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Edladdin Colecovision Controller Kickstarter now LIVE!


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#276 AtariBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:29 PM

Hey Ed , I am just checking in to see how the remaining controllers are going .



#277 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:39 PM

Are there still for sale?


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#278 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:47 PM

Hi Everyone,

 

Well, it makes me very sad to say it, but we ran into another issue here at this late point in the game.  We had completed shipment of all the Seagull CV controller adapters, all the Super Arcade Controllers, and finally shipped the very first Super Arcade Controller PLUS to Mr. William Culver, when the problem was revealed simultaneously with the last pair of controllers shipped - one SAC and William's SAC Plus.  We found out that in certain specific control movements, with certain games, we were getting some random control responses, as if fire and/or keypad buttons were being pressed without that actually being done by the user.  At first we thought it was an incompatibility with OpCode's Super Game Module since it was involved in both cases, but it does not look like that is actually the case.  More likely, we either:

 

a) Made the sizes of the +5 volt and -5 volt control pulses too long/wide so that they are bleeding over into neighboring pulses, thus triggering the extra commands

 

b) We did not include a line in the code that would specifically prevent the console from surveying the keypad while the joystick was delivering a signal

 

Its also possible that either or both of these controllers took some kind of damage in transit.  In the case of the SAC Plus the 3.0 volt battery came out of its holder and was flying around like a pinball inside the case. Its also possible that there was an assembly error, though both tested ok on the regular Super Action Controller testing ROM that I use with all outgoing units.  =

 

I was hoping that I could write this update with a solid solution/answer in place, but its taken a while to organize the discussions with William, Eduardo of OpCode, and AA member Twin-power, who got that last SAC, all three of which very graciously shared time and brainpower to test the controllers with various games and report on the results.  At this point BOTH of the problem controllers are on their way back to us so that we can do a full battery of tests and nail down what is happening, and know for sure whether the problem is a design error/adjustment, an assembly problem, or the result of damage in transit.   In the meantime, I have been working on building out the remaining SAC Plus controllers - cases, joysticks, and so on.   Hopefully we will find a quick fix and the updated/corrected boards can be installed with a minimum of further delay.

 

With all that said, this has taken forever - wildly exceeding my most gloomy scenarios - and so if anyone wants a refund OR to apply the credit to something else we sell, I will be happy to make that happen.  Just get in touch and we'll work it out.  But if you will hang in there a little longer, I think we can still deliver the badass multi-console controller that we planned to do way at the beginning.   

 

Please let me know if you have any questions!

 

Best rgds,

 

Ed



#279 vazquezrick OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:45 PM

Ed,

I while back I posted videos of similar bad behavior from my control with a few games. Please let me know when you find a fix.

#280 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:36 PM

I've been watching this thread with intense interest since the beginning, with the expectation of getting a controller from you when they are finally ready (wasn't able to participate last year, but am willing AND able, now). I feel so bad for you, due to the 'little' problems being discovered, but at the same time have been impressed that you are seriously investigating and fixing them rather than merely excusing those particular test cases as "unsupported features". I look forward to learning of your success and salute you, sir!

#281 AtariBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:55 PM

Thanks for the update and I am sorry that these problems occured . I am sure all of us are happy to wait . It isn't like it's been 4 or 5 years . You have always been great at giving updates ! Hope there can be a fix to these problems and look forward to solution . 



#282 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:17 AM

Ed,

I while back I posted videos of similar bad behavior from my control with a few games. Please let me know when you find a fix.

 

Are those videos still online?   I'd love to be able to take a closer look with our engineer to see the specific issues being created. 



#283 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:20 AM

I've been watching this thread with intense interest since the beginning, with the expectation of getting a controller from you when they are finally ready (wasn't able to participate last year, but am willing AND able, now). I feel so bad for you, due to the 'little' problems being discovered, but at the same time have been impressed that you are seriously investigating and fixing them rather than merely excusing those particular test cases as "unsupported features". I look forward to learning of your success and salute you, sir!

 

Thanks for your kind words!

 

I really am committed to having these things operate as close to perfectly as is possible, with as many games as possible.  The whole project drops to second rate if the controller wont perform with a bunch of the most exciting games.  As a player, I cannot imagine wanting to spend premium $ for a unit that has critical flaws.



