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View Poll Results: Do you own a 2 button gamepad or joystick?
yes 49 79.03%
no 13 20.97%
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Old 01 March 2018, 13:06   #41
Daedalus
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See, at a fundamental level, all electronic circuits are analogue. It's what the signals represent that determines whether it's an analogue or digital circuit at the higher level. How is a switch with only two states (on and off) any different to a transistor in a CPU that is also only on or off, other than one is manually operated and one operated by a signal. To further muddy things up - what is a relay? Digital or analogue? It's all mechanical, no chips or any other components, and in very simple terms is a mechanical transistor when dealing with digital applications.

Also, you're familiar with analogue joysticks, right? In the Amiga world they don't contain any chips or other components either, just two variable resistors and switches for fire buttons. You can use them with a battery to turn an LED up or down in brightness... *That* is analogue.

For the record, I consider anything on/off as digital - that includes light switches.
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Old 01 March 2018, 13:40   #42
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Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
See, at a fundamental level, all electronic circuits are analogue. It's what the signals represent that determines whether it's an analogue or digital circuit at the higher level. How is a switch with only two states (on and off) any different to a transistor in a CPU that is also only on or off, other than one is manually operated and one operated by a signal. To further muddy things up - what is a relay? Digital or analogue? It's all mechanical, no chips or any other components, and in very simple terms is a mechanical transistor when dealing with digital applications.

Also, you're familiar with analogue joysticks, right? In the Amiga world they don't contain any chips or other components either, just two variable resistors and switches for fire buttons. You can use them with a battery to turn an LED up or down in brightness... *That* is analogue.

For the record, I consider anything on/off as digital - that includes light switches.
Understood, Perhaps I could have worded my question differently. Yes, when you get down to it, it really does come down to signaling and how those signals are processed. I guess I see digital as including signal processing and analog as no signal processing at all. For the device itself. The gameports on the amiga and atari and TI are most certainly digital. But the stand alone gamepad or joystick is not (unless it is with non-analog components that do any kind of processing).

This is pretty much how I was brought up differentiating the two.

https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question7.htm - Yes it's talking about audio, I just applied the same thought to everything. I think I originally posted a bad example. let me find another.

Here's a better explanation I think -

"When someone says something is analog, it simply means it’s not digital: the job it performs or the information it handles doesn’t involve processing numbers electronically. "

https://www.electronicproducts.com/E...ifference.aspx

Last edited by Sinphaltimus; 01 March 2018 at 13:50. Reason: Added second link and fixed some typos.
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Old 01 March 2018, 14:11   #43
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And that's a pretty strange definition, clearly written by someone who doesn't have any sort of education in engineering and has made assumptions about what other people mean based on their incorrect concept of digital. Digital does not mean there is any sort of processing involved, and if you're going to think along those lines, you should bear in mind that analogue computers are a thing as well - not to mention analogue synths and filters, which conceivably do signal processing and manipulation using chips and other active components.

When a device deals with discrete signal levels, it's digital, whether or not it's plugged in. The switches in a joystick can't be half-on, they can't ever represent "half-left" - they're either on or off.
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Old 01 March 2018, 14:30   #44
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When a device deals with discrete signal levels, it's digital, whether or not it's plugged in. The switches in a joystick can't be half-on, they can't ever represent "half-left" - they're either on or off.
That's because the analog signal is processed digitally. For a very brief time when the circuit is closed, it's "half-on" since it takes time for the voltage to change. It's just that the digital processor is programmed to only interpret a certain voltage (or above/below that value) as fully On or Off. Same with transistors in a processor. They don't instantly flip from 0 to 1, it takes time. However we process this information digitally, e.g. above a certain voltage we simply call it "1", because there is no longer any doubt that it's more than 0.5.

An analog joystick is also processed digitally. Even if the potentiometers has an infinite resolution (although they don't in practice), it's typically processed digitally with 7 bits of precision (128 possible discrete values). In a fully analog synth for example, the pot could of course be directly wired to filter cutoff frequency. In a hybrid, the filter cutoff might be directly controlled (so no audible stepping), but when you load a preset sound, the value is quantized to the nearest value at e.g. 8 bits precision.

Last edited by AdvanceFollow; 01 March 2018 at 14:43.
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Old 01 March 2018, 14:40   #45
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Yep, well aware of all of that, thanks And you reiterate an important point I already made - everything is analogue at the lowest level. Yet, we don't call a CPU analogue because its transistors don't instantaneously switch from one state to another.

