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2600 Joystick & Paddle arcade controller...opinions & input requested

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So I'm considering building myself a new 2600 hybrid, Joystick & Paddle arcade-controller, and I'm looking for some input.  My current idea/concept is this:

 

7TvvhE.jpg

 

This would be built into a 17" x 11.25" sloped-top aluminum enclosure, and will feature the following:

 

(1) 8-way joystick

(2) 2600 "joystick" push-buttons (wired for 2-button 2600 compatibility, maybe additionally, 2-button 7800 compatibility, I haven't decided yet)

 

a push-button switch to alternate the wiring between Joystick / Paddle mode

 

(1) paddle controller with an "Atari" arcade paddle knob (or 2600 paddle knob)

(1) 2600 "paddle" push-button

 

all wired to the main "P1" controller cable.

 

Then a 2nd controller cable would be wired as the "P2" cable, to add the (5) Video Touch Pad buttons (1/2/3/4/5) for playing Star Raiders.  I'm not a die hard Star Raiders fan by any means, but with the medium-sized controller enclosure, there is enough room between the joystick and "joystick" push-buttons to add them, so I figured why not.  

 

I realize that this is not a complete do-it-all controller, that is useable for every single game for the 2600.  No Driving Controller, no Trak-Ball controller, no 2nd joystick for Raiders of the Lost Ark...so on, and so forth.  But to my knowledge Indy 500 is the only Driving Controller game, most of the other games that make use of, or require, the full 12-button Video Touch Pad / Keyboard Controllers are edutainment titles (which I have little interest in), there's flat out not enough room for a Trak-Ball, and I personally don't care for RotLA.  Also I have zero (seriously zero...I mean none) interest in making this controller laid out ambidextrously, as I always manipulate an arcade joystick with my left hand (button(s) right), and an arcade paddle with my right hand (button(s) left) when I have the option.  It would also destroy the ergonomics to make this playable for both right hand/left hand for all controls, and again I'm making this for me.  

 

So with all that being said, have I glaringly missed anything that would add a great deal of benefit/feature to this controller, that I haven't thought of?  I ask, as I am not an expert regarding the 2600 games library, especially with modern hacks and homebrews that may use a controller/scheme that I'm not aware of.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts, opinions, and input.  

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You've pretty much covered all the bases relevant to your needs.

 

You could add an auto fire circuit (the quickjoy supercharger joystick, has a really good one).

 

 

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Rapid Fire's not a bad idea...and I never think about it personally, even though I see people post about it in various forums for their controllers.  I can see how with certain games, and normal OEM controllers (especially those with side buttons, or even thumb activated face buttons) having rapid fire can be a huge benefit.  But with a full-sized arcade controller, and very slap-able push-buttons, I just don't know how necessary it is.  Still a good idea, and something I'll give consideration to, thanks.

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I personally feel that the Star Raiders buttons are overkill, especially if you are adding it for one game. There are homebrews that use two keypads, an excellent Mole Wacking one recently. There are also driving controller hacks by @Thomas Jentzsch, and at least one homebrew, Desth Race port, that use the driving controller.  There might be many more, but I haven't checked the big homebrew spreadsheet.

 

With the SR buttons gone, you could layout the controls for the paddles/joysticks in a single line. That would look cleaner IMHO.  It would also drop the P2 wiring so you could use an AtariVox for Wizard of War and other speech sample games as well as hichscore/save support. (I believe AtariVox needs to be plugged into the P2 port)

 

 

Edited by CapitanClassic
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16 hours ago, CapitanClassic said:

I personally feel that the Star Raiders buttons are overkill, especially if you are adding it for one game.

I agree that the Star Raiders buttons aren't supremely necessary, but as they fit into the space between the joystick and the main buttons without sacrificing any ergonomics for the main controls, I figured why not...I've never seen another controller built for the purpose of playing Star Raiders.  Not that this one is going to be solely dedicated to only playing Star Raiders or anything, it just seemed like a neat idea that I could incorporate.  

 

16 hours ago, CapitanClassic said:

There are homebrews that use two keypads, an excellent Mole Wacking one recently.

I am aware of the Tap-A-Mole homebrew, I remember reading about it a few months ago...and it does look pretty cool.  But if I was going to have a controller with 24 arcade pushbuttons, even if they were the smaller 24mm variants...it would have to be it's own dedicated controller.  They wouldn't fit comfortably on this controller, especially with the Paddle below the Joystick as I currently have the controls laid out.  

