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New ColecoVision Super Joystick Controller (by DoubleDown)


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Been a little while since I made a new ColecoVision controller, but I bought a new enclosure recently to try out for a 7800 controller that I was building...and what do you know...its just big enough for a 4-button ColecoVision controller.  So presenting my:

 

ColecoVision - Super Joystick Controller

 

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Details of the build:

 

  **  Serpac (191i,BK), two-piece, molded ABS enclosure (9.5" x 6.35" x 1.5")

 

  **  (1) VVG / iL PSM-30, microswitch joystick w/ Cherry (ZF) D44X microswitches, w/ 35mm Sanwa ball knob (vermillion, almost a perfect color match to the original SAC knobs)

 

  **  (1) VVG ColecoVision PCB w/ Keypad, w/ C&K D6R key-switch buttons, (12 black)

 

  **  (4) Sanwa OBSF-24 pushbuttons, w/ A.S. Classic Concave Caps (because arcade pushbuttons should be concave, not convex) (1 black/yellow, 1 black/orange, 1 black/violet, 1 black/royal blue) (the violet pushbutton is little bit lighter than those used on the original SACs)

 

   **  Custom Super Action Controller inspired CPO artwork

 

  **  10' Super flexible, custom crimped cable

 

So nothing too radical or fancy, just a simple, sleek, small-ish, inexpensive-ish (4) SAC buttoned arcade controller...for the ColecoVision, ADAM, Phoenix...and any other compatible console.  This enclosure is also available in Almond (and Grey), so an ADAM colored variant could be an alternate option...because why not?!?  

 

As assembled, with just the enclosure and the hardware, the controller weighs in around 1 lb., and is a little bit on the light side for my preference.  So I machined 2 steel bars, which are mechanically fastened to the lower half of the enclosure, which bumps up the overall weight to approximately 1.75 lbs., to give it a sturdier feel, and some much needed ballast.  Enjoy!

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For anybody interested in the internals...and/or for those curious to know what I mean by it all just fits...here's this:

 

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As per my usual...everything is mechanically fastened...no super glue, no hot glue, no epoxy.  The iL joystick is installed with (4) black carriage bolts, and (4) zinc-plated, serrated-flange lock nuts, and the joystick's ball knob was installed with a drop of thread-locker.  My custom PCB w/ keypad is installed with (4) SST, low-profile socket-head cap screws (SST vs black, to better blend in with the CPO artwork in this instance), (4) aluminum, threaded hex standoffs (to drop mount the PCB to a specific height for the protruding keypad buttons), and (4) zinc-plated, nylon-insert locknuts.  The Sanwa pushbuttons are snap-in variants.  And the (2) 1/2" x 1/2" x 6" steel bars in the bottom half (which are painted black to prevent surface rust), are machined to slip over, and to mount to, two of the enclosure's PCB mounting bosses each, and "clearance slip" over the enclosure's center assembly bosses...and are fastened in place with (2) zinc-plated, tri-lobe thread forming screws for plastic...not just simply "sheet-metal" screws.  Unfortunately not the type of hardware you can just walk into your local hardware store and buy...but luckily the internet exists!  

 

All in all, I'd say it's a very nice "mid-range" controller.  Obviously not as large, and/or robust as those I've built into the Hammond 1456 series aluminum enclosures, but definitely a bit smaller, less expensive, and a lot less time-consuming to build, to be sure.  

 

I'm going to build one in the Almond enclosure variant...to aesthetically match the Coleco ADAM, and the ADAM edition CollectorVision Phoenix console.  Then of course, the obvious alternate variant, would be a black "Hand Controller" version, either with only 2 grey buttons, or with all 4 SAC buttons (2 grey, and 2 black to hide in the CPO), and probably with a black ball knob, or perhaps a metallic silver ball knob, to "simulate" the aluminum disc on the Hand Controller's joystick stub.  The possibilities are limitless...with a little imagination.  

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I was ordering some parts this weekend, and I ordered a couple of the Almond versions of this enclosure, to make the ADAM themed Super Joystick Controller.  Then, I also ordered a few different "metallic" silver ball knobs for a more general Coleco black themed edition too.  Hopefully the parts will be in this week, and new these new models to be unveiled sometime shortly thereafter.  Stay tuned!

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I'm still waiting on the almond enclosures to build my ADAM - Super Joystick Controller, so I decided to build something else while I was waiting...and I came up with this:

 

WICO Command Control Mk. II Edition - VVG Joystick Controller Mk. II - "The Red Special 2" (Limited Edition 001/001...and my personal controller...not available for sale)

 

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WICO, a manufacturer of amazing arcade control hardware, and some great home-use video game controllers, really flubbed-up their version of a ColecoVision controller.  Unfortunately, it was apparently developed along side their Intellivision controller, and they adopted the same flexible plastic "circuit boards" and side-mounted pushbuttons, like those used in the O.E. Mattel Intellivision controllers...for these controllers they sold for the Intellivision and ColecoVision.  These controllers are often considered some of the worst ever built by WICO.  So righting the wrongs of the past, I decided to take it upon myself to create a sequel of sorts, in the form of an arcade stick controller, to pay homage to a great company...with a proper controller for the ColecoVision, matching their factory colors...and aesthetic.  

