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Draugr

Retron 77 Questions...

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Hi everyone.

 

This evening I got that itch again to get back to my 2600 roots and play the great games of my youth. I have too many hobbies (especially retro) so I tend to jump around from Atari 2600, to C64, Atari 800, Arcade, etc...

 

Anyhow, I have the original Retron 77 and the community build image (although probably not the latest version, but I'll get to that tomorrow). I have a few questions that I didn't see answered anywhere and thought of asking here in hopes that some of you might be able to fill me in.

 

1. I noticed there is a new Amber/Clear Retron 77 release. Other than the clear amber casing, is there any other differences or improvements over the original release?

 

2. On the Raspberry Pi I am able to set a 2600 TV bezel around my screen so that it looks like I'm playing on an old fashioned CRT/TV from the days of our youth. :) Is it possible to do such a thing with the Retron 77 when playing on a modern HD (widescreen) TV? This would be a great feature for nostalgia's sake. LOL

 

3a. I read about paddle issues with the Retron 77 and wanted to ask if I correctly understood what I read. Do I need the 2600-daptor to properly use original paddles or can the paddles work if directly plugged into the DB9 ports on the Retron 77 and the control settings within Stella v6.x being adjusted?

 

3b. Can the 2600 keyboard controllers used with "Basic Programming" and the "Star Raiders: Keypad" work with the Retron 77 or do they also require the 2600-daptor?

 

3c. If the 2600-daptor is required, which model? There seems to be 3. The "Original 2600", "2600 II", and "2600 DB9". Does it matter? The DB9 versions seem to have the greatest selection of compatible controllers on their webpage.

 

4. Final question and not a big deal, but I might as well ask. Is there an alternate front end menu than the default Stella front end, that can be used with the Retron 77? I saw the Flashback 9 / X community project (also here at Atariage) and liked the look of that menu system. While not a critical feature, I'm just curious if there are alternate front ends that can be used with the Retron 77 other than the default Stella front end.

 

Sorry for so many questions and thanks for any info. :)

 

John

 

Edited by Draugr

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Here are some answers from a Stella team member:

  1. I am not aware of a clear console, but I severely doubt they have changed the hardware. So it most likely is only cosmetics.
  2. Stella doesn't emulate that (and we have no current plans to change that), so it won't be there for R77 too. Also I would expect that the R77 hardware might be too slow for emulating this on top.
  3. a) Paddles work "somehow" (also this seems to vary between R77s) with the console ports, but much better via OTG and -daptors.
    b) Keyboard, touchpad definitely need OTG and (two for keyboard) -daptors (note: currently there is a bug, which will be fixed in the next release)
    c) Stella supports all three models meant for the 2600. You can chose the one which matches your requirements best.
  4. Not planned. We are only a small team, concentrating on the computer version. Therefore we will not invest the time for a new UI for R77 only. Maybe, eventually plans may change, but I wouldn't wait for it.
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Thanks for the info Thomas. :)

 

I'm downloading the Stella 6.5.3 release for the Retron 77 right now.

 

I wish they'd release a NEW version of the Retron 77 that properly worked with all original 2600 peripherals, had the ability to use a bezel and other small updates. Of course I'm probably not the first one to wish for this, but I'd love to see one that worked with the 5200 and 7800 carts/roms as well. :)

Edited by Draugr
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