16 hours ago, CapitanClassic said:

There are also driving controller hacks by @Thomas Jentzsch, and at least one homebrew, Desth Race port, that use the driving controller.  There might be many more, but I haven't checked the big homebrew spreadsheet.

I looked last night, and from what I found, there are hacks/versions of Asteroids, Omega Race, and Thrust+ that allow for the use of the Driving Controller.  I found a thread for Death Race, but it didn't make mention of the Driving Controller (that I read) so I don't know if it was an un-advertised feature, or if a 2nd revision allowed for it or what.  But considering these 3, maybe 4 games that can make use of the Driving Controller, plus Indy 500...I don't think I'd add it, simply due to the ergonomic sacrifice for other controls...if it were added.  Regarding Asteroids...the proper way to play is with an all button controller, as Atari intended...thusly:

 

1977485385_CabaretAnglePhoto.thumb.png.50df278d9d9f725af908fdf034a4d31c.png

 

For Omega Race, I'm already working on a spinner controller for the ColecoVision port, which then only leaves Thrust+, Indy 500, and possibly Death Race.  If I could add a Driving Controller, in such a manner/location that it wouldn't hinder the ergonomic layout for anything else, I definitely would.  But as there are a lot more paddle games that I like to play (versus Driving Controller games), I'd rather maintain a comfortable layout for it, versus sacrificing the Paddle controls ergonomics, simply to add the Driving control for a couple of games.

 

16 hours ago, CapitanClassic said:

With the SR buttons gone, you could layout the controls for the paddles/joysticks in a single line. That would look cleaner IMHO.  It would also drop the P2 wiring so you could use an AtariVox for Wizard of War and other speech sample games as well as hichscore/save support. (I believe AtariVox needs to be plugged into the P2 port)

If I removed the Star Raiders buttons, in favor of lining up the Joystick, Buttons, and Paddle in a single line, for my handed preference of Joystick (left) / Buttons (right), and Button (left) Paddle (right), they would have to be in that order from left to right...Joystick - Buttons - Paddle.  But doing so, really decreases the spacing between your 2 hands when playing, and I prefer a bit more separation when possible.  My standard, defacto, ergonomic controls layout that I developed is this:

 

1763440203_Defactocontrolslayout.thumb.png.8272755bd167e53fb13d2892d32297d2.png

 

With this proposed controller getting bumped up to the medium sized 17" x 11.25" controller, that yields an extra ~3" between my joystick and buttons hands when playing, which is more comfortable, and again, allows enough space for the momentarily/sporadically operated Star Raiders buttons.  If I were to add in the Paddle into that row/line, I would have to move the Joystick and Paddle controllers further outward (to offer no interference of one control when manipulating another), which would then diminish the amount of surface space for the support of your hands when playing.  And I don't like my hands resting on, or hanging off of the edge of a controller when operating it.  I know lots of people like to build controllers into the smallest/cheapest boxes possible, that allow just barely enough room to stuff the controls into, but I don't.  I like to have a little room, support, and comfort when playing.  Additionally, the layout idea of the Paddle controls below the Joystick controls, comes from the Atari 2600 store kiosk layout...albeit with more space and better ergonomics.  And the Paddle and it's associated button are laid out to mimic Atari's Tempest cabaret cabinet's, control panel layout.  The P2 controller cable for the Star Raiders buttons would be just that...a separate cable.  So if I buy, and want to use an AtariVox (if it in fact plugs into the P2 port), I just simply wouldn't plug in the P2/Star Raiders controller cable...so there's no loss of AtariVox support.  

 

Thanks, I do appreciate you taking the time to post your thoughts and comments.  

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20 hours ago, doubledown said:

For Omega Race, I'm already working on a spinner controller for the ColecoVision port, which then only leaves Thrust+, Indy 500, and possibly Death Race.  If I could add a Driving Controller, in such a manner/location that it wouldn't hinder the ergonomic layout for anything else, I definitely would.  But as there are a lot more paddle games that I like to play (versus Driving Controller games), I'd rather maintain a comfortable layout for it, versus sacrificing the Paddle controls ergonomics, simply to add the Driving control for a couple of games.

Hey DoubleDown. Love your idea of a multi controller! Your creativity knows no bounds!

