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Intellivision controllers are a pain


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I struggle playing games with these weird round controller buttons. A childhood friend of mine had an Intellivision years ago with some kind of joystick attachments on top of the round directional controls. Why couldn't Mattel have used joysticks instead.

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... also keep an eye out for consoles with the joysticks already installed.

 

There are 3 main kinds of joysticks. Many companies made near clones of each other with each category.

  • Joysticks that replace the disc. These require disassembling the controller, removing the disc, and installing the joystick. These joysticks tend to have tall shafts. An example of these is the Stickler.
  • Joysticks that glue onto the disc. These use glue or sticky. Sometimes the instructions say to peel the original top smooth layer off the disc first. These joysticks tend to be short and stubby and look like a game piece from the game Sorry. An example of these is the Skil-Stik.
  • Joysticks the clip onto the controller. I'm not a fan of these since they don't stay on great or the plastic cracks (not all are like this). These are also short but with a large bulbous tip. An example is the Intellivision Attachable Joysticks.

Dirty jokes in 3... 2... 1...

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I've always hated the controller on the Intellivision model 1. I know that many people state that it was capable of more directional input than your standard D-pad, but I always hated how your nail could get jammed within that raised portion when playing action type games. I also hated how the pad was below the buttons. Never made much sense to me.

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I get it. You are a Coleco guy.

I hate that the control stick on the Coleco controller is on the top.

To be honest I didn't like the Coleco controllers very much either but at least they had a stick. (although way too stiff) I did prefer the numeric pad size and overlay style of the Intellivision though.

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Different people have different preferences and playing styles. I always thought Mattel's biggest mistake with the Intellivision was hardwiring the controllers into the console (except Intv II and Sears consoles).

 

If they had been been removable, we would have seen a health number of 3rd party joysticks catering to various players. Instead, the only full joystick Intellivision ever made by a 3rd party was the awful Wico Command Control. Everything was a minor mod of the original controller (glue-ons, clip-ons, disc replacers, etc).

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I cannot imagine getting a fingernail stuck?

 

2 points here:

How can you even bend your thumb to an angle that this could happen?

How long do you go between cutting your nails?

 

Hmmm, I found the original controllers comfortable and intuitive.

I never used overlays. I liked feeling the bubbled numbers.

I used the pad of my left thumb hovering over the number 5. leaving 2 fingers wrapped around for the side buttons if needed.

And hovered my right thumb over the disc. But always used the pad of my thumbs.

 

Aaaaahhhhh! Now I know why my friends controllers and overlays were always scratched and ripped.

 

The controller felt so natural in my hands, I never noticed the RUNNING and Shooting problem in Night Stalker or Deadly Disc until I read about it here.

I guess, I must have noticed it early on and subconsciously let go of the disc for a moment to use the number pad.

 

So how do people hold the controller? I hold the controller in my left palm, thumb for keypad and fingers for 2 side buttons.

Exceptions. Bump n Jump, I got this when I replaced my Intellivision 1 with an intellivision 2.

I then had my fingers tightly wrapped on the left side of the controller and used my thumb to jump.

Those controllers truly suck and I did alter how I held the controller for the SHOOTING games.

 

I also had a colecovision, I liked the controller for the most part. I liked the notches in the 8 directions, Good for venture etc.

The Button locations also worked well for my left palm holding the controller. Thumb on left button, pointer on right button (when needed).

 

I did have a hard time with the number pad though. I could not GLIDE my thumb from number to number so easy.

But to be honest, I only had Mouse trap that used the keypad during game play.

 

All that said.... Try playing with the Flashback controllers!!!!! Better than the original!

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The "Sticklers" as I believe one type of the add on joysticks are called never felt quite right on the Intellivision for me. I had a set back in the day because I liked how Atari joysticks felt.

 

The downside of using the Sticklers with the INTV is that the discs doesn't have enough depth to accommodate much movement of the hard plastic sticks. I swear you could only move them like 1" from side to side, which I way overcompensated for back then being used to Atari and arcade joysticks that had a lot more play range.

 

Once I realized I could get much better control with my thumb and the disc, I took the Sticklers off.

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So here is a question from someone "down under".

 

We never had a Intellivision two to make any comparisons but I read so much here in these forums that so many people prefer this model. .....But why? was not the original model superior with the controllers?

