The mouSTer project is here

… or one adapter to rule them all

The mouSTer

The mouSTer project was initially described in one of my previous posts as an adapter that will support multiple retro computers. This is a device that allows connecting any USB (not ps/2 protocol type only) mouse to as many old computers as possible.

Testing batch

In mid-summer, Willy/Lamers has managed to manufacture a small testing batch and brought it over to me so I could also start testing it and we’ve started a rather lengthy process of correcting firmware issues.

After a lot of work, Willy finally managed to get the firmware stable and ready for the production batch.

Housing

In the mean-time, I’ve started researching professional housing for the mouSTer. Unfortunately, It turned out as a professional failure. Initially, I wanted to create a model for 3D printing but after a small discussion, we’ve figured out that injection molded cases will be the way nicer solution.

This is when the problem started. We’ve contacted several manufacturers and all were like – Hell yeah! we can do it! however, after sending them our assembled sample boards, they’ve simply given up on this job. This is due to a USB port that would be filled with injected plastic. It simply turned out that the majority of such injection molding businesses, use high-pressure injection technology and we need a low pressure to prevent filling USB port with plastic.

The next step was to check if polyurethane molding will work with this project. This is still ongoing. I will be 3D printing molds and testing it soon.

Also, as a temporary solution, I will be working on a model for 3D printing and will release STL files via blog/webstore.

Until a proper solution is developed, we’ve decided that we will simply use shrink-wrap to secure circuits.

This is how it looks.

Production batch

Finally, the first production batch was ready. It was actually delivered yesterday 🙂

Willy set up a small website where firmware updates and news on progress will be available – http://jil.guru/mouSTer/

The QR code will also take you to this website. On retrohax.net, I will be providing updates and firmware downloads so please keep that in mind as there are more firmware upgrades planned for more hardware support.

To get a current mouSTer config, all you need to do is to connect it to a retro computer with a formatted USB flash drive and wait 3 seconds. This will result in dumping a mouSTer.ini file to this flash drive. You can edit it under a PC and reinsert it to get it uploaded back to mouSTer. Below is an excerpt from a mouSTer.ini file.

; mouSTer - universal USB HID class device to db9 adapter.
; Firmware version 3.8.1743
;
;
;                                           _/_/_/  _/_/_/_/_/                    
;    _/_/_/  _/_/      _/_/    _/    _/  _/            _/      _/_/    _/  _/_/   
;   _/    _/    _/  _/    _/  _/    _/    _/_/        _/    _/_/_/_/  _/_/        
;  _/    _/    _/  _/    _/  _/    _/        _/      _/    _/        _/           
; _/    _/    _/    _/_/      _/_/_/  _/_/_/        _/      _/_/_/  _/            
;
;
; ###############################################################################
; # User Manual                                                                 #
; ###############################################################################
;
; ###############################-Blink-Codes-###################################
;
; mouSTer is communicating with you using MORSE CODE or simply blinking the LED.
; List of possible messages:
;
; Very fast blinking: Bootloader is Active and is waiting for USB drive with new firmware.
; If USB drive is not detected within 2s, main program will be launched.
;
; Normal blinking: Muster is ready, and is awaiting USB HID device (mouse, game pad etc).
;
; HeartBeat: 2 fast blinks and long pause. mouSTer is alive and operational.
;
; SOS: <... --- ...> Critical problem has occurred. Not possible to recover from this state. Only power cycling is possible.
;
; E: <.> An error has occurred. Remove USB device | Check INI file syntax.
;
; R: <.-.> Operation successfully finished. Remove the USB device.
;
; ##############################-Using-an-USB-Drive-##############################
;
; When USB drive is inserted, mouSTer is looking for a 'mouSTer' folder.
; If the folder does not exists, it will be created and opened.
; Then mouSTer is looking for configuration file: 'mouSTer.ini'
; If exists, configuration will be readed and parsed then written to memory.
; If no ini file is present, mouSTer is looking for new firmware file: 'mouSTer.fw'.
; If firmware file if present mouSTer will activate the bootloader, and install new firmware.
; In case if no ini nor firmware is present - mouSTer will write current firmware and this manual
; into 'mouSTer.ini' file.
;
; mouSTer is case insensitive.
;
; mouSTer config   file: '/mouSTer/mouSTer.ini'
; mouSTer firmware file: '/mouSTer/mouSTer.fw'
;
; most up to date information and the latest firmware is always available at: http://Jil.guru/mouSTer

