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Various Magnavox Joysticks, Modifications and Inner Workings

pong joystick magnavox joystick odyssey joystick 4000 retrofit odyssey 4000 analog joystick

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#1 gliptitude OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:50 PM

I debated where to post this and decided here, although my goal is to seperate these joysticks from their Odysseys and use them on other consoles.

I've had a non-working Odyssey 2 for a long time and never used it and never seen a live one otherwise.

A while back I salvaged the joysticks. I hollowed one out and retrofitted a mini-arcade stick and button and a db9 cable for Atari. It works great and is super stylish, although the bottom of the stick pokes out of the enclosure.

Having taken those apart and seen the components I figured the original function was probably pretty clumsey and unfulfilling, although the heavy spring and mounted metal stick were pretty impressive. .. Well more recently I acquired an identical joystick that was apparently originally manufactured for Atari compatible, so I've had a try and was a mildly surprised. It is the same inside and out but with a different cable and pinout. It is reasonably responsive and functional, way above average for an Atari stick, although I am surprised how awkward the button placement is and how irritating rolling the stick around the jagged 8-point hole is, which is pretty unavoidable in some games. .. Still a great joystick option to have around.

.. Next is a real curiosity, an analog Pong stick with both x and y axis, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it.

It's the same shape and size but a very different feel and function, even beyond what I anticipated. I knew that it did not spring center but I thought that meant it would be loose, like some old PC analog sticks. Well it is actually very stiff and stays wherever you leave it, something I'm not sure I've ever encountered before. There are two plastic plates that slide back and forth against eachother. They are just held on track by the the shape of the metal housing below and the pressure of the enclosure above. Small tabs underneath fit with plastic arms on the potentiometers which are able to slide side to side as well, in order to adjust to eachother. These joysticks orient sideways compared to the Odyssey 2 and they have a different and I think better button component.

The Odyssey 4000 console I just got only partially works and probably won't satisfy my desire to play with these joysticks. I'd really like to adapt them to VECTREX, (**or hire someone to**) and after my first time using them and feeling how stiff and kind of restrictive it was I was guessing they had straight track potentiometers like what you might see in a volume slider on a stereo and which I have seen before in a PC joystick, (and which I'd hoped would be easy enough to replace with different value pots with the same mechanical profile). But no they are large rotary potentiometers with what I think might be a pretty unique and difficult to replace mechanical arm assembly.

The pot values don't match Vectrex and .. they don't appear to match eachother! They are also quite jittery on the Pong console.

So I think these might just end up sitting around looking pretty.

In the first picture left to right is Odyssey 2 joystick, Odyssey 2 enclosure retrofit with arcade parts by me for Atari, Magnavox style joystick originally manufactured for Atari, and analog joystick from Odyssey 4000 pong console.

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Edited by gliptitude, Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:07 PM.

#2 shiz OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

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Posted Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:30 AM

Is it me or are the Magnavox controller buttons prone to dissapear/be broken?

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: pong joystick, magnavox joystick, odyssey joystick, 4000, retrofit, odyssey 4000, analog joystick

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