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Developing USB adaptor for Colecovision & Intellivision controllers


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#26 Voch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:08 PM

I bought two for myself. :)

After lots of scrubbing I got one of my SA controllers working 100% so I'll look into making MESS configuration files for that, the standard CV controllers, and the Intellivision controllers.

I have the real systems too so I'll see what I can do about Turbo on the SA controller (didn't know we could use that!).

Voch

Edited by Voch, Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:15 PM.


#27 Voch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:42 PM

I just tried the SA controller and Turbo in my real CV and it's no-go, but it makes some sense.

The default configuration is Expansion Module #2 (steering wheel and gas pedal) plugged into Port #1 (for analog steering control) and a standard controller plugged into Port #2 (stick for shifting and keypad for game selection).

Using a single SA controller in Port #1, the only thing that worked was the gas pedal by pressing BOTH the SA controller's top two buttons, so that's likely the signal sent from the Expansion Module #2's actual gas pedal. The keypad did nothing when I tried to select a game (the game could be programmed to read only the keypad from Port #2, which makes sense) and the dial and joysticks did nothing (I thought the dial might at least steer, but nope...admittedly I didn't spin it a ton like you did, dualcam...the actual steering controller must be much more precise?).

The dial inside my SA controller is a disc with two magnets on it perpendicular to two wires. I believe the induction of those magnets over the wires sends the signal that the dial has been rotated. I'm trying to open my steering wheel controller (unsuccessfully...damn stripped screw, but I'll keep working on it) to find out how it sends a signal, but I'm sure it's either something like a potentiometer like Atari paddles or it digitally reports its position like the Atari steering controller.

EDIT: found a schematics page for some CV stuff: http://www.theadamre...com/schematics/

Edited by Voch, Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:15 PM.


#28 Voch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:04 PM

Does the SA spinner, Driving or Roller controller emulation work in MESS? If so, how do you do it? My assumption would be they would use the mouse, but that does seem to do anything. I am changing the controller type.


I don't see anything but the digital inputs in MESS 0.145 for ColecoVision. Input (this System) just has pad1/pad2 0-9/./# and P1/P2 up/down/left/right/button1/button2. They could theoretically be added but they're not part of the driver right now. The Input (general) has lots of generic digital and analog inputs but it's up to the driver to respond to them, and it may not.

EDIT: The MESS Intellivision driver seems to have all 16 of the disc directions though as well as the pads and three distinct fire buttons (upper, lower-left, lower-right). I'd need to try a game that uses all 16 directions to see if it's necessary to actually map them...the defaults are just to map up/down/left/right.

Edited by Voch, Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:09 PM.


#29 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:53 PM

The SA spinner is 2 magnets and 2 reed switches (magnet just pulls together two strips of metal) that then connect to DB9 pins 7 & 9. It sends pulses in what is called a "quadrature" format.

I personally don't have a driving controller, but based on this diagram I found on -
http://home.comcast.... Controller.gif
it uses the same pins 7 & 9 that the SA spinner uses. Throttle is pin 6 which is standard controller left/right side switch. Pin 3 looks to act as an enable or power on only when it is plugged into the console, and stop battery drain when not plugged in.

A beta tester is going to try his driving controller later this week. Work is going on behind the scenes on a version of blueMSX with SA spinner and driving controller support.

Appreciate someone working out MESS support. I have found it frustrating at times and have lost most of my interest for it, but realize a lot of people what to use it.

Tom

#30 Voch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:27 AM

OK...you know all that stuff already. :)

I'm not too worried about not necessarily having driving and Roller Controller support on my Vision-daptors (they just shipped...thank you!) as I'm generally a MESS user. Testing with my actual CV my Roller Controller works fine (the only game that works with it is Slither?...crappy game anyway) but I lack the D-size batteries to try my driving controller at the moment.

#31 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:10 PM

I have received a report of someone having trouble with Sears Super Video Arcade (Intellivision II style) controllers. Not sure why those would be any different. Please try out your Vision-daptors with what controllers you have (Coleco/Int/Sears) and let me know whether positive or negative on how they work.

I am going to hold off sending any more out until I can find out if there is an issue here.

Tom

#32 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:09 AM

Well, come to find out it was the USB cable that was included with the 'daptor. So, if you have trouble, try a different USB cable.

I'd like to hear if you do ran into a bad cable, so I can see if I need to find a different source for them.

Tom

#33 revolutionika OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:33 AM

You will have these in stock for a while, right?

At least a week or two?

#34 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:43 PM

Yes, I will keeping these available. They are not a "limited" run.

Tom

#35 Voch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:15 PM

Here's my first attempt at Vision-daptor ColecoVision and Intellivision configuration files for the parent drivers for MESS. Put these files into your MESS cfg directory and make them read-only.

To use a clone system in MESS like the Intellivision II for example, copy the config to be the same name as the driver (intv.cfg -> intv2.cfg).


