ePanorama.net - Joystick Documents

Strange PC joystick interfacing hardware

Commercial products

Parallel Gameport Adapter

Genovation designed a PC joystick interface module which can be plugged to PC parallel port. The near-total lack of drivers made it virtually useless. I have no more information about that product.

Serial port joystick adapter

Colorado Spectrum made a joystick adapter for the serial port that would use a normal IBM PC joystick. This adapter had support from several software people (will work with xwing, flight sim 4, f15, and several other programs).

Colorado Spectrum has made some different types of joystick adapters for serial port. There is Colorado Spectrum Game Port Adaptor and Colorado Spectrum Workstation Gameport. Workstation Gameport uses standard RS-232 serial protocol with 9600 (N, 8, 2)baud rate and used b byte packet. More information about Workstation Gameport can be found at http://www.vigyan.com/~blbates/hardware/joysticks.html. It seems that Colorado Spectrum company is now out of business.

Happ Controls makes a board that you can connect to a PC's serial port and that gives you access to Joystick, trackball, pedals and steering wheel. You can connect it to your laptop via the laptop's serial port and use it with decent games using DirectX drivers. More information on this product can be found at Happ Controls Game Developer section.

PCMCIA joystick adapter

JC Designs makes GameCard PRO adapter which can be used to connect two normal PC joysticks to a laptop computer which has a free PCMCIA slot. Drivers currently exist for DOS, Windows 3.1x, and Windows 95.

Use game console joysticks with PC

Console Cable makes commercial special wires and software drivers for connecting different joysticks to PC parallel port. The software driver makes the game console joystick to emulate PC keyboard functions.

If you are person who has experince in soldering you can try one of the free console joystick interfacing projects found in this page.

DIY interafaces

A Digital JoyStick for the IBM-PC Parallel Printer Port

Ian Harries has designed a small circuit which can be used for connecting normal "atari style" digital joystick to PC parallel port. The joystick position can be read easily from your own software (there is pascal source code in the project page) but this kind of joystick interface does not have any support in commercial programs. The whole project information is available at http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~ih/doc/joystick/.

DirectPad Pro '98 allows connecting old Atari-style sticks to PC parallel port and makes them to work with Windows games which use DirectX drivers.

Steffen Schwenke has a circuit schematic to connect up to 7 digital joysticks to PC parallel port. The schematic of the circuit and some example source code to use it are available at http://www2.burg-halle.de/~schwenke/parport.html. This circuit is designed to be used with PCEngine/TurboGrafX emulator program.

Interfacing Atari-style joysticks to PC parallel and serial ports

TheMaze game which is available for many platforms includes interface schematics how to connect Atari-style joysticks to PC computer. The parallel joystick interface for TheMaze is very simple circuit (only few resistors, capacitors and diodes) and comes with programming example. The serial joystick interface is a little more complicated circuit but it gives out standard 1200 bit/s serial RS232 signal which can be interfaced to almost any computer.

Use game console joysticks with PC

SNESkey page has a free driver and construction details how to make SNES joystick to emulate PC keyboard keypresses. SNESkey documentation includes the cable schematic and the necessary drivers for making the keyboard emulation possible (including Windows 95 support).

DirectPad Pro '98 allows connecting old Atari-style sticks, Jaguar joysticks and SNES joysticks to PC parallel port. The DirectPad Pro '98 driver allows using those joysticks with any any Windows games which uses DirectX interface.

Use PlayStation pad on your PC page at http://www.atlink.it/psx/hacks/psxpcpad.htm describes you how to connects your PlayStation pad to your PC conserving ALL its functionality with DirectPad driver.

author: Tomi Engdahl