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boggis the cat

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Everything posted by boggis the cat

  1. You need to use diodes to prevent this. I haven’t gotten around to building the buttons in to a joystick yet, and just used a set of five push buttons to map out the ‘special’ options. Diodes are necessary to prevent any inadvertent operation as you note.
  2. They’re not compatible, unfortunately. The joysticks seem to come ‘locked’ to certain frequencies, so you may find that another device is interfering with it. I got a second FB9 for my sister, and found that her P1 was terrible on her system. Swapped it for the P1 that came with mine, and it worked much better. (Slight degradation for the swapped P1 on my system, but I prefer the old wired joysticks anyway.)
  3. Hi. Sorry for the late reply. I don’t get on here often. I misread the first post and thought it referred to the Flashback 9 type of joysticks. Those are fairly obvious to modify. I haven’t seen the IR variants — the FB4 I had years ago I sold on and never inspected the innards of the joysticks — but you should open both up and compare the two boards. Most likely there will be a few components missing on one board (the P2), and of course the buttons. If you modify the P2 board to be like the P1 then you should be able to swap it in. Unfortunately the components will most likely be tiny surface mount resistors. If you haven’t done any soldering before then it’ll be a bad idea to start with this project, due to the high risk of failure.
  4. My copy arrived yesterday (new delivery speeds due to Covid-19), and looks good. I have to bust out a real 7800 to play it on, and haven’t got around to that yet.
  5. Unlikely to. Serial comms typically use only four pins, and they save a couple of cents by not wiring up unused pins. You could buy two joystick extension leads then splice them together.
  6. The newest ‘official’ firmware fixes this bug. Try installing it.
  7. Finally ordered a copy of this. It’s a pity it hasn’t sold as well as hoped for.
  8. The red part is a programming interface (ISP). This is used to flash the firmware in the factory. The yellow part is probably an I2C bus, or a serial port. Neither can be used for what you want to do. Piggy-backing on the J2 USB is probably the best option. If you buzz out the circuit you might find a via or other convenient soldering point.
  9. Hi. I just did this mod today, using 510k resistors. It does indeed stop shy on the left edge. Gah! Anyway, as this is a difficult process (I think I invented several new swears), I would suggest going with 430k or even 390k. After measuring the resistors taken out, which are 5.1k, it appears that the engineers went with a straight scaling for the replacement: 5.1k are designed to work with 10k pots in the paddles, therefore they are suggesting 510k for the standard 1M pots. This doesn’t quite work, so drop that resistance from 510k — judging by where the ‘left’ (high resistance) position runs out, my estimate is drop to 430k. [Series is 510k, 470k, 430k, 390k ... 470k may do it, but go for 430k I reckon.]
  10. Hi. I missed this post, sorry. It is possible to change a P2 to a P1 by changing some resistors and adding the required buttons. Another option is modding a standard joystick to give you the extra buttons. If you still want to work on this, reply letting me know if you want the wireless or standard mod and I’ll dig out the information.
  11. I’d be interested in buying one when they come available. Just a thought on the scarcity of POKEY chips: perhaps use the PokeyONE (or similar) in the post pre-order units? The full capabilities of the POKEY aren’t required by the 7800. Or maybe give buyers options to have just a socket, a real POKEY, or the PokeyONE.
  12. You can get up to seven ‘buttons’ using impossible joystick returns. The combinations used by the Flashback are: MENU = UP + DOWN SELECT = LEFT + RIGHT REWIND = LEFT + RIGHT + UP START = UP + DOWN + LEFT Plus you have: LEFT + RIGHT + DOWN (SELECT) UP + DOWN + RIGHT (MENU) UP + RIGHT + DOWN + LEFT (not tested) If you use the first two of the above three combinations on the Flashback then you get SELECT and MENU. I didn’t try the last, so don’t know how that would be interpreted. I don’t believe that you can use the FIRE button in combination (to add another eleven possible selections) without turning off normal joystick operation in the programming. Possibly you could use one of the above ‘buttons’ to set an input mode that activates / deactivates these up to eleven optional ‘buttons’. It would be important for programmers to agree on any such usage.
  13. You can get decent Chinese CX-40 clones from AliExpress. I bought a few, as the originals are hard to come by in decent working order. My intent is to modify one by adding the Flashback buttons, but I haven’t got around to designing the support for the circuit board.
