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Mr Robot

New design of Multijoy.

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It's been a while since I made these and now that we have joysticks with multiple fire buttons and wireless adapters it seemed like a good time to update the design and make another run. 

 

I've added the potx/y lines and the 5v power line to each of the joystick ports, increasing the diode count from 40 to 56, bending all those diodes is a PITA so I've moved to SMD for this run. I've found some nylon dsub sockets for a little bit more money so I've switched to those to prevent joystick plug damage. Finally I've done the multijoy hub by @krupkaj as well, this has meant I needed a new board layout so the connectors would mate correctly. 

 

This is where I'm at currently, it's not yet final, there will be some changes I'm sure. I'll be making a 3d printed case for this, there are too many sharp bits to get away with a bare board this time.

1866047690_Screenshot2020-11-28at14_13_12.thumb.png.8eb719582bd31eb739cd8996ab2b89e6.png

1433800449_Screenshot2020-11-29at14_47_33.thumb.png.a0f8eabc0cc3a57994e897e943d5a2f0.png

 

Mock up of how the boards can fit together

mj.thumb.jpg.10f4b4c6854aecdffb7ac9734c559829.jpg

 

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On 1/19/2019 at 7:13 PM, Mr Robot said:

post-62759-0-82134900-1547918840.jpeg

 

So there we are, I now have a couple of Multijoy 8's for multiplayer gaming and a few leftover boards as spares. I'm happy to let other people have these if they would like one.

such a BEAUTIFUL design! PCBs are usually rectangular, with perpendicular lines. And now, ladies and gentlemen, bow deep down and see this beautyful MultiJoy HUB!

Applause to the designer! It is even more astonishing, as he only started to learn PCB-CAD (which is difficult enough).

Keep on the good work!

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The more I look at this the more I think the hub needs to stack the multijoys

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Hello Steve

 

22 minutes ago, Mr Robot said:

The more I look at this the more I think the hub needs to stack the multijoys

 

I totally agree.  That way, all the db9 connectors for the joysticks point (roughly) in the same direction, which is where the players will be.

 

Would it be possible to incorporate the hub into the Multijoy somehow?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mathy said:

Would it be possible to incorporate the hub into the Multijoy somehow?

It would but not if you want the choice of 8 or 16. I think most people would only want 8 but a few party people might like the 16. 

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Hello Steve

 

7 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

It would but not if you want the choice of 8 or 16. I think most people would only want 8 but a few party people might like the 16. 

 

Why wouldn't it?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

 

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 you have nice interesting ideas, although I preffer my simple design I like it. Keep them comming. 🙂

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Would it be possible or does it exists already a little version for 4 players only?

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Multijoy 4's do exist, I don't think I've ever seen one. Multijoys used to be a hand wired thing, I think it was @ivop who first did a PCB version. With the box'o'wires versions you just leave out players 5-8 when wiring. I've been thinking mking a multijoy 4 pcb might be a fun thing, it would cover all the hacked 400/800 4 player games but wouldn't support the 8 player games. 

 

The hub is cool because it can join two 4's or two 8's there is a switch to choose. There doesn't seem to be any way to join four 4's or a 4 and an 8 or anything like that.

 

Does anyone have a place to get those AtariST Mouse/Joystick extension leads? Those are the perfect interconnect cables for these multijoy parts but they are harder and harder to find now.

 

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4 hours ago, Mathy said:

Why wouldn't it?

because if you wanted to join two together you would have two hubs! I'd have to make a hub version and a non hub version. If I'd have to make two boards anyway I'd rather keep the design simple and do one multijoy and one hub. 

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I still have both of my circle ones and a couple of Ivops regular 8s - Not sure I need anymore but I love these designs. 

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All you need is a hub to get a 16 player setup :) The circle version has the fatal flaw that it cant be used with the hub unless you use cables.

 

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Hub v2, the stack

 1921160942_Screenshot2020-11-30at16_13_53.thumb.png.030553246e9a5cdd259fba0ad5aeb565.png

 

Those stacked connectors at $6 each

 

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Hello Steve

 

9 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

because if you wanted to join two together you would have two hubs! I'd have to make a hub version and a non hub version. If I'd have to make two boards anyway I'd rather keep the design simple and do one multijoy and one hub. 

You don't need to make two boards.  You only have to make one board that would have some extra hardware (compared to the existing multijoy interfaces) that would enable the user to plug a second but similar board into the first.  If you use a hub, two multijoy interfaces plug into the hub and the hub would plug into the computer.  What I envision is a board that plugs into the computer and a second (but similar) board that plugs into the first.  Or you could plug the second board into computer and the first one into the second one.  You could even plug a current design multijoy interface (that would otherwise need a hub to get to 16 joysticks) into the new design multijoy interface, that's connected to the computer.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

 

 

 

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OK OK let me get this straight... you want me to make a multijoy with the hub built in; then, if you want a 16 player version you can take two of those and join them together, but only using one of the two built in hubs?  so instead of buying one hub and two multijoys you are buying two multijoys, both with built in hubs? That actually increases the component count and the cost as well! 

