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Hyperkin Ranger is out.

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On 12/6/2019 at 9:12 PM, NISMOPC said:

I received mine this week.

 

And the controller itself? Are you satisfied with it? Steering good, overall quality good?

 

On 12/5/2019 at 10:30 AM, Nathan Strum said:

So the decision to use an "analog" joystick is curious. It "feels" analog, but clearly it isn't because the 2600 doesn't support that. The good news is, it's very responsive, doesn't have much of a dead-zone, and isn't prone (too much) to inputting the wrong direction. For example, I had no problem navigating the tunnels in Scramble. Chaotic Grill, Galagon and Wizard of Wor Arcade played beautifully with it. Mappy and Tower of Rubble also played very well, but I had to adapt to the feel of the controller a bit more with those. Amoeba Jump also worked well, but took even more time to adapt. Aardvark and Pac-Man 8K... even though I could certainly play both just fine, I did find myself unintentionally reversing at times, and in the case of Aardvark, going down holes I didn't want to. This didn't happen a lot, but enough to make me wish they'd just put in a joystick where you had tactile feedback for the directions you were moving.

 

The top of the joystick is a slightly mixed bag. On the one hand, the hexagonal shape of it does help reinforce the direction you intend to move. I rest my thumb on the top of it, much the same way I use my modded 2600 joystick. So it felt very comfortable to me, except that the edges of the top were a little... acute. Not sharp (since it is rubberized), but I think rounding them off a bit would've helped with the feel of it. The fire button works very well. Overall, the controller was very comfortable to hold, and it's clear they put some work into designing it. The cable is nice and long.

 

I really like that this is ambidextrous. They did that part of it very right. Not only does the left/right switch allow you to flip the game pad around to have the button on the side you prefer, but it also reverses the paddle direction. I played the games with the paddle on the right side (holding the controller in my left hand), and it felt very comfortable. Thinking about it, I never hold my paddles completely flat anyway. They're always tilted a bit so they're comfortable. Being able to flip the direction of the paddle means you can always make the paddle feel right for the game you're playing. This is a really brilliant addition. The fact that you can switch between paddle and joystick with the flip of a switch makes using a Harmony cart very convenient.

 

As for the paddle itself, it feels much tighter than a standard 2600 paddle. The active range that you move it is pretty small (I didn't compare this to a standard paddle), and the paddle has some physical resistance to it. If feels like a more precision version of the 2600 paddle, and is really well constructed. Oddly enough, there is a center detent for the paddle, although it really doesn't help with anything, since like with 2600 paddles, you have to hunt for the zone that the paddle works in anyway. It responds to the smallest moves, without being over-sensitive. The paddle is effectively jitter-free. The reason I didn't say completely jitter-free, is because there are times, when you let go of the paddle, the onscreen paddle will twitch a single pixel back and forth, as if the 2600 is reading between two adjacent potentiometer values*. But it doesn't jitter anywhere like a dirty set of 2600 paddles does. It's really minimal. This is probably the best feeling, cleanest paddle I've used. Medieval Mayhem, Encounter at L-5 and Tac/Scan played flawlessly. Kaboom and Super Breakout were the games where I saw the occasional slight twitch, but it didn't affect the gameplay that I could tell (I should point out though, I absolutely suck at both of those games :roll: ).

 

Had they made the joystick a proper 8-way stick, but with the same construction and feel, I'd give this a 10/10. As it is, it's probably closer to a 7/10. Maybe an 8. I think as a paddle, it's a winner. As a joystick, depending on the game, it can work really well, or you'll be unplugging it out of frustration (most likely in maze games). The ambidextrous design, size, comfort, and overall ergonomics of it are all plusses.

 

Good and detailed review. Now the controller is even more interesting for me.

 

 

I thought about ordering one, but sadly the shipping would cost me as much as the controller itself, at the moment. Therefore i wait a little bit. Maybe any shop in Germany will have some of these controllers in their range someday, then i can order it from there and don't need to pay the shipping. We will see.

Edited by AW127

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On 12/5/2019 at 3:30 AM, Nathan Strum said:

Kaboom and Super Breakout were the games where I saw the occasional slight twitch, but it didn't affect the gameplay that I could tell (I should point out though, I absolutely suck at both of those games :roll: ).

