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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:13 pm 



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 46
Link83 wrote:
@Retro-Bit I saw the new designs for the Retro-Bit Dreamcast controller, and I just wondered if you could pass on one suggestion to the development team.

Since Retro-Bit are using the Sega Saturn D-Pad design on the Dreamcast controller, could they please also use the original Sega Saturn D-Pad PCB contact shape and layout?

Sega themselves actually made a mistake with the Dreamcast controller PCB design and switched the cut/split orientation of the D-Pad contacts, which causes them to respond differently to all the earlier Sega D-Pad designs:-
Original Sega Saturn controller PCB
Original Dreamcast controller PCB, or here's a clearer photo of a slightly later board revision.
Notice how the Dreamcast D-Pad contacts have been rotated by 90 degrees and are no longer 'split' along the cardinal directions like the earlier Mega Drive/Saturn D-Pad designs.

This design mistake actually first occured with the Saturn 3D pad, but hardly anybody used that controller for its D-Pad. The design mistake was then carried across to the Dreamcast controller, which is not exactly well regarded for its D-Pad quality. Here's hoping Retro-Bit can fix this error with the redesigned Dreamcast controller.


I second this suggestion highly if it's possible. If you're going through the trouble of replacing the control pad with something better you might as well go all the way and do it right. Again, if possible. Maybe they're too far down the R&D pipeline to change but it'd be nice to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:02 am 


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I didn't know wireless Dreamcast controllers were planned at all! This is a dream come true as the alternative, the DreamConn, were way too expansive.
Now I hope there won't be any battery issues this time :)


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:48 pm 



Joined: 21 Aug 2016
Posts: 640
Link83 wrote:
bigbadboaz wrote:
How did this change actually affect the performance of the Dpad? I'm one of the few who had zero issue with the DC Dpad, and since you mention it I thought my 3D Controller Dpads were all fine as well.

The change makes the Saturn 3D pad and Dreamcast controllers D-Pad's overly sensitive to diagonal movements when compared to the earlier Mega Drive/Saturn D-Pad design. It changes the exact points on the board where a given direction can be triggered.

Think of it as being similar to the D-Pad change going from the OG Xbox controller (S Model) to the Xbox 360 controller, since its basically the same issue (Change of D-Pad PCB contact shape/design/layout) This image might help explain - it shows what happens when you press 'Up' and accidentally press slightly 'Right' at the same time on each controller. Its the exact same press on the D-Pad, but a totally different input is recorded.


I'm not surprised by this. If you look at, say, XB1 controllers vs basically every other controller ever made, you can see why so many people have issues with the face buttons not responding at certain angles. It's super frustrating that they just don't seem to care about it. Small changes in the contact pads can make a big difference, especially for d-pads.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 12:44 pm 


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I'm trying to decide between the 2.4Ghz and BT models of the Saturn pad. My immediate use case would be the Switch, so I'd be inclined to just go with the BT model because it has rumble and needs no dongle.

- What about lag? How do these compare to the Switch Pro Controller and has either model of the Retro-Bit an edge here?
- The Saturn pad is my preferred 2D controller so I'd eventually like to use it on as many systems as possible. I know the 2.4Ghz variant also comes with a Saturn dongle, so I could use that on my actual Saturn and perhaps on the DC through my Saturn controller adapter. But what about more recent systems like PS3/PS4/WiiU/360/RasberryPi? Are more of them compatible with the USB dongle or the BT radio?

Thanks :D


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 9:00 pm 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
Posts: 846
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The 2.4G are faster and truer to the original form factor (Bluetooth models are "fatter" to accommodate the rumble motors).

Of the systems you mention, I believe you would also get PS3 compatibility from the 2.4G dongle.

Personally, I never choose Bt now that 2.4G alternatives have become common. Whether from 8bitdo, these controllers from Retro-Bit, whatever - at this point 2.4 GHz performance has been reliably demonstrated to be better. It doesn't hurt that they are, paradoxically, usually priced as the budget alternative as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 9:28 pm 



Joined: 22 Oct 2018
Posts: 46
I read somewhere that the shoulder buttons are superior on the 2.4ghz Saturn pad. Is this still the case?


