Jump to content
Rolo

A game-selector-box for John Dondzilla's Odyssey 2 multicart

Recommended Posts

I've been using John Dondzilla's marvelous 233-in-1-multicartridge for the Odyssey 2 for years. A great cartridge, for which I probably would have had sold my mother, back in the day :woozy:. Game selection is done with the help of ten dip-switches (address) and another four dip switches defining game rom size (2/4/8kBytes). The manual contains a look-up table where one can read the required settings for each of the games.

 

That's what the opened cartridge looks like:

post-32856-0-97107100-1422733549_thumb.jpg

 

I wanted to facilitate the game selecting procedure. I chose the "retro-approach", building it, like something (only a toy) that would have been built 30 years ago: simple and cheap. The cartridge itself is too small to built something into it. An external device must be used. If all dip-switches are set into the off-position, more comfortabel parallel switches can be used for game selection.

 

I put a 15-pin dsub-connector into the back part of the shell, near the handle in a way, that is does not immerse into Odyssey's cartridge shaft. And I connected short cables, taping the dip switches.

post-32856-0-75749700-1422733552_thumb.jpgpost-32856-0-36430600-1422733563_thumb.jpg

 

Not all of the switches are needed. Selector-dip-switch#10 switches on and off "The Voice". Romsize-dip-switch#3 always is "on".

 

The nine remaining selector-switches can be "replaced" (parallelized) by 3 BCD-coded switches, one digit representing three dip switches.

 

There are only three valid combinations for rom-size-switches:

2k - on on on on

4k - on off on off

8k - off on on off

This can be replaced by a cheap 3x4 rotary switch (4 poles, 3 positions), connected like:

romsize-dip-switch#1 -> rotary switch pole#1 (pos1:on pos2:on pos3:off)

romsize-dip-switch#2 -> rotary switch pole#2 (pos1:on pos2:off pos3:on)

romsize-dip-switch#4 -> rotary switch pole#3 (pos1:on pos2:off pos3:off)

Got the idea? Simple and working ;-).
I built the 3 BCD-coded switches, the rotary switch and a LED into a separate housing, attached a cable and a dsub connector and ended up with this:
post-32856-0-77000400-1422733560_thumb.jpgpost-32856-0-29780600-1422733558_thumb.jpg
If you want to build something like this you can get uncountable types of switches, that can be used. Some BCD-coded switches really are expensive, so take what you can get cheaply and figure out the cabling for your switches. It's not hard to do.

 

Finally I made a new look-up table for all games. Selecting games now is easy! Want to play KC? Put rotary knob to position 2 (4k) and enter code number 374.

Freedom Fighters+? Rotary knob to positon 3 (8k) and code number 136.

post-32856-0-85864500-1422733555_thumb.jpg

I hope, you found this one entertaining.

 

:arrow: I know there is a new mulit-cartridge with a screen selection menu. That's very cool. But I happen to have the "old" one.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot, I still find the Dondzilla-cartridge very good. It's really a great selection of games. Only modern homebrew games missing, which is clear due to copyright/piracy considerations. Which I understand completely: If people are investing many, many hours of development work, they would like to get a few bugs for that. I mean, nothing in life comes for free, only developers are supposed to work for nothing. :?

 

When I switch on my Odyssey, I like to change games frequently. I play a game 15 minutes or so, then I want to switch to another one. With the dip-switches this is not comfortable, but with the selector-box that's quick and easy. I would assume, other people built something like that, too. If you read this and have something like that, why don't you show us ;-) ? I would be interessted in your solutions.

 

Regards!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just for the record for those not familiar with the odyssey 2 multicards.

John's cart uses dipswitches, the menu driven multicard is made by a different person named Rene_g7400.

Cannot see it in the picture, but are there small knobs above and below the number selector to select the game?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, sorry the picture is not very good and quite compressed.

 

Above and below each digit, there is a small black mechanical button. The buttons below count the corresponding digit up and the upper buttons down. That's kind of weird, I'd expect it the other way round, but ok... The digits count from 0 to 9 and then just cycle around. Since those are three independent BCD-switches put into one line, there is no carry.

