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madscijr

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Everything posted by madscijr

  1. That Atari Tank II is pretty neat, I've never seen that one. What was the product number, any idea?
  2. Definitely a no brainer! Will it work with the original Pitfall II cartridge? I had the Atari Flashback 9 Gold which, before it stopped working, had Pitfall II - the first Flashback model I have seen that supports the game! I wonder how they did it.
  3. That makes sense. I would be curious what results others report from the above circuits. Is the 2600 the "heavy sixer" and the 2600A the 4-switch version? (I have the latter.) I never understood why, if Atari was so bent on saving the cost of a couple switches, they had to move the difficulty ones to the back of the unit instead of the bw/color and maybe power. The big friendly switches up front would get more use for difficulty than enabling color. But whatever. Thanks again!
  4. Very interesting take, thanks for sharing that. So the stereo / dual gang pot / DPDT switch is to switch between the normal pot and one with the capacitor? Could this be done with a normal (mono) pot and a SPST switch? Also, if you get a free couple minutes and could sketch out a quick wiring diagram, that might help those of us not too familiar with electronics. Thanks again...
  5. Very cool - thanks for explaining all that and for those iCode videos, I will check them out. The thing I find daunting about the RetroPie / RetroArch / etc. stuff (and others may as well) is, I am NOT familiar with Linux, Raspberry Pi, and the "sys admin" side of things in general. So I would benefit from a handheld step-by-step "dummies" guide for setting up one of these things with concrete examples, e.g. here's how to set up an Atari 800: buy this model Raspberry Pi (links), buy these peripherals (links), plug a into b etc., download & install the OS (links), download & install the software & ROMs (links), configure the games and controllers, etc. I just don't have time or free cycles to dive too deep into such unfamiliar territory (lately what time I do have I spend programming games). But if there are quick & easy instructions to get something up & running, I might give it a try sometime! Anyway, thanks again, I will file away this info for future use and check out those iCode vids.
  6. Thanks for your reply! Tweaking on the software side is definitely a smart approach. I'm not familiar with lr-stella, or any of the raspberry pi or chromebox stuff, but always curious, so any links welcome! My Atari activities happen on my original VCS and lately the Flashback 9 (the one with the SD reader) so I'm mainly tweaking the physical controllers for those. I played with linear slide potentiometers which have potential (pun intended) and was even looking at reading an optical mouse with Arduino which would convert it to Atari paddle controller by controlling the resistance with PWM, but that's a little involved, so for me that's on the backburner. My old Windows XP machine runs Stella, and the optical mouse works fine for one player paddle games. You can easily adapt it to a "spinner" by attaching a paddle knob to an "axle" with the mouse up against that, which detects the movement perfectly. I found a wooden dowel inside of a short section of pool noodle works best! Or instead of a paddle knob, you can use a steering wheel, for controlling driving games like Sprint, Indy 500, Night Driver, Pole Position, etc. But for multi player games, I haven't found a way to connect multiple mice. (If someone could make a software app that would read multiple mice as separate devices and emulate analog game controllers internally, that would be a software solution for inexpensive multiple spinners on a computer.) For Windows 10, I have the iCode 4-port adapter, and it works great. (Alas it doesn't work for older Windows versions.) I use the iCode for joysticks for creating my own PC games in QB64, and it works great for joysticks, but I ran into issues getting it to read paddles - it reads them but the values are "jittery". Still a WIP. I did do some research looking for ways to connect multiple optical mice to a PC that can be read as separate paddle / trackball controllers. It has been done before (RawInput API in Windows, and I saw it also was done on Mac / Linux) but it's a little beyond me technically (at the C/C++ level). Still, if I could get Windows to read multiple optical USB mice as separate devices, it would open up a world of fun for DIY Pong games! LoL
  7. 100% agreed. If you do C, my hat's off to you, you're way more advanced than me 🙂 BTW, for anyone curious about QB64, goto qb64.org or check out the forums: https://forum.qb64.org/index.php A game I made in the spirit of the Atari VCS: https://forum.qb64.org/index.php?topic=4649.0 And for Atari / classic arcade fans, a couple by Terry Ritchie: A killer version of Asteroids: https://forum.qb64.org/index.php?topic=2264.0 And Berzerk: https://forum.qb64.org/index.php?topic=442.0
  8. Thank you for your reply! I don't see anything wrong with Python for people who like it, it is definitely the most popular language and available for all major platforms. However, being _interpreted_, if you want to distribute a game written in Python and PyGame and whatever libraries, the end user would need to install Python and said libraries. And it's not going to perform as fast as a compiled language (of course that depends on a lot of things, like how optimized or poorly designed the individual program is, the library used, etc.) For me, QB64 is easy to work with, cross platform (pc, mac, and linux), compiled & runs plenty fast, well-documented, and has an active and supportive user community. I haven't got to Free Basic yet, but it seems to have similar benefits. But there is definitely nothing wrong with Python if that's your preference! (I just wish someone would make a compiler for it, add the option to declare types, the option to enclose blocks in { } or some kind of begin/end delimiter instead of indentation, and a simple header line that declares which version (Python 2, 3, 4, etc.). But that's just me.) Thanks again!
