What is the A’can? (Pronounced Awe-Ken) It is a Taiwan made console released in 1995, promptly failed, and all information about the system was destroyed, literally. The issue? On paper, the system is decent, 68000 processor, custom graphics, hardware zooming, lots of sprites, custom music/sound chip. However, look at the year. 1995, by 1994, the Playstation was already released in Japan and by late 1995 in the US. Also in 1994/1995 the Sega Saturn was released. By 1996, the Nintendo 64 was released, so, a 16 bit console in a 64 bit, polygon based world was just not going to cut it. All the remaining stock was scrapped or dumped into the US market. All diagrams and tooling were destroyed, and all the engineers and designers are held to their original non-disclosure agreements. Where do I come in? I was asked by Brandon over at Super Fighter Team to see if I could improve the sound output and if there is a way to make a SNES or other common controller compatible with the A’can. Long story short, the answer is YES, this page and videos below document what I found with the A’can controller pinout, signaling, and timing.
Pinout and Conversion
The controller pinout and a conversion to SNES is detailed below:
Like the SNES, the A’can only uses 5 lines. +5V, Ground, Clock, Data, and Latch. The colors are what are internal to the A’can controller.
The timing and signalling is virtually the same as a SNES with the exception of Select/Start and A, but A seems to work…
A huge shoutout to fpga lover, which has the timing diagrams and much more for many systems.
I will post individual captures later, but you get the idea with my video below:
When I have the convertor cable completed, I will repeat these scope captures and compare.
The scope captures below are in the same order as the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom timing:
Photos of a dirty A’can