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R0ger

2 button joystick ?

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Howdy !

 

Was there any attempt to make controllers with more than 1 fire button ? I mean as separate control input.

 

First you would need a way to use it on Atari. I think it would be possible to use paddle hardware for detection (and it would actually allow for 3 separate fire buttons).

 

The you need software which supports it, but modifying existing games (where it makes sense) would be simple. I'm actually working on a game where 2 buttons would be nice.

 

And then you would need the joystick. But at least here in Europe we mostly build new ones or make a major repairs on old ones, it's not a big deal either. The cable with enough lines can be a problem, but with those cheap Chinese extension cords, it's doable.

 

I want to know if you heard about anyone trying it, doing it, if there are games supporting something like that, old or new, and what do you think about the idea in general.

Edited by R0ger
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One of the big downfalls IMO of the "Atari joystick" standard was that there was never really a decent multi-button standard.

 

Amiga did one though it can do output on the TRIG line which I believe is needed in it's system.

Sega did them though the pin assignments are different also.

7800 did 2 buttons, with the "bonus" that either button works as TRIG but legacy hardware (computer and 2600) can't differentiate between one or the other button.

 

What would have been a good idea is if they'd use the POT inputs for joystick from the start. You don't need to use pots in the sticks, you can equally do digital sticks and just use resistors to simulate full POT extremeties.

That would leave the buttons free - in theory you could do something like use TRIG and 3 joystick directions for button inputs and use the 4th direction as a select line which would have allowed for a single analog stick per port with 8 buttons.

Edited by Rybags
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Why stop at just 1 extra button?

 

http://mixinc.net/atari/pinouts/powerpad3.htm

 

http://mixinc.net/atari/pinouts/powerpad3man.htm

 

If you, or anyone else, wants to support multiple buttons, at least try to stick with a design that already exists.

 

Not sure how it works (don't understand German) .. but it seem way too complex .. I'm thinking 1 extra fire, the same scheme NES has and many other consoles of the time. It's also simple modification to the joystick. Most of them already have 2 buttons, you would just need new cable.

Edited by R0ger

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You can use Sega MegaDrive/Genesis controllers. One button is the regular button, and another one can be queried with the paddle input. I think the 3rd button is inaccessible.

 

I didn't have much success to distinguish the two buttons of a 7800 controller. I think there would some adapter hardware needed for that.

 

regards,

chris

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One of the big downfalls IMO of the "Atari joystick" standard was that there was never really a decent multi-button standard.

 

Amiga did one though it can do output on the TRIG line which I believe is needed in it's system.

Sega did them though the pin assignments are different also.

7800 did 2 buttons, with the "bonus" that either button works as TRIG but legacy hardware (computer and 2600) can't differentiate between one or the other button.

 

What would have been a good idea is if they'd use the POT inputs for joystick from the start. You don't need to use pots in the sticks, you can equally do digital sticks and just use resistors to simulate full POT extremeties.

That would leave the buttons free - in theory you could do something like use TRIG and 3 joystick directions for button inputs and use the 4th direction as a select line which would have allowed for a single analog stick per port with 8 buttons.

 

That would be powerful and elegant .. but then it would be hard to make joystick which supports both standards. And you don't need THAT many fires most of the time.

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Using the paddle signals as fire buttons is quite easy, hard- and software wise. Basically, the buttons just cutting short the pot meters, giving them a low value.

 

In BASIC you'd use:

 

IF PADDLE(0) <3 THEN.... for first extra button

 

IF PADDLE(1) <3 THEN.... for second extra button

 

The paddle conductors need to be present in the joystick cable.

Edited by Fox-1 / mnx
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You can use Sega MegaDrive/Genesis controllers. One button is the regular button, and another one can be queried with the paddle input. I think the 3rd button is inaccessible.

 

I didn't have much success to distinguish the two buttons of a 7800 controller. I think there would some adapter hardware needed for that.

 

regards,

chris

 

Wow .. I thought Sega uses some complex multiplexer .. but clearly not. 2nd trigger is simply on pin 9. It's bit more complex to get more, but this would be enough for me. Thing is I actually have some Sega controllers, and I know they work with Atari and 1 trigger. Maybe all I need is just to try reading the paddles.

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A good compromise would have been using the POTs in a creative way as extra buttons - you could probably use at least 4 of them along a resistor ladder and still be able to fully differentiate among the available combinations.

 

As for Atari type joysticks that provide the paddle input wires and required +5V line - I don't think many exist.

 

I'm fairly sure there's a mod around to an ST mouse that allows reading it's RMB and still retain proper functionality with the ST, but not sure if an equivalent mod exists for the 7800 sticks.

Edited by Rybags

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Yep, the Sega 3-button gamepads are not that complex. Two of the three buttons can easily be used. Afaik, two A8 games (maybe more?) already exist that support the Sega gamepad and two of its buttons: Tetricize (sp?) and Gem Drop. But both games can also be played with standard joystick/joypad and only one button...

http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=6065

http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4057

 

There is a topic here at AA where someone tries to make all three buttons of a 3-button controller and all six buttons of a 6-button controller readable for the A8. If that works, I would go for 8-buttons (left + right shoulder buttons) next...

