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Old 25 November 2015, 22:02   #61
Shatterhand
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The MSX standard is different... There are 2 "main" standards for DB9 connections, the "Sega/Atari standard" and the "Japanese Standard"

AFAIK they just have 1 wire swichted, for the 2nd button. So you don't have a button 2 using an MSX/X68000/PC-88/FM-Towns/whatever controller on an Amiga/Atari ST/Master System/SG-1000/Atari 7800/whatever , and the opposite is also true.

For the Mega-Drive to work just like a Master System pad, you just have to remove one or two wires from the DB9.. I have to check it again, but I think you just have to remove the "Select" and the "+5V" wires... it's easy to build an adapter. I just think this "WHDLoad works with Master System but not with Mega-Drive" pads a little.. nonsense. I don't know how the hardware would be able to tell the difference to the point that just the 2nd button doesn't work. But without doing a real test, I may be just saying bollocks

Fun Fact: The Atari 2600 had 2 button support since day one too, but the controllers were built with just one button for whatever reason. Some people have been patching games to use with Flash Carts supporting 2 buttons, and both Mega-Drive and Master System pads immediately work, no need for any modifications hardware-wise.

One game I know it was patched is Defender, so the smart bomb is now on the 2nd button, instead of forcing you to go to the bottom of the screen to use it.
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Old 25 November 2015, 22:59   #62
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This is the MegaDrive pinout:





The difference for the Master System pinout is that pin 5 on SMS is not used (some say there's a +5V line up there too, others say it doesn't, I think it doesn't). On the Atari, the +5V is on pinout 7. 7 is not used for SMS, but it's the "select" pin on Mega-Drive (Which makes possible for the hardware to know when it's either A or C and when it's either B or Start being pressed).

I am pretty sure you can directly solder a Male DB9 to a Female DB9 without soldering pins 5 and 7, and you have a Mega-Drive to Amiga/SMS adapter.

Pin 5 is used as a third button on Atari 2600 (It's one of the Paddle buttons), and I heard you can use it on Amiga too, it's the pin for the 3rd button mouse. I even heard Flashback supports it, but I've never really seen it. For years people said this +5V line is dangerous for Amiga, because the hardware is not ready to receive it, but no one ever reported any problems with it, and then I read people claiming it's ok because it's ready for the 3rd mouse button.

I have one Mega-Drive pad with some of the wires broken from the DB connector that I have to fix ... I'll see if I can do it this week, but not solder either pins 5 and 7, and see if it works like a Master System pad (I'll test it on my Master System - it has to work with Wonderboy in Monster Land), and then I'll test it on the A600 with WHDLoad to see if those games work with 2 button.

If they do, it's really easy to either mod the pads or just build an adapter.

EDIT: On the pinout image, Button 1 = B and Start, Button 2 = A and C.

Last edited by Shatterhand; 25 November 2015 at 23:17.
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Old 26 November 2015, 02:10   #63
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MegaDrive pads can work with their 6+select+mode buttons all supported. This has been discussed on many other threads but to sum it up what is needed is:
  • Use an adapter to swap pin 7 and 5, this allows the Amiga +5V (pin 7) to reach the controller (pin 5) and the Amiga third button line (pin 5) to reach the controller select line (pin 7).
  • Modify the Amiga joystick code to program button 3 as an output (the Amiga DB9 ports are very flexible).
  • Follow the standard MegaDrive controller protocol, driving its select line up and down as required and read the corresponding outputs on the regular directions+buttons-1-2 lines.

The protocols to follow for the 6 buttons pad is an extension of the 3 buttons protocol, just adding more steps to detect the controller type as well as fetching the extra buttons but it follows he same principle (cf http://www.db-elec.com/home/technica...mepad-protocol).

Unless all the above is done only two buttons will be accessible because the Amiga +5V line will go to the select input of the controller forcing it to output only directions + 2 buttons.
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Old 26 November 2015, 02:26   #64
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Yep, I am sure this would work, except there's no game supporting it

Now it's time for WHDLoad patches supporting 3 buttons?

THey've done something similar for MSX a while ago, and people made a few patched games for this, one of them was Vampire Killer/Akumajou Dracula.
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Old 26 November 2015, 02:51   #65
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But what we want is the WHDLoad games working with 2 buttons.

It's really annoying that games I used to play on floppies supported 2 buttons with my Mega Drive pad (Apidya for example), and then on WHDLoad it doesn't.

