Old console pads converted to USB

Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by r4sCaL, Jun 24, 2006.

Jun 24, 2006
  1. r4sCaL
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    Newcomer r4sCaL Member

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    I was considering buying some copier kits so that I could play ROMs on old consoles such as SNES and Genesis/Mega Drive, but I also wanted to play NES and N64 so I thought it might be better to try and get the pads working on USB instead and then using an emulator on the PC.

    I have seen the RetroKit, Super RetroKit and Genesis RetroKit on RetroZone and I was wondering if anyone knows the parts that they use and if it would be easier and cheaper to re-create these kits. I have not managed to find any guides on converting the pads connectors to USB, only to Parallel Ports. If anyone has links to some good guides please post them.

    I also know there are many SmartJoy products available, but this would also become very expensive to get a couple of pads for each console working. Maybe something like a guide for converting the FourScore to USB and other multitaps working would be the easiest method as only one connection would need to be modified.

    Any information and opinions are welcome [​IMG]
     
  2. Kyoji

    Member Kyoji ウッーウッーウマ

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    To do it yourself you need some pretty heavy duty equipment like oscillascopes; it also requires you program a chip AND make drivers for the the new device, so I doubt its worth it or cheaper than buying a convertor or one of the retrokits you mentioned.
     
  3. twotime

    Newcomer twotime Member

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    If its of any help, i seem to remember some mods involving ripping the usb components out of keyboards and soldering the buttons on the pad to the inputs. Then you would need to use some piece of software such as joy2key to set it all up. Seems like quite the work just to save a few dollars.
     
  4. r4sCaL
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    Newcomer r4sCaL Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I thought they may have used some sort of off-the-shelf chip and then there would be some pad drivers already made that would work such as DirectPad Pro. The design on SNES Pad Support Site for the Parallel Port looks so simple I thought it wouldn't need too much extra work.
     
  5. r4sCaL
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    Newcomer r4sCaL Member

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    Thanks, sounds like a good idea. I will have a search around for some more information on this. I don't mind the work as I enjoy little projects like this, and I am in the middle of a 5 month holiday and so I need little things to keep me busy [​IMG]
     
  6. ridgecity

    Member ridgecity GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Why don't you wait a few months and try the Wii's Virtual Console?? instead of burning your house.
     
  7. Westside

    Member Westside Sogdiana

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    If you'd settle for an xbox controller, it is extreamly easy to do (I've done it, it's basically a modified USB, and you only need a special driver), and I think it play the old consoles perfectly, the arrangements of the buttons are nice, but it all depends on you.
     
  8. Angel X

    Member Angel X GBAtemp Regular

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    Even easier than that is buying a wired 360 controller [​IMG]
     
  9. r4sCaL
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    Newcomer r4sCaL Member

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    Would prefer something before the Wii is released. I guess I could buy a couple of 360 pads or a chipped Xbox but I would also like to try modding a controller or 2.
     
  10. SomeGuyGG

    Member SomeGuyGG GBAtemp Regular

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    Modding an original xbox controller is amazingly easy. I've done 4 of them, you just need to cut the ends off the controller and usb cable, and match the colors to solder them. Takes literally 5 minutes, and is nearly impossible to mess up. Xbox controllers have many more buttons than an old snes or genesis controller or even n64, so it will work with more emulators better.
     
  11. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Megadrive/genesis control pads wiring diagrams/infomation:
    http://www.classicgaming.com/epr/genesis.htm
    Search for genjoy.zip

    Other than that my PC control pad for the last 3 odd years, when I can be bothered to install the thing that is, has been a playstation pad with adaptor I grabbed off of: http://www.cableuniverse.co.uk/catalog/ .

    Most of the earlier pads used basic CMOS chips and other off the shelf type components (I think some even used 555 timers) so reverse engineering and implementation should not be overly difficult.

    As for playing old consoles I would suggest you grab yourself a TV out device for your computer and use an emulator: if you do it well you will be unable to tell the difference and you have some nice features (save states, graphics filters etc.) at your disposal not to mention a lot of the more memorable games come with special chips which the flash carts frequently do not support.
     
  12. r4sCaL
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    Newcomer r4sCaL Member

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    Thanks for the links. I already use TV out quite often and that was going to be the way that I would play the emulators if I got the pads working.
     
  13. r4sCaL
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    Newcomer r4sCaL Member

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