16 way joysticks

Discuss the CreatiVision hardware: models, revisions, fixing, hacking and modding.
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cheshirenoir
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16 way joysticks

Post by cheshirenoir » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:13 am

Hi All,
Now I'm in the closing stages of building my keyboard replacement, I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on replacement joysticks?
My thoughts were to make a PCB to go inside cheap chinese repro Genesis controllers. Pull out the existing board. Drop in a new one. Done!
The "unique" hardware of the Creativision does raise some questions though:
Does any of the software in the library take advantage of the 16 way joysticks? If not, can I substitute a simple 4 button, 8 way joystick or will diagonals stop working in those cases? (Eg, is the diagonal registered as 1 button (Diagonal up-left) or as the combination of 2 (up + left))
Does any game assign a different function to left / right button? They're wired to different inputs but if nothing cares, I don't see any point in touching something that's not broken.
The only game I've seen that uses any other buttons on the actual keyboard area, other than the "Start" button, is Tank Attack (Also uses "Lay Mine"). Anyone aware of any others?
I'll probably end up prototyping something on breadboard in the next few months (When I have a weekend free :-/ ) to see if I can build a simplte test system.
Sorry, lots of questions. I'd eventually like it if we had "open source" replacements for the controllers, as they're only going to keep failing on us as time goes on. Also, let's face it, they're about as "ergonomic" as a house brick.

Cheers!

Chesh
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Scouter3d
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Re: 16 way joysticks

Post by Scouter3d » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:01 am

Hi Chesh,

Here my two cents:

The Salora Manger / Laser 2001 has standard 9pin Joysticksockets, i know i played Sonic Invaders on it with a Standard Joystick... (but it uses only left / right and fire)

I guess (only a guess!) most games use 4 or maybe the 8 directions, BUT (as i recall testing Color Maze from Mobsie) on the real CV Hardware it is good practice to check all 16 directions in your program or there are "holes" in the 360 degrees of the joystick movement, that make playing with the original controllers very hard...

I really like the original controllers (not for their ergonomic, but for the design of the complete console, where they fit snuggly :0)
sadly they fail - a lot! and are very hard (nearly impossible) to repair because of the folded and glued in keyboardfoil...

i would personally love to see a replacement foil or a combination of foil / PCB / switches to fit into the original controllers without too much modding to keep the original look and feel, but get the broken controllers to work again.

Greetings, TOM:0)
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cheshirenoir
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Re: 16 way joysticks

Post by cheshirenoir » Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:14 am

Thanks for the feedback. It does sound like I'll have to aim for the full 16 way joystick, then. I suspect I'll have to 3D print something for the actual controller.
My right controller is totally dead now, so I can pull it apart and see if I can work out the easiest way to build a replacement.
I'm working on a "minimum viable model" here, so I suspect replacement membranes will be right out, as they need special manufacturing as far as I can tell. I certainly can't just order them from Seeed studio or the like :-D

At this point I'm going to aim for a "functional" controller, and release all my KiCAD documents up on GitHub so if someone else wants to modify, they can. Like the keyboard, it's not supposed to be "perfect" as Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough.

Chesh
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MADrigal
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Re: 16 way joysticks

Post by MADrigal » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:10 am

I agree with Scouter3D

Also, yes the 2 buttons within each joystick are different. A few games use them separately.
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