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5-11under

ColecoVision Arcade Controller Enabler

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Hi there,

 

The ColecoVision is known for trying to fulfill the arcade experience at home. However, one of the main weak points of the ColecoVision is the controller. The stock controller is prone to failure, and even if you've cleaned all of the contacts, it still isn't ergonomically very good. If you've installed a ball-top or some other extension on the joystick, I'm sure that improves things, but there's still some inherent problems with the controller design, such as the location of the switches. The Super Action Controller is decent, but the switches can be painful after extended use. Unless you've got a Questar, most 3rd party controllers aren't much better than the stock controllers, either.

 

If you're happy with your current controller, please ignore the above prelude. :) If you're not happy with your current controller, I've been working on an idea to hopefully improve your "ColecoVision Experience"...

 

I'm designing a breakout board to help you create your own arcade controller (or two) for the ColecoVision. This would include the following items/features:

 

  • Six foot extension cable to connect between the ColecoVision and the breakout board
  • Female DB9 connector on back of breakout board (connects from extension cable)
  • Male DB9 connector on back of breakout board (to externally connect steering wheel, roller controller, etc.)
  • DB9 breakout pads on the breakout board in case you want to add more features internally such as steering wheel, etc.
  • About 28 or so diodes on the breakout board that are required for proper operation
  • A pair of wires soldered on the breakout board (~16" long) for each switch/button
  • 1/4" quick connect connectors on the end of each wire
  • Coloured wire ties on each pair of wires to help differentiate the many pairs of wires
  • Support for a joystick (4 switches essentially), keypad (12 individual switches/buttons), fire buttons (2-4 switches/buttons)
  • Standard mounting brackets on the two DB9 connectors (to help installation)
  • Mounting holes on the breakout board, for optional increased support

Items you'll need to add include:

 

  • Arcade joystick
  • Arcade buttons
  • Case

Things you'll need to do:

 

  • Create your own layout for the joystick and switches (the fun part)
  • Build or buy the case, and drill the required holes (the tedious part)
  • Purchase the joystick and buttons (will need 1/4" quick connect terminals on all switches, which are fairly standard)
  • Physical installation

Things you won't need to do:

 

  • Solder anything (all the soldering is already on the assembled breakout board)
  • Figure out where all of the diodes go

Unfortunately, the PCB will be at least 2" x 4", and there'll be about 50 ft. of wire, so the costs add up. With the current features, the price will be about $45 to $50 each, plus mailing costs from Canada.

 

The design isn't complete yet, so feel free to make suggestions, discuss things, etc., etc.

 

Please reply if you're interested (with quantity). I'm hoping to have these done in a couple of months, approximately. I'm kind of guessing this will be a one-time batch, but new batches could be made in the future, if required.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

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I always though this was actually the way to go for Colecovision

 

Arcade Quality Video Game System deserve Arcade Quality Controls

 

Controller Pad for ColecoVision? Come on! :P

 

I already have builded a prototype Arcade Controller in the past, and that was simply wonderfull to use! :D

 

So, a couple months ago, I've talked with 5-11under about the possibility of making a "Arcade Controller Kit" that will be easy/friendly to use for making your own Arcade Contoller

 

And, why not building your own ColecoVision Arcade Cabinet?! :cool:

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I know this would imply extra time and effort, but how about designing a sub-circuit board that would allow any modern keypad to be used as a ColecoVision keypad? Today's keypads don't work the same way as old CV keypads, so an intermediary PCB with a CPLD could be used to implement keypad compatibility.

 

Just an idea. :)

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I always though this was actually the way to go for Colecovision

 

And, why not building your own ColecoVision Arcade Cabinet?! icon_shades.gif

 

Yee haa, That's what i played on since november 2006. Link. icon_mrgreen.gif

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I know this would imply extra time and effort, but how about designing a sub-circuit board that would allow any modern keypad to be used as a ColecoVision keypad? Today's keypads don't work the same way as old CV keypads, so an intermediary PCB with a CPLD could be used to implement keypad compatibility.

 

Just an idea. :)

 

This is a good idea, don't know how hard will it be for doing that though... :ponder:

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I know this would imply extra time and effort, but how about designing a sub-circuit board that would allow any modern keypad to be used as a ColecoVision keypad? Today's keypads don't work the same way as old CV keypads, so an intermediary PCB with a CPLD could be used to implement keypad compatibility.