For ColecoVision the MESS defaults worked for Player 1 joystick and button 1, so I mapped Player 1 button 2 and keypad and all of Player 2's controls. I haven't yet tried mapping my Super Action Controller.

SDLMESS for Mac OS X ColecoVision command line:

./mess64 coleco -video opengl -skip_gameinfo -mouse -joystick -rompath <romDirectory> -cart <cartPath>


For Intellivision the MESS defaults worked for Player 1 disc and buttons (confirmed the butttons with Nova Blast, which uses all three buttons uniquely, and I have the overlay to confirm), so I mapped Player 1 keypad and all of Player 2's controls.

SDLMESS for Mac OS X command line:

./mess64 intv -video opengl -skip_gameinfo -mouse -joystick -rompath <romDirectory> -cart <cartPath>

Attached Files



#36 riffraff OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:26 PM

Yes please make a Bally Astrocade one. =)

The non-technical specs: It has an 8-way joystick, 1 trigger and a knob (POT).

There might be some kind of technical interfacing stuff over at ballyalley.com

#37 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:51 PM

Bally Astrocade is next on the list.

Have also had a request for Intellivision ECS keyboard/piano.

Tom

#38 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:52 AM

Have had a report that when the Vision-daptor is in Coleco mode they get Y mouse movement on two different Mac Books and the touch pad does not work.

Has anyone else seen or not seen this?

Tom

#39 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:39 AM

On Mac Books, the joystick is being mistaken for a touch stick/pad. The USB HID spec has provision for “pointer” devices that manipulate the cursor. The Vision-daptor though is not identifying itself as a pointer device, but probably because the Mac is seeing that the joystick is bundled together with a keyboard in a single device, it going ahead and treating it as such anyway. As long as the Vision-daptor is plugged in, the Mac Book built-in touch pad is being over-ridden.

The only solution I see is to drop the sending of controller keypad keys as keyboard key presses, and using joystick buttons for those instead. This has been tested to work fine on a Mac Book.

So from this point on, the Vision-daptors will ship with “joystick-only” firmware. However, I will be posting the original joystick+keyboard version along with the joystick-only on the web site, and people can download and use which they want.

If you have one of the original joystick+keyboard versions and like that, only use Win/Linux, or are otherwise OK with the Mac Book issue, then there is not a need for you to go back and change it.

Tom

#40 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:18 PM

Just to clarify - "joystick-only" firmware means the controller disc/stick, side buttons, and keypad will appear to the computer as joystick axis and buttons. The controller keypad is still supported. Didn't want anyone to think this meant I was dropping support of the controller keypad.

Tom

#41 Voch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:28 PM

I'm doing a few tweaks with the "joystick-only" MESS configurations so they'll use both the new joystick mappings *and* the MESS key defaults where applicable.

For example, on the Intellivison the Player 1 ENTER keypad key defaults to ENTER_PAD (the Enter key on the keypad), but I'll make it ENTER_PAD *or* JOYCODE_1_BUTTON15 (or whatever the joystick-only Vision-daptor key is) so if you don't have the Vision-daptor plugged in at that time the MESS default will still work.

These new "joystick-only" settings are actually easier to map to MESS because they exactly match the Vision-daptor defaults for the ColecoVision stick/Intellivision disc and the fire buttons and only the keypads really need mapping.

#42 Voch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:39 PM

Here's the Vision-daptor "joystick only" MESS configurations for ColecoVision (coleco) and Intellivision (inty, inty2) for MESS, but sadly overriding the MESS defaults instead of "or"-ing with them (couldn't get that to work), so they're Vision-daptor-only for the keypads. Install them in the MESS cfg folder and if you want make them read-only so they're not overwritten when you run MESS without the Vision-daptors connected.

To use these with a MESS clone system, for example "ColecoVision (Thick Characters)", called colecoa, copy the coleco.cfg to colecoa.cfg and change the <system name="coleco"> line in the copied cfg file to <system name="colecoa">.

Attached Files



#43 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:26 AM

WIth the new "joystick only" firmware and the need to now pretty much always map the controller keypad in the emulator, I noticed something I had missed before. The Vision-daptor shows the status of the DIP switches on joystick buttons 5 & 6. This can confuse the emulator into picking those when trying to do input mapping.

So I changed the firmware to only show the DIP switches when in "controller test mode". All 'daptor's shipping out with the "joystick only" firmware will already have this fix. For those with the original firmware, you many not encounter this as they are already a good match to the input emulators are looking for and you may not run into the need to do mapping. But I changed this version as well, and the links on the firmware page are these latest versions.

Have also noticed some emulator "quirks". Like when mapping up/down/left/right in blueMSX, it reports those as joystick buttons 29-32 which is *not* what the Vision-daptor is sending, but it still plays. And Nostalgia reports NONE, ESC, 1 (keyboard keypress) when mapping the side buttons, though what the 'daptor is sending is the first three joystick buttons. I think will put some notes on the web site about these I as run into them.

