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Document Title: [Asteroids Deluxe.html (html file)]

Adapter to plug Asteroids Deluxe board into Asteroids harness Inspired from the recent posting on converting a Gravitar/Black Widow to a Tempest/Major Havoc, I've decided to document a similar conversion to and from Asteroids Deluxe. This is a simpler conversion than the aforementioned Tempest hackery, but you should still read everything first and be sure you understand what you're doing before proceeding. Although I can't guarantee 24-hour delivery, I'll also try to respond to any questions you may have...

Credit goes to Rick Schieve and Steve Ozdemir for letting me use their "Gravitar to Tempest Conversion" document as a template.


CREATED BY: Doug Jefferys
CREATION DATE: April 13, 1993


The author hereby grants permission to reproduce and distribute this document for personal use, subject to the condition that the document (along with any copyright and disclaimer notices) is not modified in any way. The opinions expressed within this document are those of the author only and not necessarily those of the author's employer. This document is provided for informational purposes only. Although the author has made every effort to provide accurate information, he cannot guarantee the accuracy or usefulness of any of the information contained herein due to the complexity of the issues involved. The author takes no responsibility for anything arising as a result of anyone using the information provided in this document, and the reader hereby absolves the author of any and all liability arising from any activities resulting from the use of any information contained herein.


The information in this file can be used for either converting from Asteroids to Asteroids Deluxe, or from Asteroids Deluxe to Asteroids. For the sake of this discussion, we shall limit ourselves to converting from Asteroids to Asteroids Deluxe.

Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe happen to have almost identical wiring harnesses. For testing purposes, either board may be used in either harness; the game will power up correctly and you'll be able to use the self-test switch to test the board.

Playing the game, however, will be difficult. You will find that the left and right rotation buttons are reversed, and that pressing start will add credits to the machine, and putting coins in will start your game. If you're dealing with a cocktail (sit-down) unit, you may also find that the display is upside down and/or backwards for one (or both) players.

The hard way to solve the problem is to find an Asteroids Deluxe machine, take it home, rip out its wiring harness, and spend a long time playing around with connectors every time you switch games.

The easy way to solve the problem is to make an adapter -- something you can glom onto the end of your Deluxe board to let you play Deluxe in your Asteroids cabinet.

Plug the adapter between the board and the harness as follows:

   DELUXE -> Adapter -> WIRING
    BOARD               HARNESS
The "adapter" is nothing more than two female 44-pin edge connectors wired together with some pins crossed, and a "male-male PCB". The pins to cross are as follows:

------   ---------
   N       12
  12        N
   P       13
  13        P
   S       15
  15        S
As with the Gravitar/Tempest conversion, the "male-male PCB" is merely a piece of PCB with straight traces on both sides. It is used as a "gender bender" to allow you to attach the (female) edge connector of the old wiring harness to the (also-female) edge connector of your adapter.

I haven't tried going the "other way" (turning a Deluxe cabinet into an Asteroids machine), but the information provided here should be more than enough to tell you what you need to know.



A 44 pin edge connector has 22 pins on each side. The "parts side" is labeled with letters, and the "solder side" is labeled with numbers. Some letters (e.g. O, Q, I) are not used, as they could easily be confused with numbers.
"---" denotes a straight-through connection between the two connectors.
"***" denotes a place where you'll have to switch wires.

                      ASTEROIDS  |   |  ASTEROIDS
                   DELUXE BOARD  |   |  HARNESS

               |                 |
               |             P20 |     J20
               |            -----|   |-----
               |        GND |  A |---|  A | GND
               |        +5V |  B |---|  B | +5V
               |            |  C |---|  C |
               | COIN CTR-L |  D |---|  D | COIN CTR-L
               |    AUDIO 2 |  E |---|  E | AUDIO 2
               | COIN CTR-R |  F |---|  F | COIN CTR-R
               |            |  H |---|  H |
               |    PLAYER1 |  J |---|  J | PLAYER1
               |  DIAG STEP |  K |---|  K | DIAG STEP
               |  SELF TEST |  L |---|  L | SELF TEST
               |      Z OUT |  M |---|  M | Z OUT
               |     COIN C |  N |***|  N | START1
               |     COIN L |  P |***|  P | START2
               |     COIN R |  R |---|  R | COIN R
               |  ROT RIGHT |  S |***|  S | ROT LEFT
               |       FIRE |  T |---|  T | FIRE
               |      X GND |  U |---|  U | X GND
               |      Y GND |  V |---|  V | Y GND
               |      RESET |  W |---|  W | RESET
               |     36 VAC |  X |---|  X | 36 VAC
               |        +5V |  Y |---|  Y | +5V
               |        GND |  Z |---|  Z | GND
               |            |    |   |    |
               |        GND |  1 |---|  1 | GND
               |        +5V |  2 |---|  2 | +5V
               |            |  3 |---|  3 |
               | COIN CTR-C |  4 |---|  4 | COIN CTR-C
               |    AUDIO 1 |  5 |---|  5 | AUDIO 1
               |  START2LED |  6 |---|  6 | START2LED
               |    PLAYER2 |  7 |---|  7 | PLAYER2
               |  START1LED |  8 |---|  8 | START1LED
               |       SLAM |  9 |---|  9 | SLAM
               |     SHIELD | 10 |---| 10 | HYPER
               |      Z GND | 11 |---| 11 | Z GND
               |     START1 | 12 |***| 12 | COIN C
               |     START2 | 13 |***| 13 | COIN L
               |     THRUST | 14 |---| 14 | THRUST
               |   ROT LEFT | 15 |***| 15 | ROT RIGHT
               |      INV Y | 16 |---| 16 |
               |      X OUT | 17 |---| 17 | X OUT
               |      Y OUT | 18 |---| 18 | Y OUT
               |      INV X | 19 |---| 19 | INV X
               |     36 VAC | 20 |---| 20 | 36 VAC
               |     +SENSE | 21 |---| 21 | +SENSE
               |     -SENSE | 22 |---| 22 | -SENSE
               |            -----|   |-----
               |                 |


