PC Game Controller With A Touch Of Class

The above is a specially designed game controller made by [Giorgos] solely for the RTS game Men Of War (now that’s dedication to a game). [Giorgos] started off with a rough breadboard and 11 buttons. Slowly overtime he included a joystick, countdown timers, and the wonderfully lit case. Under the hood is a couple of PIC microcontrollers multiplexing the switches, LEDs, timers, and also interfacing with the computer via how is it not dead yet PS/2 port. The build log is a very detailed read and well worth it, even if you’re not planning on making a custom controller. [Ben Heck] better watch out, there is a new controller making enthusiast on the loose.

23 thoughts on “PC Game Controller With A Touch Of Class

  1. @Giorgos Lazaridis

    Well.. spraypaint followed by sealant does a good job of coloring without coloring your fingers after extended use. I’d look up custom controller painting to see what people who paint (i.e.) xbox controllers use to get good colors that last

    Assuming that you’re talking about the beige keys, of course.

  2. About that “how is it not dead” PS/2 port, it’s a far, far, far superior interface for hooking up keyboards than USB.

    USB HID spec sets a limit of a maximum of 4 simultaneous keypresses. In a game, some times you need to duck, jump, and change weapons while walking forward. PS/2 can theoretically support holding down all 101 buttons at once.

    USB is polled by the CPU. It has a definite latency, and it consumes CPU cycles to poll it. PS/2 is completely hardware interrupt based. The CPU doesn’t have to waste its time asking the keyboard whether or not a key is pressed, the keyboard tells the computer when it has input in its buffer, not the other way around.

    There are very good reasons PS/2 isn’t dead. It’s much better at its job than USB.

  3. @Giorgos Lazaridis

    Virtually all paint will flake off and look unplesant pretty quickly. I’ve had very good luck dying plastic with cheap Rit cloth dye. Put the keys in a pot of simmering water with the dye for 30-90 minutes and you’ll get a vibrant color that won’t come off easily.

    I still hate seeing blue lights on stuff like this. Yes, blue is the official color of “cool”. (And now apparently” classy” Ugh.) But blue light will constrict your pupils more than other wavelengths and will make your eyes less sensitive to dim lighting. This is bad for any gaming rig since you’re relying on your visual acuity. (And for other displays that you read in the dark.) Change the color to red and you won’t be ruining your night-adapted vision.

  4. @bobdole

    Couldn’t figure out where you got your info on the 4 keys max, but I know my cheap usb keyboard can do up to 6 keys at once, all getting detected.

    Unfortunately, PS/2 isn’t plug and play, so I’d have to restart my keyboardless server next to me to get a PS/2 keyboard working.

    I’ve always wanted a custom keyboard setup for my different games, that’d be neat.

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