NUON Rotary Controllers for T3K

nicolaspersijn

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Searched all day for the specs on the rotary encoder built into the WW. Nothing. So I'm trying right now to order one as cheap as possible. I'm gonna rip its guts out. In the meantime, I've already ordered a few different types of loose optical rotary encoders. They can get rather pricy (like over $20-40 each), so using advanced logic, I deduced that Logitech would probably put a cheaper $5 encoder in this controller rather than one that costs almost as much as the whole controller. Brilliant,eh?

Now the eternal wait for mail. Barring an answer from Mr. Minter, you probably won't hear anything new for a while.
 

litoskin

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I'm interested in one too if you will be able to build some i will buy it for sure !
 

nicolaspersijn

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Just got some possibly useful info here: http://www.sejus.com/earth2willi/forums/viewtopic.php?t=107&sid=079bc318cb88d0040840ea66b86faaae

Another 10 year old thread that starts with that old YAK chat interview again. The only other post on the thread is a suggestion to sever the traces to the d-pad while the rotary encoder is connected.

I believe the author suggests this as a way to try to trick the polyface into thinking the encoder is in fact a dpad, but that would never work because the encoder is an encoder and not a d-pad. The 2 work very differently. I see is as a way to absolutely confirm with the polyface that there is only the encoder installed and NO d-pad (no digital up/down/left/right, only quadratic incremental left/right). Not a bad idea. I'm going to try this out with switches to reconnect the d-pad. I'll give it a shot with the mechanical encoder for giggles. It probably won't work, but at least the hard part's done already when the optical encoders/ Wingman Warrior come (in another 2 weeks still, probably).

I also like the fact that this experiment is completely reversible now that I know how to repair traces. Trying to keep the bodycount on this project low. $15 shipped per logitech controller isn't bad, but I am far from being a rich dude...
 

nicolaspersijn

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Also...I'm reaching out to some of my Jag Rotary customers to try to crowd source R&D on this. I'm hoping for a mention in the RetroGamingRoundup and NowYourPlayingWith Podcast, and I'm thinking about contacting Brad Shoemaker at Giantbomb, as I know he owns a NUON and I think a Jag as well (listen to the podcast dated 10-02-2012 here at about 1h45m: http://connect.pure.com/de/content/podcast/1584641-giant-bombcast)

... I'm letting everyone know that I've set up HQ's on this project here, so there may be a little more traffic to come if it works out.

I think it may have helped readership on the JSII forums when I kicked off my Jag Rotary/AV Cables projects...Just sayin'
 

nicolaspersijn

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Just got some possibly useful info here: http://www.sejus.com/earth2willi/forums/viewtopic.php?t=107&sid=079bc318cb88d0040840ea66b86faaae

Another 10 year old thread that starts with that old YAK chat interview again. The only other post on the thread is a suggestion to sever the traces to the d-pad while the rotary encoder is connected.

I believe the author suggests this as a way to try to trick the polyface into thinking the encoder is in fact a dpad, but that would never work because the encoder is an encoder and not a d-pad. The 2 work very differently. I see is as a way to absolutely confirm with the polyface that there is only the encoder installed and NO d-pad (no digital up/down/left/right, only quadratic incremental left/right). Not a bad idea. I'm going to try this out with switches to reconnect the d-pad. I'll give it a shot with the mechanical encoder for giggles. It probably won't work, but at least the hard part's done already when the optical encoders/ Wingman Warrior come (in another 2 weeks still, probably).

I also like the fact that this experiment is completely reversible now that I know how to repair traces. Trying to keep the bodycount on this project low. $15 shipped per logitech controller isn't bad, but I am far from being a rich dude...

Duh, I realized that the traces are already "severed" as long as there is no button press. The traces always terminate, terminating them sooner doesn't really make a difference so...

The next thing I'm going to try is to permanently ground up and down on the dpad. This would be something that would not be possible under normal circumstances and may force a reply from the polyface, like the fast spinning of the encoder. The constant nature of the change may trigger a more permanent switch from the NUON bios...

Oh, and I got my optical encoders today. Only 6 days! Thanks digikey! I'll try it first with the mechanical I have hooked up already and if it doesn't do anything (which I don't think it will), I'll try it with one of the optical encoders. I'll just need to locate the 5V trace (thanks again focusRS for the info!) on the PCB, if there is one...without a multimeter. A guy at work here suggested a 5V LED to test the traces, which I just happen to have a butt-load of laying around. I'll get around to that blue LED Jag mod for my Dental Jag sooner or later. If anyone wants one, I've got about 90 of them I don't need...

