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Modern Colecovision Gamepad Design


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#101 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:13 AM

Does the Colecovision 4-pin power port standard have part number or is it proprietary? Unique plugs are such a pain, why was it so hard for console makers to use the same ports and cords like on the back of your TV, 8-track, Stereo, VCR, Laser Disc, CD player, PC, etc. ? :(  Having some doubts about the pass-through cable idea, a battery is an extra part but they are more readily available to buy.

 

Just wondering if anything else used the Coleco power plug, like how the Atari 5200, Famicom, and Neo Geo use the same kind of cord for there controllers? I'd like to avoid ruining a perfectly good Roller Controller for cord parts or the work of making one from scratch.

 

Financial progress can truly begin now, got my Magnavox Odyssey2 purchase out of the way but a Sega Saturn came up in my home town lol. Got my Colecovision picture quality back to where it was, re-greased the power switch but it turned out it was the Nes RF unit that was causing the trouble, oh well the switch wasn't moving great anyway. ^_^ One snafu was one of the keypad wire connectors broke when I tried crimping it a little so I'm down a controller atm and the other has a broken Up I discovered so I'm using a Sega one for now in port 1.

 

Don't like bumping without due cause so here's another extra, turn anything into a button technology. :)

http://makeymakey.com/



#102 NIAD ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:53 PM

The CV 4-pin power port is unique to the CV, so there is no easy and quick solution to coming up with a Roller Controller style power adapter and sacrificing these RC power adapters is in no way an option because it would require far too many seeing as there are a lot of us CV Nuts out here that would buy your proposed CV Gamepad. In fact, many of use would probably be looking at purchasing at least two.



#103 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:03 PM

The CV 4-pin power port is unique to the CV, so there is no easy and quick solution to coming up with a Roller Controller style power adapter and sacrificing these RC power adapters is in no way an option because it would require far too many seeing as there are a lot of us CV Nuts out here that would buy your proposed CV Gamepad. In fact, many of use would probably be looking at purchasing at least two.

Didn't think so but had to ask just in case easier options were possible. Still I think I could mill out of a basic plastic shell along the lines of those plug ends you buy in hardware stores IE. two halves with screws to hold it together rather than a single molded piece and a little bigger too. Can't really fix molded plugs, you just cut them off or replace the whole cord in most cases.

 

Well I appreciate everyone's interest and I hadn't even thought of selling them, probably best I focus on just making one at the moment. Still if all goes well and the gamepad is awesome I wouldn't be adverse to making more however I'm really not the guy to do it, "Slow as molasses in January." comes to mind in me making them. So if anyone with better facilities than me is interested in making a bunch I could ship them the required molds and such if I'm successful with the 2 to 4 I plan to make.

 

Seems like the Spinner has low power needs and almost made it into the stock controller, shame it didn't since that would have given it a leg up over the competition at the time if it were built in rather than sold separately.  Companies always bank on people buying their accessories but in the long run most people just use the stock controllers, the irony of that statement isn't lost on me. ^_^

http://atariage.com/...nner-componets/

Just talking to my tech minded buddy and he showed some interest despite his busy schedule and we got to talking about paddles versus spinners, the tech difference is very real especially with voltage needs but perceptibly to gamers its just a thing that turns, one that stops at a point and one continuously turning. Still sticking with a knob for my design, other than large Super Sprint steering wheels or Missile Command trackballing I can't think of many examples where multiple long 'strokes' of excessive spinning aids many games compared to basic tank control of short turn increments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8NY8LA7o7c 

How and what kind of output it offers is pulses in the Left and Right variety not unlike the 2600 Driving Controller from what I read as far as circuit and resistor needs.

https://www.youtube....h?v=0JXJzla33uE

http://atariage.com/...ontrol-hook-up/

 

The Roller Controller is a beefy unit where I can see why it needs more power so I might be able to avoid a similar device with a spinner instead of a paddle.

 http://www.nightfall...roller/?lang=it

Still a power junction box does open up more options but I wonder how much better a separate power supply would be for it in the long run as some have done with the Roller Controller. One thing you can say about the Roller Controller is its a solitary experience compared to 4 player paddle games like Warlords. Trackballs ain't cheap but 2 could have fit on that chassis and probably a built in keypad in the middle, although the ambidextrous fire buttons are a plus on the Roller Controller.

 

http://upload.wikime...ckman-mouse.jpg

Still a trackball for every player would be cool even if they have to be smaller than a Pool ball. Best places I can think of is on the bottom and you work it with your thumb or on the back and you use your index or other fingers. Mostly I'm just trying to have things work in conjunction together rather than isolate controls IE. grip patterns and joystick/fire button access.

