Question on joysticks and paddles?

Store Forums Hackvision General Discussion Question on joysticks and paddles?

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    I’m thinking of building my Hackvision to use original (standard) Atari 2600 joysticks and paddles. What I wanted to know is this. If I cut two db9 ports on the front of my case so that two joysticks can be used in the case of two player games, is it possible to also connect those db9 ports to the paddle contacts so that when a joystick is used you can use the joystick, then unplug the joystick and hook in a paddle and have the paddle work for paddle required games like pong. I’m thinking it might not be so simple. Perhaps a snip of code would be needed in each game I run that can somehow disable use of either the joysticks or paddles so that when a gaming controller is plugged in, the system will only accept signal from the proper controller type?

    Does anyone have any info for me on the above idea? Can it be done? If worse comes to worse, I can just cut two more db9 ports and wire ports 1 and 2 to the joystick contacts and 3 and 4 to the paddle contacts. I’m hoping to avoid that though as it won’t look so good in the case I plan on using.



    I think I might have found some info. It appears that of the 9 pins on the Atari db9 controller port 3 are not used. These three pins ARE used for the paddle. Here is what I found.

    1 WHT <-- Up
    2 BLU <-- Down
    3 GRN <-- Left
    4 BRN <-- Right
    5 n/c – Not connected for Joystick (B Potentiometer Input for Paddle)
    6 ORG <-- Button
    7 n/c – Not connected for Joystick (+5V for Paddle)
    8 BLK — Ground(-)
    9 n/c – Not connected for Joystick (A Potentiometer Input for Paddle)

    UPDATE: I realized that the Atari 2600 paddles had 2 per db9 cable thus the A and B Potentiometer Input for Paddle. If I’m correct then each port only needs 2 of the three paddle wires connected. Ex: 5 and 7 on port A would go to paddle A on the board, and pins 5 & 7 on port B would go to paddle B on the board.

    UPDATE 2: The more I look it over, the more I seem to be figuring out. Pin 6 is for the button of the joystick and paddles. I’m not sure if you can split a wire and connect it to the fire button for the joystick and paddle or that might cause problems, but since I don’t believe the paddles need all three pins for a single paddle on each port that would leave pin 5 empty. I could always wire pin 5 to the button contact on the Hackvision board and then when I build my own paddles I’ll wire it so that the button wire from the server button links to pin 5, which would connect to the paddle A or B button contact on the Hackvision board. This would work right?

    NOTE: I have two paddle kits that I purchased from the Hackvision store. I won’t be using the Atari 2600 paddles. I have a nice casing for them as well.

    So, I’m assuming I can just run those two or three lines to the paddle contacts on the Hackvision board. One paddle per db9 port should work right?

    Thanks for any assistance


    PS: As you can probably tell I’m new to this stuff. I’ve been a computer hobbyist for 30 years almost. I’m just now getting into the building and soldering aspect of electronics. So far its been fun and I have been reading books on electronics and even soldered a Radio Shack LED Christmas tree kit that I got for $12. I wanted to get some practice before soldering my Hackvision. The tree came out pretty well. Only a LED or two would not light and I realized I may have gotten to close to the LED and the heat of the soldering iron burned out the LED. Oh well… I’ll desolder them and replace them soon. 🙂 Sorry for rambling.


    JDraugr, sounds like you’re having fun. When a button inside the joystick is “pressed” (like when you move hte joystick up), does that connect the pin (in this case WHT) to ground? That’s the way the inputs on the Hackvision are programmed; a button press is indicated by the pin being connected to GND.

    It looks like there are enough digital input pins on the hackvision to accomodate two joysticks. Joystick A would connect to pins D2,D3,D4,D5,D10 just like the onboard buttons. Joystick B could connect to pins D6,D8,D12,D13 and A0 that are broken out on the right side of the board. The software would need to be changed to look for input on these pins for Joystick B input.

    Regarding the button pin being shared between joystick and paddle — that should be fine to have it wired to both connections on Hackvsions (D10 and D0). When the button is pressed it will connect to ground and the software can detect that.

    I think you are on the right track — just do some experimentation. Start with one DB9 connector for one joystick/paddle wired to D2, D3, D4, D5, D10 for joystick and D0,A3 for the paddle.

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