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Atari 2600 or the Coleco Gemini?

ATARI 2600 COLECO GEMINI

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#26 Underball OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:20 AM

I notice you keep using the word "irrelevant" every time I bag you making things up to justify your opinion. LOL.

Demonstrating when someone is flat-out lying is always relevant. It points to motive.

I like the Coleco Gemini design better. I detailed why I like the differences. I'm sorry you're taking my opinions of a 30 year old hunk of plastic and cheap electronics so personally. You really don't have to embellish so much.

#27 20ohm20 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:30 AM

I have a pretty beat up Gemini that works, except that the right joystick port is wonky. Intermittently you cannot go down or right with a joystick, an easy fix, I just haven't gotten around to doing it yet. Besides, I don't have any of the actual Gemini joystick/paddle controllers to go with it...

#28 MaximRecoil OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:47 AM

I notice you keep using the word "irrelevant" every time I bag you making things up to justify your opinion. LOL.


No, I used the word "irrelevant" whenever you typed something irrelevant; obviously; such as when you talked about the original purpose of the grill, which is irrelevant to its appearance (i.e., its appearance is the same regardless of its original purpose).

Demonstrating when someone is flat-out lying is always relevant. It points to motive.


I haven't lied about anything, but you have lied twice now in this very post.

I like the Coleco Gemini design better. I detailed why I like the differences. I'm sorry you're taking my opinions of a 30 year old hunk of plastic and cheap electronics so personally. You really don't have to embellish so much.


Is that a joke? You first replied to me, taking issue with my post about the aesthetics of the two consoles in question.

By the way, are you still claiming that the VCS switches are hollow? Are you still claiming that you can get them at Radio Shack?

#29 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:55 AM

I dunno, I think the gemini is a pretty attractive little system for its age. This thread has really made me want one. Sad to hear about the compatibility and durability issues, though.

My current favorite of the 2600 lineup (in terms of looks) would have to be the telegames 6-switch. I like the wood grain and colors on it, but stepping back and evaluating it, it kind of looks like an all-in-one 8-track player.

Edited by Reaperman, Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:57 AM.


#30 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:00 PM

I prefer the Darth Vader in terms of color scheme, and the 2600jr in terms of overall design. If you disagree, then clearly your feet smell like stale pop-tarts and your parents are proof that cousins shouldn't marry.

#31 NinjaWarrior OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:21 PM

I love my Vader & Jr....

#32 Underball OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:30 PM

I prefer the Darth Vader in terms of color scheme, and the 2600jr in terms of overall design. If you disagree, then clearly your feet smell like stale pop-tarts and your parents are proof that cousins shouldn't marry.

LOL.

#33 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:04 PM

Having just acquired a Coleco Gemini, I haven't had a chance to use it except for the controllers.
(I still haven't found anything that compares with a heavy Sixer's vibrant color, and I doubt this will.)
The Coleco Gemini controllers, although feeling very cheap, are pretty nice!
They gave me great control when I tested them with Jr. Pac Man. The joystick clicks easily into all eight positions, and the short throw makes cornering easy.
I tested the paddles with kaboom, and they work okay, but sound like plastic scraping on plastic.
The Coleco Gemini plug barely fits into a heavy Sixer, but it does.
If you have a Harmony cartridge, hold down the joystick button when turning on the console and the joystick will be selected. If you turn on the console without holding the joystick button down, the paddle will be selected.

#34 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:32 AM

I just got some Gemini controllers, and I think they are really cool and work great. The only issue I had is that the fire button does not start the bombs dropping in Kaboom!, when plugged into ColecoVision expansion module #1 pushing the joystick to the right does. There must be a small incompatibility with the Gemini controllers and ColecoVision expansion module #1


I have a pair of Gemini controllers and I also need to push the joystick to the right to get the bombs falling on Kaboom when playing on my Vader.

I don't mind the joysticks; my litmus test for a joystick is usually how well I can do on Frostbite when using it, and I am able to match my CX40 scores with the Gemini stick.

As for the looks of the VCS vs. Gemini, what a stupid thing to argue about. Even if we ignore the fact that it's 100% personal preference, I have a newsflash folks: the games it plays are probably the most dated thing about it, so what difference does it make what kind of plastic shell he hardware sits in?

To whoever said Atari got it right with the design of the 5200, I suppose it's a nice enough looking system but unfortunately I can barely fit it in my garage let alone under my television.

#35 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:40 AM

Back to my wondering, if I had one of these plugged into a regular VCS, could I play Combat, then switch right to breakout and the system would know which part of the controller to use? or are they made specifically for the Gemini?

The system does not know anything of the kind. The wiring for the second paddle (of a 2-paddle pair) does not interfere with the wiring of the stick. However, the paddle triggers are the same as the left and right directions of the stick. To make the 2 hybrid controllers act properly as a pair of paddles, a special Y-cable was shipped with the Gemini system.

It does not help much for flipping between 2 games tho. If you use the Gemini controller without the special Y-cable, the paddle still only control the second player's paddle. That is, you'd need to play a 2-player game and use the stick for the triggers (and kill off player 1 as you play it to skip those turns).

Even that description is not entirely accurate, tho...since the paddles that correspond to "player 1" and "player 2" can be whatever the original game's programmer chose. It's only fortunate for Coleco that one of them uses mostly "pass-though" wiring.

It's possible to create a game that uses stick 1/stick trigger 1 with paddle 2, tho. I did a crappy Tron game on the Vic20 a long time ago using that stick.

#36 thevideogamecollector OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:51 PM

it would be cool if you could create a Guerrilla War like game using the paddle and joystick together.