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 10:22 pm 


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Did anybody actually put in the work and measure the lag of the controllers? Is there any real review out there that my Google-foo didn't find? For the Switch my understanding is that the Pro Controller is actually a hair faster in BT mode vs wired (yeah...), so would we really expect a USB dongle on the dock to be faster than a 'direct' BT connection? The Switch is already the most lag plagued console out there, I really don't want to add any more by picking the wrong controller.

The shoulder button issue is puzzling to me. I like the clicky microswitched triggers on the Saturn pad. Why is it so hard to replicate them? Those tiny switches are used in everything from an 80s VCR to a reset button on your router and you can buy a million variants on AliExpress by the kilogram, there's really no 1c a piece switch that feels like what's on the Saturn pad?


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 5:34 am 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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It's not about the dongle being connected, it's about 2.4 being faster than Bt. There are additions to the Bluetooth protocol which add latency.

Regarding the shoulder buttons, Retro-Bit confirmed they updated with clickier switches when creating the wireless pads (after complaints about the wired pads' not being tactile enough). I'm not sure they're superior switches, though. The pad I tried had a click but the switches were too easy to actuate so I didn't feel comfortable resting my fingers naturally along the shoulders. At any rate, not a factor I would base the choice on.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 8:37 am 


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bigbadboaz wrote:
It's not about the dongle being connected, it's about 2.4 being faster than Bt. There are additions to the Bluetooth protocol which add latency.


In the case of the Switch the answer might not be as easy as RF>BT. I don't know the specific reason why the Pro Controller is slower when connected over USB, but let's say the reason is that the USB hub in the dock adds latency. That latency would also be there for the 2.4Ghz dongle. In that case the 2.4Ghz dongle might very well be slower than using BT directly to the main unit since already a wired controller is slower than BT. I guess unless somebody actually measures this nobody actually knows which version has lower latency. All 'reviews' of these controllers were just the usual lazy unboxing video crap with no real information.

bigbadboaz wrote:
Regarding the shoulder buttons, Retro-Bit confirmed they updated with clickier switches when creating the wireless pads (after complaints about the wired pads' not being tactile enough). I'm not sure they're superior switches, though. The pad I tried had a click but the switches were too easy to actuate so I didn't feel comfortable resting my fingers naturally along the shoulders. At any rate, not a factor I would base the choice on.


Ok, that's a shame. Just seems like a strange problem to have. Every time I bought replacement switches for arcade sticks there were many different variants with different activation forces available, figure it should be possible to just buy the right kind of these little four terminal ones for the Saturn pads.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 11:48 am 



Joined: 04 Apr 2017
Posts: 165
I believe there is a setting in the Switch OS now that fixes or addresses the added latency from being connected through USB. Its something like communications with pro controller or something along those lines.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 12:53 pm 


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Johnpv wrote:
I believe there is a setting in the Switch OS now that fixes or addresses the added latency from being connected through USB. Its something like communications with pro controller or something along those lines.


The only option I'm aware of is the one that enables wired communication with the pro controller. Otherwise the controller just charges but still connects through BT. The measurements that found the wired communication to be slower was obviously made after that one was introduced, otherwise there would've been no difference.

It would be really great if Retro-Bit could chime in which controller variant would get better latency on the Switch and how they compare to the Pro Controller. Of course I'd expect the RF controller to be faster, but considering the dock adds significant video out latency and the pro controller going through the dock is slower than BT, who knows what lag goblins are hidden in this machine's USB stack.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 1:00 pm 



Joined: 27 Jul 2012
Posts: 115
Noticed a couple games that the Saturn Wireless pad just doesn't seem to work on.

3D Lemmings and Bug! - Start button doesn't work to get into the game. However with an original controller it works just fine.

I believe I ran across a couple other games, but I need to check them again first.
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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 4:17 pm 


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Sorry for being away, we have been very busy as of late!

SLS4001SS wrote:
All the bad battery posts on the clear 2.4ghz Saturn controllers are making worry about ordering one. I want one for the better shoulder buttons and the select button.


You can always reach out to our team if you run into any issues.


Link83 wrote:
@Retro-Bit I saw the new designs for the Retro-Bit Dreamcast controller, and I just wondered if you could pass on one suggestion to the development team.


We aren't using the same PCBs, as far as I know. I don't think this "mistake" will be reflected in our build. With the Dreamcast controller, we are making some changes from the outset which will change the internals just a bit.