More to come!
 

nicolaspersijn

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Well finally got around to trying out the mechanical encoder with up and down grounded and it did some crazy stuff, but it didn't activate rotary mode from the polyface. I did get a hold of a multimeter from my brother in law, so I'll look for those 5 V here soon. He also said he has some contacts with logitech and will see about getting the full specs of the nuon controller. I told him also to ask about the polyface, too so we'll see.

I'll update again when I get the optical encoder hooked up.
 
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nicolaspersijn

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Sorry for the lack of updates. My real job has got me running rugged. I haven't been able to test for a 5V trace yet plus I'm still waiting on the Wingman Warrior to arrive.

In an interesting development, I reached out to Tursi from the JSII forum. He's working on an optical spinner project himself (plus he's a general hardware/software genius), so I asked him to give this thread a look. Like always, he was quick to check it out and give me some advice:

"I skimmed the referenced threads. From the sounds of it, support is present, but you need to configure the polyface chip to report back to the Nuon that it's a rotary. After that your standard wiring will probably just work.

There are three ways to figure out how...

1) First is to ask Yak if he knows, but it looks like he doesn't, he just took possession of a working one. But don't be afraid of him, he's active on his forums and a really approachable guy. He did mention the 'right analog stick'... that may be his clue as to where it's wired up. Might also see if Yak will send someone the working controller to be disassembled and documented. Dunno if he will.
2) Second is to completely document and existing controller, and see whether we can infer the operation of the controller IC, in order to try and suggest other controller types.
3) Third is to examine a disassembly of the NUON BIOS, if anyone has done that, and try to learn from the controller detection code."

I honestly haven't even thought about the analog stick as a possiblility. The wiring for that is complete chinese to me. There's alot here to go over. Guess this is going to take longer than I had hoped. Anyone got an analyzed disassembly of the NUON BIOS translated into laymen? I'm still waiting on my flake brother in law to come through with those controller specs. Not sure if YAK has seen my email or tweet. I just joined yakyak, but I'll need to figure out where I should post the cry for help. Argh.

On a positive note, I finally got a retail copy of T3K! It's brand new and sealed, but I'm going to open it right up and play it. My copy had some buggy music, so I'm looking forward to playing an original disk...
 

offensive_jerk

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I joined this forum hoping there was a thread for this subject. Low and Behold, there is!
This controller would be awesome. Although I don't yet own a rotary for my jag.
 

nicolaspersijn

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Just a quick update with more to come: I finally received the wingman warrior controller and I'm planning on ripping it open and doing some tests with the optical rotary and the analog stick on the Logitech on the advice from Tursi. I'll post the results soon. Thanks for staying tuned in!
 

Serblander

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Thanks for the regular updates! Super excited about a T3K rotary possibility! :)
 

nicolaspersijn

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No need to thank me. Granted, there is a lot to gain for the Nuon community and retrogaming community in general from the completion of this project, but honestly it’s become a personal obsession due to my now blinding need to play T3K with a rotary. At first, it was academic because I didn't own a console or the game yet. Having the game sitting there and me trying to play it with a controller (although the buzz is true about the HPI Stealth analog stick working better for T3K than a standard Logitech pad), is a different story.

My true intentions for my posts is that I'm half hoping for someone out there from VMLabs to say "hm, I remember making that WW rotary for Jeff. I guess I should chime in!" The longer I keep buzz going on this, the better my chances someone in the know might say "Hey, I remember when I was working on Project X all those years ago...I wonder what ever happened to that platform I helped write the BIOS for..." and hit Google for recent news.

I've been pushing my project on every outlet that has even a little bit of visibility in the gaming scene. I’ve sent tweets to Brad Shoemaker and an email to The RetroLeague Podcast. We DID get a mention on the Retrogaming Roundup podcast (yay!), with a link to this thread on the shownotes page, but they have only a very small section of their audience interested in NUON (me and focusrs, as far as I know. Correct me if I’m wrong).

