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The Official Colecovision Thread


WizRider
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Hi folks.

 

I've finally got my Colecovision working after two years of problems.  I'm keen to play some through some of the classics but I'm struggling with the standard joystick a fair bit.  I know you can plug any (most?) Atari style joypads in and that does work nicely (I'm using an Atari 7800 pad) but... it's a bit of pain to have to keep swapping the controller to the original one in order to press #1 to start a game.

 

Some games will let you press #1 on the player two joypad but some won't.  New, snazzy joypads/joysticks are really only available in the US where the Colecovision did well and are REALLY expensive as a result.

 

One option is to buy a Y splitter cable for player one so that I can leave the original pad in and use the Atari 7800 pad at the same time.  Thing is, I cannot find one in the UK for love nor money.  Does anyone have one spare?  Does anyone know where I can buy one from?  Or, are there other alternatives that I'm missing?

 

Thanks.

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56 minutes ago, SeanR said:

 

Thanks for that - looks perfect.  I've just bought it.

I was searching for "DB9 Y splitter" or "Atari joypad splitter" etc. and didn't think of the old Amiga mouse/joystick problem.  Thanks for taking the time.  Much appreciated.

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12 hours ago, filecore said:

Hey @WizRider how are you connecting to your TV? On my long list is to add composite or better to mine. Also, you mentioned problems - what did you have to fix? I know that my machine has a dodgy on off switch but it sounds like what they do in this video will sort it. 

 

Hi @filecore.

 

Sorry in advance for my long tale of woe...

 

About 2 years ago I started to see some random glitches visually when playing most games.  I contacted the wonderful Ian Gledhill (ian@mutant-caterpillar.co.uk) at Mutant Caterpillar and he fixed the problem for me.  I'd also asked him to add a composite mod if he could.  He was a bit stuck for a few months because he was so busy and because he couldn't find any online notes on how to do a PAL composite mod but he eventually worked it out and sent it back.  It worked for about an hour(!) before my power supply just died on me.  I was gutted as I'd been waiting for about 6+ months for him to sort it.

 

I then tried to find a replacement power supply.  Easy enough in the US but really hard in the UK.  I eventually found one on eBay, went through the auction and won it at £50ish.  It was sold as working but when I plugged it in, it was dead.  Only then did the seller say that he'd assumed it was working as it was fine when he tried it last (ages ago).  I got a refund but still had no power supply and no working Colecovision.  A few months later, with no original power supplies coming up for sale, I gave up and bought a super-duper-mega power supply from the US.  It took ages to arrive and cost me around £90 including delivery etc.  You can find it here. When it did arrive though, it showed lots of interference on screen.  It was just pretty much unusable for me (maybe because of the composite mod?).

 

Then, after a few hours of use, I also started seeing those visual glitches again leading me to wonder if the new power supply had caused it or not.  I was gutted, no (decent) power supply and a re-broken Colecovision.  I bought another new power supply on eBay a month or two later and this one didn't work either although the seller did kindly send me a replacement that did then work (finally!).  In the meantime, I'd received news that a new batch of ColUSB's had been made at dragonbox.de and I manged to buy one of those too.

 

I then contacted Ian Gledhill again and he was so helpful - offering to fix the new graphics glitches even though I was technically out of warranty.  He turned the machine round really quickly this time and finally, about a month ago, I had a working Colecovision and two working power supplies.  I settled on the ColUSB seeing as it's newer, smaller and less prone to fail than a 40 year old original power supply.

 

I'm just keen, after two years and lots of grief, to get the joypad splitter cable so I can easily play any of the games via my Atarimax Ultimate SD Multicart.

 

P.S. Lots of people did suggest that my on/off switch could be the culprit behind the second set of graphical glitches but that turned out not to be the case - it was just more failing RAM chips.

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Thanks everyone.  The splitter / joypad double works perfectly.  At last, I can finally play my Colecovision with a decent joypad and without any messing or fussing with plugging and unplugging controllers.

 

It's a really good system considering its age.  I think, considering it was released in 82/83, that it does a great job of the arcade conversions of that era.

I was playing Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr, Buck Rogers, Tapper and Burger Time last night and they are all really decent conversions.

