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TransKey-III (TK-III) Development

TransKey TK-II TK-III PS/2 PS/2 Atari Keyboard Adapter PS/2 Atari ST Mouse

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#1 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 2, 2016 5:11 PM

TK-III Proposed Product Specifications
May 2nd, 2016 (revised May 10th, 2016)
Michael St. Pierre

 

This will be the third generation TransKey product, with the focus to create a better mouse experience and also expand into other communication possibilities. The goal is to continue to have full hardware transparency, or in other words, not require any software drivers to support most features. This will be an internal upgrade only, similar to the TK-II-PIGGYBACK version.

 

  • Keyboard Support

Protocol: PS/2 (because its way easier than USB)

Standard Features: Mimic existing TK-II Feature Set

Improvements: Bring Atari Keyboard Compatibility up to 99.9%

  • Mouse Support (See Newly Added Features)

TK-II Mouse Arrow Key Emulation will be dropped

  • Newly Added Features

​ST Mouse Emulation utilizing standard PS/2 Mouse Hardware

Protocol: PS/2
Translated to simulated X/Y encoder (ST mouse look a like) fed to joystick port
Left & Right buttons to mimic same ST mouse actions
Middle button (when in mouse mode) = reserved - TBD
Scroll Wheel (when in mouse mode) = reserved - TBD

 

​Trak-Ball Mode (via mouse emulation)

Emulate 'trackball mode' for CX-22 and early production CX-80

Emulate 'joystick mode' for non Trac-Ball games and applications

Note: late model CX-80 'trackball mode' was the same as an ST Mouse so will automatically work with TK-III's PS/2-to-ST mouse emulation

 

Paddle Mode (via mouse emulation)

PS/2 mouse scroll wheel emulates paddle controller pot

PS/2 mouse left or right button = paddle trigger button

 

Touch Pad Mode (via mouse emulation)

Emulate CX-77 Touch Pad

Emulate 'The Rat'

 

Joystick Mode (via keyboard emulation)

Option to use keyboard NumPad arrow and diagonal keys as joystick input

 

RS232 Terminal Mode (driver-less version)

Connection: Via built-in UART, level translation circuit, and D-Sub 9 pin male COM Port connection, 3 wire interface

Baudrates: 2400, 9600, 19.2K

Data Config: 1 start bit - 8 data bits - 2 stop bits - no parity

Transmit mode is toggled (default = normal keyboard)

Manual key presses will transmit ASCII equivalents via RS232

Received ASCII characters will send matching POKEY key presses (emulation)

Incoming data will be fully buffered to match POKEY’s slower speed

XON/XOFF software handshake for incoming flow control (keyboard has priority)

Optional CTRL+SHIFT incoming data append feature (stealth mode)

 

Parallel-to-Serial RS232 Transmission Mode (requires software driver, supercedes all other joystick/mouse related use when enabled)

Making PortA an output, and then loading 8-Bit parallel data, initiates RS232 transmission when this feature is enabled

See 'RS232 Terminal Mode' for hardware capabilities and connection specs

 

Atari CX85 Hardware Support (no driver required)

This would be a driver-less implementation of the CX85 numeric numpad hardware produced by Atari

 

Keyboard Controlled Multi-Purpose Output

One general purpose keyboard controlled switchable output

 

  • Configurability

Paddle, Joystick, Mouse, CX85 hardware and/or emulation will be swappable independently between joystick ports 1&2. The configuration will be stored in non-volatile EEPROM

 

  • Project Timeline: Development to begin June 2016, and be completed by March 2017 (Best case scenario, but we all know how that goes. So don't hold your breath)

 

  • Project Ownership: All materials and plans to be distributed within the Public Domain (this will be a DIY product or may be produced and sold by others for profit)

 

Just to be clear, this will be an entirely new branch of the TransKey product line, and will not share either hardware or software with the previous versions (exception: some code will be migrated from TK-II, and the TK-II-INTFC board will be compatible).

 

I reserve the right to change any and all specifications as proposed in this document.

