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smbaker

My homemade 5200 controller

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20 minutes ago, TrekMD said:

Those filled-in numbers looks great.  What kind of paint did you use for them?  

 

I dunno what he used but I would suggest testors model paint.

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4 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 

I dunno what he used but I would suggest testors model paint.

When @MakerMatrix sees the thread, I'm sure he'll weigh in. He and I had discussed this in the past. Glad he decided to give it a try. 

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6 hours ago, TrekMD said:

Those filled-in numbers looks great.  What kind of paint did you use for them?  

It's just a standard art-store acrylic paint, slightly thinned so it would flow into the crevices.  Then I sealed the top the next day with acrylic varnish.

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9 hours ago, MakerMatrix said:

It's just a standard art-store acrylic paint, slightly thinned so it would flow into the crevices.  Then I sealed the top the next day with acrylic varnish.

 

Sealing them would surly be the key to longevity over an acrylic. Enamel alone might be enough as another option as well.

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I have tried my two controllers on three different consoles and the same thing is happening. The buttons work but it only moves to the left. I have been turning the pot but still nothing happens. Is there anything else I can try? Something in the controller?

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5 minutes ago, AtariBrian said:

I have tried my two controllers on three different consoles and the same thing is happening. The buttons work but it only moves to the left. I have been turning the pot but still nothing happens. Is there anything else I can try? Something in the controller?

Hmm. If you can, try a different controller cable. I had an old pair and purchased a second set (different manufacturer) and I experienced the same issue.  Turned out to be the cables. 

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1 minute ago, sramirez2008 said:

Hmm. If you can, try a different controller cable. I had an old pair and purchased a second set (different manufacturer) and I experienced the same issue.  Turned out to be the cables. 

I wondered the same but I tried two different ones. However, the two I tried are really long cables. I will hunt for some shorter ones and try them.

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Hopefully that’s it. My set up included a pair of cables connected to a pair of master play clones, so I could connect my Edladdin Super Twin controller to my 5200s.  New cables exhibited the same behavior that your experiencing and the old cables still work to this day. 

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13 hours ago, sramirez2008 said:

Hopefully that’s it. My set up included a pair of cables connected to a pair of master play clones, so I could connect my Edladdin Super Twin controller to my 5200s.  New cables exhibited the same behavior that your experiencing and the old cables still work to this day. 

Are the problem cables ones we sold you?  Wondering if we need to start testing individual cables...we do test with the same type of cable but from an earlier run.

 

Edit: Just to be totally clear, we *will* be testing every cable from here on out.

Edited by MakerMatrix
Clarification

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Please also ensure your cables are inserted firmly and completely into the 5200 as well as the controller - slop and loose cable connectors cause connection issues that can result in this kind of behavior. 

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53 minutes ago, MakerMatrix said:

Are the problem cables ones we sold you?  Wondering if we need to start testing individual cables...we do test with the same type of cable but from an earlier run.

No, not at all. This was a prior purchase. 

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Just now, sramirez2008 said:

No, not at all. This was a prior purchase. 

Ah OK, just wanted to make sure.  But we will start testing every cable because if certain consoles are sensitive to that, we want to make sure we are sending out a combo that has been tested working on at least one, preferably two machines (Dr. Venkman's and mine).  At least until we gain some statistical confidence that it's not a variable we need to consider...

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I did test my controllers on a different console with different cables and got better results. The extra long ones won't work correctly. They have an H on them and say Taiwan. The controllers worked with what I assume is an older shorter cable. I tried Adventure, Dig Dug and Popeye. I did get some odd results with Popeye. But I unplugged the cable and plugged it back in to the controller and it worked as it should. I hope during the week to test a bunch more games.

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On 11/4/2018 at 11:53 PM, smbaker said:

Animan99, that case looks really cool! I hope you can do a writeup someday on 3D printing. It's something I've never had the time (or the equipment) to get started in.

 

DrVenkman, I have more pcboards on hand now.

 

Scott

Do you have a firmware version that is basically the same as the original, but but starts out less sensitive and curves up in like the outer half of the thumbstick range? Basically, sensitivity tapers towards the center?

