Author Topic: Now have a look at this....3-base Missile Command Trak-ball on Atari 8 bit !!!  (Read 10960 times)

level42

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I have come in contact with Dan Kramer via Facebook (Atari museum and Trak-bomber pages).

Dan worked at Atari and developped most (all?) of the Trak-balls they produced for the home systems.

We talked a bit about the differences between the home and arcade versions of Missile Command and then he mentioned that the guys at Atari build their own 3-base Trak-balls (guess we'd call it Control Panels) to play the ultra-rare internal-use only 3-base version of Missile Command for the Atari 8 bit computers !!!!!!

I was blown off my chair when I read that !!!

For those who don't know:
Arcade MC of course has three bases and thus three fire buttons.
Since the Atari 2600 and 8 bit computers have joystick ports with only one fire button they had to change the game for them.

Arcade, three bases:


A8 version:



They simply removed the two bases in the corners. (This also makes the game a lot easier to continue on the higher levels as you simply defend the base and 1 city).

SO........the only MC I ever knew on the A8 was the regular released 1-base version.

And now it's 2014 and I hear that a 3-base version exists !!!

Anyway, here the pictures that Dan Kramer posted:
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 08:38:31 PM by Level42 »

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Re: Now have a look at this....
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 08:31:20 PM »
Underside:


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Re: Now have a look at this....
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 08:34:29 PM »
For those who know the cabaret CP of MC: Dan measured the distances for the buttons and ball etc. and matched it on this panel. The Trak-ball itself is the same as used on the cabaret (metal version).

He also explained how they wired up the two extra buttons so that they still only had to use 1 joystick port !

He told that the guys at Atari ONLY received the rare 3-base version if they showed their self-built 3-base Trak-ball and the software was personalized (!!!!) probably to prevent it from getting "out"......

Of course I asked if Dan would want to share that version of MC and he would think about it :D Fingers crossed !

Superully

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ugly trackball + lame computer = Epic Fail  ;D
all i need is ... PONG - and a select few others: TOUCH ME, DRAGON'S LAIR, JOUST, ROBOTRON, MR DO, SAN FRANCISCO RUSH THE ROCK!!!

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Mmmm, guess who's not ever, ever going to get my LL, or SW, or whatever....

level42

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Just sent Ully a PM, but actually this can be just as well posted here:


Awesome Ully, I just pointed Dan Kramer to that thread....I'm sure it will do a lot of good for us.......thanks a lot !!

blackie63

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oh do i remember playing this on the upright 8) then back to service bench and soak test the 2600 playing the cartridge version   :lol: many happy days of my miss spent youth ,well that and asteroids, centipede,space invaders, combat,outlaw,pinball,pacman and more  :lol:

Tyrem

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missile command on my upright is serious work. respect to the guys why did it and respect to the guys playing the hell out of those machines. i forgot about the 2600 version but i am thrilled to see that there was a 3 base version. magical times back then at atari hq.
Looking for Dragons Lair 1 or 2, Space Ace, Double Dragon, Robotron and yeah... a Shinobi would be cool, too!

Superully

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Bootlicker  :P
all i need is ... PONG - and a select few others: TOUCH ME, DRAGON'S LAIR, JOUST, ROBOTRON, MR DO, SAN FRANCISCO RUSH THE ROCK!!!

Tyrem

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Bootlicker  :P

now you won't get my star wars cockpit either. :D
Looking for Dragons Lair 1 or 2, Space Ace, Double Dragon, Robotron and yeah... a Shinobi would be cool, too!

Luigi

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Great story André. Being an Atari Fanboy (both, arcade machines and home stuff) I appreciate you are sharing it with us :)

Don't worry, Dan won't be upset about Ully's comment....at least he added a smiley ;)


Other question....IF he will give the 3-base-version.....how can three fire buttons connected to let's say Atari 800XL? Through the regular 9pin-port?


Superully

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Don't worry, Dan won't be upset about Ully's comment....at least he added a smiley ;)

PLUS i was only mimicing andre´s galaga posting ...
all i need is ... PONG - and a select few others: TOUCH ME, DRAGON'S LAIR, JOUST, ROBOTRON, MR DO, SAN FRANCISCO RUSH THE ROCK!!!

Tyrem

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Don't worry, Dan won't be upset about Ully's comment....at least he added a smiley ;)

PLUS i was only mimicing andre´s galaga posting ...

yeah... thought so. :)
Looking for Dragons Lair 1 or 2, Space Ace, Double Dragon, Robotron and yeah... a Shinobi would be cool, too!

Etienne MacGyver

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Don't worry, Dan won't be upset about Ully's comment....at least he added a smiley ;)

PLUS i was only mimicing andre´s galaga posting ...

well, its a public forum, and everyone may have his opinion right ?

it Always make me laugh when you piss him off  ;D
you think he would know you by now, but you did it again  :D

i am not taking sides or whatever, not everybody has the same opinion on stuff and thats fine i guess, same for the galaga galaxian story, or mac windows, or in this case the lame system vs the mighty C64   ;) ;D ;) ;D ;)

ugly or not, it is a cool and interesting find iyam

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Great story André. Being an Atari Fanboy (both, arcade machines and home stuff) I appreciate you are sharing it with us :)

Don't worry, Dan won't be upset about Ully's comment....at least he added a smiley ;)


Other question....IF he will give the 3-base-version.....how can three fire buttons connected to let's say Atari 800XL? Through the regular 9pin-port?
Nice t see people appreciatie it here Thorsten. :)

Dan actually explained how it worked on facebook and yes it does only require one joystick port:
The 3-base TB should have the same pinouts and signals as the production CX22 in TRAKBALL mode, and additionally the left and right (outer) fire buttons need to momentarily connect each of the two paddle lines to ground to read as fire buttons. The software will read them as zero count = missile fired. I may have a diagram somewhere; it's not hard to adjust/modify the schematic.