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Making New Joysticks for the 5200 -- GROUP EFFORT --


Omega-TI
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Is there anyone out there, (besides me) that would be interested in a group 5200 project? I'm thinking that a nice compatible joystick to go with the Master Play Clone would be great.

 

We could talk about parts and then source them together starting next month, get the schematics, talk about assembly methods and answer everyone's questions. Then we could order the parts, when everything arrives start building!

 

I saw a possible stick to copy, one that looks nice...

 

gallery_35324_1027_40604.jpg

 

Now some of you are right handed, others left handed... we would not necessarily need four buttons, but a nice metal case and two buttons would be great!

 

To start off, I have one question... ANALOG or DIGITAL?

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gallery_35324_1027_40604.jpg

 

Now some of you are right handed, others left handed... we would not necessarily need four buttons, but a nice metal case and two buttons would be great!

 

To start off, I have one question... ANALOG or DIGITAL?

Both , but I know edladdin is going to try to make a self centering analog arcade controller .

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I ordered replacement opto's to hopefully fix one of my CX-53 trak-ball controllers. However, should those not fix it, then I'm thinking very seriously about adding an actual arcade joystick to it and actual arcade buttons to convert it over as nice dedicated controller. Best part with that is I wouldn't need a masterplay... but I will try and get it working first before doing this.

 

Wonder if there is a stockpile of dead CX-53s rotting somewhere that could be used for small batch project like this? Hmm....

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  • 3 weeks later...

What I'd like to see is a normal 5200 controller that works, and has a self-centering joystick.

 

 

Theoretically, you could do it by taking a Playstation 2+ or Xbox/360/One thumbstick mechanism and installing it into the CX52. Some guy did it a few years ago so he could play with a CX53 connected to his original hacked Xbox running a 5200 emulator. Of course, you'd have to figure out how to get the 5200 to accept the input from such a mechanism as a real 5200 controller.

 

I haven't been able to find the link to that particular project in a good 2 years.

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What I'd like to see is a normal 5200 controller that works, and has a self-centering joystick.

Well, you can go with a Best refurb kit (or try the punched-out tin foil trick) for the "working" part.

 

For the "self-centering" part, I once jury-rigged a pair of rubber bands over, around, and through the joystick assembly and plastic bracing posts in an "X" shape and put the stick shaft through the intersection. It was an absolute pain in the ass to do and it looked like a Rube Goldberg machine inside, but it worked reasonably well. Problem is...rubber bands dry out and break over time. :( And I found that, except for a few instances, it didn't really enhance gameplay anyway.

 

The best solution IMO is to just get the thing in a working state, and then learn to accept it as it is. The quasi-centering (the rubber boot provides some centering, just not very tightly) of the joystick, and the games that take advantage of it, is part of the Atari 5200's charm anyway. :) Otherwise you may as well be playing an Atari 400.

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It's been a while since I've had a 5200, but I don't see why you couldn't just get a classic PC controller like this:

 

post-9874-0-80735600-1486740057_thumb.jpg

 

and rewire it to work with a 5200. These old PC controllers all used potentiometers (just like the 5200) and most of them are self centering. These IBM joystick are fairly cheap and they include two buttons as well. Heck, it really wouldn't be that hard to mount a larger stick to that IBM and mount the whole thing in a bigger box with some arcade buttons. Just thinking out loud.

 

Side note:

 

Radio shack use to sell joysticks that were very similar to the IBM:

 

post-9874-0-69125200-1486740896_thumb.jpg

Edited by pboland
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I would vote for analog since that's what the 5200 likes and makes it unique compared to most 8-way stick consoles. Self-centering, yes, but those old PC sticks had a switch on the bottom to go from self-centering to not self-centering, right? That would be convenient.

 

I do like the idea of a dual-joystick set-up, I would assume that it would have to have 2 cables coming out of it. Either that or something on the sides of each separate joystick base that can be used to slide in/hook to a second stick, forming one solid dual-stick for Robotron and Space Dungeon (and hopefully a future good version of Battlezone). Would this thing also use the same Y-cable as a Wico digital stick in order to use a standard Atari 5200 joystick for the keypad (or the Wico keypad)?

 

One other idea that might be worth including, how about 1 or 2 fire buttons on the stick itself? maybe on the front (like a Tron stick) so that the top is still smooth for those people who tend to use their thumbs on top of the stick to move them (and use the regular fire buttons on the base).

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