  9. Perhaps most exciting, is QB64 works on Windows, DOS, Mac AND Linux!! I still haven't gotten to FreeBasic but I'll get there.
  10. This thread is fascinating. Did anyone ever arrived at an optimal improved paddle design with trim pot(s), bypass switch, etc., and post it to an instructable somewhere?
  11. I've been playing with connecting Atari paddles to PC using a USB interface like this 9 pin to USB Dual Atari Joystick, Paddle, and Driving Adapter by iCode, DB9 ports, Plus Edition – iCode Technically Distracted: Playing Kaboom! on an Atari 8-bit Emulator with Real Paddle Controllers Fifth release: Atari 2600 | Details | Hackaday.io and find that the values on the PC side are "jumpy", ie without moving the controller and just leaving it sitting there, and reading the value on the PC, the value fluctuates. Not wildly but enough to make my game spastic. This problem happens with working paddles that have been cleaned and are not "jittery" on a real Atari, and it happens with various brand new 1M Ohm linear potentiometers (which also work fine with a real Atari). After some googling I came across a discussion where they discuss this problem and talk about adding a capacitor to "smooth out" the signal: reading a potentiometer ? (avrfreaks.net) I have seen a capacitor used with a guitar tone control potentiometer. Would adding a capacitor between pin 7 (+5v) and pin 5 (paddle A), and another one between pin 7 and pin 9 (paddle B), be the way to do this? Would it work to smooth out the signal or would it no longer be readable by the Atari? Before I open up my paddle and soldering iron, I thought it might be prudent to ask the experts. Any feedback appreciated...
  12. Thanks everyone for your replies. After more searching, I found one which seems to work pretty well, it has a "d" shaft whichis pretty long and is linear taper. Here is the part number and a link in case it helps anyone: Philmore PC28 1 Meg Ohm Linear Taper Solder Lug Terminal Potentiometer, 24mm Body with 1/4" D Shaft. https://marvac.com/products/philmore-pc28-1-meg-ohm-linear-taper-solder-lug-terminal-potentiometer-24mm-body-with-1-4-d-shaft
  13. I know the Atari paddles are 1M Ohm, linear taper, but searching on mouser, jameco and digikey brings up a ton of choices. Has anyone replaced these in their paddles recently that could recommend an exact part number or the mm size, or other specs that I should be looking for & could filter on? Also, I need a good fire button switch, the standard red classic arcade joystick button, has anyone found any good quality ones at a good price? Any recommendations welcome.
  14. That's pretty cool, so the Pong home console paddles use the same 1MOhm potentiometers as the VCS paddles?
  15. In case anyone finds this looking for another solution to this, we discussed using a USB optical mouse as a paddle substitute here The mouse would plug into a Raspberry Pi or Arduino, which would keep track of the position and use it to control the resistance using pulse wave modulation (PWM). I haven't tried it yet but I'll get around to it!
  16. Just to update people in case anyone else is interested in writing Atari type games on a modern PC, that I have been playing with QB64 and created a couple simple practice games without too much trouble. They run fast, and it's BASIC, so for anyone who grew up with that language like I did, it's not too hard to pick up. I plan to try my hand at FreeBasic next.
  17. In case it helps anyone, I found another implementation for the TRS-80 MC-10. Some videos of it running: Atari Adventure in BASIC: Alpha Version - YouTube Atari Adventure in BASIC: Lucky Chalice Placement and Easy Win! - YouTube Atari Adventure In BASIC Spelling Fix - YouTube Try it in this online MC-10 Javascript Emulator (choose ADVNTR from dropdown and type RUN <ENTER>). Here's the page with a link to the downloadable sound file of the program on cassette(!) and a link to it emulated online: Type-in Mania: Programming in BASIC on the TRS-80 MC-10: RetroChallenge 2018/09: Atari Adventure in BASIC Beta Release More info: Atari Adventure in Basic Lost Sword There is a download link here for the game and the emulator it runs in: Jim Gerrie's TRS-80 MC-10 Games by JimGerrie - Play Online - Game Jolt I was looking for a utility to convert the program listing on the cassette image to a plain text file, maybe it's in this MC-10 archive (has the emulator and more stuff): TRS-80 Color Computer Archive - MC-10 A thread about the MC-10 here on atariage: Remember the TRS-80 MC-10? - Tandy Computers - AtariAge Forums
