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Harmony with Paddles - need help


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#1 Pilsner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2011 10:29 PM

I am having some problems being able to run my Harmony when I am using paddles as my main controller. I can go back and forth on the paddle to move the selection cursors but can't seem to get the fire button to always work to select a folder/game.

I have tried two sets of paddles (one an old so-so set and the other new from Best with their pot upgrade) and both exhibt the same behavior. I can scroll down to menu items, press fire and nothing, then press fire again and still nothing. Is their a trick to using the paddles to navigate harmony menus?

The paddles do work sometimes in the menu enough to get into a game that uses paddles, in the game they work fine with the fire button responding normally.

Edited by Pilsner73, Thu Mar 3, 2011 10:51 PM.


#2 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 4, 2011 1:07 AM

The game should start when you release the fire button.

What happens if you press the button longer? Does the long file display show?

#3 Pilsner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 4, 2011 7:27 PM

The game should start when you release the fire button.

What happens if you press the button longer? Does the long file display show?


This is how I am currently using the paddles and harmony meny system. I turn the paddle to get it to the menu item I wasn and then just press the fire button on that item and usually nothing happens or it works and goes into the next folder but then again nothing.

#4 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 4, 2011 7:38 PM

I have found that I do need to use a trick to get paddles to work in the menu system, maybe try this:

Let's say you have three games on a list and you want to select the middle game. I find that when the menu begins, the [..] back to previous menu item at the top starts out as being the item currently selected.

If I begin turning the paddle, it seems that I need to turn the paddle a significant portion of one rotation before the selector moves down the list. If I keep turning it until it is highlighting the middle game, the one I want to launch, it won't work when I hit Fire.

What I seem to need to do is actually reverse slightly, go a little backward on the paddle, as if to "center" the selector, and then hitting Fire launches the game.

I am guessing there's some middle potentiometer value that the menu needs to receive before it will register what you are wanting to happen, even though it is selected on screen.

So my trick is scroll down to what you want, then reverse a little without moving back up the list, then hit Fire.

#5 Pilsner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 4, 2011 8:16 PM

I have found that I do need to use a trick to get paddles to work in the menu system, maybe try this:

Let's say you have three games on a list and you want to select the middle game. I find that when the menu begins, the [..] back to previous menu item at the top starts out as being the item currently selected.

If I begin turning the paddle, it seems that I need to turn the paddle a significant portion of one rotation before the selector moves down the list. If I keep turning it until it is highlighting the middle game, the one I want to launch, it won't work when I hit Fire.

What I seem to need to do is actually reverse slightly, go a little backward on the paddle, as if to "center" the selector, and then hitting Fire launches the game.

I am guessing there's some middle potentiometer value that the menu needs to receive before it will register what you are wanting to happen, even though it is selected on screen.

So my trick is scroll down to what you want, then reverse a little without moving back up the list, then hit Fire.


You know that seems to fit the issue I'm having. I thought at first it was the old paddles I was using even though I cleaned them up not working right but when it's happening with new ones from Best with their new pot upgrade and it still did it but not as bad.

So either both paddles are too jittery (doubtful since in games they seem pretty good) or like you said the paddle needs to be aligned just right. I'll give it a try next time I fire up the 2600.

Edited by Pilsner73, Fri Mar 4, 2011 8:24 PM.


#6 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:23 AM

So my trick is scroll down to what you want, then reverse a little without moving back up the list, then hit Fire.

This is how it worked initially. But we changed the behavior with a later BIOS update. Now you can directly select a game with the paddle.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch, Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:28 AM.


#7 Pilsner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:33 AM


So my trick is scroll down to what you want, then reverse a little without moving back up the list, then hit Fire.

This is how it worked initially. But we changed the behavior with a later BIOS update. Now you can directly select a game with the paddle.


Really because I just bought my Harmony a few months ago brand new so I figure it has the latest bios.

#8 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:41 AM

What version does it display?

#9 Pilsner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 7, 2011 6:06 PM

What version does it display?


Sorry for the delay, appears to be 1.05 on my lcd tv.

#10 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 8, 2011 6:00 AM

That's the latest BIOS version.

I am still a bit confused. Is your problem that you cannot position the cursor correctly with the paddles. Or that the selected game doesn't start when you press (and release!) the fire button?

What happens if you press the button longer? Then Harmony should display the full file name on an extra page until you release the button.

#11 Pilsner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 8, 2011 6:52 AM

That's the latest BIOS version.

I am still a bit confused. Is your problem that you cannot position the cursor correctly with the paddles. Or that the selected game doesn't start when you press (and release!) the fire button?

What happens if you press the button longer? Then Harmony should display the full file name on an extra page until you release the button.


