Wico Command Control joystick adapter

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Wico Command Control joystick adapter

I picked up a Wico Command Control Joystick adapter in a box of misc gear today, and was wondering how this thing actually works.  It has a regular joystick pin connector that goes into a breakout box with two 9-pin joystick ports and it appears to be a digital to analog converter (officially for Atari-compatible Wico joysticks).  I assume this means it would allow standard Atari joysticks to work with the 2e?

 

Does anyone have any experience with this kind of device?

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Potentiometer simulator

I have never seen that type of adapter before, but I think you're on the right track about what it does.

Software that uses the analog stick inputs to discriminate between "left, center, right" (and the corresponding states for the vertical inputs) could work with this type of adapter and a digital joystick. Any of the games with Lode Runner-style controls, for example. It would not work so well with flight simulators, or other software that uses the analog inputs actual value such as Dazzle Draw. My guess is that it simply uses pass transistors and fixed resistors to simulate the (left, centered, right) potentiometer states given the digital joystick switch positions.

I do have some Macintosh joystick adapters and those are a fair bit more complicated since they must understand the ADB protocol.

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I picked up one of these last

I picked up one of these last year and took it apart to see how it works. Here is a schematic of one of the joystick inputs. The other input is identical.

 

Wico Command Control joystick adaptor schematic

 

It uses standard Atari/Commodore joysticks and works well in any Apple II, II Plus, or IIe with a 16-pin game I/O connector. I presume this also includes the Apple IIgs but I do not have one to check. In a neutral position, the Apple reads 61k ohms; in the left or up positions, 0 ohms; and in the right or down positions, 161k ohms. There are small trim pots to adjust the output if needed. The biggest flaw is that it doesn't work well with games that expect two buttons or absolutely require analog input.

 

You can play with an interactive simulation of the circuit here: WICO joystick adapter CircuitJS simulation (download CircuitJS file: Plain text iconwico.circuitjs.txt)

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Very Cool

Thanks for the detail. That circuit simulation is pretty cool.

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Too many years ago I designed
Too many years ago I designed a digital joystick interface for the Apple II. It was used primarily by the US government in a Corvus (Apple compatible) computer. It generated an interrupt whenever the joystick was activated and then the switches could be read by software.
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Corvus Cat...  I remember

Corvus Cat...  I remember those.  Not very common.  I don't think they made a whole lot of them.  The first hard drive I had was a Corvus 10MB.  It was one of the early ones with 8" platters.

 

Pretty cool card though.  Of course it would be kinda like the Sirius Joyport which required custom code to read it.  That's the nice thing about the Wico style adapter or the one the schematics are up on Atari Age for that uses a digital multiplexer chip, they work with a lot of software out of the box.

 

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Interesting Card Jeff

Interesting Card Jeff,  Do you have a schematic of it?  Did it have some sort of analog to digital conveter on it?

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No, just parallel port for
No, just parallel port for reading switches.
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Thanks for sharing...

Thanks for sharing.  This clarifies its function.

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