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Converting your old joystick to USB

:: EPE Chat Zone ­:: ­Radio Bygones Message Board :: » EPE Forum Archives 2007-2009 » Archive through 16 March, 2008 » Converting your old joystick to USB « Previous Next »

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amr_bekhit
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Username: amr_bekhit

Post Number: 357
Registered: 06-2005


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Posted on Monday, 03 March, 2008 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello all,

In this month's EPE (March 2008), one article in particular caught my eye and that's the Multi Throttle Control for PC Flight Sims. Combined with an email I received about USB HID a while back, I set about seeing if I could get a USB PIC to act as a USB joystick.

After a bit of work, I have managed to do that and have converted my old game port joystick to use USB.

I wrote the code using the mikroElektronika mikroC compiler, which has HID routines built in. However, the same techniques can be applied to probably any other pre-written firmware or a compiler that can generate HID code, as the trick is in replacing the report descriptor with your own one.

I've put the project on my website and thought I'd share the link:

http://www.helmpcb.com/Electronics/USBJoystick/USBJoystick.aspx

--Amr
Helm PCB - My personal site.
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steerpike
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Username: steerpike

Post Number: 336
Registered: 05-2005


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Posted on Monday, 03 March, 2008 - 11:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thats really interesting and useful! It will make a good base for all kinds of USB interface projects.
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eagre
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Username: eagre

Post Number: 212
Registered: 05-2005


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Posted on Tuesday, 04 March, 2008 - 01:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, Amr, for the input. I also use mikroElectronica compilers, and find them usually better than the alternatives. Unfortunately in North America I have not yet received the March EPE.

Since MSFM is one of my favorite programs I will follow this closely.

Ed
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hackinblack
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Username: hackinblack

Post Number: 203
Registered: 09-2006

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Posted on Tuesday, 04 March, 2008 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

great one AMR,nicely documented

how did you do the graphic for the stripboard layout?;i have tried in the past tried a cheezy old copy of 'stripboard magic' but it crashes repeatedly
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amr_bekhit
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Username: amr_bekhit

Post Number: 358
Registered: 06-2005


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Posted on Tuesday, 04 March, 2008 - 12:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Ian,

I use a piece of software called VeeCAD - the free version is a basic stripboard layout program, but the paid version has a stripboard autorouter, which I have found to be very useful.

--Amr
Helm PCB - My personal site.
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pwillard
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Username: pwillard

Post Number: 93
Registered: 05-2005

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Posted on Friday, 07 March, 2008 - 07:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd like to also say that this is an excellent project for the PIC18F2550. I appreciate what you've done. Thanks for sharing.
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eagre
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Username: eagre

Post Number: 216
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Posted on Sunday, 09 March, 2008 - 01:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amr -

Thanks for the VeeCAD reference. I have been occasionly using Stripboard Magic in spite of its obvious problems. I find stripboard to be usually preferable to a PCB for one-off projects. In the US stripboard is not widely available, and I get mine from Futurlec and Jaycar.

Ed
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pwillard
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Post Number: 95
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Posted on Friday, 14 March, 2008 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You mentioned that you were having issues with the decriptor... In doing some research, I located a now defunct project called MJOY16 my Mindaugus. A quick review of his solution shows that he needed to create his descriptor so it showed multiple Joystick devices, not one.
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amr_bekhit
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Username: amr_bekhit

Post Number: 359
Registered: 06-2005


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Posted on Friday, 14 March, 2008 - 08:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

@Pete: Thanks for the heads up on MJoy - I'm doing some internet searches, but so far, I haven't had a glimpse of source code - only the compiled hex! It's almost like this is a commercial product (is it?).

@Ed: I agree with you about stripboard - unless you have some sort of automated system, PCBs can take a bit of time, but most importantly in my opinion, is the fact that stripboard is a lot easier to modify during development because you have so much track space, whereas a PCB could get a bit tricky.

--Amr
Helm PCB - My personal site.

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