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About this blog

Hindsight and brain farts

Entries in this blog

 

DATA COUP

Looking through some disks I found some more unfinished business from around 1993. I had been writing articles for the Western New York Atari User Group (WNYAUG) newsletter, POKEY, for a couple of years before I started running out of things to write about. The newsletter was a good place to hone my writing skills and decided to try my hand at fiction.   The story, “Data Coup” was written as a serial to appear in POKEY over 5 issues. The first chapter was published in the last paper edition

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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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More Lights for Spinax - Part 002

What percentage of your electronics spare parts have been salvaged with the hopes of using them someday. I began to see that putting the rest of the lights on Spinax was going to be an opportunity to rummage for items to use.   I wish I could remember how many years ago I walked into a casino and was given a gadget. Pull the tab and a number would be back lit. If the number as a match, you could have won $$$$. (I would have remembered the amount if I had won.)     When I got it home and p

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8-bit Atari meets LEGO’s Maxilos and Spinax #001

I’m assuming that everyone has hooked up an LED to their computer and made it blink. I’m also assuming that most everyone said, ”That’s cool. Now what?” I'm going to be running lights to a LEGO Bionicle and then using the Atari to control the light show. This could be accomplished with any programmable controller but, since this is an Atari Age blog, an Atari 8-bit computer seemed to be a logical choice.     The Bionicle kit #8924 is the embodiment of Maxilos and his four legged friend,

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Ultra-sonic Range Finder -> Arduino -> RS232 -> Atari Computer

Ultra-sonic Range Finder -> Arduino -> RS232 -> Atari Computer

If capturing text from your Arduino to a terminal buffer is all you want to do, you are lucky. You may want to collect data and use it in your own programs. Unfortunately there are not a lot of example programs to learn from and the 850 interface manual can be cryptic for us mortals. Persistence does pay off. Usually the “let’s try this” style of debugging will eventually get you to the proper combination of port settings and program logic.   I wanted to hook up a sensor to the Arduino

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Atari 8 bit <-> 850 Interface <-> RS232 Shield <-> Arduino

As if there isn’t enough hardware to hook up to your RS232 equipped computer, now you can build your own. It was a nice thought to build Arduino boards with a USB port for serial communications and programming, and even nicer that it can be equipped with an RS232 port for communicating with our Ataris.   You’ll need an 850 interface or a PR:connection hooked up and running on your Atari 8-bit. The ST has an on board RS232 port. If you have hooked up a modem or set up communication to anothe

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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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Radio Controlled Mini Car = 4 Atari digital inputs

Radio controlled mini cars don’t last forever. Sometimes they get stepped on and sometimes the battery won’t charge anymore. In any case, when the radio transmitter and receiver still work, it may be an opportunity to hack a 4 output digital controller.     The receiver unit is from a Bensu Mini Racer. They all seem to have slightly different electronics under the hood but most serve the same functions; forward, reverse, right and left. IR control systems for these cars may pose unkno

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Wii CLASSIC CONTROLLER + ARDUINO = ATARI JOYSTICK

Since I was successful getting the Wii Nunchuk hooked up to the Joystick port I thought I would try the Wii Classic Controller (WCC). The hardware was simple, unplug the nunchuk attached to the Arduino project from my last blog and plug in the WCC. It was my poor choice of internet search criterial that gave me the most trouble.     I just needed to find the function library for the WCC. The first search pointed me to “playground.arduino.cc/Main/WiiClassicController”. This is a library cre

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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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