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NES controllers for our TI's.


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#1 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:50 PM

I have a few small ideas on some boards I'd like to design for the TI-99/4A.  Something simple at first while I learn TMS9900 assembly.

 

One such idea is to build a board to convert the NES controller to something the TI could read.  I know the NES uses a serial shift register and the TI (or something) would have to supply a clock, etc. to get the values out of the NES controller.

 

I don't see a way for the TI to send an output pulse through the joystick controller.  So my initial thought would be to connect a small ATTiny to the NES controller and constantly read the controller at maybe 30-60 times per second.

 

Then, the micro-controller could send the parallel value to the joystick port.  However, I didn't see anything in the pinout that could support this. 

I would need 4 signals for the directions and 4 for the buttons (A,B, Select, Start).  The TI only supports one fire that I saw.

 

Then I thought...what if I wrote a serial driver for the TI and just monitored the trigger button?  Then serialize the NES controller stream over that.

I would need some clever way to sync the devices, however.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

With 32K of RAM, an F18A (and a possible soundcard I want to build), the TI is shaping up to be a killer gaming system that deserves a good controller.

 

BTW, I love the Genesis controller and perhaps it would be easier...but I'm after the NES controller.  :-D



#2 NISMOPC OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:55 PM

I haven't tried it yet, but I have a Atari 2600 NES styled controller with 9-pin connector. I see no reason why this wouldn't work with the WICO Command Controller adapter I have.



#3 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:58 PM

That doesn't sound very common.  Does it have four buttons in addition to the directional pad?  The NES basically had 8 bits to indicate the status of the controller.  Four bits for the directions and four bits for the buttons.



#4 ti99iuc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:02 PM

I have a couple of NES gamepads interfaced for work on the TI99, I would have liked to have created a step-by-step guide and publish but it just remaining on to-do list :P

 

i should have a handwritten scheme used for this somewhere, anyway your idea seems to be more complete :)

 

Attached File  1.jpg   116.84KB   2 downloads


Edited by ti99iuc, Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:03 PM.


#5 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:21 PM

Wow.  That looks pretty awesome!  How does it work?

 

Well, if I did anything at all it would be so that any cheapo NES controller could be use on the TI.  I've always hated that the Atari 2600 "standard" got carried over to so many platforms simply because it was there.  C64, Amiga, etc. had such great graphics/sound that it's a shame they never had better controllers.

 

So it's time for the TI to get good controllers.  :-)



#6 ti99iuc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:26 PM

Oh yes completely agree about it! :D
 
my NES gamepads just working good but Start and Select buttons are not used. the two red buttons instead have the same fire funcion.
your advanced modify could upgrade and complete this, it would be lovely.
 
I use them overall for games like pitfall or pacman... not good for Parsec to me :P


#7 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:35 PM

I've been considering doing a custom board that would replace a SNES joystick's (not NES) internal board.  The board would not contain any electronics, other than perhaps diodes.  It would simply map the directionals and fire buttons to the TI's 9 pin port.

 

I'm sure you could do the same for an NES style controller.


Edited by chue, Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:36 PM.


#8 cbmeeks OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:45 PM

But you wouldn't get access to all of the buttons.

That's what I need.  All buttons working.



#9 PeteE ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:50 PM

You could map the extra buttons to joystick 2, as described in this thread.



#10 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:08 PM

Yes.... we have discussed the possibility of re-using the Joy2 lines. :) would give you plenty to cover all the NES buttons

#11 LASooner OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:49 PM

Wow.  That looks pretty awesome!  How does it work?

 

Well, if I did anything at all it would be so that any cheapo NES controller could be use on the TI.  I've always hated that the Atari 2600 "standard" got carried over to so many platforms simply because it was there.  C64, Amiga, etc. had such great graphics/sound that it's a shame they never had better controllers.

 

So it's time for the TI to get good controllers.  :-)

 

 

The amiga did have analog signals as well as digital. Not many games used it, But I have an adapter for my Amiga that I bought for Fighter Dual Pro back in the day, that allowed me to use a Thrustmaster Joystick & rudder controls with the Amiga, the company also shipped patches for a bunch of flight sims. I believe it also sent digital signals if you wanted to, I haven't used it in forever.

5uFyrQk.jpg


Edited by LASooner, Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:50 PM.


#12 peterfleeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 5, 2019 1:32 PM

This is a cheat, but it's a solution for any Atari compatible system, as well as the TI.

 

https://www.retro-cl...?v=7516fd43adaa



#13 arcadeshopper ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 5, 2019 4:57 PM

This is a cheat, but it's a solution for any Atari compatible system, as well as the TI.

 

https://www.retro-cl...?v=7516fd43adaa

 

this will likely only work if you build a 5v injector for the joystick port.. ti doesn't provide it, all the other systems do.






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