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I've updated the store entry for Star Wars to include the warning about having an AtariVox plugged into the second controller port. I'll also make sure this is on the instruction card included with the game (about to have these printed).

 

..Al

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A custom Trak Ball with 3 fire buttons would be sweet.

 

You mean like this?

 

 

Dan Kramer 3 Fire Button Custom Trak Ball Controller

 

 

That works on the Atari 8-bit computer line by using the Paddle Lines for the 2nd and 3rd Fire Buttons. It's unknown if that would work with the 2600's RIOT though. Back in the day, Atari Inc's Consumer Engineering staff built a lot of these for themselves. That's Dan Kramer's personal one. They used it on Rob Zydbel's 3-Base Missile Command for the Atari 8-bit computers which wasn't ever commercially released; just played in-house.

 

A few of us over in 5200 land have discussed quite a bit about how to support that game - if it's ever converted from A8 floppy to work on a 5200 cartridge - with or without modding a CX53 Trak-Ball Controller to have a 3rd button. Some have suggested using the keypad. I personally like this option; use a Track & Field Controller. Of course, a DB15-to-DB9 cable adapter would also have to be in the mix. That and whether to support the disk's name personalization option. That might have to get dropped or re-coded to support EEPROM writing and/or saving it to SD on the AtariMax SD Cart Adapter.

Edited by Lynxpro

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Another game where game play breaks if AtariVox+ is attached is Star Wars.

I have told Al from the Store's 'contact us'.

 

Millepede and Star Wars The Arcade Game are affected.

 

Due to the genius of finding ram and adding demanding Trak-Ball CPU checks, the unused joystick port 2 is repurposed in a way that will break game play if the AtariVox+ device is attached, causing left/right movement to glitch.

 

The Store already informs that Millipede is not compatible and will play incorrectly when AtariVox+ is attached.

 

That makes me wonder if the AtariVox could be modded to connect to the 7800's Expansion Port instead. Thanks to CPUWiz, I know that port has very low bandwidth capabilities but if it could interact with a LaserDisc Player, one would think "joystick" functionality would be possible. The same goes for the 5200's Expansion Port [also extremely low bandwidth capabilities]. Of course the gaming software would have to be updated. And of course, none of this would matter for the 2600 versions...

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That makes me wonder if the AtariVox could be modded to connect to the 7800's Expansion Port instead. Thanks to CPUWiz, I know that port has very low bandwidth capabilities but if it could interact with a LaserDisc Player, one would think "joystick" functionality would be possible. The same goes for the 5200's Expansion Port [also extremely low bandwidth capabilities]. Of course the gaming software would have to be updated. And of course, none of this would matter for the 2600 versions...

 

 

Due to most 7800 not having an expansion port, I can’t see this being developed.

 

The hardware to plug 2 joysticks into player 1, and 2 joysticks into player 2 already exists.

Wizard of Wor Arcade WIP for the 2600 by Champ Games supports this hardware for player 1 with 2 joysticks, and player 2 with AtariVox+.

The 2600 game on the 7800 with this hardware will work the same.

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Due to most 7800 not having an expansion port, I can’t see this being developed.

 

The hardware to plug 2 joysticks into player 1, and 2 joysticks into player 2 already exists.

Wizard of Wor Arcade WIP for the 2600 by Champ Games supports this hardware for player 1 with 2 joysticks, and player 2 with AtariVox+.

The 2600 game on the 7800 with this hardware will work the same.

 

Most of the later 7800 motherboards still have the provision for the Expansion Port still on them. It just has to be added back, along with the Expansion Port itself. And then drilling the proper hole into the case.

 

And how do you accomplish that controller scheme on Wizard of War 2600? Do you use a Y Adapter on one of the ports?

Edited by Lynxpro

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Most of the later 7800 motherboards still have the provision for the Expansion Port still on them. It just has to be added back, along with the Expansion Port itself. And then drilling the proper hole into the case.

 

And how do you accomplish that controller scheme on Wizard of War 2600? Do you use a Y Adapter on one of the ports?

Possibly multiplex the inputs. But the cpu must issue a command to output data to the controller socket. There are each four bits on the joystick port to use to write back to the controller. Fire is generally read only. Multiplexing is used to read the controller matrix on a keypad, with only passive components inside the controller.

 

Reading two joysticks simultaneously is a bit more work however. Between both joysticks, we have discrete 5 inputs, plus ground, for a total of ten. Vcc and gnd are reserved, leaving 7 possible inputs per port without multiplexing, including paddle lines. We are currently 3 data lines short so multiplexing is needed to provide the necessary communication. Devices like Atarivox do exist. So a two way street is possible.