#284 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:25 AM

Thanks for the update and I am sorry that these problems occured . I am sure all of us are happy to wait . It isn't like it's been 4 or 5 years . You have always been great at giving updates ! Hope there can be a fix to these problems and look forward to solution . 

 

 

I am very grateful for your patience.   Its been a little horrifying to me that "order fulfillment" turned into "beta testing" with paying customers, but there are so many console performance variations and games out there. 

 

Everything is with the engineer right now, including a Super Game Module and a copy of OpCode's Bosconian.  He think we might be able to resolve all issue by tightening up the output pattern to the classic ColecoVision, which would be a programming change and relatively easy to implement.

 

I'll be back with more info as soon as its available!



#285 vazquezrick OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:29 PM

 
Are those videos still online?   I'd love to be able to take a closer look with our engineer to see the specific issues being created. 


Yes, I believe the video is still online. If not let me know and I'll upload or make a new one. What ever I can do to improve the product.

Regards


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#286 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 1:53 PM

 


Attached is a video that demonstrates the issues.

 

attachicon.gifController_Issues.mp4

 

Regards

 

Thank you, again, for posting this.    Watching this now, it seems like a variation on the same problem with  SGM Bosconian, where stick movements are triggering a false "*" press on the keypad, which throws it into "Pause" mode. That's actually good news!  Fighting the same problem rather than a random OTHER problem.

 

Definitely clear that the battery is required for these controller to function at all with certain games.   "Ten" was optimistic!  

 

Bob is working on this during this week, so we should have a solution soon.



#287 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:28 PM

So the classic ColecoVision controller is very simple but also quite complex, with a total of 18 switches in the pack-in controller and 22 in the Super Action. Those signals all have to share 9 wires to communicate with the console. In order to do this passively, they cleverly put the joystick and most of the fire buttons on one sub-circuit and the keypad on a second sub-circuit. Then, they use an array of diodes to convert a key press/stick movement into a four digit binary code, which travels back to the console. The console can only listen to one of these main circuits at a time, so it stays primarily focused on one, then keeps an eye on the other circuit by "strobing" it - taking a look 60 times a second - to see if any new commands are being generated by the user.

 
It turns out that the game software is responsible for telling the console which circuit to watch continuously and which one to strobe. On the vast majority of original Coleco games and many old and new 3rd party titles, the software is always watching the joystick and fire buttons and strobing the keypad. This was definitely the case with the controller-testing ROM that we were using in the original data gathering/design phase of the project.
 
The thing to understand is that the circuit board we designed for this project to drive the new controllers is really an emulator. Our microprocessor reads the four Aux Input ports, as well as the buttons, keypad, and joystick controls, then delivers the correct output signals to the three output ports to the three consoles. But with the classic ColecoVision, our board was only designed to serve those programs that are always watching the joystick and buttons, as we had no idea that some third party games were programmed to always read the keypad and strobe the controls. The intersection point of these issues is on the diagonal joystick movement "down+right", which has the same 4 digit code as the star (*) keypad key. In that case, if the game is focused on the keypad first, it interprets the joystick movement as a *, then that function goes live. That's not a problem if the game does not use the * button, but on a game like Bosconian that key press causes the game to pause. (You can see the difference visually in the snapshots I have attached this post.)   There are also some weirdo problems that we still don't really understand, such as the Defender ROM, which works fine with an original controller but gives us simultaneous launch of smart bombs at the same time the cannon is fired.
 
The real bummer... If we had known this keypad-first possibility existed, it would have been very easy to build that into the design. The power loss problem we had earlier turned out to be a clue that certain games were programmed differently from the majority. The electricity needed to drive our on-board microprocessor was being sipped from that line that was supposed to always be focused on the joystick and buttons. When a game was focused on the keypad, that electricity was not there to steal. With hindsight, very easy to know which mode a game was using so the controller could switch emulation modes accordingly.
 
THE BAD NEWS
 
At this point there is nothing that can be done to add that feature to the current circuit board that we spent all that $$$ to design and build, and now still have 75 units remaining. The bottom line is that our multi-controller, multi-console unit is going to have an associated list of CV games that are incompatible. If you are primarily an Atari person or you only care about playing vintage Coleco games, then you are going to be perfectly happy. If great new CV homebrews is where your passion lies, then you are not going to be at all satisfied.
 
