Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 23, 2012.

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Easily connect arcade controls to your favourite consoles and computers with our ground breaking open source device.

Get the news about the continuing KADE project, community discussion, and general sales at kadevice.com

KADE is an open source arcade interface which has been designed to make it easy to connect arcade controls to your favourite consoles and computers. This is achieved using a ground breaking combination of open source firmware, open hardware, and a free software loader.

KADE already has support for systems including:

  • USB/HID Joystick (Windows, Linux, Mac, Android)
  • USB/HID Keyboard (Windows, Linux, Mac, Android)
  • Playstation 1
  • Playstation 2
  • Playstation 3
  • Original Xbox
  • MAME and Pinball

Plus there are additional systems supported when KADE is coupled with a low cost adaptor. Systems including Xbox 360, Gamecube, Wii, Dreamcast and many more.

We are calling for the community of arcade enthusiasts, stick builders and retro gamers to embrace KADE and we encourage them to get involved and contribute their ideas.

We hope that the open source nature of our device will accelerate the development process and help us to introduce new features and fast-track support for other systems and products.  We already have a beta tester using the open hardware to build his own hardware features into a custom board.

Background

KADE was born as a solution to the various problems that we had faced when interfacing arcade controls to our own projects.

Kevin has built many arcade cabinets and before KADE, he relied on soldering pad hacks to wire the controls to a wide range of consoles.  He didn't like that most DIY arcade builders he was helping were not able to predictably solder gamepads creating a barrier to using consoles in cabinets.  Jon worked on several interface solutions before KADE including various controller and adaptor hacks as well as an AVR keyboard encoder - a predecessor to KADE.  These solutions were all very limited in scope.  Bruno built the open source open hardware RetroPad Adapter and was happy to collaborate with Jon and Kevin in the spirit of open hardware and software.

These earlier attempts at developing an interface were frustrating but very necessary, it was a great learning curve for us.  Kevin adapted his Architecture based CAD skills to PCB board design using Eagle (with Bruno's guidance),  Jon learned how to develop AVR/GCC with microcontrollers and Bruno with his sound knowledge of retro consoles and track record of making retro gamepad adapters is now applying his skills to KADE.

We are launching a project, not just a product.

As a team, and with the support of the community, we see no limit to what can be achieved.  If we can get just a bit of momentum, we will work with the community to create more Open Source arcade solutions for all sorts of gaming needs.  We built the KADE to do what we want as well as what we think the community wants.  We are looking forward to adding features as a broader group of folks are using it.

You can rest assured that KickStarter funds will be invested straight back into the project.  

"The main goal of my involvement in the project is to make it so we can support buying new hardware and software to continue to push Open Source arcade and emulation hardware." - Kevin

USB Enabled AVR Microcontroller

The brains of KADE is a USB enabled AVR.  For the initial launch we have decided to use a Minimus AVR which is powered by an Atmel micro-controller (either AT90USB162 or ATMEGA32U2).

There is scope to use other development platforms too!  We've already beta tested Loader support for Arduino and the Arduino Pro Mini boards.  Depending on feedback, we may develop firmware support for Arduino in the future.

Arcade PCB

The arcade PCB has been designed as a breakout board to make wiring easy with the standard sized screw terminals. The AVR itself can be easily unplugged from the Arcade PCB for programming after the device is fitted into an arcade cabinet or fight stick.

Early KADE Arcade PCB prototype (older design)
Early KADE Arcade PCB prototype (older design)

 The KADE hardware is open source too. The schematics and build instructions will be made available for DIY’ers who want to build their own devices. Kits will also be available for those who need a little help to get started.

You'll be surprised to hear that there are some early adopters of KADE technology who are already developing their own extension boards to integrate KADE with external peripherals and enabling remote control operation.

Firmware 

We have developed a collection of firmwares that can be programmed to the KADE device to make it work with various systems. 

All the firmwares will be made open source. If you know how to adapt the code and compile, you can make changes as you see fit as long as you follow the open source licensing.  Firmware will be released under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation.http://www.gnu.org/licenses/

Loader and Customiser

KADE Loader is free software that allows you to easily load any of the KADE firmwares onto the AVR via USB.  Simply select a firmware and load it to the KADE device with one button press!  The loader is free but is not open sourced. It is written for Windows and works fine on VMWare running Windows on Mac OSX.   

KADE Loader has extensive customisation options that put you firmly in control. You get to choose the system (from those supported) and the functions that suit your specific project.

