Help with Cyber Stick / Micomsoft XE-1AJ and Genesis / Mega Drive

Started by NerdyBrothers, October 03, 2023, 06:15:44 AM

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You guys are my only hope. I've been trying to buy a Micomsoft XE-1AJ for my Sega Genesis for years. I finally secured one, but I can't get it to work with the console. Unlike the Sharp Cyber Stick, the Micomsoft branded version "should" work with the Sega Genesis/MD out of the box the same way the XE-1AP worked with the few titles that offered analog control.

This is the only forum where I've seen some recent discussion on the topic. Controller has confirmed analog operation in a MSX using HIDTEST, per seller (and I believe him). Interestingly, the controller didn't need a JoyMega to work with MSX. I have also confirmed that Micomsoft's XE-1AP works correctly with After Burner II and Super Monaco GP 2, which in theory, uses the same protocol as the XE-1AJ.

My guess is that the controller is using a DB-9 adapter in its modular bay for the X68000 vs the one meant for the Sega Mega Drive (see imgur link). The fact that it works with the MSX without an additional adapter, might be evidence of it. I tried "reverting it" by using a MSX -> MD adapter from Monster Joysticks, but that didn't seem to do the trick.

Any help on how to build an adapter that might work would be immensely appreciated. I don't know if the answer is that simple, but I wanted to ask the experts here.

Given how little literature exists on the controller, I also posted extensive photos of the PCBs here:

@Segasonicfan you had asked an user from another post for PCB photos, I thought you might be interested or have some insight into a fix.

Thank you in advance!


Intersting piece of tech - didn't know these existed :O
Theres a lot of ICs under the hood, although I expect that the larger PCB labelled SHARP with the docking bay is handling X68000 logic side of things...yikes.

I would first try to source a manual to translate...sounds like it might need some specific protocol to operate.  Failing that, I'd suggest looking into finding documentation on the signals it uses, perhaps looking at service manual schematics for MD to look for any hints.  I'm curious how the analog works, imagining it's probably similar to the SMS paddle / sports pad.

attaching some pics here before the (inevitable) death of the imgur link above (great pics btw!!):
I design PCBs for retro game systems :)