 

 

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Hello Steve

 

"Like to" sounds better to me, but yes, that's what I'd like.  The user wouldn't need to buy two multijoys, (s)he'd only need to find somebody else with a similar multijoy.  Most of the times you don't need a 16 player version, heck, most of the time you don't even need an 8 player version.

Most people wouldn't buy two multijoys plus a hub, they'd only buy one multijoy and maybe one hub, thinking that if enough people will show up, (at least) one of them is likely to bring a second multijoy.  If they could buy a cascadable multijoy, they wouldn't even need to buy the hub.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

 

Edited by Mathy

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Sure "Like to" is fine wording as well. The spacing of the hub connections is the same as the spacing on the original (ill check that to be sure), ivops multijoys should plug straight in, other more unusual ones should work with cables, if you know two people with multijoys, you only need to buy the hub :D

 

I'm thinking of doing a multijoy4 as well, that covers most of the games. Two of those can plug into the hub to make a multijoy8. Shame you can't plug in a 4 and an 8 for 12 players ;) 

 

 

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Hello Steve

 

That would be one of the advantages of a cascadable multijoy.  You could make a multijoy4 and plug one, two or three together to get a multijoy8, 12 or 16 respectively.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

PS wouldn't two multijoy4's on a hub (intended for joining 2 multijoy8's) mean that it uses players 0-3 and 8-11 instead of 0-7?

 

Edited by Mathy
Added the "PS"

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20 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

Does anyone have a place to get those AtariST Mouse/Joystick extension leads? Those are the perfect interconnect cables for these multijoy parts but they are harder and harder to find now.

 

Genesis / MegaDrive extension cables with 9 wires plastic plugs are available on EBay and AliExpress. They seem to be newly made and their only drawback is that the plugs are rather thick and don't fit some connectors.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Mathy said:

PS wouldn't two multijoy4's on a hub (intended for joining 2 multijoy8's) mean that it uses players 0-3 and 8-11 instead of 0-7?

 

There is a switch on the hub to switch between M4 and M8

 

4 hours ago, slx said:

Genesis / MegaDrive extension cables with 9 wires plastic plugs are available on EBay and AliExpress. They seem to be newly made and their only drawback is that the plugs are rather thick and don't fit some connectors.

 

I've got some of those, they work fine but I think they are a bit long, the AtariST extensions were just to get out from under the case so they were short.

atari-520-1040-st-ste-falcon-amiga_360_fa8a891d3a77c65c85d3783c865f23d9.jpg.65305c2a95778a2f42ac0cd020013d38.jpg

 

It's getting harder to find those now, we may have to accept the long cables.

 

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How about if you lay out the board so that it is a multijoy + hub, but then optionally stuff the hub components?  They could be assembled as either a multijoy+hub, or as just a multijoy to keep the component cost down.  One board that supports two configurations.

 

Edit to add a third configuration:  Make it stackable. 

 

One config:  Pure multijoy, plugs into 8-bit

Second config:  Multijoy + hub

Third config:  Multijoy that plugs into (on top of) Multijoy+hub (cheaper since it doesn't need the 9-pin connectors)

 

Stackable config would use headers on top of the hub version, and then pins extending down from the stackable multijoy.  If you want to use an existing (non-stackable) multijoy with the multijoy+hub that has the headers, you could use custom cables that have the 9-pins at one end and plug into the headers at the other end.

 

One board to rule them all!

 

Edited by StickJock

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I'm wondering about this too. I thought, when Atari did away with controller ports 3 & 4, that was it. Atari 8-bit computers were limited to only 2 controller ports. So, would I be able to use a multi-joy to play four player with M.U.L.E.? Or with any other game that allowed more than two players?

 

Do games have to be specially written to work with the multi-joy? I see you mentioned Sails of Doom, which was obviously written to use this. Are there really that many titles that allow you to play with up to 8 players, or more than 2 for that matter?

 

I'm definitely intrigued.

 

Thanks.

 

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Games need to be written to use the multijoy or hacked to include multijoy routines. The code basically uses port 2 to select a joystick and port 1 to read its status, then select next stick, then read, then next stick etc etc. In a loop. 
 

all the games that used the 4 ports on the 800 have been hacked to work with the multijoy and there are about 70 games now written or hacked to use it. Mostly these are 4 or 8 player games but there are a couple of 16 player games too. 
 

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8 minutes ago, Mr Robot said:

Games need to be written to use the multijoy or hacked to include multijoy routines. The code basically uses port 2 to select a joystick and port 1 to read its status, then select next stick, then read, then next stick etc etc. In a loop.

@Mr Robot Would this cause a delay or this delay would not be noticeable? Would the input be placed in a queue and as it went around, it pop only one sample?

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