 

Preference is, of course, Paddle controller (versus Driving), but a few other things to consider: (1) I know the paddle and driving controllers have different electronics/HW inside, however, wondering if it's possible to add a toggle switch to toggle between paddle and driving; (2) there are also a few other homebrew 7800 and 8bit/XE games that have driving controller as an option: Super Circus Atari, Arkanoid, Tempest, and I expect a few others potentially being released. 

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4 hours ago, Kaboomer said:

Hey DoubleDown. Love your idea of a multi controller! Your creativity knows no bounds!

 

Preference is, of course, Paddle controller (versus Driving), but a few other things to consider: (1) I know the paddle and driving controllers have different electronics/HW inside, however, wondering if it's possible to add a toggle switch to toggle between paddle and driving; (2) there are also a few other homebrew 7800 and 8bit/XE games that have driving controller as an option: Super Circus Atari, Arkanoid, Tempest, and I expect a few others potentially being released. 

Unlikely. Paddles have a maximum range, and a hard stop (I would think to not over stress the potentiometer inside). The driving controllers are free to rotate as much as you want in any direction as their direction is controlled by light emitters and gaps in the plastic rings.


Pretty sure you would need physically disconnected rotor controls.

 

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5 hours ago, Kaboomer said:

Hey DoubleDown. Love your idea of a multi controller! Your creativity knows no bounds!

 

Preference is, of course, Paddle controller (versus Driving), but a few other things to consider: (1) I know the paddle and driving controllers have different electronics/HW inside, however, wondering if it's possible to add a toggle switch to toggle between paddle and driving; (2) there are also a few other homebrew 7800 and 8bit/XE games that have driving controller as an option: Super Circus Atari, Arkanoid, Tempest, and I expect a few others potentially being released. 

According to the AA store, Super Circus AtariAge offers Joystick & Paddle control options, I didn't see any mention of the DC...did I miss something. 

 

For any version of Tempest that is either currently available, or a WIP, for either the 7800 or 8-bit, when using a Driving Controller (if/when available), how do you activate the Super Zapper (2nd button)?  Is this being accounted for, and for this reason, should I add a 2nd button for use with the Paddle/Driving controls?

 

28 minutes ago, CapitanClassic said:

Unlikely. Paddles have a maximum range, and a hard stop (I would think to not over stress the potentiometer inside). The driving controllers are free to rotate as much as you want in any direction as their direction is controlled by light emitters and gaps in the plastic rings.


Pretty sure you would need physically disconnected rotor controls.

 

A Paddle Controller is an analog potentiometer (adjustable resistor), with a limited range of motion (usually 270 - 300 degrees of rotation), where a Driving Controller is a digital encoder (pulse counter) with unlimited degrees of rotation.  I'm sure in the realm of the universe and all things being possible...a bunch of active electronics (and possibly a programmable controller) could be installed so that an encoder / Driving Controller, could be "read" as a Paddle Controller (as well as a native Driving Controller), albeit probably not perfectly.  Similar things are currently already done in emulation wherein some sort of Spinner controller (encoder based) is used/available to play both types of games (analog and digital).  But for me, I'd just keep in simple, and add a Driving Controller as additional hardware.  I was playing around with the layout and it should work, without causing any interference, or sacrificing the ergonomics of the Joystick or Paddle controls.  

 

X8nxdw.jpg

 

Moving the Paddle Controller up on the control panel (from my original layout location), and installing a Driving Controller at -90 degrees, with a separation of 3" (center-to-center), can still offer a zero interference layout with all of the controls.  The only ergonomic "negative" is the limited/lessened control panel space for hand/palm/wrist support, when manipulating the Driving Controller.  But it would still be more than useable, and that much more unique with all of the available controls.  

 

As I said before, I was under the impression that Indy 500 was the only DC game, so I wasn't too worried about including it...but with all of the info/suggestions offered here, it seems like it makes sense to include one.  

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After a little internet research, it looks like Tempest Elite + for the 8-bits, allows for the use of the Driving Controller; with it's 1 button used as the in-game "FIRE" button...and the computer's keyboard spacebar is used for the "SUPER ZAPPER." Obviously not super ergonomic, and the only way that I could incorporate this into this controller would be to install a keyboard hack into this controller, for a 2nd button used with the rotary controllers...but it would only be useable on the XEGS...which to my knowledge is the only 8-bit with a detachable keyboard...and thus a connector that it could be plugged into.

