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View Poll Results: How much would you be prepared to pay for a NES modding circuit board?
Not interested 0 0%
<15$ 1 100.00%
$15-20 0 0%
$20+ 0 0%
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2012, 11:04 AM
spinal spinal is offline
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How difficult would it be to add a bitton to disable/re-enable the onscreen keyboard while using this gamepad? could it be as simple as adding a switch to the USB +5v line, so that the controller could be "switched off" without unplugging it, causing the iDevice to revert to the virtual keyboard?
Also, does the button layout match that of the iCP/Gametel layout or is it different? would it be possible to remap these buttons at a later date to match the 8-bitty (once released)?
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2012, 11:47 AM
janekm janekm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinal View Post
How difficult would it be to add a bitton to disable/re-enable the onscreen keyboard while using this gamepad? could it be as simple as adding a switch to the USB +5v line, so that the controller could be "switched off" without unplugging it, causing the iDevice to revert to the virtual keyboard?
Also, does the button layout match that of the iCP/Gametel layout or is it different? would it be possible to remap these buttons at a later date to match the 8-bitty (once released)?
Enabling the on-screen keyboard should be even easier than that, the apple Bluetooth keyboard has a button that does that (same as eject button normally) so sending that keycode should do it. Of course you'd have to dedicate some button combination to that, maybe START+UP or something like that.
I've modified the firmware now so that it allows reprogramming over USB (currently button combination START+SELECT is used for that but I'd be open to changing that if it conflicts with any games). I haven't looked at what button mapping the icp uses so it's likely that the one I'm using currently is different but it's easy to change now that firmware upgrading is supported.

I've put up the firmware source code on GitHub (it's based on the USB keyboard example in the LUFA library and only one file is actually changed): https://github.com/janekm/LUFA---iPAD-gamepad

Build requirements are the same as for LUFA and http://dfu-programmer.sourceforge.net/ is used for uploading new firmware.

BTW I've had a look at what I paid for the components and since I only bought enough components for 5 boards it was pretty expensive... I'd have to charge $20 with shipping to break even, pretty expensive I know! But if you're willing to act as a "beta-tester" for the project I'd be happy to offer a discount anyway.

Sorry for the slow updates lately, the dayjob's been keeping me busy!
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2012, 03:22 PM
spinal spinal is offline
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I have no problems with testing at all

The following is the layout of my iCP in iCade mode. I don't know what version of the firmware I have on it, or if has changed in any version after mine.



although I assume the 8bitty would be something like this --
Code:
       _4__                 __8_
    _="""""""""""""""""""""""""""=_
  ,'   _    SUPER  NINTENDO     _ X'.
 /    | |                      (2)   \
|   __| |__                 _      _ A|
|  |__   __|   1/     5/   (6)    (3) |
|     | |     //     //   Y    _      |
 \    |_|    select start     (7)    /
  '.       _---------------_ B     .'
    "-___-"                 "-___-"

As for the button combination for the eject code, how about Start+Select+A+B? I assume that would work on both NES and SNES controllers?

Last edited by spinal; 04-16-2012 at 03:59 AM..
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2012, 05:16 AM
spinal spinal is offline
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How hard would it be to add support for other controllers, such as Megadrive/Genesis, Playstation, Dreamcast, Xbox, N64, NeoGeo etc?
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  #15  
Old 04-10-2012, 08:36 AM
Nudgenudge Nudgenudge is offline
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Actually, I have another suggestion.

Instead of opening all of our controllers to plug the chips to the pinout, how about having a small box with NES/SNES/what-have-you controller inputs and a USB output?
Okay, it's one more box to lug around, but the advantage is that every controller will work with it, no tinkering necessary.

You could even go one step beyond and change the USB output to a 30-pin output (either emulate it or get a cheap one and dismantle it in the box, alongside the small PCB).
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  #16  
Old 04-10-2012, 09:50 AM
spinal spinal is offline
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You could easily make your own 'small box' for it. I for one, would like to keep the cost of the device as low as possible.

