One-button Joystick

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calasso
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One-button Joystick

Post by calasso » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:02 pm

I have some old Amiga / C64 Joysticks and a db9-to-usb convertor, so that I can use them on my PC. These joysticks all have two buttons, but they only register as the same button as these systems basically only support one-button joysticks.

The joysticks work fine with Rocks'n'Diamonds. However, I run into trouble when I need to use dynamite and need the second button.

Some questions:

- Can I somehow configure Rock'n'Diamonds to use a one-button schema, so that I can control it like on the amiga (I believe it was by holding the fire button for the dynamite action or something like that?)?

- Is it possible to use the joystick in combination with a key from the keyboard just acting as the second button for the joystick?

- Does anyone know a working two-button joystick that I could buy, that somehow resembles joysticks like the competition pro, the quickshot or (my favorite) the Suzo arcade turbo, and that I could connect to my PC somehow? I know there was a native usb-version of the competition pro some years ago, but you can't buy these anymore.

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Holger
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Re: One-button Joystick

Post by Holger » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:17 pm

Hi calasso, welcome to the R'n'D forum! :)
I have some old Amiga / C64 Joysticks and a db9-to-usb convertor ...
Wow, cool! Didn't know that such a converter exists! (I also still have some original C64 / Amiga joysticks here.)
... so that I can use them on my PC. These joysticks all have two buttons, but they only register as the same button as these systems basically only support one-button joysticks.
Yes, right, both buttons are wired to the same, single fire button signal. (Although there are also models out there that had an additional set of two extra fire buttons for permanent fire.)
The joysticks work fine with Rocks'n'Diamonds. However, I run into trouble when I need to use dynamite and need the second button.
Oh well, yes. Although R'n'D resembles those classic games, it was in fact "designed" around a PC style two-button joystick. But then, levels using the Emerald Mine game engine or the Supaplex game engine can be played with a single-button joystick just fine -- you only need the second button for R'n'D style dynamite.
- Can I somehow configure Rock'n'Diamonds to use a one-button schema, so that I can control it like on the amiga (I believe it was by holding the fire button for the dynamite action or something like that?)?
Exactly -- placing Emerald Mine style dynamite works by holding the fire button pressed for a few seconds. It also works that way in R'n'D (regardless of using a joystick with one or two fire buttons).
- Is it possible to use the joystick in combination with a key from the keyboard just acting as the second button for the joystick?
This is also possible, but only in single player mode (not in team mode). In single player mode, all input events from all configured input devices are just combined for the first (and only) player.

So if you have configured a (possibly single button) joystick and a keyboard (which should be the default if you connect a joystick and start the game), you can both use the joystick (for directions and the first button functionality) and the keyboard (so you can use the left "Ctrl" key for the second button functionality -- or whatever key you prefer to act as the second button and is configured in the "input devices" section of the setup menu).
- Does anyone know a working two-button joystick that I could buy, that somehow resembles joysticks like the competition pro, the quickshot or (my favorite) the Suzo arcade turbo, and that I could connect to my PC somehow? I know there was a native usb-version of the competition pro some years ago, but you can't buy these anymore.
I also would suggest a two-button Competition Pro style USB joystick (that looks and behaves just like the classic Amiga version of this famous joystick, but with the two buttons wired not as a single, but as two different buttons).

I've just checked at Amazon (German and US), and you can indeed still buy this kind of joysticks without problems in various variants (the most prominent probably being the "Original Speedlink Competition Pro USB Retro-Gaming Joystick" with standard USB connector, which is even that popular that it is marked as "Amazon's Choice" on the German version of the Amazon web shop). So you really should have no problem to order such a joystick for your perfectly comprehensible retro-gaming needs! :D

filbo
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Re: One-button Joystick

Post by filbo » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:55 am

> a db9-to-usb convertor

This should not be a simple matter of plug-shape conversion, but an actual protocol conversion from DB9-wired-joystick to some sort of USB HID joystick protocol.

I am 99.8% certain that a USB HID joystick protocol would have support for multiple buttons. The converter should also have support for DB9-wired joysticks with multiple (separate) buttons. The only faulty part appears to be the joystick itself.

It has two physical buttons, right? So it is an internal wiring problem.

In something like a USB device, this would be nearly impossible to do since you'd have to modify software protocol decisions. But in physical hardware with what is likely a super simple output protocol ('light this DB9 pin while button 1 is pressed'), you likely can tweak the hardware into compliance.

Find the pinout information of DB9 Amiga joystick. I just googled << DB9 Amiga joystick pinout >> and saw: pinouts with one fire button; 2; and 3 -- all the ones I checked seemed to be the same layout, except more and more pins assigned as 'fire N' rather than 'unconnected'. So that is very promising.

Open the joystick casing, re-route wire from 2nd button to what all the search results agree is 'button 2' pin (pin 9). Test. It should 'just work' as the USB protocol converter surely already knows what to do with fire-1 and fire-2 buttons...

Ah, next image I clicked on is literally from a forum post somewhere, 'Joystick 2 button mod questions' on 'English Amiga Board'. A google search for << amiga joystick 2-button mod >> finds it immediately, and all sorts of other info.

I am terrible with a soldering iron, and I think I could do this (successfully!) in 10 minutes...

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