If we need to make the Mega-Drive pad works like a Master System one, then let's do it
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Old 26 November 2015, 03:31   #66
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Didn't Flashback support Megadrive 3 button joysticks if you built an adapter? I am sure the game came with a doc explaining the modification/adapter needed. It wold then use A,B, C and START buttons.
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Old 26 November 2015, 04:16   #67
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Yeah, that's the only game I've ever heard supporting this.
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Old 26 November 2015, 04:37   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
Yep, I am sure this would work, except there's no game supporting it

Now it's time for WHDLoad patches supporting 3 buttons?

THey've done something similar for MSX a while ago, and people made a few patched games for this, one of them was Vampire Killer/Akumajou Dracula.
Oh, I never used WHDLoad (although I definitely plan to buy the registered version as soon as I get a HD/CF) but I was under the impression that it offered support for remapping of all inputs of slave games. It is very possible that I made it up though, it has been at least a year since I last researched it a bit.

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Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
But what we want is the WHDLoad games working with 2 buttons.

It's really annoying that games I used to play on floppies supported 2 buttons with my Mega Drive pad (Apidya for example), and then on WHDLoad it doesn't.

If we need to make the Mega-Drive pad works like a Master System one, then let's do it
Well, if WHDLoad does not have support for more than three buttons protocols, it can definitely be added. Cannot people contribute freely to it? If a coder is needed I can give it a look.

I was under the impression (another one) that WHDLoad also supported the CD32 controller protocol but a cursory google search did not return much useful information in this regard so I guess it does not. I browsed the official documentation (http://whdload.de/docs/en/index.html) and found no trace of CD32 joypad support or input remapping (which I mentioned above) so I guess I must have dreamed of it one night.

Also I must say the WHDLoad official page is dreadfully unattractive and would benefit from some rework to simplify it and shorten it. The doc page I linked to is much nicer on the eyes and neurons however.

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Didn't Flashback support Megadrive 3 button joysticks if you built an adapter? I am sure the game came with a doc explaining the modification/adapter needed. It wold then use A,B, C and START buttons.
I am under the impression I read such a thing in the manual at the time indeed (I bought the game the day I found it in the stores) but I never got a chance to test it (did not have a MegaDrive).

This said, I would not use the standard MegaDrive pad because its dpad is just not that good and lacks precision and position feedback. The 3 or 6 buttons Arcade Sticks for MD/Genesis would probably be a much better choice.
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Old 26 November 2015, 04:42   #69
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I actually find the dpad on the 6 button joypad to be the 2nd best dpad I ever used in my life, with the best being on the japanese Sega Saturn controller.

Sega really knew how to make good dpads. Shame they screwed the Dreamcast one by going to the "nintendo cross alike" route.
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Old 26 November 2015, 04:53   #70
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I believe WHDLoad indeed adds support for CD32, and this is directly linked to me and Akira not being able to use Mega-Drive pads on certaing games that would support it natively.

If you want to add WHDLoad patches for modified Mega-Drive games, I can off the bat remember of a few games that could use it, though I have no idea of how easy it would be to do this kinda of stuff.

Desert Strike and Jungle Strike could use independent buttons for each weapon and Start to bring up the map.

Brutal Sports Football could use one button for kick, one for pass and one for using item.

Golden Axe could have separate buttons for attack, jump and magic.

Fire Force certainly could use all 6 buttons + start + mode for a lot of stuff. Fire Force is really hard to play with a joypad. I used to play it with a joystick with a fire button at the top, so I could keep one hand on stick and the other on keyboard, because you need to use the keyboard all the time.

The Lost Vikings also could use something like that (I remember I used to play it directly on keyboard because you need to use the keyboard a lot on this game).

And most fighting games could use it too
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Old 26 November 2015, 05:27   #71
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Ah, I really could not find any mention of CD32 pad compatibility in the doc, maybe it is there but then it is well hidden and not present in the features list.

Regarding input remapping, there is no way in kitten's hell I would be doing that for specific games. Adding generic support for the protocol yes, but slaves adaptations should be reduced to the strict minimum.

Support for more than three button controllers should come in the form of a generic input-remapping API so that slaves can simply declare which inputs they are capable of handling (say, directional + four digital inputs). Controller selection + game-specific remapping can then be done via the WHDLoad game selection menu.

No point in redoing the same work over and over for each slave and moreover the people who worked on the slaves are the most qualified to replace the input reading code by calls to the aforementioned API.

Let's make a deal: there are dozens and dozens of stale bug reports in the WHDLoad database, many of them useless because users did not respond to coders's follow up questions or provide enough information in the first place to reproduce the bugs.
If the community of WHDLoad users takes it into their hands to reproduce and document say 20 of the oldest ones so that they can finally be taken care of, then I will add input remapping support to WHDLoad. (Registered version only obviously).

Erratum: Huh, looks like I should have read the docs more in depth, WHDLoad already has input remapping support
so the only addition needed should be for additional controllers protocols.
My offer still stands, though much reduced in scope.

