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Old 05 February 2020, 18:30   #1
leeuwtje
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amiga and a paddle controller...

I realise this is an old question asked multiple times in older posts at this forum. Still I have difficulty to accept the impossibility.

Amiga Arkanoid with a paddle controller???

Reading those older posts, many people answering these kind of questions, always explain that atari / c64 analogue like controllers, needed a specific code in the games to refer to and support them, which seems logical enough.
It is not that the amiga hardware doesn't support it, it is the game that doesn't support the input. One guy made a funny joke to rewrite the whdload arkanoid slave code for it. That would be a lot of work for only one game.

Why didn't anybody think of a hardware like solution, I wonder.
Not that I have those skills, but would it be possible to modify an atari paddle controller, or a arcade controller to let it send signals like an amiga mouse left/right would do ? (acting like a mouse on the db9 port)
Sure these are completely different devices I understand that, but these days many adapter like mini boards for many different purposes are coming out from everywhere and handle things I wouldn't even think of. If it would be possible it would mean instant support for all similar games on amiga.

Probably I am dreaming away, but to play the amiga arkanoid port, (which was very much like the arcade version) with a real arcade like controller would be great.
Maybe a noob 2th question, did any other platform in the day, support their arkanoid port with a spinner or paddle controller, except for atari?


Thanks anybody.


Last edited by leeuwtje; 05 February 2020 at 21:27.
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Old 06 February 2020, 06:44   #2
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The arcade arkanoid controller is actually similar to a proportional mouse with an opto coupler and a shutter wheel. Should be possible to hook this up to an Amiga directly.

http://arcarc.xmission.com/Arcade%20...%20coupler.jpg
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Old 06 February 2020, 09:25   #3
leeuwtje
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That would be great. I suppose I could order an arcade spinner in one of those arcade shops. Do you mean these kind of spinners?: https://www.arcadeworlduk.com/produc...e-Spinner.html

How to connect that to a DB9 amiga mouse port? All these devices are prepared for usb connections....
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Old 06 February 2020, 11:02   #4
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In that case you would leave the USB adapter board out I guess. The pinout is there under the opti-pac board subheading. Yellow and green are the quadrature pulses.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to get a used arkanoid spinner from an arcade forum instead? There are plenty floating about.
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Old 06 February 2020, 14:56   #5
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Any suggestions? Where to find arcade forums supplying those on the net? How to pin an arcade spinner via DB9 to the amiga mouse port? At least a pinout schedule is needed for this. (one that is tested)
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Old 06 February 2020, 18:02   #6
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Well that post was written before I took a proper look at the spinner you showed.

It clearly outputs quadrature pulses, which most likely are already TTL level like the Amiga would expect. You have the pinout for the spinner on the page, the Amiga mouse pinout is very easy to find also.

But you're breaking new ground here, I'm certain no-one has tried this. A fun project, not too expensive. Potentially quite easy.
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Old 06 February 2020, 21:42   #7
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Look on eBay for a photoelectric rotary encoder. It needs +5v and 0v, and outputs quadrature signals. All direct connections on the mouse port.

Edit: I've been playing with these recently, though not for the Amiga
https://github.com/ChadsArcade/Mame-Spinner

Last edited by ChadsArcade; 07 February 2020 at 07:00.
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Old 07 February 2020, 12:05   #8
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Very interesting guys, this looks promising. Jope, do you think ChadsArcade's github alternative would work? I like the design. ChadsArcade, would it be possible to buy the whole set like is shown here:
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Ch...ner1-small.jpg

Unfortunately I didn't see the same 'outputs quadrature pulses' like on the other spinner yet. Would a rotary encoder meant for Dos / Linux (with supported drivers for those os'es) work on an amiga mouse port?
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Old 07 February 2020, 13:12   #9
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The Amiga mouse port expects a proportional device that outputs raw quadrature pulses. :-)

You probably don't want such a precise encoder as in Chad's link. The Amiga tank mouse's resolution is appalling and most Amiga software + games go a bit wonky even with a high resolution Amiga mouse. The model on that site is 600ppr, but I'd maybe try 200 at first when hooking up directly. Seems there is a wide variety of spinners available with that model number series.