 

This makes me wonder how many were made of the original model, the two, and the intv three?.

 

I would have thought the original model would have nailed the numbers but there is so much love in these forums for the two (that never came to Australia) that I have no idea as to which model was produced in the greatest quantity.

Edited by Utopia
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Going by Rev's database, so actual numbers produced should be slightly higher.

Anyone care to guess how many Brasilian Intellivisions there are?

 

1.835M 2609

Sylvania guestimate: 35K-65K

167K Sears

76K Radio Shack

709K Intellivision II

487K International Intellivisions

??? Brasilian Intellivision

??? Brasilian Intellivision II

171K INTV (III)

??? INTV (III) international

 

I think most people that prefer the II do so because of the more compact size. Some for the more modern style, and, some because of the detachable controllers. If you look at the Intellixpander poll, the original style is more popular by about 2:1.

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There might be a preference for the Intv II style but not for playing the unit itself.

 

The Intv II controllers hurt your hand after playing for a while (sharper edges you grip, stiffer side buttons, anti-tactile numeric pad). The controllers are replaceable... but with what? You can get the Sears controllers but then you usually have the Sears console that goes with them. You can use the Flashback controllers but you have to buy adapter cables which are also available for the original Intellivision, so not much advantage there. You could use the Wico Command Control controller but no... just no... that controller is the only one worse than the Intv II controllers.

 

It also plays fewer games due to a deliberate ROM change.

 

I own only 1 Intv II for collection completeness. I almost never use it and it stays at the bottom of a stack of ECSs.

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On and off I mull designing a gamepad capable of 8 directions with a number pad that accepts overlays. Finding silicone buttons to match what it would require is really hard (top and bottom would have to be DPST), so my current thoughts are that Cherry ML (not MX) switches would work best. ML ones only have 3mm travel as opposed to MX ones (which have 4mm travel). There are also specialized clones of ML switches out there with even less travel. I'd love to get my hands on the mechanical switches in the Razer iPad keyboard as they have even less travel (2mm or so I believe).

Edited by JohnPCAE
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http://www.mouser.com/Electromechanical/Switches/Multi-Directional-Switches/_/N-5g2z?P=1z0z1amThere are multi-directional switches out there, and some even support eight individual direction outputs (which can yield 16 distinguishable directions). I don't know if they can be easily translated to what the Intellivision expects, but they might be worth a look.

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Going by Rev's database, so actual numbers produced should be slightly higher.

Anyone care to guess how many Brasilian Intellivisions there are?

 

1.835M 2609

Sylvania guestimate: 35K-65K

167K Sears

76K Radio Shack

709K Intellivision II

487K International Intellivisions

??? Brasilian Intellivision

??? Brasilian Intellivision II

171K INTV (III)

??? INTV (III) international

 

I think most people that prefer the II do so because of the more compact size. Some for the more modern style, and, some because of the detachable controllers. If you look at the Intellixpander poll, the original style is more popular by about 2:1.

Was the INTV released outside of USA/North America? Or does that International version was for Canada only?

Edited by CatPix
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I did some drawing and here is a schematic that **might** work with the ALPS RKJXL100401V sensor (http://www.alps.com/prod/info/E/HTML/MultiControl/Switch/RKJXL/RKJXL100401V.html). I'm not sure if the resistors are necessary or what their values should be. Does anyone care to test it? It uses 8 NPN and 8 PNP transistors. The second image shows how the ALPS sensor outputs logic compared to what the Inty expects. Starting with red, the colors represent directions moving counterclockwise with red representing pushing the disc up (North).

 

On the schematic, the top trace represents red (i.e. North), the line below that represents purple, etc. all the way down to orange, that is, following a counterclockwise pattern for the ALPS inputs.

post-7945-0-71909800-1500101365_thumb.png

post-7945-0-63184400-1500101417.png

Edited by JohnPCAE
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Was the INTV released outside of USA/North America? Or does that International version was for Canada only?

"International" should have read pal/secam/50hz. Canadian Intellivisions usually have an R in the serial prefix and are included in the ntsc/60hz numbers above. They might include Mexico and other NTSC/60hz countries. There were pal INTV systems, not sure about secam.

 

Edit: wait. "international" numbers also includes Japan.

Edited by mr_me
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