Amiga hardware info, help and support with a focus (but not limited to) North American NTSC experiences. Open to all.
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piper_flatline

by piper_flatline posted Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:57 pm

I'm looking for a gamepad for my Amiga 500, and from what I hear online original Genesis gamepads work a treat. I also hear that they could potentially damage the Amiga (they do indeed damage C64s, apparently), but there is a lot of debate regarding this. Some people say they've been using Genesis gamepads for decades on an Amiga with no trouble, and other people say they're just asking for trouble.

I've got original Genesis gamepads in my closet. Should I use them or get something else? If something else, any suggestions?
sugar and spice and everything knife.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:25 pm

My friend Mattsoft (who is a member here) said:
I use one and have never had a problem.


The main thing I've learned with Amigas - and not so much the C64 - is to simply not unplug the controllers or mice when the machine is on. As long as you do the plugging/un-plugging before powering up, I've not seen or heard of any problems. That's just me.

My friend AmigaBill blew out a CIA chip a few years ago while unplugging a mouse (or was it a joystick?) a few years ago. That left him very twitchy about the topic. So I just don't leave any of that to chance anymore. These machines are getting too old and scarce and precious. A little caution never hurts.
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piper_flatline

by piper_flatline posted Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:45 pm

Ok, yeah there are people who say it works for them and people who say not to. Thanks for the heads-up from your friend.

intric8 wrote:These machines are getting too old and scarce and precious. A little caution never hurts.

That's why I am tending to err on the side of caution, but then again, I want to play some games and I need a controller, damnit! haha
sugar and spice and everything knife.
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piper_flatline

by piper_flatline posted Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:59 pm

I'm wondering now if I've been looking at it all wrong, and I should really just be using USB gamepads, etc. through an adapter.

Does anyone have any experience with this (eBay link) or this (Amigastore.eu link)? Are they both the same thing? Are there any better or lower cost alternatives? Do they work well?
sugar and spice and everything knife.
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EzdineG
Springfield, MO

by EzdineG posted Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:46 am

piper_flatline wrote:I'm looking for a gamepad for my Amiga 500, and from what I hear online original Genesis gamepads work a treat. I also hear that they could potentially damage the Amiga (they do indeed damage C64s, apparently), but there is a lot of debate regarding this. Some people say they've been using Genesis gamepads for decades on an Amiga with no trouble, and other people say they're just asking for trouble.

I've got original Genesis gamepads in my closet. Should I use them or get something else? If something else, any suggestions?

You're fine using these controllers with any Amiga.

Do *NOT* use them with a C64.
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:51 pm

They work fine on the Amiga, it's even mentioned in the Turrican 3 manual by name; that you can use the Genesis controller.

And personally, I've been using one on the C64 for over 10 years with no issues either. I also have no issues messing with plugged in controllers on the Amiga, but I have a separate unit involved. The joystick/mouse plug into a device which then plugs into the computer, and the device the controllers are plugged into don't have metal around the edges, which appears to be what everyone gets in a fuzz over. But I've also on occasion messed with the stuff on the computer itself. If the day comes when I fry something, I'll replace the chip, and I'll live and learn... But I've been messing with this stuff for countless years and I tend to feel those recommending caution have generally not.

I'd personally recommend a nice microswitched joystick, however, unless you're just doing platformers. The Wico Ergostick is the single best joystick I've ever used, and I've even conquered many platformers with it as well.
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piper_flatline

by piper_flatline posted Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:59 pm

Alright super cool, thanks everyone. Going to pull the controllers out of the closet later today.
sugar and spice and everything knife.
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joethezombie

by joethezombie posted Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:46 pm

I watched a video by the 8-bit guy about the Genesis controller on the C64, and why it would fry it.
https://youtu.be/WVnwfwXnNiQ?t=201

Supposedly the select button (pin) when active will short 5V to GND, although I haven't verified personally.

(edited for clarity)
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:58 pm

How can you press a button that doesn't even exist on the controller itself? That was a terrible explanation. Does he mean the "start" button? Somehow I find it hard to believe I've never accidentally hit that button in over 10 years of using it, but since it's a button that is in no way needed, then "absolutely do not use a Genesis controller" is a stupid way to go about that explanation. Just don't bother, it will fry it... Why will it fry it? Point to someone actually frying it rather than going off Uncle Rob's story from 1982. That guy has about a million 64's, he can afford to fry one. Show it.

But here's the thing. If it's one button that does not work... That does not mean you tell everybody not to use the controller, it means you tell them how they can use it. Kind of like how I did in this video where I showed everyone a non destructive way to make their Genesis controller work with about 5 or so Master System games it had issues with. In fact, if I recall, it may even be that "select" button in question. I think I even mentioned that in the video as a matter of fact, now that I think about it. That it might be the way to go about using the controller on the 64, but that it's not a problem I ever personally had on the thing, and I've used it... But yeah, it's not "don't use it" it's "use it right, here's how!" Ugh,.
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:40 pm

After watching his video again and my own, I am certain the adapter I made to make the Genesis controller work with those Master System games is exactly what would be needed if one has a fear of the Commodore 64 and that controller.

And there are other ways to go about that as well. If you've got a bunch of Genesis controllers and don't mind sacrificing its ability to work on the actual Genesis, you can open it up and cut the grey wire, which is the "select" button. You can install a toggle swtich on the controller itself to switch between modes. I thought about that but decided it would look ugly. Or, in my own unique solution which was 100% all me, you can rig up an adapter to bypass the wire that causes the issues all together.

This, of course, has no issues on the actual topic at hand, which is does the controller work with the Amiga. It absolutely works with the Amiga with no concerns. If there are any conflicting stories on the Amiga, it's from people that are confusing the stories involving the C64. But again, "if" you are tempted to say it can't be done on the 64, you are wrong, 1000% wrong. At best, those that say that are lazy, but more than likely they are simply taking stories they've heard, and some may even have some facts on their side, but they never ask the simple question of "how can I make it work?" and that is a fatal flaw.

If you're not going to be bothered to watch my video, here's a clip at the end where I have some words of wisdom for the people that think some things are not possible... When someone on the internet tells you to give up, that it's just not possible, 9 times out of 10, it most certainly is, they're just lazy.

https://youtu.be/TIEwTmUdynQ?t=658

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