Sadly, this controller fails at Kaboom, the gold standard for paddle evaluations. As you mentioned, there is not enough travel when rotating the paddle before one hits the plastic with ones fingers. This combined with the fact that it is also a "tight" control with a lot of friction makes it utterly useless for Kaboom and, IMHO, use at all. Stick with the original controllers for the 2600 and the modded Stella firmware for the Retron 77 with original controllers. I really wanted to like this controller's paddles, but, alas, it's a big 1/10 in my humble opinion. :( 

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Agree slightly on the paddle option - I like the controller alot - it works with my Stelladaptor on my PC with Stella and Altirra (800).  With 1 stick I get paddle and joystick.  It is tight and any pro Kaboom player wont like it but for me I enjoy casually playing the games today vs being competitive.  With the Ranger I can now play stick/paddle games with 1 controller and have fun.

 

Though the paddle is a 4/10 for me, the stick is a 10/10 - reversible and easy to use.

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On 12/8/2019 at 4:00 PM, Kaboomer said:

Sadly, this controller fails at Kaboom, the gold standard for paddle evaluations. As you mentioned, there is not enough travel when rotating the paddle before one hits the plastic with ones fingers. This combined with the fact that it is also a "tight" control with a lot of friction makes it utterly useless for Kaboom and, IMHO, use at all. Stick with the original controllers for the 2600 and the modded Stella firmware for the Retron 77 with original controllers. I really wanted to like this controller's paddles, but, alas, it's a big 1/10 in my humble opinion. :( 

It sounds like I'll be modding mine when it arrives, then.  My Flashback 8 paddles were extremely slow(sticky grease,) so I disassembled the pots, degreased the shafts and regreased with thin lithium grease.  Travel on the knob can likely be addressed with a  300k, 500k or 1meg resistor in line with the pot.

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On 12/6/2019 at 3:12 PM, NISMOPC said:

I received mine this week. After watching Immortal Hancock's review of the controller and his comment about the multi-player adapter not being included in his version I ran across the same issue.

 

The controller does NOT come with the adapter to connect two Rangers to one port for multi-player games as Hyperkin initially reported. The box content mentions nothing of the adapter but the online description of the controller stated:

I contacted the seller, who contacted Hyperkin and the response was that it was an error in the description and no adapter is shipped with controller.

 

It would be nice if Hyperkin releases the adapter so that 2 to 4 can play.

I ordered 2 and likewise was disappointed that no adapter was included.  I did set out to make my own, thinking it would be straightforward (I have 2 female 9 pin breakout ports for the joysticks and 1 male one to connect to the Atari thru an extension cable).  I started by connecting all 9 wires for a test but for some reason the paddle doesn't work (paddle button, joystick directions and joystick button all work fine).  It does work if I hook it up directly to the extension cable.  I was a bit surprised since it's essentially just an extension cable at that point, unless I'm missing something obvious.  :|  Anyway, my original thought was to hook up the first joystick as normal (pin 9 from joystick to pin 9 (paddle A) on the Atari and pin 4 on the joystick (Paddle A button) to Pin 4 on the Atari, plus VCC and Ground (Pin 7 and 8, respectively) and then connect pin 9 (paddle A) from the second joystick to pin 5 on the Atari (Paddle B) and pin 4 from the second joystick (Paddle A button) to pin 3 on the Atari (Left, Paddle B button).  Perhaps I should post this in the hardware forum. :D 

 

As for the controller, I really like it!  The joystick is very good, the left/right option is awesome!  I played for an hour - Mappy, Super Cobra Arcade, Zoo Keeper, Galagon and Wizard of Wor, and they all played very well!  The paddle has not jitter which is awesome, and is fine for games like Super Breakout and early levels of Avalanche.  I did find it difficult for the higher levels in Kaboom and higher levels in Avalanche because the knob is stiff moving and the range of motion is very small.  Overall, it is worth it for the joystick alone IMO and will be even better once I can play 2 player Super Breakout with my girlfriend (it's her favorite game :)  ).

 

 

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Here's a quick unboxing video of the Ranger: 

 

Here's my Ranger mini-review:

 

Pros:

1) the controller is very sturdy and looks like it was designed to be dropped. Plastic of the case and the paddle happens to be thick and not thin.

2) joystick has a grippy rubber material. This may have pros and cons. The pro is that your thumb isn't going to slip off of it.

3) the thumbstick top isn't circular in its shape but angular. The advantage is that you may be able to feel when you're pushing diagonally a bit better than if they made it round.

4) thumbstick tension isn't too loose. I think it's just right. It controls the games accurately.

