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Protopad Update
Written by Protovision

We are pleased to provide the latest status update of the Protopad to the broader C64 community.

The project has run into multiple issues over the last couple of years. These include the unavailability and skyrocketing cost of FPGA chipsets, inconsistent technical readings during prototype testing, our PCB designer being impacted by the Russia/Ukraine conflict, and difficulty with finding a suitable shell casing for the controller.

But the good news is that we were able to address all of the above and now have a fully working prototype that works on the C64 (the Protopad will also support other platform modes that use the Atari style joystick port). Let us hope we won’t be surprised by new challenges of the magnitude we had to tackle so far!

The development of the Protopad will continue to move forward with the following alterations:

* the controller will now contain a microprocessor, replacing our original FPGA approach
* we have found a professional manufacturer that is known for its high quality controllers as a potential production partner for the case. A SNES-like case seems most likely at the moment.

The prices for both chips and cases have risen dramatically since we ran the initial donation campaign. At this point, we do not know whether or not we will be making a loss when we send Protopad to backers. However, we are still very much invested in this project and are looking forward to delivering the pad to everyone – no matter what it takes.


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