Already coming up for February, but one of the first projects I wanted to have a go at building this new year was an Amiga setup on a Raspberry Pi 3, using Amibian. It’s been brilliant – it’s allowed me to set up a Pi that can boot straight into a Amiga 1200 with an OS installed and access to WHD_Load games, without issues with floppy disk decay like I was experiencing when I dug out the Amiga over Christmas. Perfect now for a quick fix of Amiga nostalgia every so often.
However, although I could use a keyboard to play the games instead of a joystick – i’d much prefer to have a real joystick to use with games like SWOS. USB Joysticks are ok, but they don’t quite feel right compared to the original ones I grew up with in the 80’s and 90’s. It would be great to use my old-school Competition Pro instead.
When looking in the Amibian settings, I noticed that there was configuration options for something called OnyxSoft JoyDivision. Upon further investigation, I found their website which lists a wonderful little USB device which allows you to connect up a classic 9 Pin Joystick.
The site gives all the source code and PCB layout details, so you can build them for yourself, or luckily for people like me, you can purchase them when available for a great 22 Euros for 2 – though its best to get in touch with Stefan beforehand to check if that is still the case and if he has them in stock.
No drivers were required. I plugged it in with a proper Competition Pro with my Raspberry Pi, and it worked right away! No lag (not noticeable to me at least), and feels great using proper classic joysticks with the setup. Really impressive, and the build quality was sturdy too.
There are details of what compatibility is like, but the great thing is that the boards come with a firmware that is updatable, and will soon feature support for Amiga/ST mice for instance. But standard joysticks and control pads should work fine already.
So if you’re looking for a cost effective solution to using your old joysticks in your emulation setups, then i’d highly recommend checking out the JoyDivision.