 

Just an idea. :)

 

This is a good idea, don't know how hard will it be for doing that though... :ponder:

 

Stupid me for asking for suggestions. :)

5-11under

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I always though this was actually the way to go for Colecovision

 

And, why not building your own ColecoVision Arcade Cabinet?! icon_shades.gif

 

Yee haa, That's what i played on since november 2006. Link. icon_mrgreen.gif

 

I guess I'm a little late for you. It would have been plug & play!

5-11under

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The best thing using real arcade parts, is you never need to change any parts, cause the only thing that will broke is Micro-Swtiches (Cherry Switch), these are easely available everywhere for real cheap

Micro-Switches are also really easy to swap

(Those who builded a M.A.M.E cabinet already knows that kind of stuff)

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Hi 5-11under icon_smile.gif

I look forward to see what you come up with, maybe I could use it in my arcade cabinet. icon_mrgreen.gif

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Hi there,

 

The ColecoVision is known for trying to fulfill the arcade experience at home. However, one of the main weak points of the ColecoVision is the controller. The stock controller is prone to failure, and even if you've cleaned all of the contacts, it still isn't ergonomically very good. If you've installed a ball-top or some other extension on the joystick, I'm sure that improves things, but there's still some inherent problems with the controller design, such as the location of the switches. The Super Action Controller is decent, but the switches can be painful after extended use. Unless you've got a Questar, most 3rd party controllers aren't much better than the stock controllers, either.

 

If you're happy with your current controller, please ignore the above prelude. :) If you're not happy with your current controller, I've been working on an idea to hopefully improve your "ColecoVision Experience"...

 

I'm designing a breakout board to help you create your own arcade controller (or two) for the ColecoVision. This would include the following items/features:

 

  • Six foot extension cable to connect between the ColecoVision and the breakout board
  • Female DB9 connector on back of breakout board (connects from extension cable)
  • Male DB9 connector on back of breakout board (to externally connect steering wheel, roller controller, etc.)
  • DB9 breakout pads on the breakout board in case you want to add more features internally such as steering wheel, etc.
  • About 28 or so diodes on the breakout board that are required for proper operation
  • A pair of wires soldered on the breakout board (~16" long) for each switch/button
  • 1/4" quick connect connectors on the end of each wire
  • Coloured wire ties on each pair of wires to help differentiate the many pairs of wires
  • Support for a joystick (4 switches essentially), keypad (12 individual switches/buttons), fire buttons (2-4 switches/buttons)
  • Standard mounting brackets on the two DB9 connectors (to help installation)
  • Mounting holes on the breakout board, for optional increased support

Items you'll need to add include:

 

  • Arcade joystick
  • Arcade buttons
  • Case

Things you'll need to do:

 

  • Create your own layout for the joystick and switches (the fun part)
  • Build or buy the case, and drill the required holes (the tedious part)
  • Purchase the joystick and buttons (will need 1/4" quick connect terminals on all switches, which are fairly standard)
  • Physical installation

Things you won't need to do:

 

  • Solder anything (all the soldering is already on the assembled breakout board)
  • Figure out where all of the diodes go

Unfortunately, the PCB will be at least 2" x 4", and there'll be about 50 ft. of wire, so the costs add up. With the current features, the price will be about $45 to $50 each, plus mailing costs from Canada.

 

The design isn't complete yet, so feel free to make suggestions, discuss things, etc., etc.

 

Please reply if you're interested (with quantity). I'm hoping to have these done in a couple of months, approximately. I'm kind of guessing this will be a one-time batch, but new batches could be made in the future, if required.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

I'll buy two from you when they are ready.

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Just curious:

 

Isn't all this already achievable by simply using the board from an existing CV stock controller? Soldering wires from arcade buttons and a joystick would be not much problem at all, and then mount it all inside a case?

 

In any case: I will be interested in one of these as my budget allows.

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Just curious:

 

Isn't all this already achievable by simply using the board from an existing CV stock controller? Soldering wires from arcade buttons and a joystick would be not much problem at all, and then mount it all inside a case?

 

In any case: I will be interested in one of these as my budget allows.

 

Yes, that's completely do-able, and probably the easiest, if you don't mind soldering and dealing with a "rat's nest" of wires. See ten-four's link, in a post above.

