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Mega Drive keyboards

#16 User is offline Meat Miracle 

Posted 10 June 2012 - 10:31 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 09 June 2012 - 01:57 PM, said:

Also, Nintendo was already working on the Mii system back in the NES era...

And Sega was working towards going bankrupt as far back as 1982, so they have them beat.

#17 User is online ICEknight 

Posted 11 June 2012 - 04:46 AM

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Have you guys looked into Mega Anser? It must have been supposed to be compatible with at least a numeric pad, since the demo mode shows how numbers are entered directy unlike letters, which use a virtual keyboard instead.


View PostAerosolSP, on 10 June 2012 - 01:35 PM, said:

View PostICEknight, on 09 June 2012 - 01:57 PM, said:

Also, Nintendo was already working on the Mii system back in the NES era... I'm sure we'd be surprised at some of the unreleased projects many of the important companies were working on in the old days.


I want to know more about this.

Here you go.

#18 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 11 June 2012 - 01:24 PM

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Thing with Mega Anser is, you can see in that shot I did that it's hooked up to a telephone - if it's using DTMF tones on the phone, it could just listen for them without any need for hardware beyond the modem. That said, #2 on that picture is テンキーパシード which Google works out as "Numeric Keypad", so eh =P

#19 User is offline Andlabs 

Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:42 PM

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...Ten Key Pad doesn't have "shii" in it...

#20 User is online ICEknight 

Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:02 PM

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So perhaps the Ten Key Pad could have been made from the original keyboard's specifications? They might have decided that, for some reason, the numeric keyboard was the only thing a Mega Drive user would really need, and removed the rest of it.


And so it ended being a useless piece of hardware... But if this is the case, there might be remnants of the keyboard input readings inside the ROM. Might be worth disassembling just in case?
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 11 June 2012 - 08:02 PM

#21 User is offline minichapman 

Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:49 AM

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View PostAerosolSP, on 10 June 2012 - 01:35 PM, said:

View PostICEknight, on 09 June 2012 - 01:57 PM, said:

Also, Nintendo was already working on the Mii system back in the NES era... I'm sure we'd be surprised at some of the unreleased projects many of the important companies were working on in the old days.


I want to know more about this.


I did have some screenshots from a Nintendo mag a couple years ago with articles on unreleased Nintendo games. For now here's a video about it.


This post has been edited by minichapman: 12 June 2012 - 05:49 AM

#22 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 12 June 2012 - 04:20 PM

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View PostAndlabs, on 11 June 2012 - 02:42 PM, said:

...Ten Key Pad doesn't have "shii" in it...

The symbol is there, it's just the much smaller variant that I know has a different meaning, that I couldn't figure out how to type, so compromised. That or it's a tsu. Come on, they're almost the same:  ツ シ

#23 User is offline ChEeZeBaLL 

Posted 03 January 2017 - 08:56 AM

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View PostSik, on 09 June 2012 - 09:04 AM, said:

I found, um, keyboard support. Yep. Guess that with all the potential candidates for a Mega Drive keyboard eventually we had to hit something.


I've been working on trying to interface a keyboard with the Genesis and stumbled upon this thread. The first link in your original post no longer seems to show information about the keyboard and I'm curious what it was. I'm also wondering if you could supply me with a copy of the Xband firmware; I haven't been able to find a copy of it anywhere.

EDIT: I found the Xband firmware here: https://wiki.superfa...snes/show/XBAND

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This post has been edited by ChEeZeBaLL: 03 January 2017 - 09:38 AM

#24 User is offline ChEeZeBaLL 

Posted 05 January 2017 - 05:23 PM

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Whoever put together the zip file that I linked to above corrupted all the source files with some weird formatting garbage at the top and bottom of each file.

