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Colmino

Harmony menu problems...

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I got my Harmony cart today. I'll have a little time this weekend - not as much as I might have liked. Anyway...

 

I use a Sega Genesis pad (Retro-bit equivalent). I have read up on this. The Harmony misidentifies these as paddles, but one is supposed to be able to force the detection as joystick by holding the button during power-on ("B" in this case). This does work, initially. Unfortunately, from that point on, tapping up or down in the menu risks a measurable chance that the Harmony cart will, at that instant, re-detect the controller (and find a paddle, of course). It announces this detection with a low decaying beep and a subtle shift in hue to the menu. In addition, of course, to the fact that I can no longer navigate the menu. The odds seem to be about 1-in-4 per tap on the pad. Is it possible to find the game I want before this happens? Sometimes, as long as it's not more than a few places down the list.

 

I don't have a regular joystick, nor would I prefer to use one for extended periods.

 

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Harmony's menu should not re-detect a controller. it detects once on startup and the value is saved in RAM and never changed. if that were the case, the regular Sega controllers (of which I have several) should fail in the same manner.

 

The behavior you are seeing is very strange (the decaying beep and color shift in particular) and it could have something to do with that clone controller you are using.

 

I did some research and found the pinout is not quite the same. Ataris run 5v in pin 7 while the Sega expects it in pin 5. As it happens, pin 5 is the paddle input which consists of a pullup resistor and capacitor, and this usually maintains 5v for as long as we need it with a real Sega controller.

 

However, a clone controller may suck more power and drain this capacitor faster than the resistor can charge it, especially if this controller has additional electronics that operate on the 5v supply.

 

A fix for the controller may be to swap pins 5 and 7 so it gets power where it should, or to obtain a more standard Sega controller.

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If I can piggy back onto this, my 2600 joystick and Sega controller does not work on my 7800 for the menu (but does so on the 2600) I'll try holding B, but if that doesn't work, any ideas? I'm truly confused by the 2600 joystick not working at all on the 7800.

 

I've tested 2600 and 7800 games on the system and joystick works with it

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I have stopped using my Mega Drive controllers because I forget holding down the B button 90% of the time and it began frustrating having to re-power the console each time. Also, there are games like Astro Blast that won't work with Mega Drive pads and it made the whole concept a bit messy.

 

So till I get original Atari joysticks and paddles, I am stuck with CX-78.

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