Guides to jumpstart your Retrogaming lifestyle
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Genesis Knight
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Guide: Wireless Control for Dreamcast/Saturn

by Genesis Knight Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:22 pm

INTRO:

One of the most frustrating things for me is that there aren't any really good "official" solutions for wireless controllers on two of my favorite classic systems - the Dreamcast and Saturn.

The Saturn has a few options including a set of official Infrared controllers that were released by Sega of Japan and Sega Europe, as well as a few 3rd party brands:

ImageImageImageImage

The offical ones are usually quite expensive (especially the black ones, which have gone on eBay recently for upwards of $200) or in poor shape (yellowing on the Japanese models). Also, those who own them can vouch for their outdated IR technology giving generally bad accuracy and short range.

The 3rd party controllers from UFO and Nyko I haven't tried. But the asking price is pretty high at ~$90. The UFO ones advertise to be infrared, so I can't image they're better than the Sega ones. If anyone owns either of those, feel free to chime in.

I've only ever seen this set for the Dreamcast. They aren't that common; again if anyone can contribute a review for these then feel free. I'm pretty sure they are IR as well given the translucent cap where the beam would be.

Image

So, what to do? Well, you could build your own, but short of that we'll have to turn to some alternatives.


STEP ONE:

First off, you'll need the Logitech Cordless Precision Controller for the Playstation 2. These go on eBay and Amazon for about $15 to $20 a piece, which isn't bad. The problem is that they are often mislabeled or pictured as the Cordless ACTION Controller, which has some thumbstick and trigger problems with the Dreamcast. There's a comparison below. I own a few of both types, and the ones that are in good condition are quite excellent controllers. The buttons are responsive and D-Pad is average. They are generally considered to be the best wireless controllers for the Playstation 2, and with one you can have wireless control on the PS2, PSX (with a controller extension so the memory card can fit above the receiver), Saturn, and Dreamcast. Not bad. Better yet, there doesn't seem to be much input lag on any of these systems even with converters, but I'm not a huge expert on this subject so fair warning.

Cordless Precision (buy this one):
Image
------
Cordless Action (not this one):
Image


STEP TWO:

Next you'll need a DragonCast Super Converter, made. These feature full VMU support and are one of the few PS2-DC converters that support the Logitech Cordless Precision. Bingo! This converter maps the thumbstick, D-pad, face buttons, and triggers of the Cordless Precision to the Dreamcast pretty well. When you hook up your Cordless Precision, remember to press its MODE button to turn on the analog feature. Because the Dreamcast also has four face buttons and two triggers, this is a surprisingly good mapping!

Image


STEP THREE:

For the Saturn you'll need a bit more elusive piece of hardware: the Tototek Classic Joypad Converter. Tomy at Tototek hasn't given it a production run in a while, although if you make your voice heard on the forums that would be great. Still, there are a precious, precious few on eBay at the moment and they seem to pop up there about once every other month. This is not as elegant a solution, either, since the Saturn has six face buttons and two triggers. Here's how it maps:

- A, B, and C to Square, Cross, Circle
- X, Y, and Z to Triangle, L1, R1
- L and R to L2, R2

Although the notes say otherwise, it seems to only work when analog mode on the Cordless Precision is turned off. Either way, the analog mapping would only map the thumbstick to the D-Pad, so this won't replace your Nights 3D controller. Still, I'm happy with it and think it's a great solution.

Image


OUTTRO:

All this kit will cost you about $60, far less than it would cost to buy any of the controllers I posted at the beginning, and with far less effort than modding your own set! Entrepreneurs out there should note that there is probably a big market for this! The Cordless Precision is a good controller, but it's only an acceptable match for the Saturn and having truly 2.4gHz official Sega Saturn wireless controllers would be pretty amazing.

Anyway, hope this guide helped some of you looking for a way to ditch the cords in your living room!
Last edited by Genesis Knight on Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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elmagicochrisg
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Re: Guide: Wireless Control for Dreamcast/Saturn

by elmagicochrisg Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:05 pm

Genesis Knight wrote:I've only ever seen this set for the Dreamcast. They aren't that common; again if anyone can contribute a review for these then feel free. I'm pretty sure they are IR as well given the translucent cap where the beam would be.

Image

They are indeed IR. I own a pair of those. One has pretty good reception, the other you can only hold in a 10 degree radius angle or you lose connection. Unfortunately they are somewhat faulty. As soon as I connect both of them at the same time they both lose connection completely. Got them like that from an eBay seller. Seller refused any responsability saying 'her son tested the controllers and they worked just fine'. So I treated her with a nice little negative... :twisted:

So yeah, IR indeed...

The switch in the middle is 1P - off - 2P. The receiver (which isn't in the picture) has 2 Dreamcast connections on it. Nothing more to say about them really. They are no match for the official controller and are only good for collector purposes...
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Genesis Knight
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Re: Guide: Wireless Control for Dreamcast/Saturn

by Genesis Knight Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:24 pm

Thanks for lending your knowledge. Do you know what brand they are? (Nyko?)

Also, can anyone test out other PS2->DC converters to see if they work?
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Re: Guide: Wireless Control for Dreamcast/Saturn

by elmagicochrisg Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:37 am

Genesis Knight wrote:Thanks for lending your knowledge. Do you know what brand they are? (Nyko?)

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Re: Guide: Wireless Control for Dreamcast/Saturn

by keptquisling Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:00 pm

I use the Total control+ PS2 wireless controller setup for my dreamcast

and the original infrared ones for my saturn

Everything used to work fine until the saturn pads started glitching. One would keep registering downward directional button presses and the other B button presses

And the issue isn't with any stuck contacts on the controllers too, as I've already cleaned them. I couldn't really figure out what was going on with them.

The dreamcast setup is flawless so far
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Re: Guide: Wireless Control for Dreamcast/Saturn

by Valkyrie-Favor Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:45 pm

I'm not concerned with wireless since I sit so close to my TV, but PS2 pads are just better than Dreamcast pads anyway. I might have to track down one of these adapters! Thanks bro.

Also, those Cordless Action controllers are awesome. They may not be compatible with the adapter, but they are reliable, accurate, comfortable, and have excellent range. I have a USB version that works on PC and PS3.
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Re: Guide: Wireless Control for Dreamcast/Saturn

by paykz0r Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:26 am

Nice guide.

But still:

The official Genesis and Saturn IR controllers are good.
I have tried various 3th party controllers, and they all suck.
Especially in 2 Player mode.

But now i have pairs of both the official ones,
and they work like a charm. I dont even need to point on the consoles with them,
they work great in 2 Player mode etc.

But for the dreamcast your solution might be the best.

Please check out "Classic Game Room HD"s episode about the genesis ir controllers.
You will be surprised
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