Battlestation II - USB Mod

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by TheWedgie, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. TheWedgie

    TheWedgie Insert Custom Title Here

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    I've had this badboy in the shed for about 5 years now, waiting for me to get around to actually doing something, and now that I spend 4 days away from home, and have a reasonable amount of downtime between shifts, now's the time!


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    As you can see, it's got pinouts for most of the consoles of the time, however I only have one of the SNES cables (the other end has a SNES plug on it) which pretty much makes it useless.
    So, add one of these, and I'll get USB!

    Click to view full size!


    I have no idea on the layout for the DB25 port, and want to mount the keyboard encoder on the inside, leaving a pretty USB port on the back, so time to open her up!

    Click to view full size!


    Poo, looks like it's going to be a bit difficult to just 'add' the USB port without a bit more wiring - thinking I'll just have to pull the ribbon cable off the old interface board, not like I'll be using those interfaces anyway!
    Will then have to get a bunch of single header pin extension cables to connect the ribbon connector to the headers on the keyboard encoder. As I'm not sure they'll line up very well, will have to be a heap of single cables!

    The plan is to use this to get a nice USB slot on the back of the box, just waiting for delivery.

    However as I'm away from home I don't have the bag-o-wires from the shed, so will have to wait til I can get the required bits before continuing!

    Stay tuned!

    EDIT: About to order a bunch of wires and headers to match but will see what I have lying around first!
    EDIT2: Bingo! These should work!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  2. www.com.au

    www.com.au Member

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    Love how indepth the description of your method is. Look forward to seeing the finished version, gonna be a real vintage eye opener :D
     
  3. OP
    OP
    TheWedgie

    TheWedgie Insert Custom Title Here

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    I'm on leave for a month now, so this will be left alone til I get back (it's a project for when I'm between shifts at work).

    Hopefully the USB plugs and jumper wires get delivered in the meantime!
     
  4. HeXa

    HeXa Member

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    ooo... nice... that would be great to use when rewiring my old X-arcade :thumbup: think the KB encoder in it died

    until I get sick (again) of the noisy swiches

    EDIT: works out heaps cheaper than getting a USB upgrade PCB from Xgaming
     
  5. OP
    OP
    TheWedgie

    TheWedgie Insert Custom Title Here

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    Plus the guy that runs the store I bought it from is an OCAU member...
     
  6. ThunderbirdMoz

    ThunderbirdMoz Member

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    Nice piece of nostalgia there getting a refresh. I wish I had the money all those years ago to buy one of these things. I can still remember walking into the Mr Toys gameshop up in the Myer Centre after school and marveling at all the console hardware.
     
  7. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

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    sorry for the O/T, but i've got an older ps/2 style X-arcade, and want to convert it to USB

    is all i need one of those keyboard encoders?
     
  8. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

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    nice

    maybe i'll wait to see if there's a special on that encoder soon ;)
     
  9. HeXa

    HeXa Member

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    bump ;) :thumbup::thumbup:

    EDIT: doh... nevermind.... found the thread! thanks
     
  10. WASM

    WASM Member

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    I've got this thing hidden in a box under a pool table jammed in with a Sega Mega Drive II, Master System II, an Atari 2600 and various cartridges.
    I've been keeping it hoping one day fighting games will come back.
    I'll be interested to know more about these converters and how you go with your USB mod.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    TheWedgie

    TheWedgie Insert Custom Title Here

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    So, back from holidays and I had a the USB panel mount socket thing and the hookup wires waiting for me.

    Onto wiring them up - there seems to be some strange wiring with the grounds - there's a switch on the top that appears to swap the button layout but I can't quite get my head around it.

    Messing around with the hookup wires, it looks like this is going to be a long and confusing process!

    I'm almost tempted to just replace the all microswitches and use the spade wiring that came with the keyboard encoder.
    I had originally hoped to keep the old connections (NES/SNES etc) but it's looking more and more like that's going to be a pain in the ass.
    The downside is if I remove the current microswitches, it'll be pretty much a one-way mod.

    Decisions, decisions!

    EDIT: Looks like the intermittent buttons not working thing was the USB Overdrive app in OSX being gay. Under Win7 now and it's peachy. Just looks like I have to hookup two ground wires for each set of buttons, it has something to do with the config switches but I can't work out what it changes as the extra wires go to the existing PCB.
    The downside is the keyboard encoder doesn't have multiple ground pins, so I'll have to hack up some of the jumper wiring.

    So, looks like I won't have to replace all the switches, hurrah.

    EDIT2: Found the pins on the ribbon cable that do ground. Still have to jumper two of the ground pins on the microswitches to get them to a single pin on the keyboard encoder, but that's only one for each control panel, so easy enough to do.

    EDIT3: Pics! First one is just getting started, second one is the complete loom. Haven't worked out how I'll secure it all yet. Probably a comination of Loctite and sticky tape :lol:


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  12. IMtech

    IMtech (Banned or Deleted)

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    I'll have what this guy is having... :weirdo:

    Looking good on the controller... This button switch affair seems more trouble than it's worth tho... You ought to rewire it! ;) :thumbup:
     
  13. OP
    OP
    TheWedgie

    TheWedgie Insert Custom Title Here

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    Nah, all it needs for the USB mod is to add one wire between a couple of ground pins on the buttons. The button switch (on the top of the panel, switches between red/blue and black layouts) seems to be wired up to the old interface panel - so no issue in completely ignoring them, other than the fact the buttons won't do anything.

    If I was to rewire it, I would either have to desolder all the spade connectors from the current microswitches, or buy 20 new microswitches and replace the lot.

    Once this is going, I'll see how I feel about making a similar size/layout panel from wood, as it's a nice design to copy.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    TheWedgie

    TheWedgie Insert Custom Title Here

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    ... and it's (ghetto) complete!

    PCB Feet!

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    PCB taped in position...

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    The aforementioned ground wiring addition. Buttons 1 and 3 had their own ground wire, but because the keyboard encoder only has 1 ground pin, I had to join them, and it was easier here as I'm not using the 'Turbo' function of the switches on top, which seems to be why these two have separate grounds.

    Click to view full size!


    My classy dremel work, and the USB plug taped down. Will probably just glue it vs using the screw points.

    Click to view full size!


    Plugged in!

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    I still have to properly secure the PCB and USB plug, but the wiring seems to hold ok, so I don't think I'll make any changes there.
    I need to add a couple more buttons though, as this will be used for NES/SNES too, it needs a second Start/Select group, as well as P1, P2 and COIN buttons. I haven't decided how to do this just yet as ideally I'd like to keep it relatively stock on the outside.
     
  15. Sonicman

    Sonicman Member

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    Funnily enough, I just found one of these "Battlestation II"'s on the side of the road... looks like someone has modified it for use with a PlayStation, judging by the PS1 controller mounted inside it with the wires cut and soldered to the pads...
     

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