View Full Version : Com ports and Atari ST joysticks.

Atari Mega St
September 3rd, 2004, 07:11 AM
What are comports on a PC's for?
Are they old mouse/joystick ports?

I have two old joysticks, for an Atari St computer. I want to use them for MAME. (Pac Man, Robotron, MrDo etc)
I have MAME installed on my pc with an chaintech mobo, with two comports.

I do know that the mouse and Joystick connection, on my Mega St2 are the same on the outside at least, as the two comports. The two Joysticks do fit in both comports. The Joystick was sold 15 years ago, for Atari Amiga and PC.

From the internet , I figured out, that the joystick can operate with 5 volt, and without this. I also found a site which stated the comport was used for printing and supplied 12 volt. Can anybody confirm this? That could fry the joystick.

I do not want to destroy my pc, nor the two joysticks.
Those digital joystick aren't sold anymore.
(I understand that even when its possible, I might have to find software and or drivers)

Can anybody help me?
Can I just measure, the comport with an multi meter? I can inmagine that the comport is not active at the moment, because its not used.
How to solve this problem?
I found some sites which connects the digital joysticks to the analog joystick port of a soundcard. But I would like to keep the joysticks in one piece, so I can still use them on my Mega St too :mrgreen:

(and then to think, that if you take the mouse out of your Atari St, you can use that port for a second joystick. :wink: )

Pc: AMD 2500XP+ windows Xp pro, Chaintech mobo.

September 3rd, 2004, 08:57 AM
The com ports are simple serial ports on the PC. They are not compatible with the old joysticks even though the plugs are identical.

I don't know if you'd be ruining the ports or the joysticks, but it's still a bad idea to plug those in when the machine is on.

I'm not familiar enough with MAME to know for sure, but I think there are folks that sell a variety of products to convert old digital or analog joysticks to USB which might be an option.

You can always buy one of the dedicated arcade style controller systems (for a few hundred dollars) that will give you everything you'd ever need!

I even saw a full console at the Vintage Gaming Convention last month that was a complete arcade game with a MAME based PC inside. All you had to do was plug it in and play. . . very cool!


Atari Mega St
September 3rd, 2004, 09:35 AM
but it's still a bad idea to plug those in when the machine is on.

Havent tried that. I know they fit , because I tried it on a broken mobo.

but I think there are folks that sell a variety of products to convert old digital

I have not found any.

I will some day but at least an arcade controller :wink:

September 5th, 2004, 02:17 PM
The 9-pin (DB9) serial port on the PC is by the way down-scaled from the original 25-pin (DB25) serial port. I think it lacks a few less used pins, but most were extra ground or not connected, at least in the IBM PC implementation?

If you google for "Atari joystick PC", you get some decent hits like these ones:


I don't know if either of these sell ready made solutions, but it gives you an idea what it takes to build an interface (which normally connects to the game port associated with your PC sound card). I can't say which are supported by various emulators though.

CP/M User
September 8th, 2004, 03:09 PM
"Atari Mega St" wrote:

> What are comports on a PC's for?
> Are they old mouse/joystick ports?

Depends on which type of Comport you're referning to.
A 25 Pin Comport is usually for Modem, but can also be
used in conjunction with a cable to transfer data from
one computer to another (with the approrate program).

9 Pin Comports are usually for Mouses. However, I've
got one for my notebook which I can plug a Modem into
(I had to buy a connector along the way to get 25 Pins
instead of 9).

CP/M User.

September 9th, 2004, 04:16 AM
Don't forget (or please do forget) serial printers, as opposed to those you connect to the parallel port.

Atari Mega St
December 25th, 2004, 07:09 AM
(or please do forget) :lol:

Thanks, in the first link, there is another link, which will help me.
This site is luckely also availeble in english.


They discripe how to connect two Atari joysticks, to an Pc.
Thats exactly what I need !

Robotron (through mame) here I come !

Robotron can be played online. http://www.shockwave.com/sw/content/robotron

You need to download some stuff, and it is set up for one hand on the keyboard, and one hand on a joystick. ( I used a sidewinder)