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chrisj

How to fix a 5200 joysitck?

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I have a 5200 controller where the joystick only goes right, not left, and the up/down only occasionally works. I have cleaned the contacts and all the buttons work fine. When I have it apart I can manually move the two joystick controls and up/down and left/right work fine. Note that the problem is worse with games such as Zaxxon, and games that just require right-left and up-down such as DigDug work better but not 100%. Is there a way to fix the joystick?

 

Chris.

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If the joystick works fine when you move the arms on the pots, then I'd question whether the two plastic plates that move the arms on the pots are dropping properly into place when the joystick is put back together. You should be able to see where they go and where they need to line up. And then you should be able to feel it when you put it back together. It takes some practice, but once you get the feel for it, it's pretty easy.

Edited by Ransom

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I agree with Ransom on this. If the two potentiometers work fine with the controller apart, then something is not lining up correctly when it is put back together. If you had discovered that rotating the pot arms with the controller apart still did not register correct movements on-screen, then I would have suggested taking the problematic pot(s) apart and cleaning the contacts with alcohol. Doesn't sound like the case here, based on what you are saying.

 

One thing to be careful of when reassembling the controller casing: Make certain the top pot's arm is rotated to the "9 o'clock" position, and that the bottom pot's arm is rotated to the "6 o'clock" position. Then, make certain that the two slider plates have their respective slots positioned over the pot arms as everything is screwed back together. It is critical that you do not force the assembly back together and somehow rotate the pot arms out of the 9 and 6 o'clock positions.

 

One last thing to look at: It is possible that the pot arms have somehow been rotated out of their proper alignment relative to the pots over the years. While the controller is disassembled, you can force the pot arms past their stopping points with a little extra effort. Really, what you are doing with this is making the pot arms slip around the pot shafts, since they are only press fit in place. For proper alignment of these arms, it is best to plug in the game Missile Command, or something similar where the on-screen cursor can be visually centered in the exact middle of your TV screen. The key to properly rotating the pot arms about the pot shafts is for the top arm to be rotated to exactly "9 o'clock" with the Missile Command cursor centered vertically on your TV screen. If it is not, then you will need to force the pot arm to rotate in the direction needed to achieve this alignment. After the top pot arm is centered for accurate vertical movement, then you need to make sure that the bottom pot arm is rotated to exactly "6 o'clock" with the on-screen cursor centered horizontally in the middle of your TV screen. At this point, your controller is ready for reassembly, taking into account my earlier warnings regarding the two sliding plates. I hope this is helpful.

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