Erratum2: It looks like I am full of kangaroos tonight and can't read docs properly.
What I mistook for input remapping seems to instead be a simple rawkey to ascii keyboard translation feature.
So, *if* I am currently interpreting correctly the WHDLoad autodocs correctly, WHDLoad does currently *not* have input remapping.
And thus, I gladly offer to add it, in exchange for community contribution to the bug reports.

(And if I'm wrong, well, I'll figure what to do later when I'm less tired and prone to error. )

Last edited by ReadOnlyCat; 26 November 2015 at 05:53. Reason: Added erratum & erratum 2.
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Old 26 November 2015, 08:19   #72
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@readonlycat

Input remapping would be great, especially if keyboard keys could be assigned to keys on a gamepad/joystick.
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Old 26 November 2015, 12:13   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
If anybody knows what this adapter should be like I am interested, I am tired of having a Megadrive pad but never being able to use 2 buttons on games that support them.
Here's an adaptor I designed to protect the Amiga and C64 from possible damage due to the MD controller stressing internal components:


It locks the MD pad in 2 button mode, so only buttons B and C will work (as Amiga buttons 2 and 1 respectively). Buttons A and Start won't do anything. For Flashback etc., Pin 5 on the Amiga side would have to be connected to pin 7 on the Megadrive pad side, and pin 7 from the Amiga would be disconnected from pin 7 on the Megadrive side. This will let the Amiga choose which bank of buttons to check, though I don't know off hand if this will let the pad work for games that don't support Megadrive pads as switching the banks of buttons also messes with the D pad.

I would also add a 1K resistor to the pin 5 line at the Megadrive pad side to protect against the unusual scenario of using a 3-button Amiga mouse through this adaptor - this would cause a 5V short without the resistor, though why anyone would connect it like that is anyone's guess...

The C64 is far more likely to be damaged by a MD pad than the Amiga, so the diodes are possibly overkill if you're only ever using it on an Amiga.

As for games with multiple button support, F1GP supports 2 buttons on an analogue stick for gear changes - not sure about a digital stick though.

Last edited by Daedalus; 26 November 2015 at 12:28. Reason: Extra info...
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Old 26 November 2015, 13:02   #74
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Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
I actually find the dpad on the 6 button joypad to be the 2nd best dpad I ever used in my life, with the best being on the japanese Sega Saturn controller.

Sega really knew how to make good dpads. Shame they screwed the Dreamcast one by going to the "nintendo cross alike" route.
This is 100% true, Sir! robinsonb5 was working on a MD 6-button to CD32 pad adapter. Hopefully someday he'll complete it.

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=71033&page=2
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Old 26 November 2015, 14:56   #75
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@readonlycat

Input remapping would be great, especially if keyboard keys could be assigned to keys on a gamepad/joystick.
Remember that my offer is conditional. When these bug reports are taken care of I'll add it.

Give and take.

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It locks the MD pad in 2 button mode, so only buttons B and C will work (as Amiga buttons 2 and 1 respectively). Buttons A and Start won't do anything. For Flashback etc., Pin 5 on the Amiga side would have to be connected to pin 7 on the Megadrive pad side, and pin 7 from the Amiga would be disconnected from pin 7 on the Megadrive side. This will let the Amiga choose which bank of buttons to check, though I don't know off hand if this will let the pad work for games that don't support Megadrive pads as switching the banks of buttons also messes with the D pad.
As I explained, in order to obtain the more-than-2 buttons information a special protocol must be followed. Without this protocol, only two buttons will work.
Non-MegaDrive/Genesis-controller-aware games will not configure the Amiga button 3 line as an output so they will never see the additional buttons and will thus work normally in two button mode.

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I would also add a 1K resistor to the pin 5 line at the Megadrive pad side to protect against the unusual scenario of using a 3-button Amiga mouse through this adaptor - this would cause a 5V short without the resistor, though why anyone would connect it like that is anyone's guess...

The C64 is far more likely to be damaged by a MD pad than the Amiga, so the diodes are possibly overkill if you're only ever using it on an Amiga.
I would say the diodes are indeed overkill, unless you go the full input/output via optoelectronic diodes there will always be a way to plug something that will eventually harm the Amiga. Adapters should clearly be labeled "MegaDrive controller only or Amiga will be damaged".

If users ignore warning labels they'll eventually plug something bad in anyway.

A short-protection on pin 7 (+5V Amiga side) can indeed be a good idea if the Amiga does not have one by default.
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Old 26 November 2015, 17:16   #76
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As I explained, in order to obtain the more-than-2 buttons information a special protocol must be followed. Without this protocol, only two buttons will work.
Indeed, which is where pin 5 comes into play. It's used for the CD32 and MD-supporting games, though the protocol is of course very different.

