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Rick Dangerous

CX52: Repair myself or Replace?

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So, my 5200 didn't even come with a CX52 controller, I found one at the local play and trade. I opened it up last night and gave it a good cleaning, but it's still a little spotty. The joystick works great, but the bottom left fire button is dead. The # and * keys oddly work for some games and not for others, and though pause and start work, reset doesn't seem to do anything.

 

I found it really easy to take apart the joystick and clean everything, but I don't know how to solder (I know I need to order a kit and learn.) Eventually I'd like to have two fully functional CX52's to use for mutliplayer with friends and games best suited for analog control. I'm wondering if I should:

 

1. Order two fully refurbished controllers from Best (More expensive option at like $60 a pop or something similar)

 

2. Restore them myself: order the gold components and new buttons from best and try to do it myself.

 

The buttons are easy enough. My main concern is where the circuit pad goes into the white receptor. Is that like a ribbon cable I can pull out or is soldering required? I just don't want to get in over my head if it's above my skill level.

 

Anyone done this themselves before and have the skinny on what it actually takes? Thanks for your thoughts.

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Just do what I did and bite the bullitt and order the gold replacement controller from Best. It was $48 but comes with their lifetime warranty and you don't have to deal with rebuilding it yourself which, frankly, won't save you that much more.

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I would try crazy gluing bits of aluminum foil to the black dots on the fire buttons. This isn't usually needed for the keypad buttons... Just cleaning the metal contacts with alcohol usually does the trick for them. Good luck!

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Just do what I did and bite the bullitt and order the gold replacement controller from Best. It was $48 but comes with their lifetime warranty and you don't have to deal with rebuilding it yourself which, frankly, won't save you that much more.

 

I'm starting to lean this way..the parts alone would be close to that $48 price. I thought they were more though..without trade in.

 

I would try crazy gluing bits of aluminum foil to the black dots on the fire buttons. This isn't usually needed for the keypad buttons... Just cleaning the metal contacts with alcohol usually does the trick for them. Good luck!

 

I did use cue tips and alcohol to clean the contact points and it seemed to work well overall. Interesting idea with the aluminum foil on the fire buttons. May have to try that out as a short term solution.

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The foil thing works while the adhesive holds. I never tried krazy glue. I have used double sided tape with success.

 

Best is the way to go if you have the money or if you don't want to fiddle with the small bits of foil.

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i assume you know the proper take apart procedure most of the time you can use a pencil eraser to clean the metal bits and then do little skidmarks on a piece of paper with the black dots after you clean the metal you can put a little finger residue amount of vasaline on each contact

 

but test the metal with a paperclip or penny to make sure the traces are not broken if they are broken you can often find a flex circuit on ebay for like $8 you dont need the gold

 

just remember to be gentle

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but test the metal with a paperclip or penny to make sure the traces are not broken if they are broken you can often find a flex circuit on ebay for like $8 you dont need the gold

 

So if they are broken the flex circuit is done, toasted, like a fuse. Then it just needs a new one, no amount of cleaning will fix it. Am I getting this right? This is what you are talking about:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Rev-9-Mylar-Flex-Circuit-for-Atari-5200-Joystick-Controllers-OEM-CX52-/391049921280?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5b0c644300

 

I'm in a "do it myself" kind of mood lately. I think i'll order one of these and check it out. It looks like it plugs in like a ribbon cable, no soldering required.

 

Are you sure about the vaseline? How does that help, as a conductor or lubricant, both?

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Well.....I have done everything in the book that doesn't involve spending money to clean and rehabilitate this controller. Going to let the crazy glue dry for a few hours and will give it a try.

 

Next up, new button and flex circuit kit..

post-38373-0-43206600-1425277863_thumb.jpg

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best game to test the keypad is galaxian cause each button starts at the level number good luck getting things back together

 

i take a piece of tape and run it across the number pad to hold it to the top while i reassemble

 

the last step is putting on the s,p,r bezel do not put it on until you test the stick with missile command if you miss a h or v pot you are taking it back apart

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I would try crazy gluing bits of aluminum foil to the black dots on the fire buttons. This isn't usually needed for the keypad buttons... Just cleaning the metal contacts with alcohol usually does the trick for them. Good luck!

 

Better yet, HVAC foil tape (not duct tape) and a standard paper hole punch. Takes about 20 minutes to do the entire controller and should last a lifetime.

I originally coated the pads with rear window defroster repair resin back in the 90s but that started to fail after 10 years. That stuff still works well for bridging broken flex circuits.

Edited by Turbo-Torch
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Better yet, HVAC foil tape (not duct tape) and a standard paper hole punch. Takes about 20 minutes to do the entire controller and should last a lifetime.

I originally coated the pads with rear window defroster repair resin back in the 90s but that started to fail after 10 years. That stuff still works well for bridging broken flex circuits.

 

I second this advice. My 5200 controllers were in primo shape but the buttons did not want to respond consistently, even after cleaning. Put some foil on the back of the buttons with the hole punch/adhesive and BAM! Works a treat! Start with the easy/cheap method first :)

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With the foil tape, no glue is needed. It's just a mild pain to get the paper backing off the dots once they're punched out...an exacto knife helps.