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So I'm definitely warming up to the twin rotary control option (Paddle & Driving) on this arcade controller.  As I knew it was going to have a Paddle controller, I was already looking into my options for a knob for it.  I had considered the CX-30 paddle knob, an Atari Tempest arcade (and Warlords, and other games) knob, or something else completely different.  I really liked the idea of the Tempest style knob as it has Atari arcade pedigree; but as I grew up with the CX-30s, I wasn't sure if I would like the smaller arcade knob (1.25" diameter, w/ 1.75" skirt) versus the the larger CX-30 knob (1.75 diameter).  So I pulled out a set of paddles and played a couple of games of Kaboom with the stock knob, then swapped that out for a 3D printed Tempest knob reproduction that I have, and tried that.  And I have to say...I like the smaller Tempest knob more, way more.  So now with the possible addition of the Driving Controller, I checked it out with the CX-30 knob, and the Tempest knob, on Indy 500...and again I really like the Tempest knob way more.  So at this point I'm thinking, ok, I'll add the Driving Controller, and I'll get 2 Tempest knobs...1 for each.  But then I remembered that I have an original Super Breakout arcade control panel, and I thought that it had yet a different knob.  So I pulled it out, and found this:

 

00oTK7.jpg

 

On the left is an arcade original Atari Breakout knob, and on the right is a 3D printed Tempest reproduction knob.  So as there are 2 official Atari arcade knobs, I can use 1 for each controller...the original "tapered top" for the Paddle controller (arcade accurate), and the Tempest style "flat/recessed top" on the Driving Controller (also arcade accurate).  Plus with the slightly smaller manipulation diameters of these knobs (versus the CX-30 knobs), I was able to shift these 2 controllers a little closer together for overall ergonomics, and still achieve zero interference from one control to another, while manipulating either one.  Win, win, win!

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Sometimes we get stuck in our ways, so it's nice to see you've warmed to the idea of adding a spinner as has been suggested.

 

Tempest Elite needs a spinner as the paddle controller works in reverse (and it's staying that way).

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Cool project.  I've been planning to do something similar for a long time now, just haven't gotten around to it.  Since I find bulky arcade controllers to be a pain in the ass to use comfortably unless you have some desk or something where you can just leave it set up all the time, I was strongly considering just building the controller into a stand-up arcade-style cabinet to stand next to my MAME cabinet and use an extra 2600Jr for the guts.  Games would be provided by Harmony cart. 

 

I would want the obvious joystick and paddle controls but I'd also be looking at an Asteroids button layout and maybe even a Track and Field layout for that game and Decathlon, which were huge favorites of mine as a kid but I never play them anymore for fear of ruining my aging joysticks. 

 

Now if I can only muster the motivation to get started...

 

 

 

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So I've been doing a bit more research this morning, and have come across a few things that seemingly haven't been mentioned yet, mostly with regards to the Paddle and/or Driving controllers.  Some games that use these, actually use them plugged into port 2, and some require controls in addition to the knob and single button associated with them.  Case in point:

 

Thrust+, uses the Driving controller in Port 2 for rotation and it's button for firing...plus a joystick of Foot Pedal in Port 1 for Thrust & Shields/Tractor Beam via Up/Down

 

Asteroids DC, uses the Driving controller in Port 2 for rotation and it's button for firing...plus a joystick of Foot Pedal in Port 1 for Thrust & Shields/HyperSpace via Up/Down

 

I couldn't find details regarding Omega Race DC, but I'm assume it uses the Driving controller in Port 2 for rotation and it's button for firing...plus a joystick of Foot Pedal in Port 1 for Thrust via Up

 

I couldn't find details regarding Sprintmaster DC, but as it only needs steering and acceleration (I believe), I assume this can all be controlled with only a Driving Controller...the question is, Port 1 or Port 2

 

Plus I thought I also remember reading somewhere about some Paddle games (I believe homebrews) using the Paddle controller plugged into Port 2, vs. Port 1.  

 

So with all this in mind, and as I'm already going to have a P2 cable (for the Star Raiders buttons), it seems that I should also have a switch, so that I can toggle the wiring of the Paddle or Driving controllers, to either the P1 or the P2 cable.  Additionally with all this in mind, to be playable without the Foot Pedals, and/or 3 separate hands, I would need to have 3 buttons associated with the rotary controls.  One as the standard/main controller button, then the other 2 wired to Port 1 Up & Down.  