ASDR wrote:
Did anybody actually put in the work and measure the lag of the controllers? Is there any real review out there that my Google-foo didn't find? For the Switch my understanding is that the Pro Controller is actually a hair faster in BT mode vs wired (yeah...), so would we really expect a USB dongle on the dock to be faster than a 'direct' BT connection? The Switch is already the most lag plagued console out there, I really don't want to add any more by picking the wrong controller.


The benefits of the Bluetooth controller, at least recently, is that the latest Switch update allows for Pro Controllers to be completely remapped, which our Bluetooth SEGA controllers fall under. We are still seeing what we can do with our 2.4 GHz controllers on the Switch as these, unfortunately, do not fall under the Pro Controller category. We hope Nintendo extends this remapping feature to our other controllers.

Latency is difficult to precisely measure. On our end, our latest firmware on the 2.4 GHz receivers allows for the controlled latency to drop into the single digits. Our Bluetooth controllers aren't shabby either and can reach around that point as well. We're always listening to everyone's feedback and suggestions. :)


broken wrote:
Noticed a couple games that the Saturn Wireless pad just doesn't seem to work on.

3D Lemmings and Bug! - Start button doesn't work to get into the game. However with an original controller it works just fine.

I believe I ran across a couple other games, but I need to check them again first.


Yep, we're aware of these titles having issues. We're looking into it. It is a very odd issue but we hope to address it in a future update.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 4:42 pm 


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Retro-Bit wrote:
The benefits of the Bluetooth controller, at least recently, is that the latest Switch update allows for Pro Controllers to be completely remapped, which our Bluetooth SEGA controllers fall under. We are still seeing what we can do with our 2.4 GHz controllers on the Switch as these, unfortunately, do not fall under the Pro Controller category. We hope Nintendo extends this remapping feature to our other controllers.


Oh wow, that is super helpful information, thanks. I naively assumed that any controller can be remapped. There's never one perfect way to map games designed for four shoulder buttons and four face buttons to a Saturn style controller with six face and two shoulders buttons, so I was really counting on using that feature.

Retro-Bit wrote:
Latency is difficult to precisely measure. On our end, our latest firmware on the 2.4 GHz receivers allows for the controlled latency to drop into the single digits. Our Bluetooth controllers aren't shabby either and can reach around that point as well. We're always listening to everyone's feedback and suggestions. :)


Ok, and that's the case even on Switch, you'd say it's pretty much the same between the two models, give and take a few ms? I'd prefer to pick up the BT version to get button remapping and rumble, but seeing comparisons like this...

Spoiler: show
Image


...where the difference between BT and 2.4Ghz RF is very large made me a bit skeptical of BT controllers.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 5:54 pm 



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 46
ASDR wrote:
Retro-Bit wrote:
The benefits of the Bluetooth controller, at least recently, is that the latest Switch update allows for Pro Controllers to be completely remapped, which our Bluetooth SEGA controllers fall under. We are still seeing what we can do with our 2.4 GHz controllers on the Switch as these, unfortunately, do not fall under the Pro Controller category. We hope Nintendo extends this remapping feature to our other controllers.


Oh wow, that is super helpful information, thanks. I naively assumed that any controller can be remapped. There's never one perfect way to map games designed for four shoulder buttons and four face buttons to a Saturn style controller with six face and two shoulders buttons, so I was really counting on using that feature.

Retro-Bit wrote:
Latency is difficult to precisely measure. On our end, our latest firmware on the 2.4 GHz receivers allows for the controlled latency to drop into the single digits. Our Bluetooth controllers aren't shabby either and can reach around that point as well. We're always listening to everyone's feedback and suggestions. :)


Ok, and that's the case even on Switch, you'd say it's pretty much the same between the two models, give and take a few ms? I'd prefer to pick up the BT version to get button remapping and rumble, but seeing comparisons like this...

Spoiler: show
Image


...where the difference between BT and 2.4Ghz RF is very large made me a bit skeptical of BT controllers.



Note that some consoles like the PS4 BT is actually faster than wired. There is a lot that goes into controller input/latency. Polling rate on both ends is a huge deal as well as how each console, PC, etc. treats its input stack. This may mean that on Switch BT could be less latent than wired. This is of course given perfect environments where there isn't interference for wireless and the controller's cable isn't borked.

