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Old 27 August 2016, 19:31   #1
Bastich
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Wireless Joysticks

Hi all

Just a quick post concerning a little hardware project I am working on. The end result will be a 2.4GHz transmitter / receiver for my RC cars and finally a DIY Quad copter.

In the process of making my prototype I have inadvertently however created a wireless interface for using any standard 9 pin joystick. Currently works as a HID device only but I am intending on making it work on any 9 pin joystick interface (Amiga, C64 etc). I tested it out last night playing Turrican and did not notice any lag.

The project uses:
1 * Arduino Pro Micro
1 * Arduino Nano
1 * 5v to 3.3v regulator
2 * NRF24l01 wireless boards.

Once I have a couple of prototypes made I may ask a few people to test them out for me.

All the schematics and Arduino software will be made freely available once I am happy with the design and functionality.

I will post more info and pictures later
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Old 27 August 2016, 20:01   #2
Retrofan
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Really interesting. I hate so much cables all around.

But I don't understand it right. Do you say to use a wired joystick without connecting it directly or just using a wireless joystick?
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Old 28 August 2016, 04:09   #3
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I'd love to convert one of my Star Cursor Pro's to wireless.
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Old 28 August 2016, 10:56   #4
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Great project! I'd love to help you test one out!
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Old 29 August 2016, 12:32   #5
Bastich
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Hi all I will be doing a progress update later which will include pictures
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Old 29 August 2016, 14:14   #6
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I guess you either make it as a small box which contains an Arduino board, the RF transceiver, a battery and a 9p Sub-D connector which will connect to any Atari style joystick and make it wireless. Well, it won't be wireless per se, but it will only connect to the external box and not be
wired directly to the computer..

Or one coult put the entire deal inside one joystick if it can fit so the cable can be removed completely. The battery will be the problematic part here as it should not be too difficult to replace when it runs out. Alternatively, one could use 4x1.2V batteries and a charging circuit but that would take up a lot of space..

A system like this should have some programmable ID on it so multiple joysticks can be used together without interfering.
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Old 29 August 2016, 14:28   #7
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Progress update

1. The transmitter with my favourite joystick and 2 analogue sticks attached.
(I initially only attached my joystick to test the digital inputs)

2. The receiver in bread board form.
(The upside down blue board at the back is the 5v -> 3.3v regulator)

3. And this is my current prototype
(which I need to check is wired correctly)
(the DIL switch will be for signal strength and channel selection)

4. Fully assembled and tested prototype
(With provision for a 9pin joystick output or 7 servos)
Attached Thumbnails
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ID:	49662  

Last edited by Bastich; 29 August 2016 at 14:58. Reason: Picture problems
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Old 29 August 2016, 14:44   #8
Arnie
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I'm not seeing any pics! Can anyone else see pics? Is it just me?
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Old 29 August 2016, 14:54   #9
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Nope. Nudda. Zilch here. No pics
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Old 29 August 2016, 14:56   #10
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I'm seeing pics but as they are hosted on Amibay, perhaps you need to be logged in there to see them?
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Old 29 August 2016, 14:58   #11
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Fixed the image linking problem.
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Old 29 August 2016, 19:51   #12
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Nicely done! I've had a similar project on the go for years based on a PIC chip instead, but otherwise similar (though not nearly as neat as yours!) Must dig it out again...
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Old 03 September 2016, 04:02   #13
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Fully assembled but not yet tested transmitter prototype (Arduino Nano)
(including a 9 pin header for a joystick, its also the same foot print as the receiver)

I am intending on ether powering the transmitter by a 9v battery or a 3.7v 18650 cell but this really depends on when case I find to mount it in.

The receiver will ether be powered by the 5v line from the Amigas joystick port (will require a jumper to redirect the 5v line thou).
Alternatively (ATM) it can be used as a standard USB joypad (Standard HID device).
It will really depend on if you are using it on a PC or a Classic system in the end
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	trans proto 2.jpg
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Old 03 September 2016, 04:06   #14
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Here is my current prototype receiver (Arduino Pro Micro) which ATM works as a HID device. I am intending on adding 9pin output so it can be used on original hardware. There is already provision on the board (once I solder a few more wires).

My current transmitter setup is also shown (Arduino Nano). It currently uses a mobile phone battery bank for power, and a patch cable to convert the 9pin socket to the boards header. I played a few emulator games using my adapter without problems. Need to test it in the lounge on the TV next

Both parts of the system have a DIL switch fitted currently allows up to 4 different signal strength and 4 different 2.4GHz channels. This may change to a 2:8 ratio to get more channels.
I have cleaned up the Arduino code for both ends of the system and they now operate at around 2-4ms which is pleasing A lot more testing with range and data rates needs to be done plus I need to source some boxs to house everything but its all looking good ATM.
Attached Thumbnails
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ID:	49746   Click image for larger version

Name:	proto transmitter.jpg
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