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About this blog

Hindsight and brain farts

Entries in this blog

 

Seiko RC-1000 Watch Terminal <– Atari RS232 connection

Back in the day, I started writing Atari BASIC software to edit and transmit data to a Seiko RC-1000 Wrist Terminal Watch. This may have been the only time an Atari 8Bit, 850 interface, and RC-1000 were in the same room and if it happens again, you may want the following information to write a proper editor.           The RC-1000s are being listed on eBay for around $250 to $2,500; I got mine while Seiko was liquidating their inventory at around $50. There were Apple, Comm.64, and IBM

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SIO2MIDI - Home Made MIDI Interface.atr

A disk image with Chris Terpin's Home Made MIDI Interface(1991) had been downloaded at some point during the MIDI Blues project and was not examined until now. The disk contained a text file giving a brief (and somewhat incomplete) explanation of how to build the MIDI I/O circuits and hook it up to the SIO port. That was Part 1 of 2, I'm wondering what part 2 of 2 might have said.   This is a message thread in the Forum that contains a link to an FTP site in response #9. Look for "Home Ma

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MIDI Wind Chimes - Using M: and Atari BASIC

MIDI Wind Chimes - Using M: and Atari BASIC

The last time I tried to simulate wind chimes was by outputting MIDI data through an RS-232 port on the 850 Interface(Rn:).   A8 Wind Chimes - Gentle Breeze in C minor - Out of the Pack - AtariAge Forums   Now that I have the Wizztronics MIDIMAX,  I can hook up a MIDI synthisizer to it and output MIDI data using Atari BASIC and the MIDI device handler(M:).   There were only a couple of lines in the original code that needed to be changed to open a channel to the M:

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Joystick Port Logic Box

Not that many of my projects get past the prototype stage. Once I find out that something can be done I rapidly lose interest. I have found in the past that once built, the circuits rarely get used because Im working on the next project. But every so often a circuit gets soldered together and put in a project box to have on hand. Such is the case with the Joystick Logic Box. While programing the Spinax light control circuit I wished I had the ability to quickly hook up some LEDs to the

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NUNCHUK + ARDUINO = ATARI JOYSTICK

The Arduino is an open source microprocessor system that is being used to by many hobbyist and hackers for what seems to be endless possibilities. One such possibility is to read the data from a Wii Nunchuk and send it to a computer through the USB port. This is explained very well on the Arduino web site.     What I have done is to manipulate the input from the Wii Nunchuk and send it out to the Joystick port to mimic the classic Atari Joystick.   I would rather think of this write-up

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Inside the Quick Shot II Turbo Joystick

I was surprised at the dismal condition my joysticks were in when I tested them with the Pocket Joystick Tester. When an LED did not light, I know it was broken but most of the time they would dim, blink, or change light intensity as the switches were activated. These are sure signs that the contacts need cleaning. If I’m going to clean the contacts I may as well take some pictures to share.       Quick Shot II Turbo   I’m not sure where I got this joystick or if it has ever been opened

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The Casio DH-100 project plan

Between the time that the Casio DH-100 Digital Horn was introduced and todays prices on eBay, the price dropped to the point where it seemed to be a bargain. I was fortunate enough to have pulled the batteries (15 years ago), so there was a good chance that it would still work.   Now I want to build an Atari8 sound module to accept MIDI information from the DH-100's MIDI port(or any MIDI controller). The MIDI Implementation chart for the DH-100 is not extensive but the streaming of the ch

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A CX-40 Micro Switch Upgrade

I wanted to try replacing the spring contact switches with micro switches in the CX-40 Joystick from the first time I read about it. The height of the switch seemed to be of great concern. It had to be below 2.5mm and the pins on the nylon stick insert had to be sanded down for proper spacing. I was searching Amazon to find a micro switch when I came across a “4 x 4 x 1.5mm SMD Momentary Twist Tactile Micro Switch DC 12V 0.2A”. I was hoping that with a thinner switch the pins would not need

