VOGONS


Reply 124 of 150, by Volo

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SHORT UPDATE
I've handed over the prototype and cases for proof-of-concept milling of orifices in the shell. I wont have the access to the device for 2-3 weeks due to festivities and so-such.
I invested into into milling a custom production clamp, so the result shall be pretty much representative of production run.

The mill is Ø1,5mm, so some of the holes won't be very snug. I was warned that due to stepper motor limitation the rounded edges might be a bit jaggy, but not too bad.

I almost didn't touch the firmware lately, as it works almost perfectly.

The only issue I can't solve is keyboard (occasionally) crashes the keyboard in following circumstances:
1. Windows 98,
2. Device connected via USB through PCI USB card,
3. The PC is pretty dilapidated (flea market junk build),
3. Crashes (sometimes) occur during rebooting, not first boot.

The issue is pretty rare and sporadic. The crash resolved either by re-plugging the device or re-plugging the crashed keyboard.

I don't know the cause of this sporadic issue and I can't properly debug it. I might conjure up a serial connection: SEGA DB9 port is pretty much wired as Serial port, but I can't stick my null-modem cable into it as it is too wide to fit along with keyboard PS/2 jack.

In any case, I'll have 2-3 weeks to think up the test setup.

Feel free to join the wish list to Volo's Pad-to-PS/2 by writing me an e-mail:
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Reply 126 of 150, by Volo

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SITUATION REPORT

Been busy.
Received the first production prototype. There are a couple of kinks, which need to be addressed, but I’m rather happy with the result.
1. The device is quite hefty, weighs 50 grams (not including wires). Quite sturdy. Not wobbly or rattly.
2. The ports align quite well. All but SNES ports are flush.
3. Sadly, I couldn’t find a SNES port that would fit inside nicely. The onwe I am using sticks outside. SNES socket needs a bit of dremmeling to fit inside, but don’t worry – all dremmeling is done on the inside, so it won’t effect the looks.
4. I am making final arrangements to be sure that the whole enterprise is not ending up for me at a loss (my anticipated margin is quite modest).
5. Once I have the final production cost I’ll send my first e-mail to awesome guys and gals who subscribed to the preorder list to confirm the arrangement.

I HAVE TWO A QUESTIONS REGARDING OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES:
1. If you use motherboards with AT 5-pin keyboards. Would you pay 5$ for an optional native 4p4c-to-AT wire or you are fine with PS/2-to-AT you might have at hand?
2. You might have trouble fitting "wider" AT-to-PS/2 adapters right next to the SEGA port. Would you be willing to pay ~3$ for an optional “wire” adapter as below?
Zn0qh0M.png

The photos of the device are below:
nW3NzEp.jpg
0KxfFUk.jpg
YQ12nME.jpg
MSsFPoc.jpg

Feel free to join the wish list to Volo's Pad-to-PS/2 by writing me an e-mail:
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Reply 127 of 150, by keropi

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oh this looks great! kudos!!!
the wire adapter is way better - the stress release alone worths the price difference

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site buy+info
🎧 WIP Orpheus soundcard site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 129 of 150, by Volo

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keropi wrote on 2021-01-16, 19:25:

oh this looks great! kudos!!!
the wire adapter is way better - the stress release alone worths the price difference

Thanks for your reply!

Those things may be offered as an extra option.
In any case you'll get the device + 15cm 4p4c-to-PS/2 wire, which is more than enough to plug-n-play.
The question is if people require "optional" AT-dedicated extras for an extra fee.

I foresee no PCB stress issue:
The PS/2 port is of a boxy shielded variety, same as on ordinary motherboards and laptops. The design proved to be very sturdy over the decades and does not usually break.
4p4c port seems to bare no stress at all - if you yank it, you'll rip of the springy catch of RJ11 jack.
Game ports have their contacts scattered all over the PCB, so the stress is quite even.

The only issue I've encountered - MicroUSB socket is rather picky to jacks. I'd recommend using better quality Micro USB Type B wires with noticeably grippy springy "fangs".
Oh, by the way: USB cables not included! But I believe everyone has plenty of those.

