8bitdo AP40 Apple II Bluetooth Joystick Adapter – first impression

Last year, 8bitdo, a Hong Kong company that specializes in Bluetooth and wireless controllers for retro systems, came out with a special receiver commemorating the Apple II after a successful kickstarter campaign. The key element of this device is the adapter that connects to the joystick port of the Apple II computers and converts it to Bluetooth, allowing the game pad to be used as a joystick on the Apple IIs.

Unfortunately the users found out after receiving them that the joystick didn’t translate the signals correctly and didn’t show any smooth analog values, which rendered several games unusable with the device.

After a few communications with 8bitdo from some Apple II fans, there was an update to the firmware and they added some functionality. This encourage me to get one and test it, before they discontinued the device.
After receiving it immediately paired it to my game pad (a normal 8bitdo controller, not the Apple commemorative) and was pleasantly surprised: the joystick responded pretty well, and was able to play with almost all games from my library.

Overall I like the product a lot, maybe because it enables me to play without cables, or just having both buttons or joystick in the same device, but found very responsive and easy to use.At the end of the video I did some tests with a joystick testing software, and showed almost the same signal than a normal Apple II one does.

There was only one game that didn’t work: Evolution. Will have to keep playing with it.

 

 

About the Author

Javier Rivera

I'm an apple //c fanatic, born in Mexico but living in sunny Miami, FL, the perfect place for retrobrite! I like restoring computers to bring them back to their old glory. Also like to combine new technology with vintage hardware to give new uses to them.