Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Sorgelig » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:54 pm

Isn't LL Cooljoy is based on the same USB-DB9 schematics?

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby BitsNStuff » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:22 pm

The board is actually different, it uses 6xUSB, 2xDB9 and 2xDB15.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby JohnnotveryDoe » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:39 pm

So....any progress, THaase ?

Your alternative USB HUB board is really interesting !!
:cheers:

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby mattsoft » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:51 am

I know you're planning on using the Retronic Design hardware for the DB9 ports but just wanted to mention that the Amiga mouse FW for the Retronic does NOT work with the MiSTer. The MiSTer does not track mouse movements with a real Amiga ball mouse connected to the Retronic Design adapter into USB.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Sorgelig » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:03 am

mattsoft wrote:I know you're planning on using the Retronic Design hardware for the DB9 ports but just wanted to mention that the Amiga mouse FW for the Retronic does NOT work with the MiSTer. The MiSTer does not track mouse movements with a real Amiga ball mouse connected to the Retronic Design adapter into USB.

It only means the adapter doesn't correctly present the mouse as USB mouse.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Flausch » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:48 am

mattsoft wrote:The MiSTer does not track mouse movements with a real Amiga ball mouse connected to the Retronic Design adapter into USB.


But why use on old amiga mouse?
Using classic DB9 joysticks is different, because it is a completely different feel. It is quite hard to play some games like Decathlon or Summer Games using a thumbstick controller. Joysticks have a total different feel than p.e. an xbox controller.
But I don't see any difference in using a classic mouse over a modern USB mouse?

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Sorgelig » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:24 pm

There should be Competition Pro USB joysticks. So you will get the same feeling. And if i remember correct, it also includes additional buttons which will be handy to operate the MiSTer and other cores.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby mattsoft » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:13 pm

Flausch wrote:
mattsoft wrote:The MiSTer does not track mouse movements with a real Amiga ball mouse connected to the Retronic Design adapter into USB.


But why use on old amiga mouse?
Using classic DB9 joysticks is different, because it is a completely different feel. It is quite hard to play some games like Decathlon or Summer Games using a thumbstick controller. Joysticks have a total different feel than p.e. an xbox controller.
But I don't see any difference in using a classic mouse over a modern USB mouse?


I'm not arguing one type of mouse over the other. I'm not arguing for the use of a ball mouse. Please read my post again.

Im simply stating that the intent of the project as expressed by its author is to use the Retronic Design DB9-USB adapter to allow joysticks and mice. I'm just pointing out that currently, the Amiga ball mouse does not work with the adapter on MiSTer, so the author's original intent cannot be met by default. That is all.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby THaase » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:34 pm

Hi,

just would like to give you all a short update (after a long time) - well: IT'S ALIVE :)
Hub_DB9_1.JPG

Hub_DB9_2.JPG

Hub_DB9_3.JPG

Hub_DB9_4.JPG

Hub_DB9_5.JPG


As you can see I've build up 2 prototypes (that are working without any issues).
The rest of the PCBs are also assembled and have gone to some local testers (also no issues till now)

New PCBs and parts are ordered last week already and I'll give some for sale as soon as I've assembled them.

For anybody interested in doing it by it's own: https://github.com/THaase71/USB_HUB_DB9.
I'll update the page with BOM etc. within the next days ....
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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby neumann » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:50 pm

This is really awesome! Thanks for sharing this, this is the board I've been waiting for! Are there any news on the BOM? I really want to build this board. But since I'm not familiar with the design of boards, which files do I have to use for the order? I couldn't find any Gerber files yet.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby THaase » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:22 pm

So basically the the Schematics are 'final' (OK, I'll skip also the orange LEDs in the next version - for now I'm just not solder these).
I can also upload the Gerber-Files to the git - no problem - if I remember till tonight I'll do this tonight or tomorrow morning.