#37 Papa ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 1, 2015 7:01 AM

The Gemini controllers were a true work of design genius! They opted for the least amount of internal parts to have to replace.  The paddles were (from what I've read) meant to work with a Y connecter, but will usually work with paddle games without it.  Kaboom will start with a toggle of the top stick, whereas Jedi Arena will not work. All Atari sticks and paddles will work (on the Gemini), though, BUT, will all games work? I have problems with Keystone Kapers, for instance! The enemy will disappear and reappear and the screen will flicker occasionally!! All other games that I've played work great and have excellent color and clarity!  Back to the controllers, though..

 

The stick and paddles contact the same pcb that has no chips, resistors, capacitors or the like (same as Atari sticks)! However, there are no pots for the paddle! It slides along a circular contact ring with stoppers!! There is a metal tension rod for the button and everything works with these little feather-like brush feelers that touch the pcb!!  You may get a bit of a workout with the button, but I found that playing left or right handed works equally well (although I switch wires on my 2600 sticks to have the button on the right on some, and make my own arcade joysticks for use on Atari etc. as nothing beats a true arcade joystick and buttons for these games!!)!!  These controllers have very few parts and a quick cleaning of the paddle ring can bring them back to perfection, unlike the greasy mess that is the atari paddle fix. A stick, a wheel, a button, a board, some six metal 'feelers', screws, and a top and bottom housing!  Thats IT!!  I really love how smoothly the stick controls, and beats the harder, cheaper versions of the atari sticks hands down!!  


Edited by Papa, Sun Feb 1, 2015 7:30 AM.


#38 Shephda OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 3, 2015 7:17 AM

2600 hands down IMHO, but from a collectors POV both.  ;)

 

I own both of them but honestly only display them, for 2600 games I play them on my 7800.



#39 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 3, 2015 7:02 PM

Since it's been resurrected, I'd also vote for the Gemini. We all love the Atari but to be fair the woodgrain one is too common. It's overdone. I'd get a Jr or Gemini if I didn't already have something better.videoarcadeii01.jpg



#40 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 4, 2015 7:36 AM

The design of the Gemini was greatly inspired by the ColecoVision Exp. Mod. #1 (or vice versa depending on which was actually made first) so as not to have to reinvent the wheel. I have never opened up a Gemini, but if I did, I would expect to find almost an identical PCB to the E.M. #1 with a few additions for Power and RF Video output. There were even a couple of mods of the E.M. #1 to add power and audio/video to make it a complete system that works without a CV (djpubba's beautiful mod comes to mind).

With all that said, I prefer the look of the Gemini system, but if I were ever to buy a 2600 system, I would start with the 6-switch, woody Atari model and later add a Gemini because I'm a Coleco guy afterall.

BTW, have used the Gemini combo controllers quite a bit and really love them... especially the space saving of having both controls built into one unit.

#41 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 4, 2015 7:28 PM

Wasn't the Gemini built with easy to find parts from other common electronics items? That's what cost Atari the lawsuit against clone makers anyway. I'd think fixing a Gemini would then be easier that a real Atari. I'm no expert however.



#42 SIO2 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 4, 2015 8:08 PM

I fixed a couple of Gemini consoles. Both were just bad solder.

Limiting my choices to those in the original post and if I were offered one or the other for free, I would leave the Gemini on the table.

I like the 70's styling of the sixer. In fact, I wish they had used real wood on the face. Maybe even some wood knobs on top of the switches.

#43 Papa ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 5, 2015 7:42 PM

I'm pretty sure the Gemini has the same color pallete as the fat sixer!!  I'll compare when I get done fixing up my Fatty and then match it up to the four switcher, etc..



#44 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 5, 2015 8:32 PM

In fact, I wish they had used real wood on the face.

I've seen photos here on AA where some guy actually cut off the portion with the faux wood grain and replaced it with a piece of real, polished wood. It looked awesome!

http://atariage.com/...4514-real-wood/

Edited by ls650, Thu Feb 5, 2015 8:34 PM.


#45 Papa ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 8, 2015 7:48 PM

That gave him a woody!!



#46 o.pwuaioc ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 8, 2015 8:55 PM

Oh, look, it's this thread back from the dead. Might as well chime in. On looks alone, I say the Gemini wins. I never had one though so I can't see for myself what the fuss is with the controllers.



#47 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 9, 2015 11:12 AM

I like the Gemini controllers a lot. The paddles usually need a good cleaning, though, and the fact the console only has two controller jacks (forcing you to use Y-cables for multiplayer paddle games) is a little unfortunate.

I find the console pretty cheaply made. Cool-looking, but cheap. All the jacks on mine need to be hot glued in place (they're kinda loose and flaky) and resoldered. Otherwise it works well enough. The RF quality is pretty good, if not great.

The Sears Video Arcade II is the better "combo controller" system, although I think the Gemini's controllers are better than the VAII's.



#48 coleconut OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:17 PM

I pulled out my 2 Gemini's after reading this thread and noticed for the first time that one was considerably heavier than the other. Put them on a postal scale and sure enough the one weighed in at almost twice the weight of the lighter one Guess I have a " heavy gemini" Didnt crack them open as curious as I am about it as I read somewhere that the screws often strip on these things.
I can say that I found the controller paddles pretty easy to clean the black gunk outa and then they work pretty good.

Edited by coleconut, Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:19 PM.


#49 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 4, 2015 5:40 PM

I never saw a console, but I managed to score two controllers and I'll tell you, they are AWESOME!! I love them, built in, paddles. I even built an adapter so that the button worked with the paddle and I could use both paddles at once, the paddle seems much more reliable than the atari paddles, but that could just be cause being more rare, they weren't beat to hell back in the day.

Anyhow, love the sticks. I gotta dig that adapter box out someday and play some paddle games.




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