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#576 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 2, 2017 2:27 AM

The game plays perfect with a paddle, so why should it be hacked for trackball use???



#577 Jin ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 2, 2017 7:38 AM

The game plays perfect with a paddle, so why should it be hacked for trackball use???


Like I said, it's a weird request. I was hoping to find a way to share Super Breakout with someone who is disabled and can't operate a paddle controller. They can work a trackball just fine though and I figured that since a trackball and paddle are both analog controllers there might be some relatively simple way to hack Super Breakout for trackball control.

#578 BigO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 2, 2017 9:36 PM

Like I said, it's a weird request. I was hoping to find a way to share Super Breakout with someone who is disabled and can't operate a paddle controller. They can work a trackball just fine though and I figured that since a trackball and paddle are both analog controllers there might be some relatively simple way to hack Super Breakout for trackball control.

While a trackball can be used to implement proportional control, it's really a digital device and quite different from programming for a paddle.

 

I've kicked around the idea of building an adapter to play paddle games with a trackball, but it's more work than I have time for right now.

Can you describe the nature of the disability? Is it a lack of dexterity or grip that prevents holding and twisting the paddle knob? Surely we can come up with some way to make a workable paddle controller. I know I'd be interested in at least brainstorming.

 

If this person can run a trackball, I'd imagine that a cylindrical or spherical knob driving a potentiometer attached so some sort of mount that rests on a table top might work. Might be able to run something like that with a forearm. Might have to add some bearings on the underside of the cylinder to keep from breaking the pot. Not a big deal.

 

At some point, I picked up a big red button at a thrift store that appears, by the brand name, to be designed/marketed for applications such as this. I'd donate that to the cause of building an enabling controller (if I can find it in my overgrown stash).

[Edit]: Found the button. It's "Proudly made in the USA" by Enabling Devices: Toys for Special Children.

 

 

Post up a new thread and see what happens? 


Edited by BigO, Thu Mar 2, 2017 9:41 PM.


#579 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 3, 2017 11:55 PM

At some point, I picked up a big red button at a thrift store that appears, by the brand name, to be designed/marketed for applications such as this. I'd donate that to the cause of building an enabling controller (if I can find it in my overgrown stash).
[Edit]: Found the button. It's "Proudly made in the USA" by Enabling Devices: Toys for Special Children.
 
 
Post up a new thread and see what happens?

Because everyone needs a "big red button" controller. :grin:
http://atariage.com/...pics/?p=3628593
post-33189-0-93022800-1478834641.jpg

I got this button at Adafruit. The stock spring and switch were stiff as heck but I swapped out the spring from another button and used a Zippy soft touch 20g micro. Some of the buttons and joysticks marketed for persons with disabilities are actually more expensive and inferior quality to the arcade stuff. Not sure it it's markup or use of industrial/medical grade components (for instance, a stainless steel elevator button or forklift joystick would make a poor game input), but a bit of creativity and enginuity could go far.

#580 alex_79 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 4, 2017 10:57 AM

Anyone else tried Marble Craze?
Starting from level 5, difficulty A, I can usually get to level 12 or 13. (I'm not very good at it).

I tried PAL50 and PAL60, atari mouse and trackball versions.

No bug to report. I like the controller responsiveness in 1.0 version.



#581 Nathan Strum ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:33 PM

And here the new difficulty switches (I know they are reversed :)) support again:

  • difficulty B plays like the original
  • difficulty A is for beginners:
    • 15s extra time after death
    • 30s (instead of 15s) after time up
    • doubled friction

Paul was wondering in the source code about supporting the difficulty switches anyway. And because Nathan was complaining a bit in his review, I tried to address some of his points with difficulty A.

 

 

Just tried Marble Craze with a Trak-Ball™ (I have a CX-22).

 

It plays very well - in my opinion more intuitively than with the paddles (and yes - I've tried taping paddles to everything to try and play this game :roll: ).

