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Tron Deadly Discs - Combined Controllers


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#1 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:56 PM

I was listening to the Intellivisionaries Podcast and they talked about how you cannot move and fire the disc with the same controller. I had not realized that since I generally tended to operate one or the other at any given time.  I would move then fire.

 

However you can move the disc on one controller and hit the buttons on the other controller than they would work at the same time.   I tried this tonight and it was a game changer.

 

So here is what I'm wondering... since you can operate both controllers and do this, has anyone tried to combine the two controller cords into one controller?   Take the wire for the first controller to operate the disc, take the wire from the second controller to operate the keypad.  Connect both wires to one controller?

 

I looked at the circuitry in the controller and it looks like the keypad shares leads to the disc, and visa versa.  But if you could somehow isolate the two from each other, you could use the two wires on one controller and then have one great controller for Tron Deadly Discs.  :)



#2 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:19 AM

I was listening to the Intellivisionaries Podcast and they talked about how you cannot move and fire the disc with the same controller. I had not realized that since I generally tended to operate one or the other at any given time.  I would move then fire.

 

However you can move the disc on one controller and hit the buttons on the other controller than they would work at the same time.   I tried this tonight and it was a game changer.

 

So here is what I'm wondering... since you can operate both controllers and do this, has anyone tried to combine the two controller cords into one controller?   Take the wire for the first controller to operate the disc, take the wire from the second controller to operate the keypad.  Connect both wires to one controller?

 

I looked at the circuitry in the controller and it looks like the keypad shares leads to the disc, and visa versa.  But if you could somehow isolate the two from each other, you could use the two wires on one controller and then have one great controller for Tron Deadly Discs.  :)

 

The controller was designed with the idea that games would either enter input through the keypad, or use the disc and action buttons, but not both sets at the same time.  This constraint is typically enforced by the games themselves (which is why, like you, most people never noticed).

 

 

As you rightly point out, the keypad, disc, and action buttons all share the wires.  This is the reason why you can't use the disc and keypad at the same time.

 

I guess you could wire up a single controller with the wires from both and create some hybrid monster, but then it may not work with all games.  Games must explicitly decode each hand-controller input signal, and not all of them do.

 

       -dZ.



#3 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:53 AM

I dreamed about a super controller too. A couple of years ago I contacted a german Intellivision technician and attempted to break the wiring of one controller into two exits (one for each port). Enclosed you will find the concept drawings I used to communicate the idea to the technician. My german was not good so I tried to use diagrams.

 

Slide1.jpg

Slide2.jpg

Slide3.jpg

 

 



#4 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:56 AM

So, Oscar G., whatever happen to that project?  If something like this were made, I would consider implementing support for it in my games. :)

 

    -dZ.



#5 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:59 AM

At the end, the technician ran into plenty of problems with the wiring and we abandoned the idea.

 

I guess that a super controller may work using the Grips approach. Using a Neo Geo case and placing inside of it a couple of Intellivision controllers. One will be used exclusively for the joystick part and the other for the keyboard.

 

There will be two wires coming out of the Neo Geo controller one for each port. This may be a way simpler approach than trying to break an Intellivision controller in two.

 

It will be interesting to read Grips's comments on these ideas.



#6 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:01 AM

Indeed, I think that using Grips's ideas a super controller can be done.

 

To make this project feasible tough will require that there are plenty of games to use the controller….

 

A homebrew exploiting this functionality could be a game changer in my opinion.



#7 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:18 AM

I think providing it as an option in home-brewed games would not be that painful.  As it stands, I believe that at least some home-brewed games support reading both controllers simultaneously, allowing the player to use one or the other.  In these cases, the "super controller" could pick the disc from one and the keypad from another, and Bob's your uncle. :)

 

I know that Space Patrol and Christmas Carol do this.  I think Stonix does it too.  However, the problem is that these games were designed to discriminate between explicit "Disc+Action" and "Keypad" modes, so you wouldn't gain much.

 

On the other hand, Night Stalker works with "Disc+Keypad", and so does TRON Deadly Discs.  There may be others, so built-in support already exists to some extent.  Moreover, like I mentioned, adding such a mode to new home-brews could be optional and should not be too hard.

 

    -dZ.



#8 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:35 AM

I dreamed about a super controller too. A couple of years ago I contacted a german Intellivision technician and attempted to break the wiring of one controller into two exits (one for each port). Enclosed you will find the concept drawings I used to communicate the idea to the technician. My german was not good so I tried to use diagrams.

 

attachicon.gifSlide1.jpg

attachicon.gifSlide2.jpg

attachicon.gifSlide3.jpg

 

 

 

I like this.  Apparently great minds think alike.