  18. Thanks so much! This might help other budding programmers too.
  19. Thinking about it, the flip screen version would be fine, but the screen would still need to be redrawn pretty quickly when you move to a new one. On the C64 at least, this would mean reading the new screen data (the whole world would be loaded somewhere in high memory where it won't be overwritten by BASIC) and copying the visible portion to the screen, which would be slow without a ML routine of some sort. I'm not sure what BASIC extensions might have features that would do this quickly, otherwise it would mean writing some assembly or hoping the compiled program runs fast enough so you don't have to wait too long for the screen to be drawn.
  20. Thanks everyone for your replies! Oooh, any chance you might be persuaded to share the code? I promise you it would not be used for monetary gain I'm new to Atari 8-bit and hadn't heard of FastBasic - I looked it up and it is intriguing. Simple, easy, and fast are good attributes for a development language here! My condolences, I'm sure 37 years has removed the sting, but I know the pain of losing one's work. PETSCII graphics can definitely reproduce the look of the backgrounds, but the player, dragons, objects, etc. would need to be sprites, to recreate the smooth motion of the Atari VCS version. I know it's not exactly the most advanced game, but I would like the look and feel to be as true to the original as possible. PS However, I might be interested in a option for a scrolling playfield, rather than the flip screen of the original. Maybe even a split screen game where 2 players can interact in the same world. The thing I wouldn't know how to do would be smooth scrolling of character-based (ie tile) graphics, in a window (the top half for player 1, the bottom half for player 2, or maybe right/left, or maybe 2x2 for 4-player split screen, and maybe a non-scrolling area at the top or bottom displaying score, and other attributes). That kind of thing sounds like it would need interrupts and machine language - stuff that is a little daunting, a little too much work - at least on a C64 which I am most familiar with. Maybe the Atari 8-bits have flavors of BASIC that can do that kind of thing easily and quickly? The scrolling is just a nice to have though, I just thought I'd throw that idea out there. If there is no easy way to accomplish it, forget I mentioned it! PPS I think my main idea and desire would be to create an EASILY modifiable Adventure game / engine. Kind of an "Atari 2600 Adventure Construction Set". Thanks again everyone
  21. Just wondering - the technology used for Adventure was simple enough that just about any 8-bit home computer or newer should be capable of emulating it. I'm wondering if anyone has done it in BASIC (maybe compiled, or with some minor ML routines, or using some BASIC expansion library, for more speed etc.) ? It would be cool to have such a code base to work with, making it easy to modify and create custom adventures...
  22. A long time ago I got me an Atari Video Music (HAD to have one after seeing it in "Over the Edge"!) - it worked pretty well, but took up a lot of space and I wasn't going to be able to justify maintaining ANOTHER ancient device, and ended up selling the thing in a time of need. From time to time I wonder how we might make an add-on for the Atari VCS (serving as inputs from your stereo) to turn it into an honest-to-goodness Video Music console? Many moons ago, some friends threw a party and hooked up a line out from the stereo to an old cathode ray TV to make a primative music visualizer like this and this, affectionately named "herbert". I wonder how an audio signal might be converted to some kind of paddle input on the Atari? We might have the left and right audio channels being read as paddles 1-2, while paddles 3-4 provide knobs for input, and a bunch of digital inputs from paddle buttons 1-4, the difficulty, b/w - color, game select, and reset switches, to match the controls of the video music. (The gain controls would probably just be physical potentiometers built into the audio input adapter.) How could this be done? Thoughts?
  23. Thanks. From look at Joystick multiplexer help, I get the gyst of why multiplexing, although the details are way beyond me (I don't know electronics and assembly language makes my head spin). How is the QuadTari going to be made available - for sale off your site / ebay / etc. (how limited?), an open-source instructable type project, etc.? Is this kind of thing made any easier to build DIY using something like an Arduino or Pi? Thanks again
  24. Thanks. Still waiting to hear when this adapter will be ready. I'd be more interested in knowing how a 4-joystick adapter could be implemented and building one myself. Is there any technical discussion of the workings and how it is read by the Atari?
  25. That will be very helpful to see your Berzerk 2000 R2 code. Here is a question - can the SuperCharger BASIC handle input from a 4-controller adapter, such as described here? Multijoy8 – Atari 8Bit 11 4 joysticks on the 2600 (v2) QuadraStik Adapter for the 2600 These should work by simply "converting" the on/off signals from 4 or more joysticks to specific paddle and joystick values that just need to be interpreted correctly in the program.
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