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    ## Very Low Cost USB Switch interface

    Project Idea:
    As part of the the retro arcade scene, people are using very cheap button to USB interface boards to wire up their consoles. The USB controller is usually called a “Zero Delay Arcade USB Encoder”, and can be bought for under $15 (🇨🇦) including a wiring harness and USB cable. The boards typically have more than 12 switch inputs mapped to USB HID events.

    Unlike other controllers here, these cheap controllers are not programmable. But there are (apparently) configurable via driver settings. I know that using drivers and tweaking settings is far from ideal, but these boards are so cheap and ubiquitous I thought I should at least look at what we can do with them.


    This is the one I’m trying:

    It appears on my system as a “DragonRise Inc. PC TWIN SHOCK Gamepad” / “Microntek USB Joystick” with USB ID 0079:0006

    here’s the Amazon.ca (sorry) product link: [Jiu Man Zero Delay USB Encoder To PC Games Controllers For Arcade Joystick Sanwa DIY Kits Parts Mame Games ( 5Pin + 2.8mm Cables )](https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01LZBFMWG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). It’s $12 :canada:, including a wiring harness and USB cable.

    No case; but we have 3d printers. No 3½ mm sockets, but I raided [A1 Electronic Parts](https://www.a1parts.ca/) yesterday on my day off and loaded up on their 69¢ components. Will this end up useful? Dunno until I try.


    COOL! With a little hacking, inexpensive electronics and a nice 3D printed enclosure, this can easily replace the pricey MS Adaptive Controller!

    THANKS for sharing!


    The XAC is a pretty wonderful device for the price. This input box will be much more humble: no Superbowl ads for us!

    If you’re looking for a capable, programmable (mostly) and cheap controller, **[Switch37](https://github.com/TeamGleason/Switch37)** could use some appreciation.


    @SRv there are a few different programs for remapping joystick/gamepads to keyboard and mouse commands. One of them may enable provide greater / simpler customization as a switch interface:

    – haven’t tested this one

    – have tested this one successfully with XAC – I think it’s primarily for Xbox controllers


    Thanks! So the board I tried is okay, but needs heavy JoyToKey / some other macro customization to be useful for anything else but gaming. It’s very very cheap though, and does what it says it should.

    I also just found out about the [GeeekPi USB Joystick controller Board](https://wiki.52pi.com/index.php/USB_Joystick_controller_Board_SKU:_EP-0080) which provides the same functions plus six channels of analogue input. Sure, lots of JoyToKey work required on this one too, but it’s only slightly more expensive (~ $20). It also has some audio capabilities (volume/amplifier) that could have a use. The controller is much more powerful: it’s a 72 MHz ARM microcontroller.


    Hi all… just dropping my 2 cents in here also… I just finished making a USB switch interface using the QTpy ($6) and some jacks. No custom PCB boards. I’m working on some instructions but happy to share what I have so far.

    ![4_switch_interface_final|666×500, 50%](upload://4w3jIYnwV5VYq4CWxwVjGXFYhRU.jpeg)


    Nice! The QTPy is pretty similar to the thing inside the Keyswitch – maybe yours has a couple more inputs


    yes it very similar to the TrinketMO and also supports Circuitpython which is beginner friendly. This prototype only has 4 jacks but I don’t really have any users that could handle more than 4 switches at one time. I think there are 2 more working pins? The nice thing about the board is that it has 6 capacitive pins. My next project will be to print some type of capacitive switch that’ll connect through the jack input. You’d just need to disconnect the ground and change the code.


    Following up on the thread… My little switch interface seems to be working well so far and I’ll be working on integrating the pcb breadboard to make things more tidy next. The QTpy has a USB C to USB wire and it would be amazing if it could connect to an iPad. Ablenet sells the Hook (https://www.ablenetinc.com/switch-interface/hook-3rd-gen/) which is a interface with a lightning connection.

    I tried adding the Lightning to USB camera dongle to the cable with the hopes that it would recognize the interface with no luck. I’m also using the Apple dongle since I know sometime 3rd party accessories are not welcomed.

    I have been successful with connecting a commercial mouse and keyboard using a dongle although not reliably. Any idea what is happening inside that interface that successfully talks to iOS devices?

    It would be great if there was a non-commercial way to connect switches to iOS. Many of our kids and AAC users are on iPads.


    Hmm… I wonder if this is all related to the MFi (Made for iPhone) licensing? There does seem to be an exception to the license for non- commercial/ hobby maker: https://mfi.apple.com/en/who-should-join.html

    I downloaded the documentation but honestly it’s way over my head. I wonder if anyone else has gone down this rabbit hole already?

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