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New: VECTREX Joystick Kit for sale

Vectrex Joystick Controller

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#51 Hyperboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:36 PM

Patiently waiting on my kit!

#52 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:15 PM

:)  It arrived in the United States two day ago. Your people have it now...  ;)

You will surely hold it in your hands soon.  :thumbsup:



#53 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:57 PM

SOLD OUT! 

:thumbsup:  :-D

 

Thank you all for your support!

 

- Rolo

 

PS:

You want one, too?

You could not get one of the 1st batch?

  :arrow: Please "register" at http://atariage.com/...-for-2nd-batch/  or send PM.

     Depending on demand, I'll make another one. 1st come, 1st serve. 


Edited by Rolo, Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:33 PM.


#54 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 4, 2015 8:39 AM

Completing my Vectrex Controller.

You remember my mock-up? I made a case for it.  :idea: 

Look:

ensemble.jpg

 

A wooden case, for the woodgrain age. Wood is relatively easy to work with. No special tools needed.  :thumbsup:

A case with a detachable bottom.

woodenCase.JPG

The cable has to go out somewhere. Look how the cable relief is made:

cableRelief01.JPG cableRelief02.JPG  

Now the panel is put on one side of the frame:

bottomOpen.JPG

Attaching the bottom and fastening it with some screws.

mountingBottom.JPG

The panel also is clamped with four screws at the rim.

panelMounted.JPG

And the backside:

backside.JPG

 

Not hard to DIY! 

What do you think? Cool or not cool?  8)

Let's do some gaming  :party: :waving: 

 

 

 



#55 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 4, 2015 11:55 PM

^^that's sweet! :thumbsup:



#56 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:51 AM

"Vectrex Joystick Kit" buyers:

 

All Vectrex Controller Kits should have been delivered in the meantime.

Is anybody still waiting?

One kit was reported to have arrived in a very bad condition (maybe destroyed). How about the others?

 

-Rolo



#57 vtk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:19 PM

Hi Rolo (or perhaps if anyone else is reading and can help?)

 

I bought a spare original vectrex controller a few days ago from ebay, but it is very well used/worn -  the buttons are not so bad with a clean/service, but the joystick internals (pots) are very worn to the point of cannot be serviced/fixed (the conductive tracks inside the pots are worn away/gone).

 

looking at your joystick kit i notice you are using a 'playstation2 style analog thumb controller' type of pot (ALPS)

 

could you tell me please if you know, can i just use one of those ALPS type of pots inside my original vectrex controller? or is the value/range of the ALPS pot too different/incompatible to work instead of the original vectrex joystick pot?  im just wondering if i can use one, perhaps without the need of any re-calibration of the vectrex controller (or, if some re-calibration needs to be done, or some extra components eg. resistors added, perhaps someone could explain this)

 

any advice would be greatly appreciated,   thank you   :)


Edited by vtek, Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:20 PM.


#58 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:05 PM

I Recieved mine and it was in perfect shape. The only unfortunate thing is that is won't be until after the holidays that I'll be able to approach building this out. Looking forward to it though! Thanks again for this ! 😄

#59 Hyperboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:23 PM

"Vectrex Joystick Kit" buyers:
 
All Vectrex Controller Kits should have been delivered in the meantime.
Is anybody still waiting?
One kit was reported to have arrived in a very bad condition (maybe destroyed). How about the others?
 
-Rolo

13c20b7b284ab660cd0d7abdd5e78166.jpg
e63a14b076d3cc2227eb4a0825576815.jpg424f4979a20ed05502d415e6a3223fbd.jpg

#60 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:53 AM

^^Did customs molest your kit or did the package go through a war zone? That suxx dude...  :_(



#61 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:02 AM

Hi Rolo (or perhaps if anyone else is reading and can help?)

 

I bought a spare original vectrex controller a few days ago from ebay, but it is very well used/worn -  the buttons are not so bad with a clean/service, but the joystick internals (pots) are very worn to the point of cannot be serviced/fixed (the conductive tracks inside the pots are worn away/gone).

 

looking at your joystick kit i notice you are using a 'playstation2 style analog thumb controller' type of pot (ALPS)

 

could you tell me please if you know, can i just use one of those ALPS type of pots inside my original vectrex controller? or is the value/range of the ALPS pot too different/incompatible to work instead of the original vectrex joystick pot?  im just wondering if i can use one, perhaps without the need of any re-calibration of the vectrex controller (or, if some re-calibration needs to be done, or some extra components eg. resistors added, perhaps someone could explain this)

 

any advice would be greatly appreciated,   thank you   :)

I think the old paddle style pots used in vintage electronics have a much higher value than modern thumbsticks. Thumbsticks are typically in the 5k-10k range an use an analog to digital converter (ADC) to change the voltage of the pot into an 8-bit value that is sent to the console or PC through a digital interface. The exact value of the pot is not critical since it only used as a voltage divider. However these thumbstick pots are much too small value compared to vintage analog joystick or paddle typically using 500k or 1M pots. Old school game systems left one pole of the pot floating and instead created an RC circuit that relies on a large resistance which drains a small capacitor usually located inside the system. When a certain voltage threshold is reached the logic changes. The length of time it takes to drain the pot is proportional to the resistance of the paddle pot, and is measured by the system and converted into a digital variable in the game.