 

Details of the build:

 

** PacTec P-T10 Black & PT-10 PC Bone, 11" x 8", molded ABS enclosures w/ aluminum control panel and rear I/O plates, (top half from the Black enclosure, and bottom half from the PC Bone enclosure...which was dyed red)

 

** VVG / iL PSM-30 microswitch joystick, w/ Cherry (ZF) D44X microswitches, w/ Seimitsu NOBI bullet knob - red, w/ white top-fire button (top fire button from an original Command Control joystick, but non-functional - "cosmetic only")

 

 

** VVG ColecoVision PCB w/ Keypad, w/ C&K D6C key-switch buttons w/ 1/2" square caps, (12 black) w/ custom white legends

 

** Sanwa OBSF-24 pushbuttons (4), (2) w/ A.S. Classic Concave caps...black/red, (2) black/black (SAC wired)

 

** 10' Custom crimped cable w/ rear-mounted cord cleats for cable management

 

** WICO Command Control inspired CPO/Artwork

 

It pairs very well with my WICO Command Control Mk. II - VVG Micro Controller - "The Red Special", for the 2600

 

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...now I just need to think of a unique variant to create for the 7800...to complete my trilogy.  Enjoy!

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Not to be nitpicky but I would buy yours right away if you are offering them for sale if you had an ambidextrous version of them.

 

Anyone who's been around in the arcades before 1985 known that at least 50% of the arcade games were designed to be operable with either hand on the joystick and the other on the button.  Also The Colecovision was an example of one of the five out of eight video game systems that had OEM ambidextrous joysticks. Granted, most of the other design features shouldn't have survived beyond the second generation but ambidexterity apparently was extinguished well before it's time.

 

Why would you think most people would rather have a lefty ColecoVision joystick if they we're around during the Colecovision days?

 

Observing a 7800 promotional video I saw like five or six people play with the American 7800 stick right handed before I saw one person play left handed.

 

If you look at my website sinistersticks.com you'll see an example of a modern fight stick that's 180able and can be played left-handed or right-handed.  Take my design please I'd even actually buy one of you if you made an ambidextrous model.

 

You save on buttons versus going to Beeshu way.

 

Oh one last question.  Where is the "roller" for baseball (base running) and football (passing/kicking)?   Is there a way you could add that on there.  

 

 

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Sure, I've made ambidextrous controllers before:

 

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...which one would you like to buy?

 

Bear in mind, that nobody has ever specifically asked me for an ambidextrous controller before, I just built these, to build them.  Pretty much everybody I know, or have ever been contacted by for a build, is 1 handed, so they want a proper layout for their handedness...left joystick / right buttons, or the inverse left buttons / right joystick. 

 

Out of curiosity, what games do you play Left Joystick / Right Buttons, and which games do you play Left Buttons / Right Joystick?

 

Sure a Speed Roller could be incorporated, so long as the enclosure is large enough to accommodate the hardware, and an original SAC will have to be sacrificed.  

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The Coleco Super Action one.

 

If you look at my design on Sistersticks.com, you see a "double wired joystick". 

 

Do you make TRS 3.5 mm -enabled Coleco Joystick PCBs.

 

I could use it with my current fight stick.

 

I understand from Edladdin that there are 2 separate "grounds" (i know that's the official term, but let's go with that now) and in order to make every button and direction remappable with any other one, the ground must be unique to the individual actuator so that when a controller shifts from ground A to ground B, the return signal shifts with it as well.

 

Also making the controls swappable makes it work both left handed and right handed on both Tutankham and Front Line.  With both mirrored buttons and 180able controls, you need to swap buttons around for shoot left/right and rotate CW/ACW.

 

I would rather have a PCB to work with my joystick.  But if it were ambidextrous, depending on the price I'd het it.

 

And it's kind of funny you're going "against the grain" back then , (obviously not now) and making it lefty only.

 

Just wondering what you were thinking with a lefty only CV Arcade stick.

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First the joke about the original CV Super Action:

 

The good news is that joystick is ambidextrous.

 

The bad news is if you get good enough where you can play over 15 minutes on one credit you're going to learn to become ambidextrous because of all the arm cramps from holding it.

 

But your Coleco Super Action is not Ambi.

 

It can become easily ambi if you follow my strategy at Sinistersticks.com

 

By the way, if I make some money, but not an astronomical amount, i would actually hurt myself by doing it for money.

 

Feel free to take my design of a 180able stick, work off it, and use it for an Ambi version of the Coleco Super Stick.  I get more benefit seeing it implemented and actually purchasing one myself vs any money I could make off it.  I'm on Social Security Disability.  Take it as far as you can run with it.  Money only hurts my health care benefits.

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The easiest way to make an ambidextrous arcade stick, is to build one with a centered joystick, and 2 sets of buttons...like my Fire Command Mk. II controller pictured above.  If one was to be built with all 4 SAC buttons, it would simply need to be built into a larger enclosure, or smaller buttons might be an option, in that same 10" wide enclosure.  

 

The reason the first posted SAC controller was built for a right handed person (w/ joystick left and buttons right) was because I built it for myself, and I am right handed...not ambidextrous, thus don't have any real need for an ambidextrous controller, and as previously mentioned, nobody has ever asked me for an ambidextrous controller before...either left joystick / right buttons, or left buttons / right joystick...as most people are decidedly 1-handed.

 

To build a controller that is flippable 180 for ambidextrous offering, then it has to be built into a flat topped enclosure, not a sloped top, the joystick has to have a switch to re-wire it for left side or right side, you would either need two sets of buttons (in low ergonomic arcs, but with your hands now hanging off/over the front edge) or one set, in a straight line (not as ergonomic) then you would need to detrermine how to orient the keypad.  My keypad is built into my PCB, and cannot be rewired at the flip of the switch.  So either you rotate it 90, and its sideways...useable for both sides, but not perfect, or set it one way, wherein it would be upside down for thr other way.

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...and now the:

 

ADAM - Super Joystick Controller

 

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All the same hardware/specs as the ColecoVision variant in the first post, built into a Serpac 191i,AL (almond) enclosure, with ADAM inspired CPO graphics.  

 

Enjoy!

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