Last modified: Sep 04, 2018, Page views: 615
SUPER PAD 64 Adapter
I had to inquire with the fine folks at Poly.Play about how this is supposed to work. But I
got a very informative response and links to some excellent technical documentation. Here are
the three articles necessary for having a full understanding how this works:
Learning about how the Super Nintendo Controller works was a cool experience for me. A nice and
simple example of how digital electronics works. It's a very clean and easy to understand
example of a serial data protocol, that makes use of a data line, a clock signal line, a reset
line and a shift register. The ability to understand this era of computer technology is one of
the things that makes using a Commodore so appealing as a hobby.
The Trap Them Controller is effectively a Super Nintendo Controller with the cable swapped for
one that ends with a standard DB9 joystick connector. However, the documentation on this one is
geared for how to get the Commodore to interface with the serial protocol of the Super Nintendo
Controller. The article includes how the controller's lines are connected to the C64's lines.
And also includes an example assembly language routine for how to read in the status of the
buttons. Typically you'd do this 60 times a second, alongside the keyboard scanning routines.
Once you understand how the above two parts of the puzzle work, the SUPER PAD 64 is an adapter
that plugs into both joystick ports on a C64 or 128. And it provides 8 controller ports for
regular Super Nintendo Controllers. Of the C64's 10 digital lines (5 per port, up/down/left/right/fire)
two of those are used for clock and reset which are sent to all 8 controllers in parallel. And
the remaining 8 lines are for the 8 individual data lines from the 8 controllers.
The routine to scan all 8 controllers is a bit more complicated, but the routine used for the
Trap Them Controller should be perfectly compatible with a controller plugged into one of these
ports. So the SUPER PAD 64 is compatible with anything that can use the stand alone Trap Them
Controller. That's good, because the biggest problem with this adapter, in my mind, is lack of
But, like any newish adapter for alternative controllers, like the 4-player adapter, the more
that developers just take the plunge and write software to support it, the more valuable it
becomes for people to take the plunge and purchase one and that can become a virtuous cycle.
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In my opinion the best joypad ever made is the original SNES controller
by Nintendo. It features good handling and its 8 buttons are easy to
"find" after a short time.
So, what about eight (8!) SNES–controllers with all their buttons on
your joyports??? Yes, the userport remains free, just the joyports.
And in addition to that you won't need too much hardware either,
because what you have to build is more like a cable. Now, how does
It is not too complicated, it's just that you have to know how these
pads work (and Nintendo is neither famous for giving information nor
for accepting any kind of standard). At first I will tell you what pin
does what job. Keep in mind that pin A is the one at the flat end!
That is an excerpt from the 1998 documentation by ninja/dreams on how to wire up
8 SNES controllers to your C64. The SUPER PAD 64 is a commercially available product
that embodies this documentation in a solid beautiful package and distributed by Poly.Play.