N64 Stick Converter PCB v2.2

Started by micro, January 16, 2013, 06:04:42 AM

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Freeman

Hi!
I would be also interested to buy some of them (5~10)
So disappointed to discover this topic only now...  :'(

SeanyC

There are a lot of smashers here (http://smashboards.com/threads/3rd-party-replacement-joystick-guide.336450/) looking for a solution like this that combines the durability of these 3rd party joysticks with the precision of the original n64 sticks. Let us know when you have more in stock!

BonaC

Hi!

I just bought and installed a pair of these gamecube styled sticks and I was really disappointed that I can't play Goldeneye with them.  :'( I'd really want to save my N64 from the scrap heap.

Is there any of these circuit boards left? I'd be very interested in buying a couple.

micro

As mentioned in the first post of this thread, the PCB's are currently sold out. So no, I don't have any left at the moment ;)

There will be a new batch, but I'm not sure when. Maybe early 2014? February? Check this thread for new informations once a month and you won't miss the next batch!  :)

Catastrophic

Alright I just soldered an analog stick to one of the boards. Getting the solder to stick to the holes was a pain so some of the solder joints are a bit too thick. I'm fairly satisfied nonetheless.

Is this ok micro?(sorry about the blurriness)





nathan118

Weird...my solder went on just fine...only needed a little. Iron not hot enough? Bad solder?

As long as none of then are bridged though, it should be fine.

micro

Your solder joints are pretty big (you soldered both pads), but I agree with nathan. As long as there are no shorts between them you shouldn't have any problems.

Usually it should be easy to solder in the stick and the pin header. But there are 3 solder pads that are connected to a big ground plane.
Soldering these pins can be a little bit more difficult if you got a weak soldering iron. In that case it helps to set the temperature higher and/or to hold the soldering iron tip for a longer time to the pad & pin.

Catastrophic

November 24, 2013, 02:44:57 PM #87 Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 02:46:51 PM by Catastrophic
Quote from: micro on November 23, 2013, 08:00:45 PM
Soldering these pins can be a little bit more difficult if you got a weak soldering iron. In that case it helps to set the temperature higher and/or to hold the soldering iron tip for a longer time to the pad & pin.

WHOOPS. Now I know what I did wrong. Instead of heating up the pin from the joystick and then applying solder directly to it I instead relied on the soldering iron to melt the solder. Guess I'll keep that in mind when I make the next one.

I carefully checked if there were any bridges but found none. I suppose it will work just fine. What heat do you usually use when you solder?

micro

Unfortunately that's a very bad way to solder. Maybe you should think about removing the solder joints (with desolder braid or a desolder pump) and solder the pins again.
In order to get a good solder joint you have to heat the pin and the pad at the same time while applying fresh solder. Always use solder with flux! :D

This video explains it quite well:
How and WHY to Solder Correctly

My solder iron is set 350 °C for "normal" solder work. When dealing with really big ground planes I'm setting the temperature at 400 or even 450 °C. (The ground plane on the N64 stick converter PCB isn't really that big ;) )

Catastrophic

November 25, 2013, 07:52:47 AM #89 Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 07:55:19 AM by Catastrophic
Quote from: micro on November 24, 2013, 03:20:02 PM
Unfortunately that's a very bad way to solder. Maybe you should think about removing the solder joints (with desolder braid or a desolder pump) and solder the pins again.
In order to get a good solder joint you have to heat the pin and the pad at the same time while applying fresh solder. Always use solder with flux! :D

This video explains it quite well:
How and WHY to Solder Correctly

My solder iron is set 350 °C for "normal" solder work. When dealing with really big ground planes I'm setting the temperature at 400 or even 450 °C. (The ground plane on the N64 stick converter PCB isn't really that big ;) )
Nice video. Very helpful! The solder I used were a few leftovers I brought home with me from school and they've been sitting in a cabinet for a couple of months. When I got the solder to stick to the board I held the soldering iron to the pin for a few seconds to even out the solder. Looking on the top of the plate you can see that the solder went through properly. I currently don't own a desoldering pump but I think the joints are passable for now. Thanks for the info!

One more question though. On most soldering irons I've seen, when you apply solder on to the tip it flows in a bright gray colour like the way it should. When I applied solder to my iron it instead just kind of burned with a brown colour(presumably the flux). Is it because the iron is too corroded? Or is the solder just too old?

Catastrophic

I finally managed to assemble one of these joysticks and I'm really happy about the results! The joystick test app shows that the upper boundary a little bigger than the lower boundary, but I'm sure that's perfectly normal. Thanks Micro!  ;D

micro

Glad you like it! If you didn't use too much force during calibration then your test app should show at least +/- 81 steps per axis and at most +/-84 steps. So yes, a small difference is absolutely ok!  :D

Quote from: Catastrophic on November 25, 2013, 07:52:47 AM
One more question though. On most soldering irons I've seen, when you apply solder on to the tip it flows in a bright gray colour like the way it should. When I applied solder to my iron it instead just kind of burned with a brown colour(presumably the flux). Is it because the iron is too corroded? Or is the solder just too old?
Hard to say, but the moment you apply fresh solder to your iron the tip shouldn't be brown already. Maybe the temperature is too high?

PluueeR

Micro: Are you planning on a new batch of these? I need two for my controllers  :)

micro

Yes, I'm planning on making a new batch in early ferbruary 2014 :)

PluueeR

December 17, 2013, 06:48:58 PM #94 Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 01:33:22 AM by PluueeR
Great! Please sign me up for two!