If you just need the PCBs - I still have some spare - so I can provide this directly to you (might make sense if you only need one set) - but I'll not assemble solder kits - no chance - the effort is just too high.
I can also saend you the BOM as Excel - just drop me a mail (I'll put this information for sure also on the github page, but this well need some time ....

If you are otherwise interested in an assembled one (programmed & tested) - I should be able to send out (hopefully) beginning of next week.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby neumann » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:41 pm

Hi THaase,

thank's for your fast reply, I sent you an email.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby THaase » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:57 pm

In stock now.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Sorgelig » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:16 pm

Considering the popularity of 8bitdo (and mayflash) it's better to keep in mind the dimensions of these dongles. It's basically impossible to use USB and DB9 at the same time unless you use extension cable.
Probably it's better to redesign the board to make the space between USB ports. Maybe abandon (or move to bottom side) the ESP32 module, so USB ports can be placed on longer sides with one row to lower the height.
It's just my opinion - you may have other vision of course.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby QuarX » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:48 pm

Hi
Impressive work, I want ONE!!
:D
I´m Interested in USB HUB Board with 2 DB9.
Please add to the buy list.
PM Sent
Ciaooo
it´s your fault ha ha ha.... :lol:

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby THaase » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:18 am

Sorgelig wrote:Considering the popularity of 8bitdo (and mayflash) it's better to keep in mind the dimensions of these dongles. It's basically impossible to use USB and DB9 at the same time unless you use extension cable.


Sorry I can't confirm this:
SideViewWith8BitDo.JPG

FrontViewWithe8BitDo.JPG

DB9with8BitDo.JPG


Yes - tight, but fits!
Can't judge about the mayflash as I don't own one. Maybe somebody can measure width of MayFlash?

Sorgelig wrote:Probably it's better to redesign the board to make the space between USB ports. Maybe abandon (or move to bottom side) the ESP32 module, so USB ports can be placed on longer sides with one row to lower the height.
It's just my opinion - you may have other vision of course.


Yes - I have a different vision :D
As I already said: I don't want to have some sticks facing to the side (I just don't like it - otherwise I would have most likely just use your design).
And: Hopefully I will be able to eliminate the 8BitDo - as the ESP32 should take over the role of BT and BLE receiver ....
(As the actual Hubs come without I will for sure offer updating the existing HW with ESP32 module for the same amount as the ESP32 incuded version will cost more - if everything works like expected).

Before doing that I'll take a detour and first do an Retro Keyboard Adapter - first version will just use USB - second one will use also ESP32 (and LiPo Charger) for a Wireless Retro Keyboard.
Layout is already done - just to do another review and order some test batch ....

Anyway - basically I've desigend the Hub for my needs - and I never have really got familiar with Gamepads :evil:
I'm right handed and never feel good stearing with my left hand .... so I need my Competition Pro (and I guess that there are a lot of persons around having the same issue as I do).

Others like having also their original equipment .... and that's the reason why I cloned the Retronic Design - there are already plenty of DB9 Joysticks supported - you just have to reflash the Atmels on the board - this can be done using Windows / Mac or even from MiSTer.

I've already cross-compiles the command line update
bootloadHID_MiSTer.zip

Most likely it would be best to generate some scipts for reflashing so that it can be done from menu core .... just need to find some time to do so.
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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Sorgelig » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:52 am

Ok, with such overlapping it may fit.
Mayflash is narrower so it will fit as well.

As for generic BT receiver which will convert it to generic USB HID - i'm very eager to have such device as well.
But i don't think ESP32 is right module for this task. It has no native USB, so it cannot act as a HID device.

i think nRF52 dongle will perfectly fit:
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/ ... ND/9491124
It has both BT and native USB controllers. And more important - it has the construction of dongle like 8bitdo and Mayflash. It has powerful ARM 64MHz with 1MB flash and 256KB RAM which should be more than enough for this task.
The only problem i never dealt with BT and have no idea how hard will be to handle the BT devices, especially if particular device like gamepad not included in standard library.

Adafruit wrote a BSP for Arduino, so basically now it has 2 different development systems.

