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ave1

Using 2 adapters to get certain Atari joysticks to function on the 5200

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There's been a new discovery and I'm here to explain how to get certain Atari 2600 and 7800 controllers to work on your Atari 5200 for a pretty reasonable price. The 2600 and 7800 controllers will only be working on 5200 games that have a single button involved in the gameplay, not two. Also, I need to point out that the games that require analog movement (ie. Breakout, Kaboom, Missile Command) can't be effectively played with the 2600 and 7800 controllers.

 

First, you'll need the PC gameport to 5200 controller adapter (the one I have is made by fellow Atariage resident 5200 expert, bohoki, and it's a good design at a quite reasonable price). If you own one of these, you will want to get a PC joystick and/or gamepad with two buttons to go along with it (to play games which require two buttons like Defender). The schematics are available online if you choose to make one on your own.

 

Secondly you need to buy an Atari 2600 to PC gameport controller adapter (schematic is available if you pm me). This adapter is currently made available on Ebay by ikonsgr74. Here is the current Ebay listing: http://m.ebay.com/itm/AMIGA-ATARI-AMSTRAD-COMMODORE-DB-9-PIN-JOYSTICK-ADAPTER-DB15-PIN-PC-GAME-PORT-/111807334682?nav=SEARCH

 

The two adapters can be connected together allowing for a 2600 or 7800 controller to be put into use for games which have compatibility with digital controllers. This is going to essentially give you something kinda like a Masterplay Interface adapter, but with a couple downsides.

 

1) The original Atari-made 2600 joysticks, paddles, and trackballs that I've tried are incompatible. The heavy sixer CX-10 could work, though. I don't own one of those. Wico bat handle sticks are incompatible. I have 4 or 5 Atari-made/Wico-made joysticks and a single trakball and not one worked properly.

 

2) Even though you'd think it'd work with Genesis controllers, it's not compatible. I've been looking for a workaround but have come to the conclusion that the design of the 2600 to PC Gameport adapter is preventative for getting the power to the Genesis controller circuit that requires +5 volts (and that includes attempts to use an Edladdin Genesis to 7800 conversion cable). If you want to hear any details of my attempt to wire in an external power supply, pm me.

 

3) If you have a Pointmaster, Spectravideo 2 button, Quickshot 2 Deluxe, or Colecovision controller you were hoping to use, you'll be disappointed.

 

The upsides are:

 

1) One controller that works and works well is the Slik Stick which is a favorite of mine.

 

2) it not only works with an Atari-made 7800 Proline controller, but a couple of my NES-to-7800 conversion controllers (converted NES Epyx 500xj and a converted rectangular NES controller). I figure it'll also work with the rectangular Atari-made European pad, too, but I don't have one to test out. You get single button compatibility out of all of them.

 

3) Sega Master System gamepads and Control Sticks work and work well for single button games. (But not the Sega Sportspad)

 

4) Wired controllers made for the Atari Flashback 2 system work and work well.

 

5) Sears Video Arcade II joysticks (not the paddle part), Gemsticks, Mindscape Power Player trigger-joysticks, Epyx 500xj, and Coleco Gemini joysticks (not the paddle part) all work great.

 

Well, there you go. It's not exactly a Redemption adapter, but for less than $30 you can enjoy many 5200 games with a reasonably good number of controllers. I never got an opportunity to use a Masterplay Interface (or a Redemption adapter for that matter), but now I'm seeing the true value of what many have come to appreciate before me... and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg!

 

If you're concerned about whether it's safe for your game system, I will say that nothing bad has happened to my 4 port system over the past couple months of hot swapping various controllers into the connected adapters with the 5200 on. If you haven't tried 2600/7800 compatible controllers on your 5200, you now have a great opportunity. :)

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What games have you tested with it. I have trouble with Kangaroo and Ms. pacman working with bohoki's adapter.

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When it comes to using the bohoki adapter with PC controllers, I've tested various games- Ms. Pacman, Kangaroo, Defender, Galaxian, Vanguard, Centipede, Frogger, Robotron, and Joust. I had no trouble when using bohoki's adapter- especially when using an Advanced Gravis joystick or a Gravis Gamepad Pro. These PC controllers are really nice for the 5200 games.

