Closer To The Final Replacement Of Stick


DaveC

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scorpio posted on Mar 12 2006 at 09:06 PM said:
Looking good, damn good.

I got a couple of the PCB joystick units earlier in the week, but this weekend has been kind of a write-off, so hopefully I'll have time next week to try mods on those to try and improve the feel.

One of my intentions is try a restriction mod to turn it into a 4-switch unit, and make use of your circuit, Radek, so that the external appearance is unmodified.

Turning the current stick into a 4-switch would be difficult, you will see when you look at it. The best way if you are going to use the current stick and not replace with a pad would be to rotate the stick 45° to eliminate the diagonal bias, then shim the "hat" closer to the contacts to reduce dead zone. A metal spacer could be placed between the hat and the top metal cover.
 
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Flexinoodle

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Looks to me like the easiest way to do this is to have four switches in a plastic molding that covers the original hole.
It would be very cheap and work very well, The only drawback really is it will be a little higher than the stock stick.

Look at the pic in Daves Sig, We dont need to just cover the hole we also have a big square surrounding the hole of the stock stick.
It would be very easy to make a mock up on a piece of wood, Cut the wood to match the entire left hand side of the GP then drill 4 holes for the switches.
Now just trim away as much of the extra wood as you can.

I would do a mock up but i hardly play with the GP cause of the stick so i lent it to my business partner to go to Thailand with (19 hour flight)

A small aside, Can you believe you have inspired me to get the iron out and carry on with my synth
cheers Radek ;)
 

Flexinoodle

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PS I will do a mock up when i get the bugger back
PPS I'll go through the new Digikey catalogue, I seem to remember it coming a week or so ago, I'll get back to you on that though ;)
 

Anhaedra

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So are you going to leave it like that, external, or are you going to somehow get that saitek controller inside the GP2X? Because that would be quite inconvenient to have to use an external controller.
 

timbobsteve

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@Anhaedra: If you had read the rest of this post you would have noticed that the external-ness of the controller is only for testing his custom switch setup. Radek is looking for replacement stick to use and hopefully one day we can custom mount them ourselves.

Good progress on this Radek, the stick is definately one of the major setbacks for me with my 2X. It would be lovely if it was anywhere as good as the GBA D-Pad, but from the sounds of it, it seems to be a totaly different setup inside the actual unit.

Good luck anyways. Do keep us updated.
 

Radek

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First to DaveC:

The GP2x running noiz2sa just passed exactly after 3.5 hours without the circuit being connected. Unless we want to count single seconds then the effects of power drain of my converter are insignificant.

bacteria posted on Mar 12 2006 at 09:27 PM said:
Radek, how much do you think your gadget will sell for (£), with/without a D-pad? I presume you are intending to sell them eventually?
Yes I'm going to offer them.

And I'm hoping to be able to make two version: dpad/stick/converter combo and just a converter.

For the price... it will depend on the demand and the deals what I will be able to make with one of specialized PCB manufacturers. Making everything in house takes too much time except for prototyping.

I'd like to tell you exact price figures but I can not yet. Sorry.
(because I simply don't know how what my costs will be at this point)

Then again I don't know what demand will be and how units I could sell.
This will be most important factor of the final price.

At worst if the demand will be low I will just make few converters for ones what want to make theirs own mods.
But I see more people are interested in the complete combo solution.
(and for making such one there is still lots of work to do)

Anyway in the days I should have better idea of the costs.

timbobsteve posted on Mar 13 2006 at 08:54 AM said:
@Anhaedra: If you had read the rest of this post you would have noticed that the external-ness of the controller is only for testing his custom switch setup. Radek is looking for replacement stick to use and hopefully one day we can custom mount them ourselves.

Good progress on this Radek, the stick is definately one of the major setbacks for me with my 2X. It would be lovely if it was anywhere as good as the GBA D-Pad, but from the sounds of it, it seems to be a totaly different setup inside the actual unit.

Good luck anyways. Do keep us updated.
Your good words are very motivating. Thanks for them.
 
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saboteur

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Radek - most excellent progress.

Count me as 1 customer - i want this for my GP2X.

As an aside, how much more expensive would it be to add an external port to connect an external pad to ?? Would be good for using when connect to a TV.

I don't know the technical details ( i'll take one apart later ) but could a 'stick' from an N64 controller be used ??

Just a thought.

Anyhoo, keep it up. :)
 

Sonic-NKT

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since we use linux you could just connect a usb pad.. ok software has to support it but thats not that hard...
ou would have to wire on every button on the gp2x, you can easily kill the thing by doing something wrong.
i dont think its worth it.

EDIT:
btw, i think i almost finished my replacement dpad, hope it fits in the gp2x in the end. like i said before i used a gamecueb controller (i had one with broken analog stick), a bit expensive to buy a new one just for ripping it apart... when i have all contacts working again i will post pictures...
cant wait to get this device :)

EDIT2:
ok here first pictures..


there is a small stick for holding the mainboard, this one has to be removed.


after that the dpad should fit in..


in the end it should look like something like that, but i will paint it black.

the dpad is working... now i need your device Radek and see if everything will work like i thought ;)
 

Cody K.

