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Atari Flashback Portable!

Atgames Plug and play handheld

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#901 JimmyIpock OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:48 PM

Someone asked about putting a 9 pin joystick connector in, I was able to do it without too much complication.
 

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#902 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:52 PM

Last night while doing laundry I spent about 70 minutes playing a wide variety of games on mine. The Dpad is a bit looser, and I have to say is working better than I initially thought. The unit does have some incompatibilities but overall I am very pleased with it.

I think I have an appropriate video cable sitting around somewhere, so at some point I will have to try using it with my TV set.

#903 Asaki ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:22 AM

Someone asked about putting a 9 pin joystick connector in, I was able to do it without too much complication.


Were you able to find all nine connections, or just the six that the joystick uses?

#904 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:18 AM

Someone asked about putting a 9 pin joystick connector in, I was able to do it without too much complication.

Were you able to find all nine connections, or just the six that the joystick uses?

This. Paddles or GTFO. Also I doubt the VCC pin has a full +5v to work with on a portable powered by a LiIon cell.

#905 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:14 AM

Someone asked about putting a 9 pin joystick connector in, I was able to do it without too much complication.
 

 

Truly awesome.  Can you show pictures on how you wired it up?   Maybe a little video of the joystick port in use.  And yes, inquiring minds wants to know if it allowed the use of a paddle controller?



#906 JimmyIpock OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:20 AM

 

Truly awesome.  Can you show pictures on how you wired it up?   Maybe a little video of the joystick port in use.  And yes, inquiring minds wants to know if it allowed the use of a paddle controller?

 

 

This. Paddles or GTFO. Also I doubt the VCC pin has a full +5v to work with on a portable powered by a LiIon cell.

 

 

Were you able to find all nine connections, or just the six that the joystick uses?


I don't think paddles are ever going to work, atari paddles (potentiometers)  are specified for 5 volts. The portable is using 3.8 volts. Assuming the atgames chip is wired for paddles (no reason to believe it is) then the readout of the analog pots would be skewed. The portable is totally digital, paddles are analog. I don't think paddles will ever work on the portable.

Asaki, I found the six connections for the joystick (up, down, left, right, fire, ground). The other (+5v, paddle1, paddle2) don't exist on the portable circuit board.

I'm happy to post detailed pictures of how I did the mod..

 

 

 

Top of d-pad circuit.
Album: Atari Portable Joystick Mod
43 images
0 comments

 



#907 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:37 PM

 

I don't think paddles are ever going to work, atari paddles (potentiometers)  are specified for 5 volts. The portable is using 3.8 volts. Assuming the atgames chip is wired for paddles (no reason to believe it is) then the readout of the analog pots would be skewed. The portable is totally digital, paddles are analog. I don't think paddles will ever work on the portable.

Suggestion here...... I'm electronically naive here so I'm just throwing out an idea.... it prob will not work.....

Is there a way to add a battery pack inside an Atari Paddle controller to add the extra power needed (difference between the 3.8v built in and the needed 5v)??

 

Like I said just an idea....



#908 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:39 PM

There's more to it. The portable doesn't have the circuitry to read an analog signal.



#909 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:42 PM

So JimmyIpock,

 

Does your mod allow the D-Pad to still work also?   Or does it Only function now with a joystick plugged in?

 

Good work BTW!



#910 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:03 PM

There's more to it. The portable doesn't have the circuitry to read an analog signal.

Haa....got ya! I figured there was more to it.



#911 JimmyIpock OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:10 PM

Suggestion here...... I'm electronically naive here so I'm just throwing out an idea.... it prob will not work.....

Is there a way to add a battery pack inside an Atari Paddle controller to add the extra power needed (difference between the 3.8v built in and the needed 5v)??

 

Like I said just an idea....

It might be possible to get the signal to 5 volts, but the real issue is that the portable doesn't have the paddle input lines into the controller. Also, i bet the atgames controller is running on 3.3 volts, 5  volts would likely destroy something.

 

I really don't know of any way to move forward without some schematics and seeing the lines needed. I doubt there are analog lines on the portable.



#912 JimmyIpock OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:11 PM

So JimmyIpock,

 

Does your mod allow the D-Pad to still work also?   Or does it Only function now with a joystick plugged in?

 

Good work BTW!

Yes, everything works as normal.



#913 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:08 PM

Just posted a ridiculously long review of the Flashback Portable in my blog.

#914 dgdgagdae OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:03 PM

Just posted a ridiculously long review of the Flashback Portable in my blog.


Nice review. For me, the sound is just too bad for me to keep the unit. The buzz is annoying enough, but in game sound is even worse. Yars Revenge.

#915 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:19 AM

So JimmyIpock,

 

Does your mod allow the D-Pad to still work also?   Or does it Only function now with a joystick plugged in?

 

Good work BTW!

I'm wondering though. Would this work with the trackball hacks, assuming you could somehow supply +5V to pin 7? That could be accomplished by hokking a 5V DC-DC boost converter between the 3.3V VCC and pin 7 of the controller port.

 

This of course assumes the Flashback Portable properly emulates D+U and L+R. You could test with a Starplex or all button controller and the testcart ROM. Paddles can also actuate L+R and Driving controllers can actuate U+D without the need for 5V on pin 7. You'd be surprised how many emulators and USB converters don't properly emulate SOCD (simultaneous opposing cardinal directions) on a joystick.