THE GOOD NEWS
 
There is an alternative coming! As soon as it became clear what the problem was, the engineer and I quickly knocked out a NEW circuit board that exactly duplicates an original Super Action Controller. There is no emulation of any kind - nothing in there but a mess of diodes and solder pads for a set of arcade controls and a DB9 cable to the console - very simple to design and inexpensive to have made. And it should perform flawlessly with every single CV game. However this controller will ONLY provide arcade controls to a ColecoVision - no external inputs, no multi-console output, and we lose our emulated thumb-wheel buttons.  The first batch of the new PCB is in production now, so we will know for sure as soon as they arrive. The new board was designed to work with the enclosure and keypad we already have in stock, so the CV-only "Super CV" should come online very quickly.
 
At this point we can offer our Kickstarter supporters three options:
 
1. Stick with the item you have already received with the original board (or the Super Arcade Controller Plus, if you are still waiting) with all its cross-compatibility features but also a CV homebrew fail list that will probably grow as the various published games are tested by us and the community.
 
2. Receive a "Super CV" instead, which should work flawlessly with the classic ColecoVision, but useless for the Ataris and the Flashback CV. Folks that pledged for the more-expensive SAC Plus will also be given a $40 rebate, as the new Super CV will be a little less expensive than the pledge for the SAC Plus.
 
3. Receive a full refund and/or store credit toward something else we build.
 
-------
 
Next step will be to receive and test the new circuit board that will drive the Super CV, which should be within the next two weeks.
 
If you already know your preference from the above three, feel free to write and let us know. If you are going to stick with the original board, we can proceed with building and shipping those items.
 
Thanks to everyone for your patience and flexibility! Its been an adventure...  Sometimes its felt very much like a Smurf adventure, where a clump of grass is enough to kill you.  :)

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2017-04-06-Bugash-Meeting-Bosconian.jpg
  • 2017-04-06-Bugash-Meeting-Standard-Games.jpg

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#288 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:07 PM

Ed, after reading through that entire very informative and well written wall of text (that's not an insult in any way!) I am still just amazed at the level of detail you are giving this product and how far you are willing to go to extend your customer service to everyone to make sure they are 100% happy with the product.  As someone who is a bit of a perfectionist myself, I can completely relate and understand wanting to have the controller as close to 100% compatible as possible.

 

That being said, I still feel like the quality of product you produce would already significantly enhance my ColecoVision system and enjoyment of playing even if it only worked with half of the games.  But knowing that it will work with the majority of the library, that's good enough for me and I'm sold!

 

And to continue my support of your product, not only would I be completely satisfied with taking the controllers I purchased during the Kickstarter campaign, but I'd also be interested in purchasing another one when the new PCB's come online and are made available.

 

You have set the bar when it comes to attention to detail for a product like this.  That is seriously impressive and for that I thank you!



#289 Chak OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:11 PM

Ed,

 

Let's try to simplify this, as I am a simple man.

 

Am I correct: The existing controllers I have from the Kickstarter will work perfectly for Atari, and will support MOST classic Colecovision games, and SOME homebrews.  (I tried it out on Loderunner and it worked great.)

 

Am I correct: The Seagull CV Adapter will do the same thing to the "other" controllers I try to use on my Colecovision (i.e. MOST classic Colecovision games, and SOME homebrews.)

 

The only way to get a "perfect" Colecovision controller would be to get the new one.

 

As an aside (you may not be able to answer this, we may need a developer), what are the advantages for games that are "programmed to always read the keypad and strobe the controls?"  And I wonder if the Defender situation will ever be solved....

 

This is slightly disappointing, but at the end of the day not that big of a deal for me.  It would be $119 for an Atari controller, so an extra $30 for compatibility with MOST Colecovision games is still a great deal.  (I'm the guy that spent WAY too much on this [$397 level -"This reward bundles TWO "Super Arcade Controllers" with a "Seagull CV" controller adapter for flexible two-player fun with the classic and Flashback Colecovision consoles.] with the plan of stationing the second controller with my Atari, with the flexibility of moving them around as need for 2 player use, with the Seagull CV to allow me to use any controller with any system, so I can play Colecovision Pitfall! with a CX40, or 2600 Starmaster with my Sega Genistick.  So, no real regrets on my end.)  I do wish the problem had been detected and fixed earlier.