More advanced users may wish to customise the KADE to work with their control panel.  This is easy to do, just pick a function, from those available, and map it to one of the available pins on the KADE.

The KADE has 20 pins (labelled A1-A10 and B1-B10) and each can be assigned to an input function.  There is also a shift pin (labelled HWB).  When a button is used with the shift pin it activates a shifted mode and a further 20 pins giving a total of 40 customisable inputs.

Early KADE Arcade PCB prototype (older design)
Early KADE Arcade PCB prototype (older design)

KADE supports all of the regular controller inputs and also introduces some of its own functions that you would not find on the original controller.  
Here is a list of the functions currently provided for Xbox. Expect similar functions on the other systems. Each of these functions can be assigned to an input on the KADE encoder. 

1) D-Pad Up
2) D-Pad Down
3) D-Pad Left
4) D-Pad Right
5) A Button
6) B Button
7) X Button
8) Y Button
9) Left Trigger
10) Right Trigger
11) Black Button
12) White Button
13) Start Button
14) Back Button
15) Left Thumb Button
16) Right Thumb Button
17) Left Analog Stick - Up
18) Left Analog Stick - Down
19) Left Analog Stick - Left
20) Left Analog Stick - Right
21) Right Analog Stick - Up
22) Right Analog Stick - Down
23) Right Analog Stick - Left
24) Right Analog Stick - Right
25) Exit Game (Combination of Start and Back Buttons)
26) Exit to Dashboard (Combination of Triggers, Back and Black)
27) Invert Y Axis of Analog Sticks
28) D-Pad Restrict to 4-Way Operation
29) D-Pad Restrict to 2-Way Horizontal
30) D-Pad Restrict to 2-Way Vertical
31) Auto Fire - A Button
32) Auto Fire - B Button
33) Auto Fire - X Button
34) Auto Fire - Y Button
35) Connect external LED to this pin
36) Connect external +5V peripheral to this pin (e.g. relay)
37) Put KADE in program mode for firmware update

*Plus there are lots of other combo and emu specific functions that are not listed,  and more functions being developed as you are reading this!

KADE Loader has auto-update built in so you will benefit from new features and additional firmwares automatically as soon as we make them available.

We have an excellent compliment of skills and work together really well,  despite being thousands of miles apart and working in different timezones!  
We would love to meet and share a beer someday.

Jon Wilson (UK)

Jon is a software guy with over 20 years programming experience and he likes to make electronic things. Prior to KADE he spent much of his spare time building arcade machines. 

Jon has previously engaged with the arcade community to develop a USB multi-function keyboard encoder, built with similar technology to KADE.

Jon produced a video guide to building an arcade cabinet.

Bruno Freitas (Brazil)

Bruno is a software engineer who recently discovered the beauty of micro-controllers. He's an avid retro gamer and he's about to have an old dream come true: having his own arcade machine. It will be powered by KADE, of course! 

Bruno is an open source and open hardware enthusiast. Among his works, the ones which most stand out are:

  • Wii RetroPad Adapter - An old controllers adapter for the Nintendo Wii
  • USB RetroPad Adapter - An old controllers adapter for PCs and PS3
  • RetroVGA - A VGA scanline generator

Bruno is also very proud of being part of the KADE Encoder core development team.

Kevin Mackett (US)

Kevin has over 20 years experience in software development and educational technology. He grew up playing in arcades and build his first home arcade cabinet back in the 90s.

Kevin enjoys supporting DIY home arcade projects by sharing his arcade control, cabinet, and emulation knowledge especially when the xBox and coinops are involved. Prior to KADE he spent way too much time doing pad hacks getting his xBox, x360, dreamcast, PS2, PC, Android phone/tablet, and Mac hooked up to arcade controls.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Hardware- Parts
Most of the parts used in the KADE are readily available from multiple sources. We have already purchased enough AVR's to cover a complete reward sell out.

Hardware- PCB fabrication
We have settled on http://oshpark.com/ for our fabrication house because doing larger orders helps support the small order business that makes PCB fabrication affordable. If OSH Park has trouble manufacturing the PCB’s we have three other fabrication options to choose from.

Hardware- assembly.
Jon, Bruno, or Kevin will personally solder your Kickstarter reward KADE. Since each of us has experience doing this kind of work, if one of us has assembly issues, the others are prepared to pick up the slack.

KADE has been in the works for a few months and the software and hardware has gone through a number of revisions and testing cycles. While every feature we plan on adding to the KADE hasn’t yet been implemented, backers who choose a KADE for a reward will be receiving a completed product that will likely have additional features added after the release!