 

I need to weigh up whether to buy a Super Game Module from Opcode Games or not now though.  Lots of new games and an upgrade to the power of the console but... not as authentic and probably tricky to get hold of in the UK.  Tempted though...

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On 31/10/2021 at 12:28, WizRider said:

Thanks everyone.  The splitter / joypad double works perfectly.  At last, I can finally play my Colecovision with a decent joypad and without any messing or fussing with plugging and unplugging controllers.

 

It's a really good system considering its age.  I think, considering it was released in 82/83, that it does a great job of the arcade conversions of that era.

I was playing Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr, Buck Rogers, Tapper and Burger Time last night and they are all really decent conversions.

 

I need to weigh up whether to buy a Super Game Module from Opcode Games or not now though.  Lots of new games and an upgrade to the power of the console but... not as authentic and probably tricky to get hold of in the UK.  Tempted though...

 

It also plays Coleco Adam games. Donkey Kong on the Adam has the pie screen!!!

 

Buck Rogers is enhanced too.

 

I wanted an Adam back in the day but I didn't know it had better games.

 

The Adam conversion is the one that made Nintendo President, Hiroshi Yamauchi, go apeshit as he asserted that Nintendo had only given console rights to Coleco and not computer conversion rights. The latter was sold to Atari.

 

The SGM also plays host to MSX conversions because the hardware is so similar to the earlier Colecovision.

 

 

A truly great system and I was an early adopter, in the same way I was an early adopter of the Amiga 1000. *wink*

 

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12 hours ago, Gregory Wolfe said:

It also plays Coleco Adam games. Donkey Kong on the Adam has the pie screen!!!

 

Buck Rogers is enhanced too.

 

I wanted an Adam back in the day but I didn't know it had better games.

 

The Adam conversion is the one that made Nintendo President, Hiroshi Yamauchi, go apeshit as he asserted that Nintendo had only given console rights to Coleco and not computer conversion rights. The latter was sold to Atari.

 

The SGM also plays host to MSX conversions because the hardware is so similar to the earlier Colecovision.

 

Is it just a case of putting the Adam games onto the same SD card in the Atarimax multi cart?  If so, I'll definitely check them out.

Also, is it possible to get an SGM in the UK easily?  Most things Colecovision are really hard to find here.

 

P.S. "Apeshit" - I like what you did there. :hat: 

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2 hours ago, WizRider said:

 

Is it just a case of putting the Adam games onto the same SD card in the Atarimax multi cart?  If so, I'll definitely check them out.

Also, is it possible to get an SGM in the UK easily?  Most things Colecovision are really hard to find here.

 

P.S. "Apeshit" - I like what you did there. :hat: 

 

This is probably the best way to play all things Colecovision, including SGM games. 

 

I'd really like one.

 

https://collectorvision.com/store/shop/colecovision/collectorvision-phoenix/

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Well since this seems to be becoming the official Colecovision thread I want to highlight one of my favourites on the original hardware, Frenzy.

 

The sequel to my favourite 2600 arcade port Berzerk, Frenzy was every things a sequel should be.

 

 

Destructible walls (in a time when that was a rarity), reflective walls, special rooms, neat musical stings in the early 80's this game had the lot. I was very sad that this never got ported to any other machine 

 

48894-frenzy-colecovision-screenshot-you

 

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I loved Berzerk on the Atari VCS and I just know I’d love to play Frenzy on the Colecovision.

 

was there an official Colecovision thread?

 

Now that the OP’s Q has been answered, perhaps this thread can be merged into it.

 

I loved my Colecovision.

 

And the videogame (console crash) did affect the UK. (We’re not talking about your computers)*
 

* I was also an early adopter of a C64. Some of my mates said my Colecovision had better arcade games than the C64, Zaxxon was one example my friend cited.

 

Console games in the UK dried up after the crash and there was no UK console market until Sega and Nintendo entered the fray. I was playing on my Amiga by then and it took the Super Famicom to tempt me away.

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1 hour ago, Gregory Wolfe said:

 

* I was also an early adopter of a C64. Some of my mates said my Colecovision had better arcade games than the C64, Zaxxon was one example my friend cited.

