Bluetooth to Apple II – Using an updated Firmware for Option 8’s RetroConnector

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Bluetooth to Apple II – Using an updated Firmware for Option 8’s RetroConnector

Bluetooth to Apple II – Using an updated Firmware for Option 8’s RetroConnector

 

Over the last few months, I have written a few different versions of firmware for the Joystick RetroConnector (I’ve also mastered making the little device). I can connect Xbox, PlayStation, and most other 8Bitdo type Bluetooth controllers.

 

I always found flaws in other modern joystick adapters, either not giving full range analog, or no analog at all, or digital signals that were off, or needing a smart phone app as an intermediary, or worse – products sold out and impossible to find. The RetroConnector seemed perfect as it doesn’t need external power, its Opensource, and using an Arduino processor it seemed to me that it would feasible to upgrade the firmware to Bluetooth.

 

It worked amazing! I have full range analog, perfect digital, option keys for rumble effects, and for the first time a touch pad device (PlayStation) that works like a game paddle. Its awesome. Zero lag.A PlayStation 4 controller offers 4 directional options for game play , all at once - Digital direction, Full range analog, circular analog, and finger touch non-centering paddle!

I then started making graphic ‘skins’ for the controllers – to give that Apple II feel.

 

I think the result is amazing – and a bit contagious. As you can see. I cant stop making different beautiful controllers. 

 

Let me know what you think. If you want one let me know. I’ve made a few dozen already. Special shoutout to Charles Mangin for the RetroConnector, and to the Circuits@Home folks for the USB code libraries. My code just pulls it all together.

 

Full Demos of the controller working with the software on YouTube. If anyone is interested reach out.

https://youtu.be/1BpfnqD1jW0

 

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Looks like an interesting

Looks like an interesting project!

 

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2 player mode

Does this work with 2 players?

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Modnarmai wrote:Does this
Modnarmai wrote:

Does this work with 2 players?

Do any Apple II games actually support two joysticks? The port in theory can support 4 axis (2 for each player, and except Apple IIc due to mouse support). But it would require a special Y cable that I don't ever recall seeing back in the day. Nor do I recall any games prompting for a 2nd joystick.

 

 

I do know Party Quiz takes advantage of all 4 axis for its special controllers. But it also has a special adapter for the quiz controllers.

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nick3092 wrote:Modnarmai
nick3092 wrote:
Modnarmai wrote:

Does this work with 2 players?

Do any Apple II games actually support two joysticks? The port in theory can support 4 axis (2 for each player, and except Apple IIc due to mouse support). But it would require a special Y cable that I don't ever recall seeing back in the day. Nor do I recall any games prompting for a 2nd joystick.

yes there are a few games that natively support two player, with 2 joysticks.  Top of mind are Archon and One-on-One (basketball).  Other ports exist for example I worked on a 2-player mario bros that is so much fun with 2-joysticks.  

 

Ive made a youtube video showing how to make an adapter to hook up 2 joysticks and work with these games natively.   

https://youtu.be/N24VPiIjzCA

 

Ive also built a device that does this cleanly.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/5251478676/permalink/10162916833438677/

 

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Modnarmai wrote:Does this
Modnarmai wrote:

Does this work with 2 players?

 

ive thought about this, but the coding for 2 connected joysticks is tricky and would require more horsepower than the tiny atmega328 on-board.

 

 That said, if you had 2 of these and a 2-joystick splitter than you can play 2-player , simultanious with 2 wireless bluetooth joysticks at the same time.  Ive done this on my Apple :-) 

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Microbmen is correct.  The Y

Microbmen is correct.  The Y adapters to use 2 joysticks were out there back in the day but not common.  IEC sells one now.  One caveat is the first joystick has two fire buttons, the 2nd only has one.  EXCEPT the IIgs.  I have seen kludges to hook the 2nd joystick 2nd button up to the casset input port, but I don't know of much that supported it.

 

As he says also, games that supported two joysticks were rare also.  But did exist.  The two he mentions, but probably a few others.  There were so many games out for the Apple II back in the day.

 

Oh...  one sort of weird example, I can't remember the name of was a shoting game that supported two pairs of paddles.  And there was also a fooseball game that supported two sets of paddles too although not the popular one from Sirius I think which may have supported something like that through Sirius's game port extender product.  It's been too long now, my memory isn't exact.

 

 

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote
softwarejanitor wrote:

Microbmen is correct.  The Y adapters to use 2 joysticks were out there back in the day but not common.  IEC sells one now.  One caveat is the first joystick has two fire buttons, the 2nd only has one.  EXCEPT the IIgs.  I have seen kludges to hook the 2nd joystick 2nd button up to the casset input port, but I don't know of much that supported it.

 

As

 

I would love a compiled list of 2 joystick games / 2 sets of paddle games.  Recently we did a mod to Mario Bros that lets Mario be Joystick 1 , and Luigi be Joystick 2.   It can be found via that facebook post above.

 

I made a splitter PCB that gives player 1 button 0 (for both buttons) and button 1 ( for both buttons) for player 2.  It prevents player 1 from dilibrate or accidentally messing up player 2. 

 

 

 

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