 

Are there any plans to redesign the board to address this, or is the problem too big?  I'm guessing the latter, given the path you are taking with the new board.  If I get heavily enough into the homebrew scene in time I may get one, but I would prefer to upgrade my "Seagull CV" (I assume IF you made changes to the board it would be compatible with the current cases so would be more cost effective to swap rather than get a whole new adapter).

 

I sincerely hope this does not put you off developing new hardware - I know you've targeted the 5200 next (don't have one) but I would be VERY interested in a Vectrex stick, which you did mention as a possible followup to the 5200 project.



#290 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:12 AM

Thanks so much for your amazing attention to detail!

 

I would like to just stick with the original plan.  As for colors and all design choices, please see my PMs. 

 

 

Thanks again!  I am glad you got this figured out!

 

 



#291 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:36 PM

Ed, after reading through that entire very informative and well written wall of text (that's not an insult in any way!) I am still just amazed at the level of detail you are giving this product and how far you are willing to go to extend your customer service to everyone to make sure they are 100% happy with the product.  As someone who is a bit of a perfectionist myself, I can completely relate and understand wanting to have the controller as close to 100% compatible as possible.

 

That being said, I still feel like the quality of product you produce would already significantly enhance my ColecoVision system and enjoyment of playing even if it only worked with half of the games.  But knowing that it will work with the majority of the library, that's good enough for me and I'm sold!

 

And to continue my support of your product, not only would I be completely satisfied with taking the controllers I purchased during the Kickstarter campaign, but I'd also be interested in purchasing another one when the new PCB's come online and are made available.

 

You have set the bar when it comes to attention to detail for a product like this.  That is seriously impressive and for that I thank you!

 

Thank you!!!



#292 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:53 PM

 

Ed,

 

Let's try to simplify this, as I am a simple man.

 

Am I correct: The existing controllers I have from the Kickstarter will work perfectly for Atari, and will support MOST classic Colecovision games, and SOME homebrews.  (I tried it out on Loderunner and it worked great.)

 

Am I correct: The Seagull CV Adapter will do the same thing to the "other" controllers I try to use on my Colecovision (i.e. MOST classic Colecovision games, and SOME homebrews.)

 

The only way to get a "perfect" Colecovision controller would be to get the new one.

 

As an aside (you may not be able to answer this, we may need a developer), what are the advantages for games that are "programmed to always read the keypad and strobe the controls?"  And I wonder if the Defender situation will ever be solved....

 

This is slightly disappointing, but at the end of the day not that big of a deal for me.  It would be $119 for an Atari controller, so an extra $30 for compatibility with MOST Colecovision games is still a great deal.  (I'm the guy that spent WAY too much on this [$397 level -"This reward bundles TWO "Super Arcade Controllers" with a "Seagull CV" controller adapter for flexible two-player fun with the classic and Flashback Colecovision consoles.] with the plan of stationing the second controller with my Atari, with the flexibility of moving them around as need for 2 player use, with the Seagull CV to allow me to use any controller with any system, so I can play Colecovision Pitfall! with a CX40, or 2600 Starmaster with my Sega Genistick.  So, no real regrets on my end.)  I do wish the problem had been detected and fixed earlier.

 

Are there any plans to redesign the board to address this, or is the problem too big?  I'm guessing the latter, given the path you are taking with the new board.  If I get heavily enough into the homebrew scene in time I may get one, but I would prefer to upgrade my "Seagull CV" (I assume IF you made changes to the board it would be compatible with the current cases so would be more cost effective to swap rather than get a whole new adapter).

 

I sincerely hope this does not put you off developing new hardware - I know you've targeted the 5200 next (don't have one) but I would be VERY interested in a Vectrex stick, which you did mention as a possible followup to the 5200 project.

 

 

Thanks for your kind words and unflagging support!

 

I would love to know the answer to your question about why you would program the game to work one way versus the other.  That's way out of my league, needless to say.   Any developers out there have an opinion on this?