Feel free to join the wish list to Volo's Pad-to-PS/2 by writing me an e-mail:
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Reply 130 of 150, by aha2940

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This looks great Volo, very nice design. Now my question: is there any port where I can get the required 5V for the adapter when using it on a 486 laptop? The laptop has single serial port, single parallel port, VGA , PCMCIA and PS/2 ports, nothing else.I know the PS/2 port supplies +5V, but since the adapter will use it, I guess that's not an option. Any other ideas?

Thanks!

Reply 132 of 150, by Volo

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aha2940 wrote on 2021-01-17, 04:21:

This looks great Volo, very nice design. Now my question: is there any port where I can get the required 5V for the adapter when using it on a 486 laptop? The laptop has single serial port, single parallel port, VGA , PCMCIA and PS/2 ports, nothing else.I know the PS/2 port supplies +5V, but since the adapter will use it, I guess that's not an option. Any other ideas?

Thanks!

It is because of you I can't have good things! To measure the amperage I've had to hack the only pretty 4p4c-to-PS/2 cable I've had! Oh, well...

Photos shall be later this day, but what let me put down my results in words.

  • The bare device itself consumes 28.25mA... Which is a LOT. I expected to fit within 20mA...
  • SNES controller adds 1.5 mA. both Sega 3-button and 6 button pads add no more than 0.5mA. So device with both gamepads draws 30 mA.
  • Holding a button adds another 0,5mA for typematic routine.
  • Sitting on both gamepads spikes overall current draw to about 33mA (not the puppy test, but good enough).
  • I think I may change 10k pulldowns to 100k. Maybe It'll knock off a milliamp or two, but I doubt it.

Regarding your laptop question. I don't think you'll have any issues, as most laptops have their PS/2 socket connected directly to +5V bus. So laptop shall be able to deliver a gazillion amps is you so desire.

On the other hand you might have issues with higher-end desktops of late 90s, as those had their PS/2 ports limited to 100mA. Most keyboards should draw 50-70mA, so you should be fine, but barely.
Some shady companies (yes, IBM Model M, I'm looking at you!) had their keyboards consume 110mA. You might have trouble with those even without my contraption.

Regarding external power:

Warning: THE DEVICE IS NOT PROTECTED FROM REVERSE CURRENT BY DIODES TO AVOID 0.7V VOLTAGE DROP.
Therefore do not power the device from external power adapters, while connected to PS/2!!! If you turn off the computer, while having +5V bus powered up by external power adapter you may fry something. I tried it - my laptops’ screens start flashing scarily. Don’t do that!

In IBM PCs you may get +5V form:

  • PS/2 port (duh!);
  • Gameport (defeats the purpose);
  • USB. If you have trouble with PS/2 - just stick to USB.

Serial and Parallel ports are not designed to supply power. From those you may only get 2-3mA tops.

Regarding connecting USB and PS/2 simultaneously. My PS/2 forwarding routines are very... simplistic. It just forwards signals (Signals! Not data!) to output PS/2 port. It has no resources to check if USB is connected. If you connect the device to USB and PS/2 concurrently – all your keyboard keys shall be pressed twice – once via PS/2 and second time (buffered) via USB.

Feel free to join the wish list to Volo's Pad-to-PS/2 by writing me an e-mail:
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Reply 133 of 150, by aha2940

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Volo wrote on 2021-01-18, 13:46:
It is because of you I can't have good things! To measure the amperage I've had to hack the only pretty 4p4c-to-PS/2 cable I've […]
Show full quote
aha2940 wrote on 2021-01-17, 04:21:

This looks great Volo, very nice design. Now my question: is there any port where I can get the required 5V for the adapter when using it on a 486 laptop? The laptop has single serial port, single parallel port, VGA , PCMCIA and PS/2 ports, nothing else.I know the PS/2 port supplies +5V, but since the adapter will use it, I guess that's not an option. Any other ideas?

Thanks!

It is because of you I can't have good things! To measure the amperage I've had to hack the only pretty 4p4c-to-PS/2 cable I've had! Oh, well...

Photos shall be later this day, but what let me put down my results in words.

