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Bally Astrocade controller USB adaptor

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#1 dualcam OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 11:08 AM

This is next up. Looking for someone who can beta test. They need to have a real console to be able to compare the feel and range of motion of the knob against.


#2 the.golden.ax OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 11:12 AM

Is there an emulator? (must be) I didn't even know that. I've got real hardware and I'm game. Did they ever make a War! rom available? I'm about to get a physical copy of that. Would gladly compare.

#3 dualcam OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue May 8, 2012 4:21 PM

MESS is the only one I have heard of. I should check into it. Is War! the only game that uses the knob?


Edited by dualcam, Tue May 8, 2012 4:22 PM.

#4 riffraff OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat May 12, 2012 3:44 AM

Should be a few games that use a knob control. Dog Patch, ZZZap, Clowns/Brickyard, football (I think), Tornado baseball.

War's rom has not been released. I'll probably do that in the future.

I really want to see this USB adapter come out for Bally emu. Wish I could help beta test right now but in the middle of a move. Very hectic right now.

#5 ballyalley OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat May 12, 2012 8:15 AM

Looking for someone who can beta test [the Bally/Astrocade controller USB adapter]. They need to have a real console to be able to compare the feel and range of motion [...]

BallyAlley.com is my website. I have experience working and archiving with Astrocades. I have PLENTY of experience with the Astrocade emulator in MESS. I've been using MESS with the Astrocade emulator on a regular basis for about ten years, including some playing around with "homebrew" (though I've NEVER coded for MESS before). My favorite game on the Astrocade uses the knob (Dog Patch). Every user of the Astrocade has at least TWO "games" that utilize the knob, even if they don't own any cartridges. Those two "games" are: "Gunfight" (the knob controls aiming the gun) and "Scribbling" (the knob changes the size and color of the drawing square). Also, I have MANY cartridges, two different multicarts, and the ability to create my own carts for the Astrocade using 8K EPROMS.

I have built myself a keypad for MESS using overlays I created. The following document is a pdf of the overlay I created, as well as the keypad that I made:

AstroBASIC Stickers for MESS Emulator (PDF)

Chapter 7 of the "AstroBASIC" manual, "Video Games," has a short program that would probably be useful when testing the USB knob. First it lists a very short two-line BASIC program:

10 PRINT KB(1)
20 GOTO10

The AstroBASIC manual describes how the program is used, "With the knob turned all the way to the left, KN(1) = -128. With the knob turned to the right KN(1)=127." The output of this program under MESS could be tested with the same output under the real console.

I have probably at LEAST a dozen working Astrocade controllers, so I could test the USB adapter using various controllers. Also, I've already used alternate controllers with the Astrocade MESS emulator. For instance, I co-wrote an article called "Playing ICBM Attack Using the MESS Astrocade Emulator:"

Playing ICBM Attack Using the MESS Astrocade Emulator (PDF)

The article describes setting up MESS to use various alternate controllers for the ICBM Attack Handle (an Astrocade controller from about 1992 used to play a game called "ICBM Attack"). Here's a picture of this extremely rare controller:

ICBM Attack Handle

This controller used two Astrocade ports to setup a true analog controller. I've used various configurations of controllers with the Astrocade MESS emulator: a mouse, an X-Arcade (joystick and trackball) and a "generic" Playtation 2-like Logitech controller. The article also describes how to use an X-Box 360 controller. About the only controller I haven't used with MESS is the Stelladapter (I'm SURE it would use the 2600 joysticks, but I'm not sure if MESS would support the paddles).

I have previous beta-testing experience with the Astrocade and the homebrew scene. I was the primary beta tester for both "War" and "Crazy Climber" (as well as being responsible for the distribution of the first edition of "War" and the only edition of "Crazy Climber").

Lastly, my writing tends to be verbose (as this posting surely shows) and Im great at describing the details when beta-testing.

I'll be busy the next few days (so I'm not sure I can get back to this thread), but I'm sending a personal message that will include my email address.


#6 dualcam OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:13 AM

I seem to have lost contact with my beta-tester. Hopefully all is OK and they have just been out of town.

I think there is just one question remaining. I would like to find the knob range of motion on a real console. Could somebody take a game like brickout and note where the paddle touches the side walls like what I did on this 2600 paddle controller -
http://home.comcast....addle range.jpg

Thanks, Tom

#7 dualcam OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:53 PM

These are now available -


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