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LeeJ07

Atari Trak-Ball

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Hello, new forum member here. I was perusing the 2600 Controller list, and I happened to notice that the listing for the Trak-Ball is really lacking. There is no info whatsoever about that particuler controller, and not even a picture. I happen to have a Trak-Ball that came with a small collection of 2600 stuff that I believed belonged to my mother(I'm not entirely sure who really owned it...). As an owner of a Trak-Ball, the appalling lack of info left me confused. Does that mean its rare? Hard to find? A complete mystery? What? Also, I would be quite glad to submit pics of it that can be added to its listing for completeness.

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It's not particularly rare. There were at least two versions of it made. I've read that 2600 Trak-Ball controllers were cannibalized in a few cases because the rollers were compatible with some arcade machines whose rollers had worn out.

 

I paid $7 for the one Trak-Ball I own and am looking for another.

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I never had luck with the track ball...I don't know if it is the type I have, or if this is a problem with all of them. But it seems I don't have the control with it like in the arcade. No matter how fast I spin it, the cursor only moves as fast as if the joystick was moving the object. So you don't get free movement. You can spin fast, but it moves at the speed the stick would make it move. So why bother?

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That's because no original Atari 2600 support the Trak Ball in its native mode (instead they only emulate the joystick).

 

I made a hack of Missile Command a few years ago which full supports the Trak Ball in native mode.

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That's because no original Atari 2600 support the Trak Ball in its native mode (instead they only emulate the joystick).

 

I made a hack of Missile Command a few years ago which full supports the Trak Ball in native mode.

 

What was the point of the Trak Ball then? Who'd want to use it as a joystick?

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It was for idiots like me who didn't know better, bought one, and got let down when using it seeing it work so crappy. They made the bucks, and I had a useless trackball.

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The whole point of having it was the interface. Crappy as it may be, I won't play games like Millipede, Crystal Castles, or Reactor without it.

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It works okay for some games, but in most cases it doesn't really offer any better control than a joystick. For what it's worth, I bought two. :roll:

 

The exception is Thomas' Missile Command Hack, which (if you like Missile Command) makes it worth owning a Trak-Ball just for that game. It completely transforms it. Sadly, most other games don't have enough spare cycles available to be similarly hacked.

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Isn't there a hack for Centipede for the 7800 that uses a Trak-Ball? Also the 8-bit / XE Game systems version of Missile Command uses it by hitting CNTR-T and moving the switch on the Trak-Ball from joystick to Trak-Ball mode.

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This is the Track Ball I have. It worked okay, except the problems I described above. It needed a cleaning, so I took it apart, and when I put it back together, I had a spring left over...LOL...But it does work.

post-33914-0-72936300-1352722509_thumb.jpg

post-33914-0-15295900-1352722538_thumb.jpg

Edited by kennetzel

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IIRC the Wico has no native mode. So it will always only emulate a joystick.

 

Maybe it can be hacked?

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. It needed a cleaning, so I took it apart, and when I put it back together, I had a spring left over...LOL...But it does work.

 

Don't worry about those spare parts. They put them in there for replacements.

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