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Joystick recommendations?

TI-99/4A Joystick

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#1 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:20 PM

I was elated to begin using Stuart's Internet Browser last month, and although I'm getting used to navigating the pointer via keyboard, I was hoping to use a joystick or trackball instead.

 

To that end, I dug out my original Atari 2600 joystick + joystick adapter.  It worked but not well at all.  After seeing a few pieces of plastic fall out of the joystick's base, I'm reasonably sure it's shot.

 

So I'm in the market for a new joystick.  I know Wico was popular, and they seem to be plentiful on eBay.  But I'm curious to know what everyone else genuinely likes.  Ideally, I'm looking for something that's very smooth/fluid; the original Atari 2600 joystick feels like a rock! :thumbsdown:

 

Any recommendations?



#2 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:23 PM

My favorite is the Epyx 500XJ.

#3 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:51 PM

My favorite is the Epyx 500XJ.

 

Second.  Next is the Suncom Tac2 (the one I have is only a single button, though,) followed by the good old Atari CX-40s.



#4 pixelpedant OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:51 PM

I've got a *lot* of joysticks, about half of them Atari (and thus TI 99/4A + Wico Adapter) compatible.  And I generally prefer to use my Wico Command Control bat handle stick.  For 9 games out of 10, anyways. 

 

In some rare circumstances (for Dragon's Lair, actually, for example), I'll use a Genesis 3 button controller I modded for use with my (controller-modded) Sega Game Gear, which is as a result and mostly by accident also fully Atari compatible (not in the backwards pseudo-compatible way that the Genesis controllers conventionally are - the mux has been completely removed, and the contacts wired directly).  A gamepad can be nice for games featuring rapid momentary inputs in the cardinal directions (hence Dragon's Lair). 



#5 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:16 PM

Which version of Stuarts Browser are you using?  The older version 9.2 with a UDS-10 works great with a trackball, but if you are using the TIPI 9.3 version, I'd recommend a cheap wireless mouse.  I'm using a cheap Logitech M310 on my TIPI you can pick one up for under $20.00, plug it in and you're off to the races.

 

The color styling matches the TI too!



#6 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:47 PM

BTW, speaking of failing Atari 2600 joysticks, none of my originals have failed but I have three repros which are not faring well.  One of them straight-up broke.



#7 LASooner OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 12:07 AM

BTW, speaking of failing Atari 2600 joysticks, none of my originals have failed but I have three repros which are not faring well.  One of them straight-up broke.



The ones I got with my Flashback feel very cheap.

#8 jrhodes ONLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 2:20 AM

Wico, ball top.

Or the wico slick stick.



#9 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 9:06 AM

Wico, ball top.

Or the wico slick stick.

 

I prefer the Wico ball myself.



#10 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 11:07 AM

I really like the wico bat handles as they have buttons on top and base. And leaf-switches.I happen to have NOS ones in stock at arcadeshopper.com (new in box) https://www.arcadesh...tegory=21773047

 

Also like the monster joystick's retro joystick kits https://monsterjoyst...g-joystick-kits

and @benjedwards off twitter's hand made joysticks but they are both pretty pricey.. but super nice icon_smile.gif https://twitter.com/...716513166217216

 

Greg



#11 john_q_atari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 11:44 AM

 

Second.  Next is the Suncom Tac2 (the one I have is only a single button, though,) followed by the good old Atari CX-40s.

 

Interesting. I have both that I bought new back in the day from ToysRUs. I think they were recommended by the ToysRUs game sales people. I never really cared for either of them. Maybe I'm just not a microswitch guy or just got too used to the original atari joysticks that came with my 2600 Vader system. I kinda like the slik stik though. Never had any of the other Wico's to try though. I ordered 2 just now to try them out.  :)

 

Followup edit:

 

I realized I never did have the tac 2. I have something that looks more like a tac3 or a tac5. it has a white plastic handle and I don't much care for it, whatever it is.


Edited by john_q_atari, Wed May 1, 2019 11:52 AM.


#12 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 12:49 PM

The Tac joystick I have is a giant metal ball between four metal plates.  I need to find it.



#13 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 5:49 PM

Thank you all for the feedback.  Based on what you've told me and other reading I've done, I'm leaning toward getting the Wico ball top joystick.

 

I notice eBay lists quite a few Wico 'The Boss' joysticks.  Were these any good?



#14 jmazzy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 1, 2019 6:00 PM

Which version of Stuarts Browser are you using?  The older version 9.2 with a UDS-10 works great with a trackball, but if you are using the TIPI 9.3 version, I'd recommend a cheap wireless mouse.  I'm using a cheap Logitech M310 on my TIPI you can pick one up for under $20.00, plug it in and you're off to the races.

 

The color styling matches the TI too!

 

I'm using v9.2 of the browser with a UDS-10.  And even though I haven't yet tried it, I like the idea of using a trackball with Stuart's browser.  That said, I'm guessing I'd prefer the feel of a joystick for various games, even though I don't play them often.

 

With that in mind, and since my space is limited, I'm leaning toward getting the Wico ball top joystick.  I'm guessing it would be the most comfortable fit for me for both the browser and most games.



#15 jrhodes ONLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2019 2:38 AM

Wico's the boss is OK, but prefer the ball tops myself.

I keep one as a spare, for use in 2 player games and to take to my C64 when i don't feel like unplugging the ball top from the TI.



#16 digdugnate OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2019 9:53 AM

the only solution are the TI-provided PainSticks!  :D

 

Just kidding.  My preference just depends on how my hands feel- I have a Best Electronics-refurbed CX40 (with new switches!) and a homebrew NES-style controller that I alternate between with a Wico adapter. I like either one, really.

 

The Slik Stik is super nice, too.



#17 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2019 11:51 AM

@jrhodes - Interesting ICON you have, must be a TIPI user!  :grin:

 

 

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#18 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2019 3:53 PM

 

With that in mind, and since my space is limited, I'm leaning toward getting the Wico ball top joystick.  I'm guessing it would be the most comfortable fit for me for both the browser and most games.

 

When I used 9.2 the the Wico trackball seemed to give me greatest control, but with limited space, yes, a joystick sounds like the logical way to go.  



#19 fimbulvetr ONLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2019 4:20 PM

I actually prefer the pain sticks for a lot of ti games. They have a nice short throw and are a decent size in my hand. But you cant go wrong with a Suncom Tac2 or a Competition Pro, which are my go-to joysticks. I have several Wico sticks, and while the leaf switches are nice I find the throw too long so dont use them much. The Suncom Starfighter is also nice. It is smaller than the Tac2, but has pretty similar performance and you can pick one up much cheaper.

One of these days I have to get around to making a real arcade stick setup for my ti, as that would by far be better than any of the commercial options.




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