And again, just get the spinner, you don't need any micro controller boards. If the spinner has some kind of ps2 or serial or usb adapter, then you would need another adapter to adapt it to an Amiga mouse. But why chain any adapters here..
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Old 07 February 2020, 13:25   #10
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Jope is spot on, I'm using an Arduino just to give me USB connectivity for DOS. However, as alluded to above, the resolution of my particular device is very high and I scale this down in software on the Arduino so it gives 75PPR. You could probably get an Arduino to output modified quadrature signals simulating a lower PPR count suitable for connection to the Amiga, but easier still would be to buy a lower resolution device (they are available) which could in theory connect directly to the mouse port.
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Old 07 February 2020, 16:47   #11
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Thank you both, for all these quick usable advices. Still I am confused. After surfing the net for some time, I only find new spinners in arcade shops. They start with amounts like over 60 euro, and need some over expensive knobs and stuff to complete them, without guarantee it works. Arcade forums give not much result, same for ebay. Is there any example you can give with a url link? A private message is fine too.
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Old 07 February 2020, 20:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
Perhaps it might be a good idea to get a used arkanoid spinner from an arcade forum instead? There are plenty floating about.
Thank you both, for all these quick usable advices. Still I am confused. After surfing the net for some time, I only find new spinners in arcade shops. They start with amounts like over 60 euro, and need some over expensive knobs and stuff to complete them, without guarantee it works. Arcade forums give not much result, same for ebay. Is there any example you can give with a url link? A private message is fine too.
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Old 08 February 2020, 10:20   #13
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If you're in the used market, you just sit on forums until the item comes along.

It seems an arkanoid spinner is not as cheap as they used to be, I've been a bit out of the arcade scene for some 7 years.. Prices are still creeping up over there.
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Old 08 February 2020, 13:26   #14
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Arkanoid spinners use gears and give a high PPR count. Tempest spinners are 72PPR but are very expensive, if you can find one.

I'll have a play this week with the encoder I mentioned above and see how well it interfaces directly with the Amiga. As you mentioned, it may well need a lower PPR count version to be usable.

I went for the high PPR version for my arcade project as it's easier to reduce the count in software than it is to increase it, though you can x4 the PPR by acting on the rising and falling edges of both the A and B signals.
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Old 08 February 2020, 13:32   #15
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Ah thinking about it, you are right.. The Arkanoid spinner's gear ratio increases the shutter wheel's rotation by quite a bit when it is being spun. :-)
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Old 11 February 2020, 15:31   #16
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Some people really go far, to achieve their goals.....
https://www.instructables.com/id/Mak...Old-Ball-Mice/

I like this idea, but it would mean offering a real amiga mouse for it.
Maybe it would be possible, with a great expectation it works. It skips all problems with resolution and driver compatibility it seems.
If it would be possible to buy elements needed for this transformation project would be for sale as a complete set, and no need for engineering them myself I would do it. Anybody having ideas about it?
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Old 11 February 2020, 18:21   #17
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I’d love to have on of those to play Arkanoid the right way.
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Old 11 February 2020, 21:52   #18
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If I get time this week, I'll try hooking up a rotary encoder to the mouse port and see if it works.
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Old 12 February 2020, 14:55   #19
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If you have one, very good. Thanks ChadsArcade. If it works, we now where to start from.
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Old 14 February 2020, 11:33   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeuwtje View Post
If you have one, very good. Thanks ChadsArcade. If it works, we now where to start from.

So, after failing to find a 9-way D connector I remembered I had a broken joystick. I've just taken that apart and connected up the rotary encoder directly to the cable as follows:

Code:
Pin   Name       Encoder connection
1    V-Pulse    
2    H-Pulse      A (white wire)
3    VQ-Pulse   
4    HQ-Pulse     B (green wire)
5    MMB
6    LMB     
7    +5v          +5v (red wire)
8    Gnd          0v (black wire)
9    RMB
And it works! As Jope said above though, the device I have (600PPR) is way too sensitive, I only need to turn a quarter turn for the mouse cursor to travel the whole width of the screen in Workbench (PAL High Res)

If you get a device with a lower PPR count then you're laughing. Stick it in a nice enclosure and wire up 3 arcade buttons to the 3 mouse buttons and you have a nice little spinner controller.

I had a quick game of Arkanoid and it worked fine for that too.


I recommend the photoelectric type rotary encoders over the cheaper ones that look like potentiometers, they spin freely without "clicks" and feel much more like an arcade controller.
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