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Developing USB adaptor for Colecovision & Intellivision controllers

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Working on an adaptor to support Colecovision & Intellivision controllers. Don't have experience with either system, either real or emulated, so can use some input from those whose are familiar with these.

 

Have a prototype working with the Colecovision controller. Interfacing with the controller was not difficult but have some questions are on how to represent it to the PC. To me It seems the way to go would be to have the joystick portion of the controller and the two side buttons come across as a joystick/game pad, and then the keypad generate key presses. Have this is working fine - testing with Control Panel->Game Controller and seeing the keys in Notepad.

 

However, was playing around with blueMSX, and I don't see that one can use a PC joystick to emulate the Colecovsion controller? When I go into the Input Editor, it only seems to accept mapping from the keyboard for the various Colecovision controller functions. If I do a joystick move or button press, it does not accept it. Am I missing something here???

 

Does anybody know what the Retro adaptor did here? Did it send key presses for all of the Coleco controller functions?

 

What are the popular emulators for Colecovision that I should look at?

 

Thanks,

Tom

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The ones I've seen/used are MESS, MEKA (which also does the Master System, Game Gear, and SG/SC series), and BlueMSX. I think BlueMSX is the one that opcode's working with to help develop his games for the Coleco.

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Working on an adaptor to support Colecovision & Intellivision controllers. Don't have experience with either system, either real or emulated, so can use some input from those whose are familiar with these.

 

Have a prototype working with the Colecovision controller. Interfacing with the controller was not difficult but have some questions are on how to represent it to the PC. To me It seems the way to go would be to have the joystick portion of the controller and the two side buttons come across as a joystick/game pad, and then the keypad generate key presses. Have this is working fine - testing with Control Panel->Game Controller and seeing the keys in Notepad.

 

However, was playing around with blueMSX, and I don't see that one can use a PC joystick to emulate the Colecovsion controller? When I go into the Input Editor, it only seems to accept mapping from the keyboard for the various Colecovision controller functions. If I do a joystick move or button press, it does not accept it. Am I missing something here???

 

Does anybody know what the Retro adaptor did here? Did it send key presses for all of the Coleco controller functions?

 

What are the popular emulators for Colecovision that I should look at?

 

Thanks,

Tom

 

 

Great news on the USB adapter devlopment. Will you support original Intellivision controllers [please] ? Count me in on at least a few for each if this comes to fruition.

 

MESS and BlueMSX are the big 2 IMHO. ColEM was great back in the 9x days. Now I pretty much only use MESS as does pretty much everything I want it to Coleco-wise.

 

I have the Colecovision USB adapter that Retrozone offer for a brief time some years back. Wish I had got extra as it's like gold to me now. Everything is mapped to it's own key press. If you want more details LMK and I'll take it out of the "vault" and get the specifics.

Edited by JL

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I have a prototype working with both Colecovison and Intellivision controllers. Not sure why I was having trouble with the Input Editor in blueMSX. I went back and tried again, and was able to map a PC USB joystick to the virtual Coleco controller. So, for now, I have the controller joystick/disc and side buttons presented to the PC as a USB joystick device. The keypad comes in as a USB keyboard device. I think this better than using key presses for everything, as the emulator would not be able to tell which controller a key came from, and seems like that would be a problem in a two-player game. I do, however, need to look at the various emulators and make sure what I have will work with them.

 

Speaking of emulators, what are the popular ones for Intellivsion?

 

When you say supporting original Intellivision controllers, do you mean to have a way to physically plug them in without having to modify them (as the connector on the end is not a DB9)? Or is there something else to know about them? I am using a set of original controllers to development with. I am looking to get my hands on a set of the later verision w/ DB9 connector to confirm that the pin out I have seen on the web is correct - if anybody can help.

 

Any thoughts of any other DB9 controller? My original plan was to also have this support Sega Genisis 3 & 6 button, but for reasons have decided not to include that.

 

Tom

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Speaking of emulators, what are the popular ones for Intellivsion?

 

Nostalgia , Bliss and jzINTV , to the best of my knowledge none are still being developed. Sort of a sad state of affairs on the INTV emu front.

 

When you say supporting original Intellivision controllers, do you mean to have a way to physically plug them in without having to modify them (as the connector on the end is not a DB9)? I am using a set of original controllers to development with.

 

Exactly. Extricated all mine from old INTV's. Price actually was not bad [at least 10 years ago] if you purchased broken units with good controllers. As hard to use as the original controllers were I feel the INTV2 controllers are even worse and looked like cheapo crap. The CGC USB adapter supported the original controllers. Yet another time I wish I had picked up 2 or them but after the initial run when they were almost $50, the next batch was nearly 2x in price. great that you are using the original to develop with.

 

I am looking to get my hands on a set of the later version w/ DB9 connector to confirm that the pin out I have seen on the web is correct - if anybody can help.

 

I have one of those but am somewhat electrically challenged. If by some tiny chance it does not require a meter I could help you out if you send me instructions.

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@ Bah - I had found your thread and pinout doc earlier. They made interfacing to the Intellivion controller easy to understand and saved me the time of having to figure it for out myself. Many thanks!!! Let me if you would like one and I'll cut you a deal for your efforts.

 

I would still like to check with an Intellivision II controller, just to be sure I haven't made a mistake on it's DB9 pin out. Anyone in the Portland, OR area?

 

Tom

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@ Bah - I had found your thread and pinout doc earlier. They made interfacing to the Intellivion controller easy to understand and saved me the time of having to figure it for out myself. Many thanks!!! Let me if you would like one and I'll cut you a deal for your efforts.

