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The driving controllers are paddles with a stopper. A switch would likely be all it takes with some internal programming. Fingers crossed; I love Indy 500! Even if the R77 had some code that told it to run Indy 500 with a paddle; that would work too.

Driving controllers are an arrangement of contacts in a rotary shape. Paddles are potentiometers. Huge difference in parts and theory of ops.

This. While the driving controller actually looks exactly like a paddle, it becomes readily apparent the driving controller has no stop at end of travel, in fact you can rotate it indefinitely. The pitch angle of the controller roughly corresponds to the direction of the car onscreen.


Finally, a paddle is a variable resistance that rotates approximately 300 degrees in an arc, which measures zero ohms at one extreme and typically 1 megaohm at the other. Combined with a capacitor inside the Atari console, the paddle creates a time delay constant whenever the TIA discharges the cap/pot. The length of time it takes to recharge the pot is measured in software, typically by counting scanlines. Additionally the action buttons on the paddle are wired to joystick left and joystick right.


The driving controller is a rotary encoder that rapidly alternates between the up and down inputs when rotated. The actikn button connects fire, same as an ordinary joystick. Anyway they both encompass vastly different tech even though both involve rotating a dial. Driving controllers and paddles used the same black plastic case, but paddles come in pairs connected to a single joystick port. Driving controllers hage separate plugs for each controller.


Driving controllers were only used officially for Indy500 / Race, but are also supported in a couple homebrews. Plenty of games utilized paddles, both homebrew and period release games. One of my favorite single player paddle games is Activision's Kaboom!

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Hi everyone,

So in case if people really end up breaking their joysticks, we plan to offer a free replacement - the coming stronger version. We plan to call it "The Mammoth" as we expect it to be able to take some good beating. ;-)


I hope the stick cover is good and rubbery like a real mammoth nose. Maybe it could even have a couple of indents on top to simulate nostrils. :)


Will the base be hairy?


Just kidding. I think it is awesome that you are working on a stronger stick.

Edited by SIO2
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Stoked to hear about the paddle! 2 questions:

1. Will the paddle work on Indy 500? That game had its own driving controller but was still basically a paddle.

2. If this does well can we hope for an upgraded version in in the future that will have 7800 compatibility? Even a cart adapter to plug 7800 games in to the existing R77 would be a happy upsale for me.

Thanks for answering our questions and checking in!

I pre ordered as soon as I heard it was available to do so.


I also would greatly appreciate if the system could play 7800 games. There are a lot of great new games coming out for the 7800. Would be awesome to be able to play them on the Retron 77!

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"The difference between this and the Atacobox, is that Retron has a good PR department" - lol, not really.
I'm an engineer / PM behind most of our latest products (since late 2016). I'm not getting paid for talking to you guys, it's actually not even remotely part of my job. But I care about all our products, and this product in particular, that's why I'm here.

Still better than AtariBollocks. Note how that they don't have anyone answering questions, either in an official or unofficial capacity, as far as we know.


And thank you for coming on here out of your own free will. That in itself engenders good will.

Edited by Inky
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Ok, then maybe there is a limitation on the TIA inputs. Not sure now, I'd have to review the schematics next.

The limitation is on the CPU pins. It is possible for the Atari to send data to a controller port in real time by putting the directional inputs into write mode. This will not work on an emulator. On Retron77, we can assume the joystick port is input only.


Assuming the Retron77 can handle multiple opposite inputs such as UD or LR, Driving controllers (U+D) are a possibility. It has to accept L+R to get paddles working. Trakballs may work if it is possible to poll the controller more than once per second. Otherwise performance might be dodgy if the trackball exceeds one increment per frame.


Only question now is whether it has separate read modes for paddles and joysticks like the 2600-daptor. If so, then Genesis controllers (and homebrews that read the extra button) may not function properly.

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Whoa. Hot swapping cartridges breaks my brain even more than the backwards label!

It has also been known that hotswapping carts can and will randomly delete sram saves. Retron5 is proof, though you could technically back them up if needed. Workaround is to turn the console on with cart already inserted.


Fortunately this is a non-issue with 100% of Atari games. The few homebrew carts that support game saving are either Atarivox/Savekey or flashrom based. Those should be safe. I suspect that flash rom save games will be read only. The emulator will dump the rom and the save bank with it, but any writes will not be recorded back to the rom.

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Depends on how hot-swapping is implemented. Some carts have longer or shorter pins for VCC and VDD - they make contact first or last depending on what the designer wants to do. Older USB port plugs do this.


If the cart reader circuitry can be turned off/on at will, then hot-swapping can be simulated.

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My review will be uploaded Sunday 12:01 AM PST. I have the unit in hand.

Could you test Stay Frosty 2 John? Thanks!


Also, in Metal Jesus' review he couldn't get Pitfall 2 or the Space Rocks cart (rom worked though) to work. Can you confirm both of those as well? Really looking forward to your review. I'm a proud subscriber to your channel and a fellow educator. ?

Edited by Noah98
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