Genesis/Megadrive to USB

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Trunks, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Trunks

    Trunks

    AGAIN TRY Oldbie
    I've been holding off on doing this for a while, but I want to build my dream machine. I want to build a computer with all sorts of emulators, and have the original controllers for each one. I've got NES to USB, I've got SNES to USB, but I can't seem to find a reasonably priced Megadrive/Genesis to USB solution online.

    Anyone out there with the knowhow or the knowwhere?
     
  2. Sik

    Sik

    Sik is pronounced as "seek", not as "sick". Tech Member
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    This?

    It annoys me the adapter is more expensive than the controller itself, but that seems to be true for all the other adapters they have =| And the SNES adapter seems to be almost twice as expensive o_o;
     
  3. Shadow Hog

    Shadow Hog

    "I'm a superdog!" Member
    That's the pad. The adapter is actually only a dollar more expensive (and, since it's presently on sale, $3 cheaper).
     
  4. dsrb

    dsrb

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    Might the higher (than I expected) price be due to its being marketed as Genesis-specific? That type of 9-pin DIN is by no means proprietary, so it may be that you could find the same thing cheaper from some other source selling it a generic adaptor. (Of course, I'm probably wrong)
     
  5. Sik

    Sik

    Sik is pronounced as "seek", not as "sick". Tech Member
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    The problem is that the Mega Drive and USB protocols are completely incompatible with each other, period. In order to make such an adapter work you need to slap a microcontroller that behaves like an USB device and takes its input from the MD port. That's from where the high price comes, you're literally buying a whole new device, not just an adapter.

    If you can go the LPT route then try that because that's much cheaper, since that's truly just an adapter (rewiring, no microcontroller in the way). It needs custom drivers though.
     
  6. Well...there's always this...

    It plays Genesis/Super Nintendo games, with their original controllers via the original ports, and lets you play the games via a computer emulator through the actual cartridge. You can even make backups of your data and save to the cartridge!!
     
  7. I've got this and then this as well, and it all works great! It's also a cheaper solution than buying one of the USB converters for any controller, as this allows pretty much anything from RetroUSB.

    Hope that helps!
     
  8. Tets

    Tets

    one rude dude Oldbie
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    Out of need for a decent PC gamepad several years ago, I built a Playstation controller adapter out of spare parts and never looked back. I was even able to get the DPadPro drivers working in Windows 7, though my primary system still runs XP. A Genesis adapter is even easier to build. All you need is a DB25 connector, some diodes, and moderate skill with a soldering iron. Cost in parts is probably around $15 maximum.

    Of course this all assumes your dream machine has a parallel port or that you're not limited to USB input for any other reason. Just putting it out there.
     
  9. TmEE

    TmEE

    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
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    Use ParallelPortJoystick instead of DpadPro for MD stuff. DpadPro adapter is unnecesairly complex and does not work well with 6 button controllers.
     
  10. Bibin

    Bibin

    DON'T LET THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU. Member
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    So, if you like soldering and such, you can do what I did:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Aerosol

    Aerosol

    Not here. Moderator
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    I can't even tell what you did. What did you do?
     
  12. Mr. Mash

    Mr. Mash

    All fanbases are awful Member
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    is a Saturn controller ok?
     
  13. Bibin

    Bibin

    DON'T LET THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU. Member
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    That's a playstation 1 PCB mounted onto the back of a Genesis controller, with all the connections you'd need soldered. A PSone compatible cable comes out, and either a real PS1/2 or a USB adapter can be used with it.
     
  14. Aerosol

    Aerosol

    Not here. Moderator
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    I suspected it was something like that. That's pretty awesome bro. Might just do something like that myself.
     
  15. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    I have one of these, and in my experience, it does not work properly with several games, including all the Sonic PC games; the d-pad gets treated as both a d-pad and the trigger buttons, and the trigger buttons get treated as UDLR buttons. I have to assign actions to the d-pad to get them to work on the trigger buttons. It works with emulators, JoyToKey and WindowsZone though.
     
  16. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
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    I actually own one of the original 1994 limited edition Sega authorized controllers. I got it on eBay for $12, and thought they were just very common. I regret using it now, seeing only knockoffs available and the official one going for hundreds, which I can't even find a single one listed at the moment.
     
  17. Trunks

    Trunks

    AGAIN TRY Oldbie
    This is a really roundabout way, but I think it could work for me, as long as it's accurate and has a good response time. Have you tried different genesis pads? 3-button, 6-button, etc?
     
  18. Actually.... no. I agree it's really roundabout, but the response time is spot on, I haven't noticed any delay at all, even when using programs like Joy2Key or Xpadder for fan games. From what I read, 6 button controllers for Genesis don't work, but if I can find where my old ones are, I can check for you.

    EDIT: Yeah, no luck I'm afraid. It works, but Mode, X, Y, Z don't respond. Strangely enough, the switch to change the speed from Normal to Slow actually serves as a button or something. But this works, so you know.
     
  19. Flygon

    Flygon

    Member
    The Slow switch just alternates the Start button as fast as the controller can perform when flicked on.
     
  20. Trunks

    Trunks

    AGAIN TRY Oldbie
    Awesome, I have that. :D

    But boo. I want to make sure whatever solution I get also has six button input. I may have to go with the RetroUSB adapter. But it's so effing expensive.

    edit: If anyone's looking for an SNES one, I recommend this. It's two ports and cheap as hell. I have one and it works wonderfully.