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Author Topic: Special needs controller  (Read 3073 times)

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Le Chuck

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Special needs controller
« on: November 02, 2013, 06:02:00 pm »
I was recently contacted by a father with a son who has limited mobility.  From our brief conversations I understand that he has limited range of motion and currently plays his PS3 with one foot only.  I'm going over tomorrow to meet the family and watch the boy play some games to determine if we can design a better solution that his current one. 

I've been splitting my time as a new Company Commander for Uncle Sam and working on a secret project for a bit but this seems like the kind of challenge I'll need some good community support on to ensure I produce a controller that fits this player's style the best.  I know that a few of you have done game pads for those with limited mobility and I'd be interested in links and reviews of different analog sticks that work off the shelf soldered onto a PS3 controller (10K I believe), and anything else helpful.  Wish me luck!

ChanceKJ

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2013, 06:40:03 pm »
I'm pretty sure Ben Heck did something similar to this.  I know there are a few one handed 360 controller designs out there. but nothing off the top of my head.

PL1

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 07:10:02 pm »
KADE has a PS3 firmware that should be easy (. . . well easy for Jon :dunno . . .) to adapt/mod for use with the analog inputs on an ATMega32U4 board like the one in the KADESTICK.

KADESTICK is based on the HID joystick firmware and works with a wide variety of pot values because it measures voltage instead of resistance.


Scott
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 07:12:20 pm by PL1 »

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 09:13:11 am »
I'm sure you're already referring to my x360 controller build for crossbred900, but just in case:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,128941.0.html
Of course that was a fairly standard control panel.

If he's working a thumbstick with his toe, I'm not sure a larger analog stick would offer much benefit.

Make note of EVERYTHING he has use of.  While it's best to keep things simple because you're not going to be there to service it all the time, adding an extra axis or button opens up that many more games.

2.5mm jacks are the standard for accessibility accessories if you want to add the option for later.

Check around on prices before buying from a place that sells products for the disabled.  Most times they price gouge since either insurance/gubmint is paying for it, or they know parents will pay it.  The same bite switch that a sky-diving site sells for $45 is $100 at those places.  There is probably a cheap way to make a suck/puff tube although that might make you light headed after a while.  :lol

If the kid can work a  PC, introduce him to Steam.  Crossbred900 originally wanted the controller for xbox360, but ended up getting heavy into steam.  I'm not sure of all the reasons, but I imagine it was because of the variety of games and how cheap you can pick them up via humble bundle or discount sites.

I'm not sure I'd make it this complicated, but if the kid did get into steam there is head tracking software used by flight and race sim guys that could add some more functions.  It uses IR LEDs on your hat and a wii controller.

If I think of anything else, I'll post it.

Le Chuck

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 09:57:34 am »
Badmouth, totally referring to your project - great job on that by the way.  Part of the reason I said I'd take this project on was that I knew I had folks with experience here that I could leverage for help as I'm in admittedly uncharted territory personally.  Thanks for the tips and keep them coming everyone.  That's a good point about the size of the analog stick.  I'll have to really spend some time working with the family to figure out what we can make work better than what is being used now.  If I can just open up a few more games by making some buttons (maybe assignable through kade) available that would be a win - I'm excited to see how this goes. 

Le Chuck

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 02:31:28 pm »
Well I met with the client, he's 20 so I apologize for calling him boy earlier in the thread.  I'll call him M.  ;)

Cool family and I do think that I'll be able to make a game pad that will improve M's gameplay.  M has limited fine motor control of his left foot and that's about it.  Frankly, M's two biggest problems are durability and hitting the R1/L1 buttons.  Currently R2 and L2 he can get by pressing the controller into the ground. 

Rather than do a pad hack I want to use an encoder that is programmable, compatible with both PS3 and PC, and has enough inputs to cover the suite of PS3 keys (4 analog axis, 14 buttons - correct me if I'm wrong, are the hats also pushbuttons?  If so then 16 unless it's not an independent input).  What're my options? 

