First Party Dreamcast Lag Testing

EDIT: Results are in:

Alright, we’ve all heard that the triggers on official DC pads lags. Some people say they do, some people say they don’t, and some say there are two different points that can be used, and one of them doesn’t lag.

I hate indeterminate fuzzy bullshit, so I want to set the record straight once and for all, and I’m willing to scrap a couple of DC pads if needed; after moving and organizing my toys, I realize I have plenty.

What I propose: Take an official DC control pad. Run one wire from a button (‘A’), a direction (‘Down’), a trigger (‘L’), and ground. Take the three button wires, solder them together and run a single wire from that. Connect the single wire to one leg of a switch (I dont care what kind, and it shouldn’t matter) and run the ground line to the other leg. Now, with a single button press, the digital button, direction, and trigger can be activated at the exact same time.

Load up CvS2, go to training mode, and turn on key display. Press and release the button multiple times. The reporting on CvS2 is by frame; if there is no lag and all three activate and release on the same frame, we’ll see one row of all three inputs, and nothing when released. If there is even a frame of lag on input, we’ll see the digital inputs (Down and A) on one row, followed by all three once the trigger lag is done. If there is even a frame of lag on release, we’ll see a row with only the trigger, followed by nothing.

Another option would be to use a normal cherry microswitch. Wire ground to the COM pin, a trigger to the NO pin, and a digital input to the NC pin. Repeatedly press and release the switch. If there is no lag on the trigger, we’ll see only a single input on each line. If there is any lag difference between the two, we’ll have a few lines showing inputs from both.

So, I need two things before I start hacking.
#1. Any flaws in this plan? Any better ideas to test this?
#2. What are all of the different points to connect to the HAL effect sensor used on the board? I know there are at least two, but I dont know where they are. Please point out all that you know of.

Hoping others will find this usefull…

I think this is a cool idea, and it will help lots of people… like me, 'cuz I was wondering about the same… nobody seems to agree about the “DC 1rst party pads lags?” thing… Great idea!

hope you do cool

Toodles this is awesome you are awesome run-on sentence.

Great idea!

if i remember correctly, the main complaint with the dreamcast triggers is that it’s difficult to do 3s EX moves with the L and R buttons. if we could do a test on 3s, we can find out if it’s lagging. maybe even how much lag it has. and if it isn’t lagging, maybe we can find out what’s causing EX moves to be so difficult.

I assume you are going to do a control test with a PCB that you know does not lag?

That way you can compare the results against the confirmed non laggy PCB just in case there is a flaw in your plan. (like how CVS2 reports inputs)

I’m not sure I understand why a control is necessary if the criteria for pass or fail is this plain. I guess Im basing on the assumption that a controller that doesn’t have laggy inputs would show of the input at the same time; if the analog line the HAL sensor reports to is laggy compared to the digital input, it would register later than the digital inputs.

Ah hell, I got enough agetec PCB’s, it should be a snap to do the same thing with one of those, at the least to prove the test is valid, which I guess is the point. When I hear ‘control’, I think placebo groups :slight_smile: I’m not sure how I can double blind this when Im trying to get impartial feedback that is not subject to interpretation. If this were left up to the opinion of the masses, then oh hell yeah there should be some MadCatz and Agetec’s thrown in the mix.

Like have half of the players at a tournament swallow an official 1st party PCB and the other half choke down an Agetec… but don’t tell them which is which! :bgrin:

In all honesty though, If you’re up for the extra work, I highly recommend using a control in your experiment. You can never be sure what a doubter will pull up to question validity or veracity.

Not to spoil things, but I tried this out quick on an official DC pad hack (using one button to register both inputs), and sure enough, the triggers register a frame later on cvs2. Using two digital buttons registers simultaneously.

Honestly, I’m surprised people can play on an official dc pad pad for long without noticing. I pretty much suck and noticed soon after I hacked 'em that there was something wrong.

I recommend using the dragon stick for the test… I believe they still sell them (maybe play-asia?)

Whoa! Thanks for the warning…so if I’m going to hack something for a DC stick, what should I be looking to use?

The point is that he’s going to test it. We aren’t sure if there is anything conclusive on it yet. But for now, the preferred PCB for DC sticks is the agetec PCB or the Madcatz 6 button.


ok, this was turning the switch on first right?

what about if we left the triggers on the DC pad in a constant on state. That way they’re held down the entire time??? and just use the microswitches to regulate on and off.

The pcb triggers on the pad would be registering on the entire time but the microswitches would prevent them from being registered to the game??? maybe the input lag is coming from the digital button registering first? if it were in a constant on state, it wouldn’t need to activate the input correct?

I’m just tossing ideas out there because I would like the DC pad pcb to work.

Thats a good idea… and then connect to the other prong on the cherry switch.
Wouldn’t work for Japanese buttons though.

At first I didn’t think it lagged, but I’m now sure it does.

Put in Super Turbo and try doing Zangiefs Lariat. It won’t work very well. If I remember correctly you have to push all 3 buttons in the DC version.

Well if you are just using a DC pad, that could be mechanical due to the magnetic engagement of the switch in the pad, as well as us not being sure if a hard press registers or just the soft (because dc triggers are pressure sensitive)

No, I"m talking about a hacked 1st party dc controller.

I thought the DC version required 2 buttons to be pressed. I very well could be wrong, though.

So now I can blame all that sucking on my 1st party DC pad stick I had for years. Huzzah!

Toodles, did you ever get any use out of that MAS DC pcb? Just curious.

I planned on it being of the controls in this. :slight_smile:

Other than that, not yet, but you can bet your ass I will be. Im still looking for a way to make a cheap SX programmer so I can see if I can download the code.