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Old 05 September 2018, 12:23   #1
MickGyver
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KTRL CD32 Wireless (WIP)

I started working on a wireless version of my KTRL CD32 controller a few weeks ago. I had been looking into creating a wireless CD32 controller earlier but decided to design a wired one first.

So far, development has gone great and it has been a very interesting project. This is what I'm aiming for:

CONTROLLER


(The finished board has less wires, the nRF24L01 is soldered directly to the main board etc.)
  • Same SNES style controller case as the wired KTRL CD32.
  • LOW to no input lag (very important, currently about 700µs, but this can change somewhat, I haven't properly tested the range yet).
  • 500mAh Li-Po battery (or bigger capacity if it fits).
  • Micro-USB for charging (using a TP4056 charge controller module)
  • Power switch
  • Uses a nRF24L01+ module (2.4Ghz).
  • ISP header for uploading firmware.
  • Status LED (for indicating power-on, low battery, channel change etc.)
  • Channel can be chosen at power-on by holding START or SELECT and another button when powering on (20 channels total).
  • Power save mode if not used for X minutes to save battery. This should also cut the power to the nRF24L01+ module. Pressing START will wake up the controller.
  • One controller can be used with several receivers (by having the receivers set to different channels), I have already designed a receiver for the Commodore 64 (and Atari joystick port compatibles) and MSX (these are untested, I have the PCBs though).

The PCB design is "ready" but I have to wait a while before sending it to be fabricated, it might still need some change. Most of the functionality is there, I still need to implement the power save feature and radio channel select.


RECEIVER


  • Plugs directly into the controller port of the CD32 (or other Amiga).
  • Uses a nRF24L01+ module (2.4Ghz).
  • Same functionality as the wired KTRL CD32 (this one allows remapping the entire DPAD).
  • Button to choose between 20 different radio channels.
  • Status LED (like the one on the wired KTRL CD32, gives feedback when programming).

The PCB design / software of the receiver is mostly finished. However, radio channel select is not yet implemented.



I aiming for selling PCBs (+preprogrammed Atmegas and components) so anybody with the necessary soldering skills can make these. I will make instructions for building these (including where to get parts) like I just did for the wired version here: http://www.daemonbite.com/ktrl/ktrl-cd32.html

Here is a dodgy video of the controller in action:
[ Show youtube player ]

My work with this continues, please let me know if you have ideas or questions!
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Old 05 September 2018, 12:51   #2
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Any idea what the cost is going to be on these?
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Old 05 September 2018, 13:29   #3
MickGyver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Acid- View Post
Any idea what the cost is going to be on these?
The cheapest option would be to get the PCBs (controller+receiver boards) from me (at a reasonable but undecided cost) and the other parts from elsewhere (eBay, Mouser, Digikey). I will "finance" the development by selling boards.

Cost, if you source the parts yourself: (I will create proper instructions for this)
Code:
Gamepad case:      ~4€
Li-Po battery:     ~5€
nRF24L01+ (x2):    ~3€
Atmega328p (x2):   ~4€
Other components: <10€
----------------------
Total:            ~25€ (+ the cost of the PCBs)
To make things easier, you can also get preprogrammed Atmega processors and other components excluding the gamepad case, Li-Po battery and nRF24L01+ modules from me, this will make the price somewhat higher.

I would love to be able to offer assembled controllers but I can't do everything manually like I did with the wired version, would need to find a better way. Others will be allowed to sell assembled controllers as long as they get the PCBs from me (since this is the way I'm financing the project).
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Old 05 September 2018, 15:17   #4
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Brilliant work. The Amiga scene really is alive at the moment.
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Old 05 September 2018, 18:41   #5
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Really Fantastic !

You are great Mick !
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Old 05 September 2018, 19:21   #6
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Such Fantastic piece of Hardware , the CD32 deserve this ! I will order for sure ! I was thinking (seeing picture that it would be fat) but no way, on video it's cool and nice CD32 is ALIVE thanks.
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Old 05 September 2018, 21:13   #7
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Would it be easily possible to mod the wired ones into these? And maybe you can offer "upgrade" kits?
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Old 05 September 2018, 21:14   #8
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Woot!
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Old 05 September 2018, 22:43   #9
MickGyver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thairacerjp View Post
Such Fantastic piece of Hardware , the CD32 deserve this ! I will order for sure ! I was thinking (seeing picture that it would be fat) but no way, on video it's cool and nice CD32 is ALIVE thanks.
Cheers! I also love the CD32, the one I bought in 1994 is alive and well The case of the controller is almost exactly like the original SNES controller, the design is my favorite, and the layout plus button colors is very suitable to mod for the CD32.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spudje View Post
Would it be easily possible to mod the wired ones into these? And maybe you can offer "upgrade" kits?
Hmm, not that easy I'm afraid. The case, LED + wires and shoulder button PCBs can be used from the wired one, otherwise this is an entirely different design. I would of course offer upgrade kits if it was possible.

