Re: [stella] Driving controller multitap

Subject: Re: [stella] Driving controller multitap
From: Glenn Saunders <mos6507@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 23:02:50 -0800
At 05:01 AM 2/25/2004, you wrote:
But you're still suggesting a hardware hack to plug 'em all in, right?

Do you know of some other way to connect 4 driving controllers to 2 controller ports?

You know we purchase homebrew games, costs people money to buy them. It's "extra hardware". People buy 3rd party controllers or replacement controllers. Controllers don't necessarily last forever. There is no law that says you can't use hardware that didn't come with a stock 2600, or write games that require 3rd party hardware. In fact, it helps if the emulators can't yet handle wacky controller schemes because people are going to have to buy the real thing that way. I don't see anything taboo about making Y-cable type things for the 2600. The 2600 is over 25 years old. Maybe it takes a little extra (hopefully inexpensive) hardware now and then to do something novel with it to open up some new game ideas. It's just that to really do them right someone should make them configurable so you don't need a separate Y-cable for every possible application. That's where the footcontroller on AtariAge is useful because it has a degree of programmability to it, enough that it should work for Death Derby or other games that would share the driving controller and joystick signals.

I'd love to see Chad Schell come up with something like that. It might need a very simple PGA and/or microcontroller in the middle to handle the routing options.

If done right such a thing could be used to interface Atari controllers to the Vectrex or any other system that uses DB9s (C=64, Atari 8-bit, Amiga, Genesis, Astrocade, etc...).

When you think about the versatility of such a thing it doesn't seem like such an extravagant item if it could be sold for less than $20 a piece.

I like the simplicity of the 2600's controllers and wouldn't want something as elaborate as a PSX controller for the 2600. But only having one button available can be a limitation. Even Atari recognized that when they added the 2nd fire button to the 7800. The 2600 supports more signals than any of its standard controllers generate by themselves. So that's untapped potential to me.

Archives (includes files) at
Unsub & more at

Current Thread