Written and Maintained by Gregory Nacu

SUPER PAD 64

Last modified: Sep 04, 2018,  Page views: 388

Home Page: https://www.polyplay.xyz/SuperPad64_1
Categories: input
Compatible: C64, C64c, c128, c128D
Price: €45.00
How to Order: Place an order on poly.play's website: SUPER PAD 64
Documentation: http://hitmen.c02.at/files/hardware/4player/ninja_snes_adapter.txt
SUPER PAD 64 Adapter

SUPER PAD 64 Adapter

Extra Hardware

Super Nintendo Controller Super Nintendo Controller

Similar Hardware

Trap Them ControllerTrap Them Controller

My Take

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 software support.

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.

Want to support my hard work? Here's how!

Description

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. ninja/dreams 1997-98

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 that work?

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.