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How can I convert an Atari 2600 Paddle (knob) controller connect to my old laptop Answered

I am working on modding my old laptop inside a destroyed Atari 2600, and i'm running into a problem adapting the Paddle controllers to be visible to Windows, and I don't have the money to buy 2 of the adapters that are sold online.
I know it's possible to convert a pentiometer to a PC (which is what's inside the Paddle controllers, a 5v pot) and I just need a way to make it seen on my PC (either as a joypad through software or modification of something)
I have plenty of old hardware available, including keyboards (which will be used to adapt the Joysticks) and ball mice (which I think might work properly, Convert the pot movement to X\Y movement, and the buttons to Right\Left click)
What I am wondering is if anyone has ever converted these to PC before WITHOUT any sort of fancy, pay for, pre-made adapter.
Ports available on my laptop emulator: serial, Parallel, 1x USB, IRDA, Dell Expantion port, 1x PS\2 port (2x if I build an adapter)


I think you'll have to get a stella adapter. (google it) I have a couple paddle controllers, and I opened one up. basically, how the paddle works is a current flows through it, and when you turn the knob in one direction, the resistance is increased, and in the other direction, it decreases. i guess the atari interprets the resistance as a coordinate. there isn't a circuit board inside the paddle controller, just a button and a potentiometer.

How do you want the paddle to work with Windows? I can see you using it as a game-controller for Pong, but is that really the sort of thing you want it for.
You'll surely only get x or y movement from a paddle. Oh, you want to use two paddles instead of a mouse like an Etch-a-sketch, that's it isn't it?


Sorry for taking so long to reply...
I want to use it with an Atari Emulator, for that real paddle expierence.
If it's possible, the emulator I'm using currently takes the X and Y movements from a mouse, and uses them in place of the paddles, and I'd be using the mouse controller as a surrogate for the $20 adapter that I could buy.

Mice use position / movement tracking, I'm not too sure about paddles, but the idea that the operate in a completely different way enters my head.
If you know how the paddles work (in electronic terms) you may need a micro controller interface to (e.g.) USB.

Can you find out exactly how the paddles work, or how they are constructed?


From what I've gathered, the Paddles are a simple 5V potentiometer and just spit out the position the the Atari. I don't have the paddles to use for actual testing, but my cousin has done research for me, and has given me that data.