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Need hardware recommendations for a videogame controller/software project.

  1. Aug 20, 2010 #1
    Hi, I'm really stupid when it comes to hardware and the terminology used. I'll try to explain my project as good as I can.

    In short, I want to create a video game bot that can play certain parts (or entire songs) of rhythm games for me. No, not for cheating. :P Just for fun and learning. I have a controller which can be taken apart and tinkered with. This controller must be used, because the console refuses to accept other input devices.
    However, to support the bot, some hardware modifications are required.

    The general setup I envision is this:
    First, there's some software which reads the rhythm data and buffers it. When prompted, it will loop over the note data. I've ran some test runs and even on the more 'note heavy' songs it stayed in sync pretty well, even in speedier parts.
    There are six buttons to press in any given combination, with one always being pressed, so using an 8-bit binary code is sufficient to mimic everything that the controller must be capable of doing.

    Hooked up to the PC that runs the software is the controller. It'll be connected via a USB port on the PC to an extra USB port that will be placed in the controller. The controller in question is connected to the console through its normal wiring.

    Inside the controller are two circuit boards. Hooked up to the circuit boards is the wiring of the buttons which must be pressed. If I'm correct, transistors can be used to emulate that a button is pressed: e.g.: if the 1st and 8th wire, which leave from the first button and are soldered to the circuit board at the other end, represent the first button, then placing the ends of a transistor on those places on the circuit board means that you can send a signal through it that emulates said button being pressed. Please correct me if I'm wrong and indulge on the correct terminology.

    My question: what kind of hardware can read the 8-bit binary code I'll be sending it over USB and transform it into the corresponding electrical signals?
    Or, in other words: how do I interface with the two circuit boards?

    Note: it will not necessarily be USB on the end of the controller. RS232 is a possibility too, or whatever else you suggest. It's all open, but the USB on the PC is not.

    Sorry if this is in the wrong forum: I wasn't sure on where it did belong. Any help will be appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2010 #2
    Probably an 8-bit PIC processor. And don't forget you have to strum too.
  4. Aug 22, 2010 #3
    Interesting! It seems to support USB as peripheral, which is handy since my laptop only has USB.
    How would it work in practice? You just solder the PIC on the relevant circuit board and program it to do your bidding, with no extra hardware required? Or would you still need to use the transistor on the button wiring's ends to send the signals there?

    Of course. Just to be sure, I made 'strum' a part of the 8-bit binary code. But the downside of it is that, in theory, I'll need to double the amount of bytes I'll need to send depending on whether the strum 'deactivates' itself after being set to high: if not, I'll have to turn it off with a second byte so it can accept the strum command in the next byte.

    Or can that be programmed in the PIC, so that a single byte is still sufficient, e.g., you process the byte and send one last command to 'deactivate' the strum?
    In fact, could I use the PIC to go over the bits in any order I want? It'd give me some freedom. ;p
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