Current and future hardware support

As to hardware support, mouSTer was tested and confirmed fully working with the following computers:

  • Atari ST/STe series
  • Atari Falcon
  • Amiga 500/600/1200
  • Amiga 2000

What we didn’t yet test but should work with mouSTer:

  • Amiga 3000 / 4000
  • 8-bit Atari series – XL/XE
  • Commodore C64 / C128

EDIT: After listening to an excellent “This week in retro” podcast (Cheers guys ;), I’ve realized that I didn’t list Amiga 1000 which should also work. I will test it ASAP as I do have A1000 Phoenix here 😉

It also supports nearly all USB flash drives (config dump and upload), Playstation 4 controller, and nearly every USB mouse. For obvious reasons, all those mouse devices with lots of LEDs and additional electronics might not work due to the poor current output of DB9 ports in old computers. Technically mouSTer supports these devices but there simply won’t be enough juice to power them.

Availability

The first production batch was only 220 units. We are making preparations for a fresh batch very soon.

Currently, the mouSTer adapter will be available at https://retrohax.net and eBay.com through our reseller.

It is available in retrohax.net webstore -> https://retrohax.net/shop/amiga/mouster/

OUTRO

If any of my readers know any solution, hints, or knows where I did mistakes, then please leave a comment here or on FB and Twitter pages.

If you want to get retro gear or hardware modules, please visit our shop -> https://retrohax.net/shop/

Please support our work by commenting here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you want to donate or repair a dead computer then drop me an email. Extreme cases are welcome

63 thoughts on “The mouSTer project is here

  1. Hi,

    I changed the mode and type in the ini and everything worked, from an old HP mouse to new Logitech M525 using a USB receiver, amazing 🙂

    Question: The mouse pointer is slow in Workbench, are there any ini settings that can speed things up?

    Best Regards
    Hans Arvid

    1. I ordered a MouSTer after watching FJC’s YouTube review and can confirm it works perfectly with my Atari 800XL and Logitech M185 in FJC’s Graphical OS implementation.
      Also, I was very impressed with the delivery time, just over 25 hours from collection scan in Gdansk to delivery in Belfast!

      And it has about the easiest firmware update process I’ve seen 🙂

      Thanks

      1. Thanks for warm words 🙂 This is really appreciated, since this project took a bulky toll on us lol 😀

  2. hi, I just got my 2 adapters, thanks. I edited the .ini file to force the mouse mode and define the Amiga mode. Unfortunally, on 7 wireless mouses that I tested, only one work a bit : a Logitech M705 (but the pointer is slow). all other don’t work. I’m a little bit disapointed, I tought it would be the definitiv mouse adapter for retro computers that allow to use almost any mouse out there…. Can you provide a list of working wireless mouse that you tested on the adapter, so I can buy one that is compatible? Thanks and have a nice day.

    1. Hi,

      I assume you a firmware update as suggested ?
      We are investigating this issue as you are not the only one reporting such issues. We’ve tested several mice including several wired and wireless Logitech and didn’t notice any problems but this might be pure coincidence. We are not able to test every mouse out there. Anyway, just please stay tuned for firmware upgrade as there will be more support and fixes in it. Also, slow pointer is due to setting in firmware – you need to set it to your preference.