Which GC style stick do I need to order on Ebay?

Are these the correct ones: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=231060829193

Paar

Should be fine. I bought the sticks from here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/170684364342?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Micro: Made two controllers, every one of them works like charm. Thank you, now my Nintendo 64 is perfect, with RGB mod and this beautiful stick. Looking forward for the next batch!

caleb2190

I would like to buy 5 of these joystick pcbs.  What do I need to do?

Andy-Antsinpants

I would like to express my interest in two of these sticks, too.

Freeman

I would buy 10, for sure. I just hope it will be possible...  :)

micro

Quote from: caleb2190 on January 06, 2014, 03:24:19 PM
I would like to buy 5 of these joystick pcbs.  What do I need to do?
Wait till February!  ;D

I predict there will be enough PCB's for everyone. The stock will probably last for at least 4 to 6 weeks, just like the last time(s).
Just keep an eye on this thread in February!

lhnova

This is just brilliant, can't wait till you get these back in stock!

One thing I've been wondering about is the possibility of adding some non-linear mapping options that emulate the behavior of modern analogue controllers ps/xbox etc. particularly to make n64 shooters more controllable on these sticks.

I think the reason shooters like GE/PD feel twitchy on these modern analogue sticks is due to the controller/most games not taking advantage of any exponential curve to map the inputs.
*I may be completely wrong calling it exponential mapping but that's what I know from RC radios where the function of adding a more gradual input curve near the deadzone is called "expo"

The original n64 stick has what feels like some hardware expo built in since it's very easy to find the end of the deadzone and it has a precise resistance that's proportional to the amount of stick input. That combination makes small /precise inputs relatively easy. Playing n64 games/shooters on more modern analogues with linear mapping means making small movements is trickier especially near the higher resistance deadzone, I always feel like there's a "hump" of resistance right at the start of the movement which is annoying.

The hori minipad works better than others on n64 I think because the overall resistance on the stick is very light so that initial hump and deadzone imprecision is less noticeable, but I believe the mapping is still linear and I would bet a nonlinear mapping could help even there.

So my question is this... with a custom coded Atmel on one of these pcbs it should be possible to write some software into the controller itself to add some more gradual input mapping/expo right?
Have you considered doing something like this if it's possible, that would be very interesting to me!

Granted I haven't tried one of these pcb and your current firmware yet so maybe the issue is already solved with your calibration approach but if not I'd be interested in your comments.

Cheers

--




micro

No, I definitely won't invest time and labor to try out non-linear mapping options. The x- and y-axis position of the original N64 stick is linear to the angle of the stick... IMO the different feeling is caused by the weaker spring inside potentiometer-based sticks. The original N64 stick had a strong spring and you had to use quite some force to move the stick...

mr aize

Hi there, just joined after reading about this bit of brilliance. Have a couple of older sticks which are on the way out but more importantly, I got two chinese knock off controllers a year or so ago, which are both useless for goldeneye, because of the increased sensitivity etc... They have different pcbs than the original ones and only have 4 wires going to the joystick (i'm guessing no 3.3v and ground) like these ones http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Thumbstick-Joystick-Repair-Replacement-for-Nintendo-64-N64-Controller-/181276567563?pt=UK_VG_Replacement_Parts_Tools&hash=item2a34ece80b  I can provide pics if wanted. My question would be, is there any way to use this pcb or an attiny24 with these controllers or is it impossible because of the different design of the main pcb? Thanks

Cobretti

wow this thing looks great. Excellent work micro.

Will be interested in buying 10 so hit me up. I will be away on work in Feb so please PM me as I would appreciate to buy from the next batch.


GSM


Nukkus

I'm definitely going to buy one of these when they are ready. Do you know of a place where i can get a new stick cap though? mine is broken.

Sjb266

Amazing work micro..

Put me down for 8..

Cheers

S

micro

Guys, please...
Yes it's February but the PCB's aren't ready yet. I guess it will take another week or so... Stay tuned!  ;D

Andy-Antsinpants

Thanks! Please let us know when they're ready. :)

Cobretti

Quote from: micro on February 05, 2014, 05:10:35 AM
Guys, please...
Yes it's February but the PCB's aren't ready yet. I guess it will take another week or so... Stay tuned!  ;D

Excellent news. I will probably be away on work by then for two weeks so hopefully you will have some left lol. Please PM me if you can and I'll try to respond on my mobile phone. Thanks


GSM


Andy-Antsinpants


abduct

February 11, 2014, 04:59:33 AM #113 Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 05:02:06 AM by abduct
Does the PCB come preflashed/soldered? Also how do you want us to contact you about quantity of shipping? Though a PM?

edit: nvm read the first post, sending pm in a bit.

Nukkus

Ordered! I love how your included analogs have the 60 degree pots!

Nina


PLT

Quote from: micro on February 10, 2014, 02:18:48 AM
The PCB's are available again! :D

Yay!!!! Nice to know that! I subscribed to the forum mainly for your work, so i'm going to place my 4 pieces order "as we speak"!!!! I'm happy as a kid now... By the way, since this is my first post here, HELLO EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GSM

Got mine soldered up and working great  :D Now i just need 3 nostalgic friends who wants to play Golden Eye  ::)

micro

THANKS, GSM! You're the first one confirming that this batch is actually working  ;D

Catastrophic

Quote from: micro on February 14, 2014, 09:25:30 PM
THANKS, GSM! You're the first one confirming that this batch is actually working  ;D
You didn't test one beforehand?  :o