What do you think about this stick idea?

jdubsjdubs Joined: Posts: 138
Hey Guys

I REALLY want to try the PS/2 input on my computer as an alternative to USB for games. The whole idea of the inherent lag with a computer's USB interface has me heading me down the road of using a PS/2 keyboard encoder like the Ultimarc or KeyWiz:

http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_80&products_id=199

I have a HRAP VX-SA. I also have a PS360+ PCB as well as some other misc. bits (including a Neutrik RJ45 pass through) to set this stick up for "universal" use.

I'm thinking I can use the RJ45 input and just switch the +5v line with an SPDT switch depending on which PCB (IPAC / KeyWiz OR PS360+) I would like to use. Does that make sense?

Thanks for any input.

-Jim

Comments

  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 10,840 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Honestly unless you are using several USB devices in a hub(including your stick), or chaining hubs together the lag via USB is negatable.
    There is a slight lag if you want to go Scientific on us, but that tiny amount lag is beyond the realm of human perception and better game engines have a tolerance on the timing of button presses.

    Keyboards do have one huge limitation called key roll over or KRO. It is how many keys can register when pressed all at once. Most (better) USB keyboards have a KRO of 6 keys + all 4 modifier keys.
    a ps/2 keyboard rko can range from 2 to N or unlimited/ infinite , if you see the keyboard has a N Roll over or NKRO than you can technically press all the keys at one shot and the computer will register.

    HID class USB devices (that are not keyboards) do not suffer from this limitation, this includes game pads and arcade sticks.

    Now the real limitation in fighting games (regardless of device or port use) is how some of the frames are handled. You hit A and B on a Xbox 360 stick, you never hit A and B at the same moment at the same time, so depending who its first, during a frame change, you see the lag between A and B. This is a issue with the rendering engine not the controller (unless you just have shit execution).

    Also please factor in a PS/2 splitter/ combiner, and many PC and motherboard manufacturers are discontinuing PS/2 ports.
    You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.
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  • KyleKyle PS-14-Gangsta Joined: Posts: 4,707 mod
    Sakuls last point is the most concerning from my perspective. Most newer PCs are phasing out the ps2 port.
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  • jdubsjdubs Joined: Posts: 138
    Cool, thanks for the feedback, guys. I bought a Sandybridge mb a few months back and was shocked that it has a PS/2 input, so its still around....for now! But, yes, its definitely not something that's going to be around for much longer (probably?).

    I bought the parts and think I'm going to give it a shot. Already installed the RJ45 input and the spdt switch. I'm not good enough to wear I think it will help me, personally, that much, but I think the science is there and it will be an interesting experiment. 8ms of lag is what I've seen quoted (based on USB's "standard" polling rate of 125mhz).

    Thanks again...I'll update the thread when I get the stick together.

    -Jim
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 10,840 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cool, thanks for the feedback, guys. I bought a Sandybridge mb a few months back and was shocked that it has a PS/2 input, so its still around....for now! But, yes, its definitely not something that's going to be around for much longer (probably?).

    I bought the parts and think I'm going to give it a shot. Already installed the RJ45 input and the spdt switch. I'm not good enough to wear I think it will help me, personally, that much, but I think the science is there and it will be an interesting experiment. 8ms of lag is what I've seen quoted (based on USB's "standard" polling rate of 125mhz).

    Thanks again...I'll update the thread when I get the stick together.

