Strange Input and Strange Peripherals: Gamebugs Turn Your Breadboard into A

What’s more fun than playing video games? Design your own video game hardware, of course! If you follow these pages for a long time, you will find dozens of great examples of homebrew hardware, and perhaps you have been inspired to try this kind of project yourself. It often starts with combining the basic bits into a solderless breadboard, which is fine for programming but not so great for testing: it works for basic debugging by pushing the pushbutton on your breadboard, but it’s not very user-friendly or reliable. A better solution can be found [Dimitar]Its Gamebug: A set of controllers like the Breadboard-compatible Joypad.

GameBug’s design excels in its simplicity: a miniature analog joystick, four buttons arranged in a diamond pattern, a shoulder button and two sliding switches sit on a neat purple PCB. Below are two rows of pin headers to ensure a snag fit on your solderless breadboard. There is even a slight vibration motor for the haptic response.

Integrating with GameBug has been simplified by Integrated Readout Electronics. A Schmidt trigger-based downbound circuit ensures clear signals from all pushbutton, while a motor driver chip delivers stable current to the haptic feedback system. An RGB LED can be used as another user’s response device or simply for decorative lighting.

All design files available [Dimitar]Its GitHub page, along with an Arduino sketch, will help you test GameBug’s functionality. Having a proper gamepad can come in handy with this impressive mess of breadboard-based game systems like Tiny Duck Hunt or Cable that creates a Colecovision.

A pair of purple PCB-based game controllers

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