Best controller for PS2 Portable

MRKane

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First up: Long time lurker, and a first time poster. I guess I've got this far without any questions because of how complete everyones post and build logs are! I'd call myself an "amateur electrical hobbyist" as I've no University level training, but have accrued enough experience to fix/mod the odd retro console or fix a television.

So I've been building another PS2 portable, and instead of using the Logitech Netplay controller I've been cramming a PS2 inside a WiiU Gamepad (seemed like a great idea when I started). Idealistically I'd like to use the gamepad controls which should involve the trivial task of re-wiring them to a PS2 controller. Except that I've been getting some really weird stuff going on.

The Knockoff controllers seem to do strange things when you wire the buttons up to VDD through a tact, and a few times they've been such shoddy construction that I've just dropped them in the bin. The original controllers have been equally hit and miss either with hardly anything to attach to, or board rot from years of neglect.

I guess my question is: what solution have people found for a reliable controller inside a portable unit?
 
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Aurelio is currently working on a PS2 solution similar to the GC+. It will be called the PS2+. But he only started it a little while ago. So it will be a long while until he finishes. But if you have patience, that will be the best solution.
 

MRKane

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That looks fantastic! I was wondering if I could drop a chip onto a breakout board (of sorts) to get a really small controller base but all controllers I've looked at so far have had the main chip affixed with weld. I've seen a couple of mentions about a minimised controller board done by RDC but that was a half decade ago and the trail has gone cold there.

Part of me wants to wait for something like this, the other part is getting sick of how long this project is taking and I'm starting to want to see the back of it! Thank you very much for your assistance however!

EDIT: Had been going off of some old forum threads thinking that the creator of the mini-board was "RCD" when it's really "RDC". Simple typo mistake but rather dis-respectful. Having just actually found out and corrected that I've opted to bug him with a PM lol
 
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Stitches

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If RDC doesn't pan out, you could pm Gman and ask him for a link to the controller he uses in his portables. I think he's linked it before in the PS2 section, but I can't remember where. Might be worth reading through the old threads here to find it.
 

MRKane

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I noticed that method of his, and that's a really good idea! I did have a bit of a look for some more information, although a lot of his photos don't have links anymore. I've a feeling that I've just had a bad run of controllers , and in another universe I'm not posting here ;)
 
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You could try to hunt down a third party controller call Genius maxfire blaze. I got pictures of it on my worklog. The are pretty compact and have through hole to solder to. The only thing is this model is out of production but there are newer revision of it (Genius maxfire blaze2, Genius maxfire blaze3) although cannot guarantee that they have the same size as I haven’t open one those yet.
 
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MRKane

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That's a fantastic little work-log! Given the dramas that my last one caused, and the issues I've been having with this one my partner said I should keep a blog. If not for the electronics but for the things like "ordered batteries X, got something I don't even recognise" moments! I might ask around and keep my eye out for one of those maxfire controllers - they really seem perfect - I don't know that I've ever seen one in little old New Zealand (where I live).
 
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Thanks mate. Your best bet is online for this controller sadly. I’m in the same boat too, I live in Australia, so most of the parts I need have usually a pretty expensive shipping fee.

I would also recommend trello.com as a tool to structure your project and keep track of what’s going on. That’s free and quite easy to use.
 

Stitches

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Shipping to Aus is a bitch. I'd say a good quarter+ of my costs thus far have been overseas shipping costs.
 
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I'm also working on a custom PCB for PS2 controllers with all the pin outs based on the IC from an official controller and some lovely 10k pots from Digikey. @Aurelio's will likely be infinitely better but I'm hoping to open source my Kicad project for it soon. Will likely have an audio amp on it as well.

Failing that, game stop controllers are really easy to use because of their large test pads.
 

MRKane

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To follow this up - I got hold of RDC an he turned out to have a couple of mini boards left lying about and was incredibly helpful! Sure they cost a little more, but it's about the best solution available to me I think. Thanks so much for all your help!
 

MSX98

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Here's a controller that was sold in Australia that I bought in around 2010. Its a Power Wave controller and the board is probably the smallest Ive seen for a PS2 controller. n64 cart for size comparison
IMG_20180124_234958.jpg
IMG_20180124_235053.jpg
 

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MRKane

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Holy crap that's small! I've actually finished my little project, but oddly enough since starting this thread have had people asking me about controllers lol - if anything I'm loving seeing posts like this roll in as they're not all made equal!
 

MSX98

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From memory the silver controller is newer so you can see the changes that were made over time(check start/select/analog area, screw post holding in the controller board on the silver, i could also take the button thing off the red controllers board but not the silver one)
IMG_20180125_174649.jpg

IMG_20180125_175510.jpg
 
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