Any controller modders/hackers out there to talk to?

Discuss modifications you have done or plan to do to your Dreamcast or any other hardware, or discuss devices you want to build. If your console does not work or is acting up, ask about fixing it in here.
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nssone
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Any controller modders/hackers out there to talk to?

Post by nssone » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:37 pm

This is kind of a long shot as I'm not much of a hardware modder, especially with more involved designs like what I have in mind.

I'm a big fan of Q3A and Unreal on the DC and I have an idea for designing an FPS style controller for DC. It would be similar in design to an X360 type controller. Basically it will just turn the face buttons into a second joystick and rearrange the U and R of the d-pad to become a second set of trigger buttons (at least to use for alt. fire/jump and next weapon button on UT, ed: Q3A can use reassigned buttons).
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DaMadFiddler
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Re: Any controller modders/hackers out there to talk to?

Post by DaMadFiddler » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:40 am

IIRC, the Dreamcast has hardware/firmware support for up to six face buttons and up to two analog sticks per controller, but no such controller was ever actually produced. I think Bleem! supports dual sticks through their (unreleased) in-house controller adapter, but I'm unaware of any other software or hardware that takes advantage of this feature.

Your solution seems possible, though you'll likely be on your own figuring out the mechanics of it. You'll probably need to use a switch-based stick, like the one in the old GP2x or the one in the Retron 5 pack-in controller, since adapting an analog stick to provide the correct digital button output would complicate the design and require stuffing a bunch of extra hardware into the controller.

If you don't mind the layout, another possibility would be to use the Virtual On twin-stick controller. I'm not sure which games you're looking to play or how much control they give you over button mapping, but that might be a more hassle-free solution.

If you have some means of fabricating the part (a 3D printer, a wood shop, CNC equipment, etc.), another alternative might be to remove the face buttons and replace them with an oversized d-pad. That would require minimal physical modification and no electrical modification. You could theoretically do the same with some sort of drop-in stick that would hit the existing button contacts, but that would require designing and fabricating more complex custom parts.

Those are just my initial thoughts.

The Dreamcast "scene" is largely too old and too dead for there to be much interest in hardware modding at this point. It'll be interesting to watch your progress, but I doubt you'll find many--if any--other modders to collaborate with.
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|darc|
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Re: Any controller modders/hackers out there to talk to?

Post by |darc| » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:33 pm

DaMadFiddler wrote:The Dreamcast "scene" is largely too old and too dead for there to be much interest in hardware modding at this point. It'll be interesting to watch your progress, but I doubt you'll find many--if any--other modders to collaborate with.
I'm surprised by this statement. There are still people working on Dreamcast hardware... things like GDEmu SD, GDEmu USB, G1ATA mods, Moband adapter (though this project seems to be stalled/dead), etc.
It's thinking...
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