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20 minutes ago, AtariBrian said:

I did test my controllers on a different console with different cables and got better results. The extra long ones won't work correctly. They have an H on them and say Taiwan. The controllers worked with what I assume is an older shorter cable. I tried Adventure, Dig Dug and Popeye. I did get some odd results with Popeye. But I unplugged the cable and plugged it back in to the controller and it worked as it should. I hope during the week to test a bunch more games.

As to the part I've bolded - can you be more precise about the cables that aren't working correctly? The ones we are selling are the 6' Console5 15-pin extension cables. I've got two fo them myself, and I've tested 5 - 6 of them just today for customer orders and they've all worked perfectly.

 

I'm glad to hear you got better results with a different console; that's a very good indication that your first console merely needs an adjustment of the POKEY resistor; Atari designed this variable resistor into the system to handle small variations from controller to controller and from one POKEY chip to another. It's a very small knurled plastic adjustment under the case top, just to the right of the RF shield. If you decide to adjust the POKEY resistor on your first system, make a very small mark at the 12 o'clock position with a Sharpie or something to mark your starting point. Only make very small adjustments one way or the other between each test, and be sure to make any adjustment with the power off or using a non-conductive screwdriver. 

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15 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

As to the part I've bolded - can you be more precise about the cables that aren't working correctly? The ones we are selling are the 6' Console5 15-pin extension cables. I've got two fo them myself, and I've tested 5 - 6 of them just today for customer orders and they've all worked perfectly.

I built myself a controller over the weekend to use with my new-to-me 5200 and Pete's Test Cartridge showed ~110 on both X&Y with the stick centered, ~10 on both axes with the stick at minimum, and ~210 on both axes with the stick at maximum.

 

I discovered one thing that has me scratching my head though....if you click down on THE STICK, in one of the test screens (I think the one that shows you which buttons you've pressed) it goes into some kind of calibration mode.  Haven't had time to look that up and find out what, if anything, that actually does.

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15 minutes ago, MakerMatrix said:

if you click down on THE STICK, in one of the test screens (I think the one that shows you which buttons you've pressed) it goes into some kind of calibration mode.  Haven't had time to look that up and find out what, if anything, that actually does.

The calibration mode is (if I recall correctly) for testing Trak-Ball controllers. There’s info on the AtariProtos site about the Test Cart for folks who want to read more. 
 

As for clicking down on the stick, that’s effectively duplicating the actions of one of the main Fire buttons. Which one is determined by the setting of the 3-position jumper at JP4. If you have the jumper block on pins 1-2, clicking the stick duplicates the secondary fire button. If you have it on pins 2-3, it duplicates the primary fire button. 

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21 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

As to the part I've bolded - can you be more precise about the cables that aren't working correctly? The ones we are selling are the 6' Console5 15-pin extension cables. I've got two fo them myself, and I've tested 5 - 6 of them just today for customer orders and they've all worked perfectly.

 

I'm glad to hear you got better results with a different console; that's a very good indication that your first console merely needs an adjustment of the POKEY resistor; Atari designed this variable resistor into the system to handle small variations from controller to controller and from one POKEY chip to another. It's a very small knurled plastic adjustment under the case top, just to the right of the RF shield. If you decide to adjust the POKEY resistor on your first system, make a very small mark at the 12 o'clock position with a Sharpie or something to mark your starting point. Only make very small adjustments one way or the other between each test, and be sure to make any adjustment with the power off or using a non-conductive screwdriver. 

They are about 12 foot long cables that I have had for a couple of years. I think I got them in a lot of games. I got the same results from all 3 consoles with the 12 foot cable so the cable was the issue, not adjusting the pokey resistor. I also have a shorter cable that I have also had for years and the controllers work with that one. Will do more testing this week. 

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Just a heads up for anyone building Scott's boards for themselves - I had a first tonight, after building well over 2 dozen of these controllers (with many more to come!). I ran into not just one but two marginal/bad digital potentiometer IC chips. I built a batch of 3 last night and two were perfect but the third was reading about 20% low on both axes. Ironically, the controller worked great in all the usual maze games and even Missile Command corner to corner. But Gyruss would only allow clockwise/right movements from the bottom-center. From the top center it was possible to circle clockwise around (so left and down) but not back up.  Very unforgiving code, it seems. I tried reflowing the solder on the horizontal axes 0.22uF capacitor (a common issue when an axis isn't reading right); I tried reflowing the solder on the DB15 connector, and then the thumstick potentiometer connections; all to no avail. Then I tried swapping the chip and got the same exact results. Arrgh. I went to sleep on it and it has been bugging me all day.

