In case it’s of use to anyone else, the controllers used for Sony’s BUZZ! games are an excellent ‘poor man’s 20-button keypad’ for use with mAirList. Windows recognises the controllers immediately you plug them into a USB port (and briefly flashes all four lamps at startup, and when first ‘recognised’). The controllers are manufactured by Logitech, incidentally.
The 20 buttons can be easily identified in the Game Controllers applet in Control Panel, and you can then assign them as a ‘Joystick’ Remote Control in mAirList to any command(s) you want to use. Personally, I use mine for adjusting cue points. I use each controller for one cue point (Ramp1, Ramp2, Ramp3, and Outro), with the big red button assigned to TEST, and the other four to adjust the cue point +/- 1mS and +/- 10 mS (ten PFL RAMP1 PLUS or MINUS commands ;)).
These controllers can be acquired cheaply second-hand (mine cost me £10), and there is now a wireless version available, which avoids the issue of having to untangle the leads and tape them into a sort of ribbon cable before use.
About the only drawback is that because they are designed to be hand-held, they are a very awkward shape if you want to sit them on a desk or table. Personally, I used an old breakfast cereal packet and lots of white gaffer tape (!) to make a ‘cradle’ to hold them together in one place.
Following up on this old topic …
I have just purchased 3 Buzz controllers from ebay with the view of ‘modifying’ them for various inputs to mAirList however there are also 4 outputs available using these controllers (the lights on the 4 big red buttons).
As Cad mentiones above, Windows recognises these controllers and they can be assigned as a Joystick remote control but would it be possible to add some sort of control of the 4 outputs into mAirList to, for example, trigger an external studio ‘On Air’ light when mAirList is showing OnAir (with an appropriate electronic switching circuit of course)?
But you need to be conversant with writing code to ‘talk to’ USB ports in a language like Visual Basic or Delphi or VB.NET, you need to be happy using AND and OR to do bitwise manipulation, and you also need some way to hook all this up to your desk and/or mAirList.
Not a job for the faint-hearted, nor for non-programmers.
When I get the time, I’ve always meant to write a VB program to use the controllers for their original purpose as ‘quiz buzzers,’ with different response modes like ‘fastest finger first,’ ‘fastest locks out others,’ and so on, with each player having a configurable ‘buzzer’ noise and a GUI showing the operator who pressed first, test modes, reset button, etc., etc. I haven’t done this yet, but I do have some sample VB code somewhere, plus all the documentation. The mapping of buttons and lamps etc. to bits and bytes is fairly insane, treating (I think it’s three?) three bytes of data as on big string of bits.
Switching the four lamps on and off is ‘simply’ a matter of toggling the correct bits in the USB data. :o
All good fun!