 

Then there is the thought of 3 buttons associated with the joystick...versus 1 or 2.  Several 8-bit games have been made/hacked to use 3 buttons (using the main joystick button, plus the 2 paddle lines).  Now to my knowledge no 2600 games have this feature/option yet, but who's to say it won't happen at some point.  So to future-proof the controller, maybe I should install/wire a 3rd button.  

 

52 minutes ago, Cynicaster said:

Cool project.  I've been planning to do something similar for a long time now, just haven't gotten around to it.  Since I find bulky arcade controllers to be a pain in the ass to use comfortably unless you have some desk or something where you can just leave it set up all the time, I was strongly considering just building the controller into a stand-up arcade-style cabinet to stand next to my MAME cabinet and use an extra 2600Jr for the guts.  Games would be provided by Harmony cart. 

 

I would want the obvious joystick and paddle controls but I'd also be looking at an Asteroids button layout and maybe even a Track and Field layout for that game and Decathlon, which were huge favorites of mine as a kid but I never play them anymore for fear of ruining my aging joysticks. 

 

Now if I can only muster the motivation to get started...

 

 

 

I personally find the 17" x 11.25" enclosure that I plan to use with this project, the perfect size for playing in my lap, or alternatively on a desk/table top.  Its 17" width rests on, and is basically the same width as my lap, providing amazing stability; plus it allows the controls to have a nice bit of space between them, so that my full-sized adult human hands, aren't jammed too close together...while still providing enough surface area to completely support my hands/wrists while playing.  And as it's made from sheet aluminum, (plus the 2 internal steel angle braces that I add), it has a nice solid feel and weight to it, but it's not ridiculously heavy, like one this size would be if it were made from 1/2" or 3/4" particleboard/MDF. 

 

Obviously everyone's personal controller preference is unique and their own, and we all have different needs, wants and budgets.  Some simply want an "arcade-ish" controller that's different and/or maybe slightly better than the OEM and available 3rd party options, some want a real arcade controller that actually takes ergonomics and playability into consideration.  For some, their requirements are anything as long as its "small" and/or "inexpensive", and for others, with regards to size and price, the sky's the limit.

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So here's a layout with 3 joystick buttons, and 3 rotary controller buttons:

 

PhME9Y.jpg

 

Doable...yes, ergonomic...yes, zero interference...yes, necessary...yet to be determined.  

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So I think this is how I would install/wire/handle, the wiring & controls for this controller, if built like my mock-up from post #14 above:

 

u2Gscz.jpg

* The P1 Controller Cable switch, toggles between Joystick or Rotary controllers, as active

 

The Joystick Cont. switch, toggles whether only 1 button, or all 3 buttons are active (in case the additional "paddle line" buttons cause any issues with any other hardware/software that I'm unaware of)

 

The 3 Button switch, toggles the order of the buttons from left to right as 1-2-3, or 2-1-3 (for a couple of games that I don't like the default button order)

 

The Rotary Cont. switch, toggles between the Paddle Controller or the Driving Controller, as active, by swapping/breaking/making the necessary lines/wires, and so that the buttons perform their correct function for that particular control (Left for the Paddle, and Button for the DC)

 

* The P2 Controller Cable switch toggles between Touch Pad (Star Raiders Buttons) or Rotary controllers, as active

 

The Rotary Cont. Switch, toggles between the Paddle Controller or the Driving Controller, as active, by swapping/breaking/making the necessary lines/wires, and so that the buttons perform their correct function for that particular control (Left for the Paddle, and Button for the DC), and additionally the 2nd (Up) and 3rd (Down) buttons for the rotary controllers would be active on the P1 cable for games like Thrust+, Asteroids DC, and possibly others.

 

So questions:

 

1) Does anybody see any glaring problems/issues with this concept...or am I missing anything?

 

2) Am I correct that there are some homebrew games that use the Paddle Controller plugged into port 2, versus port 1?

 

3) If there are homebrew games that use the Paddle Controller plugged into port 2, do they require controls in addition to the potentiometer and it's 1 button (either on the P1 or P2 cable), like the Driving Controller does when plugged into Port 2 for games like Thurst+ and Asteroids DC?