    -Jim
    Some Motherboards purchase from actual PC parts supplies will still have some PS/2 for a little while longer (fewer still have a floppy drive header) but most off-the-shelf Desktop PCs no longer have this port. (read this next part in a silly voice fitting of Monty Python) As for laptops, PS/2 ports are right out.
    You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.
    there is a unwritten rule that every Full Moon some clueless poster has to stumble into this forum and tout their own perception as hard fact.
  • hamburglarhamburglar Probably robbing McDonalds Joined: Posts: 57
    The only thing I can see as being a potential problem is having to restart your PC every time you plug in the ps/2. AFAIK ps/2 connections aren't hot swappable. At least in my experience that has proven true. I run my rk-9000 on the ps/2 for the nkro and if I unplug it and plug it back in, it wont work until I restart.
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 10,840 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I hate to say it but The Keyboard PCB arcade stick is a remnant from the Dinosaur age. The days where M.A.M.E. enthusiast hack keyboards for their PCBs not because that keyboards are superior, but due to a technical limitations of the early days of Mame. You see it was very popular at one point (8 to 10 years ago) to get a older Pentium II or even older IBM compatible PC running Windows 95 and use that as the main components to a home arcade cabinet build. Others will build simple arcade sticks using a keyboard PCB and Happ parts The old MAME emulation scene didn't know about Japanese and Korean parts ether or they rather try to create the feel of arcade sticks of their childhood, back when emulating early 80s arcade games was a big deal.

    Getting a Game port/ Midi port PCB was difficult and serial port or parallel port/printer port controllers where hard to build.

    Now, with most emulation had hit there peak, and game consoles are taking the places of PCs for Home arcade cabs USB became the new "master race" if you will.
    The USB lag is a millionth of a second at the worst on most PCs, the Xbox and PS3 only lags if you are using a crap controller or crap controller adapter.
    USB works on a polling system, where signals are treated at first come first serve, this isn't a issue unless you have a daisy chain of USB hubs and most of the ports are filled with some kind of USB device.
    USB is plug and play and is hot swappable, hamburglar stated, PS/2 disconnects often means you have to restart your system.

    PS/2 works on a interrupt system, as in the device actually interrupt the OS to sent it input. Alot of Computers also do not like sharing PS/2 ports, hence why there one port for the Keyboard and one for the mouse. Older Scanners, bar code readers, and a few other devices also used the PS/2 port, unfortunately there are alot of inherent problems with multiple devices plugged into a PS/2 port. Having a PS/2 keyboard and a PS/2 keyboard brings in ghosting issues and interference from each other for example.
    PS/2 ports are slower narrower bandwidth meaning less data is being sent.
    You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.
    there is a unwritten rule that every Full Moon some clueless poster has to stumble into this forum and tout their own perception as hard fact.
  • d3vd3v #MAXCPM Fiber Override Joined: Posts: 24,457 mod
    Using PS/2 is for the most, pointless for all the reasons stated above.
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  • jdubsjdubs Joined: Posts: 138
    I hate to say it but The Keyboard PCB arcade stick is a remnant from the Dinosaur age. The days where M.A.M.E. enthusiast hack keyboards for their PCBs not because that keyboards are superior, but due to a technical limitations of the early days of Mame. You see it was very popular at one point (8 to 10 years ago) to get a older Pentium II or even older IBM compatible PC running Windows 95 and use that as the main components to a home arcade cabinet build. Others will build simple arcade sticks using a keyboard PCB and Happ parts The old MAME emulation scene didn't know about Japanese and Korean parts ether or they rather try to create the feel of arcade sticks of their childhood, back when emulating early 80s arcade games was a big deal.

    Getting a Game port/ Midi port PCB was difficult and serial port or parallel port/printer port controllers where hard to build.

    Now, with most emulation had hit there peak, and game consoles are taking the places of PCs for Home arcade cabs USB became the new "master race" if you will.
    The USB lag is a millionth of a second at the worst on most PCs, the Xbox and PS3 only lags if you are using a crap controller or crap controller adapter.
    USB works on a polling system, where signals are treated at first come first serve, this isn't a issue unless you have a daisy chain of USB hubs and most of the ports are filled with some kind of USB device.
    USB is plug and play and is hot swappable, hamburglar stated, PS/2 disconnects often means you have to restart your system.

    PS/2 works on a interrupt system, as in the device actually interrupt the OS to sent it input. Alot of Computers also do not like sharing PS/2 ports, hence why there one port for the Keyboard and one for the mouse. Older Scanners, bar code readers, and a few other devices also used the PS/2 port, unfortunately there are alot of inherent problems with multiple devices plugged into a PS/2 port. Having a PS/2 keyboard and a PS/2 keyboard brings in ghosting issues and interference from each other for example.
    PS/2 ports are slower narrower bandwidth meaning less data is being sent.