      1. yes, I did. I understand that you can’t support every mouse, I was just hopping that it will support more mouse than all those other adapter that we can found on the market. On my 7 mouses, 3 are Logitech, one is a labtech, others are various brand. What puzzle me is that I even tried a wired MediaRange mouse, a particular model that work well on the Vampire V4 (and the V4 has the same problem than you, not able to support every mouse) and this particular mouse don’t work. Therefore, I would be thankfull if you can tell me what wireless mouse models you tried with success, so I can buy one that work. Thanks 🙂

        1. No worries, we will figure it out eventually, we just need a bit more time to sort out C64 support and this USB descriptor issue. IMO there is no need to get a new mouse as this is 99% mouSTer firmware issue. We are suspecting that it wrongly detects USB descriptor. I’ll bet that with all your mice buttons are working properly, am I correct?

          1. I have this with 2 mouses, one is recognized, all others don’t do anything, even when clicking. I’m using it on an Amiga 1200.. Can you tell me some models that you tried with success ?

        2. For example this exact mouse with USB descriptor as below was a working one:

          002:004:000:DESCRIPTOR 1612345680.413781
          05 01 09 02 A1 01 09 01 A1 00 05 09 19 01 29 08
          15 00 25 01 75 01 95 08 81 02 05 01 16 01 F8 26
          FF 07 75 0C 95 02 09 30 09 31 81 06 15 81 25 7F
          75 08 95 01 09 38 81 06 05 0C 0A 38 02 95 01 81
          06 C0 C0

          1. I have absolutely no idea what to do with this USB descriptor, I’m only a user 🙂 I was asking about some concrete mouse models that you know that are working with your device, can you give me please 2 or 3 references, so I can buy a mouse and use the interface? Thanks.

        3. Have a look at the YT link that I’ve posted in a reply to you, there is a specific RF model that works without issues.

          1. it’s the only one wireless mouse model know working on your adapter ?I wanted something more like a desktop mouse that can keep good in the hand.

        4. Please, don’t expect us to list every single mouse model that we’ve tested. We need to focus on resolving this issue in firmware so it will work with EVERY mouse.
          However, to name a few from the top of my head:
          Logitech G700s
          2x Logitech anywhere – model unknown
          Stock Dell mice – at least 6 different
          Couple of various noname, chinese mice

          1. well, I just expect you to give me a way to use the 2 adapters that I just bought. I wish I know before ordering that this adaptor is simply not working, I had spared some hard earned money. Sorry, but you sell a product that claim to work, you tell that only some mouse are in fact working, and you refuse to tell me what mouse work. I muss say that I’m not really happy with that.

          2. i just posted a link of this conversation on the french forums, so Amigans will know that your adapter don’t work on Amiga and that you don’t want to give a list of working mice. I just burned almost 60 Euros for nothing. Thanks.

          3. seriously, you gave 2 names, one here and one on the video you pointed out. You sell ad adapter that claim to work on Amiga, the adapter don’t work with all mouses and you refuse to tell wich mouse work. I’m glad not all sellers in Amiga land behave this way…. have a nice day.

        5. Look, we’ve found a bug in the firmware that we are really trying to fix as quick as possible. If you are not satisfied and cannot wait for a fix then please send these two adapters back to me and I will issue a refund you.

          1. Ok, here I have to swallow a little down what I said, beacause I did 2 mistakes : on the 7 mouses that I tested, 2 wasn’t working right for my fault: one didn’t had the right dongle (and I still can’t find the right one, so this mouse can’t be tested) and the second is deffect, mean it doesnt work on another computer. I did many other testing, and I came to the conclusion that the problem is effectivly with the firmware as you said: when I let the mouster in default mode (Atari and auto detect device type), all 5 remaining mouses are recognised like you said previously, that’s mean I can call the menu with a right click and click with the left clik, but the mouse only move weird (expected, because we are in Atari mode). As soon as I switch the adapter to the Amiga mode / mouse mode, 4 of those 5 mouses aren’t recognised at all anymore, meaning that nothing move on the screen and react to a click. Only one work (but a very slow mouse pointer). So, I think that the problem is in the Amiga mode. For the sake of information, I tried those mouses on the HID2AMI adapter and they work well.

