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Building an arcade joystick for the 5200 ?

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Hi guys, finally i got the parts (sticks and buttons) to build an arcade joystick for my 5200.

But for some reason i can't find any of the schematics i have seen before to build a digital joystick for the 5200.

Someone that know or have do it can point me out where to find this information ?

 

Thanks.

 

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If you are going to use switches with NO and NC contacts you can try that for the directional controls.

up/left = 10K Ohms

down/right = 250K Ohms

middle/center = 130K Ohms

if your controller allows to press up+down or left+right simultaneously, you will get as a result same resistance as middle/center (130k)

 

 

image.png.35c8276336da5b55a2a04d293f1be269.png

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As @Danjovic mentioned, you will want to use a joystick with switches that have both a NO & NC set of contacts.  I'm not sure what joystick you're using, but most modern Japanese sticks (and their Chinese clones) only have the NO contacts available, unless you replace the switches.  

 

Then note, that using fixed value resistors for all points (Left/Center/Right & Up/Center/Down) can lead to compatibility issues with some games and consoles, depending on the resistor values selected, and the current state of adjustment of your console.  Most who make these types of "digital" 5200 controllers, use potentiometers (adjustable resistors) for at least the horizontal and vertical centers, and I personally used 6 potentiometers (plus 4 resistors) for the (2) 5200 digital controllers that I've made.  Mine were both tested on 3 different consoles, and with every digital playable game in the 5200 library with 100% success, where I've seen others (who used only resistors, or just 2 potentiometers and 4 resistors) mention "it works well for most games, but it won't work for game X, Y, and/or Z for some reason.  The reason being, is that the "generic" resistor values they used didn't work perfectly with their console due to it being a bit out of adjustment, and/or due to how different games for the 5200, (usually those from 3rd party publishers), scan for and read the resistance values sent by the controllers.  Games known to be problematic are those like Gyruss (can't go completely around the circle), Popeye (can't go up or down stairs), Bounty Bob Strikes Back (can't go left), and Pac-Man Junior (can't go left, or down usually).  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that simply using 6 fixed value resistors won't work, I just wanted to give you a heads up that you may need to try different values, or may decide you need to swap a few out, for potentiometers...if you find certain games aren't playable.  

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11 hours ago, Danjovic said:

up/left = 10K Ohms

down/right = 250K Ohms

middle/center = 130K Ohms

Aren't the original pots 500K? I would think center should be around 250K

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58 minutes ago, 8bitAndy said:

Aren't the original pots 500K? I would think center should be around 250K

It's really on a console by console basis, as to what values will work the best...which is why I just went ahead and installed 6 potentiometers on my controllers (for guaranteed console/game compatibility).  I remember some testing I did, where I adjusted the pots on the controller for 1 console (using Pete's Test Cart), then disconnected it, and checked the actual resistance values at the controller cable connector for each of the 6 joystick positions.  Then I did this again for a 2nd console I had for testing, and the values from 1 console to the other, were pretty substantially different from each other.  I'd have to look back to see if I still have my notes with what those values were, or I could test/check it again...but again, those values would work perfectly for my console...but maybe not as well for somebody else's.   

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1 hour ago, 8bitAndy said:

Aren't the original pots 500K? I would think center should be around 250K

Indeed. According to the service manual, minimum reading should be less than 50K  and maximum reading should be at least 430K greater than minimum position.

 

image.png.a158fb8528894308eead5195e0eea7c6.png

 

You can use then a pair of 470K potentiometers (or trimpots) and have the possibility of fine tune the centering. 

 

image.png.6024a2567418349f46d0264cf391004e.png

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I put a very simple circuit together shorting pin 9 to 10 and 9 to 11 through 250K resistors. This puts the dot in Pete's Test Cartridge right about in the middle as expected. But the dot jumps around a bit, maybe in an area 5x the size of the dot.

 

Is this amount of noise in the position normal or does it indicate a failing component? Is it possible to get a more stable reading?

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Watching this one. My 5200 sits dormant because My OEM controllers no longer work, (Hated them anyway) and the Wico's are too large for my taste. Need to build one myself.