The only thing stopping my from directly connecting a camera kit directly to the SNES controller (once I eventually get one of these) is that the USB connection will be useful for testing apps on my computer as well as my iDevice.

Last edited by spinal; 04-10-2012 at 09:53 AM..
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  #17  
Old 04-15-2012, 02:42 PM
spinal spinal is offline
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Looks like getting hold of one of these will be a s-l-o-w process
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  #18  
Old 04-26-2012, 11:20 AM
spinal spinal is offline
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Having received one of these, I can't imagine why there wasn't any interest in it. If you liked your old NES/SNES controller, why wouldn't you want to use it for your iPad/Phone games?
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2012, 03:30 PM
janekm janekm is offline
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Hey everyone, time for another update... Thanks to some great support from spinal the project's made some good progress lately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinal View Post
How hard would it be to add support for other controllers, such as Megadrive/Genesis, Playstation, Dreamcast, Xbox, N64, NeoGeo etc?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nudgenudge View Post
Actually, I have another suggestion.

Instead of opening all of our controllers to plug the chips to the pinout, how about having a small box with NES/SNES/what-have-you controller inputs and a USB output?
Okay, it's one more box to lug around, but the advantage is that every controller will work with it, no tinkering necessary.

You could even go one step beyond and change the USB output to a 30-pin output (either emulate it or get a cheap one and dismantle it in the box, alongside the small PCB).
I did originally consider making a NES/SNES to iPad converter, however the big challenge is getting hold of the suitable connectors as most have been built specially for those consoles (the early Atari and a few of the home computers are the exception to that rule). So realistically you'd have to either get them out of old consoles or get compatible connectors built in China (you'd have to order thousands).
The other challenge is that most of those consoles have very different ways of talking to their controllers, some of which are pretty weird... So most likely a small FPGA would be needed to talk to them all, adding more cost.

In the end I decided that having the converter board inside the controller was simpler (and more elegant to my taste).

As for the 30-pin connector, unfortunately that requires a hardware "key" chip from Apple... With a big kickstarter project that wouldn't have been too much of a problem but in small numbers they wouldn't be interested in talking to you. The cheap camera connection kit clones from China do carry that chip... My suspicion is that they got the chip as surplus from some factory that was making official "made for iPhone" accessories. You could try to desolder it from one of those clones but the pin-out isn't entirely obvious (I checked).

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinal View Post
You could easily make your own 'small box' for it. I for one, would like to keep the cost of the device as low as possible.

The only thing stopping my from directly connecting a camera kit directly to the SNES controller (once I eventually get one of these) is that the USB connection will be useful for testing apps on my computer as well as my iDevice.
True, and of course that's also the only way to upgrade the firmware on the converter board for adding new features / fixing stuff.

One thing I'm curious about is whether it will be possible to use Bluetooth LE for a gamepad / joystick connection... This would be a lot more elegant than the current keyboard emulation method as Apple does allow Apps to talk to Bluetooth LE devices bidirectionally (not so for regular Bluetooth). The other advantage for BLE is the much lower power consumption which would theoretically allow many months of battery life from a coin cell battery.

I am not yet convinced whether the latency will be low enough for games but will have the opportunity to test that out shortly.

Of course then it'd still require convincing some game authors to implement yet a new gamepad interface, so perhaps that's a bit unrealistic...
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  #20  
Old 05-04-2012, 03:55 AM
spinal spinal is offline
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I've just bee working on some code to allow the buttons to be re-maped on both the SNES and NES pad without any special software, and also the ability to change between NES and SNES mode. It seems to be working OK so far.

So no matter what button layout the game coders assume, you can swap your buttons around to match!

Quick question, I have heard that the Wii Classic controller uses similar protocol to the NES/SNES gamepads. Does anyone know, is it possible to use the Wii classic controller by modifying code only, without adding extra hardware?
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