Wireless Arcade Controller - (Previously) Is the Arduino BT the right solution?

Hi All

I would like to make two wireless MAME game controllers. Each controller requires approximately 20 inputs which the Arduino BT has (assuming the analog inputs can be used by an on/off button).
The Arduino BT seems like an excellent basis on which to complete the project. A couple of questions that I have been unable to find an answer to is:

  • Is it possible for the Arduino BT to be recognised as a HID Keyboard by other devices?
  • Is it possible to run multiple instances of the Arduino BT on one PC?

Cheers

Shaun

assuming the analog inputs can be used by an on/off button

They can.

Is it possible for the Arduino BT to be recognised as a HID Keyboard by other devices?

I don’t see how. The only communication between the Arduino and the other devices is via Bluetooth. How would the Arduino tell the other device that it was a keyboard?

Is it possible to run multiple instances of the Arduino BT on one PC?

Sure. Each instance creates another COM port.

Hi PaulS

Thank you for your reply.

assuming the analog inputs can be used by an on/off button
They can.

Great.

Is it possible for the Arduino BT to be recognised as a HID Keyboard by other devices?
I don't see how. The only communication between the Arduino and the other devices is via Bluetooth. How would the Arduino tell the other device that it was a keyboard?

This thread, Arduino Forum, and others I have seen, seem to suggest that either the Arduino or the Blutetooth needs a HID driver to be able to emulate a keyboard. I have not seen any documentation that confirms if this driver is present on the board.

If the driver is confirmed not to be present and the idea of using the Arduino BT as a keyboard emulator is flawed, is there any alternatives to sending the "keystrokes" to MAME?

Is it possible to run multiple instances of the Arduino BT on one PC?
Sure. Each instance creates another COM port.

Excellent.

I have not been able to find a supplier of the Arduino BT, are they still being produced? I may need to look at other options anyway.

Cheers

Shaun

I have not seen any documentation that confirms if this driver is present on the board.

On the Arduino board? It is not.

Drivers run on computers, not microcontrollers.

I have not been able to find a supplier of the Arduino BT, are they still being produced?

I don't know. They have been problematic for their entire life. Not too many thoroughly satisfied owners.

I may need to look at other options anyway.

I would.

The Bluetooth controller on the Arduino BT is programmed with the serial profile.

You probably want a standard Arduino with a Bluetooth controller/radio programmed with the HID profile. Sparkfun sells such a device.

Well that rules out the all on one board solution. Bit of a shame, but what can you do.

I have an old Arduino Mega2560 R2 laying around that I could use, but I considered it a waste of an Arduino, but I guess so is leaving one unused!

Is this the one? SparkFun Bluetooth Modem - BlueSMiRF HID - WRL-10938 - SparkFun Electronics

This would actually make the project a little more straight forward as the Mega2560 would not need to act as a HID keyboard so the code on the Mega2560 would just be something like If button on pin 1 is pressed send ASCII code ???? to the Blue SMiRF then the PC would recognise as a key stroke.

Is this correct?

Cheers

Shaun