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/259881-sega-genesis-3-and-6-button-controller-project/?do=findComment&comment=3648450

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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Yep, the Sega 3-button gamepads are not that complex. Two of the three buttons can easily be used. Afaik, two A8 games (maybe more?) already exist that support the Sega gamepad and two of its buttons: Tetricize (sp?) and Gem Drop. But both games can also be played with standard joystick/joypad and only one button...

http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=6065

http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4057

 

There is a topic here at AA where someone tries to make all three buttons of a 3-button controller and all six buttons of a 6-button controller readable for the A8. If that works, I would go for 8-buttons (left + right shoulder buttons) next...

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/259881-sega-genesis-3-and-6-button-controller-project/?do=findComment&comment=3648450

 

Thanks ! My game is actually kind of puzzle game, so this approach seem to be perfect. First there are existing already working gamepads. Second if you wanted to convert existing joystick or build your own, it's simple. Third games already exist which supports the solution. And I don't even have to come with a name for it, as it's simply Sega.

 

The next topic is about extra hardware .. not really what I'm interested in, but interesting read. NES controllers or generic HID would be nice too, but these days most gamepads are based around analog joysticks, and they are not very useful for 8bit gaming.

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Hello Rybags

 

I'm fairly sure there's a mod around to an ST mouse that allows reading it's RMB and still retain proper functionality with the ST, but not sure if an equivalent mod exists for the 7800 sticks.

 

You can find that file on my Special Stuff page, it's called STM18BIT.TXT

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

Edited by Mathy

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Hi R0ger,

 

SNES2JOY - ivop is the man to contact

 

S přátelským pozdravem,

Mark

 

Very nice, it even supports multi-trigger scheme ! So generally making game support (not require) paddle triggers is good idea.

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I guess a list should be drawn up as to which games would greatly benefit from having a 2 button joystick working?

 

And another list that would require 3 or more buttons?

 

Off the top of my head -

 

Dropzone for 3 or more...

 

Then patches made to them - to show how it's done.

 

I would opt first for a gamepad already existing - to make use of - ie. the Genesis/MegaDrive gamepad -

and maybe a custom made one - if it can be readily available to anyone who wants to purchase one. (or instructions how to make your own).

 

Harvey

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Very nice, it even supports multi-trigger scheme ! So generally making game support (not require) paddle triggers is good idea.

 

Here are all the development files if you want to build one (or more :)).

 

https://github.com/ivop/snes2joy

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I did some experiments on real hardware with Sega controllers. There is one issue. Sega controllers do have onboard chip, and it seems to send all lines through it. But their wiring is different than Atari. They expect +5V on pin 5, Atari has it on pin 7. Thing is, it actually works. The chip takes the voltage from signal lines. It then sends the second button into pin 6, which is pot1. It also connects the pin to ground, not to +5V, as paddle would. So you get inverse logic. Non pressed is +5V, pressed is 0. You read 1 from pot register for non-pressed state, and 224 for pressed state (or anything in between, depends on WHEN you press it).

Bob!k, who was discussing and testing it with me, was VERY unhappy about feeding the chip from signal lines. And I guess we at least try to rewire one of the controllers. But I like the idea that it actually works with no modification at all. I made the software detect automatically what value the pot is at the beginning, and then I treat any change as button press, and it seems to work fine.

Of course, if you modify the controller to feed the chip correctly, and/or to send the pot voltage the correct way, it will still work. Or if you make your own joystick which will just connect pot0 or pot1 to +5V.

 

Btw. we tested the games mentioned above. Gem Drop correctly reads the button, so it must work somehow like I do it. Except the game doesn't really need the extra button. Weird choice to implement it.

As for Tetricize, it either didn't work, or I didn't found out how to set it up.

Edited by R0ger

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Hi, add two extra buttons is possible reading the two pins of PADDLEs.

But what happen with the games?. All games are designed for a joystick with a single button .

Edited by Donlupi

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Hi, add two extra buttons is possible reading the two pins of PADDLEs.

 

But what happen with the games?. All games are designed for a joystick with a single button .

 

 

no, they use the keyboard for extra buttons...

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Some games may benefit (if not already done) from a small hack to remap their extra action to a second button, e.g. Defender's hyperspace, Dropzone's cloaking, Spy Hunter's added fire button etc

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Current games (except for the hacks Wrathchild mentioned) don't benefit of the extra buttons, but nothing prevents new games to be written that utilize these buttons. The designs are out there. One could write and sell a game, including the controller hardware. Some sort of "copy protection" peteym5 might like ;) Until Altirra or atari800 emulates that too :D

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This is my goal....to build a custom arcade joystick. Two buttons is enough for me.

There will be two switchable options for the second button:

-Sega style pot connection

- external space bar connection.

 

Im hoping to make the space bar option wireless as I really dont want any hacks/mods or extra wires.

Already have a Suzo inductive joystick and the wireless set. Now all I need ....is time.....

Edited by Level42

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