Atari home computers were much more popular in Europe than in the US. I grew up with an Atari 520ST in Dallas, TX and luckily we had a cool, niche shop called Megabyte Computers that carried marked-up games, spare parts , upgrades, and imported ST Format magazines from the UK.
25 years later, however, I’m in Kansas City and I don’t know of any cool computer shops – certainly none that sell parts and add-ons for Ataris! My current quest? To get a PS/2 mouse to Atari mouse adapter for my Atari Falcon. There are options on eBay and via forums, but they are shipped from various countries in Europe but I’m VERY impatient when it comes to waiting for overseas mail. Sure, packages can take as little as a week but they could just as easily take 3 weeks or more!
What to do?! After hours of Google-based research, I identified a forum post by an individual named Simon Krix who claimed to have written a program to translate PS/2 mice to the Atari ST via an Arduino Nano. After some emailing over the Christmas holiday, he sent me the schematic and source code… It looked legit!
After an hour of tinkering, I ended up with this:
I’ve confirmed that everything works fine with some minor tweaks! I now have a new old stock Microsoft PS/2 mouse on my Atari Falcon!
Arduino Nano Board (via Amazon.com) $14 for 3
Hammond 1591-series Plastic Enclosure (via Digi-Key) $4
Arduino Nano I/O Shield (via Amazon.com) $13 for 5
Atari Joystick/Mouse Cable (via eBay) $7 for 2
PS/2 Cable wih Female port (via Amazon.com) $6
New Old Stock Microsoft PS/2 mouse (via eBay) $16
AtariMouse.ino from Simon Krix $PRICELESS
Total price: $60
Are you impatient like me? Perhaps you already have some Arduinos sitting around gathering dust? Build your own PS/2 to Atari adapter!
Download the Arduino project here.
Download the schematic here.
See PS/2 Female Mouse Pinout below:
See Atari Female Mouse Pinout below.
See awesome Arduino pinout below:
Thanks again to Simon Krix!