Homepage Forums RetroPie Project Controller Configuration in RetroPie How to test for bad wiring for joysticks or buttons

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    Hi everyone,

    I just built my first cabinet using Zippyy joysticks and led chrome buttons. My joystick and button control interface is the Mini-Pac with harness. Emulation Station recognizes the Mini-Pac, but when I use the GUI button assignment it won’t accept D-Pad right for some reason (on either player one or two). It will take D-Pad up, down, and left. Also, a few of the buttons I can’t assign either. For example, I can assign start but not select. I can’t figure out if this means my joystick right switch is funky (or funky button wiring) or if this is an Emulation Station issue.

    I know that I can manually configure via retroarch, but I don’t know the actual button/joystick variables per switch. If I try a jstest js0, it shows all the switches but when I tap buttons, move joystick, nothing is affected on-screen. I’m wondering if I have a sticky button or bad wiring on one of the switches.

    Any suggestions on how to test each switch in real time to determine if it’s registering a click effectively? Also, I would like to know the variable of each click so I can program that into retroarch config.

    This is my first build and I wouldn’t be surprised if I knocked a wire loose along the way. All the LEDs light up, so I know that part is correct, but those aren’t related to the actual switch functionality. I just don’t know how to find the bad switch. :)

    I have the Windows software to program the Mini-Pac, but I don’t think it allows for “push a switch and we’ll tell you the keyboard assignment” – I was hoping that functionality exists on the Pi either via command line or GUI.

    I’m running the most recent binary install of Retropie on a Pi 3 attached to a Mini-Pac.

    Thanks for reading this long post. I appreciate it!



    If you are doubting the physical wiring, I would suggest just picking up a multimeter and test for continuity.

    If you suspect the mini-Pac, you could maybe use triggerhappy to capture the events that it puts out?
    thd --dump /dev/input/event* would be something to try.


    Sounds like the wiring (most likely the ground wiring) that is bad, plug in on your windows machine and open up notepad and then try the joystick and all the buttons. Since it emulates the keyboard you should see characters or ctrl/alt and so on for all directions and buttonpresses. If you do not get that for all then the wiring is probably off somewhere in the chain.


    Thanks guys!

    I’ll test and report back. The Mini-Pac, while an awesome unit, is not super plug-and-play Retropie friendly. I’ll bet my issue, though, is a ground wire.

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