 

Just now I tried it with a THIRD digital pot IC and now it works like a freaking champ. I hope these 2 marginal chips I've run into this week are just a fluke, but if anyone has an issue like this, it's possible you may have a bad chip. Pete's Test Cart is ideal for checking this if you have a copy or if you have an AtariMax cart. 

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On 11/27/2019 at 8:17 PM, DrVenkman said:

Just a heads up for anyone building Scott's boards for themselves - I had a first tonight, after building well over 2 dozen of these controllers (with many more to come!). I ran into not just one but two marginal/bad digital potentiometer IC chips. I built a batch of 3 last night and two were perfect but the third was reading about 20% low on both axes. Ironically, the controller worked great in all the usual maze games and even Missile Command corner to corner. But Gyruss would only allow clockwise/right movements from the bottom-center. From the top center it was possible to circle clockwise around (so left and down) but not back up.  Very unforgiving code, it seems. I tried reflowing the solder on the horizontal axes 0.22uF capacitor (a common issue when an axis isn't reading right); I tried reflowing the solder on the DB15 connector, and then the thumstick potentiometer connections; all to no avail. Then I tried swapping the chip and got the same exact results. Arrgh. I went to sleep on it and it has been bugging me all day.

 

Just now I tried it with a THIRD digital pot IC and now it works like a freaking champ. I hope these 2 marginal chips I've run into this week are just a fluke, but if anyone has an issue like this, it's possible you may have a bad chip. Pete's Test Cart is ideal for checking this if you have a copy or if you have an AtariMax cart. 

 

Expect 3 to 5 out of 100 to fail. That is the industry tolorance I've come to expect. 95 to 97 percent proper performance with that 3 to 5 percent failure rate seems to be what is considered acceptable, as much as I might hate it. When I order 100 it's cause I want 100 not 95 of them. :P

 

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51 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 

Expect 3 to 5 out of 100 to fail. That is the industry tolorance I've come to expect. 95 to 97 percent proper performance with that 3 to 5 percent failure rate seems to be what is considered acceptable, as much as I might hate it. When I order 100 it's cause I want 100 not 95 of them. :P

 

Depressing but probably shouldn't be unexpected.

 

I built 4 more today. For grins, I pulled two chips from the same end of the chip tube that the 2 bad ones came from, and two from the opposite end of the tube. The two from the opposite end both test perfect. The first one from the original end I was pulling from was also bad - so three bad ones in a row. But the next two were fine.

 

Of course, if someone's only buying 1 or 2 at a time, they're very likely to be fine. But if they happen to buy 3 - 5 and they get unlucky enough to get a run of three bad examples in a row, they're out of luck. :( 

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Mine arrived in Auburn Hills today! Can't wait to test it out.

 

Thank you!

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Just a heads up for anyone building Scott's boards for themselves - I had a first tonight, after building well over 2 dozen of these controllers (with many more to come!). I ran into not just one but two marginal/bad digital potentiometer IC chips. I built a batch of 3 last night and two were perfect but the third was reading about 20% low on both axes. Ironically, the controller worked great in all the usual maze games and even Missile Command corner to corner. But Gyruss would only allow clockwise/right movements from the bottom-center. From the top center it was possible to circle clockwise around (so left and down) but not back up.  Very unforgiving code, it seems. I tried reflowing the solder on the horizontal axes 0.22uF capacitor (a common issue when an axis isn't reading right); I tried reflowing the solder on the DB15 connector, and then the thumstick potentiometer connections; all to no avail. Then I tried swapping the chip and got the same exact results. Arrgh. I went to sleep on it and it has been bugging me all day.
 
Just now I tried it with a THIRD digital pot IC and now it works like a freaking champ. I hope these 2 marginal chips I've run into this week are just a fluke, but if anyone has an issue like this, it's possible you may have a bad chip. Pete's Test Cart is ideal for checking this if you have a copy or if you have an AtariMax cart. 
Wonder if you could salvage those with a higher capacitor value.

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