5) the paddle works accurately (though the endpoints are deceptive) and it's nice how it is placed on the side of the controller. It's an intelligent and compact design.

6) Switch allows you to change from right to left hand control and vice versa. I really like that the option is there.

7) Color design looks cool.

8 ) The underside of the controller has a shape that gives your fingers something to hold onto. It's definitely better than the CX78 or NES rectangular controller in the ergonomics department.

9) The price is right at about $20. I'm glad it wasn't $40! Awesome they could keep the price very reasonable.

10) The Retron77 now has a reasonably good paddle to use (though I haven't gone into doing any test on that as of today). I'm figuring the company designed it to be better than how the actual 2600 paddles were working on the Retron77, since that wasn't all that great.

 

Cons:

1) The fire button is flat and not indented like the 2600 joystick button. A very minor quibble.

2) The joystick top is made out of a rubber material. It may gradually wear down with many hours of use, though I can't say for sure how tough the rubber is.

3) Some may not like the angles around the thumbstick top and might have preferred a circular shape instead. To me this seems to be a minor quibble.

4) The mechanism of the paddle has stopping points that requires going beyond a simple single turn of the knob. The paddle games on the 2600, though, reach the full amount of turn with a single twist. For example, in Kaboom! your twist amount to get from one side to the other in the game is not going to require that you reach the physical stopping points of the paddle mechanism. Adapting to this may take a minute. Some may not like it, but most aren't going to find it to be much of a problem. I certainly don't mind it much at all, but managing the steering in Night Driver could've been better.

5) Moving the paddle has a bit more friction than the actual 2600 paddles have. I didn't mind it for Kaboom! but on Night Driver, I found it to be a little bit of a burden.

 

Well, that's about all I can think of for now. All in all, it's a unique and well-thought-out control pad. I recommend purchasing it if you want to have a compact all-in-one 2600/R77 controller.

Edited by ave1
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While I like the thumbstick, the paddle controller is disappointing. As it is mounted sideways, IMO it doesn't suit games like Kaboom or Breakout, where the paddle moves from left to right.

It better suits games like Video Olympics (Pong) where the paddle moves from top to bottom, were it not for the fact that for a single-player game of Pong (player vs computer) the Ranger controls the wrong paddle! I can't believe the Ranger's paddle controller wasn't tested with a single-player game of Pong!

Just try to do a single-player game of Video Olympics: it won't work!

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Well, not all games were made to use the same paddle... so, it's just designed to work on most paddle games. I'm especially glad it can work on Night Driver, Solar Storm, and Kaboom! 

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4 hours ago, ave1 said:

Well, not all games were made to use the same paddle... so, it's just designed to work on most paddle games. I'm especially glad it can work on Night Driver, Solar Storm, and Kaboom! 

I think they should have included that  adapter to be able to control the second paddle (and make Video Olympics work!)

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I think I know why that adapter wasn't included. 

 

1st let me say that in 2018 I got lucky and found a 9 pin female to two 9 pin male splitter cable for about three bucks at a local video game store. I wondered if it might be one of those elusive and rare splitter cables designed by Coleco for their Gemini 2600 paddle/joystick controllers. I plugged into two Gemini controllers and sure enough the paddles on the controllers were both usable on my Sears model 2600, and the button worked as it should on each Gemini controller. 

 

So on Sunday I decided to connect that splitter cable to my 2600 with a Gemini controller on one side and the Ranger on the other (Ranger for player 2).  The results were that each paddle worked, but the only button that could work was the button on the player 1 Gemini controller. Since the Ranger's button won't work when trying to be player 2, you can't play any games properly with it.  

 

I switched the controllers so the Ranger was placed in the #1 controller port of the splitter and the Ranger's paddle wouldn't work at all.  (So far I've only been experimenting on my Sears model 2600.  I will get the Gemini out sometime today and see what happens.) 

 

So apparently Hyperkin would need to make it's own proprietary splitter cable to get a Ranger controller's paddle working properly as player 2 on the 2600.  Who knows if that's going to happen... I suspect they are aware of the issue with the Gemini splitter cable and the button of their controller not working. 

 

This may be why there's no splitter cable being made available ATM. 

 

 

Edited by ave1

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On 12/17/2019 at 7:28 AM, ave1 said:

I think I know why that adapter wasn't included. 