 

Any thoughts, answers, questions, comments...would be appreciated.  

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Since you'll be having it your lap and I'm not sure if you'll have it permanently wired to the console via ports 1 and 2, or how long the leads will be, was thinking if it had internal storage, you could store the leads that way when not in use.

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I don't know of any way that I could do an "internal storage compartment w/ open-able door" that I would personally be happy with, in regards to it's look and function (I know some "manufactured" arcade sticks have this).  Also it would be tough as the physical joystick and buttons are close to the back edge, so there isn't much "room" in the back area (where the cable comes out) to do this.  The cables will probably be 10' each, which is what I make up as standard on most of my controllers, and I usually install cord cleats on the rear of the housing for cable management:

 

1578269947_CordCleats.thumb.png.5507d96af03d36becf8d7a3a4f181dc2.png

 

In the instance of this new 2600 controller, as the P2 cable may not be connected most/all the time, I will probably install 2 separate sets (or a 2 stacked sets) of cleats on the rear of the enclosure, so that each cable can be wrapped up, or unwrapped and used, independently of each other.  

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19 minutes ago, Voxel said:

You've given you controller plenty of thought and cleats at the back look pretty good.

Unfortunately it's my curse...thinking too much!  😃

 

I'm still trying to find out / determine, if there are any games (homebrews I would imagine), that use a Paddle controller in the P2 controller port (for Player 1), and if so, are any other controls required...like joystick or button inputs from a controller plugged in the P1 port (like Thrust+ and Asteroids DC when using the Driving Controller in the P2 port).  I thought when researching some info this past weekend, I remember reading about 1 or 2 homebrew games that did this...but now I can't find that info, so maybe I'm remembering wrong.  Obviously if there are no games where player 1 uses the Paddle controller plugged into P2, then it simply saves a bit of wiring, internally.  If there are some that use this, and require extra controls...I need to make sure I account for them, if necessary.  

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@Thomas Jentzsch thanks!  I knew I saw that there was at least 1 game to use the Paddle Controller in the P2 port...at least I know I'm not crazy.  

 

So after some further research, and some play testing, this is what I've come up with:

 

8plowB.png

 

I can wire the Paddle and Driving Controllers, so that they can be connected to either the P1 or P2 cable, and the 1st rotary controller button (index finger operated), will be wired to it's mating controllers' button, whether at P1 or P2

 

- so with regards to the (3) rotary control buttons, from right to left:

 

Right Button - Left Hand, Index Finger operated - wired to button for selected Rotary control, regardless of P1 or P2 assignment

Middle Button - Left Hand, Middle Finger operated - wired to P1 joystick UP, for "thrust" in games like Asteroids DC, Omega Race DC, Thrust+ Platinum

Left Button - Left Hand, Ring Finger operated - wired to P1 joystick DOWN, for Shields/"OTHER" in games like Asteroids DC (Hyperspace), and Thrust+ Platinum (Tractor Beam)

 

Are there any other homebrews or hacks, that I haven't accounted for?  Obviously if it's a original game, or homebrew or hack, that simply uses a Paddle or Driving controller in either P1 or P2, and only uses the knob and the controller's 1 button, that's "control scheme" is already accounted for.  I'm looking for anything "weird" that I don't have yet on my radar/list.  

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Well if nobody's got any more "bright ideas" of things I need to add, or account for...I think the hardware layout is all set, and I'll start to look at the wiring, for the building of this controller, thusly:

 

PhME9Y.jpg

 

The only few final details to hammer out, will be with regards to the buttons (brand/color), and the joystick (brand/knob).  

 

For the buttons, I was originally assuming leaf-switch push-buttons, as Orange (body) / Orange (plunger), but now I'm thinking I may change this.  I know for sure, that I'll use Orange/Orange for the main/index finger operated buttons (for each control type, as this matches the original controllers), but I may go with either Black/Black, Black/Orange, or Orange/Black for the 2nd & 3rd button for each control type...have to wait and see how the different color options look.

