Sega Saturn controller to USB adapter



Project overview

This projects makes it possible to use Sega Saturn peripherals (controllers, mouse) on a PC through an USB port. Using the schematic and firmware available on this page, one can make an adapter (Using the connector from a Saturn extension) or convert a controller (if it has enough internal free space).

The current firmware supports:
  • The Basic controllers (ABCXYZ, L/R and Start buttons)
  • The analogic controller.
  • The mouse (aka "Shuttlemouse")
Thanks to USB HID compliance, the adapter works immediately on most modern systems without installing special drivers. Tested under Linux, Windows 7 64-bit, MacOS X and Sony Playstation 3.


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Picture Gallery

Here are the peripherals I developped this adapter with:
Official Sega Analog MK-80117

Official Sega Analog MK-80117

'HORIPAD SS'. Model HSS-11

'HORIPAD SS'. Model HSS-11

Performance Super Pad 8. Model P-400

Performance Super Pad 8. Model P-400

Sega 'shuttlemouse' HSS-0102

Sega 'shuttlemouse' HSS-0102


Also works with the Sega HSS-0101 and MK-80116.

If you are able to test with other controllers, let me know and I will mention them here.


As the following pictures demonstrate, the adapter is handled as a mouse/joystick hybrid under Windows 7:



Contributed pictures:

William Schneider sent me the following picture of this project assembled in a breadboard. He also confirmed that everything works fine with the Sega HSS-0101 controller, and that firmware version 1.1 works very well with the PS3:
Prototype

Prototype

Final assembly

Final assembly

Final assembly

Final assembly

Sega HSS-0101

Sega HSS-0101


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Button mappings

The following mappings are available. To enable specific mapping, press and hold the corresponding button, connect the adapter (or power-up the console/computer), and release the button.

SLS (default)
SaturnUSBPS3
A2 X
B3 Circle
C6 R1
X1 Square
Y4 Triangle
Z5 L1
S10Start
L7 L2
R8 R2
SLS Alt (hold A)
SaturnUSBPS3
A2 X
B3 Circle
C6 R1
X1 Square
Y4 Triangle
Z5 L1
S9Select
L7 L2
R8 R2
VIP (hold B)
SaturnUSBPS3
A1 Square
B2 X
C3 Circle
X4 Triangle
Y5 L1
Z6 R1
S9 Select
L7 L2
R8 R2
v1.0 (hold C)
SaturnUSBPS3
A1 Square
B2 X
C3 Circle
X4 Triangle
Y5 L1
Z6 R1
S7 L2
L8 R2
R9 Select

On the PS3, the SLS (default) and SLS Alt mappings are usually the most suitable. They have been reported to work well for Super Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Virtua Fighter 5, Arcana Heart 3, Hard Corps: Uprising, Soul Calibur, Disgaea 3 and Mortal Kombat 9.

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Configuring the 3D controller

Configuring the 3D controller is often complicated due to the L/R levers in the back of the controller which do not rest in a centered position. Typically, the issue arises when performing button assignment in the emulator (eg: Yabuse) configuration dialog. As soon as a button assignment is attempted, the emulator sees L or R being active and immediately maps L/R to the button or axis that was to be configured.

Under windows, you can execute this tool which patches the calibration data as to make the game think the levers rest at a centered position, and thus perceive them as inactive unless of course you push them.

Download: gc_calfix_ng.exe

Before the fix

Before the fix

After the fix

After the fix

Configured 3D controller

Configured 3D controller

Executing the tool

Executing the tool


Ideally, emulators should never consider physical buttons/axis as active unless them become active after the input being configured was selected. This kind of issue would be avoided...

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Schematic

I used my usual Atmega8 circuit with a custom firmware using the Objective Development AVR-USB device implementation.

Here is the core schematic. For wiring the controller, use the table below.

# broche segaI/O Micro.Descriptin/ Nom(s)
1N/AAlimentation 5 volts / VCC
2PC2D1
3PC3D0
4PC5S0
5PC4S1
6PB5D5 ou TL (handshake)
7PC0D3
8PC1D2
9N/AGND

I used the information on the following as a starting point:
Sega Saturn Pad Info.