 

When it comes to the one button Atari controllers and Master System controllers being used with the two adapters together, I've mainly been playing Kangaroo and Centipede and they respond well. I played a bit of Ms. Pacman and Defender and it's good there too (except that in Defender I don't have smartbombs)...

Edited by ave1

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Yes- Masterplay is superior because there aren't as many limitations on what controllers you can use. But, the price...

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I'll check into it. Low budget has not said a peep about his adapter here in the forums during the past 6 months... Kinda doubt that it is still being produced by him. I'll look into it because it really would be nice to play some games with NES controllers through the Camerica adapter.

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You could try the camerica stuff with the 2 adapters you mentioned here.

I have tried it, and found that it is incompatible since it's wired up to send a Genesis-compatible signal from the wireless receiver box... Genesis-specific controllers are non-compatible.

 

To those of you here who don't know about the Camerica NES wireless Freedom Connect adapter it converts NES controllers to work on Genesis and 9 pin controller Atari systems. Neat little device.

Edited by ave1

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Okay, i'll rephrase my statement: To those of you here who don't know about the Camerica NES wireless Freedom Connect adapter, it can be made to convert NES controllers to work on Genesis and 9 pin controller Atari systems when you combine it with the receiver and special 9 pin connector plugs that go with the Camerica Freedom Stick. Camerica made neat little devices.

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Here's the schematic for the Atari 2600 to PC gameport controller adapter in case someone wants to know more about it:

post-34064-0-78560200-1448405301_thumb.jpeg

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I just ordered one of the pc gameport adapters from the ebay link. I'm hoping to finally use my Atari Flashback 2 joystick with the 5200. Hopefully in conjunction with bohoki's adapter this will solve my 5200 controller woes!

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Got my adapter today and tested it out with a few of my games. I used an Atari Flashback 2 joystick.

 

Berzerk, K-Razy Shootout, Mario Brothers, Pac Man, Joust, and Gremlins work great.

 

Ms. Pac Man: character pulls in the down direction

Kangaroo: character pulls right

Space Invaders: character pulls right

 

Could this be a calibration issue? Those games work fine with the original controllers. I'm not sure if the games were programmed for analog and that's why they don't work correctly with a digital joystick. Anyone have any luck with those games and the adapters?

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the 5200 is really weird sometimes it just fixes itself like this one time i was playing vanguard and it was constantly crashing right and down i kept playing a few times then turned it off turned it on and it acted fine

 

montezumas revenge and popeye sometimes act weird too sometimes i think my system is possessed

 

 

its like sometimes i have to do a few circles with the controller then it fixes itself too its kind of like a skid turn into it if you are moving right push right and release a few times and maybe the system will go hey that is right so this other right i'm feeling must be center

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Yes- doing a few circles with the controller stick should improve the response. Last night I plugged in my Flashback 2 stick and started up Ms Pac-man. At 1st things were trying to steer to the right, but within a half a minute of fighting to navigate the maze the system adjusted and the controls were spot on. When I played Kangaroo there was no problem with the controls right from the start- I didn't have to move the stick in circles to calibrate. I believe that my 5200 has a well-adjusted internal potentiometer. Some 5200s need a potentiometer adjustment to allow for the controllers to have a better center point and I've heard that it's not hard to do...

Edited by ave1

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I guess I'll try to adjust the potentiometer. Most games do adjust after a few circles, but Ms. Pac Man, Kangaroo and Space Invaders never adjust.

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Finally got around to opening the system up and adjusting the potentiometer. Everything is now working great! I can finally play Kangaroo, Defender, Ms. Pac Man and Space Invaders with a decent controller.

 

This is a really inexpensive way of making the 5200 playable. It might look a little ugly, but at least it works!

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Very glad you got things working well :) Check out my Youtube presentation on these adapters here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yKloEnCYTwI

 

(Skip to 15:45 to get to the part about the PC gameport to 5200 adapter. Skip to 22:00 to get to the part about the 2600 controller to PC gameport adapter.)

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