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The Atari 5200 gets so little love


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17 minutes ago, CrossBow said:

I recently installed another UAV into one this past weekend does that count?

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I say yes, and this reminds me....I think I may need a bit of help with one in my spares box.  It has a bad power switch and in fact the board around the power switch looks damaged.  Do you think it's possible to wire a button right into whatever flip-flop circuit turns the 5200 on/off?

 

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7 hours ago, RickR said:

I say yes, and this reminds me....I think I may need a bit of help with one in my spares box.  It has a bad power switch and in fact the board around the power switch looks damaged.  Do you think it's possible to wire a button right into whatever flip-flop circuit turns the 5200 on/off?

 

Possibly although the 5200 uses an odd 3 prong switch but I've never really tried to sus it out too much. I did manage to take one apart once and clean it I think? That said, I've likely got a switch or two from my donor boards I could remove if you need one. 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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I love the 5200.  It shares number one all-time favorite console spot along side my Famicom.  Yes, it use to be the only one but I decided to let my number one pick be shared.  For Atari gaming the 5200 is my go to system, and since importing and repairing a junked Famicom that lil console has grown on me in a relatively short amount of time.  I use both heavily to feed that arcade and nostalgic urge I get from time to time. Together both give a nice rounded out experience.

My 5200 library, however, has reached 40 games.  Games I don't have are now getting to the rare side of things.  I have plans to write up reviews on the games I do own soon.  I plan to start with Zone Ranger.

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33 minutes ago, - Ω - said:

Another 5200 things that would be cool:

1) A library of 3D printed repair parts.  Some parts have gotten brittle with age, being able to replace them would be so awesome.

2) New parts, like support the UAV modification on the back.

3) Maybe even an exact replica of the cartridge case.

Well, some of these items exist already are possibly being looked into.

1. - the biggest issue with this is the size of the parts themselves. The controller storage lid and front facia are large single pieces of plastic. So it would likely take a commercial grade type 3D printer that is large enough to make these pieces. I've also been told that larger pieces that are also pretty flat like the ones needed here, will warp quite a bit during the printing process which, also complicates things. 

My thoughts on possible solutions for this has been to simply have someone make a good quality silicone mold and perhaps make resin casting replacements? But that is beyond my skill set.

2. There was another member over at AtariAge that actually did create replacement back expansion covers with holes already milled for the RCA jacks. However, he didn't seem convinced that enough space could be done to have all three RCAs and the s-video. I of course know this isn't true because I actually hand drill spaces on these covers already and have for years that allow for the RCA jacks and s-video to all fit. It is tight I won't deny that, but it can be done. I don't know what became of that project though. One thing I did suggest that was really only possible with 3D printing was that the s-video jack could be made with the flat side already in place to better hold the s-video jack and help prevent slipping and turning.

3. Again, recently over at AtariAge, someone did post a 3D printed 5200 cartridge shell. It wasn't an exact copy of the Atari made ones though and was more of a copy of the smoother shell design without dust cover similar to what the game Meteorites cartridge looks like.

Again, with all the ridges and detail on the 5200 Atari cartridge cases, it might be a bit too difficult to do with a 3D printer and likely require an actual injection mold to have to be made. I now that recently Albert at AtariAge has been looking into this for some time and I believe he now has replacement cartridge shells for the 2600 and 7800 now that are injection molded. 

I do have something new to share about the 5200 though!!! Evie over at Backbit.io has created a lot of cool products for the retro gaming community. One of her projects is the Backbit Pro flash cartridge. Now, the neat thing about this cartrige is that it is designed for multiple consoles and computers?! The main body of the cartridge contains the brains and SD card slot. But the end you plug into the console is done with an IDE type male connector on it and that allows the cartrige to use different PCB ends that plug into the cartridge allowing the flash cart to work on different kinds of systems. I have the cartridge and have the adapters to use it on the Intellivision and Vic-20. But... she did tell me that she is now designing a 5200 adapter for it?! So that would provide another means to have a flash cart for the 5200. Not sure it would have all the features that the AtariMax Ultimate SD cart can do, but it is still a nice additional option once released. Here latest firmware already pretty much has all the features needed to support the Intellivision games now including ECS bankswitching. While I haven't tested it myself fully yet, the cart can also be a RAM expander for my Vic-20. So..yeah it is a very versatile device. And having a 5200 adapter for it would be most welcome!

 

Edited by CrossBow

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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4 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I, personally, would like to see the prototype self-centering joystick get a public release.  Now that would be cool to see.  But I doubt the 500 ohm potentiometers the 5200 uses in the controllers exist anymore.

I've looked around my local radio/electronics hobby shop here and they have a spot on their peg board for some, but haven't had any in stock for a few years now. Even when they did have them, they were huge. Not just the shaft on them which I think was about 2inches long, but the overall body of the trimmer pot was way too large to fit inside the 5200 controller housing.

I think about the only option we can hope for is that someone creates a kit that allow for modern trimmers to be used that drop into place of the original but provide signals to the console that mimic the originals readings. Like using a 1k trimmer or something and using some logic to halve the readings from it back to the 5200 logic for instance. There is enough space inside the 5200 controller for a small PCB with such logic to be fitted inside I think.

