After finishing the Pop'n Music Controller I was still looking for a challenge. The next logical step was to go back to the game that got me into Pop'n, Beatmania IIDX. Sure, the KOC is nice, but I'd had a chance to play in the arcade, and clicky buttons sure are nice. No longer would I need to fear jackhammers! I'd already built a box with buttons, so this should be no problem right?
Yeah, never works that way, does it? The difference here is the turntable. Such a simple idea, but so complicated in practice. Most homebuilders have simply taken an existing KOC or Rave Discman and sacrificed it to the gods of building in making Beatmania controllers. I didn't want to offer up a KOC, and couldn't easily find a Discman, so I thought about truly building the controller myself. I still used a sacrificial PS1 controller, but the turntable circuit would be custom made.
I've had a bit of experience with circuits, but it had been quite a while. Honestly, it was a lot of fun figuring out how to do this, but there were literally weeks of frustration while trying to perfect things. Eventually I ended up with a design that uses a rotary encoder, three ICs, and a handful of other components, and it's tolerant of slight misfires of the encoder to keep the extra Poors away. I'm not going to post the schematic here, simply because I don't want people to grab it, try to implement it, screw up, then blame me. If anyone else wants to use the design, I'll happily send it along, but please contact me so I can help give you info before you get started.
Anyway, without further ado, controller porn!
So, I added lights to the Pop'n controller. I couldn't possibly ignore the IIDX controller in the same manner, could I? No, of course not. Bring forth the red LEDs! (Even for the Start and Select buttons!)
One thing you may notice is that the turntable and keypanels aren't smoothly finished on the top. This is intentional, as the two controllers feature not only switchable keypanels, but also switchable turntables. The keypanel can be flipped to switch between the 1P and 2P sides, while the turntable can be flipped to mimic either KOC or arcade turntable distance.
One final note is that these controllers also can be used with the original five key beatmania games. Sure, IIDX controller can, but if you put the turntable on the proper (right hand) side, the five keys that are active are on the left, not the right. No good. So, inside the controller, there are two cables that can connect the keypanel to the main controller. One of them is the standard IIDX mapping, but the other switches the five beatmania keys to the right hand side, next to the turntable where they belong. No longer must one deal with dead keys in the middle of the controller!