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Albert

Use PSX Controllers on the 5200

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Clay,

I don't know if it is too late for this but if you can program it in, it would be great. When you have Sean Kelly's Multi-cart in and you want to use the trackball, the only way to do it is to use a stick to put the arrow on the game you want and then unplug the stick and plug in the trackball. You can't select a game with the track ball unfortunately. At least I havn't been able to figure this out yet. So if you can get the Master Control to work with both the trackball and the Multicart that would be great. Unplugging and plugging in controllers when the 5200 is on is not a good thing. And playing games like Millipede and Centipede aren't as fun with the stick as opposed to the trackball. I racked up an additional 100,000 points the first time I used the trackball with Millipede.

 

Allan

 

Well, I don't own a copy of the new 5200 multicart yet, and I don't have a trackball either, but doesn't the trackball have a switch to change between trackball and joystick mode? Or maybe I'm just getting it confused with the 2600 trackball.

 

Mitch

http://atari7800.atari.org

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...doesn't the trackball have a switch to change between trackball and joystick mode? Or maybe I'm just getting it confused with the 2600 trackball.

 

Mitchhttp://atari7800.atari.org

 

The 5200 trackball doesn't have any such switch, but you are correct about the 2600 trackball. I'm glad I head on to my old DIP SWITCH multicart! :D

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you know 20 years from now people will be fighting for this on ebay and we will be kicking ourselves for not buying one.

when using the ps joystick i hope the "joystick" type thing is used because that + (plus) shaped thing hurts my thumb -the up down left right buttons...

It would be a joy to play pac man without saying "hey i pushed up why didnt he go up"

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you know 20 years from now people will be fighting for this on ebay and we will be kicking ourselves for not buying one.

when using the ps joystick i hope the "joystick" type thing is used because that + (plus) shaped thing hurts my thumb -the up down left right buttons...

It would be a joy to play pac man without saying "hey i pushed up why didnt he go up"

 

(You know, the eBay thing it probably correct... I've seen some of my discontinued arcade game kits sell on eBay for 4-5 times what I used to charge for them!)

 

As for the joystick-- if you plug a 'digital' PSX controller into the adapter the little "+" shapped pad is active. (What do they call that now? The "D" pad?) If you're using a PSX stick with an Analog mode, you just press the analog button on the PSX controller and you'll see an LED light on the MasterControl-- then you use the analog stick! If you're right handed like me and want to play some games using the right-hand joystick you press and hold one of the "special function" keys and it'll swap the left for right stick.

 

-Clay

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Sounds great and I am interested in looking into it. I just want to wait until someone reviews it and a few people try it. However, it is very nice to see someone working on 5200 hardware.  Congrats. and nice product. Are there any Playstation alternate controllers that are a joystick and look classic? I just couldn't bring myself to using a joypad or stock Playstation controller on the 5200.

 

I'm certainly going to get a review unit or two out as soon as I get enough plastic cases to go round... One will be headed to Al here @atariage for sure. I'm monkeying around with firmware features still, so I reserve the right to add new functions up until units actually ship out. :)

 

There are some "arcade stick" type controls for the PSX that are quite nice (big, metal-- a lot like the 'fire command' or whatever that was called back in the day).

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Yes Clay, I'd like to see a list of the 'Trick Modes'.

 

Allan

 

Ask and ye shall receive... :)

 

The list is currently:

 

Frogger Mode - use digital joypad and each press sets direction and automagically 'presses' the jump button. (So to the user it just seems like pushing on the stick makes the frog jump.)

 

Pole Position Mode - analog stick steers left/right. The four PSX fire buttons are: brake, gas, high gear, low gear.

 

Meteorites Mode - analog or digital stick rotates left/right. PSX buttons are thrust, fire, hyperspace.

 

Defender Mode - analog or digital stick moves ship. PSX buttons are fire, smart bomb, hyperspace.

 

Rapid Fire Adjust Mode - move the (unused) analog stick and press a button at that becomes the new auto-fire rate for that button.

 

Button Swap - switch positions for top/bottom fire buttons on the PSX pad.

 

So now the part where you guys can help out-- suggest some more! In a nutshell, I have software control of any of these functions:

 

start, pause, #, *, top fire, bottom fire, left, right, up, down

 

So, any button on the PSX control can perform any action from the list above on the 5200. One button could also perform a sequence (think macro) if that was somehow useful.

 

As an example, the Pole Position setting sends the left/right data to the 5200 when the joystick is moved, pressing the "east" and "west" fire buttons on the PSX control activates brakes or gas on the 5200, but pressing the PSX "north" or "south" buttons really sends an "up" or "down" joystick move to the 5200 to do a gear-change.

 

The trick modes are just firmware, so make suggestions and as long as I have space and they seem at least moderately useful I'll add them in. The only restriction is that only the functions in the list above are available (no other keypad keys).