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Relay Boards under Atari 8bit control

Seems not so long ago if you wanted to control a relay switch through your Atari 8bit joystick port, you had to build the hardware from scratch. Not anymore. Now you can buy circuit boards with 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 relays. A couple more parts and you've got what it takes to control your world.     Search Amazon with the key words Arduino Relay for an idea of what is readily available. I ended up with a SainSmart 4 channel relay board not because it was the best but because I wanted to get one

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Torpedo Projector - screen shots

The Torpedo Projector has been sitting on the shelf for a few years. The instructions were written around 2007 and that's about how long its been sitting on the shelf. I played a couple of games of Star Raiders on the 6 foot screen, but I can't believe I was overly impressed since that was the last time it was out of the box.     For playing your 1980's video game machines that have a composite output, you might be happy with one of these toys. Just keep your expectations low. After a

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SAM sings a round

There was a Korg microKorg under the Christmas tree last year; only because my wife wouldn't let me set it up in November when it was purchased. I did manage to get the manual out of the box before it was wrapped. So for a whole month I read the manual and watched youTube videos.   The microKorg has a vocoder. This suggested that the audio output from an Atari running SAM could be hooked up to the line-in on the Korg. Then the Korg could modifiy, modulate, or magically manipulate the signa

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DH100 - Interface program / A8 - Frequency tables

I finished work on the last blog entry, unplugged the keyboard and plugged the digital horn. I was a little surprised to see how much data the breath pressure sensor(after touch) was being streamed to the Atari 8. Far more then it could keep up with. The Arduino needed to be reprogramed to reduce the number of bytes being send to the Atari8. The interface software was tested with the previous Atari 8 test program and it performed much better. The data seemed to make sense and it was diffic

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DH-100 - The Sound of Possible Music

Finally got the DH-100 digital horn telling the Atari8 what tones to make and when. There was a couple of times I didn't think it was going to happen. Luckily the compiled basic program runs fast enough to keep up with the filtered data from the Arduino. Some sound tests have been recorded and placed in the following ZIP file. sound checks.zip Nothing has been done to enhance the sound from the Pokey chip other then combining 2 channels to allow the use of 16 bits to define the tones.

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Drum Synth- Antic 2/85, MIDIfied

Drum Synth/Bass Synth by Glen Gutierrez are 2 programs featured in the Antic Feb. 1985 issue. Antic Editor: "These are the most realistic instrument simulations we've ever heard at Antic." The Drum Synth program has been MIDIfied to except data from an Arduino+MIDI shield through the joystick port. Now the drums can be beat from a MIDI keyboard(MKB) or sequencer. Software: The chart follows the data from the MIDI NOTE ON source to the Atari Computer running the Drum program. The gene

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Pocket Joystick Tester

Pocket Joystick Tester

Have you ever been in a situation where you wished you could check your joystick but your Atari game system or computer was not within reach? Maybe you’re at the flea market looking for a joystick. Maybe you’re at your work bench. Maybe you want to check out the broken joystick that your friend gave you to play with. Whatever the case, now you can build this portable pocket joystick tester to carry where ever you go. As projects go, they don’t get any simpler. The bigger you make the

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How to play Star Raiders with a 3 year old

My wife tells me that our three year old granddaughter may be a little to young to enjoy a game of Star Raiders. To which I said, "You may be right." And then I put the cartridge in. I have to admit that the first try was not all that successful. I gave her the joystick and she found the fire button. She just kept firing till she hit something. I told her it was a rock and then everything she hit was a rock. I worked the keyboard while she fired away. She wasn't much of a pilot, the joyst

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Soldering Arduino Shield Stackable Header Pins

The more you play around with Arduino circuits for your Atari8 the more likely it is that you will be soldering stackable header pins onto prototype boards. The better the solder job, the easier it is to stack your boards. No mater how many times I try I haven't seen an improvement in my skill set. At lease not until I built this LEGO fixture to hold the pins perpendicular to the board while soldering.   The fixture uses LEGO Technic parts. They are all standard parts. Attached is the buil

