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where to get 101% working paddle and driving controllers


maiki
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OK, I have been thinking about getting the real analogue controllers for some time. But I am really suspicious about the quality of these aging controllers. Can anybody recommend me a good retro gaming workshops that sells high quality Atari paddle and driving controllers without jitter? Thanks.

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Best Electronics sells them. Here is the link. One thing is their website is an HTML plagued site and ran like it's 1995. You are best at calling them than emailing your order. They don't do click, save to cart, then checkout there. Hope it helps. :)

 

http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/quickguide.htm

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Original paddles are easy to open and fix. There are lots of tutorials about that on the web. I did that on my 3 pairs, they work like a charm now :)

Here's a post I wrote (in french) if you want to see how it is inside :

 

https://cambouisdelatari.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/reparer-vos-paddles-atari-parkinsoniens/

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Original paddles are easy to open and fix.

 

 

That they are, but the 30+ year old plastic is becoming brittle. This happened to me last time I cleaned paddles:

post-3056-0-70134400-1443704210_thumb.jpg

 

Another thing to consider is the Flashback seem to be getting long in tooth, so who knows how much longer AtGames will be selling them. As such, get new paddles while you can.

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Regarding the driving controllers: I've never heard of them being problematic like the paddles. They are actually a digital device, not analog.

I've had some driving controllers that hiccup, meaning a car starts to turn right, then jumps back the other way. Not sure if they need a thorough cleaning or they just go bad over time.

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I've had some driving controllers that hiccup, meaning a car starts to turn right, then jumps back the other way. Not sure if they need a thorough cleaning or they just go bad over time.

They are digital, functionally speaking, but they are mechanical switches as opposed to optical. It wouldn't be impossible for them to need a cleaning or for a contact to wear out.

 

You just don't see umpteen dozen threads about bad driving controllers. Of course, part of that could be due to how few games support the driving controller.

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I use these brand new paddles for the Flashback. They work great on a real 2600.

 

The ones that Best Electronics sells are brand new as well (new old stock), plus they are original and a dollar cheaper, for what it's worth. I'm curious about what those new ones for the Flashback look like on the inside though. Do they use the same style of switch and potentiometer that the originals used?

Edited by MaximRecoil
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What games support the driving controller besides Night Driver and Indy 500?

 

Night Driver uses the paddles. Indy 500 was bundled with the driving controllers, I wonder too if other games used them too.

 

 

 

 

That they are, but the 30+ year old plastic is becoming brittle. This happened to me last time I cleaned paddles:

attachicon.gifpost-3056-0-87265100-1412693510.jpg

 

Another thing to consider is the Flashback seem to be getting long in tooth, so who knows how much longer AtGames will be selling them. As such, get new paddles while you can.

 

Best's or AtGames's, it's a good idea to get a new one while one can, especially if you're a US citizen (cheaper shipping costs).

 

I got 4 pairs of paddles in my hands, none of them broke. Maybe I was lucky, (maybe you're too strong with a screwdriver ;) ) I don't know !

Edited by Cambouis de l'Atari
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My local GameXChange has an entire bag full of paddle controllers, condition unknown.

 

But really, you need to liberally spray contact cleaner into the openings of the paddle pot and swipe the slider vigorously. CPU compressed air cans also help to remove dust out of the paddle contactor as well. I guess I got lucky with my pair of paddles. After a good spraying inside the post after I bought my first Atari in 2012, they have been jitter free ever since. I bought a pair of paddle replacement pots from Best but never installed them because the originals are still holding up.

 

I also added a set of homemade paddles to my arcade controller using 470ohm pots for longer throw, and they work great, however being on opposite sides of the joystick controller, they are awkward to do multiplayer with.

Edited by stardust4ever
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The ones that Best Electronics sells are brand new as well (new old stock), plus they are original and a dollar cheaper, for what it's worth. I'm curious about what those new ones for the Flashback look like on the inside though. Do they use the same style of switch and potentiometer that the originals used?

 

Unless I'm mistaken, new old stock is still 30+ year old plastic.

 

I posted the insides in reply # 20 of this topic

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Yes but I think your experience is not the norm. I've taken apart and cleaned maybe 10 pairs and none of them had any brittle plastic issues. Worst problems I had were where the cable sleeve is pulling loose at one end or the other and exposing the wires.

 

Edited to add, LOL, I had a thought that maybe it was an environmental condition thing but then I looked and it appears we are in the same environmental conditions..I'm in Clear Lake :D

 

 

Unless I'm mistaken, new old stock is still 30+ year old plastic.

 

I posted the insides in reply # 20 of this topic

Edited by Mitkraft
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Unless I'm mistaken, new old stock is still 30+ year old plastic.

 

I posted the insides in reply # 20 of this topic

 

Yes, but 30+ year old plastic isn't necessarily brittle. My original paddles aren't brittle. I've taken them apart at least a dozen times in the past few days, and there are zero signs of brittleness. Brittle plastic can be caused by environmental issues and/or flaws in the manufacturing process. An infamous example of a flaw in the manufacturing process is with some U.S. SNES cases, which turn yellow and become brittle. I doubt your brittle paddles are the norm, given that this is the first I've heard of it.

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Yes but I think your experience is not the norm.

 

Yes, but 30+ year old plastic isn't necessarily brittle.

I had the problem with a couple different sets of paddles. It's possible whoever owned them before had taken them apart and was overzealous when putting them back together. Another possibility is my paddles are much older than yours; after all, the 2600 was in production from 1977 thru 1992. One of my systems is a heavy sixer, so it's possible they were 38 year old paddles from '77.