        6. I don’t know why, but I cannot reply to your latest post. Anway, No worries.
          The new firmware is already on a website for two days and it corrected that bug.
          Please, update mouSTers with the new firmware and all should start to work as expected.
          http://jil.guru/mouSTer/mouSTer.fw.3.9.1902.zip <— this one corrects the problem

          but I’ve just noticed that Willy already provided even more fresh firmware 1909 with another bug fix – PAD support bug fix

          1. Ok, I tried this one, and I confirm that all my 5 mouses are now working well. I appologies about the latest messages, I think we where not at the same level of discussion. Where I understood that, like all others mouse adapters for Amiga, only a few mouses can work with it, i wanted to know what mouse could work, where you are more on the optic to make an adatper that work with most of the mouses in the wild. I tought that I had to find myself the one that can work on the adapter without any hints, what i found not faire, not understanding that this was a bug affecting most of the mouses and not a compatibility problem. So, I can now certainly recomand your adapter, and will correct my conclusions on the french web pages.

          2. there is still one thing I need to report : with some mouses (but not all), a fresh power on make the adapter unable to recognise the mouse, I have to unplugg it an replugg it, then I got the mouse back. When I unplug and replug the adapter, I have no problem. Only when I power off the Amiga and power it on again. I tried to power on again without delay, and I waited some minutes. It doesn’t change the behavior. Do you have any idea what can cause that?

        7. We were discussing your issue a while ago and the only way to sort it out is to buy exact model as you have and try to figure out what causes such behaviour.
          Could you please let us know which exact model of this mouse is?

          1. update : this is not the power on of the machine that cause the non recognition of the G305 mouse. Sometimes, at power on, the mouse is recognised. When I unplug and replug the mouster when the computer is on, sometimes the mouse isn’t recognised. If I plug it off and replug it, then it’s ok. The success percentage is bigger when I simply unplug and replug that when I totally power off the Amiga and power it on again. Maybe ther is a little timing problem in the initialisation of the dongle ?

        8. Ok, we’ve discussed it a while ago and it looks like it is not a timing issue as USB is event driven. Willy suggested that we can prepare a dedicated firmware for you with some changes, however, this will take a while because we really badly need to spend time on full C64 support. Once that’s done, we will get back to this issue. If I won’t get back to you after we solve C64, please remind me via comment or email. There are so many projects going in parallel that I am a big overloaded recently and might forget about it.

  3. I bought two of these, mainly to use them on my various Amiga systems. They just arrived. Sadly, the Amiga mouse mode doesn’t seem to work. As I move the mouse, the mouse slams across the screen from left to right, then from top to bottom, and stays there. Trying on an Amiga 2000 and an Amiga 600, both the same. Tried with two different USB mice. This is definitely different to when I leave it in Atari mode, when the mouse just diagonally glitches across the screen… So something is changing, but it’s just not right. Quite disappointing to read above that also the C1351 mode doesn’t work for people. Was looking forward to try that too. Anyway, I have 16bit Atari systems too, which I can use, so not very disappointed, but still would be nice to have this fixed. Also tried to update to latest FW, no change. Also, a feature request: can you add a “disable heartbeat” feature to the .ini file, to disable heartbeat blinking (when everything is fine)? The regular blinking can be quite annoying especially if I just use my machine in the dark, and it lights up my desk. Otherwise, really nice tiny adapter, looking forward to further FW updates which will improve it.

    1. Also, just to add to the above, both adapters I received behaves the same, both before and after FW update. So it’s definitely not my computers (both computers work with another type of adapter and a real analog Amiga mouse).

    2. No worries, we are working on C64 mode. This will work with new firmware. As to Amiga. Did you set MOUSE mode and AMIGA mode specifically in INI file?
      Also, did you test different mouse?

      1. Yes, I set it to Amiga mode. First I did not set it to Mouse mode explicitly. But now before answering, I did that in mouSTer.ini, and no change, still as described above. Yes, I tested two difference mice, one is an official Raspberry Pi mouse, the other one is an older Dell optical mouse, 3 buttons + wheel, nothing fancy.

