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Dave S

Wii nunchuck on ATARI

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I have been working on useing a microcontroller board (Arduino) to take information from a wii nunchuck and use it to control an ATARI 2600. So far I have the joystick working and the Z button working (as fire) and the C button is being used to calibrate nunchuck and switch between joystick and accelerometer. Since nunchuck gives analog values (in i2c format) and the atari joystick works off of digital, the Arduino board converts analog value (i2c) to a digital output. I still have a little tweaking to do on the accelerometer data conversion. I originally decided to do this becuase I wanted to just see if I could and I wanted a wireless controller (I use a wireless nunchuck) so I would not have to sit soo close to the TV. After I got it working I started wondering if anyone else would be interested. I still need to get the accelerometer bugs worked out and I need to figure out a circut that I can use with the Arduino to emulate a paddle controller. Any ideas or suggestions about anything with my little project will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :)

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Interesting project. What is the maximum voltage allowed on the Wii controller's I2C interface? Just asking because the 2600/7800 can do 5v I2C communication fine. The SaveKey (external I2C memory) is accessed using a standard joystick port.

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Interesting project. What is the maximum voltage allowed on the Wii controller's I2C interface? Just asking because the 2600/7800 can do 5v I2C communication fine. The SaveKey (external I2C memory) is accessed using a standard joystick port.

 

According to Windmeadow Labs (where I found the nunchuck hack) It is only suppose to get 3.3V but they have not had any problems useing it with 5V. My goal was to make the nunchuck act as standard stick controller so I could use it on games already made. I did not know the 2600 could handle I2C but knowing that opens up even more potential for this project ( Like digital converted analog inputs and savescore )

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Yep! If you want to emulate a standard Atari joystick then you'll need the microcontroller in the circuit to process the Wii controller's data packets.

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Hey, keep working on that. I'd LOVE to get a Wii controller to talk to the Atari as a Paddle controller (or maybe even a driving controller, though that could be more difficlut) I see the paddle very doable though, and there are tons of people who would love that.

 

Wii, the new Gemini :P

Edited by Video

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Getting the Nunchuck to emulate a 2600 Paddle is becomeing a real challenge. I remember reading that the 2600 uses a 1Mohm Potentiometer to charge a capacitor and the time it takes to fully charge corresponds to paddle position. I have tryed a few ways I believed would work but have come up empty handed (so far). As for steering control, I already have the wireing figured out for the Joystick and it should be just a few changes in codeing for that to work, unfortunately I have no games for a driveing controller (yet). I was wondering if anyone could suggest one? Also thanks for the input, I am happy to see soo many people reading this (keeps me motivated):-)

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To cut it short, the paddle just supplies a variable voltage... couldn't you do that "artificially" by just using 8 bits of output and a resistor ladder?

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Wanted to post an update - Got the Joystick pretty much taken care of. I am still working on the paddles, I found I can actually use a 500Kohm Potentiometer and the 2600 only really operates in the 0 ohm - 300 Kohm range. I am thinking about Rybags idea of useing a few different resisters and run them off extra digital outputs on the microcontroller (resisters are extreemly cheap on the internet). I did actually make it emulate a paddle useing a hobby Servo connected to a 500Kohm Pot, but this method costs too much (both money and energy) and is a bit too loud (servos are not quiet at all). I thought about the suggestion of useing a digital pot (thanks GroovyBee) but I have very little experience with them and they do not come in DIP packages. I have looked at the driveing controller schematic and It is very do-able but I currently have no Driveing controller games to test it on. As of now I have been powering the nunchuck adapter off of a plug in power supply, but I was wondering if anyone knows the actual max power output of the paddle supply (pin 7). It would be excellent to eliminate the extra power supply and run everything off of the 2600.

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Just a heads-up, Dave S.

 

Because the paddle handling hardware on the VCS is extremely primitive - and game programmers had differing ways of coding a paddle read - some Atari 2600 paddle games use different areas and ranges of the paddle pot. Thus while your partial-range paddle mockup works on one game, it may not work on all of them. Of course, you're just experimenting now, so that it works at all is amazing! :) But in the end product, I urge you to strive for one full megohm paddle range to guarantee that the controller will work for all games.

 

[edit] Oops, forgot that the variation in paddle area/range isn't limited to coding variety. Though the effect probably isn't as great, parts tolerances - such as in the caps that are used to time discharge (thus paddle pot position) - can cause variation in pot area/range in different VCSs playing the same game. [/edit]

 

-tet

Edited by tetrode kink

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If you're looking for popularity with this device, a better one would be getting the 1-handed Nunchuck to plug into not a 2600, but a 5200. Imagine, analog controls, ambidextrous one-handed 2-button stick that frees the other hand for a keypad. 5200 controllers are notorious for breaking down. This would be a good ambidextrous hack.

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Getting the Nunchuck to emulate a 2600 Paddle is becomeing a real challenge. I remember reading that the 2600 uses a 1Mohm Potentiometer to charge a capacitor and the time it takes to fully charge corresponds to paddle position. I have tryed a few ways I believed would work but have come up empty handed (so far). As for steering control, I already have the wireing figured out for the Joystick and it should be just a few changes in codeing for that to work, unfortunately I have no games for a driveing controller (yet). I was wondering if anyone could suggest one? Also thanks for the input, I am happy to see soo many people reading this (keeps me motivated):-)

Indy 500 was the only commercial game to use the driving controller, and it worked like a one-dimensional trackball with less roll than a Coleco Roller Pad on a Super Action Stick, also an Etch-a-Sketch-type simulator used it too. I don't know of any others, but with many retrobrewers, the list is far from complete. Controllers are more desirable, because its parts are sometimes used for Jaguar Tempest 2000 Mods.

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Nice job bumping a 5 year old thread

 

Since there hadn't been any activity for that long, either the OP has solved the issue and never reported back, or the project have been left on the back burner and forgotten.

 

I would like to know the code as I have Arduino stuff laying around. Nunchunk and wiimotes turns up at Goodwill now and then (mostly older wiimote without the extra sensor) and steering wheel adapter can be found cheap in places like dollar stores.

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If you're looking for popularity with this device, a better one would be getting the 1-handed Nunchuck to plug into not a 2600, but a 5200. Imagine, analog controls, ambidextrous one-handed 2-button stick that frees the other hand for a keypad. 5200 controllers are notorious for breaking down. This would be a good ambidextrous hack.

Great work! I for one would love to see a Wii nunchuck adapted for a 5200!

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