  • The bare device itself consumes 28.25mA... Which is a LOT. I expected to fit within 20mA...
  • SNES controller adds 1.5 mA. both Sega 3-button and 6 button pads add no more than 0.5mA. So device with both gamepads draws 30 mA.
  • Holding a button adds another 0,5mA for typematic routine.
  • Sitting on both gamepads spikes overall current draw to about 33mA (not the puppy test, but good enough).
  • I think I may change 10k pulldowns to 100k. Maybe It'll knock off a milliamp or two, but I doubt it.

Regarding your laptop question. I don't think you'll have any issues, as most laptops have their PS/2 socket connected directly to +5V bus. So laptop shall be able to deliver a gazillion amps is you so desire.

On the other hand you might have issues with higher-end desktops of late 90s, as those had their PS/2 ports limited to 100mA. Most keyboards should draw 50-70mA, so you should be fine, but barely.
Some shady companies (yes, IBM Model M, I'm looking at you!) had their keyboards consume 110mA. You might have trouble with those even without my contraption.

Regarding external power:

Warning: THE DEVICE IS NOT PROTECTED FROM REVERSE CURRENT BY DIODES TO AVOID 0.7V VOLTAGE DROP.
Therefore do not power the device from external power adapters, while connected to PS/2!!! If you turn off the computer, while having +5V bus powered up by external power adapter you may fry something. I tried it - my laptops’ screens start flashing scarily. Don’t do that!

In IBM PCs you may get +5V form:

  • PS/2 port (duh!);
  • Gameport (defeats the purpose);
  • USB. If you have trouble with PS/2 - just stick to USB.

Serial and Parallel ports are not designed to supply power. From those you may only get 2-3mA tops.

Regarding connecting USB and PS/2 simultaneously. My PS/2 forwarding routines are very... simplistic. It just forwards signals (Signals! Not data!) to output PS/2 port. It has no resources to check if USB is connected. If you connect the device to USB and PS/2 concurrently – all your keyboard keys shall be pressed twice – once via PS/2 and second time (buffered) via USB.

Hey, thanks for the explanation. Sorry about not letting you have good things 😀. Now, to summarize what I understood:

1. It is not required to have an external +5V power supply
2. If using an external +5V power supply, I should be careful because of electrical reasons.

Is that a good summary? Thanks!!

Reply 134 of 150, by Volo

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aha2940 wrote on 2021-01-23, 13:59:
Hey, thanks for the explanation. Sorry about not letting you have good things :). Now, to summarize what I understood: […]
Show full quote
Volo wrote on 2021-01-18, 13:46:
It is because of you I can't have good things! To measure the amperage I've had to hack the only pretty 4p4c-to-PS/2 cable I've […]
Show full quote
aha2940 wrote on 2021-01-17, 04:21:

This looks great Volo, very nice design. Now my question: is there any port where I can get the required 5V for the adapter when using it on a 486 laptop? The laptop has single serial port, single parallel port, VGA , PCMCIA and PS/2 ports, nothing else.I know the PS/2 port supplies +5V, but since the adapter will use it, I guess that's not an option. Any other ideas?

Thanks!

It is because of you I can't have good things! To measure the amperage I've had to hack the only pretty 4p4c-to-PS/2 cable I've had! Oh, well...

Photos shall be later this day, but what let me put down my results in words.

  • The bare device itself consumes 28.25mA... Which is a LOT. I expected to fit within 20mA...
  • SNES controller adds 1.5 mA. both Sega 3-button and 6 button pads add no more than 0.5mA. So device with both gamepads draws 30 mA.
  • Holding a button adds another 0,5mA for typematic routine.
  • Sitting on both gamepads spikes overall current draw to about 33mA (not the puppy test, but good enough).
  • I think I may change 10k pulldowns to 100k. Maybe It'll knock off a milliamp or two, but I doubt it.

Regarding your laptop question. I don't think you'll have any issues, as most laptops have their PS/2 socket connected directly to +5V bus. So laptop shall be able to deliver a gazillion amps is you so desire.

On the other hand you might have issues with higher-end desktops of late 90s, as those had their PS/2 ports limited to 100mA. Most keyboards should draw 50-70mA, so you should be fine, but barely.
Some shady companies (yes, IBM Model M, I'm looking at you!) had their keyboards consume 110mA. You might have trouble with those even without my contraption.

