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#1 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 8:59 AM

In celebration of the awesome upcoming release of a proper, and decent, gamepad for Coleco systems I thought I'd mention my own little homage to the same goal.

 

-Go support the well thought out commercial release by buying one

-My take on the same plan was intended for my own use, but I like sharing and it's nice to have options

-This is for DIY enthusiasts only...

...I'm waiting on a PCB order so I have no evidence it actually works

...I absolutely won't be making any for release

...Feel free to use the files but please don't go selling any results

 

https://www.thingive...m/thing:3548587



#2 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2019 6:12 PM

Looks like an interesting project.  I like your design it looks really clean, I am looking forward to seeing how your prototype PCB works out.

 

If you do test your PCB, make sure you try out a 2 button game like Cosmic Avenger or Nova Blast as those games use 1 button for fire and the other button for bombs.  One great test is to play one of those games and push both fire buttons at once, it should fire and bomb at the same time.  Sometimes 3rd party controllers only address one button at a time, but the original Colecovision controllers can address both at the same.. just not a lot of games needed both at the same time.

 

Good luck with your project!



#3 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 5:38 AM

@imstarryeyed:

Thank you for your encouraging and helpful post, I appreciate it.

 

I tried to go for a nice and simple aesthetic that would be easy in the hand. It's very close in size to a SNES controller. I'm glad you like it.

 

I'll certainly try the tests you advise, thank you. My hope is all will be fine as 'my' schematic and so PCB is a shameless crib if Coleco's Rev G controller schematic...

...that's not to say I haven't made any mistakes - just after I sent the gerber files to Seeed I noticed I got one of the keypad diodes in the wrong place so I already know I'll have to cut one trace and run a patch wire for the pads I intend to make. The published layout has been corrected, I just hope that's the only mistake.



#4 zaphro72 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 7:39 AM

Looks like an interesting project.  I like your design it looks really clean, I am looking forward to seeing how your prototype PCB works out.

 

If you do test your PCB, make sure you try out a 2 button game like Cosmic Avenger or Nova Blast as those games use 1 button for fire and the other button for bombs.  One great test is to play one of those games and push both fire buttons at once, it should fire and bomb at the same time.  Sometimes 3rd party controllers only address one button at a time, but the original Colecovision controllers can address both at the same.. just not a lot of games needed both at the same time.

 

Good luck with your project!

You should try Tutankham as well because when you press both fire buttons simultaneously with that game you get an entirely different action then the individual fire buttons.



#5 S1500 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 8:42 AM

Doesn't the Super Action Controller have 4 distinct fire buttons? 



#6 nick3092 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 3:52 PM

Doesn't the Super Action Controller have 4 distinct fire buttons? 


I wouldn't call all 4 "distinct". The two extra SAC buttons are part of the key pad matrix. As such they can't both be used at the same time, unlike the original fire buttons.

#7 Swami OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 5:41 PM

I wouldn't call all 4 "distinct". The two extra SAC buttons are part of the key pad matrix. As such they can't both be used at the same time, unlike the original fire buttons.

 

Is this how it worked on the original SAC? I don't think I ever had cause to notice.



#8 nick3092 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 6:00 PM

 
Is this how it worked on the original SAC? I don't think I ever had cause to notice.


Yes. Most people probably wouldn't notice. Go to the link below and scroll down to the keypad section. It shows the keypad matrix, including the two extra SAC buttons.

http://arcarc.xmissi...ech/cvcont.html

#9 Swami OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 6:11 PM

Yes. Most people probably wouldn't notice. Go to the link below and scroll down to the keypad section. It shows the keypad matrix, including the two extra SAC buttons.

http://arcarc.xmissi...ech/cvcont.html

 

I have seen that before. I was not aware it made using both buttons at the same time impossible. Nevertheless, even if this is so, you lose nothing compared to the original controllers, then, to include the SAC buttons as the 3rd and 4th button.



#10 nick3092 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 6:19 PM

 
I have seen that before. I was not aware it made using both buttons at the same time impossible. Nevertheless, even if this is so, you lose nothing compared to the original controllers, then, to include the SAC buttons as the 3rd and 4th button.


True. No game was ever programmed in such a way to expect both to be pressed. Which is why I said most people wouldn't notice.