 

I would still like to check with an Intellivision II controller, just to be sure I haven't made a mistake on it's DB9 pin out. Anyone in the Portland, OR area?

 

Tom

 

I'm actually working on modifying the AVR code for Rapnet's Atari/SMS/Genesis DB9 adaptor to include Coleco support. I haven't actually started yet, as I just got the parts in the mail yesterday. But I'd be interested in looking at the code you've written, if you'd be willing to share. In exchange, I happen to own two INTV 2's. I'd be willing to take apart a controller to confirm anything you would like on it.

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My code is for a PIC, so the details would be different. I went off the Coleco controller schematic PDF that is common on the web. The diodes are drawn backwards for the keypad, but it is correct as to which DB9 pins get connected by what keys/buttons. Ground pin 8 and read pins 1-4 for the joystick and pin 6 for fire button. Ground pin 5 to read the keypad and arm button.

 

I want to get an Intellivision II controller in my hands (either borrow or buy), just to make a definitive confirmation that it will work with what I have.

 

Tom

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I went off the Coleco controller schematic PDF that is common on the web. The diodes are drawn backwards for the keypad

 

Thank you for confirming that for me. I always thought so, but... .

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My code is for a PIC, so the details would be different. I went off the Coleco controller schematic PDF that is common on the web. The diodes are drawn backwards for the keypad, but it is correct as to which DB9 pins get connected by what keys/buttons. Ground pin 8 and read pins 1-4 for the joystick and pin 6 for fire button. Ground pin 5 to read the keypad and arm button.

 

I want to get an Intellivision II controller in my hands (either borrow or buy), just to make a definitive confirmation that it will work with what I have.

 

Tom

I can loan my INTV2 if you need. Edited by NightSprinter

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Any thoughts of any other DB9 controller? My original plan was to also have this support Sega Genisis 3 & 6 button, but for reasons have decided not to include that.

 

Tom

 

BALLY ASTROCADE!!! PLEASE!!!! Retrousb.com made on of these a while back, and I procrastinated and missed it. These were GREAT controllers!!

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I can loan my INTV2 if you need.

 

Thanks for the offer. I have a bid in on a system on e-bay... we'll see how that goes.

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BALLY ASTROCADE!!! PLEASE!!!! Retrousb.com made on of these a while back, and I procrastinated and missed it. These were GREAT controllers!!

 

OK, I'll look into those.

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Just learned of the Bliss-box today. Interesting. Looks like it already has Colecovision and Intellivision covered. As such, is there any need for me to follow through on this? Was about ready to order parts in the next week. And the single port version Bliss-box is a little cheaper than what I would be able to offer these at.

 

The one thing I was planning that the Bliss-box does not appear to have, is a little connector dongle to allow plugging in the original Intellivision controllers into a DB9 port. I could just offer those.

 

Tom

Edited by dualcam

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Well, the development is all done on these, so I will proceed with making them available which I expect to be next month. Plus I think these have a few advantages - handling of the original Intellivision controllers, support all 16 directions of the Intellivision disc, keypads send key presses so no "joystick button to key" utility needed.

 

http://home.comcast.net/~tjhafner/Vision-daptor.htm

 

Tom

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Well, the development is all done on these, so I will proceed with making them available which I expect to be next month. Plus I think these have a few advantages - handling of the original Intellivision controllers, support all 16 directions of the Intellivision disc, keypads send key presses so no "joystick button to key" utility needed.

 

http://home.comcast....sion-daptor.htm

 

Tom

 

Tom - Great news, thanks. These will fill a large hold for retrogamers.

 

I've pre-ordered a couple. Can't wait for these :) - In anticpation I've already started refurbish one of my INTV 1 controllers with original vintage replacement parts.

 

 

P.S. Bliss box is good overall for most stuff but meh at best for INTV, I'm sure your's will be letter perfect like your 2600-daptor's.

Edited by JL

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Well, the development is all done on these, so I will proceed with making them available which I expect to be next month. Plus I think these have a few advantages - handling of the original Intellivision controllers, support all 16 directions of the Intellivision disc, keypads send key presses so no "joystick button to key" utility needed.

 

http://home.comcast....sion-daptor.htm

 

Tom

 

Tom - Great news, thanks. These will fill a large hold for retrogamers.

 

I've pre-ordered a couple. Can't wait for these :) - In anticpation I've already started refurbish one of my INTV 1 controllers with original vintage replacement parts.

 

P.S. Bliss box is good overall for most stuff but meh at best for INTV, I'm sure your's will be letter perfect like your 2600-daptor's.

Thanks for the good words.

 

Bliss-box looks like a neat project, but I did get the impression that INTV was a bit too retro and their interest was more for systems from the later 80's, 90's.

 

Tom

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I think I need to scale the spinner input from the Coleco SA controller. The only game I have tried it on is Turbo, which granted is designed for a different controller, but, never the less, I have to spinner the spinner a lot. Currently I have one pulse from the spinner give one tick of mouse movement. I'm thinking this may need to be more like 10 ticks of mouse movement.

 

Can anyone get me info from a real system to calibrate this against? IE, for such-and-such game, it requires so many spinner rotations to move so far on screen.

 

Thanks.

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Does the SA spinner, Driving or Roller controller emulation work in MESS? If so, how do you do it? My assumption would be they would use the mouse, but that does seem to do anything. I am changing the controller type.

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