 

5-11under

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I know this would imply extra time and effort, but how about designing a sub-circuit board that would allow any modern keypad to be used as a ColecoVision keypad? Today's keypads don't work the same way as old CV keypads, so an intermediary PCB with a CPLD could be used to implement keypad compatibility.

 

Just an idea. :)

 

This is a good idea, don't know how hard will it be for doing that though... :ponder:

 

Stupid me for asking for suggestions. :)

5-11under

Not really interested, eh? Oh well... ;)

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I know this would imply extra time and effort, but how about designing a sub-circuit board that would allow any modern keypad to be used as a ColecoVision keypad? Today's keypads don't work the same way as old CV keypads, so an intermediary PCB with a CPLD could be used to implement keypad compatibility.

 

Just an idea. :)

 

This is a good idea, don't know how hard will it be for doing that though... :ponder:

 

Stupid me for asking for suggestions. :)

5-11under

Not really interested, eh? Oh well... ;)

I did notice that Grayhill has some individual switches that can be connected together to make a keypad. Kind of pricey, though. I think I'm just going to use regular arcade buttons, arranged as tightly as possible, so they don't take up too much space.

 

I'm probably going to get this bundle, unless someone else has a better idea: http://www.xgaming.com/store/arcade-parts-and-accessories/product/arcade-parts-bundle-2-joysticks-20-buttons/. It's $40, which looks reasonable, and shipping to Canada is only $10 ($8 to US). They also accept PayPal. Player 1 will have a "keypad", while player 2 will not, so the 2 joysticks and 18/20 buttons will work out quite nicely.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

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I did notice that Grayhill has some individual switches that can be connected together to make a keypad. Kind of pricey, though. I think I'm just going to use regular arcade buttons, arranged as tightly as possible, so they don't take up too much space.

 

I'm probably going to get this bundle, unless someone else has a better idea: http://www.xgaming.com/store/arcade-parts-and-accessories/product/arcade-parts-bundle-2-joysticks-20-buttons/. It's $40, which looks reasonable, and shipping to Canada is only $10 ($8 to US). They also accept PayPal. Player 1 will have a "keypad", while player 2 will not, so the 2 joysticks and 18/20 buttons will work out quite nicely.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

 

I have been thinking about building an Arcade Controller for the ColecoVision for a long time. My main concern was the keypad. I won a set of keypads on ebay last night. If I make an Arcade Controller I will recess one of these keypads in the panel, and then I can use original or reproduction overlays. I would also use yellow, red, purple and blue arcade buttons so that Super Action games could be played. My layout from left to right would be keypad, 4 SA buttons in a diagonal line like back slash, then the joystick. None of that left handed joystick crap for me. I would then wire both controller ports to this one controller so that it was shared for 2 player games. I would use the guts from a SAC and run wires from it.

Would be super cool to have a nice custom control panel overlay made.

 

I would get the arcade buttons and joystick from

 

http://www.happcontrols.com/

post-23318-127963674948_thumb.png

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I did notice that Grayhill has some individual switches that can be connected together to make a keypad. Kind of pricey, though. I think I'm just going to use regular arcade buttons, arranged as tightly as possible, so they don't take up too much space.

 

I'm probably going to get this bundle, unless someone else has a better idea: http://www.xgaming.com/store/arcade-parts-and-accessories/product/arcade-parts-bundle-2-joysticks-20-buttons/. It's $40, which looks reasonable, and shipping to Canada is only $10 ($8 to US). They also accept PayPal. Player 1 will have a "keypad", while player 2 will not, so the 2 joysticks and 18/20 buttons will work out quite nicely.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

 

I have been thinking about building an Arcade Controller for the ColecoVision for a long time. My main concern was the keypad. I won a set of keypads on ebay last night. If I make an Arcade Controller I will recess one of these keypads in the panel, and then I can use original or reproduction overlays. I would also use yellow, red, purple and blue arcade buttons so that Super Action games could be played. My layout from left to right would be keypad, 4 SA buttons in a diagonal line like back slash, then the joystick. None of that left handed joystick crap for me. I would then wire both controller ports to this one controller so that it was shared for 2 player games. I would use the guts from a SAC and run wires from it.

Would be super cool to have a nice custom control panel overlay made.

 

I would get the arcade buttons and joystick from

 

http://www.happcontrols.com/

I'll likely design the board so people could plug in one of those Coleco keypads (or SA guts, etc.) internally (there will also be an external connection).