I've ordered several pieces. $10 is a dirt cheap price.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Sorgelig » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:07 am

Just suddenly thought: nRF52 may have a second sandwich board on top with connector for DB9, or even HDMI for bliss-box cables.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby THaase » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:02 pm

I will go in 3 steps:

1.) CH551G with TCA8418RTWR - I2C connection done via BitBanging

2.) add ESP32 while the CH551 is still master and sends the keycodes via SPI to ESP (that does the BT-HID) plus LiPo Charger and LDO

3.) get vUSB on ESP32 running and eliminate the CH551 - if this works the vUSB will also be useable on the Hub Board

So BOM will be less than $5 .... and the Nordic is a BT5 Device so no BT Classic - so the lag will be higher - OK, just about 10ms if you get the connection interval as low, but: PS3 Controllers use BT-Classic AFAIK - so there will be no chance to support these ....

I'll first go to adopt C64/C16 and Sinclair .... if you like I can send you the KiCAD data (should be more or less final)

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Sorgelig » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:26 pm

THaase wrote:and the Nordic is a BT5 Device so no BT Classic - so the lag will be higher - OK, just about 10ms if you get the connection interval as low, but: PS3 Controllers use BT-Classic AFAIK - so there will be no chance to support these ....

This is what unclear to me. From one side it's not BT classic, but from other side i've saw some examples to use nRF51/52 as a BT keyboard. It's actually reverses to what we need but anyway it works somehow.
vUSB is software USB and i'm afraid it may add lag due to MCU will be very busy by USB emulating. This i believe will also limit the number of BT devices can be connected as they definitely will require more processing time.
Probably standard USB serial link on ESP32 can be used - i just don't know if it will add too much overhead to poll the joysticks behind the serial link.

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby THaase » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:53 am

Sorgelig wrote:This is what unclear to me. From one side it's not BT classic, but from other side i've saw some examples to use nRF51/52 as a BT keyboard. It's actually reverses to what we need but anyway it works somehow.


To make it short: It's both called BT, but thats (except for the frequency range) all that's simmilar ....
While BT (Classic) is having a constant connection (and has a higher throuhput) the BLE (BT Low Energy) is for saving energy - therefor the BT Chips agree on a different connection intervall (rest can be sleeping afterwards to save energy) - this can be down to 10ms (or has it been 12.5 - have to check) but this sometimes doesn't work (different chipsets / FW and so on) - reliable works something around 20ms .... AFAIK (I'm not really involved in BT, but some of my colleagues in my department doing BT stuff for our chips (I'm working for a bigger japaneese company) - so I'm having some basic knowledge about)

Sorgelig wrote:vUSB is software USB and i'm afraid it may add lag due to MCU will be very busy by USB emulating.


Well - vUSB also works in the Atmels 328p on the Hub and they are running €12MHz .... and till now I've not been reported any lag issue ....
Also I've used it on even smaller Atmel devices .... without any problem.

It's already been ported to the ESP8266 (https://github.com/cnlohr/espusb) and this is a single core machine while the ESP32 is dual core.
Disadvantage of the 8266: Only WLan.

Sorgelig wrote:This i believe will also limit the number of BT devices can be connected as they definitely will require more processing time.
Probably standard USB serial link on ESP32 can be used - i just don't know if it will add too much overhead to poll the joysticks behind the serial link.

In our chips the number of connections is not a problem of the speed (M0@27MHz) but on RAM - and also there I don't see any problem with the ESP32

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Re: Introducing alternative USB HUB Board

Postby Sorgelig » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:59 am

Then may be it's better to use Atmel32u4 as USB bridge? At least there is a well supported USB stack in Arduino. I've used it (Arduino Micro) for my A500->USB-HID converter. It should be cheap as well.

nRF52 is advertised as customizable RF. May be it's possible to tweak it to follow original BT classic. Though i haven't found any such customizations. I've received nRF52 dongle - it's so tiny! It's a pity to not use it..

P.S.: direct BT support discussion moved to separate thread.


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