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Javaman

question for those with wireless joysticks

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I have a set of the Atari brand I got for cheap at a flea market but they're not working. I'm wondering if it might be mismatched crystals.

 

The crystal numbers in the joysticks are 49.830 and 49.890.

In the receiver the numbers are 49.375 and 49.435.

 

Can some kind soul with working wireless joysticks confirm that the crystals in the joysticks and receiver should match?

I have no serial number labels on the joysticks to confirm they're from the same set as the receiver.

 

Thanks.

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The crystals should not match. The receiving frequency in several bands is always a tad different from the transmit frequency. Did you get a box and instructions with 'em?

 

I don't know of many troubleshooting tips for these things, really. I had a receiver decide not to work and I reflowed it, but I never did pin down an exact problem. I do wanna make sure they're set up right, though. You have to run the 2600's power supply into the receiver, then run the three cords from the receiver into the 2600. It's pretty self explanatory. The serial numbers don't have to be the same as the receiver. I've actually run the same game on two different Atari systems with one wireless controller and two separate receivers.

With all three wires hooked up and fresh batteries in the sticks, you should be able to plug in any game and work out which joystick is right and which one is left. I think they purposely hid the power switch on the sticks.

 

Not trying to be smart here, please don't take it that way. I just can't help but think that something which is easily overlooked might be why your joysticks aren't working.

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Thanks so much for the reply. By all means, any info you can share will be a great help. That bit about playing on different units gives me hope then. I'd been told the crystals had to match.

 

They weren't in a box with instructions but I hooked it up just as you wrote.

I put in tank Combat so I could see if either joystick works, but I turn on the Atari and the 2 tanks just fire repeatedly. No response to anything I do. On/Off switches have no effect. I'm wondering does this happen on yours too if you switch off your joysticks? Do both joysticks need to be on for just one to work? I can still see from the silver label on the bottom which one is left and right. The joysticks definitely look like an original matched set.

 

I used a multimeter to check the battery leads where they are soldered onto the board and there's power. I checked each pin on the cords from the receiver and those check out too. The green antenna wires also check out.

 

Once again thanks for any insight you might have. I like tinkering around to fix problems like this so I'll stay at it.

 

The crystals should not match. The receiving frequency in several bands is always a tad different from the transmit frequency. Did you get a box and instructions with 'em?

 

I don't know of many troubleshooting tips for these things, really. I had a receiver decide not to work and I reflowed it, but I never did pin down an exact problem. I do wanna make sure they're set up right, though. You have to run the 2600's power supply into the receiver, then run the three cords from the receiver into the 2600. It's pretty self explanatory. The serial numbers don't have to be the same as the receiver. I've actually run the same game on two different Atari systems with one wireless controller and two separate receivers.

With all three wires hooked up and fresh batteries in the sticks, you should be able to plug in any game and work out which joystick is right and which one is left. I think they purposely hid the power switch on the sticks.

 

Not trying to be smart here, please don't take it that way. I just can't help but think that something which is easily overlooked might be why your joysticks aren't working.

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I think the tanks would fire continuously if I switched off the sticks. I'm not sure, though. I typically use a CX-10, so I never really get a chance to break out the wireless sticks. I'll have to get 'em out tomorrow and experiment.

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Some progress to report. Turns out I had a bad voltage regulator. I replaced it so now I've got power but only one fully functioning joystick.

 

The other joystick has a mind of its own unless I directly connect the antenna lead to the back of the receiver.

I discovered when I swapped crystals to the working joystick as well as swapping the ones on the board, the problem follows it. Not sure how a crystal could go bad but I'm leaning towards that as the problem.

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I got the other one working. Turns out it wasn't the crystal (again). It just needed an adjustment on one of the coils.

 

In any case it's fun using these joysticks. I love how insanely thick they are. It's funny how you can hear the RF if you tune your radio to around 100 mhz.

Curious to see what maximum range I get while staying within sight.

 

Thanks again. :)

Edited by Javaman

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