 

I do like the extra time after death in A. That helps cut down on repeated cheap deaths. That should have been part of the game from the start (in my opinion).

 

The extra friction in A helps as well, although B is certainly playable.

 

Incidentally, A should be Expert, B should be Novice (on Sears consoles and four-switchers, that's how they're labeled).

 

What would be a proper fix for this game, is to have it always put you back in the place you were after running out of time. I really detest this aspect of the game, because it will often put you back someplace you don't want to be: either a different passage in the maze, or on the other side of a difficult section that you had already gotten through. It results in lost time and cheap deaths.

 

I'll play it some more later. For now I want to start working my way through the other Trak-Ball™ hacks. And some other games I'm supposed to be playing. :ponder:

 

 

Incidentally, thanks for the Trak-Ball™ identifier ROM. It's nice to confirm that it's actually what the label says it is. :) A suggestion: add detection to let you know if you're in Trak-Ball™ or Joystick mode. That little switch is hard for us old people to read. ;)

 

Also, as others have mentioned, it would be nice to have Trak-Ball™ support added to the Harmony menu. Even if it's in the form of letting you use a joystick in the second port to navigate. Getting around with the Select switch or swapping controllers is a pain.



#582 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:49 PM

Just tried Marble Craze with a Trak-Ball (I have a CX-22).

Thanks for your feedback. Its more than welcome.
 

Incidentally, A should be Expert, B should be Novice (on Sears consoles and four-switchers, that's how they're labeled).

I know. Probably I will reverse the settings.
 

What would be a proper fix for this game, is to have it always put you back in the place you were after running out of time. I really detest this aspect of the game, because it will often put you back someplace you don't want to be: either a different passage in the maze, or on the other side of a difficult section that you had already gotten through. It results in lost time and cheap deaths.

Actually the latest (unreleased) version does exactly that! icon_smile.gif
 

I'll play it some more later. For now I want to start working my way through the other Trak-Ball hacks. And some other games I'm supposed to be playing. icon_ponder.gif

icon_smile.gif
 

Incidentally, thanks for the Trak-Ball identifier ROM. It's nice to confirm that it's actually what the label says it is. icon_smile.gif A suggestion: add detection to let you know if you're in Trak-Ball or Joystick mode. That little switch is hard for us old people to read. icon_wink.gif

I have to think about how to detect this. And obviously the handling when this is detected has to be different too.
 

Also, as others have mentioned, it would be nice to have Trak-Ball support added to the Harmony menu. Even if it's in the form of letting you use a joystick in the second port to navigate. Getting around with the Select switch or swapping controllers is a pain.

Yes, port 2 joystick support is on my list. But Fred is always busy and Harmony BIOS updates are not really frequent.

#583 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:52 AM

Attached is an unofficial(!) Harmony BIOS (NTSC) version 1.07. It allows you to use a joystick in the 2nd port.

 

Note: You have to press FIRE on the right joystick on startup (to skip auto detection).

Attached Files



#584 toddtmw OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:05 PM

Will these work with the track ball in the Xarcade Tank stick? (Or can they be made to?)

 

Thank you.



#585 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:15 PM

Never heard that name. Details?



#586 alex_79 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:21 PM

I think it's an arcade control panel to be used with a PC.

If it has a ps/2 connection, it might work using a ps/2 to Atari or Amiga mouse adapter (there are several for sale on ebay and other places). If it's usb only, then probably it won't work. Not without harware modifications.

 

 

EDIT:

Here is it:

https://shop.xgaming...ll-usb-included

 

Apparently it has ps/2 connection for the trackball, so it might work with one of those adapters.


Edited by alex_79, Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:26 PM.


#587 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:27 PM

Attached is an unofficial(!) Harmony BIOS (NTSC) version 1.07. It allows you to use a joystick in the 2nd port.

 

Note: You have to press FIRE on the right joystick on startup (to skip auto detection).