 

1st let me say that in 2018 I got lucky and found a 9 pin female to two 9 pin male splitter cable for about three bucks at a local video game store. I wondered if it might be one of those elusive and rare splitter cables designed by Coleco for their Gemini 2600 paddle/joystick controllers. I plugged into two Gemini controllers and sure enough the paddles on the controllers were both usable on my Sears model 2600, and the button worked as it should on each Gemini controller. 

 

So on Sunday I decided to connect that splitter cable to my 2600 with a Gemini controller on one side and the Ranger on the other (Ranger for player 2).  The results were that each paddle worked, but the only button that could work was the button on the player 1 Gemini controller. Since the Ranger's button won't work when trying to be player 2, you can't play any games properly with it.  

 

I switched the controllers so the Ranger was placed in the #1 controller port of the splitter and the Ranger's paddle wouldn't work at all.  (So far I've only been experimenting on my Sears model 2600.  I will get the Gemini out sometime today and see what happens.) 

 

So apparently Hyperkin would need to make it's own proprietary splitter cable to get a Ranger controller's paddle working properly as player 2 on the 2600.  Who knows if that's going to happen... I suspect they are aware of the issue with the Gemini splitter cable and the button of their controller not working. 

 

This may be why there's no splitter cable being made available ATM. 

 

 

May not be much help, but we figured out with the Flashback 9 that it always thinks the Ranger is in paddle mode, even when it is in joystick mode. Of course, the Flashback nine uses 10k pots for paddles, so the Ranger doesn't work for paddle games on the Flashback 9 either. There is something odd about the way the Ranger is wired. If you try to play a joystick game on a 2600 with the Ranger in paddle mode, do any of the joystick directions still work? I am wondering if the only thing it switches is the fire button from pin 6 to pin 3 4.

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While I didn't actually play any games with it, the local retro game store around the corner from me, got two of these in recently. The owner and I were curious about them so he went ahead and opened up both of his 2 he received in stock. We were impressed with the thumbstick, but the paddles on both controllers had different issues that were just off-putting to say the least. The first one he unboxed actually has like a grinding like feel to it about midway in the paddle movement for about a 1/4 of the turn. We finally figured that some part of the paddle knob must be grinding up again the rest of the plastic on the controller housing causing this. So that would mean that either the knob was molded slightly off, or the actual pot trimmer the knob sits on was misaligned slightly. The second one had even more overall friction to it as a whole and while it didn't have the grinding like effect of the first one, it did have a noticeable detente spot where you could feel the paddle knob kinda click briefly about the halfway point. Also as others have mentioned, the stop points on the top and bottom of the controller side prevent you from making a full turn of the paddle easily.

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6 hours ago, ave1 said:

I think I know why that adapter wasn't included. 

 

1st let me say that in 2018 I got lucky and found a 9 pin female to two 9 pin male splitter cable for about three bucks at a local video game store. I wondered if it might be one of those elusive and rare splitter cables designed by Coleco for their Gemini 2600 paddle/joystick controllers. I plugged into two Gemini controllers and sure enough the paddles on the controllers were both usable on my Sears model 2600, and the button worked as it should on each Gemini controller. 

 

So on Sunday I decided to connect that splitter cable to my 2600 with a Gemini controller on one side and the Ranger on the other (Ranger for player 2).  The results were that each paddle worked, but the only button that could work was the button on the player 1 Gemini controller. Since the Ranger's button won't work when trying to be player 2, you can't play any games properly with it.  

 

I switched the controllers so the Ranger was placed in the #1 controller port of the splitter and the Ranger's paddle wouldn't work at all.  (So far I've only been experimenting on my Sears model 2600.  I will get the Gemini out sometime today and see what happens.) 

 

So apparently Hyperkin would need to make it's own proprietary splitter cable to get a Ranger controller's paddle working properly as player 2 on the 2600.  Who knows if that's going to happen... I suspect they are aware of the issue with the Gemini splitter cable and the button of their controller not working. 

 

This may be why there's no splitter cable being made available ATM. 

 

 

This is very interesting!  For the wiring, on the Gemini splitter, my guess is:

 

- The first port has wired pins 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 8.  1,2,3,4 are up/down/left/right (pin 4 is also used for paddle A button), button 5 is Paddle A, pin 6 is the joystick, pin 7 is VCC (power) and pin 8 is ground.  Pin 9 is for paddle B and is most likely not wired up from the first port, and pin 3 (left) is also used for paddle B button. 

