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Atarius Maximus

My Joystick Mod - 7800 Compatible 3-Button CX40

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I thought I'd share my latest project with everyone. I modified an Atari CX40 to use with my 7800, adding two additonal fire buttons. IMO, the Proline joysticks are terrible, they are painful for me to use. I had to come up with an alternative!

 

The top button functions normally (it's the wired to be the same as pushing both buttons simultaneously), and I added two more buttons on the front of the base, which are both used with your index finger. Just as you'd expect, the left button functions as the 7800 Proline's left button, and the right button functions as the Proline's right button.

 

I haven't done much testing with it yet, but it appears to work fine so far with One-on-One. This was a somewhat difficult mod to do, I had to cut the circuit board and remove one of the plastic screw cylinders inside the joystick base in order to make room for both additional buttons. I spent several hours working on this. I pirated a 7800 stick for the wiring and the resisitors, I had an extra broken one anyway.

 

If you'd like to take a look at some pictures, go here:

 

http://www.stevesfiles.com/Joystick2.jpg

http://www.stevesfiles.com/Joystick4.jpg

http://www.stevesfiles.com/WiringDiagram.jpg

 

AM

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Hi there!

 

Thats a pretty darn neat idea! Simple and effective! Im gonna have to give that a try myself soon... those proline hurt my hands after a while, after one marathon session of asteriods i ended up with blisters! ick!

 

Thanks for the cool info!

 

 

Tifany

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Atarius - That is a GREAT advancement in Atari joystick technology! I can't believe I never came up with that myself after all of these years, sitting around obsessing with the system. Let me know how your project turns out, I'd like to purchase a few of those from you. They look like they would work very well as opposed to the prolines.

 

Best,

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Atarius - That is a GREAT advancement in Atari joystick technology! I can't believe I never came up with that myself after all of these years, sitting around obsessing with the system. Let me know how your project turns out, I'd like to purchase a few of those from you. They look like they would work very well as opposed to the prolines.  

 

Thank you, I appreciate the kind words! This was just an evening project, I don't really have the time (or spare joysticks) to make these and sell them. I'd be happy to provide you with more detailed instructions on how to make your own, though.

 

I'll post again after I've had the time to test the joystick with all of the games. I am by no means an expert on things like this, but it looks like it will work OK. I left for vacation shortly after my original post ... I'm far from home, way up in the green mountains of Vermont right now, trying hard to enjoy my vacation! (no Atari up here :sad: )

 

AM

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I'll post again after I've had the time to test the joystick with all of the games

 

 

Were the instructions ever posted? If not, PLEASE post them :)

 

- VD

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Were the instructions ever posted? If not, PLEASE post them  

 

No, I never got around to posting any instructions, so I'll do it now. I'll do my best to explain how I did it.

 

Please keep in mind that this joystick modification was created by a very non-technical person who just likes to take stuff apart and tinker with it. It may or may not work for you, so I take no responsibility for you turning your perfectly good joysticks into piles of useless plastic!

 

If all goes well, after you finish this project your joystick should have 3 working buttons. The wiring was designed so that the original button on the CX40 will emulate pressing both 7800 buttons at the same time, and the two new buttons would emulate the left and right buttons on the 7800 Proline joystick. I haven't tested it with very many games yet, but it appears to be fully functional.

 

Equipment I used for this project:

 

1 Donor Atari 7800 Proline joystick (used main cable & resistors from it)

1 Atari CX40

2 Small Momentary-switch buttons from Radio Shack

 

Tools I Used for this project:

 

Soldering Iron

Drill

Wire cutters

Electrical Tape

 

Getting Started...Prepare the donor parts:

 

1. Disassemble the Proline Joystick. Carefully remove all wiring from the circuit board, and remove the main cable. This cable will be used in the CX40.

2. Remove the Resistors from the Proline circuit board. These will be re-used in the CX40. I simply clipped them off with wire snippers. You can also buy new resistors from Radio Shack if you prefer, they’re 520 Ohm.

 

Prepare the CX40:

 

1. Disassemble the CX40. Carefully put aside the fire button and the spring underneath the fire button, that spring is really easy to lose.

2. Remove all the wiring from the circuit board (just slide the clips off).

3. Remove the existing main cable from the CX40, you won’t be needing it anymore. After you remove it, install the main cable from the 7800 Proline in it’s place. The cable from the Proline joystick has the extra wiring we’ll need to install the 2 extra buttons.

4. Remove the screw cylinder from the top left of the base (In this case, “remove” really means “break it off ”). This needs to be removed in order to make room for the new buttons. I removed it by latching on to it with a pair of locking pliers, and twisted it until it finally popped off. Nothing scientific there!

5. Drill holes for the two switches. I positioned them based on the placement of my hand. The switch farthest to the right should rest comfortably under the tip of your left index finger.

