Live Robot Hack Session
DJ Sures

Raspberry Pi hacking Atari 2600

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A little different tonight, rather than hacking robots. I'm a retro gamer at heart, and have been on a mission adding raspberry pi emulation to my retro game consoles. So tonight, I will be program an arduino to emulate joystick & paddle input devices, program arduino to emulate the switches, and configuring retro pi to emulate the 2600.

This isn't the first time I've hacked a retro console. There's been a few others, including the Apple II hack. I added an arduino that created an HID USB keyboard and joystick device after reverse engineering the keyboard. I should update that video to show where it's at now. Here’s the Apple pi video link:

Heres the code that emulates switches and joysticks:

Here's the final outcome...

Oh my God is that the Intellivision keyboard/computer attachment?? I had one of those and I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread, you could hack into your game Rom cartridges ,suck out the
the game characters and move them around, I did that with the Night stalker characters and made my own simple games. I have not ever seen one since years ago and they were really hard to get when new in Canada!
Ha funny story about that intellivision keyboard. I bought it on eBay and the seller contacted me about other related components. I replied and said not to worry because I was going to hack the keyboard. He replied and was super mad! Saying it was a retro collectors item and I'm going to butcher it and he'll find a new home for it and refund my money.

I've had lots of those emails in the past when I hacked old robot toys (omnibot, etc)

So that intellivision keyboard is now a USB Keyboard that works in windows or linux or what ever... It took a long time to reverse engineer the schematic.. those keyboard schematics are always a pain to work with because there's a lot of matrices and strobing, etc... But, it works great and compliments the intellivision nicely. I can even use it with the Atari, if i wanted haha
How dare you hack that keyboard! Aha ha just kidding I think that is so cool as it is now way more usable than original. I really don't know what I ever did with my whole Intellivision system,most likely just crapped out but I had every game Rom,the computer and the Intellivoice module. These days you can just find the Windows Emulator but having the original hardware would be cool !
Don’t worry - I have another intellvision and intellivoice that hasn’t been modded:)   

it’s funny because when I bought these, it was a loooong time ago and they were cheap at used shops 

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#8   — Edited
Damn that was cheap, if I saw those for that price I would have bought it too, the only great thing I found at a hock shop was the Xbox 360 Kinect camera like new for $12.00, and i still need to buy the USB adapter to PC so I can use it with the EZB and robot.
#9   — Edited

I have done the same process using your tutorial. fantastic project

I have some questions regarding the "Raspberry Pi hacking Atari 2600" :

1. Did you make any manual changes in the Retropie config ? Can you share ? 

2. When I connect the Arduino to the Raspberi PI , it enables to setup only one joystick as an input. When I test it on Windows (Control panel) , Both joysticks are being discovered and works perfect. Any suggestion how to setup the two joysticks (which are connected to one arduino which is connected to one USB ) ?

3. The Atari 2600 joystick has one red button. The Atari games uses the "B" button on Retropie as a fire command , while the "A" Retropie as for choosing a game in the game list. How do I setup the botton for both functionalities ?