 

 

 

Depends on which C64 version they're talking about. The cart release is awful, the cassette/disk version is better than the Coleco version.

 

I wrote about this back in April 

There's a really interesting story there.

 

Same with Donkey Kong on the C64, there's been three different ports over the past three decades now. I did love the Coleco, it was home to ports that never made it anywhere else, Turbo was amazing back in the day.

 

 

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I didn't say I agreed with him. He preferred the Colecovision version of Zaxxon to the Synapse version on the C64,

 

There are at least 3 versions of Donkey Kong on Colecovision, the original, the Adam version and the SGM arcade version. I think the SGM version looks fabulous.

 

There's a new version of Turbo for the Colecovision. 

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My friend having a Coleco led to me buying way too many bad 2600 ports, well bad in comparison to the Coleco. At least they were cheap.

 

The Coleco version of Pac Man variant Mouse Trap was amazing.

 

46022-mouse-trap-colecovision-screenshot

 

The 2600 version? 

 

46024-mouse-trap-atari-2600-screenshot-a

 

I mean it just couldn't match it. (Mind you my mother played it all the time when we were at school.)

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9 hours ago, Gregory Wolfe said:

was there an official Colecovision thread?

Now that the OP’s Q has been answered, perhaps this thread can be merged into it.

 

I've just done a search and can't find an official Colecovision thread so I renamed this one.  Hope that's okay with everyone.

 

I'm going to spend some time trying some Adam games and then report back.

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4 hours ago, WizRider said:

 

I've just done a search and can't find an official Colecovision thread so I renamed this one.  Hope that's okay with everyone.

 

I'm going to spend some time trying some Adam games and then report back.

 

Are you expecting Adam games to work on a standard Colecovision?

 

I think you need an SGM or equivalent to play Adam games on anything other than an Adam.

 

It seems that requires an actual SGM, a Phoenix or a Mister.

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21 hours ago, Gregory Wolfe said:

 

Are you expecting Adam games to work on a standard Colecovision?

 

I think you need an SGM or equivalent to play Adam games on anything other than an Adam.

 

It seems that requires an actual SGM, a Phoenix or a Mister.

 

Erm... I was but now I'm not.  I misunderstood your earlier post. 🤔

Question is: how do I get an SGM in the UK (although a bit of googling suggests an SGM2 might be on the way).

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Ah that's cool - it's now a Colecovision thread. :) As you might guess from my avatar, I love a bit of Q*bert. I own Q*bert for most systems. The Coleco version is excellent.

 

 

I hadn't heard about the SGM. I'm also a big fan of the Atari 7800, and the SGM sounds like a bit like the Atari 7800 XM (Expansion Module)?  The problem in the Atari 7800 community was that it split homebrew dev between original hardware and the new, (between the haves and the have nots, if you like).

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From what I'm reading, I'm getting the impression that all new conversions and homebrew require an SGM.  I might be wrong on this and there might be exceptions but that's how it reads from someone just starting to get into the Colecovision (finally!).

 

I might try and collect/find all the games that are available and then give them a go on the original console, an emulator and a MiSTer Multisystem when it arrives (hopefully later this month).

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13 minutes ago, WizRider said:

From what I'm reading, I'm getting the impression that all new conversions and homebrew require an SGM.  I might be wrong on this and there might be exceptions but that's how it reads from someone just starting to get into the Colecovision (finally!).

 

Yeah that's how I understand it.  Personally I'd prefer to see homebrew devs do their thing using original hardware, rather than these new added capabilities. (To me, that's not the colecovision). But, each to their own! And it's good that there's any interest in any of this! 🙂

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I like how the SGM allows you to play Adam versions on original console hardware.

 

I also love that it bridges the technical gap between Colecovision and MSX 1, such that conversions from original MSX games to Colecovision are possible.

 

I'll be honest, I also love that the new homebrew games, in general, target the SGM. They seem almost in every way as if there had been a Colecovision 2.

 

I think this SGM stuff might be the thing which tips me over into getting a Mister.

 

@WizRideroriginal games on original hardware and SGM stuff on Mister sounds ideal. The SGM has always been a pain in the backside to actually get hold of.

 

 

 

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