Quote:
Non-MegaDrive/Genesis-controller-aware games will not configure the Amiga button 3 line as an output so they will never see the additional buttons and will thus work normally in two button mode.
Yep, but that still depends on pin 5 being held high for non-MD-supporting games, i.e. normal operation. I'd need to check the schematics, but if it defaults low, the MD controller will be stuck in 2nd bank mode and left/right on the D pad won't work. A small switch on the adaptor would be a work-around for that case, connecting MD pin 7 to Amiga pin 5 for MD-supporting games with all buttons working, and MD pin 7 to Amiga pin 7 for non-MD-supporting games with just 2 buttons working.

Quote:
I would say the diodes are indeed overkill, unless you go the full input/output via optoelectronic diodes there will always be a way to plug something that will eventually harm the Amiga. Adapters should clearly be labeled "MegaDrive controller only or Amiga will be damaged".
Yep, they're there for C64 protection really as they avoid contention on one of the CIAs that can damage it. It would be really rare to create the same condition on the Amiga so they're not really necessary there.

Quote:
If users ignore warning labels they'll eventually plug something bad in anyway.
Very true "Make it idiot-proof and someone will always make a better idiot."

Quote:
A short-protection on pin 7 (+5V Amiga side) can indeed be a good idea if the Amiga does not have one by default.
From memory, some older Amigas have resistors and fuses on their ports, but the SMT ones (4000, 1200, 600, CD32) don't. Could be wrong there though...
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Old 26 November 2015, 20:10   #77
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Just checked Flashback manual.

It says nothing about supporting 3 buttons. It says it supports an "unmodified mega-drive pad", and that B and C will work.

I also saw a lot of options I never knew the game had, like turning on cinematics when playing from floppy, zooming the screen, auto-zoom, double-click one button joystick configuration...

... being a pirate has its downsides
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Old 27 November 2015, 05:20   #78
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This is 100% true, Sir! robinsonb5 was working on a MD 6-button to CD32 pad adapter. Hopefully someday he'll complete it.
I have an alpha version, it really works great and I do hope robinsonb5 finishes it at some point. I'm not sure whta else needs to be ironed out but there were SOME games that were giving trouble with the adapter. Other than that it really works amazing and I am with Shatterhand on this one, 6 button Sega pads are probably my #1 pad ever. I had my first one in 1993 and it still has not broken once and it's as responsive as ever after being used A LOT (it was my main Amiga controller for decades and now it's my main Megadrive controller). I love that thing.
Second generation and newer 6 button pads are not as good as the very first ones You can recognize them by their slightly different shape.

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Just checked Flashback manual.
It says nothing about supporting 3 buttons. It says it supports an "unmodified mega-drive pad", and that B and C will work.
It came in a text file in the Flashback disks, not in the manual. I never had an original so there's no way I could have read this in the manual
I don't have my disks with me otherwise I would check.
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Old 27 November 2015, 07:33   #79
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Yep, but that still depends on pin 5 being held high for non-MD-supporting games, i.e. normal operation. I'd need to check the schematics, but if it defaults low, the MD controller will be stuck in 2nd bank mode and left/right on the D pad won't work.
I think button 3 is configured as an input and thus held high by default since it is intended to be the third mouse button but I may very well be wrong. I think I have read Toni mention what the default state was recently in another thread but I just cannot find it.

Quote:
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From memory, some older Amigas have resistors and fuses on their ports, but the SMT ones (4000, 1200, 600, CD32) don't. Could be wrong there though...
I am under the same impression. My A500's schematics clearly mention a protection resistor while the online manual for the A600 only shows a tiny EMI thingy which I doubt is a resistor.

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I have an alpha version, it really works great and I do hope robinsonb5 finishes it at some point. I'm not sure whta else needs to be ironed out but there were SOME games that were giving trouble with the adapter.
Is there a web site with the schematics? I am under the impression that a simple gate array should be enough to generate the needed signal conversions since the CD32 protocol is super simple.

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It came in a text file in the Flashback disks, not in the manual. I never had an original so there's no way I could have read this in the manual
I don't have my disks with me otherwise I would check.
I kind-of recall reading about it in the original manual but the memory is fuzzy and might very well be fabricated. Alas I cannot check since my original is exactly one atlantic ocean away from home and all my recent attempts at teleporting more than two micrometers away from my current position have failed miserably so far.
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Old 27 November 2015, 09:05   #80
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I have an alpha version, it really works great and I do hope robinsonb5 finishes it at some point
Ah, thanks for the info. So there is still hope.
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