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Gandor

5200 expansion port?

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Hi,

 

I recently bought a 4 port 5200 with a bunch of games, 2600 expansion unit, trackball and a working joystick.

Examining the back of the 5200 I noticed a small removable cover plate.

It conceals part of the motherboard which appears to be an expansion port.

Anybody know what this is and if it ever was used for anything?

 

Thanks

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Never used for anything.... the shortlived 5200 Speech Synthesizer was rumored to use that port, but never got anywhere, so its unclear if it would've used it. Atari quickly realized it could do speech in software and hardware was not needed...

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Congratulations on the working joystick. :)

I also have a second one which doesn't work :(

Oh and a masterplay interface. Make playing some games so much better :thumbsup:

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Never used for anything.... the shortlived 5200 Speech Synthesizer was rumored to use that port, but never got anywhere, so its unclear if it would've used it. Atari quickly realized it could do speech in software and hardware was not needed...

 

Congratulations, you have just discovered your next project! The 5200 XM :D

Edited by OldAtarian

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arrrrrghhhh !!!! :-D

 

Never used for anything.... the shortlived 5200 Speech Synthesizer was rumored to use that port, but never got anywhere, so its unclear if it would've used it. Atari quickly realized it could do speech in software and hardware was not needed...

 

Congratulations, you have just discovered your next project! The 5200 XM :D

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What can you really do with the expansion port? Maybe some kind of SIO cable so that you could do a Midi-Maze type game. I'm not sure what other use you could have for it. Maybe a musical keyboard hook-up or a Guitar Hero type thing. I think you could do any kind of Ram expansion or anything. You can't even do that with the cartridge port.

 

Allan

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What can you really do with the expansion port? Maybe some kind of SIO cable so that you could do a Midi-Maze type game. I'm not sure what other use you could have for it. Maybe a musical keyboard hook-up or a Guitar Hero type thing. I think you could do any kind of Ram expansion or anything. You can't even do that with the cartridge port.

 

Allan

 

I wonder if something to be able to access the internet would be possible, then someone could write a multiplayer shooter for the 5200!

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What can you really do with the expansion port? Maybe some kind of SIO cable so that you could do a Midi-Maze type game. I'm not sure what other use you could have for it. Maybe a musical keyboard hook-up or a Guitar Hero type thing. I think you could do any kind of Ram expansion or anything. You can't even do that with the cartridge port.

 

Allan

 

I wonder if something to be able to access the internet would be possible, then someone could write a multiplayer shooter for the 5200!

 

 

Halo 5200

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Never used for anything.... the shortlived 5200 Speech Synthesizer was rumored to use that port, but never got anywhere, so its unclear if it would've used it. Atari quickly realized it could do speech in software and hardware was not needed...

 

Congratulations, you have just discovered your next project! The 5200 XM :D

 

Hopefully it doesn't interfere with his 5200 replacement joystick project. ;)

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Pardon my bringing this topic back from the dead, but I was wondering if the expansion port had a working R/W line on it ( I see a R/W on some pinouts, but want to be sure), and if yes was that consistent across all 5200 models and variations?

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Pardon my bringing this topic back from the dead, but I was wondering if the expansion port had a working R/W line on it ( I see a R/W on some pinouts, but want to be sure), and if yes was that consistent across all 5200 models and variations?

 

It is supposed to, it would be an easy way to add a voice module or secondary POKEY to the 5200. You can always just take a multimeter and ping it to the CPU, if you want to make sure. I have pondered on those two and a mini-RAM expansion module (not enough address lines on the expansion port). But then again, hardly anyone makes games for the 5200, so it's really not worth it.

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It is supposed to, it would be an easy way to add a voice module or secondary POKEY to the 5200. You can always just take a multimeter and ping it to the CPU, if you want to make sure. I have pondered on those two and a mini-RAM expansion module (not enough address lines on the expansion port). But then again, hardly anyone makes games for the 5200, so it's really not worth it.

 

Build it and they will come, CPU.

 

That's just the upgrade the 5200 needs. Give it a decent RAM upgrade - with or without a second POKEY, and you know how I like multiple POKEY madness - and you'll have more 5200 homebrew and A8 conversions without any compromise.

 

We know the specs for the 7800 XM. Just imagine a 5200 with 256K or better RAM, your secondary POKEY as you mentioned, SIO, and maybe the TI Speech Synthesis Chip Atari Games used in their arcade games and the YM2151. One could then take the somewhat abysmal A8 Gauntlet, add 4-player and then you could add most of the arcade audio into it.

 

I'm thinking of 3 A8 games that could then be realistically ported to the 5200 with such an upgrade: MIDI Maze, Tempest Xtreem, and Space Harrier.

