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Atari 2800 controllers

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#1 maxdrive OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:52 PM

How do the Atari 2800/ sears arcade II controllers work are they worth picking up if I can get a hold of them or are they more of a novelty.

#2 BassGuitari OFFLINE  


    Glorified Toaster

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:25 PM

Unless you have a 2800 or Video Arcade II to use them on, they're not really that useful, as it's the only console that has onboard hardware to switch between their joystick and paddle functions. (They could be used with a regular Atari system but would need to be hooked up with a Y-cable into the same controller jack for paddle usage...and who wants to futz with that?)


On top of that, they're just not great controllers. The fire buttons and joystick are somehow both stiff and mushy feeling at the same time. The paddle is pretty nice when clean, and the joystick is okay if the internal parts aren't worn out, but the fire buttons are its Achilles' Heel for me. The action is waaay too long on them, and not especially responsive anyway. Definitely a hand-cramper. And unfortunately, there's no good way to mod them to improve the response or tactile feel (microswitches alone would make a world of difference) without performing relatively extensive alterations to the shell and/or parts, so you're essentially stuck with what it is. Too bad; it could have been a pretty sweet controller--it certainly looks sweet!


TLDR: don't bother.

Edited by BassGuitari, Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:26 PM.

#3 maxdrive OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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  • 203 posts

Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:19 PM

The look is what I liked you could tell the 7800 is based off that look with the buttons on the side I would have loved one controller for paddle and joystick the idea of home brews based off that like a Tron one for the paddle for the dial controls of the arcade

#4 H454 OFFLINE  



  • 496 posts
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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:06 AM

more of a novelty.


You answered your own question. icon_wink.gif


The Chances of you finding a working one is small. The spring for the fire button breaks and the white plastic that holds the potentiometer in the joy stick bends out of shape, turning the joystick unusable.

But, the spring is still available from best electronics.

#5 Oldschool80skid OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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  • Location:Delaware

Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:34 AM

Best Electronics has them for $29.95 + shipping.


#6 darriba OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

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Posted Sun May 27, 2018 8:52 PM

Does anyone know an easy way to remove the plastic cover on the joystick/paddle of this controller?  I'm trying to clean/fix one and I thought the plastic cover would come out easily by just pulling out like the normal paddles.  That doesn't seem to be the case and they seem to be glued or something.   I'm afraid of breaking it buy using too much force.


#7 jim1174 OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

  • 241 posts

Posted Mon May 28, 2018 2:44 AM

If you really want them you can get them from best electronics I saw them when I Bought some 2600 controllers.

#8 Galactus OFFLINE  



  • 266 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN, US

Posted Mon May 28, 2018 8:03 AM

I kind of like them. I have a pair that work perfectly. They're not something I would ever use regularly, but CX-40's aren't really either.  They're just different. I think I got them with a vader and a bumch of games for like 40 bucks, though I can't say for sure. It was a while back.

#9 chopperthedog OFFLINE  


    Space Invader

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Posted Tue May 29, 2018 12:00 PM

Great as a paddle, the smaller knob size makes a difference (twss). I swapped around some wires on the inside so the paddle works on any vcs. As others have said, the joystick blows.



good day.

#10 chopperthedog OFFLINE  


    Space Invader

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Posted Wed May 30, 2018 7:20 PM

For those interested in wiring for use as a paddle on a standard vcs. First pic is stock and second is vcs paddle mode. Just swap wires on pot, relocate yellow, leave grey attached to board, unplug the rest, wrap with electrical tape and tuck towards bottom of controller. Since you have it open, doesn't hurt to shoot in some deoxit D5. I also did have to shave the nubs with a razor off the plug end. I've had some more play over the last couple day, just fantastic. The smaller knob is great and just involves finger twitches with far less wrist movement, I also don't feel the need to reset my fingers at any point during game play. Fun stuff.
good day.

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Edited by chopperthedog, Wed May 30, 2018 7:28 PM.

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