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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10 hours ago, CrossBow said:

Possibly although the 5200 uses an odd 3 prong switch but I've never really tried to sus it out too much. I did manage to take one apart once and clean it I think? That said, I've likely got a switch or two from my donor boards I could remove if you need one. 

If you happen to know what each of the 3 prongs connects to...I imagine two are grounds, 1 power.  I have a custom "small" case for this board, and I'll be using a different power button mounted to the case. 

 

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13 minutes ago, CrossBow said:

I've looked around my local radio/electronics hobby shop here and they have a spot on their peg board for some, but haven't had any in stock for a few years now. Even when they did have them, they were huge. Not just the shaft on them which I think was about 2inches long, but the overall body of the trimmer pot was way too large to fit inside the 5200 controller housing.

I think about the only option we can hope for is that someone creates a kit that allow for modern trimmers to be used that drop into place of the original but provide signals to the console that mimic the originals readings. Like using a 1k trimmer or something and using some logic to halve the readings from it back to the 5200 logic for instance. There is enough space inside the 5200 controller for a small PCB with such logic to be fitted inside I think.

 

I think I recall seeing a project going on where an adapter was being made for use of PS2 controllers on the 5200.  I wonder if anything ever came of that? 

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14 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I, personally, would like to see the prototype self-centering joystick get a public release.  Now that would be cool to see.  But I doubt the 500 ohm potentiometers the 5200 uses in the controllers exist anymore.

In addition to the original self-centering Atari 5200 joystick, and the arcade joysticks that @RetroGameBoyz have been making, which are incredible - I'd also like to see this Super Nintendo / Super Famicom control pad modified for the Atari 5200. Would be perfect for the Intellivision and ColecoVision also:

 

IMG_7970.jpg

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There is another AA member that has designed a replacement 5200 controller in the original style design aesthetic that uses a self centering stick. But I don't believe any of them have gone on sale yet or what the current status of that project might be?

Only thing he did different in the layout was to put the start, pause, and reset buttons on the bottom end of the controller below the keypad section allowing him to raise the joystick up further. But aside from that, it looked to be about the same size and close shape of the originals.

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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7 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Something I just thought about...bare with me.  I wonder if there could be a way to get the 5200 to accept the thumbstick technology that either Dreamcast or the N64 used? The N64 used infrared instead of potentiometers and the Dreamcast used some kind of magnetic setup. 

Not sure on that...but someone was making or might have made adapters that allowed the use of PS2 controllers on the 5200. So if that was possible, then I'm sure something using the DC or N64 analog is also likely possible. But that is way above my pay grade.

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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3 hours ago, - Ω - said:

Oh yeah, good idea!  I'm a +1 if it comes with HDMI output.

Even better!  But I'd settle for as is or composite outs.  I've seen new motherboards, unpopulated, selling on eBay so why can't the 5100's motherboard be done?  No excuses 😉

Look at it this way; we have tons of emulated systems that include the 2600, 7800, NES, SuperNES, C64, Intellivision, ColecoVision, and tons of mini arcade cab replicas...why can't we have the 5100 released in modern times even if it is strictly a novelty item? I mean...I'd buy this if it got a release without having to think on it.  I would not want built in games but cool if it had some.

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You do know that the 5100 is the same width and only looks smaller because they did away with the controller storage section in the back. From that, it allowed them to lower the case shell height. But honestly that design isn't that much much smaller honestly. I've see this in person at the NVGM in Ft. Worth TX. 

But I have just noticed that it still seemed to require the dual 7805 voltage regulators. Look at those monster heatsinks they have on either side of the pcb? Apparently it must have gotten quite warm too because they added a lot more venting to the case shell for this prototype. The original sinks on the 5200 aren't nearly that large and they don't need to be because why they do get hot, they don't get as hot as say the 7800s regulator does for instance.

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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3 hours ago, CrossBow said:

You do know that the 5100 is the same width and only looks smaller because they did away with the controller storage section in the back. From that, it allowed them to lower the case shell height. But honestly that design isn't that much much smaller honestly. I've see this in person at the NVGM in Ft. Worth TX. 

But I have just noticed that it still seemed to require the dual 7805 voltage regulators. Look at those monster heatsinks they have on either side of the pcb? Apparently it must have gotten quite warm too because they added a lot more venting to the case shell for this prototype. The original sinks on the 5200 aren't nearly that large and they don't need to be because why they do get hot, they don't get as hot as say the 7800s regulator does for instance.

 

The 5100 would be cool to see in person in my opinion.  I don't think it's so much it's size that I'm attracted to but more of the slight visual design if it I'm drawn to.  To me it just looks like it has more of an attitude than it's laid back bigger brother. 

The heatsinks?  I'm not sure because mine gets hot easily.  My original one did too from day one.  But the parts used could be subbed with something a bit more efficient.

I still think it would be cool to see that design get a public release.  just my opinion.  

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