It's hard to get the harmony to accept the fire button press at times. Sometimes it works OK and others it's tricky. I do try to turn the paddle a bit then press fire if it's not accepting the command to get it to work.

#12 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 8, 2011 9:39 AM

It's hard to get the harmony to accept the fire button press at times. Sometimes it works OK and others it's tricky. I do try to turn the paddle a bit then press fire if it's not accepting the command to get it to work.

Turning the paddle a bit doesn't make any difference. Or does the cursor jump up and down? Else it must be your fire button.

#13 Pilsner73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 8, 2011 11:30 AM

I have tried two different sets of paddles (one older, another new from Best Electronics) and they work fine in games for firing and movement. Seems better yesterday as for picking games and all that but not as good as the joystick.

Edited by Pilsner73, Fri Apr 8, 2011 11:33 AM.


#14 wongojack OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:41 AM

I just got my Harmony last night and I can't select games or menu items with the paddle fire button. I just read this thread so I'll try the suggestion made to adjust slightly, and I'll check my firmware version - but my cart literally just arrived yesterday so it should be up to date.

My paddles are old, but I've never noticed an issue with the button press. I'll try Solar Storm and Encouter L5 tonight and see if the button is supsect, but you can chalk this up as a 3rd set of paddles that is exhibiting the same behavior as described in this thread.

Edited by wongojack, Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:42 AM.


#15 wongojack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:03 AM

Update - I am using bios 1.05

I played around with the menu selection and the paddles and here is what I found:

My harmony boots to the root of the SD card which has a single folder called "ROMS" This gives me 2 selection options on the initial screen [.] and [ROMS]

The paddles have a hard time selecting either of these options, but if I rotate the paddle through its full range of motion pressing the button in and out the entire time I will eventually select one or the other. Once I get into the ROMS folder, I have a hard time being precise with the paddle, but the button works the first time I push it every time.

I think that there might be a problem here because my initial screen simply has too little on it. It seems I need to rotate the knob to the zone where the ROMS folder actually exists - the rest of the time, I am just selecting nothing.

I'll experiment with more folders on the boot screen and some actual ROMs that I can launch and report back.

#16 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:54 PM

I think that there might be a problem here because my initial screen simply has too little on it. It seems I need to rotate the knob to the zone where the ROMS folder actually exists - the rest of the time, I am just selecting nothing.

Ah, I think I got you now.

Yes, if there are e.g. only two entries in a directory, the paddle can easily be moved below the last entry. This area is used for going to the next page, but since there is no next page, nothing happens. Also pushing the button in this area will result into nothing. And if your paddle has some jitter, you may often unintentionally move to this area while trying to select the last entry. Could that be your problem?

Anyway, I suggest that you start selecting the first entry and then slowly turn the paddle clockwise to go to next one(s). Hope that helps.

#17 flammingcowz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:57 AM

I have problems also. When I turn it on with a paddle connected the page scrolls rapidly because I have more then one page of folders on the root. I have to move the paddle all the way up and down a couple times before I can get it steady enough to pick a folder. Then when i'm in one, it scrolls so fast that it's hard to go back a page.

Sorry for bumping an old topic

Edited by flammingcowz, Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:57 AM.


#18 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:12 PM

How do paddle games work for you? E.g. in Kaboom!, how much do you have to turn the paddle to go from on side to the other?

#19 flammingcowz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:27 AM

Probably a quarter turn or less on Kaboom! to go from one side to the other. I have 2 paddles, one heavy sixer and one normal. The normal ones jitter and have the problem, and the heavy sixers don't jitter and also have the same problem.

#20 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:31 AM

The same turn value here. And I can easily select the games.

It is really weird. Several people are complaining, but I never can repeat the problems they are reporting. So may I describe again how it works and what I do.

The paddle area is divided into three sections:
left (top): move to the previous page (or -10 pages if fire is pressed)
middle: position over a game visible on screen
right (bottom): move to the next page (or +10 pages if fire is pressed)

When the paddle is in the left or right area, you cannot select any game. The end of the middle area is fixed. This means, if there are less than 10 entries on the current page, there is an area towards the right, where you neither can select a game or scroll to the next page.

To select a game, press and release fire without moving the paddle in between.

Now, when you startup Harmony, the paddle is in some random position, most likely outside the middle area. If there is more than one page to display you will notice that immediately. If there is only one page, you may not be aware of that.

So, first you have to find the middle section. Move the paddle left or right to the end (note: the left area is much larger than the right one) and then slowly revert until you find the cursor reacting. Move it a bit left and right so that you can adapt to the sensitivity of the paddle and the size of the center area (BTW: the same size as in Kaboom!). Then start to navigate.

I hope that helps, because I am pretty much lost regarding the problems reported.




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