The signal labelled as "+5v (Inp)" in the above mentionned webpage is in fact a logic output used by the Analogic controller and mouse. This signal is part of an handshake mechanism used to transfer a sequence of values. In fact, these peripheral communicate exactly like the Genesis multitap do. For details:
http://www.raphnet.net/divers/documentation/genesis_multitap.txt


Component list:
RefDescription
U2 Atmega8a or Atmega8 microcontroller. Don't use an ATMEGA8L-*, the 12Mhz clock would be too high.
R1 1.5k resistor. Ordinary carbon film 1/4 watt resistors will do.
R2, R3 68 ohm resistors. Ordinary carbon film 1/4 watt resistors will do.
D2, D3 3.6 volts zener diodes.
Y1 12 Mhz crystal.
C2, C3 18 pf capacitors. If the crystal datasheet recommends another value, use it instead.
C1 1uf capacitor. Install it near the ATmega8 power pins.
J2 6 pin header, 2.54mm spacing. Needed for programming the ATmega8.

For the USB connection, just strip the USB cable and solder the wires directly to the board. USB uses standard wire colors, but beware of cheap cables built with non-standard color codes.
Color Description
  Red +5 volts
  Black Ground
  Green D+
  White D-

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Programming and Source code

A microcontroller is a component which must be programmed in order to do something useful. So here is the hexfile which must be flashed into the microcontroller:

Many microcontrollers have what is called 'Fuse bytes'. In the case of the ATmega8, there are two bytes: The high byte, and the low byte. Those bytes are used to configure some aspects of the microcontroller. What type of clock to use? Crystal? Resonator? Internal RC clock? Allow programming via ISP? It's very important to set the fuses to the right values. Using the wrong values can render your MCU unusable.

For this project, here are the appropriate fuse values:
high byte = 0xc9, low byte = 0x9f

For details about how to program an AVR, visit my AVR programming page.

The source code is released under the GPL license and compiles with avr-gcc. To prevent conflicts, please do not distribute modified version where the USB report descriptor has been modified without replacing the USB Vendor ID and Product ID by yours.

Contact me here (raph@raphnet.net) if you made some interesting improvements.

USB Vendor ID/Product ID pair:
Please do not re-use my VID/PID for derived projects. Please obtain your own numbers (or invent one despite the risks). I bought my IDs from mecanique. They used to sell small chunks of the PID space which was much cheaper than buying a vendor ID from usb.org (2000$ USD)...

File(s)DateDescription
saturn_usb-2.0.tar.gz (66.2 KB)
saturn_usb-2.0.hex (12 KB)
July 14, 2013 Compatiblity improvement:
  • Increased compatibility by separating Mouse and Joystick functions. The mouse is detected at powerup. Fixes Linux and MacOS X problems.
saturn_usb-1.1.tar.gz (71.2 KB)
saturn_usb-1.1.hex (11.8 KB)
July 27, 2011
  • Added various mappings for better operation with the PS3. 4 different button configurations, selected by holding specific buttons (ABC) when the adapter gets connected to an USB port, are available. See the button mapping section for details.
saturn_usb-1.0.tar.gz (68.1 KB)
saturn_usb-1.0.hex (11 KB)
July 2, 2011
  • First version. Supports the following peripherals:
    • Standard controller (ABCXYZ, Start, L/R and D-Pad)
    • Analogic controller
    • Mouse
  • GPLv2 license.

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PCB for surface-mount

The surface-mount version uses my Multiuse PCB2 circuit. Here's what it looks like:
Multiuse PCB2:

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Disclaimer

I cannot be held responsible for any damages that could occur to you or your equipment while following the procedures present on this page. Also, I GIVE ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY on the correctness and usability of the informations on this page. Please note, however, that the procedures above have worked in my case without any damages or problems.

Now you cannot say that I did not warn you :)

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Copyright © 2002-2014, Raphaël Assénat
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