Well, my adult A.D.D. is running the show again, and instead of working on what I said I would this weekend, I've chosen something new to do. While looking for something else in some storage boxes, I came across my two controllers for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade/Videocade (labeled as all three over the years/regions) system that I've owned for over a decade but have never gotten around to repairing and restoring yet. They use the same stolen 9-pin Atari controller port design as many did back in the day, but they are wired differently, so I'll have to rewire them. In fact, the Bally Astrocade (the model I have, IIRC) and I think all named versions had four controller ports like the 400/800, but each controller is specifically wired to be plugged into a specific port and the controllers are numbered 1-4! But they are both joystick and paddle in one! Of course the paddle, since there is only one, would only work for one player paddle games.
After doing some preliminary testing, I have discovered that Bally controller 1 is wired correctly already for Atari joystick left, right and down. Up and trigger do not work. On controller 2 only down works IF the button is pressed, so I think I'm just going to convert number 1 for now, there's less rewiring.
I haven't paddles yet, but I already took it apart not thinking about the paddle, so I'll get the up directional and trigger working at least, and go from there.
EDIT: I do believe the Bally controller cords are missing pins, so luckily I have an extra or two Atari compatible controller cords on hand to re-wire into it. So, with a complete re-wiring anyway, I think I'm going to do the number 2 controller so I have the number 1 on hand for when I do get around to fixing the Bally system.
It's a pretty sturdy unit, and clean still. Though the casing is old and brittle and already chipped in a couple places. I'll see if I can repair it.
Well, even though I've decided to re-wire the #2 controller from the Bally, I went ahead with some further testing on the #1 controller after I re-assembled it and discovered that the paddle pot works like an Atari, I tested it with Arkanoid. It needs serious cleaning though, as it had severe "jitters." I also discovered after some contact cleaning that the joystick up on the Bally controller is the fire button for Atari, and there is currently no "up" connected, the trigger/fire button on the Bally doesn't work, even though I think it does, that is, I think the mechanics are fine, it's just not hooked up to the right pin for either up or paddle fire trigger which is different from joystick fire button.
But I don't have an Atari joystick cable handy like I thought, I forgot I ended up using it for my SpyHunter controller holder when I found out Atarilab Interface doesn't support a fire button. The irony is that I used the Stick-Stand CX-40 holder to make the Spy Hunter controller holder with extra button, and soon after, both my CX-40 joysticks started going out. I have to rebuild them both before I can use my Spy Hunter controller again!
So, I ended up setting the Bally controllers aside and getting into about 3 hours straight of Atari shooters including HAR'em, Extirpator, Transmuter and Robo-Type. (luckily I still have a working Wico Command Control stick and Sega Megadrive controller) I LOVE the beginning music of Extirpator, I remember I used to have it on a demo disc I got in the early 90's that had musix from all the English and European games we didn't see published in the states. I'd always sit there, listening to the tunes, with associated game names, wondering if the games were as cool as the music!
When it's my free time, I let my mind wonder and my A.D.D take me where it may...
I'll get back to the #2 controller shortly, I can still make a new cable for it from scratch...
Ok, so with the Super Sketchiness behind me, before I delve into reviewing that graphic tool, I wanted to get back to converting the Bally controller. I may have adult A.D.D., but I don't forget too much yet, sooner or later I return to projects. This time it's sooner.
So, to recap, joystick R, L, D and paddles work like Atari controllers. The Fire button is mapped to U on the Bally controller, so I have to take the wires connected to joystick up and connect them to the fire button. But, unless the fire button isn't working, which I doubt since it's simple and sturdy leaf-spring tech, the wires to it are not for up on the joystick. That leaves B pot (paddle) input working as a fire button on Bally pin-out, which means joystick up is not a connected line, as all else is +5v or ground. If it's the same as Atari for those pins. Time to look up the Bally pin-out I guess, but it's fun to figure it out on my own...
After discovering I don't have the plug to make a joystick+paddle cable from scratch (this one requires almost all pins connected and neither Atari joystick or paddle cords have that, I've decided against modding the Bally controller and save it for the Bally system after all. Instead I'm focusing on getting one work CX40 controller out of my two until I get a couple of Best Electronics deluxe rebuild kits. So ends this thread for now.