I’ve been thinking for a while that prototyping stuff with the DIP PIC32 parts should be easier, so I built something over the weekend to make that a reality.
Instead of this:
I can now start with this:
It is just the bare minimum to get a DIP PIC32 part up and running with USB support. I’m pretty happy with the results so far. Now all I need to do is get a USB boot loader that fits in under 3Kb and I can use the Chipkit32 stuff with these little guys 😉
I wanted to play Turrican 2 the other day so I fired up an Amiga emulator, but playing it via the keyboard really wasn’t cutting it, so I broke out a USB game pad I had floating around the place. That also didn’t feel quite right 🙁 What I needed was an old Atari style joystick to really get my Turrican 2 craving licked. I looked around and sure enough I had one, but how could I get it working with my Mac? I needed an Atari joystick adapter. A little googling and ebaying later I found that 1. they are pretty easy to make, and 2. those available online are too expensive. Time to break out the soldering iron and whip one up myself. The hardware is pretty simple, just a PIC32MX220F32B and a handful of other components.
I even found a nice box to put it into!
Once I’d removed the guts of the ADSL filter, it had just enough room to fit all the parts I needed 🙂
After coding up a simple HID based USB joystick (and forgetting yet again that the reason I couldn’t read some of the bits in PORTB was due to the analog inputs being enabled by default) I had a working USB joystick adapter. Time to play Turrican 2!
FRAK! Why can’t I jump?!? It turns out the plastic shaft inside the joystick has a crack in it which means that the UP direction doesn’t work reliably making Turrican 2 unplayable 🙁
I think I have another Atari style joystick about the place, but if not, it looks like ebay may be my only option 🙁
I took a few more pictures of the failed boards and sent them to the fantastic people at circuits.io. They have very generously offered to send me new ones at no charge 🙂 Hopefully these new boards will work out.
I also had a quick go at getting one of the boards working. After soldering lots of wires on the bottom of the board I powered it up and let the magic smoke out of my voltage regulator, so it looks like I may have a crook connection somewhere. It could also be because I didn’t have the right regulator available so tried another with a slightly different pinout. I put some heat shrink over the input lead and bent it into the right position. Maybe I didn’t get it quite right. The interesting thing is that the Mac I had it plugged in to didn’t complain about the device drawing too much current, so I don’t quite know what went wrong. Time to head out to Jaycar and get the part I actually need I guess 😉