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New PS/2-to-A8 (ST Emulated) Mouse Adapter Chip

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Looks good! This is one of my Logic3 mice, which is a decent match for XL-cream and much nicer ergonomically and mechanically than any ST mouse I've used:

 

post-21964-0-58141700-1481827046_thumb.jpg

 

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Way back, I did an ~absolute<bad choice of words?> mouse design. Much as I can recall, it was just two counter chips i.e. 74LS193<?> that would store the 'blips from the encoding wheels. It was a poor design in that I had to do several kludges to get it to work. I think I used one button on the mouse to reset the counters. I can't remember how I did direction, maybe some other Rube Goldberg scheme like the Atari driving controller. The noisy cursor movements from the Koala Pad were driving me nuts but my design was probably an order of magnitude worse.

 

With a micro in the mix, summing movements and absolute position when polled should be doable. I'm not sure it would be a better way of doing it, but a two button mouse would give you the option to have one button to work as a normal mouse button and the other could be a center or home button. I'm probably doing a bad job of explaining it, but instead of sending all the current data you get from a PS2 style mouse, the micro keeps track of where the mouse is relative it its starting position and that is what gets transferred to the Atari.

 

That sounds kinda like my very first attempt at making TransKey without a processor, and it also didn't work all that well ;) Then I switched over to a micro, and things got much better.

 

Not sure about that 'homing' mouse aspect you mention. I kinda like it to be auto calibrating instead. Anyway there are various ways that the data derived from the PS/2 mouse can be transferred to the A8 (SIO, PBI, and of course via a Joystick Port come to mind). Since a micro is already doing the decoding it can be converted any which way you want. However with that said, do we really want yet another different mouse interface? Seems to me that there are already quite a few games as well as other apps that expect something like an ST mouse plugged into a joystick port.

 

 

I use a standard ST mouse exclusively with my 1200XL. I did have to do a recent cable re-wiring. But it's a lot darker color than that mouse! Of course this is on purpose, but before it's new look, it did look about the color of that real mouse too! My choice to use a real ST mouse is purely aesthetics. With the matching XL color scheme and the already angular design of the ST mouse, it matches my 1200XL line perfectly. I'm big on matching peripherals.

 

Wow your customized mouse looks great !!!

 

 

Looks good! This is one of my Logic3 mice, which is a decent match for XL-cream and much nicer ergonomically and mechanically than any ST mouse I've used:

 

attachicon.gifDSCF3530.JPG

 

 

This still has that retro look similar to the ST mouse, but with a bit more modern rounding of the edges. Looks good !

 

 

- Michael

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Looks good! This is one of my Logic3 mice, which is a decent match for XL-cream and much nicer ergonomically and mechanically than any ST mouse I've used:

 

attachicon.gifDSCF3530.JPG

 

Yes, that works. But close isn't good enough for me, I need peripherals to look like they were made just for my XL line:

post-149-0-36252600-1481833681_thumb.jpg

post-149-0-06752200-1481833724_thumb.jpg

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If possible, please test the mouse with Operation Blood and/or Special Forces games - there, due to very little available time the probing is done just a few (8?) times per frame, so it is definitely less than 800Hz.

 

I found a version of Special Forces that works just fine on my U1MB modded XEGS (Download: Special Forces.atr).

 

It works well with my BETA mouse code, but is showing the need for possibly adding some control over either the resolution and/or the acceleration settings. However once I got used to the quick action, it worked quite well. Just got to be careful you don't get too excited or into panic mode, since that can make you overshoot targets. Funny thing is staying calm while playing this game is a very difficult thing to do, since it's quite fast paced, having multiple targets to aim for and shoot. But I definitely like this game a lot, and being able to play it with the mouse just feels so natural.

 

So in conclusion yes in a future revision of the firmware, I think I'll be using some of those unused buttons to allow for tweaking mouse settings.

 

pirx thanks a bunch for the game suggestion :-D

 

- Michael

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It occurs to me that a paddle controller would make a great case mod for a stealthy ps/2 mouse. The potentiometer could be left in place so it would work as both controller and mouse simultaneously. Hmmm....

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Aww yes the TK-III project. That one had everything but the kitchen sink thrown in :grin: :ponder:

 

Although it would nice to emulate a paddle controller with the mouse, that is not really possible in this project, since it is focused on a single chip solution. In fact what this project really is all about, is more specifically the firmware. So in other words creating the code that when run in a single MCU will yield PS/2 to ST mouse emulation and also possess the ability to direct that output to either one of two joystick channels. And finally doing so with nothing more than the PIC MCU chip itself (making for an off-the-shelf mouse chip that can be plugged into anyone's DIY designs, including some crazy ass ideas of my own ;) ).

 

Now I suppose with some very elaborate timing routine, there might possibility be a way of emulating the paddle controller in a purely digital form. However to be truthful I haven't put much thought into that process at all --- not even sure if that would be possible. Anyway it isn't the thrust of this project to do that.

 

Sorry guys :_(

 

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols

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No worries! :) I'll definitely be building one when you are finished with design & code. I can't wait to try MC and other TB games with it.

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Although I don't have plans to lay out a plug-into the joystick PCB, I have been kicking around the idea of making a PIA piggyback and mating satellite connector board for this project. Also started looking at the big picture with all the various upgrades in use, and it occurred to me that with some minor mods on the TK-II-Stereo and GTIA V-Gate boards (adding some more terminals), I could virtually eliminate any soldering what-so-ever. Just need to add the reset line to this project, the trigger inputs to the V-Gate board, and the paddle inputs on the TK-II-STEREO board and all bases would be covered.

