controller game pad?

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ladyada
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controller game pad?

Post by ladyada » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:54 pm

here is a single thread where we can complain about the controller game pad and connectors.

right now, it is easy to get any sort of controller, including NES or SNES, for about $1 in large qty (
but its not particularly easy to get the PCB connector for the controller

one option i came up with (and seems like everyone else too :) ) is to use a hooded DB9 connector.
the nice thing about that is that a hooded db9 is 20 cents total (10 cents for the hood & SR, 10 cents for the connector @ 4ucon*, the RA connector is about 20 cents too) in qty and you can get it in any electronic shop
PROS: easy to get, low cost, can use SNES, NES or atari controllers
CONS: annoying to rewire the connector, not as cool

another option is to find some place that will sell us the special SNES/NES connectors. I'd pay up to $1/ea @ qty 1000, & be willing to buy that many or more**
PROS: Awesome, easy to understand, plug & play
CONS: very hard to get

another option is it may be possible to kludge something up, using molex connector or somewhat.
or use DB15 joypads (very old skool!)
or use only atari joypads

kaida game sells SNES controllers for <$1 in qty
http://www.kaidagame.com/

*4uconnector.com is my favvvy connector shop, but you have to buy a lot

**if i can get this $@)(#*! thing working, ill stock all this stuff in my webshop

havok1919
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by havok1919 » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:30 am

I'm still trying to scare up a source for the NES or SNES connectors. If Andre found 'em somewhere we should be able to. ;)

All the RFQ's I've sent out have been for qty 1-2K as well.

Another option (that I've been pushing) is the Playstation 1/2 connector. I have 1000+ of those from another project. The upside on the PSX connectors is that you can still buy new pads (from multiple suppliers even) and they tend to be much better quality than the reproduction SNES/NES connectors. (I'm co-owner in a business that happens to sell refurbished NES/SNES systems, so we've tried a lot of the reproduction controllers. While some are "OK" almost all have a high fallout rate and relatively short lifespan.)

I'm not a big fan of the DB9 metal hood connectors for use with 'original' cables like on the Genesis pads and Atari/Commodore joysticks. The metal hoods cut into the overmolded connector on the cord and pretty soon the terminals are sprung and the connections are flakey (the old "push/wiggle the plug" thing). There *is* someplace selling the "atari" plastic DB9 hoods. I could swear it was Mouser or Digikey, but I'll probably have to flip through the hardcopy catalog to find the picture again. They were not cheap, however. (~$2-3/ea in qty)

What I suggested to Uze in another thread is to dedicate at least five pins to "controllers" (one additional from the current four). That provides enough I/O for direct connection to two NES/SNES pads; or direct switch connections to Atari/Commodore joysticks; or enough signals for one bidirectional PSX controler port. Then if we call the 'standard' to bring out two more I/O's from PORTA to a DB9 along with +5V/GND that means that it could be an easy to connect to 'expansion' connector, or it could run any Atari/Commodore/Genesis pad/joystick. (I doubt Amiga/ST mice/trackballs would work though since reading quadrature in software would be CPU intensive.)

-Clay

ladyada
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by ladyada » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:36 am

well, you can get db9 hoods in like, every sort of configuration and material...including plastic SR's

but im pretty positive-feeling about going with playstation controllers (perhaps because i have 2 from my old playstation :D )
they're recognizable, but unfortunately it will make it really hard for people to DIY
what is the going price for PSX connectors? would I be able to buy some if I needed them, or is it a sekret?

would it be possible to fake a connector using some off-the-shelf pieces (say mouser/digikey/etc), it looks like they're .15" spacing

Tinctu
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by Tinctu » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:55 pm

I vote for ATARI/C64/AMIGA/AMSTRAD joystick.There are lot of on E-Bay and there are still in production /Speedlink/.
Connectors are standard 9pin cannon female You can buy them everywhere.
Or PSX gamepads.

CompMan
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by CompMan » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:10 pm

I think we need to look harder for the NES/SNES ports. They must be available somewhere.

Compman

havok1919
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by havok1919 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:13 pm

CompMan wrote:I think we need to look harder for the NES/SNES ports. They must be available somewhere.
I'm still looking-- no luck yet. My first few responses came back negative. The source ladyada found actually only has those reproduction SNES connectors, not any PCB mount connectors.

I guess if push came to shove I could look into a soft tool injection mold for the connector housings. I think it would just be a straight draw single cavity-- no slides or anything. Or maybe rotational casting. I'm not sure about how to source the pins though. We'll give the taiwan/china/hk suppliers a while longer at any rate.

-Clay

havok1919
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by havok1919 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:30 am

Well, crap... Another seven emails all along the lines of: "No that model in our stock, and I can't find that model in the market too." from china/hk/taiwan. :cry:

I'm going to have to hit up my friend in China and see if he hit the component suppliers and track it down.

-Clay

ladyada
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by ladyada » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:06 pm

unfortunately once things get into solidworks, im pretty much at a loss. i assumed that lamothe had the NES custom made (since hes buying 10K at a time)
or are you talking about the psx connectors

havok1919
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by havok1919 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:00 pm

ladyada wrote:unfortunately once things get into solidworks, im pretty much at a loss. i assumed that lamothe had the NES custom made (since hes buying 10K at a time) or are you talking about the psx connectors
Yeah, I'm starting to think that's the case (custom made). I talked to the RetroUSB guys and they did their own tool as well.

I took apart an NES Four Play this morning to look at the connector. I think it'd be possible to do one with a single cavity mold and just not co-mold the pins. Then have some cold rolled pins made (preferably with a press-fit knurl) and just complete the socket with those.

If I can get the guy that does all my SolidWorks design work to knock out the connector portion maybe it'll make sense to run a little soft-tool mold and run a couple thousand parts. I'm sure they'd be cheap 'per part', but the tooling would be $$$...

-Clay

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uze6666
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Re: controller game pad?

Post by uze6666 » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:38 am

Hmmm, I though we were trying for the SNES connectors? They are not much complicated than the NES ones, and there lot of SNES controller clones made for the FC twins and the like. Talking of which I just found that they have these right angle pcb mount SNES connector. Do you think you could find the sourcer of those connectors?
fctwin_circuitboard2.jpg
fctwin_circuitboard2.jpg (58.54 KiB) Viewed 4495 times

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