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Old 10 February 2020, 11:17   #1
psoma
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Converting a numeric keypad into a joystick

Hi all,


I grew up gaming on the PC, so I really struggle using the joystick on driving games like Test Drive 2 ... basically anything where up is accelerate and you need to also steer. I'm an arrow keys kinda guy.


So, I was thinking of buying one of those numeric keypad only keyboards, opening it up and splicing in a joystick connector, replacing the typical 4 directions and 2 fire buttons of a joystick with, well, keys.


I was looking at this: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/USB-Wire...8AAOSwK0ldBWAl
and was going to wire in 2, 0, 000 and Del to the be up, left, down, right and then map the two fire buttons to Num Lock and 7.


So... will it work?


Cheers,


Tom
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Old 10 February 2020, 11:21   #2
Jope
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Not very easy if it is a membrane based numpad. If it is an individually switched one, you can just cut all the connections and rewire it.
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Old 10 February 2020, 12:16   #3
psoma
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Hmmmm. I figured the membrane connections were still just logical switches that ended up somewhere that I could tap in and extract a discrete short... No?

Cheers,

Tom
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Old 10 February 2020, 12:22   #4
Hewitson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psoma View Post
I was looking at this: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/USB-Wire...8AAOSwK0ldBWAl
and was going to wire in 2, 0, 000 and Del to the be up, left, down, right and then map the two fire buttons to Num Lock and 7.
Why would you not map them to the actual arrows (ie 2, 4, 6, 8)? Seems like a very strange decision.
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Old 10 February 2020, 12:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psoma View Post
Hmmmm. I figured the membrane connections were still just logical switches that ended up somewhere that I could tap in and extract a discrete short... No?
The membrane will be wired in a matrix. Not so easy if you are trying to emulate an atari joystick with only a connector and a cable.

You could of course cut the traces in the membrane and then try to somehow splice in your wires, but that's usually not very easy.

An atari joystick is not laid out in a matrix form like a keyboard. Each switch grounds an individual signal in a joystick.
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Old 10 February 2020, 13:19   #6
psoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewitson View Post
Why would you not map them to the actual arrows (ie 2, 4, 6, 8)? Seems like a very strange decision.
Fair question - I always played with the arrow keys, not the numeric keypad. I find the wider spacing of up and down a little awkward.
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Old 10 February 2020, 13:21   #7
psoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
The membrane will be wired in a matrix. Not so easy if you are trying to emulate an atari joystick with only a connector and a cable.

You could of course cut the traces in the membrane and then try to somehow splice in your wires, but that's usually not very easy.

An atari joystick is not laid out in a matrix form like a keyboard. Each switch grounds an individual signal in a joystick.
Ah right, this is was what I needed confirmation on. There are a few (slightly more expensive) options that include mechanical keys... I’ll opt for them.

Cheers Jope!

Tom
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Old 10 February 2020, 17:11   #8
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Another solution is to buy TOM adapter and connect USB keyboard as a joystick. I've actually done it on a couple of my micros and it has worked great.
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Old 10 February 2020, 21:58   #9
psoma
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Hmmm, interesting. How do you map which key does what with TOM?

Cheers,

Tom
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