For those not familiar with Unijoysticle 2, it is a device that allows you to use modern Bluetooth gamepads like Sony DualSense or Nintendo Switch controllers (to name just a few) on old computers like the Commodore 64 or Amiga.
What’s new in version 2+:
- Case friendly: lower profile, LEDs & buttons are close the border and has mounting holes.
- Looks nicer: Uses SMD components for almost everything
- Supports buttons 2 & 3 in port #2. Some Amiga games might use them.
- Cheaper to manufacture. I reduced the price from $60 to $35
Comparison between the two
|Unijoysticle 2||Unijoysticle 2+|
|Case friendly||No (1)||Yes|
|Size||63 x 66 x 17 mm||64 x 64 x 12 mm|
|Weight||35 grams||24 grams|
|Current||~95 mA (2)||~100 mA (2)|
|Amiga / Atari ST|
2nd & 3rd buttons
|Filter nose in C128 (bug)||No||Yes|
|Self-powered||Yes, can be turned on/off with switch||Yes, always on|
|External power||Both USB and Barrel Jack 5V+||USB only|
|Easy to solder||Yes||No|
|Price||$60 (assembled) / $35 (kit)||$35 (assembled)|
- 1: Work-around: turn off the “self power” switch.
- 2: Tested with only one gamepad connected in “Basic” mode. In “Enhanced” mode, both draw ~102 mA.
- 3: Requires firmware update. Work in progress.
The rationale behind the changes
Barrel Jack removed: It was no longer needed. It was added in the first revision of Unijoysticle 2 because “self-power” was not supported back then. But I added “self-power” in Rev. D, and the Barrel Jack was no longer needed. In case a user needs to power the device from an external source, the USB port can be used.
Self-power switch removed: I originally added this feature as a “just in case”. And in fact, it fixes the “C128 noise” when the switch is off. In any case, a capacitor was added in Unijoysticle 2+ to prevent to noise, so the switch was no longer needed.
Case friendly: Many users requested a case for the Unijoysticle 2. I tried to design one, but it was not easy and I gave up. But it should be easier to design one for the 2+. BTW, I haven’t designed one yet… but I should have one ready soon™.
Kit vs assembled unit: I’m only offering the Unijoysticle 2+ as an assembled unit. Doesn’t make sense to offer a kit where most of the components are SMD.
Price : The new price for the assembled unit is $35 (from $60), and I’m no longer offering the Kit (which was $35). This is two-fold:
- Time (main reason): I’m using JLCPCB for manufacturing + assembly. This reduces the time that I have to spend on each unit.
- Components price: SMD components are slightly cheaper than through-hole ones. But on the other hand I’m using a 4-layer PCB which increases the price a little bit.
Tindie: To further reduce my time, I’m using Tindie as the store-front. Better for the users (don’t have to send me an email), better for me (spend less time).
This that hasn’t changed
Open source / open hardware
- Firmware source code: http://gitlab.com/ricardoquesada/bluepad32
- Hardware schematic + layout: https://gitlab.com/ricardoquesada/unijoysticle2
Not only I’m making everything open source & open hardware so that you can create your own device, but I also welcome “competition”. If you want to sell your own devices, please go ahead. All the profit is for you. Just let me know so that I can add your product in the “3rd party devices” section.
Available for trade
I trade a Unijoysticle 2+ unit for one of your own retro inventions / creations. It works like this:
- I send you a Unijoysticle 2+ device (I pay the shipping)
- You send me one of your retro inventions/creations (you pay the shipping)
- It could be a magazine, video game, device, etc… (must be retro-related)
5 thoughts on “Introducing Unijoysticle 2+”
Do you plan to support other 8 bit computers as well?
For example, I am interested in supporting MSX machines.
Yes, it takes time add support a new platform, but actually MSX is next in line after Atari ST.
Any MSX model you have in mind?
Thank you for answer.
I would say all MSX computers use the same wiring for the joystick.
It would be ideal to be able to choose the type of computer directly on the adapter, for example Commodore (Atari) – MSX – Amiga.
I assume that such a function will probably not be possible?
It is possible, but dangerous…. my understanding is that MSX uses different pins for +5V and GND… so it should have its own dedicated device