 

It should be possible to use digital logic to send a pulse to the console after a given time frame. This would emulate the time constant signal the console expects to see on it's end. A 555 timer set up as a one-stop timer would work. It can read the refresh signal coming from the console as an input. This signal is normally used to reset the RC timer. The one-stop schematic will become active using an RC circuit between the analog thumbstick and an appropriately valued capacitor on the controller PCB. Changing the value of the capacitor and using a trim pot for joystick centering, one can adjust the range of the thumbstick to produce a time constant signal comparable to what the original console expects. Determining the optimal values may involve some guesswork, but such a circuit should work in theory for any vintage paddle or analog joystick like 5200, Vectrex, or 2600 paddles.

 

TLDR: Sorry I don't have a tested schematic for this but it should be doable. Direct connecting the thumstick definitely won't work as the value is too small.



#62 fmml OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:09 AM

As far I can tell no harm was done during domestic shipping.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1450084080.520155.jpg

#63 Hyperboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:17 AM

^^Did customs molest your kit or did the package go through a war zone? That suxx dude...  :_(

I know right, you can't tell from those pics but it was water logged as well. I haven't opened to check damage since both Rolo and I have filled claims on each end. I wanted it to be exactly as it arrived but there are pieces of the kit just rolling around in the plastic, which as you can see has a big ass hole so it's hard to say what is left inside.

#64 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:19 AM

Yeah, that sucks :(

 

I did contact Rolo to confirm the entire kit inventory, which was 100% in my package, so if you want a checklist, PM me.



#65 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:20 AM

could you tell me please if you know, can i just use one of those ALPS type of pots inside my original vectrex controller? or is the value/range of the ALPS pot too different/incompatible to work instead of the original vectrex joystick pot?  im just wondering if i can use one, perhaps without the need of any re-calibration of the vectrex controller

You can do so. Maybe you'll have to recalibrate by changing the two fixed 4K7 resistors to 3k3 or 3K9 or something. Use the test cartridge for calibration. But most probably you'll run into mechanical problems. It will not be easy to make the ALPS part fitting and to attach it firmly with the original case. I'd really recommend to try to replace the two pots in the mechanical assembly or if not possible just the resistor part of those. 

You can PM me anytime.

:)


Edited by Rolo, Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:25 AM.


#66 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:24 AM

I'm in contact with Hyperboy concerning the destroyed controller. We are trying to settle that with the involved shipping companies. The registered mailing included a small insurance.

We are going to work that out in any case.  :thumbsup:

-Rolo



#67 fmml OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:36 AM

"Vectrex Joystick Kit" buyers:
 
All Vectrex Controller Kits should have been delivered in the meantime.
Is anybody still waiting?
One kit was reported to have arrived in a very bad condition (maybe destroyed). How about the others?
 
-Rolo

13c20b7b284ab660cd0d7abdd5e78166.jpg
e63a14b076d3cc2227eb4a0825576815.jpg424f4979a20ed05502d415e6a3223fbd.jpg
Those are the real pictures of the kit? I thought you were joking. What a nightmare. :(

Edited by fmml, Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:36 AM.


#68 vtk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:22 PM

thanks for the advice stardust4ever and rolo, ok perhaps i will have a play around and try to figure something out (one thing i am looking into is, perhaps re-aiming (by bending a little) the wiper inside the pot, so that instead of making contact with the worn out part of the track (conductive material), it instead makes contact with a fresh area of the conductive material

 

it's a shame replacement pots for the vectrex controller are not available (well, at least i assume are not available).  -- you could probably find a replacement pot with the correct resistance value, but perhaps the problem is with finding a pot which has the little 'spring' type thing inside which centers the pot after the joystick is pushed in a direction and then let go



#69 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:03 PM

thanks for the advice stardust4ever and rolo, ok perhaps i will have a play around and try to figure something out (one thing i am looking into is, perhaps re-aiming (by bending a little) the wiper inside the pot, so that instead of making contact with the worn out part of the track (conductive material), it instead makes contact with a fresh area of the conductive material