 

I can post a better detailed picture, if wanted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:dunce: The promised photos of the selector-box:

post-32856-0-32178000-1423051037_thumb.jpg post-32856-0-13124300-1423051035_thumb.jpg

You can even see the little plus and minus-symbols on the buttons.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice thing! Too bad you couldn't build it into the cart. But you might make the console freeze by doing so, so I guess it's okay.

I own the ReneG7400 menu-based multicart which is very handy to operate, but this one is great, and feels more like an item of the era.

I think I spotted some Atari carts using mechanical game selectors in this flavor. Not DIP switches but more something like what you did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi guys hope someone here can help me I have the Magnavox Odyssey 2 233 in one multi cart..I can't for the life of me find the manual that has the DIP switch layout ... does anyone know where I can get a copy of the manual any help would be greatly appreciated because I can play anything other than the default game cuz I have no idea what to change my settings to thanks everyone for any help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent you a PM.

 

"[email protected]" used to be John's email address. He was very helpful, when I had problems with my cart. Maybe you just ask him?

 

- Rolo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have this cart and I remember the first game I wanted to play isn't on there!

 

It's missing "I've Got Your Number"...

 

-Pete

Edited by R.Cade

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Pete,

 

I have to admit, I haven't been aware of this game until you mentioned it :?.

 

Most of the cartridges had different, translated names in Europe. Looking at the screenshots, I think you might talk about Philips Videopac 13 "Playschool Math" (german title: Vorschulrechnen).

It's a 2k game and you'll find that game on John's multicart with dip-setting: 1101100001

(I would just thumbwheel 660 on my nifty selector box :D )

 

-Rolo

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Gonna have to mod my cart now.

You still have time for that? :-o

I like your Intellivisionaries podcast. A real production with structure and content, not just a bunch of guys talking randomly. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Great work!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You still have time for that? :-o

I like your Intellivisionaries podcast. A real production with structure and content, not just a bunch of guys talking randomly. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Great work!

 

Thanks, Rolo, glad you like it!

 

And... you make a good point. The podcast (and my various Intellivision / Colecovision adapter cables) takes up a lot of my free time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a high res version of the insert with the dip switch codes on it somewhere? The picture on the Packrat website doesn't have all the pages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, we had this before.

Maybe somebody just asks Packrat's, whether they are willing to do so? Maybe they want to provide the leaflet in some downloadable format?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just found this thread, this is an awesome fix for that cart! I have placed myself on the waiting list for one of the carts if they are ever available when the backlog is finished. I would love to have one to play on my Odyssey!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, this old thread is coming up again?! :)

Thanks, the selector box still is working. It's a really simple mechanical approach. Anybody can build this, with some basic soldering. I think I even have some hand wriiten documents. Some notes how I wired the thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's surely very cool. I don;t have any soldering skills to make that. I need one of the Odyssey carts tho!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basic soldering, as required for this little project, really is no rocket science. Just take a couple of wires, maybe some trashed pcbs and an electronics soldering iron and play around. Try to solder wires onto pads or connect wires. Desolder components. Solder again. With some practice, you will be able to do a job like this. I'm sure, there are tutorial videos on youtube or on www.weller-tools.com or the homepage of the other manufacturers.

It is fun! :thumbsup:

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just found this thread, this is an awesome fix for that cart! I have placed myself on the waiting list for one of the carts if they are ever available when the backlog is finished. I would love to have one to play on my Odyssey!

I bought G7400 couple weeks ago and I'm also packrat's waiting list for a selector version of multicart.

Edited by utri007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, this old thread is coming up again?! :)

Thanks, the selector box still is working. It's a really simple mechanical approach. Anybody can build this, with some basic soldering. I think I even have some hand wriiten documents. Some notes how I wired the thing.

Wow, I forgot about this project, but would still like to do it. If you can find your wiring notes that would save me a bit of time..

 

 

 

Sent from my Keyboard Component using Jack's Conversational Intelli-talk cassette

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...