 

I thought of 4 coloured fire buttons for myself, but decided on black for everything. To each their own, I guess. The joystick will be on the right, though, of course. :)

 

Question: are there any games that use all 4 fire buttons, but not the spinner?

 

Thanks,

5-11under

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Question: are there any games that use all 4 fire buttons, but not the spinner?

Yes: Spy Hunter. I think Rocky and FrontLine also use all 4 buttons but not the spinner. There may be others.

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I know this would imply extra time and effort, but how about designing a sub-circuit board that would allow any modern keypad to be used as a ColecoVision keypad? Today's keypads don't work the same way as old CV keypads, so an intermediary PCB with a CPLD could be used to implement keypad compatibility.

 

Just an idea. :)

 

This is a good idea, don't know how hard will it be for doing that though... :ponder:

 

Stupid me for asking for suggestions. :)

5-11under

Not really interested, eh? Oh well... ;)

I did notice that Grayhill has some individual switches that can be connected together to make a keypad. Kind of pricey, though. I think I'm just going to use regular arcade buttons, arranged as tightly as possible, so they don't take up too much space.

 

I'm probably going to get this bundle, unless someone else has a better idea: http://www.xgaming.c...ks-20-buttons/. It's $40, which looks reasonable, and shipping to Canada is only $10 ($8 to US). They also accept PayPal. Player 1 will have a "keypad", while player 2 will not, so the 2 joysticks and 18/20 buttons will work out quite nicely.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

I have no experience with nor any idea of the quality of these undoubtedly Chinese made parts, but I ran across these the other day:

http://www.dealextreme.com/search.dx/search.arcade%20buttons

 

 

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Question: are there any games that use all 4 fire buttons, but not the spinner?

Yes: Spy Hunter. I think Rocky and FrontLine also use all 4 buttons but not the spinner. There may be others.

 

Luc is right as far as I know. Only baseball, football and perhaps soccer (never played soccer) use the spinner. I suppose for maximum compatibility, there should be a spinner centered below or to the right of the joystick.

 

Glad I am not the only one that wants the joystick on the right 5-11under. :)

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Xarcade parts are great, but I don't like the "ping" of their Micro-Switches

Always buy the Original Cherry Switches

Otherwise, Xarcade parts are really good

 

Happ Control, the good old one!

I only heard good things from Happ

If you're in US, this is the way to go

 

You also buy Happ parts in Canada at:

https://www.theplaydiumstore.com/c-2-parts.aspx?id=3

 

I'm mostly always buy from Playdium, they are cool guys, offer extremely fast shipping and they're easy to do buisness with, a must if your're in Canada

Edited by retroillucid

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Question: are there any games that use all 4 fire buttons, but not the spinner?

Yes: Spy Hunter. I think Rocky and FrontLine also use all 4 buttons but not the spinner. There may be others.

 

Luc is right as far as I know. Only baseball, football and perhaps soccer (never played soccer) use the spinner. I suppose for maximum compatibility, there should be a spinner centered below or to the right of the joystick.

 

Glad I am not the only one that wants the joystick on the right 5-11under. :)

 

 

Is Spy Hunter also only using the 4 buttons?

post-25394-127964576884_thumb.jpg

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Is Spy Hunter also only using the 4 buttons?

 

Yes it does

 

 

EDIT: You can also play it using the Regular Controller

Edited by retroillucid

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Thanks everyone for the info...

 

I'll make sure there's support for all 4 fire buttons.

 

As far as the spinner goes, I need to open a SA controller, to see how it's connected. I'll add some support for it... in the least, you'll be able open your own SA controller, install the spinner somehow onto your arcade controller, and simply plug in the SA controller DB9 connector into the breakout board.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

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Thanks everyone for the info...

 

I'll make sure there's support for all 4 fire buttons.

 

As far as the spinner goes, I need to open a SA controller, to see how it's connected. I'll add some support for it... in the least, you'll be able open your own SA controller, install the spinner somehow onto your arcade controller, and simply plug in the SA controller DB9 connector into the breakout board.

 

Thanks,

5-11under

 

Does the Trackball (Roller Controller) would be supported as well? :)

 

 

EDIT: It could be an issue though, with the power plug that goes into the CV...

Edited by retroillucid

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