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5200 Trak-ball : sell it or adapt it?


manterola
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Hello guys,

I got a trak-ball cx-53 within a lot of atari stuff, and I would like to know if there is an easy way of test it.

I don't have a 5200 console, but maybe a simple pin rerouting of the db15 pins to db9 can make it work. Probably is more complicated than that.

I read about the one-track cable which allow st-mouse and cx80 modes with encoders but I guess it is not on sale.

My idea is to try something to adapt it to xl/xe platform if it works and I like it (I would love to try missile command) I'll keep it, if I don't like it at least I can sell it "tested" and cleaned for a better price.

 

Any comments?

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I suspect there's some translation going on inside... at the lowest level probably uses 2 axis * 2 bit grey encoding.

 

Likely that gets converted by resistor ladder to a voltage that goes to each pot input. In theory with a 228 value Pokey pot you could probably encode 6 or 7 digital inputs.

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Here I found the schematics

http://gamesx.com/wiki/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=schematics:5200-cx53-trakball-schematic.png

 

Signals at the output of A2 maybe are compatible with st-mouse mode, and can be adapted and connected to pins 1, 2, 3 and 4 of xl joystick port.

Edited by manterola
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the cx80 and cx22 are basically the same with some being st mouse modded at the factory or at the seller... I don't remember any of the adaption, conversion being all that involved.. the cx 53 was a little different but also adaptable

Edited by _The Doctor__
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I wonder how hard it would be to just make a straight up adaptor... I mean we already had a usb adapter made for the cx53 for 28 bux complete....

http://2600-daptor.com/5200-daptor.htm

wonder how hard to mess about with...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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I developed an enhancement kit for the CX-53 that lets it be used in place of a CX-22 (same protocol as CX-80). It still functions as a CX-53 and requires no soldering, drilling or other permanent modifications to the CX-53 (really, there's nothing I would even call a modification). I also did a version that outputs straight quadrature encoded motion signals.I did this so that I could play the 2600 games that were, at the time, being modified to support trackball input (http://atariage.com/forums/topic/243453-atari-2600-trak-ball-games/). I have tested it with my XEGS to play Missile Command so in that respect it works with an A8. I never found any reason I couldn't make it compatible with the two button ST mouse, but I never had an ST to test with.

All that to say, yes, you can get the signals you want out of the CX-53 but they are not available on the 15 pin cable. As stated above, the outputs of the CX-53 emulate the analog potentiometers of the handheld controllers and there's just one wire with the Y axis and one with the X axis. I suppose you *could* read those signals and generate the trackball protocol accordingly, but that'd be a somewhat painful way to go.

 

A fully external adapter would probably have a bigger market than than something that requires opening up the controller like mine does. I have something else in mind for the native analog outputs, so maybe such an adapter might be a by-product of the research and testing I need to do.

 

For reference, to help you decide how much you might want to spend on a different modification: I was selling my upgrade kit for $25.

 

(For my own self serving purposes: I happen to still have a CX-22 style kit and a straight quadrature kit that I built on request, but the potential buyers disappeared. So, if anyone is interested...

Technically speaking, there's one part of the kit that picks off the necessary signals and brings them outside the controller, and a separate "configuration cable" that arranges the signals appropriately for connection to the Atari. So, you could have both flavors without opening up the CX-53 again: an all-in-one solution. Hence the name "One-Trak".)

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That things a beast. I'd sell it and take the money to purchase a 2600/7800 CX80 or CX22 or a or a WICO Trak Ball. They are smaller and easier to use. Compatible with 8-bit computers.

The only unmodified WICO trackball that I've seen was a joystick emulator, so beware if looking at a WICO. (But, they can pretty easily be modified to output quadrature encoded signals. See the link in my signature.)

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So finally, I am getting a CX-22 and it will be arriving next week. That did not stopped me to clean and hack the cx-53 trackball for Atari 5200. I connected wires to test points 1, 2, 3 and 4 Which are the inputs to the A2 IC and I feed them to pins 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the joystick port. TP5 to GND. The most difficult part was +5VDC , because the is no test point in the trackball pcb and all the joystick cables I have don't have that pin wired.

It worked but the left / right were inverted. I tried missile command and ctrl-t.

It is pretty cool, even though all the connections are made thru a breadboard and I haven't connected the fire button.

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If you haven't already, just reverse the wires that go to the left and right inputs to fix the direction problem.

 

I had problems coming straight off the optical encoders on a different trackball so I picked up the outputs of the amplifier chip on this one. That provides a little protection for the encoders which are less common and more difficult to replace than the lm339.

 

Picking up the points as you describe would give you output like a mouse as opposed to the CX22 style output.

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So finally, I am getting a CX-22 and it will be arriving next week.

You'll like the CX-22. I just received two in a bundle I bought. Cleaned both of them inside and out, but one trak-ball is jittering randomly all over the screen.

 

The other one works flawlessly.

 

I'll get back to the issue one some day.

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