Layout will be an enlarged PS layout using arcade buttons to help with the coordination/durability.  To start I'll hack some controllers for analog sticks and work out a good mounting base that is potentially easy to switch out as the size and shape is liked by M but they do tend to wear out somewhat quickly.  I have some analog devices from other assistive devices not being used by M that are more industrial that I can harvest but they may be over large for his needs.  Needs to be able to work the analog and hit a button at the same time.   

My goal is working proto by the end of the month in M's possession for testing.  Biggest hurdle right now is finding the right encoder (as I never build gamepads).  I'll shoot a few PMs to usual suspects but please link me stuff here to get me rolling. 

Edit:  Quick googling looks like a pad hack ICW BetterDS3 might be the quickest way to get in business for PC/PS3 gaming but again, feedback welcome and expected!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 02:50:11 pm by Le Chuck »

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 03:26:03 pm »
With that much of a limitation, one thing that could work is a "pocket" setup where there are buttons above/below/to each side and "in front", so the user doesn't have to move far to engage a button.

The DataHand keyboard is what I'm thinking of, but bigger, and only for one "finger" or some alteration of it.


Le Chuck

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 03:37:26 pm »
Something like the above minimizes gross movement while capitalizing on fine movement.  In this scenario it's almost the opposite.  The fine motor control M has is limited to the foot, I wouldn't say he has fine motor control of the digits on his foot.  Part of the problem with the stock controller is that it required too fine of coordination to make use of.  We need to capitalize on the accurate gross coordination he has.  If I made a pocketized version like you mentioned for his whole foot that could work but part of what I think we need to work from is the familiarity he already has with the current controller.  I've been told that M is change averse so we'll have to see what works. 

Le Chuck

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 05:59:36 pm »
I got two Multi-Axis Inductive Joystick Controllers from M's dad.  Don't know if I'll be able to make use of them or not.  Has five wires sticking out, seems like a standard two pot setup.  Will have to give it a shot.  If they can be made to work I'll need to modify the post to give it a foot friendly hat.   

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2013, 06:28:55 pm »
KADE has a PS3 firmware that should be easy (. . . well easy for Jon :dunno . . .) to adapt/mod for use with the analog inputs on an ATMega32U4 board like the one in the KADESTICK.

KADESTICK is based on the HID joystick firmware and works with a wide variety of pot values because it measures voltage instead of resistance.


Scott
Hey Le Chuck,
If you need a custom encoder setup then I'll help in any way I can.
The firmware made for Scott's KADESTICK would be easily adapted to pc/ps3 combo and gives you analog inputs.  I can tweak to suit your specific needs.
I'd be willing to contribute a device to a worthwhile project such as this one.


Jon

Le Chuck

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 07:00:07 pm »
Jon, that'd be awesome!  I'll send you the deets via PM. 

degenatrons

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2013, 06:14:29 pm »
Jon, that'd be awesome!  I'll send you the deets via PM.
Got it and replied with some info. 

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 06:32:01 pm »
I have an unused KADE controller I'd be willing to donate to this project if you need one.

PL1

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2013, 06:48:02 pm »
I have an unused KADE controller I'd be willing to donate to this project if you need one.

Generous offer, but remember that the AVR currently used for KADEs doesn't have analog inputs.


Scott

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2013, 09:05:39 pm »
Any updates on the design?  Using convex buttons?  Ordered stuff yet?

I have never held a playstation 3 controller.  Are L2 and R2 analog? (the pc driver is called sixaxis)
On the xbox360 controller I did, he had no interest in using them as analog, so I added resistors to make them to digital.

For this build, I thought it might work to have the trigger buttons to the sides of his feet, but you have a better idea of what will be useful at this point.
What I'm having trouble wrapping my head around is how to move the stick and press buttons simultaneously.  The only way I can imagine is using the front part of the foot to do one thing while using the back to do the other.

You'd be surprised how well someone can play with an alternate setup given time to acclimate to it.
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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 07:43:41 am »
Thanks everybody for the replies thus far.  Denegatrons is working on the encoder and firmware for this build - I really appreciate his help and reaching out to offer the assistance.  We're going with a module that has the analog capability. 

The L2/R2 on the PS3 are analog but I don't know many games (drivers/flight sims maybe) that make use of these so I'm going with digital triggers for now.  Based on how M plays I'm leaning toward concave buttons but I'm unsure so will probably order four for the proto panel and do the directional in that so he can get a feel for which he likes. 

