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Atari Keypad

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I've never seen a Keypad nor the Video Touch Pad, but I'll have to get one of those for my Synthcart in the nearby future. I know they both work the same, but do they feel the same to use? Does the buttons have an audible click to them? Do the weight the same? If someone out there has used them with Synthcart, what would you recommend - keypad or video touch pad?

 

Any feedback on this would be great, thanks!

The Video Touch Pad has rubber buttons like 99% of modern remote controls, but they don't stick out beyond the plastic of the case; they're recessed. Because of its angle and the stiffness of the overlay, I found it difficult to use in my usual coffee-tabletop playing position back in the day -- I had to press so hard to make the buttons respond, that the controller would start to slide away. So I hacked out the centers of the buttons on the overlay!

 

I believe the Keyboard Controllers and Kid's Controllers use click domes similar to those inside the joysticks. This plus their being flat instead of angled, should make them generally easier to use. The Kid's Controllers are relatively huge, so if you want small and lightweight, go with the Keyboard Controllers.

Edited by A.J. Franzman
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I've never seen a Keypad nor the Video Touch Pad, but I'll have to get one of those for my Synthcart in the nearby future. I know they both work the same, but do they feel the same to use? Does the buttons have an audible click to them? Do the weight the same? If someone out there has used them with Synthcart, what would you recommend - keypad or video touch pad?

 

Any feedback on this would be great, thanks!

The Video Touch Pad has rubber buttons like 99% of modern remote controls, but they don't stick out beyond the plastic of the case; they're recessed. Because of its angle and the stiffness of the overlay, I found it difficult to use in my usual coffee-tabletop playing position back in the day -- I had to press so hard to make the buttons respond, that the controller would start to slide away. So I hacked out the centers of the buttons on the overlay!

 

I believe the Keyboard Controllers and Kid's Controllers use click domes similar to those inside the joysticks. This plus their being flat instead of angled, should make them generally easier to use. The Kid's Controllers are relatively huge, so if you want small and lightweight, go with the Keyboard Controllers.

 

Hey, thanks! From that I will probably go with the keyboard controllers since click domes are probably more interesting than rubber buttons for music making.

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Can the Touch Pad work with the 7800 if a game was programmed for it??

 

I don't know about the 7800's, mostly because I've never owned one :)

But these keypads work fine on the 8bits. I found code not long ago that would help you confirm keypresses. I intended to use it for a little programming project that I never got around to...

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I have edited one of the Kid's Controller overlays to work with the Video Touch Pad.

 

It is just printed on paper and then laminated and it worked great.

 

post-27767-0-89627700-1302522503_thumb.jpg

 

Here is the overlay. It prints OK but I'm sure someone with Photoshop skills could make something more professional.

 

post-27767-0-50854500-1302522608_thumb.jpg

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I noticed the overlay for Atari 2600 BASIC Programming in the review section, has anyone tried to make a repro and if so what kinda quality/resuults did you get?

 

I bought some clear decal sheets for printing out my own model decals and I'm wondering if I could do something similar with the keypad overlays - I just bough a BASIC Programming cart on eBay that came with the Keypads but sadly no overlay.

 

Cheers,

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i too thought it was crazy just having one game intended for the "touchpad" sure all the keypads are alike but teh kids controller had multiple overlays but there was only one overlay for the "touchpad"

 

Yeah... like Indy 500 being the only racing controler game. Bushnell was a visionary... his replacement... not so much.

 

Yes, and with the VTP you had a space ship control panel, how cool was that?

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I too would like to make overlays, but the real problem is precision cutting, not design and printing.

I considered doing stickers to place over the 1 factory overlay.

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I just (with the help of my mighty partner) set up a way to use the keypad (touch pad, if you will) sideways like a gamepad with four buttons. The problem with setting it up is that the controller uses one button at a time and always favors the highest number. If you press and hold five and then press two you will still only get five. If you press one and then press three then you will now have three. With the cord on the right the buttons are easily reachable as a gamepad with three side buttons and a center button. When held like this the 1,2, and 3 keys would be the action buttons and would be cancelled out when using directions.

 

SOOO! We found a way to flip a couple of wires around and switch the order of buttons. Now 10,11,and 12 are the far right side buttons and overide all the others, allowing it to be used as a type of gamepad of sorts.

 

I've started programming games that will use this pad. If people are willing to swap four wires (they remove and replace very easily and a kid could easily do this mod) they could use the keypad this way.

 

 

post-40395-0-87445400-1469407321_thumb.jpg

 

 

Edited by Papa
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Thank you for the overlays! And also thank you for the cool version of that keypad. I believe that I have a picture in my gallery with a keyboard controller in it. Mine does not look like the one above

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There are two types (as shown). One has a fat end and light rubbery keys, the other has blister buttons. Both operate in exactly the same way. I'm using one modded and sideways like a four button gamepad. I have quite a few of them. I think that one of the most popular uses of the touch pad was to control the menu system in Star Raiders. The feel is very similar to other gamepads and the keys on mine are extremely sensitive.

 

My son likes it and we are using it with a game we are programming together. For me it's a no brainer to use this for games as I get three extra buttons and can configure the pad for several different types of games. Granted a SF2 clone would have trouble. A quarter circle required for fireballs or tornado kicks would be very difficult.

 

I have considered making a replacement top for the touchpad that has a big pad and buttons that are raised. Games that are RPG style, adventure, racing, puzzle, whatever else would work well. A game that never uses diagonals could have the far left keys be up, left, and down from the top down and have the right button be next to the left one in the row (modded this would be '5'). This would leave eight buttons for whatever else you wanted. A game like Castlevania could use the above diagram (my above posted picture) and diagonals would never be a problem as they would have their own button.

 

I use an extension cable as these have awfully short ones.

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I thought some more about this and I see no reason why one couldn't pad-hack the keyboard controller so that an 8 way joystick + three button controller is possible. Since the higher buttons override the lower buttons, does the direction pad freeze when a button is pressed? Perhaps worded better. If you are rolling right and you jump does the "right" direction stop getting logged?

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Normally I wouldn't post in a zombie thread, however to answer those wondering 6 years ago if the keypad would work on a 7800 yes it does. I've added keypad support to a 7800 project I'm working on, but by coincidence I've been meaning to tweak it to see if I can reliably read 1 key per row giving 4 simultaneous key presses, and then experiment with ways to read individual keys though I think the hardware won't let me.

The current 1 key method wouldn't be very fun to use as a normal controller, and if 4 key presses works then that's only up/down, left/right, and 2 independent buttons which isn't much better than existing 2 button schemes for the 2600 or any standard 2 button controller for the 7800.

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