 

A joystick cannot be interfaced into a keypad matrix because simultaneous button presses are not allowed. The Atari must write 4-bits to the joystick input, then listen for data to be passed back to it. Maybe the multiplexerreceives a 4-bit code, then switches to the corresponding joystick inputs. The codes need be patterns that are difficult to apply from a joystick, for instance three cardinal directions held in tandem. The outputs of the joystick multiplexer are buffered by inline resistors. In the event a data write from the console occurs, the cpu overrides the multiplexer output. The input pins on the multiplexer are connected directly to the port and receive the signal.

 

Pins 1-4:

1-0-0-0: multiplexer switches to player one.

0-1-0-0: multiplexer switches to player two.

0-0-1-0: multiplexer switches to player three.

0-0-0-1: multiplexer switches to player four.

 

Note that joysticks are low logic inputs, so logic for a standard joystick without a cardinal direction pressed is all high or:

1-1-1-1.

 

Pressing up yields:

0-1-1-1.

 

Pressing a direction pulls it low, and as long as the cpu is not set to write mode, the multiplexer will transfer the active joystick out to the jousrick port. Normally only one or two jnputs is present on any given stick, but forcefully pressing down on the top handle of some sticks will activate all 4 directions. But 3 at a time is highly improbable. Any time there are not three inputs on joystick lines, the multiplexer does not switch inputs. One could even make a six player per port multiplexer by adding U+D and L+R.

 

Game engine quickly cycles through all 4 joystick ports by cycling the four key bits thriugh the cpu in output mode, then reads the joystick inputs. Four sticks to one port, up to eight sticks total. Circuit diagram needs to be made, tested on breadboard first. Then etch pcbs, create wire harness, design injection mold for plastics, easily the most expensive part. Assemble at factory.

 

Logistics of manufacture aside, coming up with a game that can harness the severely limited system ram, cpu cycles, and layer objects to create a functional and fun game for 8 players will be challenging. Warlords famously utilized four. Gathering 7 friends who all want to share in said gameplay: borderline impossible. Add to that the fact buying two adapters significantly increases the cost of homebrew, and few people buy it. Chicken and egg suyndrone. Hardware needs to exist so programmers utilize it. Software needs to exist so hardware is built for it.

 

So yeah, it can be done to multiplex the controller ports, but is it feasible? Or is it a solution to a problem that does not exist? Frel free to use this idea.

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Most of the later 7800 motherboards still have the provision for the Expansion Port still on them. It just has to be added back, along with the Expansion Port itself. And then drilling the proper hole into the case.

 

And how do you accomplish that controller scheme on Wizard of War 2600? Do you use a Y Adapter on one of the ports?

Again, the hardware for 2 joysticks in one port is already being made.

It will be an option when ordering new Wizard of Wor Arcade.

 

It was demonstrated on the Twitch stream from ZeroPageHomebrew when they played 2 player Wizard of Wor with AtariVox+ (also posted on YouTube).

 

Also the threads with Quad-Joust

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/269811-quad-joust/

Same hardware but using both ports for 4 joysticks.

 

Hardware is a tough item to bring to the market, both historically and currently. AtariVox+ shortages, Coleco SGM shortages, 7800 XM delayed for years, etc.

 

This splitter for 2 joysticks in port 1 allowing AtariVox+ in port 2 works on every classic hardware that plays 2600 cartridges. Why would someone develop an attachment for 7800 expansion port when this is a better solution that is already being made?

Edited by iesposta
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Again, the hardware for 2 joysticks in one port is already being made.

It will be an option when ordering new Wizard of Wor Arcade.

 

 

 

Yes :thumbsup:

 

I know it would be cost prohibitive, but it would be really cool to have a CIB option with a special box includes the adapter and cart. :)

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I've only just discovered this thread now - shame!

What a fantastic bunch of mods. I did previously know about the Missile Command mod (some time ago), but Centipede and Millipede AND Reactor as well!

Wow, I love the 'pedes now! Transforms them! And Missile Command! Fantastic. I'll check out all the others too.

 

A big thank you to everyone involved in this project.

 

Just a quick question, is it worth getting a Wico trackball? Does it "feel" any better than the Atari CX-80s? Or is this too subjective?

Edited by slaanesh

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I've only just discovered this thread now - shame!

What a fantastic bunch of mods. I did previously know about the Missile Command mod (some time ago), but Centipede and Millipede AND Reactor as well!

Wow, I love the 'pedes now! Transforms them! And Missile Command! Fantastic. I'll check out all the others too.

 

A big thank you to everyone involved in this project.

