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Old 27 June 2016, 21:50   #1
CHRIS-F
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PC Joypad mod/hack for Amiga

Hi Guys,

I recently found an old pc gamepad in the loft and an old Atari compatible joystick wire, so I decided to make a gamepad for the Amiga, I have seen devices that let you use psx pads but I already had the bits and wanted a little challenge, so I thought I would share my experience in the hopes that I might inspire others to have a go. I'm no electronics expert, but the finished pad works well.

From what I could work out the Amiga joystick port just grounds each wire for up/down/left/right/fire, so first thing I needed to do was remove all the unnecessary components (Ic, diodes, caps, resistors etc) next step was to find the ground wire on the joystick wire (just searched for Atari compatible pinout), next because of removing the components some continuity was lost between the common ground on all the button/direction pads, so a few wire jumpers were needed, then I decided to map buttons A+B to up on the D-pad because some games are awkward when walking/running to press up so I added a jumper wire to connect up to A+B buttons I did the same for the fire buttons and the shoulder buttons, then I just carefully removed the old collet from the pc joy pad cable and slid the thinner diameter cable through it, tying a not in the cable so it wouldn't pull out, I also decided to leave the old wiring plug in place and just solder and heat shrink the new wires to the old. and lastly I checked for continuity before plugging into the Amiga.

A couple of things I could have done but didn't was,

1. I left out the auto fire option. (not really needed games like project x have an auto fire option anyway if you hold fire).

2. I left out the option to have a 3rd button, some games require a mouse click to start etc, I could have found an old mouse cable which has extra wires in but didn't have one to hand so just left it out.

I hope I can inspire others to make their own :-)
Regards,
Chris.
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Last edited by CHRIS-F; 27 June 2016 at 21:55.
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Old 28 June 2016, 03:44   #2
idrougge
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Interesting. I have an identical joypad stowed away for a planned Amiga conversion; I might do a CD32 conversion for fun, though.
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Old 28 June 2016, 10:45   #3
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Good work! As an option, you could have used one of the buttons for the second fire button. A number of games can use a second fire, though it would have required an extra wire that your Atari-style cable probably didn't contain...
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Old 05 July 2016, 13:13   #4
CHRIS-F
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Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Good work! As an option, you could have used one of the buttons for the second fire button. A number of games can use a second fire, though it would have required an extra wire that your Atari-style cable probably didn't contain...
Little update, my pad is working fine and it feels natural playing games on the Amiga, the 2 buttons mapped to up on the d-pad were a good addition works really well, also the pad works fine on the spectrum too, plugs straight into the Div MMC EnJOY kempston port, but I've run into 2 little problems.

1. my two little boys were playing Pang 2 player (they love the specy and Amiga) and I had to keep swapping the mouse/joystick because to start you need a mouse click, as mentioned above I should have sourced a mouse cable with the extra wire and that would have sorted that problem out. am I right in thinking there was a y cable to have mouse and joystic connected at the same time years ago? I seem to remember having one on the Atari ST

2. because the pad is such a cheap variety when walking running, your thumb accidentally presses up sometimes (slightly annoying) I can't really see anyway to stop it apart from using a better quality pad in the first place. Maybe ill have a go at hacking a psx pad or an xbox 360 pad next :-)

If anyone has a broken Amiga mouse with a good cable, I don't mind paying a couple of quid for it for the wire to make another joypad :-)

Last edited by CHRIS-F; 05 July 2016 at 13:18.
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Old 05 July 2016, 13:28   #5
CHRIS-F
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
Interesting. I have an identical joypad stowed away for a planned Amiga conversion; I might do a CD32 conversion for fun, though.
Would be nice to see it finished :-) maybe I should start a new thread "show us your hacked joypad" Lol. I'm sure were not the first and last to build one.
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Old 05 July 2016, 16:53   #6
idrougge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRIS-F View Post
1. my two little boys were playing Pang 2 player (they love the specy and Amiga) and I had to keep swapping the mouse/joystick because to start you need a mouse click, as mentioned above I should have sourced a mouse cable with the extra wire and that would have sorted that problem out. am I right in thinking there was a y cable to have mouse and joystic connected at the same time years ago? I seem to remember having one on the Atari ST
The joystick button is the same as the left mouse button. Does it really require the right mouse button?

