How to Make MS joystick work/has anyone used it in past?

I wanted to know if anyone knows how to make a Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Pro joystick work on the robot> and if anyone has doen it in the past. Thank You

is this the controller you were talking about?

if so, it looks like it has a game port end (db15) so it looks like it would work fine with the operator interface. The best way to tell would be to try it

Yes that’s the joystick. Well i brought into our meeting today and we didn’t get to try yet because we didn’t have the electronics hooked up yet and i had to leave, but i read some other threads saying that this joystick wouldn’t work for some people, because it needed to be ms-dos base— you need to install the software to use it.

If the joystick uses a regular game port connection (and it looks like it does) then it shouldnt need any software. If on the other hand it processes data internally then sends it to the computer somehow utilizing the game port to communicate with onboard software then you might have trouble. I have never heard of such a thing, but then again I never thought about it before either.

I have this joystick (I am also planning to use to for robot control!)

IIRC it uses some proprietary drivers for dealing with that “shift” key they have. I’m not sure if we will need to do some hacking to get the 3rd axis to work or not, though.

If a controller has a 15-pin connector like that, it’s going to be an analog device, and it most likely conforms to the DB-15 standard. Plug it into the Operator Interface, pull up Dashboard, and see what kind of outputs you get. Even if the PC driver is “proprietary”, you can still write your own FRC code with a minimal amount of effort. See what outputs you get when you do x with the controller, and make your code do y in response.

we were thinking of doing the exact same thing!

the 3rd axis could have many applications!

plus, if you can get it to shake, or better yet - if you can use the force feedback system, you would get an amazing feedback system for the driver!

what is this dashboard you speak of?

Funny you should ask.
http://www.ifirobotics.com/dashboard_viewer.shtml
I don’t know how I could program without it.

Yeah, that makes sence, it’d just take some hacking (/me has no experiance with the frc joystick interface) AFAIK.

Thanks guys… that helped alot… I’m going to try it out on Monday…

That’s not at all true. From http://www.joy-stick.net/articles/essay.htm

Advanced digital controllers use the button lines to transmit clock and data information to the Host gameport. The analog axis are use to synchronize the data transfer from the game controller, not to measure analog values as before. The controller initiates a burst of up to sixteen data clocks during which throttle, button and position data is returned. The digital values are shipped over the remaining button lines in a semi-serial fashion.

It’s getting harder and harder to find a joystick/gamepad with a DB15 connector that is still flightstick compatible. If you plug a new one it, like the one described above, you won’t get any usefull data from the controller.

Wow. The thing that I guessed wasnt right actually was. Thats cool stuff with the joystick. So what you need to do really (if that joystick does this stuff) is write your own program to interpret the signals you get on the digital pins. Good luck. Its doable (assuming the RC is fast enough) but you are going to need a serious software genius. This is one of those things you play with in the off season.

Hm… I thought that any joysticks with that sort of protocol had switched over to USB. I didn’t think it would make sense to use a modern protocol with an archaic connector, but I guess they are. Nonetheless, I’d still hook it up and see what you can find in Dashboard.

I’m thinking this will require some rewiring… it will probally require multiple db 15 connections to accomodate all the axies and buttons…

I’ve opened up the MS Sidewinder Presicion Pro, and it is really, really digital, from what I can tell… not even a potentiometer… a whole lot of optics, it seems… maybe we can convert the digital signal to multiple joystick inputs? i.e.: have xy, and some buttons on one port, and z and some more buttons on the other port…

The OI will only send the button values to the RC 40 times per second, so it’s not doable. The data coming from the joystick over the button inputs will be changing much faster than that.

It’s Definatly doable… in hardware! :smiley:

Allot of DAC work :rolleyes:

Can you legally put that stuff on the OI end? What are the restrictions on whats inputting to the OI?

AFAIK as long as you don’t use any external power sources, or emmit any light… it’s ok

<R69> says that any device connected to the joystick port must be only powered through the joystick port.