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N64 Thumbstick Test Program
Topic Started: Jul 31 2012, 11:48 AM (8,961 Views)
sanni
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I made a little program for all the analog stick fans out there :toad:



You need a N64 flashcart or the MESS emulator to run it.
Download: https://github.com/sanni/controllertest/tree/master/N64-Port

With it you can detect if your analog stick is still any good. Or if you bought a replacement if it skips steps and so on.

I hope you like it :yeah:
Edited by sanni, May 5 2016, 03:05 AM.
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jonebone
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Cool... you know an N64 test cart does this as well right? I haven't played with all of the test features but a controller test is one of them. And the joystick test is just one part of the controller test.
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bluedogrulez
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I want a flash cart solely for this reason!
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Purtle
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wow that's amazing. Would love to be able to test my controllers
Check out My youtube channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/Purtle28PatrickSSB
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macN64
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This really is an excellent program Sanni. It tells you everything you need to know, quickly. The red lines and included sample results are particularly useful for letting you visually judge the stick's performance. :yeah:

I've been using the program to put my controllers through their paces, and the results are below. You'll find "second opinions" on some of the sample results that come with the program, as well as the results of some of my third party controllers (including the Hori and Mako Pads). I've been sloppy with the controller names. I think I'm right in saying that sometimes the same controllers go by different names in different regions and... ugghh... That level of detail goes beyond the scope of this topic, so I've just named the official non-solid colours by referring to Lithium's topic here.


Pretty good condition Grey:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Good condition Yellow:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Lubricated/somewhat used Yellow:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Pretty good condition/lubricated "Transparent Ice Blue" (the main controller I use):
Spoiler: click to toggle


Good condition "Transparent Blue/White" controller:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Heavily worn Red controller:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Continued in next post due to exceeding the max number of images allowed per post...
Gamecube style "Transparent Atomic Purple" controller:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Gamecube style Blue controller:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Lodgenet:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Hori Pad:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Mako Pad:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Sharkpad Pro Grey:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Sharkpad Pro Red:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Sharkpad Pro 64 2:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Logic 3:
Spoiler: click to toggle


I was really pleased with the results of the "Transparent Blue/White" controller. It's damn near pristine! :D

Outstanding work once again Sanni! :applause:
Edited by macN64, Aug 17 2012, 02:29 PM.
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sanni
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Wow, really nice. :w00t:

Thanks alot for testing all the different controllers.
This is a great database for future reference. :yeah:

Your original controllers are in very good shape (appart from the red one :lol: )

I think a good application of the program would also be testing the stick before selling a controller.

Edited by sanni, Jan 27 2013, 01:32 PM.
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Mk II
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Excellent work Sanni and Mac64!

Can i make a small suggestion for the program?
also include a simple status test for all the buttons.
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sanni
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It has a status test already, check the first few seconds of the youtube video linked in the first post ;)
Skipping means that the stick doesn't do 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 but 0,2,6,8,10,14,18 or similar, so it skips steps.
Edited by sanni, Sep 3 2014, 02:22 AM.
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retrogamecraze
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sanni
Aug 18 2012, 05:00 AM
It has a status test already, check the first few seconds of the youtube video linked in the first post ;)

Here is a bench I just made now:

Xbox 360 Stick with Atmega8
Spoiler: click to toggle

(The 360 stick was taken out of a broken MS 360 Slim controller)

Another interesting test is the skipping test.
Just press Z button in the X/Y axis screen to change to the mode where it plots a point for every read of the stick and then very very slowly move the stick in a circle.

Xbox 360 Atmega Stick:
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GC Style Replacement Stick:
Posted ImagePosted Image

As you can see the GC Style Replacement Stick doesn't draw complete lines instead it just does little dots, thats an indicator for skipping.

Skipping means that the stick doesn't do 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 but 0,2,6,8,10,14,18 or similar, so it skips steps.
This is proof then that the GC replacement sticks are at least half as precise as an OEM controller? I get confused as many people were initially saying they were too "sensitive" so I guess sensitivity and precision are two distinct and very different things. They are too sensitive and not precise enough. At first this sounded as a contradiction to me. Just trying to wrap my head around this. Great program!
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bluedogrulez
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Great work, mac64! And brilliany program sanni!