- the second port has wired pins 5, 7, and 8 (VCC, ground and paddle A) but most likely connects pin 5 to Atari pin 9 (to control Paddle B).

 

This would explain why the Gemini controller works fine in the first port and controls paddle A and the Ranger connected to the second port controls paddle B.  My guess is that they didn't wire up paddle's 2 button because it would interfere with the joystick's left direction.  If this is true, you should be able to initiate the second paddle's button by pressing left on the joystick plugged in the first port.

 

I was able to make my own adapter and get both Hyperkin Ranger paddles to work, including the buttons.  To do this I wired pins 4,5,7 and 8 from the first port (paddle A button, paddle A, vcc and ground) to pins 4,5,7 and 8 on the Atari, and then wired pins 4,5,7 and 8 from the second port to pins 3 (paddle B button),9 (paddle B),7 (VCC) and 8 (ground) on the  Atari.  The only drawback is that you can't use the first controller as a joystick.  Although you could hook up pins 1 and 2 from the first port, pin 3 (left) would interfere with the paddle B button connected from the second port.  A simple solution would be to NAND (not AND) pin 3 from the first port and pin 4 from the second port, but this requires circuitry (although simple) that's not in the Gemini splitter.

 

Anyway, sorry if this was too technical, but to your point, I do agree this is most likely why Hyperkin didn't include a splitter because it would require a bit more circuitry to support both paddles with both buttons AND allow the first port to support the joystick as well. :) 

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18 hours ago, johnnywc said:

This is very interesting!  For the wiring, on the Gemini splitter, my guess is:

 

- The first port has wired pins 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 8.  1,2,3,4 are up/down/left/right (pin 4 is also used for paddle A button), button 5 is Paddle A, pin 6 is the joystick, pin 7 is VCC (power) and pin 8 is ground.  Pin 9 is for paddle B and is most likely not wired up from the first port, and pin 3 (left) is also used for paddle B button. 

- the second port has wired pins 5, 7, and 8 (VCC, ground and paddle A) but most likely connects pin 5 to Atari pin 9 (to control Paddle B).

 

This would explain why the Gemini controller works fine in the first port and controls paddle A and the Ranger connected to the second port controls paddle B.  My guess is that they didn't wire up paddle's 2 button because it would interfere with the joystick's left direction.  If this is true, you should be able to initiate the second paddle's button by pressing left on the joystick plugged in the first port.

 

I was able to make my own adapter and get both Hyperkin Ranger paddles to work, including the buttons.  To do this I wired pins 4,5,7 and 8 from the first port (paddle A button, paddle A, vcc and ground) to pins 4,5,7 and 8 on the Atari, and then wired pins 4,5,7 and 8 from the second port to pins 3 (paddle B button),9 (paddle B),7 (VCC) and 8 (ground) on the  Atari.  The only drawback is that you can't use the first controller as a joystick.  Although you could hook up pins 1 and 2 from the first port, pin 3 (left) would interfere with the paddle B button connected from the second port.  A simple solution would be to NAND (not AND) pin 3 from the first port and pin 4 from the second port, but this requires circuitry (although simple) that's not in the Gemini splitter.

 

Anyway, sorry if this was too technical, but to your point, I do agree this is most likely why Hyperkin didn't include a splitter because it would require a bit more circuitry to support both paddles with both buttons AND allow the first port to support the joystick as well. :) 

What I am wondering next is why the joystick pins would interfere with the paddle if the Ranger has been switched from joystick to paddle mode. One would think the switch would prevent that, but maybe, like I said, one switch is for one pin (move fire from pin 6 to 3 or 4). I imagine it is more difficult for them to change multiple pin connections with a single switch. 

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On 12/15/2019 at 7:20 AM, Dionoid said:

While I like the thumbstick, the paddle controller is disappointing. As it is mounted sideways, IMO it doesn't suit games like Kaboom or Breakout, where the paddle moves from left to right.

It better suits games like Video Olympics (Pong) where the paddle moves from top to bottom, were it not for the fact that for a single-player game of Pong (player vs computer) the Ranger controls the wrong paddle! I can't believe the Ranger's paddle controller wasn't tested with a single-player game of Pong!

Just try to do a single-player game of Video Olympics: it won't work!

I was just about to order the Ranger when I read this, and now I'm doubting if it's worth it. So the Ranger doesn't work in games like Pong or Warlords if you play single-player only? That sounds like a pretty major deal-breaker to me.

