D-pad Stick Replacement Project


DaveC

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I know some were interested in this so I have some info about its progress. I have finished the prototype shown here. Note that the boards are not final versions they are just hacked up roughly by me to test the concept. Final profesional boards will be much nicer.

The way I did it was to make a "switch sandwich" with 3 PCBs and small light touch switches. There are basic reasons I did this. For one it spaces it out exactly the right distance from the GP2X board. Another it allows the base to be soldered in then the rest of the assembly to be aligned with the hole in the front and joined to the base. This takes care of the misc mis-alignments due to production tolerances.

The result is a simple replacement that just replaces the existing joystick and solders in to the same spot. The hole in the front must be cut/drilled larger to fit the pad.

Credit goes to Radek for his logic board and idea for using the QD pad for the mod. The logic board must be purchased from Radek as I am just providing the switch module.

The module can also be used without the logic board but you may lose diagonals in some apps, Radek's logic board is reccommended for compatibility.

I also plan to make all of my CAD files and notes from this public. This means that you can take my files and make your own if you would like. It also means you can take my files, mass produce the pads, and sell them yourself and get rich, it doesn't matter to me you have my permission. I really am not aiming to be in the d-pad business. I can't code an emulator so this is my community contribution. The PCB design needs a bit of tweaking so I will release the files later.

So how does it work? Well quite well actually. The switches give a nice light tactile feel yet don't make a clicking sound. They are rated at 2 million cycles so they should last a long time. The control is tight with just the right action, not too hard not too soft. The bias is ordinal like any normal D-pad.

dpad.jpg
 

Wite_Noiz

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DaveC posted on Aug 15 2006 at 07:04 AM said:
The bias is ordinal like any normal D-pad.
:lol: What are you implying?

Looks good, though. Where did you get the D-pad, and what did it cost?
 
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Aninhumer

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As cool, responsive and tactile as it may be.
I can't help but think that it looks like 4 fried eggs in a bubble. :p
 

yalborap

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It looks quite nice. Can you do the click with it, or are you more or less doomed if something requires it?

And is anyone intending to do this and provide a service for others? I wouldn't be opposed to sending my GP2X in and getting one of these(possibly with a black dpad to match the GP2X's design) put in, what with not having the skill to do it myself.
 

AcidiC

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mrpig posted on Aug 15 2006 at 07:28 PM said:
Is the pad concave? Difficult to make it out as its clear
Looks convex, with the directions popping out

EDIT: I dunno, kinda looks flat now :D
 
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mrpig

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I hope not as convex would mean slipping off etc. Must just be the reflections
 

jislizard

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just to confirm, is the switch going to be sold seperatly from Radek's logic board or are you guys going to package the whole lot up together or give people the option?

Looks good anyway, looking forward to hacking up the front cover

Mark
 

SatanClaus

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mrpig posted on Aug 15 2006 at 11:23 AM said:
I hope not as convex would mean slipping off etc. Must just be the reflections

It's a normal N-Gage QD D-pad:

ngagedpad.jpeg


And great work, DaveC. I'll buy it :)
 
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DaveC

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yalborap posted on Aug 15 2006 at 09:44 AM said:
It looks quite nice. Can you do the click with it, or are you more or less doomed if something requires it?

And is anyone intending to do this and provide a service for others? I wouldn't be opposed to sending my GP2X in and getting one of these(possibly with a black dpad to match the GP2X's design) put in, what with not having the skill to do it myself.

You can do the center push but you have to press a bit harder. Hopefully devs can get away from using that as it wears the regular stick more too.

Since all of the plans will be made available I see no reason why Craig or EDs shop couldn't do them as a service if they want.

It will be separate from Radek's board because for one thing I know nothing about programming those chips. For another I can't get Radek to respond to any e-mails anymore so maybe others will have better luck.

As far as different colors like black unfortunatly we are stuck with what can be found for the n-gage QD. I am not thrilled with it not matching exactly color wise either but it isn't terrible and is a good trade off for better control. If anyone has a better idea for a replacement let me know, I am open for suggestions. It is concave BTW.


Tripmonkey_uk posted on Aug 15 2006 at 01:44 PM said:
Looks good.. but can you get fireballs etc. out easier in StreetFighter2? ;)

Yeah I played Samurai Shodown and pulled off the same sweep motion (haduken fireball - down, diag, forward) to do those tornado thingies at will.
 
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yalborap

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Well, if the actual plastic dpad part isn't attached to the rest of the stuff(like that rubber disc you see on all dpads), then someone with access to the equipment to make a mold and then fill it with molten plastic could just make black versions of it. I've never used an ngage dpad, though, so it might not be normal plastic. However, that could get pricy to do.

What about the xbox S controller dpad? That's not too insanely big, and would match. I can measure the size of it if it'd help.
 

Drag

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Do the diagonals behave properly? Like, does pressing up and left cause up-left to be registered, or does it register both up and left?

Also, I wouldn't mind the mismatched colors. I'd rather have a thumbstick, but I'd be willing to have a dpad if it controls better.
 

Epicenter

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Claym99 posted on Aug 15 2006 at 12:35 PM said:
Is it just me, or does the D-pad look like it will get really slippery after about five minutes?


other than that though, I will definetly be getting it.

You could probably put some kind of coating onto it to improve the grip. I'll let you know soon; Radek's sending me a kit and I'll be writing a review-- using that same QD pad.
 
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