Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

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leech
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Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby leech » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:02 pm

I am just wondering, and I somehow think this has been discussed before, but is there a project out there to get the mapping of the mouse/joystick ports to the enhanced ports on the STe (non-Mega) and Falcon? I ask for several reasons.

1) those games that end up using a key in the keyboard for something (gauntlet, xenon, etc) that could be mapped to a Jag pad button.

2) maybe we could get someone to build an analog stick? I am thinking Frontier: Elite with a keypad and analog stick would rock. Not to mention some other flight simulators, or other things that could benefit from such things.

A program that can stay memory resident would be perfect for being able to do keypad mapping profiles.

I know it would be more complex than say the boot disks that flip between PAL and NTSC, but would be so useful. Especially for those random game types thatare easier with a gamepad.

On this same note, would a jag pad modified with an analog stick work for games on the Jaguar? Skyhammer and Robinson's Requiem would be awesome with one.

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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby mikro » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:02 am

I may be wrong but I don't think you can do this via software, as the joystick/mouse IKBD registers are read only.

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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby leech » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:46 am

Maybe a hardware mod that could be tweaked via software? Then again, I guess I have a NetUSBee, which would be nice to use USB game pads on as well.

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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby joska » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:37 am

leech wrote:Maybe a hardware mod that could be tweaked via software?


With a simple, passive adapter you can connect the JagPad to the normal joystick ports.

https://lowresmag.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/using-joypads-on-the-atari-st/

However, the stuff you're asking about is just not possible, as most (all?) games access the hardware directly. The closest you'll get is to replace the keyboard with a JagPad using a microcontroller. Wouldn't be hard to do, but maybe not very practical.
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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby leech » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:58 am

Yeah, using a jag pad in place of the joystick with access to only one button wouldn't be hard at all, but then again using Sega master system gamepads would be acceptable in this case, and they're probably easier to get than Jag Pads.

I still find it odd that the Amiga wired their ports up so that games could support more than one button, but Atari who more or less started it all (at least with the DB9 controllers) never improved upon it.

I had read that it accesses the hardware directly, that is why I was thinking a hardwired way to do it. And yes, a micro controller was what I was thinking (so you could assign say a space bar to button b, button A would be joystick, etc.) Granted it would have to be a programmable micro controller that would be similar to the connector for the CosmosEX, that allows USB keyboards.

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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby christos » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:48 am

If the game uses TOS routines to access the IKBD, it should be doable to write a generic driver to handle this. Reservoir gods wrote a program that would emulate a mouse with the jagpad. However, most games access the h/w directly, so they would need to be patched to use the jagpad.
Also, I think the atari 8-bit, and most certainly the 7800 can use two joystick buttons on the 9-pin connectors so it's mostly an ST limitation.
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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby MrMaddog » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:36 pm

What about having the driver use the XBIOS function Ikbdws() to send a string of keycodes to the IKBD based on which Jagpad buttons were pressed? The game can then read the IKBD's buffer w/o having to use TOS...

Believe me I wanted to make something like this over 20 years ago but just didn't have the information or know-how back then. :(

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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby joska » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:46 pm

MrMaddog wrote:What about having the driver use the XBIOS function Ikbdws() to send a string of keycodes to the IKBD based on which Jagpad buttons were pressed? The game can then read the IKBD's buffer w/o having to use TOS...


That's not how the keyboard works. You can send commands to the keyboard, but you can't instruct the keyboard to create specific keyboard/mouse/joystick events.
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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby leech » Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:31 pm

So you couldn't get something wired up that would press (for example) 'space' when you press 'b' on the jaguar pad? I mean clearly it wouldn't be just a simple wire, but more of something that would need to be programmable. I'm not thinking of something to send to the keyboard, more like a middle-man that would would send the same signals across the line as the keyboard would.

Is this not how the IKBD for the CosmosEX works?

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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby Miguel » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:05 pm

There is a keyboard shortcut remote called the K..AT which was made by Friend Chip, basically it plugs into the joystick port and the software runs as a desk accessory so that you can control programs like Cubase via keyboard shortcuts from across the room by pressing buttons on the remote....but of course games are an entirely different beast.

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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby leech » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:39 pm

Yeah, what I'm thinking is something that goes between the connector on the motherboard to the keyboard, which has both the joystick ports and the keyboard as part of it. The IKBD injector I believe it is usually referred to as. If we could utilize something like that which then went to the extended joystick ports.

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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby joska » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:53 am

leech wrote:So you couldn't get something wired up that would press (for example) 'space' when you press 'b' on the jaguar pad?


Sure, that's not a problem. You'd need a microcontroller with an UART, some EEPROM (to store Jagpad->IKBD mappings) and enough IO-pins to read the Jagpad. Then you connect the keyboard Tx to microcontroller Rx, and microcontroller Tx to ST keyboard Rx. Forward anything coming from the keyboard to the ST, and inject keyboard/joystick packets in the IKBD data stream whenever something happens on the Jagpad. The microcontroller should also snoop the ST->IKBD traffic to respect the various IKBD modes.

In addition to you need some way to configure Jagpad -> IKBD mapping. Either by adding a small display to the microcontroller or writing some software for the ST for this.

A €2 Arduino clone would handle this without problems.
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Re: Enhanced port to db9 mod/program?

Postby leech » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:47 am

That is exactly what I was thinking, but you know, in a coherent way! I wonder how many STe/Falcon owners would want such a thing?


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