Jon, Bruno, and Kevin bring a combined experience in hardware and software development as well as project and product management that is well suited to bring a project like KADE together and deliver rewards on time. We have done similar scale hardware development including gaming related devices as well as and large scale software development. Together, We are confident We will be able to complete the Kickstarter on time and within budget.

FAQ

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    Be a proud sponsor and wear your KADE T-Shirt with pride. A £15 (approx $24) pledge will bag you an official KADE T-Shirt in red with the KADE logo on front. Size is Men's XL. - - Price includes free International shipping. - -

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    Super Early Backer Bonus... Back us early with a pledge of £16 (approx $26) and you can bag a KADE Encoder for a 1 Player cabinet or arcade stick. These are the same super high quality purple boards, but you get a special reward for helping us to get this project rolling. Give yourself a pat on the back. Be quick though, we only have 5 of these rewards! We will also bundle in a free premium license for the advanced KADE Loader software. The unlock code will be delivered by email. - - Price includes free International shipping. - -

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    Support the KADE project with a £20 (approx $32) pledge and receive a complete KADE encoder for a 1 player cabinet or arcade stick with a super high quality, limited edition, purple PCB. The purple PCB's are extra special (400% more production cost than our regular boards) and will be unique to KickStarter. Also unique to KickStarter is the inclusion of a free premium license for the advanced KADE Loader software. The unlock code will be delivered by email. *** Price includes free International shipping ***

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    Support the KADE project with a £32 (approx $51) pledge and receive a KADE T-Shirt in red, XL and a complete KADE encoder for a 1 player cabinet or arcade stick with a super high quality, limited edition, purple PCB. The purple PCB's are extra special (400% more production cost than our regular boards) and will be unique to KickStarter. Also unique to KickStarter is the inclusion of a free premium license for the advanced KADE Loader software. The unlock code will be delivered by email. *** Price includes free International shipping ***

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    Support the KADE project with a £35 (approx $56) pledge and receive complete KADE encoders for a 2 player cabinet or arcade stick with a super high quality, limited edition, purple PCB. The purple PCB's are extra special (400% more production cost than our regular boards) and will be unique to KickStarter. Also unique to KickStarter is the inclusion of the free premium license for the advanced KADE Loader software. The unlock code will be delivered by email. *** Price includes free International shipping ***

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    Need KADE x 2 for your project? The original 2P reward has sold-out in the first day and we really want to make more T-Shirts so we came up with a new special reward. Support the KADE project with a £45 (approx $72) pledge and receive an official KADE T-Shirt in red with KADE logo on front and complete KADE encoders for a 2 player cabinet or arcade stick with a super high quality, limited edition, purple PCB. The purple PCB's are extra special (400% more production cost than our regular boards) and will be unique to KickStarter. Also unique to KickStarter is the inclusion of the free premium license for the advanced KADE Loader software. The unlock code will be delivered by email. *** Price includes free International shipping. We will aim to get these out in late January. ***

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    A new console specific reward for Xbox console (not 360). Need KADE x 2 for your Xbox project and love our T-shirts. Well this is your lucky day. We came up with a new special reward. Support the KADE project with a £55 (approx $89) pledge and receive an official KADE T-Shirt in red with KADE logo on front, complete with 2 Xbox to USB adapter cables and KADE encoders for a 2 player cabinet or arcade stick with a super high quality, limited edition, purple PCB. The purple PCB's are extra special (400% more production cost than our regular boards) and will be unique to KickStarter. Also unique to KickStarter is the inclusion of the free premium license for the advanced KADE Loader software. The unlock code will be delivered by email. *** Price includes free International shipping. We will aim to get these out in late January. ***

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    A custom built bartop arcade machine - UK shipping only. A fully functional bartop arcade machine for 2 players, powered by 2 KADE encoders, with 2 sets of controls and customised to your chosen theme. Comes with 2 KADE T-Shirts. This will be a heavy item and shipping is not included. Buyer to arrange collection in East Yorkshire or pay actual UK only shipping.

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    A custom built bartop arcade machine- US shipping only. A fully functional bartop arcade machine for 2 players, powered by 2 KADE encoders, with 2 sets of controls and customised to your chosen theme. Comes with 2 KADE T-Shirts. This will be a heavy item and shipping is not included. Buyer to arrange collection in Denver or pay actual US only shipping.

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