Last edited by MickGyver; 06 September 2018 at 00:26.
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Old 06 September 2018, 01:06   #10
thgill
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I certainly want one of these!
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Old 06 September 2018, 10:35   #11
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Great news! I'm certainly in for a unit once they're available.
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Old 06 September 2018, 10:39   #12
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Winning !!, great stuff buddy,when will all this greatness end ? lol
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Old 07 September 2018, 09:29   #13
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Awesome! Will buy.
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Old 07 September 2018, 10:17   #14
spudje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickGyver View Post
Hmm, not that easy I'm afraid. The case, LED + wires and shoulder button PCBs can be used from the wired one, otherwise this is an entirely different design. I would of course offer upgrade kits if it was possible.
Mmm, too bad. Still considering though, makes sense for a living room Amiga CD32. But I guess they'll only come as kits as well, not pre-assembled. Could you give the dimensions of the receiver? The CD32 is sort of squeezed in in my TV cabinet.
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Old 07 September 2018, 10:57   #15
MickGyver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudje View Post
Mmm, too bad. Still considering though, makes sense for a living room Amiga CD32. But I guess they'll only come as kits as well, not pre-assembled. Could you give the dimensions of the receiver? The CD32 is sort of squeezed in in my TV cabinet.
The wireless one is still in early development so you should hold on to that wired one. I'm not sure yet if I will be able to make the wireless one reliable enough at wanted distance, plus, a wired one will never have a low battery. I will not probably offer any assembled ones in case this controller sees the light of day. The receiver will stick out about 6 centimetres, you could of course use an extension cable to place the receiver somewhere else.

After some more testing (playing some games), the communication is currently not very reliable at couch distance. I think I have counterfeit nRF24L01+ chips in my radio modules, this seems to be very common. I have now ordered modules from various places to see where I can get genuine chips and if reliability increases. I have been testing at 1Mb/s communication speed until now, that gives a latency of 600-700µs. I might need to go down to 250Kb/s to get a better range, this means that latency would be in the ballpark of 2ms, that is still low enough I guess, considering one frame at 50fps is 20ms.
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Old 22 October 2018, 14:40   #16
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Project status

The scope of this project got out of hand but I should now have development under control. I decided to design receivers for other systems too. This is the current feature list:

General features
  • Highly configurable
  • Receivers for Amiga CD32 (and other Amigas), C64 (and systems with Atari compatible port), MSX and USB (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Raspberry PI, MISTer)
  • One controller can be used on multiple systems by changing radio channel of the controller (20 different channels)
  • Very low latency (~1ms when connection is good)
  • Reliable range is several meters.

Controller
  • SNES gamepad style
  • MicroUSB for charging
  • Gold plated dpad/button pads for responsive control
  • Sleep mode to save battery if power left on and no activity for 15 minutes
  • 500mAh Li-po battery
  • Status LED (for power on, resume from sleep, setting channel, low battery)
  • Firmware can be updated using ICSP (In Circuit Serial Programmer)

Receivers (for all receivers below)
  • Configurable using controller: full button/dpad mapping, turbo-fire for most buttons (speed adjustable)
  • Store up to four presets
  • Channel select button
  • Status LED (helps with configuring)
  • Firmware can be updated using ICSP

Amiga CD32 Receiver (also for other Amigas)
  • Fully compatible with the original CD32 gamepad (works as two button gamepad for non-CD32 games)
  • Works on most Amigas (I write most, because there can be problems with some revisions, like the original CD32 gamepad)

C64 Receiver
  • Compatible with Commodore C64, C64GS, C128, VIC-20, Amiga, Atari 2600 (VCS), Atari 800, Atari ST, maybe also others
  • Compatible with Commodore C16, C116, CPlus4, MSX and Sharp X68000 using adapters
  • Does not disable any keys on the C64 keyboard like the original CD32 gamepad and my KTRL CD32 receiver do.
  • Normal two button support where available.
  • Special C64/C128 two button support: second button can be wired to controller port 1 and will let you use a second button for several games that use SPACE key as a secondary action.
  • Third and fourth face buttons are set up for Up/Down by default so you can for example jump with a button instead of using up on the DPAD (you can also disable up/down on the DPAD by configuring the controller)

MSX Receiver
  • Compatible with MSX and Sharp X68000
  • Two button support
  • Like on the C64 receiver, third and fourth face buttons are set up for Up/Down by default

USB Receiver
  • Compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Raspberry PI, MISTer etc.
  • USB HID meaning no drivers necessary
  • Can be used as gamepad, keyboard or mouse (quick toggle between modes)
  • Keyboard mode: DPAD is mapped to arrow keys, other key mappings is yet undecided
  • Mouse mode:
    Left/Middle/Right mouse buttons
    Various pointer speeds using left and right triggers
    Scroll by holding the third face button (various speeds using left and right triggers)
  • Firmware can also be updated using USB

Last edited by MickGyver; 24 October 2018 at 11:10. Reason: Clarifications
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Old 22 October 2018, 17:23   #17
indigolemon
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That's epic man, certainly seems to have grown arms and legs
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Old 22 October 2018, 17:48   #18
Retro-Nerd
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Excellent. Sounds very good.
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Old 22 October 2018, 19:14   #19
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Very interesting! Been having terrible problem with CD32 controller (I bought the PS-controller adapter, but it doesn't work properly on all games), as I will never pay something like over 100€ for a controller for old machines xD

Maybe I one day make one of these...
 
Old 22 October 2018, 21:26   #20
thairacerjp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSuomi View Post
Very interesting! Been having terrible problem with CD32 controller (I bought the PS-controller adapter, but it doesn't work properly on all games), as I will never pay something like over 100€ for a controller for old machines xD

Maybe I one day make one of these...
i have same problem with psx gamepad with adapter ! and it not the bestgamepad for harcore games, hurting my hand .

Superb news MyckGyver. ! i will purchase for sure !
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