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Atari 2600 Controller Port Questions


Fiery3579
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Ever since I got my Atari I've been having problems with the controls. Most of the time the Atari doesn't recognize me pressing the fire button.

After I mess with the controller port for awhile it will let me play, but after I switch games I have to jiggle the end of the controller cord to get it to work again.

I also noticed that the left controller port looks broken compared to the right one.

Left:

post-55768-0-02895000-1493073099_thumb.jpg

Right:

post-55768-0-01134400-1493073135_thumb.jpg

I would open the Atari up to see what the problem is, but I'm worried I might break something or not know how to put it back together.

Thanks for your help! :)

 

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You shouldn't break anything by taking it apart. Probably guides on here as to how to take them apart though if you need a walkthrough. Whenever you touch the board make sure you grab it by the shield first so you don't shock any components on the board with static electricity. As far as the port yes it looks to me like it needs to be resoldered and put back into place, you probably have a cracked solder joint or more than one, when you wiggle the joystick plug in and around to make it work what is happening is it is making the solder joint make contact which may cause it to work for a bit, but yes it needs fixing.

 

I'm going to look for the the post on here I think I seen awhile back a user uploaded a fix for that where he used screws to hold the port down tight and sturdy. Sounds like a good solution I'm going to look for it and post the link.

Edited by SignGuy81
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I couldn't find it so I will just tell you how to do it. Desolder the joystick port. Clip off the two plastic parts that are supposed to go through the motherboard that are supposed to snap it in place. Put the connector back in place and solder it in, all the pins. Then take a drill bit about the same size hole and go through from the backside into the connector for each of the two holes on the port. Then get some machine screws and nuts that will fit the hole and some lock washers and secure it down. And go ahead and do same for other port two if you would like.

Edited by SignGuy81
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This is the type of tool I use to desolder pins with http://www.ebay.com/itm/NTE-ECG-J-045-DS-45-Watt-Desoldering-Iron-NEW-/231033107749?hash=item35caa57525:g:h10AAOxynLhSC7Vt

 

You maybe able to fix this however without having to desolder the port and taking it out. It probably a better idea not to if you are a beginner I just remembered you were worried about taking the unit apart. You can probably instead just bend it back in place, drill the holes(if you can clip those two plastic pieces off before bending it down without having to bend it further out of position do that first but if not just drill right through them instead but it would be easier to keep the drill bit centered in the holes on the motherboard with them gone. Next put screws in and nuts and tighten then just take a regular soldering iron and some solder and just reflow all the pins. De-soldering can be a little tricky for beginners no matter what method and especially something with that many pins so it is best to practice on something you don't mind messing up first.

Edited by SignGuy81
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