Starting in August 2022, I embarked on a journey to take some of the work that FeralAI (https://github.com/FeralAI/GP2040-Config-PicoFightingBoard/) was doing with the Raspberry Pi Pico as a Fighting Board and bring it to the next level; specially I wanted a PCB that had the Pico circuitry integrated into it, this way it looked and felt like a polished final product. The idea was simple: if the fit and finish was like the Brook PCBs, all the accessories on the market would just work with them and installation would be a snap. We could finally have a Fighting Board that was super-fast, community supported, you can tinker with it, and wouldn’t break the bank. I think I managed to accomplish this with my version of the Pico Fighting Board – The Integrated Pico Fighting Board or IPFB (catchy name, right?!). Along the way I found out that FeralAI had moved on from the project and the community picked it up, created a fork, and a lot of smart people have moved it along. The current GP2040-CE Community manager, TheTrain, is doing an excellent job coordinating things.
The IPFB uses the same foot print and relative placement of connects as most Brook Fighting Boards and the Akishop PS360+ by design. This is meant to be a direct drop in to fight sticks and systems that use wiring and connections the FGC and most stick builders have come to use over the past decade. All connectors are JST PH with the exception of the 20 pin header which uses a dual row, 2.54mm pitch, male pin connector, and the JST XH connector behind the USB-B plug as an alternate USB cable connection point. The board has a number of vias to reduce ground plane impedance between the top and bottom ground planes.
Version 2.0 Update
None of these updates render the previous version "worse" for normal use. The 2.0 Version addresses a couple of design changes, as follows:
- Replaced the onboard crystal with an oscillator to ensure no long term issues with crystals. None have had an issue to this point but its better to improve on designs when possible.
- Removed the inline resistors for the LEDs (P1-4 and Turbo). This will let you repurpose those pins for non-LED functions if you choose.
- Switched the 5 pin header for the RGB function to a 3 pin header for ease.
- Re-aligned all the screw terminals for a tighter fit with the brand we use.
A great source of information on the pinouts, connections, and design can be found in the JasensCustomsIPFBOverview-V1.1 overview document.
Each IPFB will be fully assembled, minus the debug/X14/USB BOOT pin headers, and loaded with at least version 0.60 of the GP2040-FW. Please ensure you validate the pin settings upon install for Turbo, Turbo LED, and RGB data at the very least.
GP2040-CE Open Source Firmware
The brains of the IPFB is the fantastic GP2040-CE Open Source Firmware. It is managed by @TheTrain and all of the important details regarding the firmware, its use and changes can be found on the website: https://gp2040-ce.info/ this website is updated very regularly so I encourage you to check it out for yourself. Any information posted here could very well be out dated within a few hours! The high points are:
- The firmware supports PC, MiSTer, Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 legacy mode.
- There is an awesome Web Configurator for the PCB that lets you tweak settings, assign pins to various functions, and more.
- The Open Source Firmware does support indexable RGB LEDs – the IPFB has a connector so you can take advantage of it.
- The board using the GP2040-CE has been validated to have less than 1ms of lag using WyD’s testing techniques.
When updating your IPFB please use the Pico Fighting Board version of the firmware they post. This requires the least amount of reconfiguring in the web configurator to use with the IPFB. Specifically, on the IPFB:
- The TURBO LED pin is connected to GPIO 23
- The TURBO BUTTON is connected to GPIO 28
- RGB LED Data is connected to GPIO 15
Support the GP2040-CE Community by:
- Visiting their website: https://gp2040-ce.info
- Joining their Discord Server: https://discord.gg/g87cDH3nVJ
- Following the community manager, TheTrain, on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/TheTrain24
Please review the JasensCustomsIPFBOverview-V1.1 over view document. This has more information than you can ever know!
Thank you to those that helped me test the builds!
- The Real Phoenix
- Black Majic
Thanks to TheTrain for the discussions both technical and otherwise during the development.
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Got my IPFB today!