So, no need to thank me as my intentions are purely selfish. :)

Anyway, here's a photo of the backside of the optical rotary encoder for the WW stick:

image.jpg


I can see the standard optical rotary 6 pinout there,-/NA/A/+/B, with the black wire as the - and the yellow wire as the +5v. The wierd thing is that the normally unused NA green wire seems to be connected to an active trace on the PCB. Hope this isn't some kind of custom job made specifically for this controller.

So, I'm still trying to figure out how I can locate a good +5v source on the PCB for the NUON controller. Got a multimeter, just need to learn how to use it right. YouTube to the rescue. I may just try out a battery or something for the 5v. We'll see.

I'm going to Frankenstein the two controllers together first using the dpad inputs again. I would try to turn the WW into a fully functioning NUON controller, but the wires for the buttons on the stick are only color coded so I'd need a lot of time for trial and error, mostly error probably.

I'm going to post a picture of the NUON controller analog stick assembly. Maybe someone out there can help me figure out A/B & common on it. I don't get that thing at all. Until I know which way is up, I'll have to stop in front of YAK's "fiddling the right stick" hint.

I'm starting to feel like Alice here with this rabbit hole.
 

nicolaspersijn

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Here's a pic of the backside of the Logitech NUON controller analog stick. Like I said, complete Chinese to me. If anyone wants to chime in on how I can hook up an optical rotary to this, I'd really appreciate it.

Haven't had any time to do any other tinkering with this. Real life's a bitch.

Thanks ya'll.

image.jpg
 

Stephen

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I wouldn't hook the spinner up to the analog portion of the controller. The way it worked on the Jag pad was hooking to the left and right inputs of the digital pad. The encoder then closes the left, right, or both switches.

I seem to remember the 1st time someone attempted a rotary, the controller documents talk about the PolyFace (controller chip in the Nuon) having a rotary input, but the various devices were supposed to identify themselves to the PolyFace. No further information ever really surfaced.

I still have all of my old source code. I have a controller configuration screen coded up if you would like it for testing.

Stephen
 

nicolaspersijn

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Well, after
I wouldn't hook the spinner up to the analog portion of the controller. The way it worked on the Jag pad was hooking to the left and right inputs of the digital pad. The encoder then closes the left, right, or both switches.

I seem to remember the 1st time someone attempted a rotary, the controller documents talk about the PolyFace (controller chip in the Nuon) having a rotary input, but the various devices were supposed to identify themselves to the PolyFace. No further information ever really surfaced.

I still have all of my old source code. I have a controller configuration screen coded up if you would like it for testing.

Stephen

Well, after hitting a wall on a different Jaguar project (burning my own backup cart copies), I've decided to set my sights back on this. Basically, all I need is +5V from somewhere to run my optical rotary encoder (preferably a trace on the Logitech NUON controller) and figure out how to activate rotary control mode in the nuon bios from the polyface.

So, Stephen...please explain. I think you've got alot more to add to this then I've been assuming. What is this "controller configuration screen" and what does it mean to have it "coded up"? I'm very interested. The Manual you gave me over @ JaguarSector II was pretty helpful in that it verified the exsistence of a few different rotary encoder controllers supported right from the BIOS, but no info on how to implement them. Unless I missed it...

My 9 year old son laughs at me when I try to play T3K. The game doesn't have to be this hard..
 

Stephen

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So, Stephen...please explain. I think you've got alot more to add to this then I've been assuming. What is this "controller configuration screen" and what does it mean to have it "coded up"?
The Samsung N501 lets you run "homebrew" code. I wrote some code probably a decade ago when the public SDK was released. Part of the code I wrote was a little program which reads the controller buttons including the analog, and shows the output of a status register. My game demo includes a screen which allows the user to set the deadzone and sensitivity of the analog. If you want that code I can post it here.
 

nicolaspersijn

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The Samsung N501 lets you run "homebrew" code. I wrote some code probably a decade ago when the public SDK was released. Part of the code I wrote was a little program which reads the controller buttons including the analog, and shows the output of a status register. My game demo includes a screen which allows the user to set the deadzone and sensitivity of the analog. If you want that code I can post it here.

Sounds great! Every little bit helps. Beggars can't be choosers, and I'm clearly beggin' here.
Thanks! Do you remember anything in the SDK regarding coding for rotary encoders? Maybe if I can just reverse engineer the process somehow...
 

nicolaspersijn

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That would be great. I'd love to check that out. Sounds like a great utility. I don't know how I've missed that up until now. Please, please do. And thanks for the help and attention!
 
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