 

- Michael St. Pierre


Edited by mytekcontrols, Thu May 19, 2016 9:17 PM.


#2 bob1200xl OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 2, 2016 11:15 PM

Will they work in a 1200XL?

 

Bob



#3 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 2, 2016 11:55 PM

Will they work in a 1200XL?
 
Bob

Affirmative! In fact it'll be an even smaller footprint then the TK-II-PIGGYBACK board (moving some components inside POKEY's footprint).

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols, Mon May 2, 2016 11:57 PM.


#4 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 3, 2016 11:21 AM

UPDATED SPECIFICATION

 

The first post on this topic will always reflect the most current specification for this new TransKey version. Every time it is revised, the revision date shown at the top of that post will also be updated. So it is good to always check the first post to keep apprised of where this development is heading.

 

I would like to thank Brentarian for his suggestions related to Paddle and CX85 support.

 

- Michael



#5 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 3, 2016 2:46 PM

Any chance of emulating "The Rat"?  The Rat is a mouse with a heavy metal ball that turns pots inside, and acts like 2 paddles. One for vertical movement, and one for horizontal.

 

This should also work with touch-tablet type drawing software.

 

Just an Idea. :)



#6 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 3, 2016 3:16 PM

Any chance of emulating "The Rat"?  The Rat is a mouse with a heavy metal ball that turns pots inside, and acts like 2 paddles. One for vertical movement, and one for horizontal.

 

This should also work with touch-tablet type drawing software.

 

Just an Idea. :)

 

Hi Kyle I'll research that. But it does seem quite doable and probably useful, so likely it'll make it into the spec. Thanks for the suggestion.

 

- Michael



#7 Brentarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 3, 2016 3:49 PM

I can't remember if the Atari trackball is compatible with an ST mouse or not.  If it isn't, then a trackball compatible mode would be great in order to play Missle Command, Centipede, and others with the mouse.   :)



#8 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 3, 2016 9:06 PM

I can't remember if the Atari trackball is compatible with an ST mouse or not.  If it isn't, then a trackball compatible mode would be great in order to play Missle Command, Centipede, and others with the mouse.   :)

 

Good idea, something else to research. Or better yet if someone knows how the trackball really works, and/or if it's the same as the ST mouse please chime in.

 

Later when I get a chance I'll draw up a diagram showing better what I have in mind when it comes to all of the I/O.

 

- Michael



#9 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2016 4:24 PM

Hello guys

 

No, the output from the trakball (in trakball-mode) isn't the same as the output from an ST-mouse.  An article appeared years ago in a Dutch magazine, where the author explained how to modify an Atari Trakball so it could be used instead of an ST-mouse.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

PS OK, the text is in Dutch, but the schematics should explain the differences.

 

Attached File  CX80 to ST Mouse.PDF   324.22KB   118 downloads


Edited by Mathy, Wed May 4, 2016 4:31 PM.


#10 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2016 5:05 PM

Hello guys

 

No, the output from the trakball (in trakball-mode) isn't the same as the output from an ST-mouse.  An article appeared years ago in a Dutch magazine, where the author explained how to modify an Atari Trakball so it could be used instead of an ST-mouse.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

Hi Mathy  :)

 

Thanks for the info and the mod. So what is a trackball's output like? A joystick or different?

 

Anyway I think what Brent would really like to see is to have my board 'emulate' a trackball with the connected PS/2 mouse. So to do that, I would just need to know how an Atari expects to see the trackball. This of course would not be the default behavior for the PS/2 mouse, just one of the possible options that could be selected.

 

- Michael



#11 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2016 5:13 PM

Hello Michael

 

It's similar to the signal a mouse produces, but not the same, IIRC.  I'm not sure.  I've met the author many times "way back when", but haven't seen him in years.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy



#12 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2016 5:41 PM

Apparently there were two different versions of the CX80, and the later one produces a signal identical to an ST mouse when in trackball mode (same as the ST trackball I have here, which is a drop-in mouse substitute).

