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Custom controller designs


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#1 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:50 AM

I've had plenty of experience with the stock 2600 but the highest praise I can give it is that it is adequate and it gets the job done. I had some intense sessions that resulted in me pulling the skin off the stalk many times. Of coarse nothing new here as many people on this forum have made alternative controllers for the 2600 so I'll just get on with it. :D

I started with a large heavy base one along the lines of the Nes Advantage or a joystick that plugs into both controller ports. Mostly wanted to utilize all the inputs possible into a single controller to diversify control setups. At first it was confined to a single option but that turned out to be too limited in usage for such a large expensive construct so I started adding logical extensions of operation.

-First thing I did was widen it so that 2 players could use it much like an arcade cab setup. Because of the button placement I had to add a setting switch to "turn off" the buttons associated to the 2nd players inputs for obvious reasons. Added a little color coding to identify the 2 main fire buttons, stuck to red.

-Next I thought why not allow both joysticks to be used together by one player so I put a redundant fire button on top of both joysticks for easy access. Mulled over grip issues but decided a "Crane Game" style was the best middle ground.

-Lastly I thought the base was pretty wide so why not add Paddle knobs too since the cost was negligible at that point. Couldn't figure out which tech to put into the knobs since the Driving paddle doesn't use a potentiometer, perhaps another setting to approximate Driving input from a potentiometer?

With my budget its an either or situation so I haven't ordered any parts yet unless I want to suspend collecting retro games for a while.^_^


Another concept was using the usual suspect or a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive controller(3button) to mod since I have many lying around. Again I didn't want it to be overly static in function so I broke it down to 3 setting or modes. It really depended on the controller used as to how setting were changed since a Start button would be tapped to switch modes while a controller with Turbo switches could utilize the 3 stops on the switch.

-Standard:4 way joystick and a Fire button

-Platformer: Left, Right, Down, Fire, Jump(Up)

-Maximum: Left, Right, Fire, Fire2(Up), Fire3(down)


My last concept was something in between the extremes which was a 6 button gamepad that plugged into both ports. It was either modding a Sega fighter gamepad or do an extreme mod to a Snes controller. Both layouts had there strengths but I couldn't decide which would serve 2600 games best so perhaps this forum has some thoughts on the matter?

Mostly these designs have just sat in my directory till I get the cash together and schedule some time for it but I thought it would be better to share them and maybe get some feedback.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 50700800.jpg
  • 2600 Gamepad_Genesis.png
  • Atari Gamepad Advantage Pro.png
  • Custom Joystick.png


#2 Nateo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:53 PM

Those are some good thoughts and ideas on a custom controller. I really like that design for the hybrid paddle/joystick/driving controller! Way more ambitious than the joystick I made for myself.

#3 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

BladeJunker

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:17 PM

Those are some good thoughts and ideas on a custom controller. I really like that design for the hybrid paddle/joystick/driving controller! Way more ambitious than the joystick I made for myself.

Well thank you, I spent a fair amount of time honing the design into what you see. Heck even I find it ambitious, looks like at least $200+ just to make the prototype. Been trying to track down a local distributor of parts but the joystick style I chose as ideal will likely have to be imported from the USA up to Canada where I live. :)

#4 Pioneer4x4 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 4, 2012 5:17 PM

How are you doing a combo paddle and driving controller?

#5 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

BladeJunker

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Posted Wed Apr 4, 2012 5:58 PM

How are you doing a combo paddle and driving controller?

Well that's one of the road blocks I've run into. The hope was to create mock steering inputs based off of the paddle's potentiometer but if that doesn't work I may have to consider losing the steering wheel option or putting a side mounted or otherwise non-cumbersome placement of a steering knob with the optical rotation sensor it uses normally.

#6 Pioneer4x4 OFFLINE  

Pioneer4x4

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Posted Wed Apr 4, 2012 7:12 PM


How are you doing a combo paddle and driving controller?

Well that's one of the road blocks I've run into. The hope was to create mock steering inputs based off of the paddle's potentiometer but if that doesn't work I may have to consider losing the steering wheel option or putting a side mounted or otherwise non-cumbersome placement of a steering knob with the optical rotation sensor it uses normally.

What about mounting both on the same axis, and removing the stop on the Paddle potentiometer to allow it to rotate. Then you could maybe add in a movable/selectable mechanical stop to the knob for paddle use.
I wouldn't try to simulate driving controllers, and the bummer is there is only a couple of programs that use them, and they are 2 of my favorites. Indy 500 and Stella-a-Sketch. (I'm sure there must be others)

#7 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

BladeJunker

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Posted Wed Apr 4, 2012 7:57 PM



How are you doing a combo paddle and driving controller?

Well that's one of the road blocks I've run into. The hope was to create mock steering inputs based off of the paddle's potentiometer but if that doesn't work I may have to consider losing the steering wheel option or putting a side mounted or otherwise non-cumbersome placement of a steering knob with the optical rotation sensor it uses normally.

What about mounting both on the same axis, and removing the stop on the Paddle potentiometer to allow it to rotate. Then you could maybe add in a movable/selectable mechanical stop to the knob for paddle use.
I wouldn't try to simulate driving controllers, and the bummer is there is only a couple of programs that use them, and they are 2 of my favorites. Indy 500 and Stella-a-Sketch. (I'm sure there must be others)

Well that's not a bad idea, definitely room in the base to lengthen the knob stalk, add a steering sensor above the potentiometer, and include a lever lock for an optional stop. Yeah not as many games supported the steering controller but they are good ones.
In retrospect I don't why they didn't just create the paddle controller only since even a real steering wheel only turns so far anyway, plus it can't really feel like a steering wheel without the wheel which the knob doesn't really do.

Thanks for your suggestion, I really didn't know what to do about it. :)

#8 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

BladeJunker

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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:55 PM

Well I came across this arcade stick design for Colecovision which has a button on both sides of the base used for pinball games which I think I will add to my design.
http://www.colecovis...dk/francois.htm




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