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FLashback 2 + old Atari wireless joysticks


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I got a second receiver for my wireless joysticks and hooked it to the Flashback 2. It's got a bit of weirdness going on, though. If I turn the FB2 off and the joystick is still turned on, it will remember what game its in. I've even pulled the power plug from the FB2 and it has remained turned on! I'm not kidding--I think the wireless receiver is somehow powering the Flashback 2 through a controller port.

 

Other times if I bring up the Paddle games, then cycle the power, the Paddle games will still be present as long as I don't turn the joystick off.

Generally, it seems best to power up the FB2 with both joysticks turned off, then power up one or both sticks. The paddle games code will still work that way as long as the menu screen doesn't move or change on its own first (it usually doesn't).

 

Is the flashback 2 unofficially compatible with the wireless sticks? I assumed it was unofficially compatible with paddle controllers, and it is.

I'm not real sure if the wireless sticks can actually be called an Atari product, though. Sure, they've got the Atari name and markings, but another sticker says they're made by Cynex.

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How interesting...

 

Never tried them before, but that is a really interesting find, I never thought any power would come "in" to the joystick ports, so they are not isolated to block incoming dc...

 

 

 

Curt

 

 

I got a second receiver for my wireless joysticks and hooked it to the Flashback 2. It's got a bit of weirdness going on, though. If I turn the FB2 off and the joystick is still turned on, it will remember what game its in. I've even pulled the power plug from the FB2 and it has remained turned on! I'm not kidding--I think the wireless receiver is somehow powering the Flashback 2 through a controller port.

 

Other times if I bring up the Paddle games, then cycle the power, the Paddle games will still be present as long as I don't turn the joystick off.

Generally, it seems best to power up the FB2 with both joysticks turned off, then power up one or both sticks. The paddle games code will still work that way as long as the menu screen doesn't move or change on its own first (it usually doesn't).

 

Is the flashback 2 unofficially compatible with the wireless sticks? I assumed it was unofficially compatible with paddle controllers, and it is.

I'm not real sure if the wireless sticks can actually be called an Atari product, though. Sure, they've got the Atari name and markings, but another sticker says they're made by Cynex.

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I got a second receiver for my wireless joysticks and hooked it to the Flashback 2. It's got a bit of weirdness going on, though. If I turn the FB2 off and the joystick is still turned on, it will remember what game its in. I've even pulled the power plug from the FB2 and it has remained turned on! I'm not kidding--I think the wireless receiver is somehow powering the Flashback 2 through a controller port.

 

Other times if I bring up the Paddle games, then cycle the power, the Paddle games will still be present as long as I don't turn the joystick off.

Generally, it seems best to power up the FB2 with both joysticks turned off, then power up one or both sticks. The paddle games code will still work that way as long as the menu screen doesn't move or change on its own first (it usually doesn't).

 

Is the flashback 2 unofficially compatible with the wireless sticks? I assumed it was unofficially compatible with paddle controllers, and it is.

I'm not real sure if the wireless sticks can actually be called an Atari product, though. Sure, they've got the Atari name and markings, but another sticker says they're made by Cynex.

 

That is interesting. The standard joystick doesn't use the 5 volts from the console. Is there possibly an unadvertised option to power the receiver from the joystick port? I can't think of any other reason off hand to connect the supply voltages together. The grounds, yes. +V, no. I assume the receiver doesn't work if you pull it's power source?

 

Does the FB2 function fully if you don't have it powered on? What if you unplug its power supply? I wonder if the joystick provides +5 or 0 for the joystick signals instead of open/hi-z and 0v like the standard stick.

 

I'm going to have to test my third party wireless joysticks with a FB2 now just to see what happens. I know if I turn off

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Intresting, Maybe this could be a way to have an internal battery and a way to charge it via the controller port. Kinda like the usb port is used to charge an Ipod.

 

Sweet find. What we need to do is determine the voltage and amperage coming in. Obvious voltage sounds like it's fine, but if the ampherage is not enough it could strain the Flashback. Also, resistors in case of a power surge, otherwise you could blow the flashback in such a case.

 

Just some thoughts that come to mind with this unplanned power source. :D

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I'd do some probing around to see where the power is coming from. I'm skeptical about it coming through the pin that the console uses to supply 5 volts. I'm betting my nickel on the voltage coming from from logic 1 signal(s) on the active low Up,Down,Left,Right pins that aren't floating as the standard controllers did.

 

I can't see them paying to populate that position on the connector if it didn't have any use. Maybe the original design had the receiver powered from the port but they figured out it exceeded the current sourcing capability of that circuitry.

 

My 3rd party wireless controllers use the standard 9v adapter, connecting first to the receiver and then passing through to another plug that is then connected up to the normal console power socket.

 

Maybe they needed multiple voltages in the receiver circuitry and saved money by picking up the 5 volts from the console instead of adding regulator circuitry to drop the receivers power supply voltage down to 5v. . . the world may never know. :)

Edited by BigO
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I'd do some probing around to see where the power is coming from. I'm skeptical about it coming through the pin that the console uses to supply 5 volts. I'm betting my nickel on the voltage coming from from logic 1 signal(s) on the active low Up,Down,Left,Right pins that aren't floating as the standard controllers did.

 

That would be my guess. At times, the powering of circuits through CMOS protection diodes can be useful. Oftentimes it's a nuisance (for example, since I think the RIOT has such protection diodes, the wireless joystick receiver would use more power when plugged into a 2600 that was powered off than one that's powered on. The joystick outputs would probably not supply enough power to run an NMOS-based machine like the 2600, but the FB2 doesn't take nearly as much current. Out of curiosity, does the FB2 function if you have one joystick port plugged in, and you push it diagonally and push the fire button (so only two pins are powering the FB2 instead of five)?

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