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Author Topic: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed  (Read 1345 times)

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wongojack

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I ended up buying someone else's from-scratch, DIY rig. It's got some drawbacks in that there is no glass or bezel and a big --I'm attempting to get by the auto-censor and should be beaten after I re-read the rules-- TV just sits in the display area. Its made of custom cut MDF so its heavy, and we had to disassemble it to get it out of the guy's apt, but this guy had some nice touches with custom re-wired speakers and a 4 player control panel. It was half the price of most kits I found so I just went with it. Maybe I'll post a a picture later (if I'm not too embarrassed at the giant TV).

Anyway, I put it together. Screws went back into place as they should. The 4 player control panel had a few points on it that came loose, this guy used IPAC4 but didn't put the crimps on the switches, just soldered them individually. I found the ends of the wires that came loose and re-soldered using the solder that was already there in all cases but one - which was a stiff copper wire that I guess is part of the daisy chained ground wire.

The fact that I didn't wire this myself is both a good and bad thing because I don't have to go through the time it takes to make the thing work, but I also have never wired a control panel, so I have to figure out after the fact how the thing is supposed to work in the first place.

Testing a few games and I discover that player 4 joystick up is configured correctly, but it does multiple presses when pressed. Pushing it in notepad gives me minimum two little 'y' s. 2 of the solder points I had to fix were for player 4, but they were buttons 1 and 4 which seem to be working fine.

Any ideas on what can cause a double press like that?

wongojack

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 11:23:10 am »
Ok, so a bit more testing and observation on this.  When the joystick is pressed up I hear a click and a 'y' is typed in notepad.  Then as I slowly let the joystick move back to its center position I hear an additional click and another 'y' is typed.

In game what happens is player 4 works fine until you press up, at which point the character moves all the way to the top of the screen and will not move back down.  The character can move left/right and jump/fire, but will not move down.

I think that either the connection is soldered to the wrong side of the switch (always closed) or is possibly soldered to both sides, but I have no real experience with this.  Has anyone ever seen this behavior?

Hoopz

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 11:42:54 am »
Can you post a picture of the switch so we can see it?

And when you look at the bottom of the joystick note that when you press UP on the joystick, the switch that's being activated is the one closest to you.  It's backwards if that makes sense. 
Ajax should have been named Warlord, not Swan.

First off, Hoopz is right.

wongojack

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 12:11:28 pm »
I'll get a picture of it it soon.  The control pad was not built to swing up on a hinge, so I need to unscrew it and carefully lift it up.  This requires another person to help as I'm pretty sure that I will pull more wires out if I do it myself.  4 players = a large panel, and its a bit of a rat's nest under there.

I was mostly wondering if I described the behavior - someone would have heard of it and be able to tell me what I'm looking for when I pull the control pad off.

Hoopz

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 12:19:55 pm »
Check to see if the ground is attached properly and that the wire going to the I-Pac is correct also.  The picture that I linked to shows which ones you use.  Where it says "NO" means normally open and is the wire that connects to the I-Pac.  

Ajax should have been named Warlord, not Swan.

First off, Hoopz is right.

bkenobi

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 12:41:15 pm »
This could be as simple as needing to replace a switch for that joystick.  Switches are cheap and easy to replace (if they aren't soldered), so hopefully it won't be too hard to correct...

wongojack

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 01:42:34 pm »
Great Pic - thanks for the responses!

I'll pull off the panel this weekend if not before.  Till then, Green Elf will have to sit on the sidelines or be stuck at the top of the screen.

If its something other than just being wired wrong, there are some control buttons on this thing that have been installed but not wired.  I may pull the switch from one of those if such a thing is possible.

bkenobi

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 02:34:27 pm »
Many joysticks use the same switches as common buttons (Cherry is one common variant).  As long as the one from the button fits in the joystick, you should be good to go.  If you care about the feel, you might want to replace all of the joystick switches with the same type as there may be some actuation force differences.  That's not necessary to get things up and running though.

JODY

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 09:48:38 pm »
Check to see if the panel is causing the joystick to jam against the cabinet under the control panel.  I bought a Stargate cabinet that had been converted to a Multi-Williams.  The right joystick was causing button presses in the center position.  Found that the cabinet originally had one joystick on the left.  The cabinet had a notch in the wood behind the control panel to allow the left joystick to move freely.  The joystick on the right was added later.  Without the notch, the shaft under the control panel was wedged down causing the "up" position to register.  It worked fine when the control panel was not latched down.  Once latched, there was not enough room under the panel for the stick to move freely.  Using the stick would always cause "UP" to register as soon as the stick went back to the center position thus the symptoms was two positions registering.  To fix, I added a notch behind the right joystick using a wood chisel and hammer.

Another thing to check for is a wire making contact somewhere besides where it should.  This could be wires at the joystick, the encoder, etc.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 09:50:23 pm by JODY »

8lords

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 09:04:10 am »
Check to see if the ground is attached properly and that the wire going to the I-Pac is correct also.  The picture that I linked to shows which ones you use.  Where it says "NO" means normally open and is the wire that connects to the I-Pac.  



This was my thought as well

wongojack

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 12:35:27 pm »
Ok, here was the problem:



Thats a bit blurry, but you can see the problem if you look.  The wire had come loose to the 'NO' connection and was touching both 'NO' and 'NC,'  so the circuit would stay closed when the switch was activated the first time.  I just resoldered it nice and tight to NO and it works fine.

