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EG Starts Arcade SJ@JX CY-1121 Bluetooth CSR4.0

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EG Starts Arcade SJ@JX CY-1121 Bluetooth CSR4.0

Postby steph_tsf » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:37 am

The "EG Starts Arcade" kits are becoming popular. They consist on a USB "Game Controller Board". The good news here, is that such board may get recognized by Windows, as generic joystick (and keypad).

Question #1
Is such Windows compatibility, a practical reality? What is the latency? What is the resolution? Can Windows activate the LEDs inside the push buttons? How many push buttons in total?

Anyway, the "EG Starts Arcade" USB board features connectors intended for one 5-pin joystick, four 2-pin joysticks, and twelve push buttons possibly incorporating a LED. There is a "1 player kit" costing approx 26 euros on Amazon, consisting in such USB board, plus one joystick, plus 10 push buttons, plus all the cabling. There is also a budget "EG Starts Arcade 2 players kit" costing 35 euros on Amazon, coming with two joysticks and twenty buttons (this time no LEDs inside, I guess). One can purchase more "EG Start Arcade" buttons, LED buttons, and joysticks, as spare parts. I don't know the perceived quality difference between a 2-pin joystick and a 5-pin joystick.

Another popular brand is "Quimat". They sell a "2 players kit" costing approx 39 euros advertised as "Amazon's choice", basing on a single USB board qualified as "double", labelled "SJ@JX CY-1121".

A "SJ@JX CY-1121 Arcade Game Controller" google search returns many interesting results. This is quite reassuring.

Question #2
Before committing in developing an array of Flowstone application (not arcade games) that are exploiting a USB Game Controller, I would like to assess the perceived quality of such human interface device. Is there a .fsm or .exe I can download for such purpose? Is it recommended to solely rely on the SJ@JX CY-1121 board, instead of a less documented one like "EG Starts Arcade" is currently relying on?

Question #3
How to become wireless? Logitech is relying on their orange star "unifying USB receiver", which is a minuscule USB dongle. It can deal with six devices at the same time. I guess such "orange star" USB dongle is materializing a Bluetooth "Master", duly programmed by Logitech, for recognizing all "orange star" Logitech products.
Concerning us, the obvious solution consists of hooking a "Mini USB Bluetooth CSR 4.0 Dual Mode Adapter Dongle", sold by Amazon. What is the meaning of "Dual Mode"? Is it the capability for such USB dongle, to materialize a "Bluetooth Master", and to materialize also a "Bluetooth Slave"? Am I right? Concerning the joystick side, what to attach to the SJ@JX CY-1121 board, for making it wireless? I guess that what is required on the joystick side, is a 32-bit microcontroller board equipped with two USB ports, one for the connecting the SJ@JX CY-1121 board, and the other for connecting the "Mini USB Bluetooth CSR 4.0 Dual Mode Adapter Dongle", this time materializing a "Bluetooth Slave". Am I right? Who can supply the required microntroller board, duly programmed? Then, last but not least, how to get recognized by Windows 7,8 and 10? Are we talking about a embedded software development + Bluetooth application development + Windows driver development that will never be finalized, and consequently will never get supported by Microsoft, and consequently will never be guaranteed to work? Can somebody suggest a proper way?

Question #4
I came across the "Mini Retro Arcade Machine", "Playtive Mini Arcade Gaming", and "Retro Arcade RS-07". Some are very cute. All can be purchased for less than 30 euros. One could open them for inserting a SJ@JX CY-1121 board along with some Bluetooth board. This way, we get a Bluetooth joystick. What about the built-in display? The PC that's running Flowstone could broadcast a set of static images, to be loaded by the Bluetooth joystick. Then after, the PC could broadcast a string containing a sequence of numbers. This way, the joystick becomes a dynamic visual support, playing various short animations aiming at guiding the user. It can tell the user to do this or that with this or another button. Does it make sense? Are there Flowstone programmers willing to experiment this?

Your comments, always appreciated.
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Re: EG Starts Arcade SJ@JX CY-1121 Bluetooth CSR4.0

Postby MichaelBenjamin » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:28 pm

sorry i only skimmed your text to some depth and answer in general:

if you need to use any GREEN for both input and output, timing will be all over the place (imagine +-150ms, depending on cpu load), not good enough (imo) for arcade machines, whose inputs need to be as straightforward and fast as it gets to be fun. (the timings of GREEN are still a mystery to me)

i may also be wrong, and with a modern cpu running nothing else than a fs exe with these GREEN arcade IO stuff running is well in the range of old machines latency and thus feasible.

flowstone might be nonetheless some help in drafting the necessary controller conversions.
correct me if i got your general gist totally wrong.
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Re: EG Starts Arcade SJ@JX CY-1121 Bluetooth CSR4.0

Postby trogluddite » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:38 pm

I agree in general with what Michael Benjamin said. A generic game controller is a USB (or Bluetooth) HID device, which is something that FS has a component for working with. However, the component relies on directly manipulating hexadecimal strings for message sending and receiving. This is certainly possible, but would require a thorough understanding of the binary message formats, and a lot of data processing which either "green" or Ruby would have to handle. In contrast, something like the XBox controller component (a different communication protocol unfortunately) works directly with the driver at a low-level, so is able to process the data very quickly to output a directly usable result.

So, as Michael said; certainly not impossible, but probably a lot of work which might still result in unworkable latency. It is rather a shame that we don't have a HID Game Controller component, as hardware boards like the ones you highlighted would be such a simple way to make DIY MIDI controllers. However, if you search around, there are a couple of "Game Controller to MIDI" solutions available - I haven't tried any of them myself, but they might provide a workaround, and could be used with any MIDI-capable application.
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Re: EG Starts Arcade SJ@JX CY-1121 Bluetooth CSR4.0

Postby steph_tsf » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:07 am

the XBox controller component works directly with the driver at a low-level, so is able to process the data very quickly to output a directly usable result
Many thanks for the suggestion, is there a test.frm I can use for assessing the capabilities?

if you search around, there are a couple of "Game Controller to MIDI" solutions available
Perhaps the radical barebone approach shown here : https://djtechtools.com/2015/08/25/how- ... ontroller/
Physical buttons, pots and joystick ---> Teensyduino ---> Arduino Sketch ---> USB ---> MIDI emulation
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Re: EG Starts Arcade SJ@JX CY-1121 Bluetooth CSR4.0

Postby trogluddite » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:36 pm

There's this example from DSPr for the XBox controller - a game, unfortunately, so not your ideal application, but maybe enough to see how the primitive works. You might also require this driver file, as not all Windows systems have it installed by default.

XBox game controllers are very cheap, so if you're a dab hand with a soldering iron, taking out the PCB from a controller and wiring in your own buttons and potentiometers might be quite a cheap way to do what you want.
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