Use old PC gamepad with Beeb: are they compatible?

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dhg2
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Use old PC gamepad with Beeb: are they compatible?

Post by dhg2 » Mon May 07, 2018 8:40 pm

Hello,

I was looking through some old boxes the other day and I found my old PC gamepad, one of the ones that plugins into the midi/gameport.
I used to really like this gamepad, the buttons felt quite nice and it worked well. I haven't been able to use it since around 2005 when gameports stopped appearing on new computers.
gamepad.jpg
Anyway, I noticed that the shape of the plug and the number of pins is the same as the analogue/joystick port on the back of the BBC Micro. But of course I don't want to assume that it'd be safe to plug it in, in case they're not compatible and it could damage the computer.
Do old PC gamepads work with the BBC computer?

Patrick
Regards,
- Patrick

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tricky
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Re: Use old PC gamepad with Beeb: are they compatible?

Post by tricky » Mon May 07, 2018 8:56 pm

Sorry, they aren't pin compatible, and I haven't heard of a converter, but you may be able to mod the pad.
There are a few threads around explaining why, but the simple answer is it is cheaper to do it the way the PC did, even though it isn't as good.
I think I may have linked an EEVBLOG that describes how the PC works and iirc, has a shout out for the beeb ;)

Bat
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Re: Use old PC gamepad with Beeb: are they compatible?

Post by Bat » Mon May 07, 2018 9:01 pm

Hi,
I'm going to say no. Simply because it's an analogue port and that game pad is all digital.
Happy to be corrected as I'm no expert but the analogue port is looking for varying resistances and the controller is either on or off.
Cheers,
Gavin :)

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tricky
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Re: Use old PC gamepad with Beeb: are they compatible?

Post by tricky » Mon May 07, 2018 9:11 pm

PC joysticks were originally analogue, but the they just provide different resistances and the PC card does the rest. The beeb is given two voltages and returns a value between them which the chip in the beeb turns into a number.
Here is the thread with that EEVBLOG video viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14694&p=196860&hili ... og#p196860

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topcat96
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Re: Use old PC gamepad with Beeb: are they compatible?

Post by topcat96 » Mon May 07, 2018 9:34 pm

dhg2 wrote:I haven't been able to use it since around 2005 when gameports stopped appearing on new computers.
What you need is something like this to enable you to use the joystick again on your PC

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-to-Joyst ... 0846308058
Image

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