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Astrocade controller repair


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Hi everyone. I was given a few Astrocade controllers, and each one of them seems to have something wrong with it. I have had success getting the trigger going, but I cant seem to get any responce when trying to fix the directionals. I wanted to try and clean the contacts, but cant figure out how to get to them. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Mike

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Here's what I do:


  1. Open the controller.
  2. Verify connectivity from the end of each wire to the correct pin of the 9-pin connector that plugs into the console with a multi-meter. See the FAQ at http://www.ballyalley.com/faqs/bally-astrocade_faq.txt
  3. If the cable is bad, repair it if the problem is within the controller - otherwise replace it with a new one. See Ebay for options.
  4. Clean the contacts for each direction. You may need to disassemble the controller further to reach the contacts in the back. There are two screws holding the internal assembly to the side of the controller that need to be removed.
  5. I bend the contacts to be closer together for better contact with needle-nose pliers or other implements. Be careful. Don't damage or break the contacts!
  6. Clean and lubricate the potentiometer. You can use an old eye-drop bottle with some alchohol in it to put a few drops of alchohol into the potentiomers to loosen the old gunk. Put a few drops in and then twist back and forth until working smooth as silk. Works pretty well most of the time. If the pot is too dirty or feels like it needs lubrication added you will have to open it up and clean it with alchohol and then lubricate it with a dab of silicone grease (or other substance - there are alternatives everywhere).
  7. Clean the trigger contacts with a swab and alchohol.
  8. If the trigger is inconsistant, too sensitive, or fires multiple times with one trigger pull the contacts may be twisted. Carefully bend to adjust.
  9. While I have the controller apart I clean the sides, knob, etc. with soap and water and a nail brush or a toothbrush to get into all of the nooks and cranny's which makes them look great. Do not scrub or wet the number decals on the top of the knob. I wipe down the cables with a damp cloth.
  10. When you put the screws back in, turn them backwards (unscrew) with a bit of downward/inward pressure and feel for when they slip into their original threads. Then turn them forward. This will keep the screws in the first threads that were cut and not cut more threads in the plastic which would eventually destroy the screw holes/threads and the screws would no longer hold.

Wala! Enjoy your good-as-new controller!

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