C64 joystick adapter

[Marcus Gritsch] wanted to do his retro gaming using retro hardware… or at least using some retro hardware. Although he was playing his Commodore 64 games in an emulator, he figured that using an original controller would boost the nostalgia quite a bit. This is a vintage Competition Pro joystick that has buttons and a joystick of a similar quality to arcade hardware and a DE-9 connector. He managed to connect new to old by building his own USB to C64 joystick adapter.

His project started out by breadboarding a circuit based on a PIC 24FJ64GB002 microcontroller. This does all of the work, having native USB support, and no problem reading and translating the signals from the old hardware which are simply conductors for each internal switch that pull to ground when actuated. Once working, he soldered everything to some protoboard; a connector at each end, the chip itself, a voltage regulator, and some passive components. It’s a, robust build that should give him years of emulated fun.

Comments

  1. echodelta says:

    Great! Real knoby stick, not those dinky crosses and ‘dials’ that don’t turn.

  2. Knightmare says:

    That type of joystick also worked on the Atari 2600 and 7800

  3. Paul Potter says:

    And of course would work with other emulations.

  4. VV says:

    I believe the interface is called the Kempston interface. ZX Spectrums have them as well as the Atari 2600.

    it was developed by Atari for the 2600, but I don’t think they named the interface. Kempston made adapters so you could use Atari Joysticks on other computers.

  5. bootstrap says:

    Points for naming the connector DE9 and not DB9

  6. buzzles says:

    Ah, the Competition Pro, one of the few joysticks of the era that could survive a game of “Daley Thompson’s Decathlon”.

  7. randy says:

    should work with sega genesis megadrive pads too as i used those on a c64 but the buttons were mapped wrong

  8. Beccs says:

    This is so impressive! I’m using the ccs64 emulator and want a joystick rather than using keys and was after one of these but can’t find one anywhere and could never make a connector like that to usb, just don’t have the know how!! The “new” competition pros have had bad reviews. If anyone can recommend a good joystick with a retro feel, I’d really appreciate it!!

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