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Hello! I made a Gigatron

Posted: 20 Feb 2024, 21:32
by Mr Tall
This was made by ordering PCBs from JLPCB in China, and sourcing all the bits from Farnell, Mouser and Digikey:
IMG_20240207_213438.jpg (3.01 MiB) Viewed 705 times
It works!
IMG_20240209_174156.jpg (3.19 MiB) Viewed 705 times
Sort of. I've hacked up a knock-off SNES controller to the 9 pin port. The Gigatron just acts like lots of random inputs are being pressed, and nothing I do on the controller makes any difference. I'll write up a post on the support page for this.

Anyway, hello!

Re: Hello! I made a Gigatron

Posted: 20 Feb 2024, 21:37
by at67
Welcome and congratulations, there are many threads about controllers, SW, HW and the different types supported, I would do a quick search if I was you.

Re: Hello! I made a Gigatron

Posted: 21 Feb 2024, 10:58
by bmwtcu
Are you able to tell what IC the knock off controller uses inside? I'm assuming it's hidden under a glob top. If you have the parts handy, it's fairly trivial to build a CD4021B or 74xx165 based NES controller if you want a guarantee of compatibility. ... rol_en.php ... /schematic

Re: Hello! I made a Gigatron

Posted: 21 Feb 2024, 20:04
by Mr Tall
It's not potted, but it doesn't seem to have any markings.
IMG_20240221_195501.jpg (2.28 MiB) Viewed 662 times
I do like the custom "SECECT" button though, not seen that before :)

Thanks for the links - I've got some alternative controllers on the way from AliExpress, but I'll go dig through my bits box and see if I've got any 74LS165s lurking around.

Re: Hello! I made a Gigatron

Posted: 03 Mar 2024, 18:38
by Mr Tall
Received some "famiclone" controllers from AliExpress, and they *sort of* work. The Gigatron recognises input from these, but causes one of my monitors to go black when it's plugged in. Random unplugging/plugging back in can make it come back to life some of the time.

So, an 74LS165 from eBay (made in W.Germany!), a bit of breadboard, some resistors and a spare 74HC04 inverter, and I've knocked up a controller circuit that works perfectly. No screen blanking at all with this. Playing Snake by touching a ground wire to resistor legs is a bit too hard though :)

Just need to 3D print a box and solder up some switches. I guess the "Famiclone" controller was interfering with the H/V sync signals too much for my old monitor to cope with.