  14. How is it broken? You can exchange physical parts between the joysticks, and even change the P1 and P2 around by swapping around resistors — if you open both joysticks and compare them you’ll see the differences. So if you still have the broken joystick it shouldn’t be too hard to make a new P1. Edit: Or you could make a hardwired joystick into a ‘P1’ type controller by adding the buttons:
  15. They’re most likely using Atari’s method of counting each selectable version of each game as a ‘game’.
  16. These seem to use a ‘locked down’ wireless protocol — probably Bluetooth. A problem I came across was interference leading to severe dropouts and lag on the P1 controller. This was on a second unit that I bought for my sister. I found that swapping my P1 with this unit fixed the issue reasonably well. I disagree that wireless is ideal for anyone wanting to get the best play experience. Even when working well, these joysticks do occasionally dropout or lag noticeably. At least you retain the option to use wired controllers, and some of the Chinese copies of the originals on AliExpress are quite decently built.
  17. That’s a good option if you don’t want to modify paddles yourself.
  18. Joysticks work correctly on all Flashbacks from 2 onward. Standard paddles won’t work on the Flashback 9 without modifying the hardware. https://atariage.com/forums/topic/285261-fb-9-paddles/?do=findComment&comment=4419552
  19. The Flashbacks from 2 onward will work with standard joysticks. The Flashback 9 Does not work with standard paddles, unless modified. The included joysticks give ‘impossible’ combinations of directions to define the special buttons. You could modify a hard-wired joystick to replicate the special buttons. (I have the parts to do this, but haven’t got around to it yet.)
  20. If the pin outs differ then they’re not Atari 2600 joysticks (by definition). You haven’t stated what they were, or how you know the pin outs differ. If you supply that then someone could help you modify them to work (probably — it depends on what these are).
  21. Atgames never made compatible paddles. Either the console can be modified to use standard Atari paddles (https://armchairarcade.com/perspectives/2019/10/15/hardware-mod-to-support-standard-paddles-on-atari-flashback-9-and-9-gold/) — not really an easy thing to do, unless you or someone you know can do repair work on cellphone sized electronics — or you can modify standard paddles by replacing the potentiometers: Photos of my first modification here: Modifying the console is a better solution, however it also seems that the recommended resistor values (510k) may not be optimal: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/297925-flashback-9-paddle-hardware-modification-question/?do=findComment&comment=4405811
  22. There are a lot of potential issues. Try it in the second port first. If it works then the problem is the port on the console. If it doesn’t, then it’s a problem with the joystick. It may be a bad connection in the jack, so try wiggling it a bit to see if that changes the result. You can get decent Chinese clones of the originals. Look on AilExpress for the best prices.
  23. What are the resistor values for the ‘standard’ build that are being swapped out? If it’s just a resistive divider then it should be electrically equivalent, so should deliver the same responsiveness. I’ll have to try this with my FB9, as I gave away the paddles I modded. (Side note: this was a odd decision to make, as it broke compatibility with no apparent technical reason. There isn’t a shortage of 1 MOhm pots or something, so it smells like some marketing ploy gone wrong.)
  24. The 10k will give you the full travel. As you increase that value you will get a shorter and shorter usable range, with the anti-clockwise always starting just after the stop, and the clockwise pegging out earlier in the travel. The downside of a higher value potentiometer is that you’ll have mechanical ‘overshoot’ in the clockwise direction, and lesser fine control available — although with the 2600 that isn’t necessarily a problem. (If you plug in an unmodified paddle, with a 1 MOhm pot, you’ll see that it does work, but the full range is over the tiny portion of the far anti-clockwise section near the end stop — one percent of the normal rotation yields one hundred percent of the range. Substituting a pot greater than 10k yields the same thing, with a truncated clockwise physical travel to get the full range.)
  25. If you can disassemble it then try some switch cleaner / lubricant. Sometimes the grease used in potentiometers is quite viscous, and the action can be made much easier by displacing it with this. (It should come in a spray can, and you spray it around the top of the pot where the spindle exits then rotate it back and forth to have it wick in. Let it sit for a while before reassembly — there should be instructions on the can.) Do this at at your own risk, obviously.
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