Can one of you tell me what it means that the LodgeNet gc-style stick has a range up to 111 as opposed to the 86-step range of the OEM?

Also, using sanni's skip test, how does the LN stick fare?

Thanks guys, again, great info!
Edited by bluedogrulez, Aug 18 2012, 05:49 AM.
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sanni
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If a stick has more than 85 or so steps in one direction it can lead to bugs in certain games like Turok 1
If you look up with the gc style replacement stick Turok is almost looking behind him.
But those are only minor side effects and only affect "bad" programmed games.
Edited by sanni, Sep 3 2014, 02:24 AM.
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bluedogrulez
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@sanni: great stuff! It is interesting to see graphical proof of what we think we know from gaming experience. If I could trouble you or mac for one more--the Hori mini, the circle would be complete for me. (i suspect identical performance as LodgeNet within the more limited, standard 86-step range)

Turok's neck...very funny!
Edited by bluedogrulez, Aug 18 2012, 08:57 AM.
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Mk II
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Quote:
 
sensitivity and precision

they're not too sensitive, they are inprecise.
A movement of plus or minus 1 would become 2 or even 4 if steps are skipped.
This would feel like the controls were "jumpy" aka "too sensitive"

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macN64
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bluedogrulez
 
If I could trouble you or mac for one more--the Hori mini, the circle would be complete for me.
Here's one for the Hori Pad Mini. The resolution stinks, but hopefully this will do for now:
Spoiler: click to toggle
Edited by macN64, Aug 20 2012, 06:39 AM.
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bluedogrulez
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Thanks, mac64! Looks very much like the LN without the LN's additional range. Based solely upon the above date, would you or sanni agree with the following rankings/analysis:

1) OEM
2) LodgeNet (less precise that OEM, but larger range)
3) Hori Mini (same precision as LN, but about same range as OEM)
4) 3rd party Gamecube-style (remarkably poorer precision as OEM, same range as OEM)
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macN64
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First, about the Hori pad...

Everyone seems to love them, but, at least with the one I have, movements to the right are much more "forceful" than movements to the left - leading to a severely unbalanced controller. You can see it in the benchmark I took:
macN64
 
Spoiler: click to toggle
I've thought for a long time that my Hori Pad is defective, as I've never known anyone else to complain about this. Is anyone able to confirm or deny if this is just limited to my controller?

Anyway, going only on my single Hori Pad, I would still choose the Hori Pad controller over the Gamecube style sticks (ignoring price), but there's not much in it at all - they both have their own, different problems.

Of the controllers/sticks you list Bluedog, I would rank them the same as you (with the Hori Pad only being slightly ahead of the Gamecube style sticks):
1. OEM
2. LodgeNet
3. Hori Pad Mini
4. Gamecube style

If I could include any controllers/sticks, my list would look like this:
1. OEM
2. Sharkpad Pro/LodgeNet (tied)
4. Hori Pad
5. Mako Pad
6. Gamecube style

I've a good way of arranging the controllers to visually convey where I feel they "fit". I'll see if I can get a picture up fairly soon.

One last question - how would the third party OEM style sticks (which I haven't tried yet) fit into your list Bluedog?
Edited by macN64, Aug 20 2012, 12:06 PM.
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bluedogrulez
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macN64
Aug 20 2012, 12:05 PM
One last question - how would the third party OEM style sticks (which I haven't tried yet) fit into your list Bluedog?
Wow, good question! Without any emperical data: Out of the box (wait, no box; out of the mail parcel), dead last. My issue (as others have observed) is that after 2 hours of game play, the spring bends and becomes useless. During that 2 hours though (or if you put an OEM spring in there), about same as OEM (betting sanni's program shows clone's performance is close but not identical to OEM).

