Jump to content
lowscore

Joystick/trak-ball modification

Recommended Posts

I recently acquired an all black NIB 2600 Trak-Ball, only to discover what most here already know, that there is not a single game designed to use it in TB mode. I was so looking forward to arcade like Centipede action, that the discovery of it only working in JS (and very sluggishly, at that) was a real heartbreak.

 

I took someone on the forums advice and tried Decathalon with it in JS mode. A sports game I always hated is now super awesome action fun-time that I really break a sweat to. I also tried it with California Games, and found that the footsack game works super, skateboarding sucks, BMX sucks, and surfing, a game I could never get the hang of, is saved. What I would like to know: is there a way to connect both a joystick and Trak-Ball without unplugging or destroying either cord so that I can switch mid-game.

 

I am also going to try the Trak-Ball with Winter and Summer Games. I think it will add an element that is missing, while not completely thrashing my re-built joysticks.

 

Any advice would be helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently acquired an all black NIB 2600 Trak-Ball, only to discover what most here already know, that there is not a single game designed to use it in TB mode.

That's not exactly true. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not exactly true. ;)

I was only referring to original games. I am aware of the (homebrew?...pardon my ignorance) version from reading the site you quote. I did try the original Missile Command with the Trak-Ball in both positions and had my sadness confirmed.

 

Please, sir, enlighten me on new games, both hacks and homebrews, that support my new toy. I would be most grateful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reactor doesn't actually support the ball, but with the ball set to JS and the diff switch set to A, you get a pretty good experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please, sir, enlighten me on new games, both hacks and homebrews, that support my new toy. I would be most grateful!

Unfortunately there is no other game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reactor doesn't actually support the ball, but with the ball set to JS and the diff switch set to A, you get a pretty good experience.

 

Thank you for that tip. I do not currently have Reactor, but perhaps soon.

 

Just the same, is there a way to switch between joystick to Trak-Ball and verse-vise that would not destroy the integrity of the original equipment that I have? (broken record plays on and on and on and on...) :dunce:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just the same, is there a way to switch between joystick to Trak-Ball and verse-vise that would not destroy the integrity of the original equipment that I have? (broken record plays on and on and on and on...) icon_dunce.gif

 

The Atari joystick (and then the trackball in JS mode, I think) uses normally-open contacts for directions and fire button, so connecting them with a simple Y-cable should be fine.

You'll need 2 male db9 and 1 female db9 connector, some cables and a soldering iron. Simply connect each pin on the male connectors to the corresponding pin on the female one (pin "1" on both male db9 connectors must be connected to the pin "1" of the female one, and so on with pin 2,3 etc.)).

 

Pin 5,7 and 9 are not used by the joystick, but if you connect them you can use the adaptor also to keep both paddles and joystick plugged in the same port without swapping them when you change the game.

Since the paddle buttons act like the left and right joystick directions, they can also be useful in some "joystick-only" game:

In Midnight Magic, for example, you can use them to control the flippers, but you need the joystick to launch the ball (A "Track&Field" controller can be used instead of the paddles too).

 

Look at the schematics in the Atariage Archive for further details about controller pinouts.

 

------

Ciao!

 

Alessandro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was only referring to original games. I am aware of the (homebrew?...pardon my ignorance) version from reading the site you quote. I did try the original Missile Command with the Trak-Ball in both positions and had my sadness confirmed.

 

Please, sir, enlighten me on new games, both hacks and homebrews, that support my new toy. I would be most grateful!

 

Also, the Atari 8bit Computer had support for the trakball. Missile command on the 8bit(after you hit Ctrl-T) and the hacked version with 3 silos. I believe someone hacked 8bit Centipede with trakball support. I have not used it on my 2600 so I would not know. I did use the trakball on my 7800 though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The adapter worked beautifily. I did have to carve off all of the plastic around the female end with a utility knife and cut off the metal ground in order to fit it into my console's port. The effect is versatile conveniance. There is probobly a simpler, or more Mcguyveresque way, but for 7 buck, I am not complaining.

post-11963-1167260470_thumb.jpg

Thanks for everyones input.

Edited by lowscore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next time, hack in an Atari Joystick cable. My 7800 has a hacked joystick cable running to the parallel port on the PC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...