 

-Clay

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Clay,

When you have a 5200 joystick hooked up to the Master Control along with a PSX stick can you still use all the functions on the 5200 stick? If yes, this may solve the trackball/multicart problem. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that when you start certain games like millipede, centipede, and Missile Command, the games sense whether your using a joystick or a track ball. So with the trackball hooked up to the keypad extention of the Master Control and a PSX controller hooked up to the main extention, you should (in theory) be able to choose the game with the PSX controller and then when the game starts, use the trackball. Any thoughts?

 

Allan

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[...]So with the trackball hooked up to the keypad extention of the Master Control and a PSX controller hooked up to the main extention, you should (in theory) be able to choose the game with the PSX controller and then when the game starts, use the trackball. Any thoughts?

 

Hmmmm. I think I'll just have to try it and see what happens. If the trackball uses the analog input lines I suspect there will be a problem. The joystick pots on the pass-through are disconnected (or else they'd interfere with the 'virtual' pots in the MasterControl). I knew I bought that 5200 trackball back in 1988 for a reason! (I only got a 5200 to go with it about 6 weeks ago.)

 

-Clay

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Clay,

I got an idea for another trick mode. In the games track and field and decathlon you have to move the joystick back and forth fast to run. Can you program in two buttons to press instead of the stick. Maybe even giving the two buttons a kind of auto fire mode to make those Six million dollar man runs. :)

 

Does Asteroids work the same as Meteorites? Can you check this to see if does and if not can you make the controller work with Asteroids better?

 

Allan

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Clay,

I got an idea for another trick mode. In the games track and field and decathlon you have to move the joystick back and forth fast to run. Can you program in two buttons to press instead of the stick. Maybe even giving the two buttons a kind of auto fire mode to make those Six million dollar man runs. :)

 

Does Asteroids work the same as Meteorites? Can you check this to see if does and if not can you make the controller work with Asteroids better?  

 

Allan

 

Good idea! The buttons are certainly easy enough to add. I could probably even just do a 'cheat' mode where you hold down one button and it automatically toggles left/right like autofire...

 

As for Asteroids-- the controls should work, but my Multicart is too old to have Asteroids on it. Maybe I'll drop Sean an e-mail and arrange a trade. I've heard rumors that Asteroids control sucks even with the old Masterplay in digital mode. If they munged up the port from the 400/800 it might take some code patches to fix it.

 

-Clay

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5200 Asteroids is a strange bird. If you push forward you thrust. Left and right you turn your ship and if you pull back for about a second your ship gets a shied over it until you pull forward again. I think the problem with these controls is that the thrust starts working as soon has you move your stick even one bit forward. If they had made it so you had to move the stick more towards the top before you started to thrust it might have been easier. Another words if the up and down pots read from 255 (top) to 0 (bottom) and center is 127, they should have made the ship thrust at say 210 instead of something like 128 (which is what it feels like). Although I can't imagin that the programmer didn't think of this. There must have been a reason why he did it that way.

 

With Master Control, if you shut off the up and down controls, and assigned one button to up for thrust, one button to down for shields and one button to center to shut off the shields but not thrust, Asteroids would become the game it should have been. Any thoughts?

 

Allan

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With Master Control, if you shut off the up and down controls, and assigned one button to up for thrust, one button to down for shields and one button to center to shut off the shields but not thrust, Asteroids would become the game it should have been. Any thoughts?

 

Frankly, I am not impressed with 5200 Asteroids. It doesn't offer much over the VCS version as far as gameplay or graphics. Barring the controls issue, it doesn't seem to impress me over the 2600 version. Atari wouldn't have had a sale with me had they released it anyways. The 7800 version is by far superior, it is the the version I play.

 

My question for Clay, would be to ask for support of the Nyko PSX trackball for Centipede, Millipede, Missile Command, etc.. Millipede rocks with the 5200 trackball, but it is so monstrous and kinda rare.

 

Just my 2 cents. I'm excited to see this hardware in action. I hope it works well enough out so that Clay can offer adaptors for other systems like the Colecovision, Vectrex and the Intellivision.

 

Take care,

-Lee

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Lee Krueger wrote:

 

Frankly, I am not impressed with 5200 Asteroids. It doesn't offer much over the VCS version as far as gameplay or graphics. Barring the controls issue, it doesn't seem to impress me over the 2600 version. Atari wouldn't have had a sale with me had they released it anyways. The 7800 version is by far superior, it is the the version I play.

 

Barring the control issue, the 5200 Asteroids has a lot of the extra modes that the 7800 Asteroids has and the 2600 lacks such competition mode, Team mode, etc. Yes, the graphics might have been better but the 7800 has better graphics anyways. They also had the 5200 Asteroids experience to make sure they made a better version on the 7800. And besides, I believe 5200 Asteroids is the only version that has a three/four player mode. :)

 

Allan

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And besides, I believe 5200 Asteroids is the only version that has a three/four player mode.  :)  

 

Allan

 

You forgot the 400/800 version of which the 5200 version is a direct port. Except the 400/800 version has great controls. :D

 

Mitch

http://atari7800.atari.org

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I'd like to see a Star Raiders mode that lets you use the buttons like this:

 

X: fire

O: fore view

square: sector scan

triangle: galactic chart

 

L1: Speed 0

L2: Speed 5

R1: Speed 9

R2: Hyperspace

 

Or something like that.