I've always felt the carbon pads were 100% at fault and not the flex circuits. When I used the copper resin, I had over 10 years of use without ever having to take them apart. That many years and countless hours of use was a good run but I think the foil tape will be far better.

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If I remember correctly, you can trade in your CX52s to Best Electronics and then receive a refurb'ed replacement joystick with the gold upgrade already done for $43.

 

Just remember, being a 5200 enthusiast isn't cheap. I've tried the eraser trick on my CX52s and it didn't work on any of 'em.

 

I wonder why Best hasn't offered a paddle modification on the CX52s in addition to the gold upgrade kit. Paddles would work best for Super Breakout, Space Invaders, Galaxian, Kaboom! and Castle Crisis. And a spinner mod would work best for Pole Position, Gyruss, and Tempest.

 

If you end up needing help fixing a CX-53 Trak-Ball Controller, go onto Facebook into the Trakbombers Facebook group. Dan Kramer, the creator of the Trak-Ball, is a frequent participant and forum administrator.

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I dis the aluminum foil/crazy glue thing with my controllers. It's been 5 years and they still work perfectly. Before, I had to clean the flex circuits a couple times a year...

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I have been using 3M Metal Foil Tape, which is available at Lowe's. A roll is about $12. Hole punch works fine. The tape has

Great adhesive backing. Over a year now on my earlier rebuild, a Rev7 flex circuit with metal sticky dots and no issues, functions great. No glue required either.

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The foil tape isnt strong enough to hold for long being that little . I use Loctite super glue gel control with the foil tape

 

http://www.amazon.com/Loctite-LOC1364076-Super-Glues/dp/B004MEXDH2/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1428367397&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=loctite+gel+control+super+glue+reviews#customerReviews

I disagree. I refurbished both my CX52s with foil tape, and they still work perfectly two years later. I use them quite regularly too. The adhesive on that tape is very strong, and should work for a very long time. If you have a harbor freight tools near you they sell it very cheaply, and you'll probably find a lot of other uses for it around the house.

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I disagree. I refurbished both my CX52s with foil tape, and they still work perfectly two years later. I use them quite regularly too. The adhesive on that tape is very strong, and should work for a very long time. If you have a harbor freight tools near you they sell it very cheaply, and you'll probably find a lot of other uses for it around the house.

 

 

It's true, this tape is robust. The 3M adhesive has not disappointed me, more than 2 years on now from the first controller overhauls I've done.

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I also use the 3M foil tape. I cut the foil squares to about 1/8" x 1/8". I do advise that you get some cardboard or card stock and make a good 2 inch line with each carbon pad on it. This removes the old oils and grime on the carbon dots. The foil tape will stick better to it if you do that. Then after applying the tape, I take the pad that I applied the tape to, and then place it face down on a smooth hard surface like a counter top. I then give each button or number..etc that I put tape on a good press down to really get the tape on there.

 

I can say that it took about 10 years, but I did finally have to apply new foil tape to one of the controllers I first did. Even if they only lasted 4 or 5 years, it would be worth it to spend the half hour needed to do this and not have to worry about it again for a while. Heck, if you get a large enough roll of the foil tape like I did, you should be set for life!

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I forgot about this. I created this sometime ago and even had it posted online as a flash file to be browsed through. But here is the PDF I did years ago that describes how I refurbish all of my 5200 controllers. I still use this method today.

 

5200_Joystick Repair.pdf

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The best rebuilt controllers are excellent, I have two myself. When i found out it cost me more to send in the old controller than the trade in credit, I ordered new flex circuit and the best rubber buttons and keypads and fire button. Came to like $24 for one controller. If you follow his instructions they are very easy to repair. My repaired controllers work just as good as the best rebuilds. No soldering involved.

 

Even if you need to replace cable there is no soldering.

 

Take a look at instructions on best Electronics Site and see if you are up to it before ordering parts.

 

Most of the people selling repair kits on Ebay just buy best kits and resell them (at a higher cost)

 

Buy directly from Bradley (Best) he can help you out with any problems also.

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Crossbow, that PDF is great. I wish I had that last year when I had 5 controllers torn apart on my work bench!

 

I learned a bit here, some on Youtube, but finally managed to figure out how to repair them.

 

Putting the controller back together is the hardest part. Finally learned it's easier to hold it upside down so the joystick and numberpad line up correctly without slipping!

 

I did get one controller from Best just to have one controller working properly. After that, I took the best parts I had on my bench and repaired another one. Surprisingly, I prefer the one I fixed better than my Best one. It's smoother and the rubber boot centers a little better.

 

I thought once I got my Competition Pro stick the CX-52s would be obsolete. I was wrong. The Comp Pro is great for certain games, but the CXs are preferable for other games.

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I tried the foil tape method last night and it's worked wonders.

 

At first I was trying to hole punch dots with the adhesive backing off and found that all that did was jam up the hole punch. It also made it damned near impossible to transfer the dots over from hole punch to controller contacts.

 

Eventually, I just punched out the dots with the backing still on and then super glued the dots as-is to the contacts. So far, so good.

 

I'm going to work on my other controllers tonight.

 

I'm on the stock Rev 7 flex in case anyone was interested.

Edited by bikeguychicago

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