I have been excited to do this project for a while. I didn't know what shape it was going to take, but I knew that a shuttle for the plasma was a must.
First things first. BREAK IT DOWN!
First signs are good! The battery compartment looks clean and the connector looks intact. I really want to try to keep as much of the original housing and equipment as possible.
Guts look amazing. Jump ahead: I put a new battery in it and the SOB works. Too bad I'm about to cut this bad boy up.
The pads under the joystick look good as well. A couple of quick tests say that all of the posts still work.
Enough gawking. Time to give it the chop.
If you don't have one of these silly magnetic writable mats, find one. They are lifesavers.
Let's get started. Threw some pins on the HID. No good pics, but I swear I clean them off.
See that weird post in the middle? It helps support The joystick so the pads work easier. Levers and all that.
As a consequence, anything that goes in there has to have a hole in it. I played with a lot of different layouts of board and chip and breakout, and decided that I wanted to keep OG as much as I could.
not. one. word.
After soldering back on the original switch and battery connector, the HID, the J-pad, it's starting to look like something.
Now...before I start wiring the pad to the HID, one more test:
Green pin is common. The other 5 are the pressure pads. Check. Getting exciting.
finally tacked it up and tested it out.
It went perfectly. I was kinda hoping for some fails, but it's gone really, really well. I can already see problems with joystick pads not maintaining a constant connection for long keypresses. Might need some pullups to ensure the HIGH signal gets recognized. Other than that, this project is cherry. Tomorrow, adding a rotary or something for the Z up/down and some blinky-bling. Not that a plasma needs a lot of z work all that often, but it's nice to be able to adjust FRO and z tweaks on the fly. Especially if your metal starts warping.