Bizarre controller issue in Andorogynus

By wyrdwad

Paladin (827)

wyrdwad's picture

27-06-2019, 06:53

OK, this is kind of a new one. I have two controllers I use regularly with my Panasonic FS-A1WX MSX2+ system. Both are pretty much identical Joycards, though they're differently branded -- one is a Needs, and the other is an Arvel. I've opened both up to clean them before, though, and they look 100% identical on the inside, as far as I can tell. They also both function perfectly, only occasionally sporting a sticking direction on the D-pad, requiring me to take out the 6 screws and clean some grease/grime off the board before they'll be nice and responsive again.

When showing a friend Andorogynus the other weekend, though, I noticed something really bizarre: the two controllers behave completely differently with the game (and ONLY with Andorogynus).

If I use the Needs... well, I can't play the game! None of the directions on the D-pad respond AT ALL, and the triggers don't respond either... unless I flip the rapid-fire switch for trigger 1. Then, and only then, will trigger 1 respond. So I can shoot (rapid-fire, no less!), but I can't move.

If I use the Arvel, on the other hand, everything works perfectly... UNLESS I flip the rapid-fire switch for trigger 1. If I flip it, even to the middle setting, I can no longer fire at all.

So I can play the game without any trouble using the Arvel, but I have no rapid-fire capability. And I can use rapid-fire with the Needs, but nothing else works -- and I can't shoot at all without the rapid-fire enabled.

It should be noted that both controllers work perfectly on every other game I've tried. It's ONLY Andorogynus that displays this behavior with the Needs controller, and it displays it consistently. As it stands, I absolutely cannot play the game using the Needs controller.

It's obviously not a big deal -- when I want to play Andorogynus, I'll just make sure the Arvel is plugged in -- but it's just such a bizarre issue that I felt it was worth noting here and seeing if anyone on MRC has ever heard of anything like this, or could even begin to explain it.

Sooo... anyone have any ideas, or are my controllers just haunted? Wink


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By mohai

Paladin (868)

mohai's picture

28-06-2019, 18:17

Maybe both controllers look the same in the inside but have cables with different pinouts.
Have you checked if the DB-9 connectors are look the same?
For a 100% MSX controller, GND should be connected to pin 9.
Some Atari-compatible controllers connect GND to pin 8 instead.
That is OK as far as the game keeps pin 8 low, as BIOS and (almost) all games do.
It is recommended to keep pin 8 low for compatibility with Atari-like controllers.

Maybe Andorogynus toggles pin 8 state, so your controllers go nuts and behave like that.