DIY control Pad v1.1.0x
The Aquarius Mini Expander was commonly bundled with the Aquarius, along with a pair of Aquarius Control Pads. But the Control Pads themselve are difficult or expensive to find outside the United States. The goal of this project is to open source the Aquarius Control Pads so that anyone can make their own.
I completed the reverse-engineering of the Aquarius Mini Expander in Fall of 2020, but found that the parts of the system that were VERY difficult to find outside the United States were the Control Pads. The circuitry is not difficult, but the process of completely recreating them is fraught with problems: a flexible mylar control "PCB" is used, the control disc has 16 discreet directions that each have a particular BYTE/DEC value with them that "chording" alone won't solve, etc.
So I set about designing a CHEAP and MAKEABLE version of the Control Pads that anyone with some basic soldering skills could build.
BOM (Bill of materials)
There are a couple of approaches to making an Aquarius Control Panel, but for this one, here are the basics:
3D Printed parts - This includes a base, a top, a disc, and a button cluster. Use four small #2 1/4" screws to hold together, or design your own...
PCB - This is open-sourced in Eagle format, including the SCH schematic file, PCB BRD file, and the Gerber files.
22 @ 6mm through-hole tactile switches (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N6GU7TA)
42 @ 1N4148 through-hole diodes (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YYM1951)
1 @ Pair of Atari/Sega DB9 joystick extension cables (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073Z9ZD7Y)
Miscellaneous - Zip tie to secure cable end to PCB, custom plastic case (design your own) to put the PCB in, etc.
While I will be ALSO working towards a COMPLETE recreation of the original Aquarius Control Pads AND a modular/configurable version, this DIY version is designed to be QUICK and DIRTY.
There will LIKELY be a pre-built, SMD (surface-mount) version of this board that will be made available.
This DIY Aquarius Control Pad will NOT fit in the stock plastic case.
GitHub Repository Link
By using files from this link, you agree to the GNU General Public License v3.0 for this project.