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The easy Way to get

Playstation Pads

working on the ST

        About two years ago I came across a Hong-Kong based company which 
        produced hardware for oldschool systems, such as NES, SNES, PC 
        Engine, SEGA Mega-Drive, etc... named ToToTEK. So far they had 
        built flash-memory based cards and gamepad adapters for those.

        When I checked their products, I saw they had an adapter for
        connecting PlayStation pads to the SEGA MegaDrive and SEGA
        MarkIII. For those who are not into Japanese game systems, the
        MarkIII is the Japanese version of the SEGA Master-System.
        However I guess everyone on Atari knows that MS pads work fine
        on ST. ;)

        So, basically here was an adapter which would allow me to play
        with PSX pads on my MD and most probably on ST. That was enough
        information for me to me to order two of them!

        When I received them, I instantly tried them on the MD, and what
        can I say? They were working like a charm! (that was to be
        expected on the MicroMachines 96 extended pad ports that the
        game provides on its card)

        Then I tried it on ST, crossing my fingers and... well in short:
        it failed. Having only one button working. Yeah, like when you
        plug a MD pad on ST...

        Since the adapter is auto-adaptive to the system it's currently
        plugged on, it seems it recognized the ST as a MD and not as a
        MS. I checked the MS pad connector pinouts and compared those to
        the ST ones. What I saw was that the +5V wasn't on the same pin.
        Maybe switching those two would do the trick?

        I tried it, building an additional adapter (or rather having my
        dad building it for me ;) with those two pins switched. But then
        why not put a switch between ST and MS mode? This way I could
        use it as an extension cable for ST joysticks and then being
        able to stay away from the doomed design of the ST
        joystick/mouse ports.

        And then why not put switches between some buttons? Having up
        direction switched with MS pad B button would make ST
        platformers nicer to play. And then this along down direction
        switched with MS pad A button would make most ST racing games
        play like console ones, sweet, sweet. :)

        So I plugged the PlayStation to MD/MK3 adapter on my home-made
        MS/ST adapter, plugged a PSX pad at the end, and everything
        worked! Not much of a surprise actually, but still ultra cool.

        Vroom plays really fine in "console pad racing" mode (both up
        and down direction switched with pad buttons).

        Starioland can now have the NES control it requires (up
        direction switched with pad B button).


        (yeah it's a bit raw at the moment, I just need to find a proper
        case ;)

        So here is the pin switching explanation to build the MS/ST
        adapter (the numbers in brackets can be found on the picture

        \ o o o o o /  Pinouts of the connector
         \_o_o_o_o_/   plugged on the ST port (1)
           9 8 7 6

        \ o o o o o /  Pinouts of the connector
         \_o_o_o_o_/   to plug the PSX to MD/MK3 adapter on (2)
           6 7 8 9

        - for MS mode (+5V volt redirect), switch pins 5 and 7.
        - for up switched with MS pad B button, switch pins 1 and 9.
        - for down switched with MS pad A button, switch pins 2 and 6.

        One difficulty is to find a connector which would be slim enough
        fit under the ST. What I did myself was ripping a basic ST mouse
        (sorry if it hurts, but it wasn't working fine anymore ;) to get
        its connector and cable. The pin 5 wasn't present on this cable,
        as it's basically unused on ST.

        To find the PSX to MD/MK3 adapter on ToToTEK website, browse
        "OUR PRODUCTS / HARDWARE" then scroll down to "Classic Joypad 
        converter for MD+MarkIII". The current price is 15 USD for one.

                                            Dma-Sc for Alive, 2006-07-01

Alive 13