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I got a chance to take some resistance reading on my 5200 Space Dungeon digital controller today, which may help others.  As mentioned previously, I use 6 potentiometers plus 4 resistors per joystick, which allows for maximum adjustability/compatibility with games and consoles.  The resistors are installed, so that for instance, the horizontal center's potentiometer value, cannot be set lower than the left's potentiometer value (as the left value has to be lower than the center, as does the center's value have to be lower than the right's value, then the same applies to up/center/down).  So plugged in, and using Pete's Test Cart, I go to, and use the numeric display screen, which is normally used for the Pokey adjustment I believe.  When un-manipulated (centered), I adjust the center pots, so that the Hor/Ver readings are 112, then I hold the joystick left, and adjust the left pot until I get the value to bounce just above 1, then I hold the joystick right, and adjust the right pot until I get the value to bounce just under infinity.  Then I repeat this for the vertical pots.  Once these are set, they are set, and seem perfectly fine for all games...unless something is starting to adjust/break-down inside the console obviously.  Then I disconnected the joystick cables, and took resistance value readings at the cable ends, where they plug into the console (which takes cable/wiring resistance into account), and these are the values that currently work perfectly on my console:

 

Joystick 1 - P1 Port

 

Left - 0.976k

Hor Center - 270.7k

Right - 554.5k

 

Up - 0.108k

Ver Center - 281.62k

Down - 560.3k

 

Joystick 2 - P2 Port

 

Left - 1.000k

Hor Center - 286.3k

Right - 579.2k

 

Up - 1.540K

Vertical Center - 267.54k

Down - 540.6k

 

So as you can see, on my console at least, a 10k resistor isn't low enough to reach the full range of readability of the console, nor is 470k (nor even 500k) high enough to read the full range on the other end.  I'm not saying that you absolutely have to go this low/high, but I think when people have issues with "some certain few games don't work with my digital controller", I believe the reason is that their fixed resistance values aren't perfect for their console (and presumably not low/high enough for full range).  Additionally I never use Missile Command and it's on-screen cursor for "centering" my controller.  When I set it to center at 112s on the Pokey Adjust screen on Pete's Test Cart, the on-screen cursors are usually a little high/left of center...but it works for every game that doesn't employ absolute analog joystick control.  And I know that with my setup/wiring scheme, I don't have to re-tune the pots for each individual game.  Once I set them for the console, I may have to start a game, then manipulate the joystick left/right & up/down a couple of times for the game to "calibrate" to it, but that's it.  So I hope this info can help somebody/anybody with their own digital 5200 controller build.  

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Just follow the OSHpark link in my signature for a DIY Atari 5200 digital arcade controller PCB with rapid fire.

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in my altoids controller i just used 2 240k resistors 220k is probably ok too

 

treating each direction as a button is easier to wire them individually

 

so button up should be from 9 to 11 with a 240k resistor across the terminals

button down should be from 11 to 15

button left should be 9 to 10 with a 240k resistor across

button right should be pin 10 to 15

 

 

 

the reason this works is that 240 is the default resistance till you hit up or left then its a dead short so the charging circuit is seeing rapid charge if you press down or right it is grounding it out so its seeing no charging which is the same as infinite resistance

 

left and up is like fire hose full blast centers is like a garden hose and right down are like a dribble or nothing

 

if you want to make it deluxe use a 500k potentiometer in place of the resistor to dial in your center but i find consoles are very forgiving and self adjust after a couple resets on off cycles

 

i just used 8 conductor eithernet wire you really only need 6 conductors for the bottom row directions and buttons and i use the other 2 wires to connect pins  4 and 7 to activate start

 

Edited by bohoki

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I'm trying THIS combination for a Digital 5200 joystick.

 

1.  A PCB-fight stuck where you add a console's hacked PCB to make it work (or for the 2600, Astrocade, and Master System, a direct point to point actuation.)

2.  A 15-Pin PC "NES STYLE" 2 button pad to be pad-hacked for a project box, an alternate name for a naked joysticks and the wearable PCBs as it's clothing.

3.  A @Bohoki 15 pin PC to Atari 5200 converter.

 

Speaking of which, I got one Bohoki Adapter years ago, and would prefer a second one if this set up works.  Since we only have 2 sticks by the end, all I need is one more Bohoki.  But they are probably in limited supply.  I want to eventually get one, but only if this works and if other people had a reasonable chance to get one.

 

How is the Bohoki shop going, Bohoki?  Have some extra adapters that I can buy one of and not empty the shelves?

 

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