#916 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:51 AM

Just posted a ridiculously long review of the Flashback Portable in my blog.

 

It's a great review, covers a lot of aspects. Helps us decide if this will be a door prize at our winter tech bash.



#917 Retro-Z OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:32 AM

Just posted a ridiculously long review of the Flashback Portable in my blog.

 

Nice. My brief review a few pages back (when everyone was busy arguing about TVs... LOL) made note of some of the same stuff. I find the issues with the viewing angle of the screen to be really annoying after a little while. The viewing angle is so narrow that the player's left eye sees different colors/contrast on the screen compared to the right eye, and it can be a bit trippy sometimes. 

 

I've also noticed that the D-pad doesn't like being pressed down very hard. With a gentle touch, it works fine, but start getting heavy-handed with it and it'll send you in a direction you didn't intend. 

 

I also agree that the included game selection is pretty "blah". There are only 4-5 built-in games that I personally find worthwhile. 

 

7/10 is definitely a fair score. If they revised the button/switch layout, integrated some type of paddle support, and used a better display, it would be a much better product.


Edited by Retro-Z, Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:35 AM.


#918 atarifan88 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:25 AM

Nice review. For me, the sound is just too bad for me to keep the unit. The buzz is annoying enough, but in game sound is even worse. Yars Revenge.

 

You must have a bad unit.  There are no annoying sounds on mine...

6ec332f0e28d28cb07365eb5ac87fa4a.jpg



#919 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:19 AM

I wonder if they have quality "inconsistency" issues?   I don't seem to have a lot of the issues people have...



#920 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:53 PM

Not sure which of the Flashback Portable threads is the best to post this in, but here goes:

 

I bought both the Atari and Genesis portables recently.  I couldn't help but notice that the Atari screen is smaller than the Genesis one.  It also seems the larger size was used in the pre-release units, but the smaller screen was used in the production ones.  So, I bought an extra Genesis unit and swapped out the screen with my Atari portable.

 

Now, I'm wondering if I made the right decision, so I'd like to know if anyone has knowledge on the differences between the two screens.

Did AtGames use the smaller screen because it has better quality?.. better battery life?.. etc.

 

- The smaller screen does seem a bit more vivid in color, but is it because of being a better screen?

- Has anyone been able to accurately test the difference (if any) between battery life with the 2 screens?  Perhaps someone who has both a pre-release unit and a production unit?

- Does anyone have inside knowledge about the change, (Bill Loguidice, perhaps)?

 

 

 

I took some pictures of an original unit (top and right) next to my modified unit (bottom and left).  It's difficult to see much difference in the pics, but the size is approx 1/4" larger in width and the smaller screen is a bit more vivid.

IMG_20161218_051219.jpg IMG_20161218_051335.jpg


Edited by KevinMos3, Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:52 PM.


#921 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:12 PM

I've seen some complaints about various issues, but really I'm pretty happy with mine.
For less $50, if it lasts for a while I'll get my money's worth out of it.

#922 tep392 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:44 PM

I'm wondering though. Would this work with the trackball hacks, assuming you could somehow supply +5V to pin 7? That could be accomplished by hokking a 5V DC-DC boost converter between the 3.3V VCC and pin 7 of the controller port.

 

This of course assumes the Flashback Portable properly emulates D+U and L+R. You could test with a Starplex or all button controller and the testcart ROM. Paddles can also actuate L+R and Driving controllers can actuate U+D without the need for 5V on pin 7. You'd be surprised how many emulators and USB converters don't properly emulate SOCD (simultaneous opposing cardinal directions) on a joystick.

You better take care not to feed 5v back into the UDLR inputs.



#923 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:56 PM

I wonder if they have quality "inconsistency" issues?   I don't seem to have a lot of the issues people have...

 

Dunno, you tell us.   Load up this demo and let me know if you can see the text on the bottom of the screen scroll by.  And by see I mean see all the text.

 

One thing I've been noticing is on this demo, and Omega Race the bottom of the screen is kinda clipped off.

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Edited by doctorclu, Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:59 PM.


#924 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:35 PM

 

Dunno, you tell us.   Load up this demo and let me know if you can see the text on the bottom of the screen scroll by.  And by see I mean see all the text.

 

One thing I've been noticing is on this demo, and Omega Race the bottom of the screen is kinda clipped off.

 

All right.  Will do...As I wrote that, I was thinking more in terms of some people have had D-Pad issues, I've had no problems...Some people have sound issues.  Although I seemed to remember a little buzzing when I first got it,  as of late I don't hear a peep out of it, unless I crank it all the way  up...

 

And I didn't realize there was a screen difference until now...

 

Anyhow,  [On my Pre-Production unit] ...

 

I see all the text as far as I can tell and Omega Race looks fine (this is the Driving Controller (DC) Version)...

 

And my camera has a way of making things look worse than they really are...Man I didn't even see those smudges until my camera flash caught them LOL...Anyway...Hope these help!

 

2n1taty.jpg

2r7sk5l.jpg

f40hgw.jpg



#925 almightytodd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:43 PM

 

Dunno, you tell us.   Load up this demo and let me know if you can see the text on the bottom of the screen scroll by.  And by see I mean see all the text.

 

One thing I've been noticing is on this demo, and Omega Race the bottom of the screen is kinda clipped off.

 

Isn't the "doctor.bin" a PAL demo? (2008 Trilobit, right?  ...and it's in STEREO!)







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