 

So is there a schematic of the hand controllers?  And how does the Intellivision 1 controllers vary from the other later controllers?



#9 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:41 PM

LADIES (very few around here but just in case) AND GENTLEMEN (and well, the same could be said for that too) ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE...

 

The PROTOTYPE INTELLIVISION SUPER CONTROLLER!!  :D

 

2014-04-17 17.21.21.jpg

 

I received the two Intellivision 2 systems that I bought off Ebay after InTVNut showed how to release more ram on an Intellvision 2, so I have an extra Intellivision 2 to experiment on.  Luckily both came with four controllers total, one was in bad outward appearance, all worked!   (and while none came with power supplies my good ole Atari 5200 power supply works great, thanks for whoever gave me that tip.)

 

So I took the crappy looking Intellivision 2 controller apart and just about destroyed it figuring it out.  The second one I took apart without breaking anything. 

 

The Intellivision 1 controller, while much much easier to take apart has the mylar underlay where it has to rest on the pins just right to make connections.  This was the only thing I was worried about.

 

The Intellivision 2 controllers has a molex (I believe they call it that) place where the wires are CONNECTED to the Mylar underlay.  That makes things sooooo much easier than I thought it would be.

 

So what you do it take the mylar underlay and place something in between the mylar layers to break the connection of the upper and lower "buttons" basically:

 

2014-04-17 17.04.09.jpg

 

So you get the idea.

 

And what you want to do is break the connection on one set of mylar for the keypad, and then on the other set for the disc.

 

2014-04-17 17.17.02.jpg

 

Now place one on top of the other, plug up both cords, and now when you play only one of either is used.

 

I put the keypad I wanted to use on the botton of this mylar sandwich.  The layer with the good disc on the top.  I figure you want good disc controller before you would need buttons.  With the buttons you can press a little harder if need be, but when I quickly tested this out, the buttons seemed pretty responsive.

 

I mean responsive for a controller that was not completely put together and wanting to fall apart in my hands.  But I was able to move the character in Tron Deadly Discs, and throw the disc while running, which is the point of all this!  :)

 

My next trick, making it all fit in the case.  The mylar sandwich should not be a problem, but I might need to dremmell the end of the controller case to allow the second set of wires somewhere to set.

 

Just wanted to let everyone know, we might have a solution!! 

 

 

 



#10 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:45 PM

And it goes without saying you probably want to disable one layer of side buttons in a similar way too.



#11 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:45 PM

Fantastic, doctorclu!  That is indeed very cool.  :cool:



#12 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:52 PM

Here is my first attempt to place it all in the controller shell (the shell I mostly destroyed just for practice)

 

First I dremmelled the rubber piece away that holds the wire in place, working to make it as thin as possible so you can have one wire on top of the other.

 

2014-04-17 18.01.26.jpg

 

Then I dremmelled the hole a bit more to make room for both wires:

 

2014-04-17 18.08.02.jpg

 

And here is what the wire arrangement looked like with the controller together:

 

2014-04-17 18.43.40.jpg

 

All and it works, might try later on to make the final product.



#13 grips03 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:54 PM

Indeed, I think that using Grisp's ideas a super controller can be done.

 

To make this project feasible tough will require that there are plenty of games to use the controller….

 

A homebrew exploiting this functionality could be a game changer in my opinion.

 

If enough people want I can make a dual PCB controller. Just let me know.

 

Would people want dual joysticks or something nicer than a keypad for secondary entry?


Edited by grips03, Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:55 PM.


#14 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:44 AM

First of all… Kudos to DoctorClu for creating the first prototype ever of the Super Controller!!!

 

The "sandwich" approach is a stroke of genious  :thumbsup:

 

I may have complicated my life too much trying to break a controller in two while the answer was in "Sandwiching" two different controllers.

 

Thanks for the tips about using Intellivision 2 controllers as it may make the job easier.

 

What is that "something" that you put to break the connections? Is it simply paper?

 

I am looking forward to hear from your tests of the Super Controller on games that may have built-in Super Controller functionality (e.g. Night Stalker, Tron DD, ADD Cloudy Mountain are there any others?).

 

I might be interested to know how it works with Cloudy Mountain as this game requires side buttons to run.

 

Congratulations again for the great work and please keep us posted  :)



#15 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:55 AM

 

If enough people want I can make a dual PCB controller. Just let me know.

 

Would people want dual joysticks or something nicer than a keypad for secondary entry?

 

I might be interested in an Arcade-Type dual-PCB Super Controller.

 

Wow… Dual joysticks would be fantastic! I dream of Robotron and Crazy Climber on the Intellivision.