    A few points to address the above:

    -What does a MAME cabinet have to do with anything? I've been in the MAME scene for a long time. PS/2-based sticks / controllers have been around for longer.
    -How do you calculate your USB lag of 1 millionth of a second? I thought USB polling was 125hz which works out to 1 frame of input lag assuming a 60hz refresh rate.
    -Why is PS/2 port sharing relevant? I know of no one using a PS/2 ANYTHING (else) these days.
    -Yep, USB is hot swap-able and PS/2 isn't. Not a problem.
    -Why is PS/2 bandwidth relevant? You're not sending much info across it (button presses). What does "...slower narrower bandwidth..." mean? I don't follow.

    I'm not trying to defend PS/2 by any means, just trying to understand your argument for USB better.

    Thanks,
    Jim
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 10,840 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A few points to address the above:

    -What does a MAME cabinet have to do with anything? I've been in the MAME scene for a long time. PS/2-based sticks / controllers have been around for longer.
    -How do you calculate your USB lag of 1 millionth of a second? I thought USB polling was 125hz which works out to 1 frame of input lag assuming a 60hz refresh rate.
    -Why is PS/2 port sharing relevant? I know of no one using a PS/2 ANYTHING (else) these days.
    -Yep, USB is hot swap-able and PS/2 isn't. Not a problem.
    -Why is PS/2 bandwidth relevant? You're not sending much info across it (button presses). What does "...slower narrower bandwidth..." mean? I don't follow.

    I'm not trying to defend PS/2 by any means, just trying to understand your argument for USB better.

    Thanks,
    Jim
    Its Very relevant, OP asking about a Keyboard PCB for a arcade stick. At one time it was the only way to go. Only online communities that take Keyboard interfaces seriously now are the Mame community and maybe Geek Hack, and Geek Hack wants practical but eye candy keyboards that you could bludgeon a man to death with and the keyboard shows no damage.

    Here at SRK a PS/2 arcade stick is more of a Dinosaur than the old 'circuit-less' joysticks like Atari 2600's serial connector or the old Neo Geo Controllers.
    Also Remember to read the entire thread before posting, or at least the OP's posts.
    I'm not trying to defend

    Then why even bother posting? Seriously you just wasting every ones time
    1 frame of input lag assuming a 60hz refresh rate
    I though this as been debunked as not an issue long ago. Any ways, you are complaining about 1 frame at a 60hz refresh rate, or 1/60 of a second. Which is too fast for the human eye to pick up. That is a lag from the game's code (rendering engine or game engine) not the keyboard, USB device or any other sort of actual input. Considering anything 60hz and higher may as well be 1 billionth of a second when it comes to factors such as persistence of vision which is the same theory why film and animation works, Keep in mind actual video (film and digital) operates at a 24hz speed, this includes, your VHS tapes, your DVD, the movie theater, you tube videos and even cut scenes in games.

    I thought USB polling was 125hz
    The default USB polling rate is 125 Hz, The actual speed is dependent on the USB device and/or device drivers.
    Polling rate Response time
    125 Hz 8 ms
    250 Hz 4 ms
    500 Hz 2 ms
    1000 Hz 1 ms

    See a device with a 1000 Hz polling rate has a response time of 1 millionth of a second. Higher end mouse, keyboards and most game pads/ arcade sticks (using USB)
    has a 1000 hz polling rate or higher.

    USB 1.1 operates at 1.2 to 12 mbps, USB 2.0 480 mbps and USB 3.0 is at 5 Gbps.
    PS/2 operates at Serial data at 10 to 16 kHz with 1 stop bit, 1 start bit, 1 parity bit (odd)
    -Why is PS/2 bandwidth relevant? You're not sending much info across it (button presses). What does "...slower narrower bandwidth..." mean? I don't follow.