 

I was excited about this when I first saw it online, but in general this sounds like a missed opportunity. A raised hub on the flat side of the paddle wheel would have allowed it to be controlled a lot more closely like the original paddle controller if you wanted to grip it that way. As it is, you can't do that because it's flat so you have to just spin it from the wheel's edge, which is I guess what they intended. And it sounds like the wheel is rather stiff. Part of the pleasure of using the original paddles is the perfect balance and ease of turning. Did they really not test this controller with some actual Atari 2600 enthusiasts to get their input? Because I doubt the controller would be the way it is if they actually listened to some input first before making a final version. Also odd how they didn't stick with the "wooden" stickers to match the rest of the R77 system (though I hate the use of stickers anyways). I also don't love the rubber stick. Rubber breaks down and gets sticky over time. I've experience this myself first-hand. The original paddles and joysticks are still around today and many still work great. I doubt this controller will hold up. I also wonder about the analog nature of the joystick - seems like it only needs to be an 8-way stick.

 

I also find the mention of the paddle grinding in one of the Rangers mentioned above worrying. As far as the center indent that was mentioned, it was also mentioned in a video, so I think that might be intentional to be able to find the center position easily by feel, though in practice I can imagine a center indent annoying as you hit it every time you spin the paddle back and forth.

 

I think I'll be passing on this sadly. Here was an opportunity to do something really unique but I feel it missed the mark enough that it's not worth it, especially if I can't even play Video Olympics as one player.

 

 

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On 12/17/2019 at 9:05 AM, Swami said:

May not be much help, but we figured out with the Flashback 9 that it always thinks the Ranger is in paddle mode, even when it is in joystick mode. Of course, the Flashback nine uses 10k pots for paddles, so the Ranger doesn't work for paddle games on the Flashback 9 either. There is something odd about the way the Ranger is wired. If you try to play a joystick game on a 2600 with the Ranger in paddle mode, do any of the joystick directions still work? I am wondering if the only thing it switches is the fire button from pin 6 to pin 3.

 

In paddle mode on a regular joystick game (Millipede) the Ranger thumbstick does the following:

 

Press left: nothing happens

Press right: shooter goes left

Press up: shooter goes down

Press down: shooter goes up

 

When pressing the fire button, the shooter goes to the right. 

 

As a side note I did attempt to use the Gemini 9 pin splitter again (Ranger in the player 1 position and the Gemini controller in the player 2 position) on my Sears 2600.  This time the paddle worked to control player 1, but the fire button didn't work. The Gemini controller worked as it should to control player 2 (fire button works).  When I swapped the two controllers, the Gemini controller worked fine for player 1, but the Ranger didn't work at all for player 2).  This is the opposite of what happened the other day. 

 

I decided to plug in my Gemini Clone console to see if there was anything different going on. The Gemini splitter with the Ranger plugged into port 1 enabled the paddle to work, but no button activity. The Gemini controller worked fine for player 2.  When I swapped the two controllers with the splitter, the Gemini controller worked fine for player 1 and the Ranger enabled the paddle to work, but the button wasn't active. 

 

Weird that the Gemini console seemed to work better with the Gemini splitter cable than the Sears console did. Kinda surprised me. 

 

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So does this work on real 2600?  And probably not with masterplay clone on 5200 since 2600 paddles are wired backwards.  And some 5200 games need 2 fire buttons.  How many of the original 5200 games used 2 buttons?

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I just took apart my Ranger and sanded around where the paddle sits in the plastic.  Very easy to open up with a small phillips screwdriver.  Only six screws.

 

Also, when putting it back together, I slightly loosened the two screws near the paddle.

 

This has greatly improved my paddle.  It no longer is tight.  Much easier to turn it now.

 

I'd say that this has caused the paddle to go from a C to an A-.  (Note, real working clean original paddles would be a A+)

 

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4 hours ago, ave1 said:

 

In paddle mode on a regular joystick game (Millipede) the Ranger thumbstick does the following:

 

Press left: nothing happens

Press right: shooter goes left

Press up: shooter goes down

Press down: shooter goes up

 

When pressing the fire button, the shooter goes to the right. 

 

As a side note I did attempt to use the Gemini 9 pin splitter again (Ranger in the player 1 position and the Gemini controller in the player 2 position) on my Sears 2600.  This time the paddle worked to control player 1, but the fire button didn't work. The Gemini controller worked as it should to control player 2 (fire button works).  When I swapped the two controllers, the Gemini controller worked fine for player 1, but the Ranger didn't work at all for player 2).  This is the opposite of what happened the other day. 