All that said, RetroBit or anyone else. Do we know the polling rate of the various controllers/receivers? This would go a long was in helping us get a feel for latency. Ideally someone would hook up a high-speed camera and LED and measure the delay for each scenario on each controller.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:12 pm 


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PearlJammzz wrote:
Note that some consoles like the PS4 BT is actually faster than wired.


Yeah, Switch & PS4 are the console where I've seen slower wired speeds measured. If the console just polls USB controllers slower or there are other sources of latency, I'd assume they also apply to any USB RF dongle.

For me the Switch is the most critical case since the latency is already ~2 frames higher higher than most other consoles due to whatever choices they made regarding input / output on that system. I really don't want to add any more lag if it's borderline already.

PearlJammzz wrote:
All that said, RetroBit or anyone else. Do we know the polling rate of the various controllers/receivers? This would go a long was in helping us get a feel for latency. Ideally someone would hook up a high-speed camera and LED and measure the delay for each scenario on each controller.


IIRC Retro-bit has stated either in this thread or somewhere else that they use the standard USB polling rate, IIRC 125Hz instead of something faster.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:31 pm 


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I was totally unaware of this but working with our team on these controllers allowed me to learn so much about wireless connections.

For Bluetooth, there is licensing that goes with it. Certain levels of Bluetooth licensing allows for seamless connection to certain devices. For example, each of the big three has their respective consoles behind their own unique licensing in regards to Bluetooth licensing. We are a small company and thanks to our partnerships, we were able to have our Bluetooth controllers function amazingly with the Nintendo Switch console. For 2.4 GHz, outside of the usual regulations and technology, we have a bit more leeway although it requires receivers to sustain that connection.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 7:01 pm 



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 94
@Retro-Bit I sent an email to support about my controller not charging/holding a charge. What is the expected turnaround time on emails? The auto-response said 2-3 business days, but I am already beyond that on the email that I sent.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 1:19 am 


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Well I got my 2.4ghz wireless Saturn controller in today and I'm disappointed. Right on the d-pad has to be firmly pressed to register, so trying stuff like double tapping to dash doesn't work well. It's even worse if your try to hit the top right diagonal. You have to mash it even harder to register, so there were tons of times I wanted to jump forward in a fighting game but just jumped up instead. I haven't read all 18 pages of the thread, but skimming through and also Amazon reviews I haven't really seen this specific complaint.

If it wasn't for that one problem I think I'd be pretty happy with it judging from my testing so far. I'm really hoping it's something simple like maybe I can just open it and reseat the rubber contact pad so I don't have to deal with waiting on a replacement.

EDIT: I opened it up and the black conductive pad for right didn't look correct compared to the other three. I scraped some blue rubber/plastic off of it with my finger nail, put it back together and now that issue is fixed ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Back to playing/testing with it more.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 4:01 am 



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bigbadboaz wrote:
It's not about the dongle being connected, it's about 2.4 being faster than Bt. There are additions to the Bluetooth protocol which add latency.

Regarding the shoulder buttons, Retro-Bit confirmed they updated with clickier switches when creating the wireless pads (after complaints about the wired pads' not being tactile enough). I'm not sure they're superior switches, though. The pad I tried had a click but the switches were too easy to actuate so I didn't feel comfortable resting my fingers naturally along the shoulders. At any rate, not a factor I would base the choice on.


Thanks for this - I think I'll stick with the wired pad as since I switched from flatpanel back to CRT I'm never far away enough to really benefit from the wireless connection.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 5:39 am 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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Glad it helps. I expect to be testing a few more of the RB pads in the relative near future so if I see any difference from controller to controller I'll come back and update. But based on the one I played (which was really nice all around with the shoulder sensitivity being the one niggle), if you can deal with the shoulders on your wired then yeah, you're probably OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:45 am 


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I bought one of their USB Saturn pads when they first came out, and more recently picked up the 2.4ghz Saturn and Genesis pads.

The older wired pad did have a couple of issues - the D-pad was a bit loose and the shoulder buttons were stiff and not "clicky" enough. I ended up swapping the plastic cross piece from an original (broken) pad, which made the D-pad perfect. You could replace the shoulder button switches, but it didn't bother me enough to make it worth the trouble.