 

Yes, all your statements are correct - haven't heard or found a single problem with Atari 2600/7800, nor the CV Flashback.  Classic CV fails will be the same on the controllers and the Seagull CV adapter. 

 

I am definitely not spooked off additional projects!    Despite the challenges and complications, its the most fun part of my job.    I may well turn the tide of public opinion by saying so, but I think the 5200 may well be my favorite of these consoles, so a "Super 52" is not a matter of "if" so much as "when".   We will definitely be starting with a simple version that replicates the CX-52 with arcade controls, though I'd also like to have a deluxe version that adds a spinner/paddle for Pole Position, Super Breakout, and all the single-axis shooters (Tempest, Gyruss, Galaxian, Megamania, Space Invaders, etc).   We've cleared the first hurdle on this project in that a regular supply of game-molded DB-15 cords has been located.    A hall-effect analog joystick would be a big improvement over the old potentiometer sticks, but I'm having a hard time finding one that does not blow the price out of the water.   Likewise with an optical encoder module to serve up a flawless spinner.

 

I AM definitely open to the design change that would fix the one we are looking at now.  I would never run the current one again!   In v2.0 the battery circuit needs to be integrated, this keyboard-first mode added, and a few other improvements that were revealed in the process of building what we have built thus far.  Its just an expensive proposition.... Probably $750 - $1000 for the engineering and programming changes and the new drawings, then another $4000 for the minimum run of 100 pieces with all the parts added.   And we still have ~ 75 pieces of the first run with all that cash tied up.  :(    Still not like starting over...  The enclosures, keypads, and artwork would not require any changes.

 

So yes, sooner or later v2.0 will be available and at the time I will be back here first to offer an upgrade for little more than the cost of the board to anyone that wants to finally have the perfect controller.



#293 AtariBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:29 AM

 

 

 

 

 

I am definitely not spooked off additional projects!    Despite the challenges and complications, its the most fun part of my job.    I may well turn the tide of public opinion by saying so, but I think the 5200 may well be my favorite of these consoles, so a "Super 52" is not a matter of "if" so much as "when".   We will definitely be starting with a simple version that replicates the CX-52 with arcade controls, though I'd also like to have a deluxe version that adds a spinner/paddle for Pole Position, Super Breakout, and all the single-axis shooters (Tempest, Gyruss, Galaxian, Megamania, Space Invaders, etc).   We've cleared the first hurdle on this project in that a regular supply of game-molded DB-15 cords has been located.    A hall-effect analog joystick would be a big improvement over the old potentiometer sticks, but I'm having a hard time finding one that does not blow the price out of the water.   Likewise with an optical encoder module to serve up a flawless spinner.

 

 

 

What about one with two sticks for Robotron and Space Dungeon ? Roughly how much are the expensive joysticks that are too expensive ? I am in for any and all arcade controllers for the 5200 if they are analog sticks that self center .



#294 Chak OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:40 PM


I AM definitely open to the design change that would fix the one we are looking at now.  I would never run the current one again!   In v2.0 the battery circuit needs to be integrated, this keyboard-first mode added, and a few other improvements that were revealed in the process of building what we have built thus far.  Its just an expensive proposition.... Probably $750 - $1000 for the engineering and programming changes and the new drawings, then another $4000 for the minimum run of 100 pieces with all the parts added.   And we still have ~ 75 pieces of the first run with all that cash tied up.  icon_sad.gif    Still not like starting over...  The enclosures, keypads, and artwork would not require any changes.

 

So yes, sooner or later v2.0 will be available and at the time I will be back here first to offer an upgrade for little more than the cost of the board to anyone that wants to finally have the perfect controller.

 

Is the current board used in the USB version?  How does that work on virtual consoles and classic-style games (like Castlevania Rebirth) on [for us] modern systems like the Wii on up?  If it does work, is the hole pattern set in stone, or could somebody order one with the buttons in a SNES "+" style configuration?  The only issues I could see would be the "Start," "Select" and shoulder buttons.  There are enough buttons on the controller for that (12 on the keypad) but getting it all to work is the question.

 

Also, could you make a USB Seagull?  Your initial board is good but not perfect as a CV board, but if it's able to be a great USB board there could be an opportunity there.  I could easily be enticed to get either of the products mentioned, but not right now.  Just a thought.