    Obviously you never had a Scanner that used PS/2 ports before, you have time to make coffee and enjoy it before that scanner done with an image.

    Slower as in slower data transfer, narrower as in less packets at a time. Think of data conenctions as a road, and packets of data as automobiles
    You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.
    there is a unwritten rule that every Full Moon some clueless poster has to stumble into this forum and tout their own perception as hard fact.
  • jdubsjdubs Joined: Posts: 138
    I started this thread, so no time wasting from my standpoint. :)

    -1 frame of lag is nothing to sneeze at...why would the "Sub 1 frame HDTV/Monitor Input Lag Database" thread exist if not?
    -Which usb sticks work at 1000hz polling rate? I've never seen / heard of one. This would be a great solution to reducing input lag.
    -Bandwidth doesn't really matter as we're talking about key presses which use little to know bandwidth. PS/2 processing, on the other hand, could potentially be an issue, I'm not entirely sure.
    -The use of the PS/2 port by anything else, simultaneously, should not be considered. Nothing in my system uses PS/2....I just happen to have a PS/2 port on my asus z77 mb. Honestly, I haven't seen anything use a PS/2 port in many years.

    thanks guys,
    Jim
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 10,840 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I started this thread, so no time wasting from my standpoint. :)
    -1 frame of lag is nothing to sneeze at...why would the "Sub 1 frame HDTV/Monitor Input Lag Database" thread exist if not?
    Because us crazies at SRK have to measure everything down to the smallest quantum measurement possible (and then some).
    See We at SRK is so bucking crazy we go ahead and invent new ways to measure everything that could be measured (and then some), and if it can't be be measured, we will figure out how to do so (not joking; we even have to take in string theory, My Little Pony and Gangan Style into account). More time I spend at SRK TT, the more I realize it isn't just about what arcade stick parts are better or about computer science, we look at EVERY other industrial field imaginable to DO-SHIT in a SCIENCE-BECAUSE-WE-CAN attitude that would make GlaDOS cry tears of pride and joy and force Carl Edward Sagan to rise from the grave just to HIGH-FIVE US . 2 years ago I never think of looking into medical knowledge to improve someone's skills at Street Fighter, guess what, the field of medicine do apply, example muscle memory takes a huge part in control execution. We once made Guinness Beer Chocolate Milkshakes applicable to Arcade sticks.
    The slip-ring that used for lighting ball tops, that was taken from the Wind Mill industry. Non conductive, non-corrosive to metal or plastic silicone grease is used in car break pads.
    We even have serious discussions if playing DDR naked would make you better at the game or not, that dremels should always be used always (scientifically) .
    We rack one users mind because he is a lawyer with good standing with the bar to ask legality questions, we have reps from almost every arcade stick company here just to say "Hi Guys and Great mods". Because when we once raised a sink, MR Happ himself came down to talk to us.

    Because everything causes some lag when looking at it scientifically. Even if we replace all electrical wiring with fiber optics and lights we still have some measurable amount of lag.
    And please factor in nothing in the known universe is faster than light, so NOTHING is instantaneous.

    Because SRK Tech Talk, and Sriracha

    P.S. Why should it do not matter?
    "Relax guy, you are stressing too hard" - Saddam Hussein to Satan - South Park the movie.
    You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.
    there is a unwritten rule that every Full Moon some clueless poster has to stumble into this forum and tout their own perception as hard fact.
  • Trouble BrewingTrouble Brewing Salty about Ultra Joined: Posts: 4,533 mod
    So if I understand you correctly, you propose we make PCBs that warp space time so that our inputs are detected before we push buttons?
    The artist formerly known as Starcade RIP
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 10,840 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So if I understand you correctly, you propose we make PCBs that warp space time so that our inputs are detected before we push buttons?
    Well we are not there yet, but that is what were hoping for eventually. Or our consoles dispense free Dr Pepper and Snicker bars what ever comes first.