 

Moreover dZ may programme some other dual joystick game  ;)



#16 grips03 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:46 AM

 

I might be interested in an Arcade-Type dual-PCB Super Controller.

 

Wow… Dual joysticks would be fantastic! I dream of Robotron and Crazy Climber on the Intellivision.

 

Moreover dZ may programme some other dual joystick game  ;)

 

If you can get 10-15 people to want one let me know. I looked into this a year ago and its possible. It more of a question if its worth the effort.



#17 AtariBuff OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:15 AM

Interested, grips03  :thumbsup:



#18 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:24 AM

First of all… Kudos to DoctorClu for creating the first prototype ever of the Super Controller!!!

 

The "sandwich" approach is a stroke of genious  :thumbsup:

 

I may have complicated my life too much trying to break a controller in two while the answer was in "Sandwiching" two different controllers.

 

Thanks for the tips about using Intellivision 2 controllers as it may make the job easier.

 

What is that "something" that you put to break the connections? Is it simply paper?

 

I am looking forward to hear from your tests of the Super Controller on games that may have built-in Super Controller functionality (e.g. Night Stalker, Tron DD, ADD Cloudy Mountain are there any others?).

 

I might be interested to know how it works with Cloudy Mountain as this game requires side buttons to run.

 

Congratulations again for the great work and please keep us posted  :)

 

Thanks Oscar, the thing I used was basically wax paper or so far a sticker on wax paper.

 

I'll try it out with Night Stalker and Cloudy Mountain and let you know how it goes.

 

 

If you can get 10-15 people to want one let me know. I looked into this a year ago and its possible. It more of a question if its worth the effort.

 

Sounds interesting.  :)    One thing I've always wanted to ask on a alternate controller... any chance a rapid fire could be made?   I'd pay a few extra bucks for a switch for that option.

 

General question: On both my Intellivision 2 consoles the "On/Off Reset" switch does in fact turn the machine On, Reset, but how does the off portion work?   I have tried hitting the button quickly, holding down the button..  was there a trick to turning the Intellivision 2 off?



#19 grips03 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:56 AM

 

 

Sounds interesting.  :)    One thing I've always wanted to ask on a alternate controller... any chance a rapid fire could be made?   I'd pay a few extra bucks for a switch for that option.

 

rapid fire can be added, but it will use more battery power



#20 cmart604 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:54 AM

 
Thanks Oscar, the thing I used was basically wax paper or so far a sticker on wax paper.
 
I'll try it out with Night Stalker and Cloudy Mountain and let you know how it goes.
 
 
Sounds interesting.  :)    One thing I've always wanted to ask on a alternate controller... any chance a rapid fire could be made?   I'd pay a few extra bucks for a switch for that option.
 
General question: On both my Intellivision 2 consoles the "On/Off Reset" switch does in fact turn the machine On, Reset, but how does the off portion work?   I have tried hitting the button quickly, holding down the button..  was there a trick to turning the Intellivision 2 off?


To turn it off you have to hold it down for about 5 or 6 seconds.

#21 JasonlikesINTV OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:17 PM

Finally got around to reading this thread. Great job, controller geniuses!

#22 Rev OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:29 AM

I dreamed about a super controller too. A couple of years ago I contacted a german Intellivision technician and attempted to break the wiring of one controller into two exits (one for each port). Enclosed you will find the concept drawings I used to communicate the idea to the technician. My german was not good so I tried to use diagrams.
 
Slide1.jpg
Slide2.jpg
Slide3.jpg
 
 


Make it happen.

#23 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:35 PM

 

rapid fire can be added, but it will use more battery power

 

Rapid fire may not be a good idea for Night Stalker nor ADD as there are limited number of bullets / arrows. I don't think it will be very useful in Tron DD as there is only one disc.



#24 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:40 PM

I am waiting for Doctor Clu's impressions on playing the 3 games (ADD, TDD and NS) with the Super Controller prototype.

 

After this, if there is no objection, I can create a thread to inquire about interest in Grips's version of the Super Controller (Arcade-type).

 

Cheers!



#25 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:40 AM

 

If enough people want I can make a dual PCB controller. Just let me know.

 

Would people want dual joysticks or something nicer than a keypad for secondary entry?

 

In a potential dual joystick scenario, I am assuming that the second joystick will be mapped to the keypad. However there are 8 positions on the controller but there are 12 keypad buttons.

 

Some games require other keypad buttons apart of the 8 to shoot in different positions.

 

I am thinking about the central button to block in Tron (#5 on the keypad) or the buttons to count arrows, pick up things or climb stairs in AD&D (CLEAR, #0, ENTER).

 

How do you think this functionality can still be accessible in the dual joystick scenario? Thanks.






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