Atari joystick on the BBC

for bbc micro/electron hardware, peripherals & programming issues (NOT emulators!)
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PitfallJones
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Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by PitfallJones » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:13 pm

Does anyone know how you could interface an old style Atari joystick to the analog port on the bbc?

How about using an old pc gameport style joystick on the bbc? - the pc used an analog port as well.

- PJ

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by MurrayCakaMuzer » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:30 pm

Someone else made a thread about this a while back, and most of the lines have no match, so you would have to build some circuitry.

EDIT: http://www.stairwaytohell.com/sthforums ... t=joystick

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by Fraser » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:03 am

I've attached photos of my interface made by Computers For All.
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by Fraser » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:06 am

All of the transistors are 3904.

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sirmorris
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by sirmorris » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:51 am

Is the CFA interface still available <excuse ignorance> or would it be suitable for a remake?

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by Fraser » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:26 pm

You would need a box sized about 7x5x2.5cm. The circuit board fits snug into the box. The board would be the most work.

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MartinB
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by MartinB » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:33 pm

What does the box actually do? Is it for an analogue PC joystick and then just the one with L/R, U/D and Fire? Or Atari sticks or....

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sirmorris
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by sirmorris » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:44 pm

It's just a switched -> analogue converter. It looks like the switches enable transistors which in turn supply VREF to the ADC.

Neat.

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by Fraser » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:47 pm

It interfaces an Atari joystick to a BBC. It probably connects only one fire button.

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PitfallJones
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by PitfallJones » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:09 pm

Thanks Fraser -- those photos are excellent.
I've heard you can actually make circuit boards with just an iron but it's beyond me I'm afraid - I was hoping there might be a 'swap some wires around' solution - I guess I'll have to keep an eye on ebay for one popping up.
- PJ

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by Prime » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:31 pm

sirmorris wrote:It's just a switched -> analogue converter. It looks like the switches enable transistors which in turn supply VREF to the ADC.

Neat.
I have something similar for the Dragon, which also uses analogue sticks, it's a simple enough circuit that you could probably replicate it on a bit of stripboard from Maplins....

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by algenon_iii » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:47 am

PitfallJones wrote:Thanks Fraser -- those photos are excellent.
I've heard you can actually make circuit boards with just an iron but it's beyond me I'm afraid - I was hoping there might be a 'swap some wires around' solution - I guess I'll have to keep an eye on ebay for one popping up.
- PJ
You could try using a breadboard like one of these http://maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=5195 you just plug the resistors and transistors in. Takes a bit of thought as to where to put wires/components. Only things that might need soldering are the D-connectors for the joysticks (I'm sure you used to be able to get crimpable ones).

You can use them to make some pretty complex circuits, I had to do my A-level electronics project using them :shock:

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MartinB
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by MartinB » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:55 am

Someone with half an hour to spare could easily produce a schematic from those photos... :wink:

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sorvad
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by sorvad » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:59 am

I'll do it tomorrow if no one else wants to. Too busy today :(

[Edit] I've started this, post tomorrow hopefully.

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by RobC » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:55 pm

In case anyone wants to read the theory behind this stuff, I remembered that Mike Cook once covered it in TMU and thankfully some of his old articles are still online...

The text is here:
http://www.drobe.co.uk/archives//www.do ... 3/BBC3.txt

And the schematics are here:
http://www.drobe.co.uk/archives//www.do ... /BBC3.TIFF

Enjoy!

Rob

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by retro_junkie » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:54 pm

Of course these would be useful for Plus 1 expanded Electrons as well.

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sorvad
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by sorvad » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:11 pm

RobC wrote:In case anyone wants to read the theory behind this stuff, I remembered that Mike Cook once covered it in TMU and thankfully some of his old articles are still online...
[snip]
And the schematics are here:
http://www.drobe.co.uk/archives//www.do ... /BBC3.TIFF
Rob
That saves me a job :) Nice one !

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PitfallJones
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by PitfallJones » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:15 pm

Thanks for all the advice - I'd never even heard of a breadboard!

Ok - I've been to the shops and I've now got 3 MPS 2222A NPN transisitors, 10 33K resistors, 5 22K resistors and a breadboard.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... Id=2062608

I was thinking I could connect the db15 and db9 connectors to the breadboard via either a ribbon cable to a box header or as I managed to pick up a dp9 to rj45 converter and db15 to rj45 converter:

http://www.national-tech.com/specs/31d1-17400.htm

Then I can use a rj45 to breadboard connector - they have them here:
http://www.winfordeng.com/products/cat_pbc.php

Anyone else have any suggestions?