 

Hell, just for kicks, add a MARIA to it.

 

Edited Further: Might as well make it a 1MB upgrade so anything cool on the A8 side could be ported to it.

Edited by Lynxpro

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There is not enough data to decode in order to do elobarate things like that, unfortunately.

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There is not enough data to decode in order to do elobarate things like that, unfortunately.

 

Ah, I obviously got too excited by your original post and misread it. So, the lines on the Expansion Port don't have enough juice for a RAM upgrade. Effin-A! That probably means a graphics chip like the MARIA is out of the question too.

 

But since you mentioned the possibility of a speech chip and a second POKEY, do you think that would be the audio limit? Not enough juice for a YM2151? I thought Curt previously peculated an SIO would be doable from the Expansion Port.

 

What about adding more RAM to the motherboard? Would that require major rewiring or just a BIOS hack? [like say "hi-mem" from the MS-DOS days where the post-640K was only accessible to programs written to address it]...

Edited by Lynxpro

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So, here's the question... with the pinouts on the expansion port, could you have networked two 5200s together in a simple way? Send bits through some interface?

Edited by Big_Mo
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I would imagine a 5200 could be upgraded much like a memory upgrade for a 600XL/800XL/130XE, etc. although you would have to make it specificly for the 5200. The problem with that is how many people are going to be able to solder in a memory upgrade. I still would love to see it though. Just a simple-as-possible-to-install 64K memory upgrade would be nice. At least you would be able to convert almost all the 64K 8-bit games.

 

You can upgrade the 5200 with the VBXE

 

http://www.lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=82

 

but I don't know if it adds any memory to the 6502 mod. Again it limits the audience to a very small amount.

 

Allan

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So, here's the question... with the pinouts on the expansion port, could you have networked two 5200s together in a simple way? Send bits through some interface?

 

If you mean like a PS1 link cable, then yes.

 

Looking at the pinout, you could create a 1KB address space window in the memory space and map it however you want (as long as the physical access is done through $E000. You have the data bus, R/W and the clock, don't need anything else. Just a back of the envelope theory.

 

From there it really is just good handshaking code that would make it work.

1	+5 VDC
2	Audio Out (2 port)
3	Ground
4	R/W Early
5	Enable E0-EF
6	D6
7	D4
8	D2
9	D0
10	IRQ
11	Ground
12	Serial Data In
13	Serial In Clock
14	Serial Out Clock
15	Serial Data Out
16	Audio In
17	A14
18	System Clock 01
19	A11
20	A7
21	A6
22	A5
23	A4
24	A3
25	A2
26	A1
27	A0
28	Ground
29	D1
30	D3
31	D5
32	D7
33	Not connected
34	Ground
35	Not connected
36	+5 VDC

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If you mean like a PS1 link cable, then yes.

 

Looking at the pinout, you could create a 1KB address space window in the memory space and map it however you want (as long as the physical access is done through $E000. You have the data bus, R/W and the clock, don't need anything else. Just a back of the envelope theory.

 

From there it really is just good handshaking code that would make it work.

1	+5 VDC...

 

Brilliant! Thanks. :)

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There is also the slower way, with less pins, using the serial port lines. I don't think anyone would do that though, you need the whole connector and in order for it to be robust, you need a circuit board, at least the width of all pins, which automatically gives you access to all of them anyway. I would go full bore, forget the SIO lines. ;)

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Not controller ports, I am am pretty sure with custom code and hardware, you can use the serial pins on the expansion port (12, 13, 14, 15). But it would be slower than creating a custom 8 bit protocol, that does exactly what you want it to do.

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I would imagine a 5200 could be upgraded much like a memory upgrade for a 600XL/800XL/130XE, etc. although you would have to make it specificly for the 5200. The problem with that is how many people are going to be able to solder in a memory upgrade. I still would love to see it though. Just a simple-as-possible-to-install 64K memory upgrade would be nice. At least you would be able to convert almost all the 64K 8-bit games.

 

You can upgrade the 5200 with the VBXE

 

http://www.lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=82

 

but I don't know if it adds any memory to the 6502 mod. Again it limits the audience to a very small amount.

 

Allan

 

More like upgrading an Atari 400/800, I'd imagine.

 

I wouldn't worry about the number of people with soldering skills because there's always retro gaming sources that do professional soldering and customization that could fill that void.

 

As you mentioned, having a full 64K would be ideal at the very least just so the XEGS titles could be back ported to the 5200. Personally, I'd like something more ambitious like the Ultimate 1MB Upgrade but again, I'm speculating a modded BIOS would be necessary to maintain compatibility with the existing library.

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