M is able to control a character while hitting buttons with another part of his foot and that's a functionality I'm trying to maintain and hopefully improve.  Ensuring he can press the entire pad down to get his triggers is hugely important and I'll be making a jack for each right hand face button so we can use a 2" assistive push button as a knee switch on whichever button is best for that game he's playing to add a bit of capabilty.  We toyed with the idea of doing two joysticks for the 8 face buttons but M is concerned that he won't be able to hit multiple buttons and move at the same time so we're sticking with a more traditional although slightly modified layout. 

The first panel will be built mostly from stuff I have on hand so we can evaluate what works and what doesn't.  Once that's decided we'll order fresh components, art it up, and get him a finished panel.  Much easier for me than you, Badmouth, as I can just drive over the M's house to work with him.  Doing it long distance had to be intimidating and frustrating.  More power to you on that. 
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 10:32:02 am by Le Chuck »

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 08:23:52 am »
does M have any use of his hands at all? reason I ask is, would it be possible to wire up a simple 2 button controller so he can hit L1 and L2 with his hands, or something of that nature, just run the wires down to the encoder kinda thing.

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2013, 10:14:49 am »
Can M use a blow switch?   Might give you some flexability if he can.

Le Chuck

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2013, 10:30:16 am »
Both are good suggestions, he is blow switch averse tho I'm sure if I could show a gaming application that would give him an advantage he'd eventually make use of it.  Both arms and one leg are out of the question due to the severity of his condition for the initial build.  No matter what I'll have headphone jacks for all the face buttons wired up and labeled so if he wants to give an elbow switch a try the option will be there to just plug the switch in (of which he has several) and see what works.

Currently M drives his chair with a controller attached to the foot rest of his good leg.   

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 10:32:42 am »
Just tuned in on this. What a worthy project! Good luck!
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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2013, 11:17:25 am »
In other news, local arcade enthusiast Le Chuck, cures kitten cancer with both eyes closed and standing on one leg.  More to come. 
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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2013, 11:48:09 am »
This just in.  Le Chuck was also reported to be seen putting out a raging three alarm fire at the local orphanage with a moist towelette.
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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2013, 12:38:22 pm »
Le Chuck Norris!

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2013, 04:03:08 pm »
Thanks everybody for the replies thus far.  Denegatrons is working on the encoder and firmware for this build - I really appreciate his help and reaching out to offer the assistance.  We're going with a module that has the analog capability. 

The L2/R2 on the PS3 are analog but I don't know many games (drivers/flight sims maybe) that make use of these so I'm going with digital triggers for now.  Based on how M plays I'm leaning toward concave buttons but I'm unsure so will probably order four for the proto panel and do the directional in that so he can get a feel for which he likes. 
The encoder is packaged up and will be posted out tomorrow so hopefully you'll have it soon.

It's an improved version of the KADESTICK firmware that was developed for PL1's analog joystick project.  The firmware is adapted for PS3 and gives you Dpad, 13 Buttons and 4 analog axis.  Also works as USB/HID Joystick.

Here's a pin reference diagram for the AVR encoder.



Left and right sticks are analog.
L2 and R2 are digital.

Firmware is loaded but can be tweaked later if you need anything specific doing.  We have a few spare pins for other inputs/outputs such as 5V Leds or maybe a shift/switch to allow a single stick to operate as both left and right analog.

Let me know when it arrives and we can run through the setup.  In the meantime,  you should take a look at PL1's project if you haven't already as the wiring will be mostly the same.

Cheers
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 05:19:43 pm by degenatrons »

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2013, 06:14:25 pm »
The one thing to watch out for is where you connect the pullup resistor.

The board has "HWB" silkscreened next to one HWB jumper pin, but the other pin is HWB. (electrically tied to pin E2/B next to it)




Scott
EDIT: Jon updated his pic to clarify the correct connection point for the pullup resistor.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 07:54:01 pm by PL1 »

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2013, 07:51:54 pm »
Just dropping in to say this is pretty great. Will be following closely!  :cheers:
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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2013, 08:16:51 pm »
Jon, great!  Can't wait to get started on the initial build.  I'll be sure and get pics up once things get rolling and I'll ask M's family if they are okay with pics and/or video when we finally test out the unit.  First draft will be pretty bare bones, just want to get some components down and give M a feel for what we can do. 