#295 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:52 PM

What about one with two sticks for Robotron and Space Dungeon ? Roughly how much are the expensive joysticks that are too expensive ? I am in for any and all arcade controllers for the 5200 if they are analog sticks that self center .


It's definitely a possibility I've considered, as Space Dungeon has been a favorite since I was 14 or 15 playing on my 4-port. But the cost... wow. So far the best I have found is +$60 per joystick for a hall-effect stick, which is steep. For contrast, a simple Super 78 costs us $95.63 to build ($75 parts and $20 labor), and that's buying the Sanwa sticks for $18.90 each (requires purchase of +50 at a time). A twin stick version would mean two of those, two keypads, two controller boards, etc. Still, we will figure it out and see if anyone wants one.

#296 edladdin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:14 PM

 
Is the current board used in the USB version? 

How does that work on virtual consoles and classic-style games (like Castlevania Rebirth) on [for us] modern systems like the Wii on up?  If it does work, is the hole pattern set in stone, or could somebody order one with the buttons in a SNES "+" style configuration?  The only issues I could see would be the "Start," "Select" and shoulder buttons.  There are enough buttons on the controller for that (12 on the keypad) but getting it all to work is the question.



 
Also, could you make a USB Seagull?  Your initial board is good but not perfect as a CV board, but if it's able to be a great USB board there could be an opportunity there.  I could easily be enticed to get either of the products mentioned, but not right now.  Just a thought.


We are going to use the iPac2 from Ultimarc in the USB controllers. No need to reinvent the wheel there. My understanding is that the iPac supports remapping of any key to any keystroke you wish.

We have been talking about offering a "Super USB" , whch would be flexible on the number and layout of buttons.

I imagine it's possible to do the Seagull USB That's a question for the engineer.

#297 vazquezrick OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:04 PM

Edladdin,

 

I'm conflicted. I have one of your controllers, is there any possible fix in the future even at an additional cost?

 

 

Thank you, again, for posting this.    Watching this now, it seems like a variation on the same problem with  SGM Bosconian, where stick movements are triggering a false "*" press on the keypad, which throws it into "Pause" mode. That's actually good news!  Fighting the same problem rather than a random OTHER problem.

 

Definitely clear that the battery is required for these controller to function at all with certain games.   "Ten" was optimistic!  

 

Bob is working on this during this week, so we should have a solution soon.

 

edladdin,

 

I'm conflicted. I like the control; however I would like it to work as intended. Coleco, Atari etc. Is there any fix (perhaps at an extra cost) in the future?


Edited by vazquezrick, Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:06 PM.


#298 Bmack36 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:37 PM

Ed, Have you thought about using a power connector like the roller controller to get the power instead of the battery?



#299 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 9:29 PM

Just checking in to see if there is any new update on the CV controllers. 



#300 edladdin OFFLINE  

edladdin

    Moonsweeper

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  • Location:Athens, Georgia, USA

Posted Fri Jun 9, 2017 12:18 AM

I do finally have conclusive things to report!

 

TL:DR

  • Brand new Super CV controller delivers 100% compatibility with some ColecoVision consoles, but not every CV console.
  • Super Arcade Controllers and SAC PLUS deliver 100% compatibility on all four input channels, as well as output to the Atari and CV Flashback console.  But on the classic ColecoVision a couple of specific glitches remain untamed on certain CV games - mostly recent homebrews.  We have no idea how to fix them.

 

Read on for details:

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Super Arcade Controllers:  These are the multi-console controllers that were the basis of the Kickstarter campaign.  They are very likely, but not guaranteed, to deliver these two types of glitches:

1. Defender firing error - Button 1 (cannon) also triggers Button 2 (smart bomb).  This problem is not present with every controller.

2. Diagonal error - Joystick movements to the lower corners trigger false * and # key presses due to overlapping output codes and an incurable timing error, probably in our emulation. Still don't really know.  This is a concern with games that have been programmed to pause, reset, or otherwise derail your gameplay.   Known examples:  OpCode SGM Bosconian and Interphase Aquattack.  A couple more homebrews also do this. I have to go back through these emails and posts to identify them specifically, then we'll post a google docs list where other problems can be identified by members of the community.