Visual Check

As the swapped pins (N, 12), (P, 13), and (S, 15) are all vertically above one another, you should have something approximating a "cage" of wire between the pins, with the exception of three sets of "bars" which cross to the "other side" of the cage.

Safety Check

Reality Check

...or what to do if Everything Appears Upside Down or Backwards Happy Hacking!

Addendum to Asteroids -> Asteroids Deluxe conversion

Ray Ghanbari ray@mayo.edu 4/9/95

NOTE: you are responsible for what you do, not the author or anyone else. Do not attempt the following conversion unless you know what you're doing and are willing to take responsibility for the results. 'Nuff said.

Once you rig up your adapter and start playing, you may notice that the sound is heavily distorted. Fret not, this does not mean that the game is melting down! Asteroids (and other Atari vector games) use an auxillarly board to provide regulated power, and to provide amplification for sound. The Audio/Regulator board in Asteroids Deluxe was the Audio/Regulator I board (A/R I), while Asteroids had a plain old Audio/Regulator board (A/R)

If you look at the schematics, the only difference seems to be that the A/R board had additional circuitry to support an Audio Disable signal. Since this pin is always grounded in the traditional Asteroids harness, this part of the circuit is never used. I guess the engineers at Atari decided Audio Disable was no longer necessary, so they removed it from the A/R I board, and subsequently, the Audio/Regulator II (A/R II) board that was used in Battlezone and Red Baron (among others)

Unfortunately, when the Audio Disable circuitry was replaced, the resistor network between the two audio inputs and the audio amplifiers changed, changing the signal amplitude seen by the audio amps. As a result, using the A/R board with Asteroids Deluxe results in the amplified signal being clipped, leading to the heavy distortion that you hear.

There are two ways to fix the problem. The first (and easiest) is to replace your A/R board with a A/R I board, or preferably, an A/R II board. The reason to opt for the A/R II board is that the A/R II board added support for additional voltage levels, which you will need if you want to play Battlezone and Red Baron in the same cabinet. Apparently, there are different versions of the A/R II board available, which are configured to supply different voltages. Again, if you have a choice, try to find one that provides -5V (7905 voltage regulator), +12V (7812 voltage regulator), and the standard (?) +22V and -22V (unregulated). These are the additional voltages that are needed by Battlezone. These voltages are segregated on a seperate connector on the A/R II board, and hence should not require any changes to you wiring harness (the rest of the board seems to be pin compatible with the A/R board, but you should double ckeck this)

NOTE: Before you risk your electronics, _ALWAYS_ check the line levels on the reegulator board, make sure they match the schematics and your wiring harness. When you finish, repeat the procedure just to be sure.

If you do not have access to a ready supply of A/R II boards, then it is fairly simple to modify the audio amplification portion of the A/R board. You will need the following:

2 1k Ohm 1/4W resistors
2 0.22 uF ceramic disc capacitors (25V)
First, locate C6 and C15. These are 10uF electrolytic capacitors. If you do not have the schematics handy, follow the traces on the board. Audio 1 comes into pin 9 on connector J7, goes through a 10k Ohm resistor, then connects to the "+" side of C6. Audio 2 comes into pin 8, then into a different 10k Ohm resistor, then goes into the "+" side of C15.

Once you locate C6 and C15, replace them with the 0.22uF disc capacitors (orientation doesn't matter with ceramic caps)

Next find transistor Q4 and Q6. These are 2N3904's, and are used in the audio disable circuitry. Again, if you don't have schematics, keep following the traces. One leg of Q4 is connected to the "-" side of C6, and one leg of Q6 is connected to the "-" side of C15. Remove these transistors (note that this will make the audio disable circuitry ineffective)

You now need to add the 1k resistors. Here is what the final circuit should look like (Audio 2 has the same topology as Audio 1):

                            0.22 uF
               10k        + |  |
 Audio 1 ---\/\/\/\/---|----|  |---------[...rest of the circuit...]
(J7 pin 9)             |    |  |
                 /  1k

What I did was solder one leg of the 1k resistor to the ground terminal of Q4 (it has a square pad instead of a round pad) and soldered the other end to the lead on the "+" side of the 0.22uF cap. Do this for both audio inputs. For one of the audio inputs, the resistor and cap are close enough that you can connect them directly. For the other, I had to use a length of insulated wire to bridge the components together (double check that nothing is shorting!)

Reconnect the board, and the distortion should be gone...

(Note, as a side effect, the volume level on Asteroids will be lower than the volume level on Asteroids Deluxe, but that's what the volume control is for ;-)