Can someone with a Genesis controller check this BIOS, please? I might have introduced a problem with the fire button override for the Genesis in the left port.



#588 alex_79 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:20 AM

It works fine.
A genesis controller plugged in the left or right port is detected if B button is pressed while powering on the console.
If you plug 2 genesis pads and press the B button in just one of them, only that one is detected. If you press both B buttons, just the one in the left port is detected.

 



#589 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:37 AM

Thanks for testing. 

 

Actually I am surprised it works. icon_smile.gif

 

BTW: Trackball in left and Genesis (B pressed) in right port works too??? 


Edited by Thomas Jentzsch, Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:42 AM.


#590 alex_79 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:57 AM

BTW: Trackball in left and Genesis (B pressed) in right port works too??? 

 

Yes.



#591 toddtmw OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:38 AM

I think it's an arcade control panel to be used with a PC.

If it has a ps/2 connection, it might work using a ps/2 to Atari or Amiga mouse adapter (there are several for sale on ebay and other places). If it's usb only, then probably it won't work. Not without harware modifications.

 

 

EDIT:

Here is it:

https://shop.xgaming...ll-usb-included

 

Apparently it has ps/2 connection for the trackball, so it might work with one of those adapters.

Actually, I was wondering if the trackball on the tankstick could be used on an emulator with these games. It does connect via USB, but it looks like a mouse.

 

Thanks.



#592 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:54 AM

Actually, I was wondering if the trackball on the tankstick could be used on an emulator with these games. It does connect via USB, but it looks like a mouse.

 

Thanks.

 

A neat hardware hack would be for someone to gin up plans for a USB-to-DB9 adapter. Might require some electronic smarts but it would a great thing to use modern stuff like a Tankstick on older hardware.



#593 alex_79 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:17 AM

Actually, I was wondering if the trackball on the tankstick could be used on an emulator with these games. It does connect via USB, but it looks like a mouse.

 

Thanks.

Yes. Stella can emulate the trackball using the PC mouse. You first have to tell the emulator that a particular rom uses a controller other than a joystick, like has been explained in this post:

http://atariage.com/...20#entry3669054



#594 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:53 PM

2600_TrakBallHacks.jpg

 

Many thanks to Northcoastgamer, BNE Jeff, TrekMD and Darrell Spice, Jr. for loaning us boxes and manuals we could scan at high resolution, and to Nathan Strum for putting together these awesome labels!  This is a photo of physical carts, not a render.  :) 

 

 ..Al



#595 TrekMD ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:27 PM

Those carts really look superb! 



#596 Nathan Strum ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:16 PM

Those carts really look superb! 

 

 

Thanks! Finding a Missile Control box (and manual) we can scan is going to be the real trick...  :ponder:



#597 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:40 AM

Thanks! Finding a Missile Control box (and manual) we can scan is going to be the real trick...  icon_ponder.gif

Marc Oberhäuser might be able to help with the box: http://www.freelance...us.php?start=65



#598 sramirez2008 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:49 PM

Marc Oberhäuser might be able to help with the box: http://www.freelance...us.php?start=65


I love what's been done with Missile Control and would be in for Cart with Box. :)

#599 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:45 AM

2600_TrakBallHacks.jpg

 

Many thanks to Northcoastgamer, BNE Jeff, TrekMD and Darrell Spice, Jr. for loaning us boxes and manuals we could scan at high resolution, and to Nathan Strum for putting together these awesome labels!  This is a photo of physical carts, not a render.   :)

 

 ..Al

I'm so waiting for the mega store update. :drooling:



#600 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:09 PM

Finally dug out my Amiga Mouse, the resolution is ~75 steps/cm. Much higher than a trackball.

 

Can't test my Alfa Data trackball yet, it doesn't move with the ruler (too much resistance vs too little friction).







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Trak-Ball, Track Ball, Missile Command, Centipede, Reactor, Millipede, Challenge of... Nexar, Marble Craze, Plaque Attack

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