 

Final Status:  No problems found with Atari 2600, Atari 7800, ColecoVision Flashback, or the vast majority of vintage CV games.  The input channels on the PLUS and the earlier Seagull CV adapters all work fine.  These units mostly seem to have both problems, though in some cases Defender works ok.   Most likely to manifest with CV homebrews that have programmed functions to those keys, yet somehow missing something or different from  was in the Coleco brand games.   Earlier in this saga we learned that some games pulse the joystick + button 1 as the primary, others pulse buttons 2-4 and the keypad as primary, though why that matters we cannot figure out.

 

I still have not decided whether to offer the Super Arcade Controller PLUS after the initial stock has been depleted.   Tthe price is going to have to move from $199 in the Kickstarter to $249.00 in the store.  The finished product turned out to be much more expensive than estimated, most significantly in time to build one, which is a minimum of three hours and usually more.  For the same reason, the Super Arcade Controller and Seagull CV controller adapters are probably completely dead.  They are more expensive to build than I think anyone would consider paying.  :-(

 

 

Super CV Controllers:  These are brand new, CV-only controllers built around a very simple I/O board that only has circuit routing and the 16 diodes that provide the passive encoding for each command.  Aside from the microswitch control set, these are identical in operation to original Super Action controllers, less the thumbwheels.  These are brand new since the last update.  At this time, two have been built and shipped in fulfillment of the Kickstarter campaign.  Super CV #1 went to Willie Culver, where it was tested on two of his CV consoles after being tested on my own console.  The results were as follows:

 

CV Console #1:  Controller performed flawlessly with all games, including Defender and the "diagonal" games!

CV Console #2:  Produced the diagonal problem, but not the Defender problem

CV Console #3:  Failed the Defender AND diagonal tests.  CV #3 was then tested with a STOCK Coleco controller and it delivered the exact same problems on Defender and the Diagonal games.

 

Now, this was the exact same controller being tested on the three consoles, which led us to conclude that at least some of the blame for these problems is actually in the consoles!    The next round of testing will be two replace the two controller chips in the flawed consoles (mine is #2) to see if that refurbishment suddenly solves the "controller" problems.  That just the most logical next guess, though, as to where these errors are coming from.  

 

Here's a link to a video of Willie putting Super CV #00001 through its paces with CV Console #1:
https://youtu.be/M97...sPtlGxcz3y50c7O

 

Final Status:  These controllers are the best bet for reaching 100% compatibility, with proven success delivering that with at least the one console.   However, we can hardly ask people to possibly do internal repairs to their ColecoVisions before buying our controller, so the bottom line will be that we will advertise the Super CV as STILL having possible issues with Defender and the Diagonal games, which may or may not be present with a given system.   They also do not have thumbwheel support, so Baseball, Football, and Soccer are out the window. 

 

Retail price for the Super CV will be $159.00 at the Edladdin and AtariAge stores after the Kickstarter is finally settled, followed by the folks on the wait list that began as soon as the Kickstarter campaign ended.

 

 

Kickstarter Backer Options:

Kickstarters who received the Super Arcade Controller can return it and have a Super CV as an exchange. 

Kickstarters who pledged for the Super Arcade Controller PLUS can choose the Super CV and also receive a $40 rebate, either via PayPal or store credit. 

Anyone who is unhappy with how this has turned out can also have a full refund of their pledge amount. 

 

 

Bonus round!  Easy CV I/O Board:    Just as we have begun to offer our 7800 I/O board to folks that want to simplify the process of making their own 2600/7800 controllers, the Easy CV will do the same for ColecoVision.  The I/O board and a self-adhesive 12-key membrane keypad will be $20 in the Edladdin and AtariAge stores.   These are ready to go, I just need to finish writing the instruction sheet.

 

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That's it.  Tried not write a wall of text, but it seems to have happened anyway.  

 

Let me know your questions!  And THANK YOU for all your support while we went down this rabbit hole together.  Its been a crazy ride.

 

Best wishes,

 

Ed

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Easy-CV-Board.jpg
  • Easy-CV-Boards.jpg
  • Super-CV-00002-a.jpg
  • Super-CV-00002-c.jpg
  • Super-CV-00002-d.jpg





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