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Sega Genesis to Bally Astrocade Adapter


Sonaru
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The Astrocade FAQ describes how to make an adapter for an Atari controller.  You can read about it here:

 

https://ballyalley.com/faqs/bally-astrocade_faq.txt

 

I've made this adapter and it works great.  I've also converted an NES controller to be a Sega Master System converter and used it with the adapter; that works fine too.  I suppose the adapter would work with the Genesis controller too.  Maybe you can ask on the Astrocade discussion group if someone can build this adapter for you.

 

Below are the extracted Atari adapter plans from the Bally/Astrocade FAQ (hopefully the formatting looks okay):

 

Adam

 

10) Joystick Port Information / Controller Adapter.
    ----------------------------------------------

The following is a corrected pinout list of the Bally Astrocade controller
ports.  Port pinout information found in the Bally / Astrocade manuals and
previous Bally FAQ version 1 does not use standard DB9 pin designation and thus
is backwards.

        Bally/Astrocade                         Atari Standard
        Controller port                         Controller port

        1. NC (No Connection)                   1. Up
        2. Down                                 2. Down
        3. Left                                 3. Left
        4. Right                                4. Right
        5. Trigger                              5. Paddle Potentiometer B
        6. Up                                   6. Fire Button
        7. Potentiometer end                    7. +5v (Paddle end)
        8. Ground                               8. Ground
        9. 50K Potentiometer (Knob)             9. Paddle Potentiometer A

        DB9 Male Port:        DB9 Female Plug:
          1 2 3 4 5             5 4 3 2 1
           6 7 8 9               9 8 7 6

Also above is the Atari Standard Controller port pinout list.  By wiring a
serial adapter, an Atari Bally controller converter may be constructed.  The
connections are listed here:

A1-B6   A2-B2   A3-B3   A4-B4   A5-NC   B1-NC   A6-B5   A7-B7   A8-B8   A9-B9
 ... where (A)tari (B)ally.

Thus adapters can be made to connect an Atari compatible controller to the
Bally / Astrocade or vice versa.

Please note that the Bally/ Atari/ Commodore paddles use different value
potentiometers and additional resistors are necessary to make one controller
work with another console.

Also note that the Bally/ Astrocade port does not provide voltage.  Thus
autofire circuits will not work when plugged into the port.  But the ambitious
tinkerer may build an autofire circuit within the console.

Also check Jay Tilton's Deathskull Labs website [closed since sometime in 2006,
saved at] (http://web.archive.org/web/users.erols.com/tiltonj/games/tech/#BALL)
for nice illustrations of the above.
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Thank you! From what I read, the Sega Genesis controller will not work unless it has +5v on the power pin. It would need some kind of coin battery to power it but it might be not worth going through that much trouble. At least the atari joysticks are a possibility. 

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Sega Genesis controllers (3-button) are compatible with the 2600.  the directions are correct and the fire button is the B button on the genesis pad all without power on pin 5. You should  be able to use the pin-outs given above to make an adapter for the astrocade, albeit no knob.

 

As a matter of fact, genesis controllers work on the master system by design.

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You'd be doing yourself a disservice, in my opinion, as the original Astrocade controllers are fantastic and give you the original experience. That said, here is one such adapter for Atari 2600 joysticks, and it will also work fine with Genesis controllers (B is fire button), as bah mentioned above. https://www.mercari.com/us/item/m12586899871/

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On 2/21/2022 at 12:38 PM, Sonaru said:

I actually love the Bally controllers but they're hard to find. I wanted to have two more controllers for 4 player games but I can't find any Bally controllers for sale. 

Contact @Allen Schweitzer. He's the resident Bally hardware guru/repair guy. Perhaps he has a couple spares he can sell to you. They'll be in working condition, coming from Allen, too, which is obviously a major plus!

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