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Thats a very cool piece of kit. Wouldn't it be a good idea to implement some kind of 5200 compatibility with Jaguar controllers though? I mean, it has a keypad, all the keys AND an Atari logo:)

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[...]

With Master Control, if you shut off the up and down controls, and assigned one button to up for thrust, one button to down for shields and one button to center to shut off the shields but not thrust, Asteroids would become the game it should have been. Any thoughts?

 

Ahhh, yep. That makes sense. AFAIK it's just like the 400/800 version other than the bad controller implementation. The MasterControl should have no problems with it.

 

(BTW, whoever did the Gorf port to the 5200 should be slapped.)

 

-Clay

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Thats a very cool piece of kit.  Wouldn't it be a good idea to implement some kind of 5200 compatibility with Jaguar controllers though? I mean, it has a keypad, all the keys AND an Atari logo:)

 

It could probably be made to work, but I wanted something with full Analog capability and controllers that were available at every electronics store for cheap...

 

(The local Fred Meyer's chain out here in Washington has Sony brand Playstation One Analog controllers for $14.95! Incidentally, the "PS2 Dual Shock" controller is the exact same thing as near as I can tell-- except they charge $24.95 for those. ;-)

 

-Clay

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(BTW, whoever did the Gorf port to the 5200 should be slapped.) -Clay

 

I fully agree. The controls are HORRIBLE. It does work better with a homebrew 5200 paddle controller, but you lose the up/down motion. However, at least the game is playable in this manner.

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My question for Clay' date=' would be to ask for support of the Nyko PSX trackball for Centipede, Millipede, Missile Command, etc.. Millipede rocks with the 5200 trackball, but it is so monstrous and kinda rare.

 

Just my 2 cents. I'm excited to see this hardware in action. I hope it works well enough out so that Clay can offer adaptors for other systems like the Colecovision, Vectrex and the Intellivision. [/quote']

 

(Hi Lee.)

 

I'll confess and say I'm not sure how the 5200 trackball works. I have one NIB I bought back in the early 90's when they were surplused everywhere for cheap. I'll have to dig it out and see what it does. If it just uses the pots for motion it should be 'emulateable'. I've never seen the Nyko trackball for the PSX though-- any suggestions where to get one? (I suspect it'll use the same data format as the PSX mouse.)

 

Ugh. Crap. Mouse. Hadn't thought about that before. Anyone want to play Missile Command with a PSX mouse? ;-) I'll check it out if people want it as a feature. (Could be a can of worms though.)

 

Yes, the Vectrex guys are already on me to release that version. I need to recover some costs on the 5200 one first though...

 

-Clay

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I hope it works well enough out so that Clay can offer adaptors for other systems like the Colecovision' date=' Vectrex and the Intellivision. [/quote']

 

Yes, the Vectrex guys are already on me to release that version. I need to recover some costs on the 5200 one first though...

 

-Clay

 

 

You will have my money when the mastercontrol is available :)

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The Nyko trackball looks nice and is cheap whenever I have seen it at stores. It says on the package that it works with games that use the mouse (or something like that). That would be an asset for the MasterControl if the Nyko worked. The trackball is even called classic and looks made for the 80s :wink: . However, I doubt you can beat the stock 5200 trackball (it may be big, but it is a really great controller).

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So now that I have a controller I can use (I never did get the hang of the original 5200 sticks) I'm playing the 5200 library and adding useful (well, to me) features to the Mastercontrol.

 

The latest:

 

Gorf Mode : Moving the joystick in Gorf mode doesn't result in 1:1 motion on the screen. Instead, the Mastercontrol treats the joystick motion as additive to the initial starting point of the stick (centered). So, if you push 'left' on the stick the "virtual" controller starts to tilt left over time. The result is that the ship on the screen starts moving left and keeps moving left until it hits the left edge. AKA, it works like the arcade game and not the spastic 5200 port. ;-)

 

Dreadnaught Factor Mode : There's a third 'bomb' button which acts like a toggle. AKA, it 'bombs' all the time after it's pressed once and stops bombing after it's pressed again. I got tired of holding the bomb button down...

 

Oh, and James Bond sucks too. :D I remember that on the 800 back in the day...

 

-Clay

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Clay,

I think the difference between the PS1 anlog controllers and the PS2 is that some of the buttons on the PS2's are pressure sensitive. The idea was that the harder you pushed on those buttons, for example the harder a character would punch or run.

I remember reading about it before the PS2 came out, but I don't think I own any games that support that feature (if I am remembering right).

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