts are fine - good. The issue however is if you only press up or right the other contact needs to be ground, however if up and right are pressed (ie diagonal) you don't want ground as the 2nd contact but a different pin entirely; this gives a true diagonal in the Intellivision.

This means in practice that I need an AND to say "If up AND right are pressed at the same time then use pin 6", and an XOR gate to say "If up OR right are pressed (ie not at the same time) then use pin 1 (ground) however if both are pressed at the same time, do nothing".

I'll let you know how this goes and if it works. If it works, perfect, if not, then i'll either put up with NEE instead of NE for a proper directional diagonal, or try a home-made 8 way digital joystick.

It's worth the effort and delay it might have in making the 3rd controller section for the Alpha Omega system - the Intellivision, especially as it should make more games playable on that console than the alternative.

#30 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 3, 2010 6:59 PM

One nice update - got my AND logic IC chip gate working, need to make it prettier; and also do an XOR logic gate too.

I'm going to make this into a video, as there are a number of uses for using logic IC chips, for example, screen controls without dedicated buttons, region free mod for TurboGrafx, maybe also how i'll separate all the connections to the controller wiring in my project, etc.

Lots of work to do yet, when done, hopefully the video i'll make for this will help others too.

Posted on an electronics forum as well as PCengineFX forum for help as I got stumped for a while working it all out.

This will help in getting proper diagonals in the Intellivision controller.

#31 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 7, 2010 9:56 AM

Ok, this might work - a mix of using rubber tact switches for the main 4 way contacts and also some normal clicky tact switches with shafts (as per photo); the shafts can be made low enough so they only engage if the two rubber tact switches next to them are depressed. Trick is to get it EXACTLY right so the rubber tacts can depress separately from the clicky ones, and when to rubber tact switches are pressed the clicky one engages. It has to be exact.

So far, i've got one such clicky tact switch working perfectly with its rubber topped neighbours, got the other three to do yet.

Just cut out a piece of perspex to the size of a joystick top, and in the centre, for a pivot, used a pointed bead glued into the centre. The joystick top will be glued in place when this is finished and look like an analogue joystick, even though in reality this is an 8 way digital joystick.

The pinouts on the net for the Intellivision indicate that actually there are 4 contacts you need for 4 way and also diagonal variations, however as I made my own findings a while back, I worked out, and just tested and proved on my Intellivision modded console, that it isn't the case at all, (maybe technically but in practice not which is good enough for me) it's just the normal direction button plus ground, and the diagonals also need pin 6 of the controller, in order to get proper accurate diagonals; this is easy, if I can get all four of the clicky tacts working properly then I just add one wire (pin 6) to the clicky tact; job done, no logic gates as in effect i'm replicating a logic AND gate by switches automatically.

The bottom of the assembly will be held to the top via a piece of flexible wire to keep it in place and a rod/similar to keep the orientation correct.

In theory, this should work well. I'll make a circuit with LED's to illuminate the various directions so I can test, and demonstrate this gadget when the base is made.

So far:

Posted Image

If you used a circular d-pad contact pad instead of a cross, you could do this in a stock controller case too like the MegaDrive for example, you could use a circular contact pad or joystick top, doesn't matter.

#32 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 7, 2010 5:03 PM

Well guys, had to remake the 8 way digital unit as it was too big to go through the back of the master controller with the tact button pins out the back, it is small, 24mm diameter, as you see in the pics, i've had to sand down the corners of the tact switches to make it fit. Decided to use a d-pad circle instead of a joystick, and fortunately, I had one that fitted perfectly, a nice bit of luck.

As usual, I share all my knowledge for others to use and benefit from:

Steps:

*Cut out a piece of perspex to the size of the d-pad circle.

* Made a hole in the centre of the perspex through was glued a pointed plastic bead with a hole in the middle; married them up so a thin wire can go through, tied two knots in the wire, dremelled out the inside of the d-pad circle for the knot to fit through, glued in place.

* Sanded (with a sanding drum) the edges of the tact switches, and cut off the two pins on the short edge on one side as not needed.

* Hot glued the tacts in place, the grey ones are rubber topped tact switches so have a nice mushy feel, the blue ones are normal clicky tact switches with a raised shaft, which I can sand down to the level needed. The grey tacts were raised 2mm so the blue tacts (clicky ones) could work better as less cut off them.