Regarding external power:

Warning: THE DEVICE IS NOT PROTECTED FROM REVERSE CURRENT BY DIODES TO AVOID 0.7V VOLTAGE DROP.
Therefore do not power the device from external power adapters, while connected to PS/2!!! If you turn off the computer, while having +5V bus powered up by external power adapter you may fry something. I tried it - my laptops’ screens start flashing scarily. Don’t do that!

In IBM PCs you may get +5V form:

  • PS/2 port (duh!);
  • Gameport (defeats the purpose);
  • USB. If you have trouble with PS/2 - just stick to USB.

Serial and Parallel ports are not designed to supply power. From those you may only get 2-3mA tops.

Regarding connecting USB and PS/2 simultaneously. My PS/2 forwarding routines are very... simplistic. It just forwards signals (Signals! Not data!) to output PS/2 port. It has no resources to check if USB is connected. If you connect the device to USB and PS/2 concurrently – all your keyboard keys shall be pressed twice – once via PS/2 and second time (buffered) via USB.

Hey, thanks for the explanation. Sorry about not letting you have good things 😀. Now, to summarize what I understood:

1. It is not required to have an external +5V power supply
2. If using an external +5V power supply, I should be careful because of electrical reasons.

Is that a good summary? Thanks!!

Even more simple:
1. Device is plug-n-play and it's taken care of power.
2. Don't power computers through PS/2 or USB.
3. The device is foolproof (it is fused to quite low current), but inquisitive Vogons are not fools, therefore they are able to invent "genius" ways to get into trouble. Please don't! 😀

Last edited by Volo on 2021-01-23, 20:16. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 135 of 150, by SodaSuccubus

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I'm no electronics designer so please forgive my rather simplistic outlook,

But how hard would it be to make something like this to accept PlayStation 1/Sega Saturn controllers? Without the analog sticks obviously.

Reply 136 of 150, by Volo

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SodaSuccubus wrote on 2021-01-23, 19:34:

I'm no electronics designer so please forgive my rather simplistic outlook,

But how hard would it be to make something like this to accept PlayStation 1/Sega Saturn controllers? Without the analog sticks obviously.

Should be quite similar. I didn't bother as I designed the device for myself and I: (1) don't have a Saturn and (2) don't like the feels of PS1/PS2 controllers.
I thought about it:
1. Ditch USB.
2. Inject analog inputs into PS/2 mouse port.

Russian community denied supporting this SNES/Genesis device, but expressed interest in such Saturn/PlayStation converter.

Let us not open a whole new can of worms at this stage 😉

Feel free to join the wish list to Volo's Pad-to-PS/2 by writing me an e-mail:
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Reply 137 of 150, by Volo

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Today I've sent my very first message to the wishlist subscribers. It would be very helpful if you guys and gals dropped me a line.

Below are promised images of the current draw.

Just bare device (28.13 mA):
qflq8Dw.jpg?1

Device with SNES and Genesis gamepads connected (30.06 mA):
YZLqPBd.jpg?1

Sorry, no sitting on the gamepads photo (~33mA) - the puppy simply didn't bother.

Feel free to join the wish list to Volo's Pad-to-PS/2 by writing me an e-mail:
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Reply 138 of 150, by Volo

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Hello folks,
It seems there was some confusion regarding optional wires. I hope the image below shall ease understanding the options:
Wire 1 to connect to AT PC,
Wire 2 to connect AT keyboard.
h10LPQT.png

Feel free to join the wish list to Volo's Pad-to-PS/2 by writing me an e-mail:
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Reply 139 of 150, by Volo

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A quick update:
1. Ordered and partially prepaid PCB production;
2. Bought AT and PS/2 wires. Waiting for shipping from China;
3. Bought SEGA and SNES ports. Waiting for shipping from China;
4. Sorta preordered the blank cases. Need to find way to send them cash.

Now bad news. I misplaced my phone 100km from home. It is tied to my bank account. I may retrieve it in a week or so.
Therefore further financing has encountered a bit of a hiccup due to my silliness.

On the other hand I have an extra week to find a better deal on electronic components.

Feel free to join the wish list to Volo's Pad-to-PS/2 by writing me an e-mail:
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