View Full Version : Joysticks

May 10th, 2008, 12:49 PM
Can you use Atari Compatible joysticks with the TI?

May 10th, 2008, 01:16 PM
From what I gather after checking pinouts, the answer is no. The connector is the same (DB9) but the pins are wired differently.

May 10th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Do you know if they make any adapters? I noticed some TI's on ebay with Atari joysticks but there are no adapters included and I was always under the impression that you could only use the TI joysticks.

Thanks for the Information!

May 10th, 2008, 01:28 PM
Typical Atari pinout: http://pinouts.ru/Inputs/JoystickAtari2600_pinout.shtml
TI-99 pinout: http://www.hardwarebook.info/TI-99/4A_Joystick_Port

There might be some errors in the latter pinout, but I doubt there are. As you can see, almost every signal is at a different position, and you have two signals for "test joystick" that I don't know what they do or if the computer requires a response when it sends those signals. Those TI's on eBay may be sold by clueless sellers, or they really have adapted joysticks. When you write Atari joysticks, do you mean genuine joysticks as supplied with the Atari VCS 2600, or any 3rd party joystick commonly used with Atari compatible systems? I know Wico and other brands specially made modified versions of their joysticks to fit even the "oddball systems", if you consider the TI-99 as an oddball.

May 10th, 2008, 01:50 PM
Wico is the actual brand that I would like to use with my TI if possible. I am sure that you have seen them before. Red handle and black base.

May 10th, 2008, 02:08 PM
Yep, I have had a few and butchered one just a few weeks ago, just to receive another one in a package this week. But those were wired to be Atari compatible.

May 10th, 2008, 02:11 PM
Can I just open my Wico and change the pin configuration to that of the TI joysticks or is there more to it?

May 10th, 2008, 04:28 PM
No. While the DB9 has nine pins, typically only six of them are wired. The pins usually not used are not connected. From the pinouts, you can see the difference is rather big, and you would need a joystick cable with all nine pins wired.

What you could do however is cut off :-( the moulded connector, and solder on a new DB9 connector, carefully according to the other pinout. Bear in mind though that the TI pinout refers to two outgoing wires for testing the joystick (that it is connected?) and we'd need to figure out when and how these wires are used. Perhaps a dedicated TI forum/community could help out. Once we know how a TI joystick is supposed to handle and respond to these signals, we can move on. The Atari compatible Wico joystick is a "dumb" device which simply short circuits signals as you wiggle the stick or press the button. I'm sure the joystick functionality on the TI is technically the same, but that there might be more to it than that.

May 11th, 2008, 07:43 AM
You can use Atari joysticks with the TI--it requires a joystick adapter that sets the wires to their proper position and places diodes on some of the lines. There were several manufacturers of these or you can build one yourself using the plans produced by Ron Reuter (Mainbyte).


Here's a set pre-made and for sale on eBay for just less than $10 shipped:

http://cgi.ebay.com/TI-99-4A-JOYSTICKS-ADAPTOR-CONVERTER-NEW-TI99-4A_W0QQitemZ140230404623QQihZ004QQcategoryZ4193QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I use several different WICO sticks on my TI. WICO also produced a TI specific track ball. The best sticks for the TI weren't WICO though, they were the Prostick IIs.

May 11th, 2008, 07:48 AM
That's perfect and the price is more than right! Thanks

June 7th, 2008, 01:36 PM
There is an adapter for using atari joysticks and others. The ti units were not the greatest and the alph lock had to be up or they didn't work correctly. There are adapters on ebay every so often or check for Competition Computer on ebay and see if they have any adapters.

June 7th, 2008, 01:52 PM
I picked one up and I am now using some Atari/Wico joysticks.