 

it's a shame replacement pots for the vectrex controller are not available (well, at least i assume are not available).  -- you could probably find a replacement pot with the correct resistance value, but perhaps the problem is with finding a pot which has the little 'spring' type thing inside which centers the pot after the joystick is pushed in a direction and then let go

You might try smearing the insides of the pots with dielectric grease (you can buy the stuff at an automotive shop). Also test them to see what the total resistance is. I don't have a wiring diagram for vectrex controllers, but if it works like the 5200 joysticks or 2600 paddles do, the required range will be way too high for an off the shelf thumbstick to work as a replacement, hence you'll need to create a pair of one-shot timers within the joystick to emulate the RC time constant. The OP has already done the schematic work and may be able to help you more. I'd be all over this DIY project if only I owned a Vex.



#70 50TBRD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:49 PM

Mine arrived safe and sound.



#71 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:49 AM

project update:

 

SInce I have enough names on my list for a 2nd batch, I started ordering of components and parts. Revision 2 pcbs are already on the way from China to Germany. More to come ...



#72 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 1, 2016 12:46 PM

Introducing Vectrex Controller Kit (version 2)

 

Here is something new:

VecCtrlKitv2_01.JPG

This is the new Vectrex controller board. Like the first version, it offers an adjustable analog joystick and two adjustable auto-firing channels with led indicators.

The new board gives you more flexibility when mounting it into a case. It can be cut into two pieces along the dotted, drilled line or mounted in one piece.

VecCtrlKitv2_02.JPG

This offers the possibility to seperate the joystick from the auto-fire controls (i.e. for left-handed players). Only thing you need to do, is to connect the two boards with six wires.

Also new: The potentiometers can be mounted in different ways now:

 - you can attach them to the panel and connect them with wires, like before

 - you can directly mount them into the pcb in different ways, like shown in the pictures

VecCtrlKitv2_03.JPG VecCtrlKitv2_04.JPG

Another trick is to mount the auto-firing part upside down, component-side down and solder-side up. Solder the switches, leds and pots directly onto the solder-side, like demonstrated in the picture. So no additional connecting wires are needed, the other bulky components are not in the way and the pcb can be attached face-down to the panel with 5 mm distance rolers, the switches and so on looking through the cutouts of the panel. The turning of the pcb, of course, means that button-3-channel and button-4-channel are swapping positions on the panel, which easily can be corrected by swapping the wires of button-3 and button-4 accordingly.

VecCtrlKitv2_05.JPG

I'll be soldering some boards the next days and make more cables. There are already people on the waiting list, whom I will PM, when I'm ready.

Since there are different possibilites now, I'm not sure, how to deliver the kits: pcb cut or not, which kind of distance rollers (long or short). Plugable connecting cable (yes or no). I'll probably make a standard configuration, which you can adapt and complete yourself. I can ask in the PMs, what kind of mounting you plan. 

 

Ordering:

People who are interested please PM me. I'll add your name on my list and deliver one by one. Please allow some time, since this is a purely manual process and I don't have unlimited time for the project.

 

Price:

I don't have an exact calculation yet, but price will probably be in the same region as before, something like 55 US$ (or Euros) plus shipping.

 

-Rolo

:waving:

 



#73 gliptitude OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 1, 2016 8:41 PM

Shucks I think I prefer this new design quite a bit. I haven't assembled my kit yet. Is there a way to upgrade to the new board without getting a whole new kit?

#74 Rolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 2, 2016 9:50 AM

I see no real way to upgrade, since all the pcbs are completely populated and soldered. That would mean to desolder everything.

And there is no real reason to do so, since the functionality of both versions is exactly the same. When you put the kit into a case you won't notice anymore.

 

Maybe, if you absolutely want the newer version, you can sell the old kit? Is anybody following the thread willing to help? Or do you know another Vectrex-user nearby (no shipping at all)?

If I took back the kit and sent you another one, we'd only produce a lot of shipping costs. That doesn't make a lot of sense, I suppose.

 

That identifies a general problem: I'd like to change the design, whenever I notice something, that can be improved and whenever I'm ordering new pcbs. This version probably won't be the final version. The next version may have some small details changed for the better. If you buy now, you'll have an old version tomorrow. I impossibly can take back older versions and distribute the current version, without piling stocks of hardware. Maybe I should just have waited some months before publishing version 2. Frankly I did not think of that. Consider, this is only a small hobby project, no business involved, no factory, no shop. Anybody has some advice?


Edited by Rolo, Sat Jan 2, 2016 9:55 AM.


#75 50TBRD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 2, 2016 11:25 AM

Since I intend to purchase 1 or even 2 of the new ones, you can send one of the new ones to Jason and Jason can send his old one to me.






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