DIY Atari 7800 Arcade Joystick

DIY Atari 2600/7800 Arcade Joystick

This is an unglamorous project with great results.

You will need: an old Atari 7800 Pro Controller, a Happ Controls Joystick and 2 Arcade buttons and some kind of project box.

This is the exact project box I used (I get nothing for linking this).
Most of the Happ Style joysticks and buttons are counterfeit but the ones at Microcenter are excellent.
Any of the top-rated 28MM hole saws will work. I used one from HSS. Looks like this:

uxcell 28mm HSS Drill Bit Hole Saw Cutter for Metal Alloy Wood
28MM DIA Hole Saw

I gutted a real Atari 7800 Pro Controller because most of the cables out there are for Atari 2600, so they are missing the second button wiring. You can get them cheap off of ebay. I believe since you are going to gut it for the wires and the resistors on the circuit board, cosmetics are beside the point. I saw some controllers on ebay in the $6-$8 range.

Atari 7800 Pro Line Joystick Controller OEM CX-24|NOT TESTED
Atari 7800 Pro Controller

Here’s what I did:
Put some masking tape on the top surface of the project box and using a sharpie, layout your controls, the middle hold and mounting holes of the joystick and the center-lines of the buttons.
Drill the joystick & button holes using the 28MM Dia hole saw. Then drill your screw holes. I think a 1/8″ drill will do it. Now peel off the masking tape and mount your controls.
Then you will take apart your Atari 7800 Pro Controller and carefully remove the wires from the circuit board. You might need to clip off the terminals from the Atari 7800 joystick and crimp better terminals. If you really don’t care what this thing looks like and you are brave, you could solder the wires right to the micro-switches. Who am I to judge? (Don’t do this.)

This is a wire map of the Atari 7800 Pro Controller:
Brown / Left
Green / Right
Blue / Down
White / Up
Button 1: Top Orange, Bottom Yellow & Resistor to Black
Button 2: Top Orange, Bottom Red & Resistor to Black

Using this wire map and the picture above, solder the wires and tape it up. The tricky part: you desolder the (2) 620 OHM resistors from the Atari 7800 Pro controller circuit board but you can can also buy new ones. These go between the ground wire and the ground terminal on the two buttons. You can clearly see this in the image above. Test it out and if you get it right, put the box together and ENJOY. Atari is much, much more fun with Arcade controls IMO.

Caveat: Before you drive yourself crazy like I did when testing: the difficulty switch on the front of the 7800 actually makes a difference with the 2 button games in some cases. For instance, when testing Xevious, both buttons launched missiles AND bombs simultaneously. I remembered that one should send a bomb and the other a missile. Well…”LEFT” difficulty does that. *slaps forehead* I ended up ripping the joystick apart driving myself crazy as to what went wrong when really nothing was wrong. UGH 😉

Telegram

In response to social media censorship, I have created an account on Telegram.

t.me/thinkzinc

If you haven’t used Telegram but like catching up with whats going on in the world without censorship or filters, Telegram is the way to go.

At first I couldn’t figure it out. Looked like yet another instant messenger app. You create an account and it’s just blank. BUT – you can search for a topic or person and find channels. If you are into vinyl records, type “vinyl” and the relevant channels pop up. I encourage everyone to setup their own channel and say what they want without fear of getting banned or censored.

https://telegram.org/

Legal Nintendo NES Rom dumping?

The next podcast & video will be about legal rom dumping/ripping. Talking about legal emulation is the precursor to then talking about the RetroPie, a Raspberry Pi setup that allows you to play just about every Retro Game in one spot with almost perfect accuracy and HDMI output. It’s my preferred way to play these games because of the preservation aspect, the better resolution, optional gamepads, better sound and game save capability.

Right now I want to cover the NES rom ripping. It’s the most complicated to do which is ironic since most people are going to see NES as the #1 retro system to play. The only thing I can find on this is a hobbyist board called “Kazzo” that you can DIY assemble or order from other assemblers on ebay (around $50).

