Author Topic: Build your own Joystick  (Read 222 times)

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Offline SlartibartfastBB

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Build your own Joystick
« on: 14:04, 06 April 21 »
Hi All,
Here is a short video on how to build your own Amstrad Joystick for the DB9 Joystick port

https://youtu.be/zrMUU7S1u7Q
Thanks...

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Build your own Joystick
« Reply #1 on: 14:14, 06 April 21 »
That was nice :) Pretty simple, of course, but always useful!

I had done something like that with some Megadrive-style pads several years back, I had bought them to use their innards for my JAMMA cab and had one left at the end which I tore apart to make it work with the CPC. I did it, and then promptly threw it away because I have real arcade-style joysticks for it :)

Offline eto

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Re: Build your own Joystick
« Reply #2 on: 14:58, 06 April 21 »
I have been doing a similar thing now with NES style gamepads. Master system and Megadrive gamepads. They are easily available and don't have too many buttons that cannot be used.

For NES and Master System controllers I use cheap Megadrive extension cables instead of the DB9 female plus. I remove the old cable entirely and instead use the extension cable, where I cut off the male end. This has the advantage, that the size of the female connector is exactly like it is on official joysticks/gamepads.

For Megadrive gamepads the cable is already perfectly working and you only need to remove the chip in the gamepad and resolder some of the cables.

One more comment: NES and Megadrive controllers could leverage the undocumented Button 3 of the CPC. And with two diodes it would even be possible to simulate the START button (press button 1 and 3 simultaneously, which is impossible during normal gameplay). I would love to see games that take advantage of this.

Offline eto

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Re: Build your own Joystick
« Reply #3 on: 15:00, 08 April 21 »
My collection of modded gamepads and arcade joysticks. Still not finished, two more items I want to try out.

The best so far is the Retro-Bit Arcade controller for the NES. Pretty good for 17-20€ (Amazon and Ebay) and it's very simple to mod. The buttons are not the best, but OK. With this one, I get twice as far in Alcon as with the Amstrad gamepad (ok ok,I am not good anyway at it, but it's pretty obvious that I often die because the ship moves not exactly as I want).

I guess the self built Arcade controller would be even better, if I would have a better case. The one I have right now is uncomfortable. But if you have a case, it's also straight forward and can be pretty cheap. I got the stick and buttons for 13€ on Amazon and used an old HDD case - would have worked if it would be a bit bigger.


Regarding the gamepads, the best imho is the Sega Megadrive gamepad. However there are several versions of it and they differ how precise movements are. The Sega Megadrive/Genesis gamepads also have the advantage, that they already have a full 9 pin cable and the necessary soldering inside the controller is minimal and straight forward. Megadrive gamepads can only be bought used and if you are not in a hurry you can get them every now and then for less than 5€ (plus shipping).

In the picture there is one NES style controller. Unfortunately this exact model I can't find anymore. Handling and quality is OK. I like that it does NOT look like a typical NES controller and you can easily add a different logo if you like. However soldering is a bit more complicated than many other controllers and currently it doesn't seem to be sold in Europe any more. I have two more NES style controllers which I wanted to test.

Last but not least Master System. Although they are most similar to the Amstrad gamepads I think they are more wobbly and less precise. If you want the second button to be active (especially for the Plus and GX4000), you also need to replace the cable, as the Master System gamepads have pin 7 unconnected. They are also pretty rare and often much more expensive than any of the other gamepads. Of course also only used.