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I've got a sweet joystick that uses gameport, and I'd like to use it in my Kerbal Space Program. My modern PC lacks any ISA or PCI slots, so I can't use the cards I have.

I've noticed some gameport to USB adapters on the net - but they are somewhat expensive, and I wonder how well they perform; I've been burned by Parallel to USB adapters in the past already, so I'm wary of purchasing this kind of hardware without doing my research first. Or maybe there are other, better options? Like a PCIE card with gameport?

What are my options, and your recommendations?

The PC is running Windows 7, the joystick is Microsoft Sidewinder 3D Pro.

  • Hope you don't mind the title edit, I didn't think you'd be all that interested in a general answer so I made your question specific... – Stephen Kitt Sep 13 '16 at 11:33
  • And I'm surprised by the price of USB adapters nowadays! I paid around $10 for the ones I've got, many years ago (but they weren't scarce then). – Stephen Kitt Sep 13 '16 at 11:34
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The SideWinder 3D Pro has its own protocol, which isn't supported by typical gameport-to-USB adapters. The best you can hope for with one of those is to find an adapter which supports the CH Flightstick Pro or Thrustmaster FCS protocols, and use the fallback mode on the SideWinder. (There's usually a switch on the USB adapter to choose the appropriate mode.) Earlier SideWinders came with a USB adapter (part 98427) but that doesn't work with the 3D Pro.

The protocol has been reverse engineered though and it is possible to build an adapter. The basic recipe is described on the Descent forums (another version of the post, with photos, is available on the Mechwarrior Online forums). The build documented there uses a Teensy board; it's also possible to use an Arduino board instead.

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