6. Cut the circuit board. Be VERY careful doing this! This step is necessary to make room for the buttons. See the picture at http://www.stevesfiles.com/joystick1.jpg (or just look at the bottom of this post) to get an idea of how I did this.

7. Install the buttons. Place them in the holes you drilled and secure them in place.

8. Based on the wiring diagram at http://www.stevesfiles.com/wiringdiagram.jpg (also posted below), connect all of the wires (using the main cable pirated from the 7800 stick) to the circuit board. You will need to solder in the resistors, as seen in the diagram.

 

Putting it all back together:

 

1. After you have installed all of the wiring, carefully place the circuit board back in to the base unit. In my joystick, it was a very tight fit along the top of the circuit board, where I had cut the board to make room for the back of the buttons. You may have to twist the buttons to position the wires just right.

2. Put the firing button and the spring back in, and carefully place the top of the joystick back on.

3. Hold it tight, flip it over, and put the screws back in. It will only take 3 instead of four now, as we removed one of the screw cylinders.

4. Test it!

 

Now, sit back, and enjoy all of your 7800 games the way they were meant to be played. With a CX40 Joystick!

 

 

joystick4.jpg

joystick1.jpg

wiringdiagram.jpg

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Thank you for the instructions!

 

I'll be giving it a try on my Competition Pro Joystick in a little bit. I was curious, which games require both buttons to be pressed at the same time?

 

Thanks!

 

VD

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That's a good link, but it doesn't show which games require both buttons to be pressed at the same time  

 

As far as I know, there aren't any games that actually require both buttons to be pressed at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, I'm no expert on this stuff, but I believe that's just how the fire button behaves with how the wiring is configured in my diagram.

 

AM

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I don't think ANY REQUIRE of them to be pressed at the same time...

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That's a good link, but it doesn't show which games require both buttons to be pressed at the same time

 

 

 

It's like playing 7800 Xevious with the CX40, it just fires both weapons at once, so it's not really changing anything.

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It's like playing 7800 Xevious with the CX40, it just fires both weapons at once, so it's not really changing anything.

 

Ah...O.K. That's interesting...

 

Atarius Maximus:

 

I like the controller mods, now let me challenge you with this proposal.

 

How about the Wico bat controller and make it so you can use the top and bottom as primary and secondary fire-buttons?

 

It looks like you can do it with similar mods, but the internals are a little different.

 

What do you think??? Come on! Give it a try! : :D

 

 

- VD

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Atarius Maximus:

 

I like the controller mods, now let me challenge you with this proposal.

 

How about the Wico bat controller and make it so you can use the top and bottom as primary and secondary fire-buttons?

 

It looks like you can do it with similar mods, but the internals are a little different.

 

What do you think??? Come on! Give it a try! : icon_biggrin.gif  

 

Heh. I'm never one to back down from a challenge, but I don't have a Wico bat controller to even attempt that. I'm sure it could be done, though. If you know where I could find a wiring schematic of that controller, I'll look in to it. Or, you could send me one of your spares, if you have one. :D I couldn't have finished the Proline to CX40 mod without the schematics that I found on the internet.

 

AM

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If you know where I could find a wiring schematic of that controller, I'll look in to it.  Or, you could send me one of your spares, if you have one.  :D  I couldn't have finished the Proline to CX40 mod without the schematics that I found on the internet.

 

AM

 

OK, I think we can work something out. I'll start looking for the schematics. I have two bat controllers. One works, the other one doesn't. I think the non-working Wico just needs a new cable, but I'm no expert in electronics. PM me when you have a minute!

 

Thanks!

 

- VD

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Sorry for the necropost, but I was just searching for this old thread as I finally found and dug up this old controller (it still works) and I remembered that it was one of the very few 7800 posts I made way back when I first joined AA. I just thought it'd be fun to bump it up. It's going to be put back into active duty for testing 7800basic games with the Cuttle Cart. :) The website I hosted the pics on is long gone, but I have the info for creating this mod on my current website here.

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Hey, thanks for necro-ing this! I recently built a 7800 arcade controller from scratch but kudos to you making a better version into the 2600 controller. I've also got a quickshot controller (with redundant dual buttons built in) I might mod for 7800 use, hehehe...

 

Anyway, I found some very useful info on your page regarding the stereo mod. I've been wanting to stereo mod my 2600 for a while now but didn't want to do the AV "kits" because I wanted to preserve the stock RF on my console and just output stereo audio to the A/V jacks. Also instead of SPST, a dual switch could be used to reconnect the RF audio when in mono mode. I also noticed there were no voltage dividers or anything on the output besides the filter cap. How is the volume level of your mod compared to other stereo sources? Is it loud? Soft?

Edited by stardust4ever

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