I just found this Github repo with all the same source files without the extra garbage: https://github.com/X-Band

The keyboard routines are located in SegaOS/GameLib/controls.c
https://github.com/X...eLib/controls.c

I just bought a genesis X-Band modem on ebay, and I'm currently working on deciphering the handshaking and protocol code. I currently have my Arduino Uno microcontroller successfully simulating a 3 button controller, my goal is to see if I can simulate the Eric Smith keyboard.

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This post has been edited by ChEeZeBaLL: 05 January 2017 - 05:26 PM

#25 User is offline GerbilSoft 

Posted 05 January 2017 - 05:39 PM

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https://github.com/X...controls.c#L216

if ( FindESKeyboard() )									// do we have an Eric Smith keyboard?
{
	if (!REFGLOBAL( controls, keyboardPresent ))
	{
		unsigned char fuck;
		fuck = 0xFF;						/* reset keyboard */
		SendCmdToESKeyboard( &fuck, 1 );
		WriteESKeyboard();
		REFGLOBAL( controls, keyboardPresent ) = true;
		REFGLOBAL( controls, keyboardFlags ) = 0L;
	}	
}
else
	REFGLOBAL( controls, keyboardPresent ) = false;


High-quality library function right there. :colbert:

This seems to be the guy who designed the keyboard interface: http://www.brouhaha....pic/segakb.html
It appears to be a PIC16 microcontroller that converts between IBM PS/2 protocol and a custom 4-bit protocol.

I would think that it might be possible to use bit-banging to connect a PS/2 keyboard directly to the MD (with just an adapter to convert between Mini-DIN-6 and DE-9), but interrupt timing might cause issues (as mentioned on that page).
This post has been edited by GerbilSoft: 05 January 2017 - 05:41 PM
Reason for edit: reduce indents

#26 User is offline ChEeZeBaLL 

Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:36 PM

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The keyboard was advertised via XBAND news and was available to order by phone directly from Catapult Entertainment.

Posted Image

Posted Image

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Here's a video of me awkwardly talking about the keyboard for 7 minutes, I probably should have turned some lights on lolz

https://www.youtube....h?v=VTimyYAX_Gw

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This post has been edited by ChEeZeBaLL: 21 February 2017 - 04:47 PM

#27 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:41 PM

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Nicely done - that solves this mystery. Scans, wiki etc.

#28 User is offline ChEeZeBaLL 

Posted 21 February 2017 - 05:02 PM

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View PostBlack Squirrel, on 21 February 2017 - 04:41 PM, said:

Nicely done - that solves this mystery. Scans, wiki etc.


Yeah that wiki page definitely needs to be re-written. In Brazil the keyboard was released for the Mega Net 2 service (not MegaNet which is what the wiki page links to). Mega Net 2 was nothing more than a translated and re-branded version of XBAND.

#29 User is offline ChEeZeBaLL 

Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:12 PM

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View PostChEeZeBaLL, on 05 January 2017 - 05:23 PM, said:

Whoever put together the zip file that I linked to above corrupted all the source files with some weird formatting garbage at the top and bottom of each file.


It was just pointed out to me by Mask of Destiny that the source files were most likely never truly plaintext files, they were created by Think C for the 68K Mac.

Quote

I think I know why the XBand source files have what looks like garbage in them
They were never truly plaintext files, they were created by Think C for the 68K Mac
the TEXTKAHL bit is the tipoff
TEXT is a mac type code, and KAHL is the creator code for Think C
possible the junk is just resource fork and/or other metadata from some old Mac zipping program
that predated the whole .DS_Store method for storing that stuff


#30 User is offline Cooljerk 

Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:58 PM

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View PostOverlord, on 12 June 2012 - 04:20 PM, said:

The symbol is there, it's just the much smaller variant that I know has a different meaning, that I couldn't figure out how to type, so compromised. That or it's a tsu. Come on, they're almost the same:  ツ シ


It's a sokuon, more commonly referred to as a "chiisai tsu" (literally: Small tsu), indicating voiced gemination (i.e. extra emphasis and duration of the proceeding consonant), which is translated in romaji by doubling the consonant. TEN KII PADDO.

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