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Edladdin Super 52 - whatever became of it???


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You know, with the reintroduction of the Redemption 5200 series of controller adapters and also the third-party 5200-specific controller market getting in full swing, I wonder what ever happened to @edladdin's rather brilliant idea that he had for an ultimate controller for the 5200 called the Super 52. 


IIRC, it was supposed to have incorporated a full self-centering 360-degree dual-pot based analog joystick, dual fire buttons, as well as a full keypad and also a 3-way rotary control in which acted as either a driving controller (for games like Pole Position), a paddle (for Super Breakout and Kaboom! for instance) and also a spinner (which would've been perfect for Tempest!!!), I wonder if it's still in R & D or of it's been shelved, it showed such promise IMO.

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While hopefully we'll hear some news soon, presumably everyone just needs patience. He's delivered hundreds of controllers to the classic gaming community and is still actively posting but not commenting on this particular project.


Given his proven track record, if he decided it wasn't practical he seems like the type of individual that would let the community know that it has been cancelled rather than leave everyone hanging. Thus it seems reasonable that we can deduce from the silence that it's still actively being worked on and that we'll hear more about it when the time is ready.

Edited by Atariboy
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Hi Everyone!


Thanks so much for following the longest and most onerous of the projects we have undertaken - the Super 52.  This is still a live project, but its been in hibernation for awhile. 


The plan is to deliver:

Arcade Controller in the same sloped aluminum case as the rest of our "Super" controllers - 8" x 14", made by Hammond

Analog Hall-Effect Joystick

Two pair Suzo-Happ buttons in ambidextrous layout

Membrane Keypad with custom 3D printed overlay frame

Rotary encoder X-axis spinner for paddle games, with "steering" and "paddle" modes

Onboard "Masterplay" adapter allowing use of 1-button CX-40 compatibles and 2-button Sega Genesis controllers



At this point we have a working prototype based around a PCB designed by our magnificent engineer, Bob Bugash.  It has a few weird issues, described below.  We also have thousands of dollars worth of parts in inventory, ready to roll:


240 analog joysticks

250 membrane keypad/artwork

100 3D printed overlay frames

350 molded DB-15 cords

250 rotary encoders


We have yet to purchase the custom stamped aluminum cases from Hammond, the printed circuit boards, and the parts that will populate the circuit boards.  We also haven't nailed down a good source for a large spinner knob.  We used to buy a really nice knob from a firm that was basically the same size as a 2600 paddle or driving controller knob, but this project has taken so long that they went out of business.


Play and The Weird Issues:

The prototype works great on most 5200 games, including all joystick games.  The analog play is really sweet.  I've been using it to play many games of Dreadnaught Factor, which is one of my favorite 5200 games. 


The spinner is great on normal paddle games like Kaboom! and Super Breakout, but there are a few weird spinner issues that I don't know how to solve.  For example, while you can use a CX-53 Trak-Ball to play some linear horizontal games, like Space Invaders and Galaxian, neither of these play well with the spinner, where there is a distinct lag.  Another problem... I was really excited about being able to play Pole Position in "steering" mode, where I thought the player could use the keypad to shift the transmission - a native feature that was in place to support CX-53 use.  But in actual practice, the keypad does not respond to gear shifting instructions, so you can steer just fine but the game is unwinnably stuck in "low" mode.  You CAN change the controller mode to Joystick, change gears, and change mode back to "Steering", but this is not very slick or satisfying.  I don't know what the problem is.


The analog-to-digital joystick converter port works fine.


What are we waiting for?

In the course of testing, we realized that we could significantly spread out our costs/risks on this project by using the same PCB to drive a hand-held controller adapter - a "Seagull 52" - for a much cheaper price than the full controller.  I didn't want to do this while the Masterplay-clone guy was still in business, but he seems to have withdrawn from that product, so we are planning to go ahead.  Unfortunately, right before pandemic Bob decided to retire, sell everything, and move into an RV, just because he happened to hit the 80 year old mark, leaving us on our own with the puzzle of adjusting the layout of the PCB to fit the Seagull enclosure.  Over the winter I have learned how to use the PCB design software that Bob used to design the board, so as soon as we get past tax season I should be able to start this reconfiguration effort.  Once that is done, we should be able to proceed on both products: the Seagull 52 controller adapter and the Super 52 arcade controller.


Since 2020 I have been maintaining an email list of people to contact and prioritize when this damn thing is finally ready.  Please PM if you want to be added to the list!


Thanks again for your support on this, our line of Atari 2600/7800 and ColecoVision controllers, and the Seagull 78 controller adapters.   This year we will hit our 9th year of serving the community! 









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8 hours ago, edladdin said:

We also haven't nailed down a good source for a large spinner knob.  We used to buy a really nice knob from a firm that was basically the same size as a 2600 paddle or driving controller knob, but this project has taken so long that they went out of business.

Nice design!  Would using one of Ultimarc's Spintrak spinner tops be a possible solution?  Adjustable flyweights and a selectable 34mm or 44mm diameter, with 44mm being the same as an Atari paddle.


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