#13 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2016 9:33 PM

Apparently there were two different versions of the CX80, and the later one produces a signal identical to an ST mouse when in trackball mode (same as the ST trackball I have here, which is a drop-in mouse substitute).

 

Yep now that I started looking, I see that there was a change that occurred in the production on the CX80, that as you said gave it ST mouse compatibility, and that there was a switch to change it to joystick mode as well. So apparently any games or programs that worked with an ST mouse would of course work with that particular flavor of trackball, so nothing for me to emulate there since I am already looking to have the PS/2 act like an ST mouse. However I will need more clarification on any other modes that were supported in order to have the mouse emulate it. I also see that there was a CX22 trackball as well. Can anyone point me to a good place that would fully describe the differences?

 

- Michael



#14 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 4, 2016 10:52 PM

Hopefully this will help: http://atariage.com/...x80-trak-balls/



#15 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2016 12:03 AM

Hopefully this will help: http://atariage.com/...x80-trak-balls/

 
Unfortunately Kyle that didn't have much on what I was looking for. But when I went back to Googling I came across this information on another site...
 

CX22 (Pro-Line) Trak-Ball. Works in joystick or trackball modes. Round buttons. The trackball controller from the Atari Consumer Division (2600/7800).

 

CX80 Track-Ball.  Works in joystick or trackball modes. Triangular buttons. The trackball controller from the Atari Home Computer Division.

  • Trak-ball mode in earlier-production CX80's is compatible with the trackball mode of the CX22 Trak-Ball.
  • Trak-ball mode in later-production CX80's is NOT compatible with the trackball mode of the CX22 Trak-Ball, but IS compatible with the Atari ST Mouse.

 

 

I also came across this video on the CX80 which gives a good comparison of the two modes.

 

Unfortunately this doesn't compare earlier to later models, and of course I don't have specifics on what 'trackball mode' in the earlier units was really about. Although perhaps if I can find good specs on the CX22, then I'll know, since apparently they are the same. On the other hand 'joystick mode' is pretty easy to figure out, and in some ways reminds me of the mouse action in the TK-II, namely not having any acceleration to speak of, and obviously having to mimic switch presses like a joystick.

 

- Michael

 

Note: TK-III Product Development Specification has been updated.


Edited by mytekcontrols, Thu May 5, 2016 12:25 AM.


#16 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2016 9:12 AM

Added new Parallel to RS232 Mode as part of Product Development Specification.

 

- Michael


Edited by mytekcontrols, Thu May 5, 2016 9:15 AM.


#17 Brentarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2016 10:12 AM

Thomas Jentzsch modded Missle Command, Centipede, and Reactor on the 2600.  He has some code in this thread that might help decypher the CX22 - page 4 and beyond.
 
 
More tid bits:
 
CX22 Schematic:
 
 
Hope that helps! :)


#18 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2016 10:41 AM

 

Thomas Jentzsch modded Missle Command, Centipede, and Reactor on the 2600.  He has some code in this thread that might help decypher the CX22 - page 4 and beyond.
 
 
More tid bits:
 
CX22 Schematic:
 
 
Hope that helps! :)

 

 

Good stuff! Thanks I'll look it over when I get a chance (right off the bat, the schematic is very helpful).

 

- Michael



#19 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:35 PM

I am putting this project on indefinite hold. I think this was too ambitious of a project, suffered from major feature creep, and several parts of it I think are really not needed by the community at large. And those things that are, such as true ST mouse support are probably better handled as an independent dedicated board that could be plugged into either joy stick port.

 

But as the saying goes "Never say Never", so maybe sometime in the distant future this vaporware might have some aspects go solid.

 

Thank you everyone that contributed ideas and suggestions  :)

 

And if nothing else this project spurred increased activity and development of the TK-II product line, and has now branched into a Stereo version.

 

- Michael







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: TransKey, TK-II, TK-III, PS/2, PS/2 Atari Keyboard Adapter, PS/2 Atari ST Mouse

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