I am very new to Atari 7800 world and I need some advice from more experienced users.
Let me explain the whole story. I have purchased my first Atari 7800 about a month ago. As I am based in UK, it is PAL console (let's name it unit A). It came with two europads and two games (Jinks and Barnyard Blaster). Over the period of the month I have bought another 8 games and I have discovered that second fire buttons on my controllers do not work. I have also bought 3rd europad and managed to borrow Proline controller off the person who is sure that is working fine.
None of these had working secondary fire button on my console. Moreover, the Proline had no working buttons at all. I have disassembled all 3 europads and cleaned them inside. While doing that and I have connected them to the console and tested both buttons, but no change. Only first fire button worked. Strangely enough when I plug 2600 game both buttons work as a charm.
Frustrated with that, I came to the conclusion that there is something wrong with the console itself. I have then purchased second PAL Atari 7800 (lets name it unit B). The situation improved a little, as most of the controllers started to work fine. I mostly tested them with Choplifter! and Crack'ed as there are clear indication when the second fire is used. However it then started to go downhill. When playing Choplifter! both buttons completely randomly stopped to work altogether. Then after 30 seconds they started to work again. I have tried to swap europads and Proline while having the console on and in some cases it helped out (one or two buttons started to work), in some cases it did not. I have had situations that first button or both buttons stopped to work, I swapped europads, didn't help, switch off the console, switched on and both buttons were OK. Or disassembled europad while still connected and used rubber from underneath the plastic button to make a contact - it worked. Completely random. This all happened on unit B.
So I have done yet another test: connected unit A, got Choplifter! in, connected same Europad which worked a moment ago with both buttons on unit B, started a game and second fire started to work. It never worked on unit A. My happiness lasted exactly for 1 second, because when I pressed secondary fire again it didn't work. And since then never worked again...
And to be on the safe side: I tried with two different copies of Choplifter!
On top of that first fire button sometimes not work in unit A without any reason. I speak about such situations as starting Asteroids (built in ROM of course) and not able to fire a shot. I switch off the console and switch on again, everything works. Or wait for a minute (even with Pause), then everything goes back to "normal". I mean one button working.
And such hiccups also happen on unit B, but less often.
I am completely puzzled. I have 2 consoles, 4 controllers and buttons works intermittently on several combinations of all. I read here on the forums that it can be an issue with TIA, but before I spend any more money doing anything more, I would like to hear some advice on direction I could go.
Any advice will be highly appreciated.