Tom

#44 Voch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:08 PM

Just to make sure I had the final version I grabbed the latest joystick-only firmware from your page and rezapped my 'daptors. Thanks for the ability to have a joystick-only as the default...it's made my Mac much happier and it's been easier to map (the buttons and sticks/discs are perfect in MESS without any extra mapping...all I had to do was the keypads).

Here's my final MESS configurations for the joystick-only firmware. Feel free to host these on your page, dualcam. If I get MESS running on Windows sometime I'll can make ones for the keyboard firmware too.

The MESS ColecoVision driver doesn't have ways to map the Super Action controller's extra features (two more fire buttons and the spinner) or the driving controller so they're not mapped in these configuration files.

To use these with a MESS clone system, for example "ColecoVision (Thick Characters)", called colecoa, copy the coleco.cfg to colecoa.cfg and change the <system name="coleco"> line in the copied cfg file to <system name="colecoa">. Another example is the "Intellivison II" clone system, using inty2 for inty.

Attached Files


Edited by Voch, Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:17 PM.


#45 ClassicGMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012 3:29 PM

WIth the new "joystick only" firmware and the need to now pretty much always map the controller keypad in the emulator, I noticed something I had missed before. The Vision-daptor shows the status of the DIP switches on joystick buttons 5 & 6. This can confuse the emulator into picking those when trying to do input mapping.

So I changed the firmware to only show the DIP switches when in "controller test mode". All 'daptor's shipping out with the "joystick only" firmware will already have this fix. For those with the original firmware, you many not encounter this as they are already a good match to the input emulators are looking for and you may not run into the need to do mapping. But I changed this version as well, and the links on the firmware page are these latest versions.

Have also noticed some emulator "quirks". Like when mapping up/down/left/right in blueMSX, it reports those as joystick buttons 29-32 which is *not* what the Vision-daptor is sending, but it still plays. And Nostalgia reports NONE, ESC, 1 (keyboard keypress) when mapping the side buttons, though what the 'daptor is sending is the first three joystick buttons. I think will put some notes on the web site about these I as run into them.

Tom


Question on this - I finished my MAME cabinet today. I plugged in all the USB adapters I have and set all the controls for the emulators. Trouble is I have to leave the INTV/CV adapter unplugged. When it is plugged in Windows sees "6" always on. When I try to configure my controls(like ZSNES for example) it sets all my controls to J15(because the "6" is always seen).

Will the firmware update you came up with turn this off so I can leave it plugged in with the rest of the adapters? It's the only one for my cabinet that doesn't work and has to be connected each time I want to use it.

#46 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 6, 2012 8:21 PM

Yes :)

You could also run into a similar issue if you have a Coleco SA controller plugged in. Joystick buttons 7 & 8 are the spinner, and those will be on/off depending on the spinner position. So you would either need to rotate the spinner until both 7 & 8 are off before mapping, or use a standard controller when doing the mapping.

Tom

#47 ClassicGMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 12:32 PM

Yes :)


Thanks much for the update. I flashed it this morning and have been playing AD&D Tarmin through GameEx all day. All 4 adapters are now plugged in and running beautifully after configurations. I have 2600-daptor, Vision-daptor, Super SmartJoy SNES and Retro-Bit NES adaptors running on top of my X-Arcade Tankstick. Everything is beautiful. :)

Will have to post pics today or tomorrow. I finally got my setup completed(for now!). :)

Thank you again for a great product!

#48 patbb OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 10, 2012 2:41 PM

Tom,

Can you ship to Canada?

#49 dualcam OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 11, 2012 12:18 PM

Yes, I ship international, though only with methods that are tracked/insured. Cheapest has been US Priority Mail. To Canada would be $25 USD. Other countries have been are $35-40. To order send me your email address to contact_2600daptor@yahoo.com and I then send you a custom Google invoice to purchase with.

Tom

#50 JL OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 1:29 PM

I posted in to wrong topic, pardon the dupe for those who've already seen.

Hi Gang,

Have tested my Visiondapters and all is great with Coleco and original Intellivision controllers [INTV1].

I know they are not inexpensive but don't miss out as I did in past with other efforts by not ordering extra. Strike while the iron is hot is the lesson I've learned with custom adapters.

I dealt with Tom a bit off-line and he was able to create custom firmware that allows Visiondapter support for TI 99 4/a Joysticks! I'm using the same exact sticks my cool Mom {may she rest in peace} purchased for me 30+ years ago to play Tombstone City, Alpiner, Tunnels Of Doom, Zero Zap, and more using MESS.

The 99/4a firmware is not on his site but contact him, if you're a TI fan you'll be glad you did. Oh and call your Mom if your still lucky enough to be able, I would give anything if I could again.






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