There were auto switch boxes (I use them) and manual ones as well. A plain Y cable wouldn't work since the mouse would send spurious outputs to the joystick port.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRIS-F
2. because the pad is such a cheap variety when walking running, your thumb accidentally presses up sometimes (slightly annoying) I can't really see anyway to stop it apart from using a better quality pad in the first place. Maybe ill have a go at hacking a psx pad or an xbox 360 pad next :-)
I don't find my Amiga equivalent ( http://www.ntrautanen.fi/computers/o...ion_pad_am.jpg ) cheap. Perhaps it's not accurate, but at least it's distinct. Certainly feels better to my thumb than a PSX pad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRIS-F
If anyone has a broken Amiga mouse with a good cable, I don't mind paying a couple of quid for it for the wire to make another joypad :-)
Order a cheap Megadrive joypad extension cable from Ebay or Aliexpress and reuse the cable.
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Old 05 July 2016, 19:39   #7
CHRIS-F
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The joystick button is the same as the left mouse button. Does it really require the right mouse button?
Unfortunately yes :-( some games Pang in particular (well the cracktro anyway) requires a right mouse button to start and the mouse to select lives, time etc, it's just a pain to have to swap the mouse/joystick when playing 2 player games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
There were auto switch boxes (I use them) and manual ones as well. A plain Y cable wouldn't work since the mouse would send spurious outputs to the joystick port.
Are you sure the Y splitter wont work? I do remember using one on my Atari or Amiga back in the day, the mouse is connected to the Joy1 port anyway, I've seen a few for sale was thinking of trying one.

Sorry didn't mean to call your controller cheap, I actually like them a lot it's just annoying hitting up when walking/running to the left/right in games maybe my thumbs are too big lol, I just seem to remember only paying about £5 for it in one of the legendary computer fairs back in the day.

Regards,
Chris.
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Old 06 July 2016, 02:27   #8
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Originally Posted by CHRIS-F View Post
Unfortunately yes :-( some games Pang in particular (well the cracktro anyway) requires a right mouse button to start and the mouse to select lives, time etc, it's just a pain to have to swap the mouse/joystick when playing 2 player games.
Sounds like a case for getting that 9-pin cable and enabling the second button in your pad.

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Are you sure the Y splitter wont work?
I'm not sure, but it's the conclusion I and a friend came to when discussing its feasibility.
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Old 06 July 2016, 03:11   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
Sounds like a case for getting that 9-pin cable and enabling the second button in your pad.
Yes, a thousand times.
And ideally, the third button as well given that the Amiga supports it.

When new and WHDLoad games start supporting three buttons (soon) you will appreciate to have that possibility.
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Old 06 July 2016, 11:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
I'm not sure, but it's the conclusion I and a friend came to when discussing its feasibility.
Yep, I would say it won't work too. The mouse gives its movement signals on the up, down, left and right lines, and these will act the same way as the joystick inputs when connected in parallel with a simple Y cable. This is why switchboxes exist. Try running a game with the mouse plugged into the joystick port and see what sort of problems you would have.

A 2-button controller mod using a new 9-pin cable would be my preferred option, but a switchbox will do the job too.
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Old 09 July 2016, 18:52   #11
CHRIS-F
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Yep, I would say it won't work too. The mouse gives its movement signals on the up, down, left and right lines, and these will act the same way as the joystick inputs when connected in parallel with a simple Y cable. This is why switchboxes exist. Try running a game with the mouse plugged into the joystick port and see what sort of problems you would have.

A 2-button controller mod using a new 9-pin cable would be my preferred option, but a switchbox will do the job too.
I think I will make another pad (if I can find a similar one) that would sort the problem of the mouse click and I could have 3 button support, but I still won't be able to move the mouse up and down on the craktro screens to select lives/time/immunity etc.

I was wondering does the +5V pin on the Joy port output enough current to drive a pic micro? just in case I decide to go mad and make a selectable rapid fire mod with different modes. And have I got this pinout below correct.
Amiga 3 button pad pinout looking into joystic cable
________________
\ o5 o4 o3 o2 o1 /
\ o9 o8 o7 o6 /
-----------------

1 - up
2 - Down
3 - Left
4 - Right
5 - Button 3
6 - Fire (button1)
7 - +5v (No used unless using a pic chip for rapid fire mod etc)
8 - Gnd
9 - Button 2 (right mouse button)

Regards,
Chris.

Last edited by CHRIS-F; 09 July 2016 at 18:58.
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Old 09 July 2016, 19:36   #12
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I was wondering does the +5V pin on the Joy port output enough current to drive a pic micro?
Yes, easily - in fact that's what's inside pretty much all the PS/2/USB mouse adapters.
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Old 10 July 2016, 07:12   #13
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Any mouse is also using power from the joy port, as is the CD32 controller, or any rapid fire joystick.
They all have chips inside, but you only get 100mA for the Amiga’s joy ports IIRC.
CMOS version of the 555 is probably a better choice if it’s just for rapid fire.
That’s usually how rapid fire joysticks worked.
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Old 05 February 2018, 10:40   #14
breech
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Hah, i've just recently done the same thing as OP, but used a serial cable into a logitech wingman pad because it contained all of the cables. I'ts a little thicker than usual, but that meant it doesn't need a collet, and the case clamped it tightly.

The d-pad is terrible so I might swap it to a spare (non analogue) PS1 controller that I've got.
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