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A8 MMS - Rhythm Ukulele with CC64

A8 MMS - Rhythm Ukulele with CC64

These two MP3 files are the result  of experiments to program rhythm guitar and Ukulele tracks into the MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM software on the Atari 8bit.  The cords were programed into voice tracks and then called when needed.    The MMS files were recorded with a MIDIPLUS - miniEngine USB with reverb set to 81.  Sound 24, Acoustic Guitar(Nylon)  seemed to be the closest match to my ukulele.   "Drunken Sailor" used only down strums and both lead and rhythm tracks used Sound 24.

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Going Retro: Checking on the A8

Retrofying the checking account gave me a chance to think about how much of my every day banking has changed over the last 30 years. Debit cards, ATMs, automatic deposits, automatic bill payment, automation of data entry at the window, and online banking came about after opening up my first checking account. Now that my balance is one password away I didn't even bother to keep the Transaction Register (that little book that comes with the checks) up to date. Maybe one of the biggest changes i

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Light control hardware - Spinax Part 003

The control system for the lights on LEGO’s Spinax has been prototyped and programed for a simple sequence. If your only interest is to see it in operation, check out the link to the YOUTUBE video. If you want more information read on.   {video removed}   Spinax has 8 lights along its back. I wanted to be able to program the on/off cycles for each light. This could be done using the 8 digital outputs of the joystick ports but left little room for future expansion. Inste

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DH100 - MIDI Communication established

I was going to start writing my list of resolutions for 2018. Then I thought about writing about what I didn't accomplish in 2017. Then I decided to just work on programing the interface and get the Atari to read and print the MIDI data stream through the joystick port. I had high hopes of creating a midi monitor that would accept the data and print out the commands as they were received but all that extra code was getting in the way of finding errors. I was happy when I got the Atari8 and Ar

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A8 MIDI and the Atari Age of rediscovery

When I started the Computer Blues Project I really thought there was no way to program the MIDI MATE from BASIC and that using the RS232 port was an option. If you don't have a MIDI Mate or MIDI Max, it is an option. If you do, there are ways of programing BASIC MIDI applications for them. I am just now starting to discover those methods. That’s at the end of this blog story. Where to start? Once upon a time….. I wasn't going to replace the MIDI Mate I sold after getting the ST but whe

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The $42+$10+$7 Voice Synthesizer

Warning: This entry is about the hardware of an ongoing project. It may create more questions then answers. Please post any answers, along with the question, in the comment section.   Be careful what you put on your Amazon Wish list. You just might get it. Before the holidays I loaded mine up with Arduino shields, breakout boards, servo motors and 2n2222 transistors. The speech synthesis shield for Arduino from DFROBOT was put on list without doing much research. No ratings or reviews sho

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Atari Clock & RTC pt.3 of 3

The Arduino is sending data to the 850 every second, the Atari has the Clock and R: handler loaded, and the only thing left is to write the BASIC program to get the time from the 850 and set the clock. I took the original CLOCK2.BAS and turned it into a pile of spaghetti code and called it SETCL850.BAS. It gets the job done but I know there are more errors then have been anticipated. This ATR is a single density disk image with DOS.SYS 2.5, the AUTORUN.SYS from pt.2, and the SECTCLOCK.B

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S.A.M. Word Editor v1.0

I wanted to get my collection of SAM programs organized on the PC using my new Atarimax SIO2PC. I’m not sure how large the collection was but some of the disks were unreadable. SAM worked fine with DOS 2.5 and got RECITER working after remembering to boot with a translator disk. I guess at some point while running SAYIT.BAS I decided a better phonetic word editor would be nice. Once started I just couldn’t stop.   What I did was put the phonetic spelling chart on the screen. The dictionary s

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