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Thread: Macintosh DE-9 mice send quadrature signals - should be easy to use on a PC?? Or not?

  1. #11
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    Having only one button on a mouse isn't a major problem, you can get around that with the keyboard. Many keyboards had a context menu button between alt and ctrl on the right side, and early versions of Windows were designed for keyboard only use.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Having only one button on a mouse isn't a major problem, you can get around that with the keyboard. Many keyboards had a context menu button between alt and ctrl on the right side, and early versions of Windows were designed for keyboard only use.
    Earlier versions of OSes won't see the context menu key. The software that is difficult to use with only a single mouse button includes OS/2, a lot of Unix designs, and Smalltalk. Not being able to open a menu is likely to be a hindrance. Only a few applications for early versions of Windows used the right mouse button for anything and most had a keyboard shortcut to achieve the same goal.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by justanotherhacker View Post
    Eh, no need to be sorry, my carelessness was my fault. I think I just typed that to excuse not writing proper explanation. Mostly I wrote about thinking that it might be very high effort to do it with early-PC-era-parts unless you could find a chip from a PC mouse that already did the job (and get the datasheet for it), but that small microcontrollers ought to make it not too bad a problem, especially as many of them come with a TTL serial port that can be converted to RS-232 with only one extra part.

    Not sure how electronics-experienced you are, I'm only middling myself. Do you have a favourite microcontroller already?
    I have been doing some AVR programming some 10 years ago, and now I'm playing with the Arduino Uno from time to time. I guess I could use the serial port on the Uno, for the purpose of talking to the PC?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    Wow, that's pretty much the whole enchilada right there, even including the voltage conversion circuitry.

    I do agree only having one button might be a bummer, but if it's just for shock value it certainly might be an interesting project. (If you had a Commodore or Atari ST mouse it'd be a somewhat more practical proposition.) You could probably do it with any number of small MCUs if the PIC family doesn't float your boat, although anything much more powerful will probably need its own power supply instead of vampire-ing off the RS-232's port handshaking lines.
    I am into DOS stuff and not Windows (not surprisingly, I guess?), so one button should do the trick most of the time. I don't remember which DOS applications would use a secondary button. Maybe Ventura Publisher?

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by krebizfan View Post
    Bus mouse cards are poorly documented adding a second level of fun to the process. I think one of the early bus mouse companies used a Mac compatible mouse but I can't find a reference to it in quick searching.
    Wait, does Bus mouse use quadrature signals directly? Wikipedia is no help here, but I read on the 'net something to the effect that there is no processing on the mouse itself. That seems to suggest direct quadrature signals. Which is what the original Mac mouse would provide, if I am not completely wrong here.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Fartalot View Post
    Wait, does Bus mouse use quadrature signals directly? Wikipedia is no help here, but I read on the 'net something to the effect that there is no processing on the mouse itself. That seems to suggest direct quadrature signals. Which is what the original Mac mouse would provide, if I am not completely wrong here.
    Wikipedia says yes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_mouse

    The information you need is on the sidebar at the right, below the pinout information: "XA/XB and YA/YB indicate movement and direction based on quadrature phase"

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Fartalot View Post
    I have been doing some AVR programming some 10 years ago, and now I'm playing with the Arduino Uno from time to time. I guess I could use the serial port on the Uno, for the purpose of talking to the PC?
    Yes, Arduino Uno would be perfect. I just didn't want to assume you were an Arduino fan as there are many alternatives available and some people have strong views I think this would be a fun Arduino project of reasonable scope. You'd only need something to convert the Uno's TTL serial to RS232 serial (either the 555-based circuit in the application note I linked before, or just a single MAX232), plus possibly something to convert the mouse's quadrature voltages into 0-5v (depends, the mouse may well already work at the right levels), and the rest is software. The logic would be very similar to the PDF I linked, you'd just have to figure out how to express it all in Arduino-style c++-with-Arduino-functions language. That said, you might need to avoid Arduino's digitalRead and digitalWrite functions as they are rather slow.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by justanotherhacker View Post
    Yes, Arduino Uno would be perfect. I just didn't want to assume you were an Arduino fan as there are many alternatives available and some people have strong views I think this would be a fun Arduino project of reasonable scope. You'd only need something to convert the Uno's TTL serial to RS232 serial (either the 555-based circuit in the application note I linked before, or just a single MAX232), plus possibly something to convert the mouse's quadrature voltages into 0-5v (depends, the mouse may well already work at the right levels), and the rest is software. The logic would be very similar to the PDF I linked, you'd just have to figure out how to express it all in Arduino-style c++-with-Arduino-functions language. That said, you might need to avoid Arduino's digitalRead and digitalWrite functions as they are rather slow.
    I think the MAX232 is the way to go.
    I really have to express my gratitude for you for linking to that PDF.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Fartalot View Post
    I think the MAX232 is the way to go.
    I really have to express my gratitude for you for linking to that PDF.
    You're very welcome! Glad if I was able to help. Sounds like a fun project, good luck with it.

    If it were me, if I had a MAX232 on hand, or I was buying parts anyway, I'd use the MAX232. I'd only try the other circuit if I was trying to work from my parts pile, which includes 555s but not a 232. So yes, a 232 would be the way to go unless you're a stubborn "I'm sure I can do this without buying anything" type like I am.

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