Once you get this board, you are going to connect it with a USB cable to a PC running a 32 bit version of Windows. I would recommend a Windows XP 32-bit project machine for this and many other projects. Then you will download and run the software, obtainable here.

As if obtaining the hardware and having to setup a Windows XP project computer isn’t enough of a pain, there’s another issue. NES cartridges have different chipsets, which means you will need to get a list of these cartridges (here) that have a handy corresponding code for the software.

The next step is to use the code for the cartridge, you will pull down on the menu the same code and run the program, ripping the file.

  1. Kazzo board plugged into a
  2. 32-bit Windows XP machine
  3. The software is running
  4. Plug an NES game into the board.
  5. Select code in software, run the program to extract the ROM image.

This seems overly complicated, expensive and time consuming, but for now this is the legit way to run NES games on an emulator or Raspberry Pi/Retropie. The only other option that I can think of is getting the roms on illegal site. Never ask me for roms and NEVER ask me where those sites are. I haven’t jumped in the rabbit hole yet. Did you? Post comments or questions, I’d love to hear from you!

Would you like to be Google free?

By now you have probably heard that Google spys on your growing habits, searches, traveling locations, app usage and more. Google is so pervasive that it’s almost impossible to stop from being “the product” that gets sold and resold right? Wrong!

Now there are great Google alternatives.

Duckduckgo has setup a great guide that you can follow to help free yourself from the clutches of Google.

New WordPress Editor is the most horrific thing ever

If you updated WordPress like I did and found the most irritating, horrific editor you’ve ever seen or used, follow these instructions to get the old one back.

Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
Select Plugins.
Add New.
Search for “Classic Editor”. (Blue Square with three white lines).
Install and Active. Back to business.

GOOD GRIEF!
PS: If you are having trouble with these directions, here’s a video I found on YouTube.

Radio Station Links

CKWW-AM Windsor 580
http://playerservices.streamtheworld.com/api/livestream-redirect/CKWWAM_SC

WUOT-2 Knoxville 91.9
http://playerservices.streamtheworld.com/api/livestream-redirect/WUOTHD2_SC

WRCJ-FM Detroit 90.9
http://66.55.143.200/stream/wrcjfm.pls?mp=/stream

WDET-FM Detroit 101.9
https://wdet.streamguys1.com/live-aac

WCSX-FM Detroit 94.7
http://playerservices.streamtheworld.com/api/livestream-redirect/WCSXFM_SC

WOMC-FM Detroit 104.3
http://playerservices.streamtheworld.com/api/livestream-redirect/WOMCFM_SC.dist=vtuner

WRIF-FM Detroit 101.1
http://playerservices.streamtheworld.com/api/livestream-redirect/WRIFFMAAC_SC

WUPS-FM Harrison 98.5 (West Branch)
http://ice8.securenetsystems.net/WQON?&playSessionID=2806EC8E-9882-BBAA-2319B1AD907D60BB

WKQZ-FM Midland 93.3 (West Branch)
http://playerservices.streamtheworld.com/pls/WKQZFMAAC.pls

Trust Project = establishment silencing alternative media

A new corporate/government effort is underway to silence news that isn’t to their liking. It’s called the “Trust Project”. Ten media companies are creating a new system that can label a news source as trustworthy. Just like the Twitter blue-badge, the label is bestowed up the fortunate and taken away from anyone that disagrees with their establishment views. In other words, the alternative media was a little too effective in getting news out that conflicted with their propaganda. Despite their rigged polls and fake news, Hillary Clinton was not elected. Oops, they can’t let that happen again.

Media companies should not be trusted to verify their own trustworthiness. A collection of independent sources should validate. is NOT TO BE TRUSTED. It is the first step toward shutting down free speech. A “trust logo” will be a symbol of establishment propaganda.