* Hole in the base piece, this keeps the part in place with friction; i'll introduce a shaft/groove to do this better, later.

Posted Image

Posted Image

In this pic, a normal direction is pressed, the grey tact is depressed, the blue one isn't

Posted Image

and here, two grey tacts are depressed, ie a diagonal - the blue tact is also engaged and depressed.

Posted Image

I need to wire it up to test, and demonstrate it working fine, however it looks like I got this probably working first time...

#33 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 9, 2010 5:23 PM

Well, this topic, which was originally intended as a pinout for the matrix of the controller, has now expanded to incorporate the d-pad construction too.

Made a digital 8 way d-pad, as evidenced in the below pics.

This is the completed d-pad i've made, the grooves in there are to house the wires against the unit.

At the moment, the contact pads are under the d-pad pressing against the bottom piece, instead of the regular way of the other way around. Not decided if this is better or not.

Posted Image

I was originally wanting the diagonals to work in conjunction with their neighbours, so in other words, if you pressed NE direction, then N, E and the diagonal would register. On testing with 8 LED's, it seems that there is a sweet spot where the diagonal only works; slightly off and either N or E are on too, slightly more you get all three registered. So thinking laterally, if you're pressing NE then it doesn't matter if N and/or E also registers as the important thing is the diagonal. The diagonal will contain connections to ground, N, E and also pin 6 off the Intellivision connector which makes the proper diagonal register. I could do some fine sanding work to get the diagonal working precisely when N and E are pressed, but there isn't any point. I'll just use some diodes to separate the N, E, pin 6 on the diagonal direction (also SW, SE, NW of course too). I've used diodes to make the signals one way on the Intellivision matrix anyway: if using two diodes degrades the information too much, then i'll sand the diagonals down more; plan "B".

Pics showing what I mean:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Next job will be to rig this up for real on my Intellivision construction, that way i'll know it works or not and how well it works, before incorporating it into the controller cartridge for the Alpha Omega system. I'll let you know how it goes.

What this means, is that it's entirely possible to make a controller mod to use a SNES or MegaDrive or similar controller and gut it out and make an alternative controller that works with proper 8 way, reliably; maybe with a set of small tacts for the keypad and the buttons on the pad for a game specific game, or modding a controller and incorporating 9 buttons (1-9), with Select and Start for Enter and Clear.

#34 jsoper OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 9, 2010 11:30 PM

Probably too late, but does this help?
deathskull via wayback

#35 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:31 PM

Interesting link, thanks!

If my manual method doesn't work properly i'll check it out.

#36 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:33 AM

Here it is at the moment; the Intellivision board (composite modded), with all the diodes for the kaypad, shoulder and d-pad buttons, as done several weeks ago. I'm adding extra diodes to connect the diagonals to.

The basic configuration, as per the upcoming video which will explain things in more detail:

Up = up + ground (as normal)
Right = right + ground (as normal)
Up & right diagonal = up, right, ground (as per usual) plus pin 6 of the Intellivision controller cable

Each contact, apart from ground, uses a diode to keep the data flowing one way and it works as per the previous Intellivision video clip for this project; I can't tap off the existing up and right d-pad contacts (as per above) as that would make either right or up become a diagonal, also they need to be segregated from the pin 6 extra contact or i'll get a different d-pad direction; solution in theory in easy enough, more wires and diodes to keep each line separate. On the tact switches for diagonal movement, ground will be one contact and the other three connections to make the diagonal work will be on the other tact contact.

Doing it this way will mean in my video I can show "before and after"; once it all works then, i'll make the whole thing compact to fit into the controller casing.

In the pic you can see the black backing controller piece with d-pad secured in place to go through the master controller perfectly.

Posted Image

Done about 1/3 of the extra wiring, hope to finish the rest today or tomorrow, and then test.

#37 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:11 PM

Good news! I have a spaghetti junction of wires on the Intellivision, however after various experimenting, got the d-pad wired up, tested, and I now have proper diagonals! The d-pad is reliable too in gameplay, been testing on Tron Deadly Discs.

Will make a video to conclude this part of the work and then compile the next video for upload, soon.

Anyway, it works!

Edited by bacteria, Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:20 PM.


#38 bacteria OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:33 AM

Here's the link to my latest YouTube video : getting proper diagonals from a d-pad for the Intellivision:



#39 wongojack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013 9:34 PM

super necro bump for a helpful topic




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