 

I had a thought that maybe it was an environmental condition thing but then I looked and it appears we are in the same environmental conditions..I'm in Clear Lake :D

Our original Atari was long gone. I bought a number of Atari systems off ebay and set family up with them for Xmas 2003. Have no idea what environment the controllers had been in.

 

Are you aware of the Houston Arcade Expo?

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One of my systems is a heavy sixer, so it's possible they were 38 year old paddles from '77.

 

..........................

Are you aware of the Houston Arcade Expo?

 

4 of my sets (2 pairs of paddles and 2 driving controllers) are also Heavies as they have "sears" instead of "driving" or "paddle" on the label. I bet its like you said and the previous owner over tightened the screws. I was just trying to say maybe don't give up on original equipment since your experience might be atypical.

 

You bet your booty I'm aware of the Arcade Expo! Went last year for the first time and loved it! I'm thinking about bringing an arcade game or two this year, getting a free weekend pass for doing so, getting a room, and hanging the whole weekend. I can't wait!

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Overtightening fasteners isn't the only way I've broken old plastic.

 

One thing I do when reassembling plastic parts is to first turn the screw backward.

Often, you can feel it drop into alignment with the original threads. Trying to force new threads into brittle old plastic can end badly.

Some screws have two different sets of threads, one higher and sharper, the other lower and flatter. Because of that, I always gauge the force required to drive the screw, back it out, drop it into the threads again and see if it's easier to drive.

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I had the problem with a couple different sets of paddles. It's possible whoever owned them before had taken them apart and was overzealous when putting them back together. Another possibility is my paddles are much older than yours; after all, the 2600 was in production from 1977 thru 1992. One of my systems is a heavy sixer, so it's possible they were 38 year old paddles from '77.

 

Mine came with a "light sixer" I bought used, but I have no way of knowing if they were originally included with it or not. But either way, if it were a widespread problem, I would think there would be a lot of talk about it here and other places on the internet. Also, those screw posts are a weak point anyway, even with brand new plastic. Over-tightening or cross-threading a screw into them puts a lot of stress on them (in the form of torque).

 

Overtightening fasteners isn't the only way I've broken old plastic.

 

One thing I do when reassembling plastic parts is to first turn the screw backward.

Often, you can feel it drop into alignment with the original threads. Trying to force new threads into brittle old plastic can end badly.

Some screws have two different sets of threads, one higher and sharper, the other lower and flatter. Because of that, I always gauge the force required to drive the screw, back it out, drop it into the threads again and see if it's easier to drive.

 

I do the exact same thing, and have done so ever since I was a little kid working on my bike. I do it with everything threaded, not just plastic, but with plastic it is particularly important to do because it is relatively easy to cross-thread, whereas as with metal threads, it takes far more torque to cross-thread, resulting in more feedback that something is wrong. Consoles, controllers, and other plastic-encased devices are usually always held together with self-tapping, coarse-thread screws (sheet-metal screws essentially), and they will make a new set of threads in plastic fairly easily (since that's what they are designed to do; but they should only do it once, when first inserted at the factory), which should be avoided. They also shouldn't be tightened past the point that you feel them bottom out, because for one thing, there is absolutely no reason to do so; these aren't lug nuts on a car; and for another thing, it is very easy to strip/jump the threads in plastic when over-tightening.

 

Properly screwing in fasteners is something you get a feel for if you've taken apart a lot of things, and a surprising number of people don't know how to do it. They should teach it in school.

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I posted the insides in reply # 20 of this topic

 

Is the potentiometer inside these 1 megohm like the originals? Different values will work, but it changes the "gearing" of your onscreen paddle relative to the knob. Also, do you notice any difference in feel between these and originals, such as the smoothness of the potentiometer and the fire button? I notice there is no little foam square glued to the inside of the back plate of the housing, which is used on the originals to keep the button switch firmly in place. Does the button switch in these new ones rattle around if you shake them? There's also no metal clip to hold the plastic knob onto the potentiometer shaft. Does the knob stay on there tightly?

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I assume they're the same 1 megohm pot rating as the amount you need to rotate the paddle to move things a certain distance on screen is exactly the same.

 

Nothing rattles. Never had any problems with the knob. The paddles feel a little stiffer than the originals; though the originals have 30+ years worth of wear and tear, so it's likely they were just as stiff when they were brand new. The AtGames paddles work great, else I wouldn't recommend them.

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I assume they're the same 1 megohm pot rating as the amount you need to rotate the paddle to move things a certain distance on screen is exactly the same.

 

Nothing rattles. Never had any problems with the knob. The paddles feel a little stiffer than the originals; though the originals have 30+ years worth of wear and tear, so it's likely they were just as stiff when they were brand new. The AtGames paddles work great, else I wouldn't recommend them.

 

I hope they're good because I just ordered two pairs of them. I was going to order originals from Best Electronics, but they now have a limit of one pair per customer.

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About two weeks ago I went to a locally-owned video game store and they had decided to sell Atari paddles, joysticks, and steering controllers for $2 each. I ended up buying a rare 2600 joystick (looks very similar to the Cx-40) that has two buttons instead of one, a Slik-stick, a steering controller, and 3 sets of paddles. 2 of the paddle sets were completely jittery, but one set works quite well. For the low cost, I was pretty satisfied with the outcome :)

 

I'm going to try fixing the defective paddles... hope I can figure it out with a little help from Youtube.

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