Scott, thanks for the link, I had no idea I needed to jumper anything so that helped out a lot actually ;)  I'm sure I'll hit you and Jon up some more once I start wiring things up. 

To everybody else, thanks for the kudos, I just hope to get something useable for M that can enhance his gaming experience. 

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2013, 09:47:37 pm »
Jon, great!  Can't wait to get started on the initial build.  I'll be sure and get pics up once things get rolling and I'll ask M's family if they are okay with pics and/or video when we finally test out the unit.  First draft will be pretty bare bones, just want to get some components down and give M a feel for what we can do. 

Scott, thanks for the link, I had no idea I needed to jumper anything so that helped out a lot actually ;)  I'm sure I'll hit you and Jon up some more once I start wiring things up. 

To everybody else, thanks for the kudos, I just hope to get something useable for M that can enhance his gaming experience.

Since I cant do much to help with the build is there any genre of game he likes, or any games he's lookin for?

Le Chuck

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2013, 10:18:37 pm »
Jon, great!  Can't wait to get started on the initial build.  I'll be sure and get pics up once things get rolling and I'll ask M's family if they are okay with pics and/or video when we finally test out the unit.  First draft will be pretty bare bones, just want to get some components down and give M a feel for what we can do. 

Scott, thanks for the link, I had no idea I needed to jumper anything so that helped out a lot actually ;)  I'm sure I'll hit you and Jon up some more once I start wiring things up. 

To everybody else, thanks for the kudos, I just hope to get something useable for M that can enhance his gaming experience.

Since I cant do much to help with the build is there any genre of game he likes, or any games he's lookin for?

I'll ask, I know he is a dedicated play station fanboi and loves the GTA series but I'll see what else he likes and if he's short anything.

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2013, 03:16:47 pm »
I scraped together enough buttons for the test panel and have analog working on the KADE (HUGE THANKS TO JON!) so I'll be putting together the test panel today.  This isn't going to be anything spectacular for the first one because we'll have to change things around in the end I'm sure.  I used the two JC200 Hall effect controllers (mentioned in an earlier post) I got from M's place and they're working well.  There are 5 wires, which nearly as I can tell break down like this:

Red: 5v
Black: G
Yellow: X axis
Blue:  Y axis
Green: Mysterious wire that doesn't seem to do anything

The KADE firmware has analog directional X & Y for the left hand stick and then Z directional and Z rotational for the right hand stick which I shall assume is as it should be since I'm not a PS3 player.  Once I get it together I'll have to go find a friend with a PS3 I can test it out on because I'd hate to show up with a non working stick - that would be embarrassing for me and more importantly a huge letdown for M. 

I'll get some pics up in a bit of the initial monstrosity lol. 

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2013, 08:12:39 pm »
Time to wire

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2013, 04:58:32 pm »
I tested out the controller on my PC and everything worked great.  The hall effect analogs registered right away with no issues. 

When I tested it on PS3 I got nuthin.  The buttons worked but the analogs wouldn't read. I'll switch them out for the some analogs I raped off a PS3 controller and try again.   

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2013, 08:18:37 am »
I tested out the controller on my PC and everything worked great.  The hall effect analogs registered right away with no issues. 

When I tested it on PS3 I got nuthin.  The buttons worked but the analogs wouldn't read. I'll switch them out for the some analogs I raped off a PS3 controller and try again.   

Let me know how the testing goes with the controller analogs.  Can you post pics?
In the meantime,  I'll grab myself a cheap PS3 and run some of my own tests.

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2013, 09:16:39 am »
Le Chuck I was unaware of this until today.  Do you think this could work for what you need?  Pictures or diagrams of your wiring would be nice to see so we could give some input.
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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2013, 09:24:29 am »
Le Chuck I was unaware of this until today.  Do you think this could work for what you need?  Pictures or diagrams of your wiring would be nice to see so we could give some input.