 

http://www.nightfall...roller/?lang=it

What's funny about the Super Action Controller is the shape and grip in that I always think of swinging my arms with it like a boxing glove or some king of virtual sword handle. Actually not unlike the Power Glove or rather the more accurate Wii-mote I perceive its operation.

 

Another comparison I was observing was how gamepads especially the dual analog type are not unlike RC remotes in operation so there are some older parallels to that type of ergonomics beyond Nintendo's influence.

 

Based on the design layout something like Ikari Warriors should be possible if I put in a switch to swap the functions of the 2 D-pads so Move is on the right d-pad, tank turn with the knob holding it like a radio dial, and fire with the right shoulder buttons. Just thinking of ways to squeeze more control options out of it. Also that might help people with left and right hand preferences if it could switch. :)

 

http://www.vintageco...sac_1_large.jpg

Joystick looks good on the SAC and that speed control through the spinner and the multiple character toggle sounds interesting. I will say the grip steadies the base well for joystick use but it does require squeezing trigger buttons like the stock controller which I always find odd for digital buttons, works better for analog triggers.

 

http://ludopad.over-...e-35073672.html Here's a page on a bunch of controllers with vastly different designs to check out, seems to Translate okay if you don't "Parlez-vous francais?".



#104 NIAD ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:14 PM

I own the only known proto CV Hand Controller with the built-in Speed Roller and yes it works perfectly when plugged into the CV's joystick port. The only thing that it is missing over the SAC are the two extra firebuttons.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Hand Controller Prototype #04 - #01.gif


#105 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:05 PM

Thought I'd update on the topic just to say I haven't given up on it but I did get sidetracked with some other collecting goals lol. Looked into getting some tools over the past few months on and off mostly on prices.

 

The biggest news was my buddy has a coworker who bought a 3D printer and he figures he can hook me up for a printing. Haven't asked yet mostly because the guy just got it so he'll be printing his own stuff for awhile but he did offer printing to everybody at his job soon.

 

Glad this came up mostly due to my lack of experience in milling or sculpting plastics, didn't feel up to it really. ;)



#106 hardhat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:42 PM

Yes, I also have access to various 3D printers, both through work and via friends.  In addition there is a local hacker space that would give me access to 3D printer.  So then the challenge becomes one of 3D modelling instead of milling.  Still a hard enough problem if you don't already have those skills.  But it is something that you could certainly learn.  Is that your plan?



#107 BladeJunker OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:52 PM

Yes, I also have access to various 3D printers, both through work and via friends.  In addition there is a local hacker space that would give me access to 3D printer.  So then the challenge becomes one of 3D modelling instead of milling.  Still a hard enough problem if you don't already have those skills.  But it is something that you could certainly learn.  Is that your plan?

Well I've modeled 3D things before so I'm more familiar with that than milling. Mostly I think with milling there is more potential for error on my part, I get by but I'm no craftsman and things like webbing is a pain to do by hand being so small.. So yeah I plan to model the gamepad shell for 3D printing first.



#108 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:39 PM

Found this very interesting...



#109 tripletopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:24 PM

I'm wondering about how many games use a joystick + Keypad.  I'm familiar with Mouse Trap where you need the keypad buttons because it's a 4 button game before the super action controller.  Front Line Rocky use overlays just to identify which buttons are which, there are no keypad buttons, except pause which, when used, is always * unless otherwise stated in the book, and didn't start until after the initial releases.  Star Trek and Spy Hunter had both standard and Super Action overlays, and the super action ones were just identifiers, and Star Trek didn't need a keyboard with forward for thrusters and backwards for warp.  I never had Spy Hunter, but I assume you press some keypad buttons to make a standard controller works.  And Super Action American Football and Baseball and Soccer Football require everything, Joystick, keypad, buttons, and roller.

 

Does any game other than Mouse trap require fast actions in pressing the keypad buttons?  Most of the other games sound like it's not a matter of frames as to when you press the buttons.    And I'm not talking about super Action Baseball, American Football, and Soccer Football (both called Super Action Football in both America and Europe respectively) that are best with a Real Super Action controller.   Is there any other fast action game that requires fast keypad presses, or both keypad and buttons?   I know INTV have lots of games that require keypad presses.  What about the Atari 5200?  Do any of those games require both a button press and a keypad press (I'm thinking Defender, but never played it at home. Any others?)

