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Table of Contents
Atari Asteroids AutoPlay
Goal at Beginning of Project
The goal of this project is to use a combination of custom build physical hardware and Microsoft's C# Programming Language to create an automated Asteroids “Player”. Methodologies based around how this will happen are beyond the scope of this description but two components will be necessary. These major parts/questions of the project are: How do I get the Asteroids input into the computer? How do I then interpret the “screen” and send appropriate signals back to the controls?
Goal at End of Project
To be completed at end of project.
This project is something I've dreamed of doing for about 5-6 years. I've seen videos of players playing Asteroids with their extra ship count spanning across their entire screen. I've also been very interested in some day coupling the physical world with my programming skills. I don't know a terrible amount about electronic theory but I have built quite a few electrical projects, never have designed my own circuit. This will definitely be a long and trying process.
We will be using Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Edition with C# as the programming language of choice. As far as physical tools I have a wide assortment of tools including a an oscilloscope, digital multimeter, etc.
I am using an Atari Asteroids upright cabinet manufactured in 1979. The monitor assembly is an Electrohome G05-801 Black & White Vector Monitor. The installed ROM is Rev 2 which displays “1979 Atari” at the bottom of the title screen.
Electrohome Input Pin Assignments (Deflection Amplifier - P703)
|1||X||1K Ohms||+/- 10V (0V Center)|
|3||Y||1K Ohms||+/- 7.5V (0V Center)|
|5||Z||220 Ohms Min|| 0.5V Blanking
4.0V Full On
3/12/2013 @ 8:35am
Started the write up and research for the project.
3/12/2013 @ 7:18pm
Did some investigation with the oscilloscope. I made this video:
Atari Asteroids - Oscilloscope Vector Output
I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to use the vector output as the input into the computer it moves awful fast and I'm not sure serial communications are going to be able to keep up. Another approach I may be able take is to investigate the possibility of watching the input and output to the vector RAM and looking at that for WHERE the objects are. So I'll have to draw them myself.
Asteroids - The Internation Arcade Museum
Instruction and Service Manual - G05 Monochrome X-U Monitor "Quadrascan"
The Black & White Vector Monitor FAQ and Guide Version 1.2
Atari Asteroids - Operation, Maintenance, and Service Manual
The Secret Life of Vector Monitors
Atari Asteroids - Digital Vector Generator Schematic