 

- Michael

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Ok finally got my hands on a real ST mouse (actually two of them thanks to Bob). So in tests that we ran yesterday at Bob's house with my new MOUSETARI chip, it appears that my chip and a PS/2 mouse beat the pants off of an ST mouse for playing Missile Command. Using the ST mouse required moving it all over the place to just make it across the screen, whereas with the PS/2 mouse it played as it should benefiting from the hardware acceleration. In GOS, initial impressions were that the two appeared very similar, thus letting the ST mouse benefit from the GOS's built-in software acceleration. And with the PS/2 mouse it looked pretty much the same (I'll have to study this in greater detail to be sure).

 

So still need to run more tests comparing the two using different apps and games, but on the surface it looks like hardware acceleration can really make a difference in certain applications, while not being detrimental in ones that have integral software acceleration.

 

- Michael

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New BETA Version 1.1 Now Available For Download: MOUSETARI_firmware_V1_1_BETA.zip

 

This is also downloadable from the AtariBits site.

 

 

Changes

  1. Added speed setting with 4 different selections. It is invoked by pressing and holding both the Left and Right mouse buttons, followed by pressing the Middle button to step through the selections.
  2. Pressing the Middle mouse button by itself, will now send a simultaneous Left+Right button press.
  3. Changed the EN and Port selection pins into two independent selection bits (J0 and J1). Selection of a given port now requires a logic 1 (+5 VDC) on a given pin to enable mouse porting to that selected joystick port (when these pins are grounded the assigned port I/O pins will float).

This is still considered BETA firmware, so expect that there will be more changes down the road. Although at this stage it's looking pretty close from an operational and hardware point of view, and I don't anticipate any more re-mapping to occur for the PIC MCU I/O pins. but I do suspect that there will be more fine-tuning of the speed, resolution, and hardware acceleration parameters.

 

Changing the speed settings will give visual feedback in the form of short mouse movements either left or right or in combination. This is similar to what the PeST mouse adapter will do, but my version is ever so slightly different. To see the visual feedback you will of course need to be in an application that will display on screen movement from an ST mouse.

 

mousetari-chip-v1-1_orig.png

Note: A simple SPST (center OFF) switch can be tied to J0 and J1 select pins with the switch common connected to +5 VDC (also requires 4.7K pull-down resistors to ground on the select pins). This will allow for an easy way to choose which joystick port will become the mouse port, and when the switch is in it's center 'OFF' position, then neither joystick port will be assigned to the mouse and instead both ports can be used for joysticks or paddles.

 

 

- Michael

 

 

BTW; the slowest speed setting will give a single move to the right as a visual que. Each setting above increases by one movement either to the left or the right. And lastly, a setting of 3 with my 400 DPI PS/2 mouse appears to be pretty close to an ST mouse in most applications. All settings are saved in non-volatile memory, so the next time you plug in or power-up it'll still be same.

Edited by mytekcontrols
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Got a wireless mouse that works quite well with the MOUSETARI chip. Its a BenQ M306 800 DPI Optical USB/PS2 RF (27 Mhz) Wireless Mouse.

 

s-l300.jpg

 

However due to the 800 DPI (twice what I had been testing with), it requires the lowest resolution setting on the BETA Version 1.1 firmware, which still might be too fast for some folks. So I will have to do some more tweaking in the firmware to really get this optimized for both 400 and 800 DPI mice. Good news is we will finally have a very nice wireless mouse solution to use on our A8's, and one that is optical as well (no balls on this mouse ;)). The only bad news is that there is some kind of rubberized coating on all of the black plastic parts of the mouse that probably due to age (made in 2004-2006), was very sticky to the touch. Mine was so bad that I resorted to using denatured alcohol to take it off, and then followed up with a little auto polish to bring the sheen back to the finish. after doing that, it feels so much better. Not sure if this will be the case with all of these, but mine was brand new with the factory seals still on the box, and it had an extremely sticky finish. So be warned.

 

Syncing the mouse to the receiver is very easy, and should only need to be done once.

 

 

Step One: plug the receiver's USB plug into the supplied USB/PS2 adapter and then plug this into the MOUSETARI's PS2 input and power-up the A8 that it is installed in.

5ik1roW.png

 

Step Two: Press the Sync Button on the receiver, and then press the connect button on the bottom of the mouse (the receiver's led should rapidly flash when detecting and syncing to the mouse).

 

hlPpzXr.png

 

And that's it! You should now be connected and ready to mouse around.

 

- Michael

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The only bad news is that there is some kind of rubberized coating on all of the black plastic parts of the mouse that probably due to age (made in 2004-2006), was very sticky to the touch. Mine was so bad that I resorted to using denatured alcohol to take it off, and then followed up with a little auto polish to bring the sheen back to the finish. after doing that, it feels so much better. Not sure if this will be the case with all of these, but mine was brand new with the factory seals still on the box, and it had an extremely sticky finish. So be warned.

 

 

- Michael

 

I had a wireless controller for my Xbox that did the same thing. What I did was coated it with baby powder, took care of the stickiness.

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I had a wireless controller for my Xbox that did the same thing. What I did was coated it with baby powder, took care of the stickiness.

That is a very clever and easy idea. I never would have thought of that even in a million years.

 

- Michael

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You bumped a very old topic of mine. I totally forgot and moved on, and never did take it any farther. Not to say I won't one day revisit this, and do the tweaks that I was suggesting, but I have no immediate plans to do so. The Mousetari chip did make it into the 1088XEL and XLD, but the firmware remained at the last rev which is better suited to a 400 DPI mouse.

 

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