Edit: Actually, the Amiga A/D inputs use 8-bit precision, though it's very difficult to use all 8 bits in practice due to the old style of using variable resistors rather than potentiometers for representing position.
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Old 01 March 2018, 15:08   #46
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OK guys, I got the answer to my gamepad question. I can get away with wires, switches and a db9 to make a 2 button gamepad for the Amiga (up to 3 buttons) but if I want more than 3 buttons, it gets much more complicated since you have to use microchips to communicate the additional functions (buttons) to the Amiga in a way it will understand.

Forget I even mentioned digital vs analog. My thought process is probably just because I lived through the tail end of the analog to digital conversion of most everything around me from a consumer perspective, so my perception is skewed. I'm no engineer. But like I said, I think you all know what I meant. Didn't mean to turn this thread into an electronics engineering debate.

I appreciate the additional comments and knowledge. I'll be more careful about the language I use going forward as a result. Thank you.

Additionally - and for clarity on my original question....

In my mind, I converted this Digital GamePad for Genesis into an analog gamepad for the TI, but I see that's not a good use of words. I also see that I can use the same or similar methods to make my own 2 button gamepad for the Amiga with a little research
about the pinouts and such.

The additional components (diodes) were to convert it from an atari style to TI (built in Atari to TI conversion) since you can't use atari controllers directly on the TI. But you can on the Amiga is my understanding. so direct wiring should work if the pin assignments are correct.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/266...n#entry3806909
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Old 01 March 2018, 16:15   #47
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Yeah, it's just one of those things that might not be as immediately obvious as you think since both digital and analogue controllers exist for the Amiga - I use an analogue joystick for F1GP and Birds of Prey for example, where they greatly enhance the playability. Perhaps a better distinction to use would be "active" and "passive".

As for the conversion, I'm not familiar with the TI beyond it using an alternative controller pin arrangement, but it should be possible to build the modifications into an adaptor so you don't need to modify the MD pad itself. This would be similar to the adaptor used for making MD pads work safely with the C64, with the pinout adjusted to suit. Similar goes for the Amiga - most games will already read a Megadrive pad as a 2-button controller, but for those that don't, a simple adaptor can be built to connect it properly and enable 2-button operation for every game that supports it. No need to wire directly to the switches or even open the pad at all (although that will of course work too).
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Old 01 March 2018, 16:42   #48
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Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Yeah, it's just one of those things that might not be as immediately obvious as you think since both digital and analogue controllers exist for the Amiga - I use an analogue joystick for F1GP and Birds of Prey for example, where they greatly enhance the playability. Perhaps a better distinction to use would be "active" and "passive".

As for the conversion, I'm not familiar with the TI beyond it using an alternative controller pin arrangement, but it should be possible to build the modifications into an adaptor so you don't need to modify the MD pad itself. This would be similar to the adaptor used for making MD pads work safely with the C64, with the pinout adjusted to suit. Similar goes for the Amiga - most games will already read a Megadrive pad as a 2-button controller, but for those that don't, a simple adaptor can be built to connect it properly and enable 2-button operation for every game that supports it. No need to wire directly to the switches or even open the pad at all (although that will of course work too).
Yep, there is an external adaptor. I just made a 6 button controller pad which essentially puts the adaptor inside the pad and uses all the buttons/directions from Joy1 and Joy2.

This was strictly for plugging direct into console without external adaptor. And give the option to develop 6 button single player games. But the wiring for the diodes and pin assignments could easily have existed outside of the gamepad - not this one in particular tho. I have an external adaptor and that chip interfered. So I had to destroy it and rework the traces.

Last edited by Sinphaltimus; 01 March 2018 at 17:00. Reason: Changed this "...6 button games." to this "...6 button single player games."
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Old 01 March 2018, 16:49   #49
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Originally Posted by Sinphaltimus View Post
I'm sure you knew what I meant.
I do and that's why I said "you are confused". Because your description is empirically wrong and leads to confusion, especially if someone else reads your message and goes and buys an analog controller and then wonders why it doesn't work on their AMiga (it has happened)

Gotta be careful what we write out here, it could lead other people into trouble

[edit] hah I missed a page of text, I see Daedalus has explained it all much better than I ever will. No more OT from me!