So far, I'm impressed. I think this is actually a close to idiot-proof PCB in some ways! As long as you stay on the trail of the Grand Canyon, the donkey (PCB) doesn't kick you in the nuts! I like the fact that most of the existing Brook-compatible harnesses transfer over fine. The lack of LS-DP-RS switch doesn't bug me; you can set that with emulation like with the Brook PCBs OR leave the stick mode in whatever you set it in firmware configuration settings. The manual inputs to reset between stick modes are practically the same between the IPFB and the Brook boards. I like that the wheel wasn't reinvented and my existing cable accessories for the 4-pin and 5-pin harness work with this Pico FB.
Seriously, I had more problems debugging some wiring issues -- I got sent a SCREWED-UP JLF Harness a long time ago where nearly ALL the wires were put in the wrong order and I had to figure out how to plug it in to use it correctly! (Yes, I'm that obstinate, stingy, and stubborn to waste my time like that! I finally figured out what I had was a screwed up Sanwa JLF harness put together by a likely drunk line worker and NOT a messed up Seimitsu harness!)
The other issue was wire traffic control inside the controller. I chose to use the screw terminals and save some $$$ not buying the 20-pin harness because I had everything I needed! I think I would have still had a wire management/bundling/spacing issue even with the 20-pin harness. I got tons of new practice stripping and setting up wires for buttons at any rate!
The Integrated Pico PCB is in a modded TE case with all Seimitsu parts (except the 24mm Sanwa buttons). It's working very well so far. I''m impressed by the turbo. I think it performs better than the Turbo function on the Brook Fighting Boards I own. It seems faster and steadier. Directional inputs on the joystick are fine (once I debugged the stick harness issue!) and the buttons are all reading correctly.
I highly recommend printing out the schematics for the Pico PCB so you know where to plug things in IF you use the screw terminals like I did. Glad to see the screw terminal was screw-down and not that crazy "tighten-UP" elevator terminal business Brook uses on their fighting boards!
I was looking over the set-up information and it looks like you may want to set D-Pad mode to "Left (Analog) Stick" when you set up your Integrated Pick Fighting Board.
By default, most fighting games use D-Pad or Left Analog Stick for directions.
However, I've noticed that when you boot into many emulators on PC, they require Left Stick for directional input. For whatever reasons, D-Pad (digital pad mode) doesn't work.
I know with my Brook Board joysticks that have EZ Mod (or when I use my last stock Mad Catz TE joystick with the Brook PS3=>PS4 converter), I have the stick mode set to Left Analog BEFORE I plug in my USB cord. You can't reset the joystick otherwise and will have to unplug and re-plug in again AFTER resetting stick mode to "LS."
This is not an issue with the Brook Board on its own (ie, no EZ Mod hardware installed). The Brook Board boots in D-Pad by default but you can reset it digitally to "LS" mode by holding START button and selecting Left Stick mode (START + LEFT joystick input).
These are little quirks you find out on your own.
The D-Pad Mode has never affected my Hori or MC Cthulu joysticks. The MC Cthulu PCB by default is D-Pad AND Left Stick mode simultaneous so you never have to switch modes. The Hori LS-DP-RS Mode works like it should and you don't have to futz with unplugging cords to switch between modes.
I have to admit --
I'm VERY tempted to get this to refresh a current joystick (likely one of my modded Agetecs) in the near-future!
Looking over the documentation, it pretty much does everything the existing PS3/PS4 Board+ does at half the price. And no soldering necessary! This is looking better than the Zero-Pi options for sure.
I was concerned about the LS-DP-RS stick function but it looks like it does that like the PS3/PS4+ but using SEL+START+Joystick Direction to select Stick Mode instead of START+Joystick Direction. Eh, one more button! I can live with the minor inconvenience!
Great price. I'm using it with the Panzer 4 and connects easily with the EZ board.
An amazing and affordable alternate to a Brook fighting board, and is competitive with other Pico Board sellers. Works perfectly with the wiring and EZ board included with the Panzer 4 case, and can be dual-modded to work in conjunction with other fighting boards. This board offers the lowest input latency, even when compared to the UFB. Updates are being provided by the community as this operates via open-source software. Installation and update instructions are provided; even if you lose the QR code there are links/PDFs within the product description. A premium quality board at a shockingly low price.