 

I'm just thinking if a fight stick that can map to only certain buttons is okay, like 1,2,3, and 5 for mouse trap, one keypad button for defender (I don't know which), there was one game where you have to use 1,2, and 3 to type 3 digit codes to stop the A-Bomb I played on a bootleg Atari 800 game (is THAT for the 5200?) but the 3 digit mode is a separate mode which doesn't require the joystick or action button until you disarm the bomb.  If I know the complete universe of ACTION games, action meaning games I can't take my sweet time with and may use anything at any time, and go quickly, for the INTV, CV, and 5200, (I would go the Arcadia 2001 except you can't put in an external controller, and in the US there are no games worth playing that use the keypad and require quick access to all three of the joystick, buttons, and keypad, at least ones worth playing in the USA.) I'd like to know so I can just wire THOSE buttons.   I don't plan to play Blackjack and Poker with a fight stick when the default controller work fine for that purpose.

 

If I can get it wired DB25, then it's as simple as wiring one connector to the joystick.  I'm just getting an inventory of games that need to be covered. and which buttons I need wired.  I know I need 1,2,3, and 5 for Mouse Trap.  it could save some money if I don't have to wire every or potentially every button.



#110 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:47 PM

If you want to play War Games, or War Room, or Gateway to Apshai, or Fortune Builder, then you need to have access to all the keys on the keypad. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few games, and there are a few CV homebrews that use the keypad as well, in various degrees. Also, there's the pause button very often mapped to the (*) key for many games, legacy as well as homebrew.

#111 MaximRecoil OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2018 9:38 AM

I'm guessing your a young guy Blade Junker and never played the CV back when it was new.

 

I played the ColecoVision when it was new and I hated the controller. The joystick was short, stiff, and not particularly responsive, but the worst part was that my hand that held the controller would soon start to cramp up (the same thing happened with the standard Atari 7800 joystick). I didn't have any problems with the standard Atari 2600 joystick, though in hindsight I much prefer a gamepad (I currently use modified NES controllers with my Atari 2600 and 7800).

 

Arcade games where meant to be played with a joystick not a d-pad.

 

Yes, but they were nothing like the joystick on a CV controller. Aside from being much larger and having far superior design and construction, they were also solidly mounted to the control panel of a ~300-pound arcade cabinet, so you didn't have to hold onto anything to stabilize them. The buttons were solidly mounted on the same control panel as well, rather than being on either side of a controller that you operated with the same hand that you were stabilizing the body of the controller with.

 

Also the CV followed the 2600 which had a right hand controlled joystick. How moving ones player with your left hand was ever adapted as main stream eludes me. The only logic I can see in it is button mashing with your right hand may be better.

 

Arcade machines normally had the joystick on the left and the buttons on the right. In some cases the joystick was mounted in the center (such as with Pac-Man). I don't know of any classic arcade machine that had the joystick mounted on the right.

 

A solidly-mounted joystick is the best way to play a video game in my opinion, but a handheld joystick is the worst way. If I'm going to use a handheld controller, I'd much rather it be a gamepad than a joystick. With a gamepad you're not applying any leverage against the base when operating the D-pad like you are when operating a joystick, plus a gamepad is stabilized with both hands instead of just one.



#112 Twin_power ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2018 11:20 AM

I own the only known proto CV Hand Controller with the built-in Speed Roller and yes it works perfectly when plugged into the CV's joystick port. The only thing that it is missing over the SAC are the two extra firebuttons.
 
 


This pad would help out with Kaboom. The Atari 2600 version is an awesome game with the included paddle controllers.

Wonder if this prototype could be used to play the Discs of Tron port I wish existed. A "one in a million chance"? Could the speed roller be used "to move the targeting rectocle around the areana walls"? Just a thought.

#113 Twin_power ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2018 1:11 PM

I need to proof the iPhone spellcheck more.. "rectocle" should be "reticle".

#114 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:13 PM

If you want to play War Games, or War Room, or Gateway to Apshai, or Fortune Builder, then you need to have access to all the keys on the keypad. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few games, and there are a few CV homebrews that use the keypad as well, in various degrees. Also, there's the pause button very often mapped to the (*) key for many games, legacy as well as homebrew.

 

 

So if I'm read this keypad diogram correctly, to press " 1 " on the keypad what I'm actually doing is completing a circut of yellow (pin 4) with a diode and pressing a button that on the other side is going to green (pin 5) and those touching tells the coleco I'm pressing 1 correct? Also, if I'm trying to tell it to press " * " I'm looking to do  (red with diode + yellow with diode) + green = *  Is that also correct?

 

ColecoController.jpg






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