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Byte Knight

The Ultimate Intellivision Flashback

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This looks like a great project! Awesome work, I was thinking about doing the same thing with the Flashback 1 and a Pi Zero to correct the poor quality of the fake 7800 games. I am active in the Raspi community, and I just had a couple of questions:

 

1. I'm assuming this is also compatible with Pi zero (albeit a USB hub & sound card is needed)?

 

2. Is the Ultimate INTV theme/skin open source or available on the Retropie GitHub?

 

3. What are you doing with all the leftover stock INTV FB motherboards? I ask because I also had the idea of trying to add more(or different) ROMs to it by re-flashing the stock nand flash ROM. I know this trick has been done with other plug & play systems. I don't want to experiment on my own personal one, but if someone that has had this mod done wants to sell me their old OEM motherboard cheap enough to make it worth while (or generously donate, I pay shipping). I could use it to do some reverse engineering. I intend to report my findings, and make an instructable if successful.

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This looks like a great project! Awesome work, I was thinking about doing the same thing with the Flashback 1 and a Pi Zero to correct the poor quality of the fake 7800 games. I am active in the Raspi community, and I just had a couple of questions:

 

1. I'm assuming this is also compatible with Pi zero (albeit a USB hub & sound card is needed)?

 

2. Is the Ultimate INTV theme/skin open source or available on the Retropie GitHub?

 

3. What are you doing with all the leftover stock INTV FB motherboards? I ask because I also had the idea of trying to add more(or different) ROMs to it by re-flashing the stock nand flash ROM. I know this trick has been done with other plug & play systems. I don't want to experiment on my own personal one, but if someone that has had this mod done wants to sell me their old OEM motherboard cheap enough to make it worth while (or generously donate, I pay shipping). I could use it to do some reverse engineering. I intend to report my findings, and make an instructable if successful.

Another thing this project needs is a gpio interface to Intellivision DE-9 controllers. Currently people are adding costly USB adapters.

 

Here's the project for the Atari GPIO DE-9 adapter. https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/GPIO-Modules#db9_gpio_rpi

Edited by mr_me
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This looks like a great project! Awesome work, I was thinking about doing the same thing with the Flashback 1 and a Pi Zero to correct the poor quality of the fake 7800 games. I am active in the Raspi community, and I just had a couple of questions:

 

1. I'm assuming this is also compatible with Pi zero (albeit a USB hub & sound card is needed)?

 

2. Is the Ultimate INTV theme/skin open source or available on the Retropie GitHub?

 

3. What are you doing with all the leftover stock INTV FB motherboards? I ask because I also had the idea of trying to add more(or different) ROMs to it by re-flashing the stock nand flash ROM. I know this trick has been done with other plug & play systems. I don't want to experiment on my own personal one, but if someone that has had this mod done wants to sell me their old OEM motherboard cheap enough to make it worth while (or generously donate, I pay shipping). I could use it to do some reverse engineering. I intend to report my findings, and make an instructable if successful.

 

Please be aware that there is a RetroPie version for the Pi0/Pi1 and there is a RetroPie version for the Pi2/P3 models, and they are not compatible between each other, so ensure you download the correct RetroPie version. Byte Knight uses a Pi3, so his image is not compatible with the Pi0.

 

I am not sure if Byte Knight's theme is available.

 

Since the Pi Zero only has one USB port, then you should look at the UPCI as it will be a single USB connection with both controllers on it and you will only need to use a USB hub if you want have extra ports available. If you are using a Pi0W, then there is embedded wifi and Bluetooth, so that is less to worry about.

 

If you follow mr_me's advice and use the GPIO DE-9 adapter. https://github.com/R...es#db9_gpio_rpi then you don't need an adapter for the controllers - unless you want to play other systems - then I'd recommend the UPCI

 

 

You don't need a sound card as the HDMI output will have the audio signals in it.

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Another thing this project needs is a gpio interface to Intellivision DE-9 controllers. Currently people are adding costly USB adapters.

 

Here's the project for the Atari GPIO DE-9 adapter. https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/GPIO-Modules#db9_gpio_rpi

 

That would limit this project to just Intellivision, which is OK for me, but others like to play other systems.

 

I'd really welcome this for my controller project, but the Raphnet adapter that I am using is fairly inexpensive.

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That would limit this project to just Intellivision, which is OK for me, but others like to play other systems.

 

I'd really welcome this for my controller project, but the Raphnet adapter that I am using is fairly inexpensive.

Well you could still use the Intellivision controller with different video games and emulators. It should also be possible to switch the controller type in software and support other controller types with the same gpio pins and de-9 connectors. And you could always add a usb game controller anytime. Edited by mr_me

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Well you could still use the Intellivision controller with different video games and emulators.

