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2600 Analog Sticks?


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I haven't got a meter and have never used one. .. If i did, would i be measuring voltage (with controller plugged into powered up console), and be reading a variable voltage IF it's potentiometer, but static if axial switches?


When i search "axial switch" i am getting results that are potentiometers. Can you point me to one for reference, or is there another name to identify this?

Sorry bad nomenclature. Radial or rotary are probably better. Single Pole Double Throw(google an image for this and it will be more clear)


Here is 631 pages of rotary switches to narrow it down for you.



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I have a question that is SORTA related to this topic but not, recently online I saw a joystick designed for the PC that resembles a CX-40 but with a BLACK button instead of red/orange. Has anyone gotten one of these to use with an Atari emulator and are they in actuality any GOOD?

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Sorry bad nomenclature. Radial or rotary are probably better.

Yes I had arrived at the word "rotary" eventually. Also "wafers" for the portion that would be different inside the pot. It's a lot to sort through and still haven't found exactly. Also i suppose the exact right part would depend on the particular joystick and mechanic i was trying to outfit, which I don't have yet.


It would be nice if playstation or wii nunchuck could be used for experiment, and i have some of those. But they seem too small to successfully modify.


I do think it would be cool to have a nunchunk permanantly modified for VCS. Or for Vectrex for that matter, maintaining analog. For Vectrex it would be missing at least one button, even if you kept the motion switch operational as one button. Many Vectrex games could be played without a button one or two though.

Edited by gliptitude
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  • 1 year later...

.. So I bought one of these 15 pin analog to 9 pin digital adapters which looks identical to one suggested earlier in the thread:




I am not getting much use out of it so far. I am finding that available 15 pin joysticks tend to be more modern styles (90's Gravis and flight sticks etc) than what I was looking for. Also I am finding that not all 15 pin joysticks work. The more vintage style 15 pin joystick that I was eventually able to acquire REQUIRES A SHORT BASIC PROGRAM TO CALIBRATE THE JOYSTICK ON THE INTENDED IBM COMPUTER. So of course I cannot perform this task on an Atari 2600.


What I am considering now is making a very basic analog joystick from new components, a custom enclosure and 15 pin connector .. for use with the adapter on my Atari. I am trying to figure out how basic it can actually be. I was hoping for just a ready made analog thumbstick with correct value pots and then a typical arcade button, each wired to a 15 pin connector according to gameport pin-out configuration. But I am not sure if more than this is required, if gameport joysticks necessarily have more components than this, (resistors, capacitors, microcontrollers..) and what the correct wiring is.


The one functional gameport joystick I have has a number of extra components on a PCB, including a few resistors, a small chip of some kind, one ceramic capacitor and one cylindar shaped rubber insulated componant (another capacitor?). .. But this joystick has autofire features and I am guessing (hoping) that this extra stuff is only for that.


I think I understand this article to describe the capacitors and everything besides the 2 pots and the digital buttons to be internal to the computer, and not the joystick:




And I think I understand also from this article that the correct value pots depends on the mechanism used and the range of the stick .. but that 100K might be good.


.. So can anyone answer: may it be as simple as connecting the right wires to an existing analog joystick assembly?


The immediate goal here is to make a 15 pin gameport joystick, of the simplest electronic design possible. (which I will subsequently use in conjunction with the above adapter from ebay to play on Atari).

Edited by gliptitude
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  • 9 months later...

I gave the gameport/db9 converter another try with a newly acquired (dual) stick. It works really nicely and feels great for most games. It's a really neat way to play 2600. Only one of the sticks and one of the buttons translate but it is probably the most workable combination among them for me.





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If that would function as analog it would be awesome on marble craze!


I would like a two fire analog stick for 2600, it would open a world of new game possibilities, basically a set of paddle controllers, so I know it can be done. Making it compatible with digital would be cool, but maybe difficult (more wires needed for digital, chips to convert analog readings to digital, other things) but if it could be done for relatively cheap there would definitely be a market for it.

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