A-PAC analog gamepad interface

32 Button Interface which can also handle up to 4 pots.

A-PAC gamepad interface
The A-PAC is an analog/digital interface which emulates twogamepads. It can be used for buttons only, or various combinations of buttonsand analog potentiometer (pot) devices. It can be used in any of theseconfigurations::
32 Buttons
One analog axis and 30 buttons
Twoanalog axes and 28 buttons
Three analog axes and 26 buttons
Four analogaxes and 24 buttons
Inputs auto-detect whether pots or buttons.areconnected. One button (Start1) is a shift button which enablesanother set of shifted buttons. This gives a maximum of 62 logical buttons.Click Here to Order!
  • Emulates not one but TWO gamepad devices. Most gaming apps will work“out of the box” since they will see one gamepad for each player.
  • Shift function. The “Start1” button input on each side behavesas a regular button but also when pressed changes the buttons in use to numbers13-28.
  • Easy connection via screw connectors. Inputs are labelled forconvenience but are universal.
  • Can use 1,2,3 or 4 analog axes, or the directions can be digital,using buttons.
  • All button inputs (including any direction inputs used with buttons)are fully debounced with individual state counters for maximum key roll-overperformance.
  • Logical board layout with one gamepad device on each side of theboard.
  • One-to-one-one mapping means that connecting pots or buttons for theplayer 1 and 2 directions is easy. You can make a direct swap from directionswitches to direction pots.
  • Super-fast Full-Speed USB technology..
  • 12-Bit analog to digital conversion.
  • Can use any pot values and different value pots can be used on eachside of the board. 
  • Precision analog conversion is immune to variations in potresistance, owing to the ratio comparisonmethod used, so no calibration of the center position will normally be neededfor analog joysticks.
  • Uses interrupt triggering rather than polling for maximum accuracyand speed.
  • As well as using analog joysticks, any other pot devices can be usedsuch as pedals, steering wheels etc.
  • As many boards as required can be added for more devices. Perfect forlarge flight-sim panels.
  • Shift function adds extra buttons. Also ideal for flight-sim panelswhich require a large number of control-type buttons.
  • No drivers needed. Windows recognises two gamepads, Device #1 and#2.
    The picture below shows wiring of the maximum number of pots, ie 4pots. It also shows an example 4 switches. Note that not all four potpositions need to be used for pots. You can connect buttons instead toany input. The direction of the pot control depends on the wiring ofthe two outer connections on the pot. If the pot works "backwards",then swap these over. Note Mame can also be configured to reverseanalog control directions.
    A-PAC step1
    The "Start1" input changes the selected buttons to the shiftedset, buttons 13-28 in Windows.This behaves in exactly the same way asthe I-PAC shift button. All the other inputs are ordinary buttons.
    If you are not using analog controls, but using a regular micro-switchjoystick, simply connect the 4 joystick switches to UP, DOWN, LEFT andRIGHT in the same way as the I-PAC boards.
    The button assignment is shownbelow, which is a screen capture from Control Panel, Game Devices in Windows.Open Control Panel, Game Devices. You will see two A-PAC Gamepad devices shown.Select each one and check for correct operation. The top one in the list is theplayer 1 side, the lower one is player 2. This capture below shows the displayfor ONE SIDE of the board , ie one gamepad device.The button display for the other device is identical.
    gamepad devices
    The above controlsare duplicated for the Player 2 side of theboard
    If you are using controls which don'tcover the entire range of travel of the pot, you will need to calibrate thecontrol.  All you need to do is click on "ControlPanel", "Game Controllers", and then highlight the upper or lower entry for "A-PACInterface", and follow the instructions. This will ensure that a full movementof the control device corresponds to a full movement in the game.
    "Trick" Calibration.
    You might want to calibrate so that ananalog control produces full movement in the game over a small movement of thecontrol. You can easily do this. During the calibration process, when it asksyou to move the control to the limits of movement, if you only move it to, forexample 50% of the travel, this will be logged as the full-travel position, soyou will get a full game movement over 50% of the actual control motion.
    Other Settings
    MAME has a setting for "JoystickDead Zone". This is useful when you are using an analog control in a digitalgame, as you can tweak the "travel" of the control, ie how far you have to moveit before it registers as an emulated switch press.

    Using with MAME

    To use this device with MAME,all you need to do is enable joystick support in MAME.INI. The play buttons andjoysticks are then automatically assigned in MAME because this device is seenas two gamepads which MAME expects. You may need to assign COIN and STARTbuttons. If you start with a digital (switch) joystick and then re-wire to ananalog stick, there is no need to change any settings.
  • I am using a driving control such as a pedal, this has no "left,right". How do I connect it?
    You can simply wire the ends of the pot to"left, right" or to "up, down" and then in the game, assign the control tosuit. Normally you select the direction you want to assign, and then move thecontrol (pedal) in that direction to set the control. MAME references analogaxes as "+" and "-" to determine the direction. For this purpose, "+" isequivalent to "UP" or "RIGHT" and "-" is equivalent to "DOWN" or"LEFT".
  • Can I use more that 4 axes on one board?
    With thisboard 4 analog axes is the maximum, but if there is a requirement for more , check out the U-HID series of boards on www.u-hid.com
  • Can I connect analog and digital controls to the same input?This will work but we don't recommend it because switch-specificfunctionality such as de-bounce will not be enabled. Better to use a differentinput for switches.
  • Why does the PCB have "I-PAC" printed on it?
    This is auniversal board which was designed for several variants, and is used for our I-PAC VE product. This keeps costs down .
  • What software can I use?
    You can use any O/S and gamewhich is compatible with a gamepad. device.
  • What types of control can I use?
    For analog you can useany controls which contain potentiometers. These include steering wheels,pedals, analog joysticks, flight yokes etc. You don't need to stick to themarkings on the board but can wire to any convenient analog axis and configurethe game to match. All 32 inputs will also accept switch controls such aspushbuttons, joysticks.
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