The wireless controllers were a lot better. The d-pad is great, and although the shoulder buttons aren't 100% the same as the originals they're a lot clickier and feel very good. They had some noticeable lag, but this was fixed by updating he firmware. Not sure how the Bluetooth version compares.

If the newer batches of wired controllers use the same components as the wireless ones, they'd definitely be worth buying. Personally I'm happy with the 2.4ghz model and use it most of the time even though I usually sit close enough to use a wired controller.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:27 pm 


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Retro-Bit wrote:
Link83 wrote:
@Retro-Bit I saw the new designs for the Retro-Bit Dreamcast controller, and I just wondered if you could pass on one suggestion to the development team.


We aren't using the same PCBs, as far as I know. I don't think this "mistake" will be reflected in our build. With the Dreamcast controller, we are making some changes from the outset which will change the internals just a bit.

Thanks, I understood that Retro-Bit wouldn't be using the original Sega PCB designs, but typically when remaking a product the development team look to re-use as much of the original design as possible - only in this particular instance copying the original Dreamcast D-pad contact design exactly would not be recommended.

If the redesigned Dreamcast controller will be using a Saturn D-Pad, then it would be great if it could also use the Saturn D-Pad contact design as well. If you could please pass this info on to the PCB designers for the Retro-Bit Dreamcast controller (Or even just link them to my earlier post) it would be very much appreciated :)


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 4:20 pm 


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Sargon wrote:
@Retro-Bit I sent an email to support about my controller not charging/holding a charge. What is the expected turnaround time on emails? The auto-response said 2-3 business days, but I am already beyond that on the email that I sent.


We ask for patience and we hope to get to you shortly. We're a small team so things might take a bit longer, especially with all of us working remotely.


cr4zymanz0r wrote:
EDIT: I opened it up and the black conductive pad for right didn't look correct compared to the other three. I scraped some blue rubber/plastic off of it with my finger nail, put it back together and now that issue is fixed ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Back to playing/testing with it more.


That's very odd! We've heard of a few cases where dust or plastic shavings somehow find their way onto one of the contacts before. We're glad you were able to fix it. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 4:30 am 


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@Retro-Bit Do you know how many milliamps (mA) of power the Saturn 2.4ghz wireless receiver draws?
I had some projects in mind for using it with a custom adapter on other retro systems but just wanted to add up the mA power draw to make sure all the devices together don't go over the power output of various controller ports.

Also, are there any other colors planned for the 2.4ghz Saturn controllers? I've got both current colors and would probably buy more colors if they become available :P


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 12:36 pm 


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cr4zymanz0r wrote:
@Retro-Bit Do you know how many milliamps (mA) of power the Saturn 2.4ghz wireless receiver draws?
I had some projects in mind for using it with a custom adapter on other retro systems but just wanted to add up the mA power draw to make sure all the devices together don't go over the power output of various controller ports.

Also, are there any other colors planned for the 2.4ghz Saturn controllers? I've got both current colors and would probably buy more colors if they become available :P


#1 I will check with our development team to see if we have that info. As far as I know, it's standard mA that most controllers use.

#2 You will want to check out our social media and website soon...


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 2:30 pm 



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Can 2,4Ghz Genesis and Saturn controllers also work via a regular wired USB connection?


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 8:52 pm 



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Retro-Bit, what is the release window for the just-announced black and white Saturn 2.4G pads?

Also, any progress towards getting something PS4-compatible out? Thanks -


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 5:57 am 


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bigbadboaz wrote:
Retro-Bit, what is the release window for the just-announced black and white Saturn 2.4G pads?

Also, any progress towards getting something PS4-compatible out? Thanks -


We are still working out the timeline for the mass release but should be TENTATIVELY late July/early August for both Black and White.

We're still exploring PS4 options with what we're able to do.


shroom2k wrote:
Can 2,4Ghz Genesis and Saturn controllers also work via a regular wired USB connection?


It goes into charge mode when you do so. Although, I believe on some consoles it will work as a normal USB pad. Unfortunately, I don't have that information at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro-bit's Sega controllers
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 7:00 am 



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Retro-Bit wrote:
We are still working out the timeline for the mass release but should be TENTATIVELY late July/early August for both Black and White.


Thanks, I know several had asked about these specific colors.


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