One thing I noticed is that this guy soldered the ground wire to the NO, so this was actually the ground wire causing this problem.  He's got all the switches soldered that way with ground to the Open prong and the actual control wire connected to the ground.  I guess the switch doesn't care as long as its wired somehow to the Open prong and is grounded?

There are more pictures here:
http://cid-ec7bd1a81d3e9f22.photos.live.com/browse.aspx/Arcade?nl=1&uc=4

edit:  the image wont embed but the link has the same photo
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 12:43:14 pm by wongojack »

Hoopz

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 12:43:40 pm »
Ok, here was the problem:

[I can't figure out how to embed an image on this site /]

Thats a bit blurry, but you can see the problem if you look.  The wire had come loose to the 'NO' connection and was touching both 'NO' and 'NC,'  so the circuit would stay closed when the switch was activated the first time.  I just resoldered it nice and tight to NO and it works fine.

One thing I noticed is that this guy soldered the ground wire to the NO, so this was actually the ground wire causing this problem.  He's got all the switches soldered that way with ground to the Open prong and the actual control wire connected to the ground.  I guess the switch doesn't care as long as its wired somehow to the Open prong and is grounded?

There are more pictures here:
http://cid-ec7bd1a81d3e9f22.photos.live.com/browse.aspx/Arcade?nl=1&uc=4
Yes, that bare wire looks like it's touching both so that would cause the problem.  Is it a bare wire in there?  I can't tell.  From what you've said so far, it would probably help you to re-wire the entire CP the proper way.  It may seem like a pain, but it will avoid more problems down the road and you'll learn the right way to do things. 

Nice glob of solder in the base of that joystick.  Nothing like soldering in tight quarters   :dizzy:

To upload a photo, you hit the "additional options..." link that you see on the bottom left of the text box. 

Glad you found the problem.   :cheers:
Ajax should have been named Warlord, not Swan.

First off, Hoopz is right.

bkenobi

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 12:47:50 pm »
Nice that you got it working!

So I assume you tell guests that you bought the cab rather than building it?  I know my wife wouldn't let that in "her" house, but then I probably wouldn't let it in mine either.  Maybe you could take the components out and build your own down the road?

Mehhhh, at least it's fun and done!   :cheers:

wongojack

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 02:55:08 pm »
I play tested for a while - it works.  I'm tempted to rewire, but I should probably play with the thing and get some enjoyment/value out of it first before I go messing with it

FYI - There is a door that goes on the bottom that I just haven't added.  I'm open to suggestions on how to add glass/bezel . . .

Since you commented on the look, I'll provide a bit about myself

I am not in any way a perfectionist. I don't really see problems, I work around them.

I am of the opinion that MAME cabinets are waaaaaay too expensive in terms of both time and money.  The kits without any controls or computer in them might be worth it, but the pre-assembled models are crazy.  I'm not saying that there isn't quality work that goes into them, but the amount of enjoyment I'm going to get out of MAME has a price and every option that I found out there was about 8x more than I wanted to spend in either time or money.

Before I found this, I was looking at hotel computer stands to just get something where I could stand up and play, and those were pretty ridiculous in pricing as well.  I don't mind sharing that this guy put this thing up for $300 including everything, and my thought was that the wiring in the controls was probably worth $300 just so I wouldn't have to do it.  For both myself and my wife the cost was way more important than the appearance.

I don't think I could name more than 5 people that I know who would even know what MAME is, or understand what it would take to even put something like this together.  If someone comes over and sees this they will either A) Want to play Galaga or B) Think video games are stupid.  If they think its ugly then good for them, but they will still probably want to play Galaga.

I just re-read the above and it sounds really defensive.  I should say that I am super jealous of the excellent cabs on this site and I wish I could have something that looks better - its just unattainable to me and I'm willing to settle for less.  If anyone wants to sell me a finished MAME machine for $300 then I will consider it seriously.

wongojack

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 01:03:25 pm »
Just in case someone reads this thread and thinks - wow if that mess works then I'll just throw something together however and it'll be fine . . .

Please do not wire a control panel like the one in my pictures!  You'll be constantly troubleshooting little issues here or there with joysticks sticking etc.  It kinda sucks.  Plan your panel and run wires carefull to each section, securing them in place etc.

wongojack

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 03:30:19 pm »
Some advice requested here:  If I wanted to simply replace the wiring on this worms nest, what would be a good kit to buy to get the stuff I need to do the job?  I'll happily be directed to an existing post on this topic if one exists.

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 04:07:14 pm »
I would rewire ... it may not matter that the builder crossed the NO and Gnd, but it will be easier going forward if you clean it up.

As much as I like soldering over quick disconnects, for this application I recommend grabbing a bunch of female quick disconnect connectors and fixing the connections. If you are really intense, then you may want to cleanup the wiring, but you should be fine just fixing the connections using the existing wiring.
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wongojack

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2011, 04:51:25 pm »
One thing I'm worried about here is that the guy used what appears to be some uninsulated copper wire for the ground in some places.  You can kind of see it on the left side of the picture, shining - In some places this is just connected to other copper wire with solder, I had to clean up a troublespot that became disconnected . . .

Anyway, I'm not sure what the good/bad is about just having exposed and soldered wires under there, but I think its causing some problems with player 3.  Interestingly that same wire is grounding player 1 and player 2 who seem to work flawlessly.

I'm probably just going to have to test the resistance for different sections of the ground to see if there is a troublespot, and maybe I'll just rewire that . . . But I might also do something a bit more drastic.  I dunno

JODY

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Re: Question about a joystick sending more than one signal when pressed
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2011, 07:41:14 pm »
If that uninsulated ground touches any hot terminals or bare wires, you have yourself a key press.