VOGONS


First post, by Mu0n

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I'm trying to profit from both hardware worlds: using my Roland MT-32 and my newly acquired joysticks.

Goals:

-Use a Gravis Gamepad Pro with MT-32 in Zeliard
-Use an Advanced Gravis Joystick with MT-32 in Wing Commander 1 & 2

Here's my gear:

-486 DX/2 66 IBM Valuepoint (upgraded CPU)
-Sound Blaster 16 ct-2940
-Serdashop's DB15 to MIDI small PCB
-Roland MT-32
-Advanced Gravis Joystick, Advanced Gravis Joystick Pro and Gravis Gamepad pro (this one with a doubling DB15 connector)
-SoftMPU to replace needing a hardware MPU unit
-No other gameports in some kind of serial+parallel+gameport back slot combo thing

https://content.screencast.com/users/Mu0n729/ … R_Recording.png

The Serdashop interface works brilliantly at this killer price, but of course, ties up the only joystick port I have on this machine. Using the Gravis Gamepad Pro Y-connector makes both Roland Mt-32 and gamepad not work in Zeliard (I know there are several pinout configurations depending on how you want to decouple a stick + throttle, or use a simple 2-axis joystick with MIDI, etc).

Is there a ready made solution for this I can purchase and forget while I wait for it to get here, or do I need to whip out a breadboard with jump wires to make a working connection with what I have?

EDIT - I now have a working solution, using:
-Rewired DB15 to MIDI in + MIDI out + 2nd DB15 splitter cable from Aliexpress that had many missing wires, making several pins absolutely inactive (only MIDI out was supported in all that junk)
-Serdashop DB15MIDI adapter
I made a thread documenting the info: Bought a gameport joystick/MIDI cable splitter from aliexpress, had to redo

Last edited by Mu0n on 2021-04-22, 13:35. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 5, by TimMer1981

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ISA dual gameport expansion card(s) for the gamepad and joysticks?

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Reply 3 of 5, by cyclone3d

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Problem with most of the splitters when used on a single gameport is that would will only get 2 active buttons per joystick/gamepad. Same goes for the dual port cards.

And if you use a Y-splitter, you also need to make sure that your sound card supports dual controllers.

If you just want to switch between the controllers for different games, it would be better to just have a DB15 switch-box such as this:
2-way https://www.ebay.com/itm/233961699183
4-way https://www.ebay.com/itm/203228134342
4-way https://www.ebay.com/itm/232912143541

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Reply 4 of 5, by Jo22

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Just get an old ISA multi-i/o card. .
These usually included serial port, parallel port and gameport (plain; no MIDI). Maybe FDC and IDE, too.
The not needed components can be disabled by jumpers.

Personally, I'd simply make my own cable. Or modify an existing one.
MIDI only needs four signals. RX/TX/GND/5v.

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_port

Edit: If your soundcard is not that expensive, you can just tap these four signals on the soldering side of the DE15 connector and route these 1:1 to a second DE15 connector (that's mounted on a spare bracket).
But beware, it might be necessary to disconnect the pins on the soundcard's own connector.
Because, the joystick may ground these pins, causing a short.
Edit: This might be an issue if both connectors have their devices attached to them at the same time.

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Reply 5 of 5, by Mu0n

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I did use that schematic while completing my solution. I just ditched MIDI in, which I have no plans on using on a retro PC (as I can just do similar with a Roland SC-88ST plugged into my Mac SE/30 with cubase 1.0) and considered for a few moments if a 2nd joystick with 2 buttons was needed, and I rapidly came to the realization that I wouldn't need that. Removing these 2 needs made it very simple and the Serdashop split to 2x MIDI out adapter completely removed the need to get my own buffering components.