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Problems w/ Atari Paddle Controllers

issue problem paddles controller

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#1 Fludoodles OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:39 PM

This has gotten really odd so I figure this is the best place to get some help. My Atari paddles were jittery at first, and I followed the instructions to clean them. After cleaning them, they were still jittery. I cleaned them again, and the issue persisted. To test if it was a broken pot, I modded a new one from Radio Shack onto one of the controllers, which also didn't change anything. 

 

I have a spare Flashback 4, so I tested the controllers on that. Both of the paddles played very smoothly, almost like new. And yet, when I plugged them into the actual system, they seemed broken. I noticed that the pins on the Flashback seemed smaller, so I tried to use the controllers with a serial port adapter with the same size pins, but it didn't work either. I get that I could just buy another pair, but the controllers aren't actually broken, so I don't think I should. Plus, I'm not sure buying another pair of paddle controllers would solve the problem. If it helps, the paddles are (2nd?) generation, the kind were the shaft of the pot is a lighter color. My 2600 is a Vader. 

 

Ideas? I'm pretty stuck at the moment :D



#2 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:50 PM

Best Electronics has new POTs that they claim are just as good - if not better - than the Atari originals. They seem to be just for 2600 paddles, as opposed to say the 2600 driving controller...

#3 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:43 AM

Driving controller doesn't use a pot - it operates in similar fashion to a mouse in that a series of Grey codes are returned via joystick directions then it's up to the software to sample at a sufficient rate and work out what the user is doing.

 

Atari paddles differ to some others e.g. Commodore in that they use a 1M Pot where C= ones use 500K and won't return the full set of values on an Atari machine.



#4 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:40 AM

Driving controller doesn't use a pot - it operates in similar fashion to a mouse in that a series of Grey codes are returned via joystick directions then it's up to the software to sample at a sufficient rate and work out what the user is doing.
 
Atari paddles differ to some others e.g. Commodore in that they use a 1M Pot where C= ones use 500K and won't return the full set of values on an Atari machine.


A half-assed Commodore product. Go figure.

#5 Atariman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:50 AM

So, just to make sure I understand - They work great on a Flashback 4, but crappy on a vader 2600? I'm pretty sure that the original 2600 measures the position of the pots via an RC circuit. Does anyone know if the Flashback 4 does as well? My only other thought would be that maybe (however unlikely) the caps associated with the aforementioned RC circuit are bad? Perhaps the contact with the pin is marginal and resulting in this strange behavior?

Edited by Atariman, Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:51 AM.


#6 Fludoodles OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:53 PM

So, just to make sure I understand - They work great on a Flashback 4, but crappy on a vader 2600? I'm pretty sure that the original 2600 measures the position of the pots via an RC circuit. Does anyone know if the Flashback 4 does as well? My only other thought would be that maybe (however unlikely) the caps associated with the aforementioned RC circuit are bad? Perhaps the contact with the pin is marginal and resulting in this strange behavior?

My thought was that the pins weren't reaching as well. One idea was to get some kind of conductive material that would help the pins reach or something. I'm still stuck on why my other controllers seem fine on both the Flashback and the Vader, otherwise I'd think it was the ports on the system itself.



#7 Fludoodles OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:56 PM

Best Electronics has new POTs that they claim are just as good - if not better - than the Atari originals. They seem to be just for 2600 paddles, as opposed to say the 2600 driving controller...

I don't really think the pots are the issue at this point, though I suppose they could be. I replaced one of them, and checked how well they worked before and after I had replaced it with Kaboom, and there didn't seem to be a difference in performance in the slightest. If anything, it should have worked a little bit better or a little bit worse. 



#8 Fludoodles OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:18 PM

I think they're past saving at this point, I'd just like to check one thing. I need an image of what the end of the connector looks like for the paddle controllers.



#9 zylon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:12 AM

Sounds like the port might be failing or even a bad connection on the plug end of the paddle cord.



#10 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:21 AM

A half-assed Commodore product. Go figure.

PMSL.

 

I'm not sure it's half-assed.  Probably just some deliberate move to make their own deviation from the "standard" such that you had to buy their product.

Atari paddles can be used on C= machines but there would be a greater dead zone where maximum resistance has been reached and the same reading is returned.

C= paddles on Atari - supposedly you wouldn't get the full range of values, there would be more distance between values but the outer ones should be unreachable.

 

I've got sets of both, but never really checked out the differences properly.







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