But the question I was originally replying to was about distinct buttons. And my answer still stands that the extra SAC buttons aren't really distinct.

#11 Swami OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2019 6:33 PM

True. No game was ever programmed in such a way to expect both to be pressed. Which is why I said most people wouldn't notice.

But the question I was originally replying to was about distinct buttons. And my answer still stands that the extra SAC buttons aren't really distinct.

 

True. I think it goes in tandem with this post from the other thread. It is a limitation, but I see no reason it should stop it from being used. Although, I know you were not saying this, it seems opcode was of the opinion it was bad, although no worse the original. Although, after reading opcode's post again, it looks like he is planning to make SAC games work with it, but with an improved design that allows all four buttons to be pressed at the same time. That would be great, unless it uses a solution where a battery is needed that would go dead if some switch on the controller isn't turned off. Hopefully, if a battery is needed, it could use an auto-on/off something like the driving controller EM2. I guess the same could be said for this controller, but I could live with the original SAC design.

 

http://atariage.com/...sion/?p=4250970



#12 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:34 AM

Hmm,

Thanks for the most useful info. Maybe I'll be induced to roll an updated schematic and board with SAC button support if there's room - did I mention I'm quite new to Colecovision hardware? icon_wink.gif

 

For any who are interested I'm rarely happy with my projects and I tend to regard them as being in a permanent state of improvement... hopefully!

With that in mind I've done a substantial rework of the shell for my take on a Coleco game pad. It's looks much the same but "the devil is in the detail", as they say.

https://www.thingive...m/thing:3548587



#13 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:17 AM

PS

Well that's just odd:

Key	C1	C2	C3	C4
0	1	1	0	0
1	0	0	0	1
2	0	0	1	0
3	1	0	0	1
4	1	1	1	0
5	0	1	1	0
6	1	0	0	0
7	0	0	1	1
8	0	1	1	1
9	0	1	0	0
*	0	1	0	1
#	1	0	1	0

...I thought to myself: "If the Coleco pad uses a cr_p ton of diodes to encode the keypad maybe if I used a 4-bit encoder to do the job I could free up some board space for other functions?"

I kind-of expected the encoding would be in binary as that would be logical, but it isn't. Ok, maybe the encoding is set up to minimise key-ghosting, but I don't see it...

...anyone got any idea why Coleco went for this arrangement? I don't actually know but I presume the console toggles Pin 5 on the joystick and reads the direction lines for the keypad in software when it's appropriate to do so, so any arrangement could have been valid.

 

Not a biggie, just if I try this the 'lack of logical arrangement' will make it more likely I make a mistake.

 

Out of curiosity is anyone in touch with the Colecovision, and ADAM, designer(s)? From my limited understanding so far on the one hand it's a beautifully designed system, but on the other hand it's full of design choices I just don't get at all...

...I always assumed the ADAM's funkiness is a consequence of the design team showing marketing an engineering prototype that then got pushed out of the door instead of waiting for the production version. But that doesn't explain the (to me) more baffling choices that had to be in place from the moment pen was set to paper.

I always found listening to the likes of Bill Herd (Commodore) talking about such things both enlightening and entertaining... I'd love to hear from the Colecovision / ADAM's creators.


Edited by CharlesMouse, Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:23 AM.


#14 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:50 PM

You have to join the Coleco ADAM Facebook page and talk to former Coleco employee Howard E.



#15 CharlesMouse OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:47 AM

You have to join the Coleco ADAM Facebook page and talk to former Coleco employee Howard E.

Once again thank you for the advice... but for this instance I'm sorry to say I'm not a social media fan.

 

Um, another day, another update:

I've added "P" and "B" button functionality to 'my' PCB design and updated the 3D files to reflect this. All the latest required files on Thingiverse at the link above.

I guess that's the last change, unless there are further suggestions. I may add auto-fire but I've pretty-well used up all the PCB space with diodes!



#16 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:28 PM

Once again thank you for the advice... but for this instance I'm sorry to say I'm not a social media fan.

Neither am I, but I bit the bullet in this instance and having a former Coleco employee who was a big contributor to the development of the ADAM actively posting is all the initiative that one should need.






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