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Thread: 5200 Joystick Adapter - questions

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Goblin's Avatar
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    Default 5200 Joystick Adapter - questions

    I've designed what I hope to be a simple solution to replace the stock 5200 sticks, with a standard 1 button digital sticks(2600 style). It will function similiar to a masterplay interface.

    There are a few other designs floating around but I think I've got a good one and it should be very manufacturable. I have parts on order right now, I am hoping to have working samples in a few weeks. If all goes according to plan I hope to make a few spares and "release" them for testing. Then if no problems are found, I'll consider getting some boards made and release it as a product.

    However before anyone gets too excited, I'd like to know what the most you would pay for this is? Most likely no packaging or case, just a fully assembled and functioning circuit board. The board would have a 9 pin connector for digital stick and a 15 pin connector for the 5200.

    If it doesn't sound like a worthwhile endeavor and use of my time, then I'll either scrap plans for a release or else make it a "trade only" item. I welcome your thoughts.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) o2william's Avatar
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    I take it this interface would allow any 2600-compatible stick to be used? Sega Genesis pads are compatible with the 2600. I'd love to be able to use them on the 5200!

    If that's the case I'd probably pay around $25 for a bare board, more if you could manage to put a shell around it.

    Somebody needs to build an interface like this for the Intellivision (some models have controller ports, so it could work).
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    Yeah $25 sounds like a fair deal to me, especially since finding a MasterPlay these days is murder and the 5200 needs to be better appreciated!

    Sounds like a great project, Stephen.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Goblin's Avatar
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    Good news is the parts have arrived and the prototype is completed. It works as expected taking either a genesis pad or an atari joystick and converting them to an analog output. I'm quite pleased with the results, and have been having fun playing with it. I've got a bunch of working 5200 sticks, I just prefer my game pads - which is why I built this.

    The bad news is that I've changed my mind and will not be offering these for sale. First, the original thread didn't generate the traffic I expected, so I don't know that there is a market for this. Secondly the cost of a populated board with no case would be closer to $40+shipping, and with a case I'd imagine it to be closer to $50+shipping. Based on the few responses the desired price from people was $25, and at that price I barely cover my expenses, let alone labor costs or any profit.

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    I guess I missed this thread yesterday...

    So are you going to make it so that if you use a Genesis pad you have two button control available?

    EDIT: BTW, I would most likely be interested in getting an adapter, even if it were a $50 item!
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    and at that price I barely cover my expenses, let alone labor costs or any profit
    Yeah, that is always the problem with these type of projects. It's fun when building electronics is your other hobby, but not cost effective to mass produce stuff.
    One trick that I use is to build the adapter on a small board and put it into the console itself. This saves the expense of cables and project boxes, but it's sometimes tricky to make everything fit.
    If anyone wants genesis adapter schematics for the 5200, 7800, intv, colecovision, or odyssey2 my webpage has them or links to them: www94.pair.com/jsoper

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    It definitely sounds like an interesting product! So was this designed from scratch or did you use the MasterPlay as a basis? It sounds like it works the same way as it. I know there's a FAQ online for building the MasterPlay, so I'm wondering how yours might vary from it, or is it just the same thing pretty much?

    I think pictures may generate more interest, and even posting this to other boards like Atariage. There just doesn't seem to be as much interest here for the classics as the next-gen. That's not a knock on Joe, or any of the DP crew, just what I see on a regular basis.


    Also I know it'd be more work, but something I've thought about, was maybe even building a custom arcade stick, with Happs parts, and wiring it all up to your interface, to sell as a custom arcade controller for use with the 5200. Of course this raises the price again, and would most likely cost a bit more to ship, but it would give you an enclosure for your interface. :P

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    Bell (Level 8) Cafeman's Avatar
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    Considering that rebuilt 5200 controllers are often sold over $50, your estimate of $45 to $50 or close seems fair.

    If I didn't already have a Masterplay Interface, I'd be interested, but I do and it will hopefully work the rest of my life. I love playing 5200 with the Genesis 6-button pad.

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    ServBot (Level 11) k8track's Avatar
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    Default 5200 adapter

    Time for the 5200 fans to crawl out of the woodwork!