 

Then for the joystick, I'm also undecided, but I have been thinking about it for a while.  There isn't much Atari arcade joystick pedigree, for the era during which the 2600 was in full swing.  Most Atari arcade games of that time had paddle or spinner controls, or handlebars, or yokes, or something else entirely weird/bespoke.  A few of their early 80s arcade games that did use joysticks (like the wonderful Kangaroo), simply used a "standard/skinny" WICO...so that's an option...I have a used one that I could install.  After that, mid-80s, Atari made their own Atari Logo ball knob joysticks, used in games like Gauntlet, and Temple of Doom, but those joysticks are way to deep/bulky to fit into this housing.  So then I got to thinking about the CX-40, and thought, why not something with a hexagonal shaft/knob.  I've personally never seen anybody else do something like it, so I thought I'd give it a try:

 

UzYMQn.jpg

 

So here on the left, is an iL EuroJoystick 2, with a custom Hex shaft/knob that I made for it.  I checked the measurements of a CX-40, which is approximately 0.600" wide across the flats at the top, 0.700" at the bottom, and a little under 3" tall from the base.  I had some 0.750" hex aluminum stock at work, so after a couple of quick/fast measurements, I made up a sample for myself to see how I would like it.  Obviously mine is not tapered (fatter at the bottom, skinnier at the top), like the original, but I honestly think I like that better...and it's a little fatter overall, which I know I definitely like better.  I'll play around with it a bit more, when I can get it mounted this weekend, to see how I really like it in action, and if I need/want to alter the bottom gap, overall height, fatness, taper, or any of the other physical characteristics.  Then if I decide to use it, or something similar (if I have to machine a new one because I want to change physical dimensions), I'll knock down the hex points a bit on the lathe, and then coat it in a rubber like Plasti-Dip, or Flex-Seal, or some such similar...for that rubbery CX-40 feel.  Additionally as the Hex knob is simply that...a screw on knob...if I decide I hate it at any point, I can simply replace it with a ball or bat knob, if I prefer.  

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This may have been answered, but that is a lot of text to read, will the paddle buttons allow for both paddle buttons to be used like to play Bumper Bash?

 

I like the buttons for Star Raiders, glad you are keeping them.

 

What about the games that require the second controller for more than just the button like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Stargate? At least I think those two require the joystick.

 

Great idea and great look too.

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3 hours ago, jeremiahjt said:

This may have been answered, but that is a lot of text to read, will the paddle buttons allow for both paddle buttons to be used like to play Bumper Bash?

The plan right now is that the Driving/Paddle control buttons are going to be wired as so:

 

Right Button - Left Hand, Index Finger operated - wired to button for selected Rotary control, regardless of P1 or P2 assignment

Middle Button - Left Hand, Middle Finger operated - wired to P1 joystick UP, for "thrust" in games like Asteroids DC, Omega Race DC, Thrust+ Platinum

Left Button - Left Hand, Ring Finger operated - wired to P1 joystick DOWN, for Shields/"OTHER" in games like Asteroids DC (Hyperspace), and Thrust+ Platinum (Tractor Beam)

 

So Bumper Bash wouldn't be playable.  I've never actually heard of this game before now, so I did a little research on it, along with the other 2 pinball games, Video Pinball (which I've been playing since I was little), and Midnight Magic.  What's incredible, is that all 3 of these pinball games...use a different control scheme:

 

VVsQTF.jpg

 

While "technically" Bumper Bash is supposed to be played with Paddle controllers, its only using the Paddles' buttons, which are actually wired as the joystick right & left directions.  But since the "left" paddle's button is wired as joystick right, and the "right" paddle's button is wired as joystick left, if I installed "Flipper" buttons on the side of the enclosure for playing these pinball games, I would need to add an additional switch, so that I could flip/flop the wiring specifically for Bumper Bash...versus the L/L & R/R order used for Midnight Magic and Video Pinball.  Interesting concept...and an additional feature which would make this controller that much more unique, without sacrificing any ergonomics.  Thanks for the idea!

 

3 hours ago, jeremiahjt said:

What about the games that require the second controller for more than just the button like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Stargate? At least I think those two require the joystick.

Any "native/original" games that require 2 joysticks (for as little as the 2nd button, to more intensive control requirements, like those in RotLA, or Stargate), wouldn't be playable, unless I slightly re-think the joystick button control wiring.  Most, or all of the games that require simply the button from the 2nd controller, have been hacked to work with the 2600 "2-button" wiring scheme, but I could definitely wire Button 2 (middle button), from the joystick control section, to the P2 controller cable, for playing original 2 button games.  Another good idea, thanks!

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