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Great job, Radek.

I’ll say it again… I’m looking forward to portable retro-gaming and having a comfortable 4-way d-pad is a must. Hurry up though or I might be tempted to spend my cash on one of those DS Lites when they hit North America. No pressure, Radek… no pressure. ;-)
 

Hanz™

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Cody K. posted on Mar 13 2006 at 09:04 PM said:
Great job, Radek.

I’ll say it again… I’m looking forward to portable retro-gaming and having a comfortable 4-way d-pad is a must. Hurry up though or I might be tempted to spend my cash on one of those DS Lites when they hit North America. No pressure, Radek… no pressure. ;-)
He is not working for GPH btw.
 
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bacteria

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Sonic-NKT - Using a Nintendo D-pad is logical (are you using the SNES, NES, Gameboy (mono/colour), N64 or other D-pad (they are all slightly different sizes).

How about the centre button switch? No issues with 4-way instead of 8-way (8-way is hard to control, I find), but you need a centre button!! <_<

Using a Nintendo D-pad requires careful and exacting positioning as it is purely a PCB unit - how would the contacts be soldered?

Other issue is this is not a commercial unit, in the respect that the Nintendo D-pad can't be sold by people (Nintendo wouldn't like it I am sure) and you can't make a D-pad too similarly to theirs : United States Patent: 4,687,200 : patent
There are ways around this of course, which means a hand-made unit which works differently ... I am in experimentation at the moment for making such a unit - will expand more in due course ... ;)
 

BenRoshi

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Do we really need a D-Pad? I'm cool with whatever you guys cook up, but wouldn't it be easier to just make a nicer stick, something like the NGPC's?
 

Ravnos

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bacteria posted on Mar 13 2006 at 05:37 PM said:
Other issue is this is not a commercial unit, in the respect that the Nintendo D-pad can't be sold by people (Nintendo wouldn't like it I am sure) and you can't make a D-pad too similarly to theirs : United States Patent: 4,687,200 : patent
That patent has to be expired or at least damn near. It was filed in 1985 for Christ's sake.
 
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SpinaL-TaP

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BenRoshi posted on Mar 14 2006 at 02:46 AM said:
Do we really need a D-Pad? I'm cool with whatever you guys cook up, but wouldn't it be easier to just make a nicer stick, something like the NGPC's?
Right, the Neo Geo Pocket Stick (with microswitches) was really great. I'm dreaming about this stick on the GP2X...

I tried to find the references but I neverfound it, maybe this part was designed/manufactured by SNK.
 
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Sonic-NKT

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like i said my solution is not a method for everyone, it to expensive and not worth it...
the gamecube has the smallest dpad (perhaps the gba micro has a smaller one but ripping that apart woul just be totally stupid)
about the contacts, yes it was quite hard but i found a quite good way..
hmm kind of hard to discribe ;) my english isnt that good, atleast for technical things.
i will show you some pictures later.
 

Radek

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Time for small update...

Just found some pads very similar to the nes/snes ones (they are looking like clones) and probably aren't of high quality. But were dirt cheap so at least I will not have to constantly rewire my Saitek Pad for testing.

I have info from one pcb manufacturer who I was asking for. It would make my units but I would have to buy over 50 of them. Not realistic for first run...
(but I was asking other companies and I hope to have more info soon)

For N-Gage QD pad I also have source but these units are actually with keyboards included and very expensive. I will not buy one just for testing purposes but will search for better offerts again.

What else?

Not much really (yet).

I will query more companies for parts thought. Will have to buy some more cmos chips anyway. :)
 

Sonic-NKT

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yeah 50 are a bit much.. this is not a easy mod and many wont do this to their gp2x... atleast not on their own.
anyway i hope you find a way to produce sone a first run 10 or something like that.
i really want to try it.
cant wait to kill my gp2x ;)
 

Series-8

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As many cunning people have suggested; drill out the area where the dpad will hit the plastic; then
carefully sand it down.

Its labour intensive, slow, and prone to leaving jagged edges. Unless someone makes a custom moulding:

(ahem ....DaveC... ;) ;) )

Take the Dpad '+' design and flatten the underside so its curve matches the 'top' of the GP2X joystick depression.

Drill 4 small holes into the top panel of the GP2X where the 'center' of the pad triangles would be (on a Gamecube/SNES/NES type pad).

The custom Dpad will have 4 small 'pins' that poke thru those holes and allow a microswitch to engage.

The center on the dpad is supported with a rubber column or spring. (or something)

The only thing I don't know how to figure out is what the Dpad PCB rests on. (if not annother platform held up by metal pins from the old joystick connectors.)

Microswitches are being used in this case because I think they will give a more positive feedback to the user AND work better (mushy carbon pads dont work well with sharp plastic columns poking into them). Oh, and a single external switch added to the outside of the case. (drill a hole for one of those small momentary push buttons, near the top right perhaps)

I think it could really work, now. Keep thinking and working guys / gals. We are getting closer...
 
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