    According to some medical researchers, our nervous system works on the principal you stated above as they discovered the brain is capable of processing lag.
    You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.
    there is a unwritten rule that every Full Moon some clueless poster has to stumble into this forum and tout their own perception as hard fact.
  • MoonchildeMoonchilde Tech Talk Demi-God Joined: Posts: 2,988 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I started this thread, so no time wasting from my standpoint. :)

    -1 frame of lag is nothing to sneeze at...why would the "Sub 1 frame HDTV/Monitor Input Lag Database" thread exist if not?
    -Which usb sticks work at 1000hz polling rate? I've never seen / heard of one. This would be a great solution to reducing input lag.
    -Bandwidth doesn't really matter as we're talking about key presses which use little to know bandwidth. PS/2 processing, on the other hand, could potentially be an issue, I'm not entirely sure.
    -The use of the PS/2 port by anything else, simultaneously, should not be considered. Nothing in my system uses PS/2....I just happen to have a PS/2 port on my asus z77 mb. Honestly, I haven't seen anything use a PS/2 port in many years.

    thanks guys,
    Jim

    Get Joy2Key
    Emulate your joystick movements to be up/down/left/right mouse movements.
    Get mouserate.exe
    Move your mouse over the square box, see it report 125 hz max for every mouse movement
    With Joy2Key running, wiggle your joystick
    See it randomly jump anywhere from 10 hz to 1000+ hz
    Probrem sorved
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  • d3vd3v #MAXCPM Fiber Override Joined: Posts: 24,457 mod
    -1 frame of lag is nothing to sneeze at...why would the "Sub 1 frame HDTV/Monitor Input Lag Database" thread exist if not?

    Because more often than not, the lag from a monitor is already on top of any latency from the system (comp, USB, etc.). Any system has a bit of latency, there's no avoiding that. The reason HDTV/HDMI lag is a big issue is that traditionally TVs/monitors were not a source of input lag. It's only now that this issue with lag from HDMI post processing has come up.
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  • jdubsjdubs Joined: Posts: 138
    Get Joy2Key
    Emulate your joystick movements to be up/down/left/right mouse movements.
    Get mouserate.exe
    Move your mouse over the square box, see it report 125 hz max for every mouse movement
    With Joy2Key running, wiggle your joystick
    See it randomly jump anywhere from 10 hz to 1000+ hz
    Probrem sorved

    What problem does this solve?

    -Jim
  • jdubsjdubs Joined: Posts: 138
    Because more often than not, the lag from a monitor is already on top of any latency from the system (comp, USB, etc.). Any system has a bit of latency, there's no avoiding that. The reason HDTV/HDMI lag is a big issue is that traditionally TVs/monitors were not a source of input lag. It's only now that this issue with lag from HDMI post processing has come up.


    Of course. We should be trying to minimize lag wherever / whenever possible, including low-input lag monitors AND controllers (if possible).

    -Jim
  • MoonchildeMoonchilde Tech Talk Demi-God Joined: Posts: 2,988 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What problem does this solve?

    -Jim

    For real??
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  • jdubsjdubs Joined: Posts: 138
    For real??
    Ughhh...no....but what you suggest doesn't tell me if PS/2 is faster than USB (which is the primary issue at hand, here).

    -Jim
  • MoonchildeMoonchilde Tech Talk Demi-God Joined: Posts: 2,988 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Your primary issue is that 125 hz myth you read online isn't fast enough, but that applies to mouse. It doesn't apply to arcade stick, which can go as fast as it needs. I gave you a simple, repeatable scenario in which you can see that the 125 hz USB polling limit does not apply to the arcade sticks.
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  • kedawakedawa . Joined: Posts: 370 ✭✭
    The only thing I can see as being a potential problem is having to restart your PC every time you plug in the ps/2. AFAIK ps/2 connections aren't hot swappable. At least in my experience that has proven true. I run my rk-9000 on the ps/2 for the nkro and if I unplug it and plug it back in, it wont work until I restart.
    That's not quite true. As long as there is a PS/2 device present when you boot the machine, you can connect/disconnect/swap devices to your hearts content. That's why the old KVM switches worked so well.
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