 

As a kid I certainly didn't like playing 2600 games on the System Changer while using the Inty controllers for input. I'd be curious how many people did. I recall other posts on AA that many people didn't even know that this was possible on real hardware.

 

I am not into other game systems, but I'd be curious to know how often other people use the Inty controllers on other systems.

 

 

It should also be possible to switch the controller type in software and support other controller types with the same gpio pins and de-9 connectors.

In my experience with this GPIO driver with my Jakks Atari joystick project that is not so fun to do for the layperson.

 

 

And you could always add a usb game controller anytime.

That is the best thing to do

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2. Is the Ultimate INTV theme/skin open source or available on the Retropie GitHub?

 

3. What are you doing with all the leftover stock INTV FB motherboards? I ask because I also had the idea of trying to add more(or different) ROMs to it by re-flashing the stock nand flash ROM. I know this trick has been done with other plug & play systems. I don't want to experiment on my own personal one, but if someone that has had this mod done wants to sell me their old OEM motherboard cheap enough to make it worth while (or generously donate, I pay shipping). I could use it to do some reverse engineering. I intend to report my findings, and make an instructable if successful.

 

I use an older version of RetroPie, so my Intellivision theme won't work with the more recent releases. I'll be happy to share the SD-card image with you, just PM me.

 

I can send you an INTV FB motherboard for free - again, PM me. I had a whole drawer full of them at one point and just tossed them since they were taking up too much space. I emailed AtGames to see if they wanted them for repairs and just heard crickets back...

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I use an older version of RetroPie, so my Intellivision theme won't work with the more recent releases. I'll be happy to share the SD-card image with you, just PM me.

 

 

Byte Knight - He mentioned that he was going to use a Pi Zero, and your image will not work on that Pi. RetroPie is Raspberry Pi model dependent.

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As a kid I certainly didn't like playing 2600 games on the System Changer while using the Inty controllers for input. I'd be curious how many people did. I recall other posts on AA that many people didn't even know that this was possible on real hardware.

 

The System Changer Intellivision controller software was not written properly. If you look at the instructions it shows gaps in the 16 position mapping to eight directions. Others have said that it only polled at 20Hz; it should have been written to poll at 60Hz.

 

 

I am not into other game systems, but I'd be curious to know how often other people use the Inty controllers on other systems.

 

I play Mame arcade games with Intellivision controllers. They are sometimes already plugged in so I just use them. They are fine as long as it's not a rapid fire game. I doubt anyone would do this. Realistically for anything other than Intellivision and this includes Atari 2600/5200, coleco vision, I just use a modern usb controller.

 

 

In my experience with this GPIO driver with my Jakks Atari joystick project that is not so fun to do for the layperson.

 

Not sure what you mean but switching gpio controller type can be addressed with better software, it's all opensource. Edited by mr_me

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Not sure what you mean but switching gpio controller type can be addressed with better software, it's all opensource.

 

With this driver, as-is, when you want to change the type of controller you need to change your CONF file in the modprobe and reboot.

 

As noted in my PDF for my Ultimate Atari Joystick project:

Create a CONF file in the /etc/modprobe.d/ folder with the contents:

options db9_gpio_rpi map=1,1

 

The map=1,1 means that the two ports will be both ID=1 types:

 

ID = Description

0 = (No joystick)

1 = Multisystem 1-button joystick

2 = Multisystem 2-button joystick

3 = Multisystem 3-button joystick

4 = MD/Genesis pad (3+1 buttons)

5 = MD/Genesis pad (5+1 buttons)

6 = MD/Genesis pad (6+2 buttons)

7 = Sega Saturn controller

8 = Amiga CD32 gamepad

 

They want you to pick the driver settings that best suits your joystick/controller and stick with it.

 

Lucky most of the supported joysticks/controllers use the same pin out (as shown on that page), so you should be able to set it to a higher type and the more basic joysticks will still work just fine. So it is nearly a universal driver for the DB9 joysticks/controllers.

 

Only the Saturn and Amiga CD32 controllers are the real outliers.

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I may have to reach out soon. My son has killed all Three of the family Ultimate Flashbacks. I'll hook up the keyboard soon and see what I can do. LOL

you can send em back to me. I have things updated way past what your flashbacks had done on them with much better improvements from how they were back then.

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Another thing this project needs is a gpio interface to Intellivision DE-9 controllers. Currently people are adding costly USB adapters.