        1. Ok, one more thing. Could you now put an empty flashdrive into it and then check if that setting is indeed set after you’ve put it there? I know it is silly but I did that mistake several times and I would like to confirm that freshly dumped INI file has this setting set.
          For Amiga it has to be set to:
          mode=01
          type=01

          1. OK, I did some more tests – now I also tested with an Amiga 1200 – same behavior as described. The two mouse buttons are recognized actually, because I can go into the Early Startup menu on all the Amiga (by holding down the buttons on boot), but the mouse movement is wrong. It’s like if I move the mouse right and down, the cursor moves right and down “normally”, but if I move it left and up, the mouse cursor starts to move with “double speed” (very fast) towards the right and the bottom instead of the left and up directions. So after the mouse cursor reached the bottom right corner, there’s no way to move it back to the screen. BTW, I tried another Logitech USB mice meanwhile – exactly the same behavior, no change. All three different mice I tried works with another USB adapter I have, and they also work on the USB ports of the Warp1260 card I have in my Amiga 1200. Waiting for more suggestions and/or a firmware update then. Thanks for your great support, btw.

        2. There is a new firmware release -> http://jil.guru/mouSTer/mouSTer.fw.3.9.1902.zip
          Please update mousters and check if your mouse is now working correctly.
          There was one silly bug that prevented certain mice from being properly recognised.
          However, we’ve found another minor bug that blocks LMB in few mice models. This is still being resolved.
          Please, let me know if it worked for you.

          1. Sorry, I was busy with other things. I will test the new firmware ASAP, thanks for the efforts to fix it. Will report back my findings here.

          2. So I tested now with firmware 3.9.1909. My Official Raspberry Pi mouse is now working perfectly. Both buttons, and mouse movements are smooth. However, it doesn’t look this bright with the two other mice I tried. My Logitech RX 250 is not getting recognized at all. Even the LED on the adapter just keeps blinking fast, like the mouse is not recognized at all. Things are better with this older Dell mouse I tried, mouse movement works now, but the buttons are not working. I was actually wrong, this mouse has two additional buttons on the side too, so maybe that has something to do to it. However, none of the buttons do anything, not even the left/right buttons. Since my original intention was to use the adapter with the Official Raspberry Pi mouse (nice and cheap), and that works now, it’s good enough for me. Thanks for the fix. Still, it clearly needs more work until it can support a larger set of mice out there without problems. But the adapter concept is very good, keep it up!

  4. Hi,

    great device. I like the idea of the firmware upload via USB stick, and editing the ini for using a different computer. Works fine on my A1200 with a modern PC mouse.

    Tried it without luck though on my C64 via C1351 mouse mode. The mouse button seems to work, but the moving directions not. Can somebody verify it that it works properly on a C64? You can try Arkanoid II – Revenge of Doh e.g. for testing (Press “C” on the options screen for the Commodore mouse). The adapter/mouse has to be plugged into Port 1.

    1. Hi Ralf,

      Yes, you are correct. C1351 doesn’t work. I’ve played with it under GEOS and I can confirm that only button works but movement doesn’t.
      Willy is currently working on fresh firmware that hopefully will fix this issue. Stay tuned for firmware update. After C64, there is going to be a big update on 8-bit Atari.

  5. Product description indicates that minor hardware changes would be required to work with SEGA consoles. Do you confirm it means that this first batch would not work, regardless of a potential FW update?

    1. Yes, it will definitely NOT work. We will be announcing a separate device once it is ready. However, it might take a while since we still have a lot of work with current mouSTers firmware.

  6. I can design a super compact snap together 3D printable shell for it. Where can I buy one? I have an Atari 800XL to try with too.

  7. How about injection molding with the shrink wrap already on? Then the plastic can’t get into the port!

    1. We were thinking about it but shrink wrap is kinda irregular and it will make hard to fit it into a mold.

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