Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

A place to discuss everything Dragon related that doesn't fall into the other categories.
User avatar
Bosco
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:49 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by Bosco »

Here's an idea for a mini-hardware project. Sadly I don't possess the know-how to build it myself but I thought I'd put it out there in case someone in the community wanted to build and sell them?

A while back I ordered from Japan some Sanwa joysticks and buttons plus a `Zero-Delay' usb encoder for a Raspberry Pi MAME project my son was working on. There was no soldering required. The supplied cables had the appropriate connectors fitted to push onto the joystick/button contacts and plug into the encoder pcb sockets. The pcb then connected to the Pi via a USB lead. Simple. :)

So my idea is a small pcb that fulfills the same role as above, ie, allows anyone to connect a stock Japanese arcade joystick and button using the stock cables, but has a lead running off that plugs into a Dragon joystick port and performs the necessary digital-to-analogue conversion. And users would be free to source their own enclosure, joystick and button (there are lots of colours and finishes to choose from).

I did start looking into a simple circuit using a 4066 chip but to be honest this is out of my comfort zone. :cry:
Rink
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:01 pm

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by Rink »

Hmm...

Been a while since I looked at cabinet joysticks and buttons, but I'd bet this could be done very easily. What'd make this even more fun, would be to agree on a WoD standard where extra buttons are mapped to the second controller port and everyone uses the same control mapping in their programs.

Edit: To elaborate, we could all agree that, for example, on port 2 X-axis 0-31 is Button 2, 32-64 is Button 3, Y-axis 0-31 is Button 4, Y-axis 32-64 is Button 5, P2 Button is Button 6. Then have a control method selection (similar to how a lot of Spectrum games did) that gives the option of standard 1-button controls or super-WoD-6-button controls.

R
User avatar
Bosco
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:49 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by Bosco »

I've found a couple of useful links. The first is an Atari 9 pin to Dragon joystick adapter schematic with description. The second is a video of a nicely put together example.

http://vrai.net/retro/?p=112
https://youtu.be/B5WoJaYaxQ8?t=71

Interesting idea Rink, about supporting extra buttons. A standard single button would be all I require but others may want more. :)
User avatar
robcfg
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:16 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by robcfg »

Well, there's the Altai joystick adapter, which is ridiculously easy to replicate.

I don't know how it would be to encode more buttons, as the Dragon wasn't meant to have more than one, but I thunk it would be a good starting point.
User avatar
Bosco
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:49 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by Bosco »

Yeah, there are quite a few examples that could be copied I think?

The `unique selling point' for me would be to have a small, neat pcb (no loom of wires), with sockets along one edge that you could plug a standard ball-top joystick and button into, (the image below is of a usb encoder but you get the idea).

Recently one or two CoCo users have built their own arcade joysticks and the first comment is usually `when are you going to start selling them'? Might be an opportunity for somebody here who can make professional quality gadgets? Also I think leaving the buyer to source their own stick, button and enclosure should help keep costs down and provide a competitive edge?

Image
Rink
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:01 pm

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by Rink »

Bosco wrote:Interesting idea Rink, about supporting extra buttons. A standard single button would be all I require but others may want more. :)
I need at least two. :D I've thought about this in the past, but its never been worth doing because nothing would support the control scheme other than the stuff I'd (eventually) write for myself. And then noone else would be able to use it.

But if we had a sample code lib, cheap PCB, general agreement, and support for the scheme in XRoar (mapping USB gamepads in the same way) then I think it'd be a cool bit of progress.
User avatar
Bosco
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:49 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by Bosco »

So, I decided to attempt building my coin-op joystick adapter idea. Got my brother involved because I'm a total novice at electronics.

And here's the end result. Vero board still needs cutting down but I'm pretty pleased with it. :D

Image
Image
Image
sorchard
Posts: 431
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:43 pm
Location: Norwich UK

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by sorchard »

Bosco wrote:I decided to attempt building my coin-op joystick adapter idea
Nicely done! Presumably you've got a bit of woodwork lined up. Tried it on any Dragon games yet?
Stew
User avatar
Bosco
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:49 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by Bosco »

Thanks.

I hooked it up to the Dragon for a quick test today and was really pleased with the arcade `feel'. :)

Still considering how to mount it though. A slightly inclined panel with Dragon artwork on might be nice?
sorchard
Posts: 431
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:43 pm
Location: Norwich UK

Re: Japanese Arcade Joystick Adapter

Post by sorchard »

Bosco wrote:A slightly inclined panel with Dragon artwork on might be nice?
Do you mean artwork beneath a polycarbonate or acrylic cover? That would be awesome :D

Also nice big suction cup feet to stop it sliding around the desk.
Stew
Post Reply