Suncom Party Quiz Controllers

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Suncom Party Quiz Controllers

I just bought a set of the Suncom Party Quiz controllers/interface/software. I noticed on the box it says only 2 of the 4 controllers work on the //c. It plugs into the joystick port.

 

Is the limitation on the number of controllers due to the fact on the //c the port is shared with the mouse?  As opposed to the IIe that had a seperate 9pin port for the mouse? It looks like for the II/II+ it also has the dip style game connector, probably wired in parallel to the 9pin connector that run to the interface box. 

 

Other than a scan of the manual, I haven't seen much info on these controllers or the interface. If there is enough interest, I would be willing to reverse engineer them and provide schematics in case anyone would like to make their own controllers and interface.

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Got my controllers today, and

Got my controllers today, and boy are they pretty simple.  Which isn't surprising considering they connect to the Apple joystick port.  Making some kind of controller if you so desired certainly would not be hard based on what I found.

 

 

Each controller (four in total) simply consist of a PCBthat has 2 wires, a common trace, 4 single pole single throw switches (which are soft, not tactile) that connect to a resistor strip.  The buttons short out the common to different points on the resistor strip to vary the resistance seen by the Apple.  With no button's pressed, the controller reads about 72k ohms.  Pressing the buttons shorts the strip to the following values:

  • Button 1 shorts to bout 330-340 ohms
  • Button 2 shorts to about 12.5k ohms
  • Button 3 shorts to about 31k ohms
  • Button 4 shorts to about 52k ohms

 

The "interface unit" simply connects the 4 controllers to the joystick port.  Each controller has one wire connected to the +5v line on pin 2 of the DB9 connector.  Then the second wire in each controller is connected to one of the four PDL lines:

  • Controller 1 connects to DB9 pin 5 - PDL0
  • Controller 2 connects to DB9 pin 8 - PDL1
  • Controller 3 connects to DB9 pin 4 - PDL2
  • Controller 4 connects to DB9 pin 9 - PDL3

 

 

Which explains why on the //c you can only use controllers 1 and 2, as PDL 2 and PDL3 are used by the //c for the mouse (at least as I understand it).  Anyway, I've attached a few pictures and a somewhat roughly made schematic (I accidentally duplicated the lable for switch 3 twice, the bottom one should be SW4, not SW3) with approximate resistor values (I didn't use actual standard values, just mathmatically what they should be) if you were to build the controller out of discreet resistors.  The schematic doesn't show the fact the DB9 controller (which is a Y cord with the 16pin DIP connector attached) is wired to another RJ12, and that they all plug into a unit.  Its a simplified version of the wiring.  The controllers came with player 1, 2, 3, 4 stickers that attache on the top.  I haven't stuck them on yet (this was NOS, still in shrink wrap).

 

 

 

 

 

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After dinner, I realized the

After dinner, I realized the switches on the schematic really should be push buttons.  That gave me an excuse to fix the numbering as well.  Here is the corrected schematic.

 

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Hi. Thanks for doing that. I

Hi. Thanks for doing that. I don't have the smarts to do it for myself, but it seems like a fun game.

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