    Goblin, your project is very worthwhile and I hope you will reconsider your decision not to produce it. I also think $50 is quite fair. I do already have a Masterplay Interface (which I paid $125 for but worth every shekel) but there are still a small handful of games--Ms. Pac Man, Vanguard, and maybe one other--that won't work properly with it for whatever reason. I believe Clay Cowgill solved that dilemma last year with his Mastercontrol Interface (which allows one to use a Playstation controller) which does support the games that the Masterplay isn't compatible with. Does your prototype work well with every game? Also, maybe you could consider a "buy two and get a good deal" special for those people who want two for the purposes of playing Space Dungeon and Robotron:2084.

    A project that I had always hoped someone would undertake would be to make an adapter that would allow one to utilize fully the Coleco Super Action controllers--keypad, second fire button, and everything. Just think, no Y-adapter and a need for a 5200 joystick for the keypad. The index finger button would be the primary fire button, the middle finger the secondary button, the ring finger the pause button, the pinky finger the start button, and mashing all buttons at once would be the reset button. How difficult a project would something like that be? (Sorry for the pseudo-hijack.)

    Goblin, I commend you; keep up the great work! I think there's far more interest than indicated thus far.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Goblin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_soper
    One trick that I use is to build the adapter on a small board and put it into the console itself. This saves the expense of cables and project boxes, but it's sometimes tricky to make everything fit.
    I typically do this for personal projects. I opted not to in this case figuring if I sold them most people wouldn't know what to do with it, and I didn't want to get into the business of modifying other peoples consoles.

    Quote Originally Posted by video_game_addict
    It definitely sounds like an interesting product! So was this designed from scratch or did you use the MasterPlay as a basis?
    I've never seen the inside of a real master play so I'm not sure how they do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by video_game_addict
    I know there's a FAQ online for building the MasterPlay, so I'm wondering how yours might vary from it, or is it just the same thing pretty much?
    I started out looking at the design in the 5200 FAQ, but didn't like it. After I finished I came across jsopers page (which is GREAT I might add), which has given me a few ideas. My final version will utilize a microproccessor to help with the keypad matrix, however the current version does not.

    Quote Originally Posted by k8track
    Goblin, your project is very worthwhile and I hope you will reconsider your decision not to produce it. I also think $50 is quite fair.
    At this point I have a few additions I want to make to the design, so once I get those completed I may rethink the release, but I'm not promising anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by k8track
    Does your prototype work well with every game?
    I don't know, as I only own (11) 5200 games. I would need to get a multicart to truly test this thing out. Anyone have one to trade? PM please!!

    Some of the problems I've seen are minor things that will be fixed in the next revision. For instance: Most games only need you to press start to run the game. Congo Bongo also requires you to press 1 or 2 to select the number of players. I hadn't planned to emulate the keypad, so this doesn't work. The control itself works its just the function buttons that don't. My next revision will probably have full keypad emulation.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) NoahsMyBro's Avatar
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    I only saw this thread for the first time yesterday. I love the 5200, and think your idea sounds terrific.

    Unfortunately, I have to say that at $50 I'd be on the fence about buying it. I still might, but I'd have to think about it. At $25, I'd most likely go ahead and get it.

    Regarding Clay Cowgill's product, it sounded amazing. It sounded so good I was ready to shell out the proposed $80 to get one, and was trying to figure out a way to afford two.

    BUT, the adapter never came out, and I don't know what happened to him. I was on a mail-list for updates about the project, and have heard nothing since last Fall, I think.

    So as good as it appeared, it isn't presently a realistic option.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Everytime the topic of 5200 sticks comes up I have to put in a plug for the PC joystick adapter. The thing is SOOOO cheap to build, and works like a dream. It IS time consuming to build but any wanker with a soldering iron can do it.

    Almost forgot with the PC Adapter you don't have to worry about not being able to play two-button games like H.E.R.O., Beamrider, etc.

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    Is the 5200 PC joystick adapter plan posted at atariage.com?

    I just got an email back from Clay Cowgill responding to my inquiry re the MasterControl. His current plan is to get a bunch manufactured to sell at CGE, and then to do internet sales. So we may yet get to use our Dual Shocks to play Ballblazer.
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    Peach (Level 3)
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    http://www.atariage.com/5200/faq.html?SystemID=5200

    Look for "6.4 -- PC ANALOG JOYSTICK TO 5200 ADAPTER"

    They suggest using a cable but with the parts I buy I just build it all in one small adapter:


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