I'm completely clueless about all this stuff so I need some more advice as well:

Which pin on the transistor is the one with the arrow in the circuit?
What should the resistor value be on the fire button? (It's missing in the picture)
- I've got 33K where the picture says 20K and 22K where it says 10K (that's all the shop had - but the article says they can be 10K out).

I've just been reading that the numbered columns are connected together on the breadboard so that means the rj45 or 2x5 header to breadboard connector should be connected lengthways to the board along the same letter - right?

- PJ

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MartinB
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by MartinB » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:52 pm

Hiya Pj :D

If you hold the transistor with the flat side facing you and the pins pointing down, the pins are E B C from left to right and on the schematic, E is the arrow, it's adjacent diagonal is C and the short line from the 'T' is B.

Not sure why you want to introduce RJ45? Those DB9 and DB15 breadboard connectors are just what they say and should just push straight into the breadboard? Check the pin spacing of the DB connectors (phone the seller if necessary) and these should match the column spacing of your breadboard. The DB connectors should be positioned with the breadboard columns running away from the connector pins so that you're not along one column with them all shorted together!

The fire button R should be fine with a 22K, if it's too high then the fire button just won't be seen.

Hope that gets you started?

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by Samwise » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:51 pm

Or you could buy this one on eBay ... :)

Sam.

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PitfallJones
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by PitfallJones » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:31 pm

!! Success !!
It just passed the snapper test.
My very first breadboard as well.....
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by MartinB » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:47 pm

Nice one Pj =D>

What sort of stick is that? Looks like a Competition-Pro switched unit? I have two of those, one is a Beeb one and one was a PC one which I simply re-wired and re-plugged to match the Beeb interface. They're really good steel shaft sticks with six high quality sealed industrial standard microswitches.

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PitfallJones
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by PitfallJones » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:48 pm

Yep - that's an Atari Competition pro - great clicking sound!

I've also got an Atari style Tac2 and the Slik Stik is pretty good - that is my favorite.

I find that the Voltmace type analog sticks have a bit too much throw for quick games.

I've been experimenting with connecting stuff to the BBC analog port the last few weeks - here's a switch joystick I made myself - just needed some resistors to work.

- PJ
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by MartinB » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:28 pm

No stopping ya now eh PJ =D>

What's next then - motion sensing controllers? :wink:

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Wouter Scholten
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by Wouter Scholten » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:27 pm

FYI, it's possible to use an atari joystick without transistors. The problem is/was the assumption of shared lines or something like that (as e.g. mentioned in an article in the Micro user; not sure if that's how they are specified, if so then Atari didn't follow their own specs) but in general (all Atari & Atari compatible joysticks I checked) they don't and it's possible to use a simple wiring. I'll have to look it up exactly as it's been a decade or longer since I looked into this, but I have for example a small cable into which one can plug an Atari joystick that then goes into the analogue port.

No need for large interface boxes...

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PitfallJones
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by PitfallJones » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:19 pm

Hi Wouter,

Yeah I'd be interested on seeing that.

This is the circuit I made for my 'switch' joystick.

All the Atari directions are switched against the same line so it's circuit must be different.

- PJ
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And here's one I made earlier....

Post by PitfallJones » Sun May 09, 2010 4:13 pm

Two actually...

Possibly the best two joysticks ever used on the BBC!

The "Snapperator" made from a Sanwa microswitch arcade stick and Happ style arcade buttons and "Analog Jr." made with a great firm action self centering analog stick and Shinden arcade push buttons.

- PJ
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Elminster
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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by Elminster » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:48 pm

Not sure if anyone else has had the fun issue I had. Been building a twin 9 pin joystick interface myself, not from these notes but turns out the one I built is identical.

Testing with the game hopper on the master, up, left and fire worked but not down or right.

I check the voltage to the joystick port and it was correctly in the middle range, and then went to either zero volts or the vref value for both axis.

So I knocked up basic program to monitor joystick port and that seemed fine as well.

On the off chance I tried starship command, and that worked fine. Have since tested elite and superior version of snapper, both work fine.

Not sure why hopper only half works, could be issue because I have a master.

Next I need to test joystick port 2. Anyone know any two player joystick games on the beeb, I can't remember any?

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Re: Atari joystick on the BBC

Post by DamoJay » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:59 pm

Hi,

Stock Car by Mircopower is 2 player...I think Skirmish (joust) is also 2 player.... Thought that Arcadians was also 2 player (but might be 2 player using one stick).

Hope this helps,


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