 

Just a quick question, is it worth getting a Wico trackball? Does it "feel" any better than the Atari CX-80s? Or is this too subjective?

the Wico trackball doesn't work with these. It doesn't have a "true trackball" setting like the CX-80. The wico just emulates a joystick.

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the Wico trackball doesn't work with these. It doesn't have a "true trackball" setting like the CX-80. The wico just emulates a joystick.

 

 

The Wico trackball can be modded to be compatible with the Atari CX80 Trak-Ball in native Trak-Ball mode. User BigO has done it. Although the other downside to the Wico trackball is that it draws more power from the 2600's power supply. Dan Kramer's write-up evaluation on the Wico back when he was at Atari Inc is floating around the net somewhere.

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The Wico trackball can be modded to be compatible with the Atari CX80 Trak-Ball in native Trak-Ball mode. User BigO has done it. Although the other downside to the Wico trackball is that it draws more power from the 2600's power supply. Dan Kramer's write-up evaluation on the Wico back when he was at Atari Inc is floating around the net somewhere.

 

Except the real cx-80 trackballs don't use raw gray code but rely upon directional indications like the cx-22. A modified Wico trackball (or factory modded cx-80s) need to use the ST versions of the ROM instead of CX-22/CX-80 versions.

 

And not all cx-22 trackballs use trackball mode. If you buy a cx-22, make sure your trackball controller has a tb/js switch. "Tested, working" in the ebay description doesn't guarantee it's compatible. And no stock Wico trackball will operate correctly with these hacks.

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The Wico trackball can be modded to be compatible with the Atari CX80 Trak-Ball in native Trak-Ball mode. User BigO has done it. Although the other downside to the Wico trackball is that it draws more power from the 2600's power supply. Dan Kramer's write-up evaluation on the Wico back when he was at Atari Inc is floating around the net somewhere.

I should find that writeup and do the same with the modded Wico. I wonder if it was the microcontroller sucking all the current or if the LED's in the optical encoders are the culprit.

 

BTW - I like the feel of the Wico better than the CX22. If you happen upon a dead one, I recommend doing the mod. It's fairly simple to do if you're any good at soldering. The worst part is that the original cable has to be replaced as it lacks one conductor.

Edited by BigO
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Except the real cx-80 trackballs don't use raw gray code but rely upon directional indications like the cx-22. A modified Wico trackball (or factory modded cx-80s) need to use the ST versions of the ROM instead of CX-22/CX-80 versions.

 

And not all cx-22 trackballs use trackball mode. If you buy a cx-22, make sure your trackball controller has a tb/js switch. "Tested, working" in the ebay description doesn't guarantee it's compatible. And no stock Wico trackball will operate correctly with these hacks.

 

BigO has re-joined the discussion in here but I wanted to mention that he also successfully modded a CX22 lacking the Toggle Switch to now include that functionality...

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So, to correct my previous post - a wico trackball can't be used for these games unless you have one that was hacked by a guy who hacked one, once.

 

Yes, but I'm sure BigO has a guide available or video on how to do it.

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Apologies for continuing this OT bit of conversation:

 

...Game engine quickly cycles through all 4 joystick ports by cycling the four key bits thriugh the cpu in output mode, then reads the joystick inputs. Four sticks to one port, up to eight sticks total. Circuit diagram needs to be made, tested on breadboard first. Then etch pcbs, create wire harness, design injection mold for plastics, easily the most expensive part. Assemble at factory.

Logistics of manufacture aside, coming up with a game that can harness the severely limited system ram, cpu cycles, and layer objects to create a functional and fun game for 8 players will be challenging....

 

Tank 8, anyone?

 

Speaking of which, does anyone here even know the game? Ever played it? (MAME doesn't count!) Are any survivors or restored examples in existence and playable?

 

I saw it and played it in the fabulous arcade in Avalon on Santa Catalina island (California) sometime circa 1980 give or take a year or two.

Edited by A.J. Franzman

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Just finished labeling a large batch of Atari 2600 Trak-Ball hacks that will be shipping this week!

 

2600-Trak-Ball-Hacks-Carts.jpg

 

On to the next task!!

 

..Al

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So the stack heights show the interest? Cool!

 

Yes, you could say that. Missile Command and Millipede are winning. :)

 

..Al

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Yes, you could say that. Missile Command and Millipede are winning. icon_smile.gif

19 MC vs. 14 Millipedes. icon_smile.gif

 

With my old MC hack being around for ages, I am really surprised by the ongoing interest for MC.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch
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19 MC vs. 14 Millipedes. icon_smile.gif

 

With my old MC hack being around for ages, I am really surprised by the ongoing interest for MC.

 

It is interesting. Just shows the strength that Missile Command has after so much time! :D

 

..Al

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