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Raphnet Intellivision Controller Adapter


fdr4prez
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This is a review, and bit of a diatribe, for the Intellivision controller adapter made and sold by Raphnet Technologies

 

http://www.raphnet-tech.com/

 

They sell many adapters for various controllers.

 

For a special project that I am working on, I needed a small and inexpensive adapter, so the Raphnet adapter was drawn to my attention.

 

Their Intellivision adapter is available as a complete kit (plug and play) or as a circuit board only, depending on your usage or skill level.

 

Their Intellivision adapter is prewired for Inty 1 controllers

http://www.raphnet-tech.com/products/intellivision_to_usb_adapter/index.php

post-43396-0-58341400-1475287086_thumb.jpg post-43396-0-78513800-1475287093_thumb.jpg

 

 

They do not offer any other connection type, so if you don't have Intellivision 2609 controllers, then you can't connect to this adapter. Although I'd imagine that you can use the "Inty1 to Flashback" cable adapter sold by Intellivision Productions, or you are looking at resoldering the board/cable accordingly.

 

If you have the ability to solder your own wires, then you can purchase the circuit board only and you can save about 40% off the cost of the complete adapter. And this is what I purchased.

http://www.raphnet-tech.com/products/intellivusb/index.php

post-43396-0-96742400-1475287121_thumb.jpg

 

 

Then you can solder on your own USB cable, and solder on your own Inty controller.

This picture below shows the Inty 1 controller pinout:

post-43396-0-66695600-1475287137_thumb.jpg

 

For Inty 2 or Flashback controllers, the pinout will be different. It may be best at this point to solder on a DB9 connector, using the appropriate wiring, so the Flashback controller can be connected.

 

The adapter works good in Windows 7 and in Linux (I've only tested on my RPi 2). And it works good in JZINTV - you have to activate the joystick as an input for the emulator, and you have to use the correct hackfile.

 

The biggest downside to this adapter is that the firmware does not support any keypad combos, so you can't use 1&9 to pause. And since no other keypad combos are supported, you can't really use this on a Raspberry Pi unless you also have a keyboard attached. Otherwise there is no way to reset or quit the emulator.

 

Due to this limitation I was bummed out that I couldn't use this adapter for my special project that I am nearing completion on.

 

Unfortunately my many emails to Raphnet support requesting help went unanswered, but luckily the firmware's source code is available under the GPL license and mr_me was kind enough to modify the source code for me to add in support for pausing and other keypad combo buttons.

 

Updating the firmware on the adapter requires the purchase of an AVR programmer, and the programmer needs to be soldered to the adapter, and the updated HEX file can be used to update the adapter using AVRDUDE. I did this using my RPi2

 

The programmer needs to be soldered to the adapter:

post-43396-0-61225500-1475287232_thumb.jpg

post-43396-0-88090500-1475287248_thumb.jpg

 

The new firmware HEX file: raph.hex.txt

(can't post a HEX file, so please save it and remove the ending ".txt"

 

Install AVRDUDE into your Pi and copy the HEX file to the Pi, now at the command type in:

sudo avrdude -p m8 -P usb -c usbasp -Uflash:w:raph.hex -B 1.0

 

This will update the firmware on the adapter, and you are good to go.

 

The new firmware adds support for normal pausing (1&9 and 3&7), and it adds 8 combo buttons:
4 & Clear

5 & 0

6 & Enter
2 & 9

2 & 7

0 & 4

0 & 6

4 & Enter

 

The first three combo buttons can be mapped accordingly in the jzintv hackfile to match the functionality of the UPCI and Retronic adapters, but there are 5 additional buttons that can be used instead, or used as desired in jzintv and/or RetroPie.

 

Now that there is newer firmware available, if you are inclined to use it, it really makes the Raphnet adapter a more usable adapter. It is a bare bones adapter that is limited just to Intellivision controllers, but it is small and inexpensive.

 

Many thanks to mr_me for the help modifying the source code, and now I can complete my special project that I've been working on.

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Its too bad that its a pain to update firmware with the Raphnet adapters. The Retronic/Vision/UPCI can be updated directly through USB.

 

Regarding button combos, 1+9, 2+9, 2+7, 0+4, 0+6 are examples of "safe" combos. Meaning that its not possible to replicate with a keypad+disc combo (unless there is a malfunction). The Retronic adapters use 5+Clr and 5+Ent (0+4 and 0+6 are pin equivalent) for reset and quit functions.

 

For example 6+Ent can be replicated by accidentally pressing keypad Enter and right on the disc simultaneously. Since that is used with Ultimate Flashbacks to exit a game, it might happen that a game is unintentionally exited. Has that happened with anyone using ultimate flashbacks?

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Yeah, updating via USB would be great, or even having duplicate pads on the bottom side for a header, or for soldering wires, would have been nice, so you don't need to unsolder 3 wires of your controller just to update the firmware.

 

The pads are small, and the controller wires are tiny, too. Not a fun process.

 

Hopefully there would be no future need for newer firmware, but ya never know, right?

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