 

Here's the project for the Atari GPIO DE-9 adapter. https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/GPIO-Modules#db9_gpio_rpi

 

:thumbsup: That's what I intended to do with my FB1 Pi mod. Since the Flashback 1 is based of a NOAC, the joysticks are just NES controls with a shift register, and there is already tons of documentation how to adapt these (&SNES controllers) to GPIO without much other external components.

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Please be aware that there is a RetroPie version for the Pi0/Pi1 and there is a RetroPie version for the Pi2/P3 models, and they are not compatible between each other, so ensure you download the correct RetroPie version. Byte Knight uses a Pi3, so his image is not compatible with the Pi0.

 

I am not sure if Byte Knight's theme is available.

 

Since the Pi Zero only has one USB port, then you should look at the UPCI as it will be a single USB connection with both controllers on it and you will only need to use a USB hub if you want have extra ports available. If you are using a Pi0W, then there is embedded wifi and Bluetooth, so that is less to worry about.

 

If you follow mr_me's advice and use the GPIO DE-9 adapter. https://github.com/R...es#db9_gpio_rpi then you don't need an adapter for the controllers - unless you want to play other systems - then I'd recommend the UPCI

 

 

You don't need a sound card as the HDMI output will have the audio signals in it.

 

:thumbsup: Thanks for the reply & advice. I already know most of this stuff already, I made this design on Thingiverse:

 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1800825

 

I made about 8 of them a couple years ago & gave them away as holiday gifts. This was before the Pi0w was out. I now Have a stack of Pi0ws. For my FB1 idea, I wanted to design & 3D print a "bracket" of sorts to mount the Pi0W inside, utilize the GPIO for controls. I was going to use the composite AV out of the original FB, but now that you make a good point, why bother when there's the HDMI. Kinda silly why I would want RCA, (I guess I wasn't thinking fourth dimensionally :)).

 

But that does remind me of an issue I encountered with my SNES project. And I'll post my warning here: There are CRAPPY mini HDMI to standard HDMI cables & adapters out there! Beware! Not all of them are compatible with the Pi0 & Pi0W!! As part of my "R&D" for my SNES gift project, I composed a spreadsheet to help myself minimize my expenses. I tried to source my parts as cheaply as I possibly could. I ordered some mini HDMI adapters that simply did not work. I then ordered some 6' cables to replace them that also did not work. Although strangely, they sorta worked on an older TV I had, But the colors were wrong? (& no, it wasn't PAL mode). In the end, I ordered a 3rd round of cables. These from Amazon after a tip from a friend at my local makerspace. I bought the "Amazon Basics" mini to standard HDMI 3' cables. This person even let me use their Prime membership to get 2-day shipping, or else I would've missed my deadline of X-mas. The cables worked great, so If you need to buy some for your "Zero series" Raspberry Pi's, I would recommend them. But just be warned, this was a couple years back, so I'm sure Amazon buys from cheap Chinese vendors, and may have switched suppliers by now, so who know's if they are still any good. I'm just letting people know what ultimately worked for me after getting burned on 16 cheap eBay adapters (which I in turn donated to our makerspace's "purgatory bucket").

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I use an older version of RetroPie, so my Intellivision theme won't work with the more recent releases. I'll be happy to share the SD-card image with you, just PM me.

 

I can send you an INTV FB motherboard for free - again, PM me. I had a whole drawer full of them at one point and just tossed them since they were taking up too much space. I emailed AtGames to see if they wanted them for repairs and just heard crickets back...

 

Thanks for the help!

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I use an older version of RetroPie, so my Intellivision theme won't work with the more recent releases. I'll be happy to share the SD-card image with you, just PM me.

 

I can send you an INTV FB motherboard for free - again, PM me. I had a whole drawer full of them at one point and just tossed them since they were taking up too much space. I emailed AtGames to see if they wanted them for repairs and just heard crickets back...

so out of curiosity, why doesnt your theme work with newer emulationstation versions? Ive had no problems using the themes we were making on retropie 2.5.

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:thumbsup: That's what I intended to do with my FB1 Pi mod. Since the Flashback 1 is based of a NOAC, the joysticks are just NES controls with a shift register, and there is already tons of documentation how to adapt these (&SNES controllers) to GPIO without much other external components.

 

If someone wanted to make an Intellivision and Intellivision Flashback controller to GPIO interface the attached files can help. They are the source code for USB adapters but the intellivision.c files has a program to reduce the Intellivision/Flashback 9-pin controller output to a standard analog control, 15 buttons, plus virtual buttons for emulator control.

Intellivision_Flashback_v3.0a_mm.rarIntellivision_v3.0a_mm.rar

 

 

With this driver, as-is, when you want to change the type of controller you need to change your CONF file in the modprobe and reboot.