Data aside, I am really loving the LodgeNet gamecube-style stick right now.
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Norcal
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bluedogrulez
Aug 20 2012, 12:37 PM
I am really loving the LodgeNet gamecube-style stick right now.
Have you managed to connect the Lodgenet to a normal N64? Or did you just take the joystick out?
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slowbird
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Fascinating stuff. I'd be interested in seeing the Makopad on the skip test.
Currently looking for: Blue/White PAL console
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bluedogrulez
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@norcal: harvested LN stick and connected it to OEM board, then put it in a modified OEM controller. Check out pic on Working LodgeNet thread. Mac64 and Sanni did better jobs!

@slowbird: bet the mako tests like a champ. Forum legend alxbly's favorite stick as i recall.

@macN64 and sanni: To run your tests, are you both using flash carts on an N64 console or do you have the controller hooked up to a PC somehow?
Edited by bluedogrulez, Aug 21 2012, 08:09 AM.
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macN64
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slowbird
 
Fascinating stuff. I'd be interested in seeing the Makopad on the skip test.
I'll see if I can get around to it.

bluedogrulez
 
@macN64 and sanni: To run your tests, are you both using flash carts on an N64 console or do you have the controller hooked up to a PC somehow?
I'm using a flash cart.

macN64
 
I've a good way of arranging the controllers to visually convey where I feel they "fit". I'll see if I can get a picture up fairly soon.
Here's a picture I took:
Posted Image

It's a sort of "family tree" of N64 controllers. At the top, is the official controller and stick. We all know the official sticks wear down. The challenge for third party sticks is to solve that problem while, well, still being good to use. The tree shows two branches, to the left and right, showing two different approaches taken.

On the bottom, 4th row are the Sharkpad Pro 64 2 and a controller fitted with a third party Gamecube style stick. Both solve the problem of wear differently, but introduce new problems (bulky to hold and lack of precision/accuracy respectively).

The controllers next row up (3rd row) solve these problems to some degree, but also do away with the three prong design of the official controller. Some may think this is a good thing, but others would prefer the "conventional" three prong design they're used to.

The controllers next row up (2nd row) try to retain the benefits of the previous row, but put them into the body of an official controller.

It's not quite perfect, but I think it's a fairly good visual representation of how I see these controllers and where I feel they "fit". The LodgeNet was something of a "missing link". :lol: I would guess that the third party OEM style sticks would sit under the official controller, on the same row as the Sharkpad and LodgeNet.
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sanni
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The oem style replacement is really nice.
Too bad they are made out of such a cheap plastic. The main issue I have with these is that the plastic arch that holds the X-axis in place wears out really fast which results in a wiggly thumbstick.
Edited by sanni, Sep 3 2014, 02:24 AM.
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clarky_n64
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This is some really awesome experimental work going on here guys.

I personally have to say, I'm a massive fan of the LN analog sticks. They seem to have a shorter throw than most pot based analogs (you can visually see this on the analog itself) but are by far the best and most accurate I have used.

Keep up the good work :yeah:
Clarky & Smithy Creations YouTube Channel
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macN64
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slowbird
 
Fascinating stuff. I'd be interested in seeing the Makopad on the skip test.
I finally got around to doing the Mako pad.
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The black lines you see in the close up are due to the TV screen. There isn't any skipping I can see. :)
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slowbird
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macN64
Aug 29 2012, 11:10 AM
slowbird
 
Fascinating stuff. I'd be interested in seeing the Makopad on the skip test.
I finally got around to doing the Mako pad.
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The black lines you see in the close up are due to the TV screen. There isn't any skipping I can see. :)
Nice! Thanks 8)
Currently looking for: Blue/White PAL console
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badair
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Sanni, I'm a beginning programming student. Would you perchance care to share the source code for this?
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BearLily
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Mac, your Hori pad should not be doing that. It's faulty.
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sanni
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The source is included in the download and I also posted a how to program tutorial here: http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Forever/topic/7349435/1/
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macN64
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BearLily
Nov 10 2012, 02:34 PM
Mac, your Hori pad should not be doing that. It's faulty.
Yeah, I thought so. Is anyone able to get benchmark of another Hori Pad?
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sanni
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I always wanted to buy a Hori Mini pad but they are soooo expensive :-/
Edited by sanni, Sep 3 2014, 02:34 AM.
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