Jump to content
SlowCoder

Extension cables for Atari joysticks ...

Recommended Posts

Back in the middle ages (30 years ago), my TV was much closer to the floor, and the entire screen could be seen when I was 3 feet away, with the Atari just out front, and my joysticks tethered on 4ft of cable.

 

Zoom forward 30 years and now my TV's bigger, and much higher. I'm no longer dumb enough to let the Atari sit on the floor. But I am now basically forced to stand in front of my flat screen TV, still tethered by 4ft joystick cables. It hurts the eyes!

 

Anyway, I see these on eBay, and wanted to know what you think ...

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2005012590041?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=200501259004&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

I'm mostly concerned about attenuation over the course of the extra 10 feet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What does the atari spit out at the joysticks, 5 volts? I think they'll work fine. You could probably find similar cables locally at a computer parts store & return them if they don't work for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lots of users have these x cables and they work just fine for all Atari controllers ..

 

i just use serial cables 9 pin f to 9 pin m and take off the standoffs its a good idea to use extension cords that way it takes the strain off of constantly unplugging and plugging in controllers to the system now you just plug into the extension

 

i dont know what atari was thinking putting the controller plugs in the back that alone takes about a foot of wire before you even leave the atari zone

 

the 5200 got it right putting them front and center of course with their controllers only having about 4 foot of cord and its about 2 feet to reach the back of the huge sucker from the front there might have been a problem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i dont know what atari was thinking putting the controller plugs in the back that alone takes about a foot of wire before you even leave the atari zone

It isn't so bad if you set it up the way video game consoles were usually set up in those days: on a table or on the floor, near the players and away from the TV. You'll notice this especially if you look at old "livingroom" pictures from video game boxes or magazine advertisements; that's one reason the 2600 had such looong RF and power cables. Putting the console closer to the TV and extending the controller cords is an idea that came later.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look for the extension cables made for the Sega Genesis. Each is 6.5 feet long, so when used, you'd have 10.5 feet of length to work with. As the genesis controller has the same end as a 2600 joystick, the cables work perfectly. I got mine for less than a dollar a piece at a Mega Media Exchange where I live. I'm sure other game stores might have it.

 

post-22224-128028957745_thumb.jpg

Edited by Lendorien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to consider is that having an extension cable for the Atari controller doesn't really help you much: you'll want to be within reach of the console for many games, for difficulty switches, reset, or even just to plug in a different cartridge (and swapping in the paddles, driving controller, or whatever), which I find myself doing much more often than I'd want to be standing up and walking over to the console. Of course, maybe you have a butler for that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to consider is that having an extension cable for the Atari controller doesn't really help you much: you'll want to be within reach of the console for many games, for difficulty switches, reset, or even just to plug in a different cartridge (and swapping in the paddles, driving controller, or whatever), which I find myself doing much more often than I'd want to be standing up and walking over to the console. Of course, maybe you have a butler for that...

 

Heh. Yeah, that is the downside of the extension cables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but nothing's stopping you from building a control box with a 10 foot cord. I smell a project!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but nothing's stopping you from building a control box with a 10 foot cord. I smell a project!

 

This would be a darned easy project that almost anyone with very basic electronics skill could do.

 

Supplies needed:

* 10 foot serial cable with male ends

* female serial port

* Hobby project box

* 2 pushbutton style switches

* Atari 2600 Pause Kit (optional)

* Soldering iron

* Solder

 

All you'd have to do is solder a cord to the various switches, maybe using a detachable port like a serial cable port that emerges from the back of the machine out the AV cable slot. One could even permanently attach the port to the console itself for a clean look. I would suggest using the female serial port to allow one to plug in and remove the control box for better portability of your console, or to clean up when not playing.

 

You can get project cases at various electronic supply places. Naturally, you'd have to solder the right wires to the correct legs of the switches, but it wouldn't be too hard to figure out really.

 

The two switches would be for wiring the level select switch in addition to the reset switch.

 

If you have the Pause Kit, you could throw in the pause kit's third switch to allow for pausing the game from the comfort of your couch.

 

Maybe I'll try this one even. Sounds like an easy and fun project. And convenient too.

Edited by Lendorien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I do think I'll do this one. Anyone interested in such a project?

Edited by Lendorien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it was wireless, i'd be interested. Otherwise much easier to just put the atari right in front of you, they all have such long cords, and if needed much easier to just extend the rf cable, then 5 others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to be sitting close to the console for some games, such as Ghostbusters, Starmaster, etc.

 

The project sounds interesting. It's something I've thought of for years, but never taken the time to do. It would be great to see pictures if someone does it. I've always wanted to mod a Nintendo controller, run an extra wire, and use the select and start buttons. That still wouldn't solve the issue of the difficulty switches, but a SNES pad could be used for that. You could put toggles under the shoulder buttons.

 

As for the pause kit, the only way I'd go for that is if I decided to mount a pause button on a joystick and run an extra wire. There's no way I'd stick a toggle on my 2600.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to be sitting close to the console for some games, such as Ghostbusters, Starmaster, etc.

 

The project sounds interesting. It's something I've thought of for years, but never taken the time to do. It would be great to see pictures if someone does it. I've always wanted to mod a Nintendo controller, run an extra wire, and use the select and start buttons. That still wouldn't solve the issue of the difficulty switches, but a SNES pad could be used for that. You could put toggles under the shoulder buttons.