...

If modprobe can be used to unload and reload the module with different settings manually than it can be automated with scripts. The scripts can be added to the emulationstation interface so controller selection is through a menu. Edited by mr_me
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so out of curiosity, why doesnt your theme work with newer emulationstation versions? Ive had no problems using the themes we were making on retropie 2.5.

 

I thought the folder locations for the themes had changed with one of the new releases. Even if it didn't, it's a pain copying all of those files over and then trying to remember all the various little upgrades I did to get everything to work properly.

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:thumbsup: Thanks for the reply & advice. I already know most of this stuff already, I made this design on Thingiverse:

 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1800825

 

I made about 8 of them a couple years ago & gave them away as holiday gifts. This was before the Pi0w was out. I now Have a stack of Pi0ws. For my FB1 idea, I wanted to design & 3D print a "bracket" of sorts to mount the Pi0W inside, utilize the GPIO for controls. I was going to use the composite AV out of the original FB, but now that you make a good point, why bother when there's the HDMI. Kinda silly why I would want RCA, (I guess I wasn't thinking fourth dimensionally :)).

 

But that does remind me of an issue I encountered with my SNES project. And I'll post my warning here: There are CRAPPY mini HDMI to standard HDMI cables & adapters out there! Beware! Not all of them are compatible with the Pi0 & Pi0W!! As part of my "R&D" for my SNES gift project, I composed a spreadsheet to help myself minimize my expenses. I tried to source my parts as cheaply as I possibly could. I ordered some mini HDMI adapters that simply did not work. I then ordered some 6' cables to replace them that also did not work. Although strangely, they sorta worked on an older TV I had, But the colors were wrong? (& no, it wasn't PAL mode). In the end, I ordered a 3rd round of cables. These from Amazon after a tip from a friend at my local makerspace. I bought the "Amazon Basics" mini to standard HDMI 3' cables. This person even let me use their Prime membership to get 2-day shipping, or else I would've missed my deadline of X-mas. The cables worked great, so If you need to buy some for your "Zero series" Raspberry Pi's, I would recommend them. But just be warned, this was a couple years back, so I'm sure Amazon buys from cheap Chinese vendors, and may have switched suppliers by now, so who know's if they are still any good. I'm just letting people know what ultimately worked for me after getting burned on 16 cheap eBay adapters (which I in turn donated to our makerspace's "purgatory bucket").

 

I found some nice 2-foot minHDMI cables from China a couple years ago when I started building my Inty controller and Jakks joystick projects with the Pi0, but now they are no longer available from that source and I need more.

 

I've definitely have had my share of incompatible cables, or just plan bad cables. Some work good on one TV and it doesn't work well on a different TV...etc...

 

If you really want to stay "old school" and utilize the RCA output, then you will need to add your own audio circuit and you can purchase a DAC pHAT or build your own circuit. Just be mindful that these typically GPIO 18 and 19, and you need to ensure that your controller driver isn't using the same GPIO.

 

Adafruit has a nice tutorial on making your own DAC for the Pi0. I've thought about doing this, but it is really low on my priority list. Adafruit also sells a DAC pHAT, but there are many other sources out there for them, too.

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I thought the folder locations for the themes had changed with one of the new releases. Even if it didn't, it's a pain copying all of those files over and then trying to remember all the various little upgrades I did to get everything to work properly.

they have two locations for emulationstation files. In /etc/emulationstation/ and in /opt/retropie//configs/all/emulationstation. Files in the latter wont get overwritten during an update. If you put an es_systems.cfg in that location you can put the systems in whatever order you want and it wont get overwritten. Only downfall is if you add a new system you need to copy it from the other es_systems.cfg

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Hrm, I have an Ultimate conversion done by ByteKnight, but just ran in to a problem - it boots to the "Raspberry Pi Intellivision System - Computer now booting" (in lovely Intellivision font) splash screen, then goes to an all-black screen. I've connected it to an external keyboard, and trying Ctrl-Alt-F2-F8 doesn't get me to any usable text console, only C-A-F2 brings up "map: vt02 => fb0" with a blinking cursor, but it doesn't accept any inputs.

Holding shift during boot doesn't work, either. Yet Ctrl-Alt-Del reboots, so I know it's accepting keyboard input.

Unfortunately, the RPi is glued down, and the micro SD slot is on the underside, with no room between the Pi and the edge of the case to take the card out Anyone have any suggestions? I'm fairly familiar with Linux, but not intimately familiar with Raspberry Pi specific distros.

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Ethernet port is accessible, I'll have to give that a shot. (Can't believe I hadn't thought of that!) now to figure out what the default user/pass is...

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