A few weeks ago there was a link to an eBay auction in Germany for some interesting controller accessories that I decided to order. It was slightly difficult to get because the seller would not ship to the USA and he wasn't responding to my messages asking about shipment, so I had to have them shipped to a friend in the UK, and then shipped to me.
One of the items was an NES Advantage control modified to be at ColecoVision controller, and honestly being a fan of this control stick from my NES development days, this is something I was very interested in! The other was a pass-through keypad like the "Champ Adapter", something that I thought would be a cool item to have that I never had before.
Here's what the guy was selling:
Sorry to say that both of these items are pretty much a bust. Possibly fixable, but we'll see. Here's my report...
At first glance taking it out of the box, it looked great! Was really happy with the modifications done and was pretty excited about this!
Here's another look at the keypad and buttons of the controller.
The bottom of the unit. Yup...at one point in this sucker's life, it used to be a Nintendo product... now it's Coleco!
The controller came with a one-sheet printed instructions in both English and German.
One more look at the controller! My expectations are high at this point!
While the Advantage controller didn't really come with any packaging, the Champ Adapter at least came in this box:
At first glance it looked ok. I've never held a real Champ Adapter, so I'm not sure what to compare it to.
Holding it though, felt really "cheap" and the best way to describe it was "Chinese plastic crap" - It did not have a good feel to it.
Here's a look at the controller port, and the keypad was made at least so you can slip an overlay into it.
Here are the instructions that came with it:
Yup....plastic Chinese crap! =) (I know lots of good stuff is made in China, but this just felt CHEAP!)
So plugging in the Advantage controller instantly had several disappointments. First off, the right button didn't work at all. Secondly, the left button BARELY worked. I had to press it down as far as humanly possible to get it to work. I tested it with a couple of games and with the AtariMax Controller Test. It did not pass! And finally, they had placed these little number stickers over the number pad which really weren't stuck on. The first time you pressed a button, they came right off.
I popped open the controller to find that one of the wires was completely disconnected to the buttons. It just looked like really shotty work.
Here's the rest of the insides for those who are interested:
On the plus side, the control stick worked really well! So I'm hoping I can get the buttons all fixed up (shouldn't be too much of a hassle, just sucks I have to go through the hassle) and this will prove to be a good controller. Although at the moment, I'm a little sour on the whole thing.
The Champ Adapter seemed like total crap. The first thing I did was grab and overlay and with almost zero pressure at all on it, the faceplate popped right off! It was like it was barely glued down!
I pulled out some glue and did the best I could to get the thing back together, but really the number pad and the faceplate seemed a bit off, even going back to the photos above I shot, I noticed the same thing...
But I at least got it to the point where I could put an overlay in it, but it really just doesn't line up correctly:
A homebrew one worked a *little* better...
Overall, I give both of these items a huge thumbs down. Don't bother. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do with them. I'll fix the controller and see how that goes. Not sure what I'll do about the seller. I'm not going to send them back because they are interesting and unique, but the quality just isn't there. So if they come up again in an auction, I wouldn't spend a lot of money for them.