Quote
Important Note: The PS controller contains some analog controls, and your arcade control panel has switch-type controls. This means that pressing each switch simulates the analog control being pushed hard across. Some games (flight sims for example) cannot be played with switch-type controls.

Like most interfaces, fails on analog input.

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2013, 06:11:17 pm »
Sorry that I didn't get pics uploaded sooner.  Attached is one of the wiring.  It won't help much methinks tho because, well, the controller works on the PC, so it's wired correctly.  Two options here, one is that ps3 doesn't read analog from the kade period, two is that the signal from the hall effect joys can be terp'd by the pc but not by the ps3.  I'm hoping its the second one.  I've had a super busy week and have friends in this weekend so I may not get to this for a few days but as soon as I have time I'll figure out how to hot wire the analogs from a hacked ps3. 

Barring that working it looks like I'll be doing a straight PS3 joy hack.  Speaking of which - anybody know if the ps3 joy has a common ground?


edit:  Just retested on PC before I started dismantling, worked like a charm first time go.  I was hoping that it wouldn't work, I'd find a short and be back in business but nope, properly wired.  Drat.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 08:16:16 pm by Le Chuck »

Le Chuck

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2013, 09:50:48 pm »
Okay, so the analogs shown in the pic above are Hall Effect sensors but there is a built in converter IC which is why it outputs like a pot (one wiper for each axis).  The fifth (green) cable is still a mystery to me but isn't necessary to get them working.  The technical literature said something about an extra lead to monitor the polling rate or something like that so I'll chalk the green up to that. 

Moving on....

The PS3 joys I have don't have pots.  They also have hall sensors but the converter IC is on the board so I cant wire in the hall sticks from the PS3 controller into the kade as they have two wipers.  There are PS3 joys out there that have pots (pre rumble and some of the newest ones) but I don't have any of those. 

I haven't tried pot style analogs with the kade in the ps3 but as I understand it past the converter IC there is no electrical difference in the signal between the hall and the pot style so I'm suspecting it might be a wash.  I was able to trace the button wiring on the a controller and it looks like there are three grounds, which isn't bad.  I can't tell if they link up further back in line but I'll wire it as I can read it to avoid problems.  I'll hack the controller for now so we can at least get a working model to M. 

a1pharm

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2013, 12:40:56 pm »
I don't want to derail this thread, but this "keyboard" may prove useful for this person in the future:

http://orbitouch.com/

I don't believe it will help with games, but if he ever wants to type, it may be worth looking in to.

degenatrons

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2013, 09:01:02 am »
I tested out the controller on my PC and everything worked great.  The hall effect analogs registered right away with no issues. 

When I tested it on PS3 I got nuthin.  The buttons worked but the analogs wouldn't read. I'll switch them out for the some analogs I raped off a PS3 controller and try again.   

Let me know how the testing goes with the controller analogs.  Can you post pics?
In the meantime,  I'll grab myself a cheap PS3 and run some of my own tests.

Hey Le Chuck,
I picked up a PS3 and ran some of my own testing with the kadestick firmware and everything seems to work fine.
Pots in the range 10K to 100K should give best results.  I believe that the PS3 thumbsticks use 10K pots.

I used a selection of linear pots for testing.



The 5v contact is connected to Avcc pin on the AVR (I think Scott has his wired to Vcc which also works)
The Gnd contact is connected to Agnd pin on the AVR
The Pin contact is connected to one of the analog wiper pins on the AVR (F0, F1, F4, F5).  F0 and F1 for Left Stick,  F4 and F5 for Right Stick.
You should have all 4 analog wipers connected.

I tested successfully with various speeds/stength of movement recognised as PS3 axis.

I'll post an image of my test setup later.
Not sure why you're having trouble with it. 

Jon


« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 09:03:25 am by degenatrons »

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Re: Special needs controller
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2013, 10:29:06 am »
I haven't tried pot style analogs with the kade in the ps3 but as I understand it past the converter IC there is no electrical difference in the signal between the hall and the pot style so I'm suspecting it might be a wash. 

How is the converter IC powered?  Maybe the PS3 isn't seeing the joysticks as centered soon enough and considering them defective.

  
 

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