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Surely if the most perfect game ever created *cough* Turrican 2 *cough* needs the keyboard, then two buttons or one buttons + keyboard is a perfectly acceptable solution ;-)
Really? This was such a piece of shit control-wise I am surprised anyone wold bring it up as a good example Reaching for the space bar was a terrible thing to do, and there was this special move, dunno what it was called, but it was like a super smartbomb, that to activate it, you had to press a button and space at the same time. Meaning: you have to let go of the controller's direction to launch it!! A terrible idea.

Good news: Turrican 2 always supported 2 button joysticks. This is how I played it.
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Old 01 March 2018, 22:16   #50
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Really? This was such a piece of shit control-wise I am surprised anyone wold bring it up as a good example Reaching for the space bar was a terrible thing to do, and there was this special move, dunno what it was called, but it was like a super smartbomb, that to activate it, you had to press a button and space at the same time. Meaning: you have to let go of the controller's direction to launch it!! A terrible idea.

Good news: Turrican 2 always supported 2 button joysticks. This is how I played it.
Are you allowed to make negative comments about Turrican 2?!?!!

And if you haven’t finished T2 using the space bar, you haven’t lived ;-)
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Old 01 March 2018, 22:34   #51
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Are you allowed to make negative comments about Turrican 2?!?!!
Hahaha. I am THAT sacrilegious
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And if you haven’t finished T2 using the space bar, you haven’t lived ;-)
I rather spend life doing something else
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Old 02 March 2018, 08:52   #52
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I recall finishing gryzor on speccy by hitting the space bar with my toes to jump!

@Steril707
Great to know
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Old 02 March 2018, 16:34   #53
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I have eight two button Speedkings (originally sold for Sega MasterSystem, but works very well on Amiga too).
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Old 02 March 2018, 21:59   #54
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I tested an old 3 button Megadrive controller (buttons A, B, C) with a few games on an A1200, and only Turrican 2 worked. ADoom for example didn't respond to button "C", but then when "B" (fire weapon) was pressed it started performing "B" + "C" every time. Lionheart didnt respond at all to button "C".

I then coded a very simple prog to check button "C" which disabled all interrupts in system and set output bits for joystick port, but the prog didnt recognize button "C". Then when I connected an Amiga mouse in same joystick port, the same code recognized right button. Weird..
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Old 02 March 2018, 22:01   #55
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I tested an old 3 button Megadrive controller
IS it official or a clone? Very important.
Also there are different methods to read the second button, one works with Megadrive-type controllers, the other works with Master System type controllers. The mouse works with the "Master System" type scheme, so I guess your code is "wrong" for that particular pad.

If I am not wrong, the difference is that some bit is either held high or low.
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Old 02 March 2018, 22:21   #56
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IS it official or a clone? Very important.
Also there are different methods to read the second button, one works with Megadrive-type controllers, the other works with Master System type controllers. The mouse works with the "Master System" type scheme, so I guess your code is "wrong" for that particular pad.

If I am not wrong, the difference is that some bit is either held high or low.
It's called Sega Megafire, it has some added functionality, like autofire for each button. So not the standard pad I believe. I think also that various Sega pads require different code to work, which adds a lot of confusion among both developers and users. Maybe one should use only 100% compatible Amiga joysticks to be on the sure side.
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Old 02 March 2018, 22:26   #57
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I admit that needing different code is a pain in the ass, but it's so easy to change, that an option should be included. It's just reading one bit the other way around.
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Old 02 March 2018, 23:25   #58
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During the high-time of the Amiga, until the late 90s, I had never seen a joystick with more than one button (no, I never owned a CD32) and all games played well on my Competition Pro.

In my opinion a good game doesn't need multiple buttons. It makes it more complicated and less fun to play. It's quite annoying when you first have to think about which button to press next. Stick in one hand, the thumb over the button - that's the way to play a game!

But perhaps I'm just too old, as I never learned (or liked) to play with pads, for example.
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Old 03 March 2018, 10:29   #59
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I remember playing Flashback with a (now defunct) megadrive pad. It was kind of fun. Still, i will always prefer the keyboard.

I think one problem that made 2-btn joysticks rare back in the day is that the Atari ST was unable to handle more than one button.
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Old 03 March 2018, 12:33   #60
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...as I never learned (or liked) to play with pads, for example.
I noticed this at Amiga32...
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