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5200 Adaptor


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From the info I've culled, Atari was working on a 7800 adapter for the 5200 called the "Slam Pam" ... I don't know how feasible this would have been however.


If such a monstrosity was being worked on, it probably would have been an entire 7800 packaged up into an adapter that fit into the 5200 cartridge port. At that point you might as well just get a standalone 7800, although you would have only needed one hookup to your TV. Would you really want to use those 5200 controllers with 2600 and 7800 games? Ack!



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Ok there Matt,


Get your mind outta the gutter!!! :-)

Actually later systems were named after wifes, daughters, pets and so forth, PAM was "Personal Arcade System" but was also a secretary for I think Ray Kassar, not sure, I need to go back to check. Stella was Joe Decuir's bicycle, the Secam 800XL was Rose, the Atari 1060 CP/M module was Sweet-Pea, the Atari 1450XLD was Dynasty, the Atari 2600jr was Bonnie, so as for Slam-Pam it was in fact a full 7800 with a 5200 connector on it, just like the CX55 2600 adapter which was also a whole 2600 on a card with a 5200 connector on it. Most like Slam-Pam either meant you slammed into a 5200 making it a 7800 or it was slamming the door on the PAM and everything was going towards the 7800 which in fact was going to happen, the 5200 was on its way out, with or without the Tramiels help. I wonder if that is why such titles as 5200 Pac Man jr, Super Pac Man, Last Starfighter and others which were excellent games that were done or almost done were never released as to make room for the 7800.... hmmmm, its possible, now it just needs to be confirmed :-)




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It is most pleasant to see you grace us here!


Now I do have something to say on this whole 5200/7800 adapter business.


I always admired the fact that Atari tried to keep things compatible for the 5200 all across the board. However, I always wondered why a 5200 adapter wasn't made for the 7800? I think it would have been possible?


I do think that the 2600 adapter and this unfinished 7800 adapter proto started the trend from which Sega got the ideas to upgrade the Genesis so much later on with the CD add-on and the 32x adapters.


BTW: Curt, you ever secretly finish the 7800 adapter for the 5200 for yourself?!



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My theory on why it was never finish is public opinion. Think about it, if the 7800 was suppose to be this advanced machine with all these new graphic capabilities what would people think if you could just plug a module into your 5200 and have the same thing? People would start thinking maybe the 7800 isn't as advanced as they thought.


I mean if you were able to get a Playstation adapter for your Nintendo wouldn't you start to wonder how advanced PS really was?


Just a thought.



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Tempest...I see your point.


But the modules were actually complete consoles that simply acted as an interface to run the carts. The main 5200 deck would only be used to provide the contol interface and the switches for game select etc.




The add ons were complete consoles minus the rf circuits and controllers for the joysticks.


Curt correct me unless I am wrong. But for me this is how they appear to work. Also the power would have been provided by the main deck to the add on also.


So for me...I understand how they work and so I wouldn't have thought the 7800 to be any less of a machine than the 5200 or anymore less advanced because of this.




On that prototype I see all the chips for the Maria, Bios, STella, Riot and Tia..but I only see one Color pot adjust?! Which did that control? The 2600 or the 7800 side?


Really how complete was this prototype?




[ 06-26-2001: Message edited by: -^Cro§Bow^- ]

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As for a 7800 adapter for the 5200.... Its a possibilty you may see that sometime down the road, right now I'm stilling working on the 7800 keyboard, ran into a very expensive snag and I'm trying to code a new processor to replace the original which is the weirdest PIC MCU I've ever read up on. Its tough working without the source code, if I had the source code it probably could've been done in a night or two, but what I do have is the source code to the protocol that the 7800 uses to talk to the original keyboard, so I'm going in that direction, the rest is a matter of creating a keyboard scanner, the SIO portion is really hanging me up but it'll get there. But back to the 7800 adapter.... well, you may see that sometime down the road, but with some interesting twists and enhancements which I feel are rightly necessary... I'll keep everyone informed. Sorry I don't post often, I'd like to more, but time is tight and life is busy


Thanks and take care...




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Twists and enhancements?!


That is intriging...


I know that the 7800's custom 6502c added the ability to be able to pause the cpu. But didn't the 5200 have a pause on it as well?! I actually don't have a 5200 but I thought that it did.


As for enhancements...I am curious if you are talking about enhancing the 7800 adapter so that the games are better on the 5200...or if you are talking about improving the 5200 games on it.


I would imagine that you might be making it so that it had a passthru on it allowing you to play both the 5200 and 7800 carts without removal of the adapter that would be cool.


On the keyboard am I to assume it connects via Joystick port 2? If so...then I have two questions.


1. What on earth was the need for the expansion port on the original 7800 units if the joystick port 2 is being used for the keyboard interface.


2. Since I have Eckhard's DevOS installed and have modified my 7800 to use Joystick port 2 for interfacing to the PC. Can I still use the keyboard on this 7800? The modded 7800 does still have joystick port 2 for a second player works just fine.


So there you have it. On a final note...


If we do indeed get the keyboard avail then what software will ever be avail for it? Will the keyboard come complete with some sort of Atari Basic cart for the 7800 or will that be in the keyboard itself?


I apologize with the questions...but I know that many others are just as curious as I.

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Ah!!! The infamous 7800 Side Expansion port... It was meant for external devices such as a Laserdisc and also engineering notes reference "OptoDisk Project" I'll see if David Leonardis can scan those notes in sometime soon and I'll post them up onto the Atari History site in the 7800 and tech doc's section. Thats why the expansion port directly tapped all the lum lines off of the MARIA as well as other bus lines so that you could mix video input (not output) with graphic overlays, I can say this: Dragons Lair would have been kick ass on the 7800 if it had been done!!! :-)




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Indeed it would have been quite a site to behold the almight LaserDisc games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace on the 7800.


So let me get this straight...all kinds of cool kick ass stuff never got beyond initial design or prototype stages...basically because the Tramiels shelved the thing in 84 and didn't release it until 86.


You know it figures once again...The Sega 32x adapter overlays the video on top of the original RGB signals from the genesis video. And here Atari was thinking of this back in 83!?


I can't help but wonder why this news of what the expansion port wasn't made more public. It could have changed a lot of things in our beloved history of Atari.

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Originally posted by -^Cro§Bow^-:

2. Since I have Eckhard's DevOS installed and have modified my 7800 to use Joystick port 2 for interfacing to the PC. Can I still use the keyboard on this 7800? The modded 7800 does still have joystick port 2 for a second player works just fine.


There is no modification done to the joystick ports. They should just work as normal. I must admit that in DevOS 0.1 I didn't reset the direction on joystick port 2 after a transfer. So if you want to use a game on the RAM cart that uses both joystick ports but doesn't reset them at startup, the second joystick wouldn't work properly. But playing games from carts without doing any transfer first shouldn't cause any problems.



Ciao, Eckhard Stolberg

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