 

As for the pause kit, the only way I'd go for that is if I decided to mount a pause button on a joystick and run an extra wire. There's no way I'd stick a toggle on my 2600.

 

My thoughts on the mod would be to make it as noninvasive as possible. Running a cord through the AV slot on the back would mean you could remove it easily if you wished to later on with no damage to the case itself. One could add the port on the back of the machine as well, which would be a little more complex, but cleaner and more permanent. I like the idea of having the "control box" plug into a serial port so that you could remove it for storage if you so wished.

 

The pause switch would work well with the control box concept. You'd have to figure a way to make sure the pause button was toggled "off" when the control box was not plugged in, but I don't think that would be hard to do.

 

As for the issue with the difficulty switches, the only way I could think to make it work would be to rig a bypass switch on the machine. Switched one way, it would bypass to the control box. Switched the other way, it would go to the console switches. I suppose that could solve your pause issue too.

 

The only real downside with the control box concept is the fact that you now have a THIRD controller plugged into the machine. A little unwieldy. As for doing it via remote, that sort of mod is way beyond me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you boys just jumped right off target, didn't 'ya? That's fine with me, as it brings up another thought ...

 

I have this wireless React controller for my PS2. It's not the best controller. but I wonder how difficult it would be to mate it's wireless components into an Atari Joystick, including some sort of battery compartment to operate it. Then the receiver that normally plugs into my PS2 could perhaps be mated to the Atari controller ports? But as this is definitely not the same as "what are the best extension cables" topic, I think I'll start a new thread. :)

 

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/166948-idea-for-building-wireless-atari-controllers/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but nothing's stopping you from building a control box with a 10 foot cord. I smell a project!

 

This would be a darned easy project that almost anyone with very basic electronics skill could do.

 

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I came across it on a Google search and I couldn't resist. I've often thought how handy it would be to have a remote 2600 setup like this. Did anyone ever try this project?

 

I found this thread while searching for ideas for a convenient setup for all my consoles. It occurs to me that I have several systems that use the same 9-pin joystick port configuration (2600, 7800, Genesis, C64, Atari 8-bit... my Odyssey2 is even modded to be compatible with Atari joysticks). I'm wondering if I could just use 9-pin serial cables with a dB9 switchbox. Then I could just have one joystick plugged into the switchbox. Anybody else ever tried something like this?

 

Here's the kind of switchbox I mean. You can get them with more ports, but they are more expensive:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=db9+switch&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=Chy&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&resnum=1&biw=1280&bih=867&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=14867406802467483534&ei=jIlETdepHYLSsAPd9LXjCg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CGQQ8wIwAA#

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Lendorien up there did eventually build some sort of control box, and yes, you can use serial cables with a serial switch box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but nothing's stopping you from building a control box with a 10 foot cord. I smell a project!

 

 

You already HAVE a control box with a 10 foot cord. It's called THE CONSOLE. icon_rolleyes.gif icon_mrgreen.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You already HAVE a control box with a 10 foot cord. It's called THE CONSOLE.

Heh, point taken. It's just not convenient enough for my lazy self. :D What would be really cool is to have the console switches mapped to buttons a hand controller, like a 6-button Genesis pad or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You already HAVE a control box with a 10 foot cord. It's called THE CONSOLE.

Heh, point taken. It's just not convenient enough for my lazy self. :D What would be really cool is to have the console switches mapped to buttons a hand controller, like a 6-button Genesis pad or something.

 

Here's the mod I did some time ago. Fairly simple mod overall. It allows you to use a standard Atari Joystick (with an extension cable presumably) to hit reset and Select. One could make a custom switchbox too if they liked. I actually did that initially before I switched to the Joystick idea.

 

Select/Reset controller mod

Edited by Lendorien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You already HAVE a control box with a 10 foot cord. It's called THE CONSOLE.

Heh, point taken. It's just not convenient enough for my lazy self. :D What would be really cool is to have the console switches mapped to buttons a hand controller, like a 6-button Genesis pad or something.

 

Maybe a junior could be converted into a big gamepad? That would be interesting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually performed a similar modification to an Atari 600XL some years ago: I replaced the DB9 connectors with DB15 connectors (like the Jaguar) which combined the joystick directionals/button with the Start, Select, and Option console keys, which I then connected to the extra buttons inside a Genesis gamepad. It wasn't a difficult modification to make, and it was fun to have it for a while, but I found that I never really used the extra buttons (not enough games used the corresponding keys consistently enough for me to make it a habit), so I eventually switched it back to the way it was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thread resurrection:

 

I am having some problems using Atari paddles with extension cables and I'm wondering if anyone else has run into this problem. When using the paddles through the extension cable (my extension cables are pretty long, at 20 feet), the fire buttons work, but rotating the dial has no effect at all. When I connect the paddles directly, I have no problems. Has anyone else experienced this? If I switch to 10' cables, will this likely solve my problem? Thanks in adv.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thread resurrection:

 

I am having some problems using Atari paddles with extension cables and I'm wondering if anyone else has run into this problem. When using the paddles through the extension cable (my extension cables are pretty long, at 20 feet), the fire buttons work, but rotating the dial has no effect at all. When I connect the paddles directly, I have no problems. Has anyone else experienced this? If I switch to 10' cables, will this likely solve my problem? Thanks in adv.

I bet your extension cable does not have all 9 wires in it, or possibly one or more are broken or somehow disconnected from the connector. Not all db9 extension cables run all wires, since not all wires are required for the joystick to work. Try a continuity check on each pin to see if this is the case...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...