 

I decided to plug in my Gemini Clone console to see if there was anything different going on. The Gemini splitter with the Ranger plugged into port 1 enabled the paddle to work, but no button activity. The Gemini controller worked fine for player 2.  When I swapped the two controllers with the splitter, the Gemini controller worked fine for player 1 and the Ranger enabled the paddle to work, but the button wasn't active. 

 

Weird that the Gemini console seemed to work better with the Gemini splitter cable than the Sears console did. Kinda surprised me. 

 

All very strange. Makes me wonder if the paddle buttons or pots are reversed on the Gemini.

 

Here is a thread that says combination joystick/paddles fire in paddle mode does not work on 2600 or sears video arcade, only sears video arcade 2...you have to push right on the joystick to fire :?  Another guy said he pushed up on the joystick for fire with the Gemini controllers.

 

 

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14 hours ago, ave1 said:

 

In paddle mode on a regular joystick game (Millipede) the Ranger thumbstick does the following:

 

Press left: nothing happens

Press right: shooter goes left

Press up: shooter goes down

Press down: shooter goes up

 

When pressing the fire button, the shooter goes to the right. 

 

As a side note I did attempt to use the Gemini 9 pin splitter again (Ranger in the player 1 position and the Gemini controller in the player 2 position) on my Sears 2600.  This time the paddle worked to control player 1, but the fire button didn't work. The Gemini controller worked as it should to control player 2 (fire button works).  When I swapped the two controllers, the Gemini controller worked fine for player 1, but the Ranger didn't work at all for player 2).  This is the opposite of what happened the other day. 

 

I decided to plug in my Gemini Clone console to see if there was anything different going on. The Gemini splitter with the Ranger plugged into port 1 enabled the paddle to work, but no button activity. The Gemini controller worked fine for player 2.  When I swapped the two controllers with the splitter, the Gemini controller worked fine for player 1 and the Ranger enabled the paddle to work, but the button wasn't active. 

 

Weird that the Gemini console seemed to work better with the Gemini splitter cable than the Sears console did. Kinda surprised me. 

 

Okay. So, I think the reason for the firing problem on the Ranger is the gemini y-cable is moving pin 6, which is disconnected in paddle mode, to pin 4 (fire left paddle) or pin 3 (fire right paddle), so no fire. As far as the ranger paddle not working in y-connector 1 one time and 2 the next time. I'd have to know how reproducible that is since it is a bit baffling.

 

It also explains why you have to push right for paddle fire if you plug the gemini controller directly into a console, since the fire button is pin 6 on the Gemini controller and pin 4 on the console (the Gemini controller does not have a way to switch fire from pin 6 to pin 4 when using the paddle).

 

It is sort of true that only pin 4 is switched to pin six when changing the Ranger from joystick mode to paddle mode, although the other three directions are reversed for some unknown reason.

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13 hours ago, chad5200 said:

I just took apart my Ranger and sanded around where the paddle sits in the plastic.  Very easy to open up with a small phillips screwdriver.  Only six screws.

 

Also, when putting it back together, I slightly loosened the two screws near the paddle.

 

This has greatly improved my paddle.  It no longer is tight.  Much easier to turn it now.

 

I'd say that this has caused the paddle to go from a C to an A-.  (Note, real working clean original paddles would be a A+)

 

I will try this. Thanks! 

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12 hours ago, Swami said:

Okay. So, I think the reason for the firing problem on the Ranger is the gemini y-cable is moving pin 6, which is disconnected in paddle mode, to pin 4 (fire left paddle) or pin 3 (fire right paddle), so no fire. As far as the ranger paddle not working in y-connector 1 one time and 2 the next time. I'd have to know how reproducible that is since it is a bit baffling.

 

It also explains why you have to push right for paddle fire if you plug the gemini controller directly into a console, since the fire button is pin 6 on the Gemini controller and pin 4 on the console (the Gemini controller does not have a way to switch fire from pin 6 to pin 4 when using the paddle).

 

It is sort of true that only pin 4 is switched to pin six when changing the Ranger from joystick mode to paddle mode, although the other three directions are reversed for some unknown reason.

So, if I made a 9 pin male to 9 pin female adapter that swapped pins 4 and 6, would the button of the Ranger (which is in paddle mode) work when playing a paddle game with the Gemini splitter? 

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