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AlexKIDD

Colecovision with Sega Master System controllers

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Like many people I'm not a big fan of the standard Coleco controllers. I've been looking around for other options. I know the Genesis controllers aren't wired right for it and you can buy modded ones that are. Was thinking about getting one of those but in the meantime I've tried using the Master System ones.

 

Unlike with the Genesis ones you can still select the difficulty using a Coleco controller in port 2 and it doesn't seem to cause any screen abnormalities. They're not perfect but seem to work pretty well with some games such as Gorf and Donkey Kong Jr. Lady bug was playable but the controller's diagonal buttons seemed to complicate things. I couldn't get them to work with Frogger at all.

 

Has anyone ever tried out these controllers with this system? If so what were your experiences with it? I must say I'm a little paranoid that using other controllers may cause damage to the system but so far it seems okay. I used to always play 2600 with Sega controllers with no problems. It's too bad it's not so easy with the Coleco.

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I haven't tried SMS controllers on Colecovision, but I have tried several others. With a Y-adapter, I've been able to use most (maybe all I've tried) 2600 controllers along with the CV controller for the keypad.

 

I haven't tried modifying any Genny controller (I understand it's a pretty easy mod), but probably will someday, unless I find, and can afford to buy at the time, a custom joystick made for it.

 

I have heard that plugging/unplugging a controller while power is applied to the machine can damage the console (burn out I/O chip?), so I have been reluctant to experiment very much as it seems possible that plugging an unknown configuration controller in could potentially damage the console similarly.

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Master System controllers are Atari 2600 controllers with a second button added, that only works on the SMS. So you get the left button to work fine, but the right button doesn't do anything. Which works for most games that only require 1 button. My problem with the Master system is the horrible D pad. Sega didn't want to get sued by Nintendo, so they decided to make their D pad different in a bad way.

 

There are at least 12 PCB variations of the Genesis controller. Most of them cause the 7 and # key to be constantly pushed. This doesn't do anything for some games, but other games it can screw up because # might pause the game or something. Other variations have other numbers pushed constantly, and some don't have any buttons pushed. Basically the ColecoVision gets confused if you button mash, so combining the number you want to press with the numbers the Genesis controller pushs results in nothing, so you need to hot sap the controller after you select the level.

 

The Genesis controller has an IC, resistors, and a capacitor, which can screw up the ColecoVision, but I don't know how often, or how likely it is to cause permanent damage. The Master system controller has only wires, so there is zero risk that it will do damage.

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Thanks for the info. I am not a fan of the d pad on the SMS controller either. It seems to work well with Gorf, Zaxxon and Donkey Kong Junior but the d pad makes things squirrely in the maze games and Burgertime. When I get the chance I think I'm just going to get some ball top controllers from Yurkie.

 

I seem to have the same problem with the Colecovision that I did with the 2600. I love the systems and games but being a bit younger than some of you guys I grew up with Nintendo/Sega controllers and never got good at using any kind of joystick. I'd compare it to trying to play bass/guitar with your fingers after years of doing it with a pick. Something I should do to be a better gamer or musician but find rather difficult.

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Even though the D pad on the SMS controller isn't perfect, it's what I use with my ADAM and prefer it over the coleco controller. To get this controller working properly is just a simple mod. The Genesis controller can also be modded to work correctly with the coleco. As Hannacek mentioned, the controllers as is aren't fully functional especially the genesis controller. The NES controller can also be modded to work with colecovision.

 

Any of you like the jaguar controller? I have plans in the future to mod one of these to fully work on the coleco including the number pad. Just don't know yet how much work that's going to be nor if I'll actually like the controller never having used one before.

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IMHO the NES controller is the best controller ever created. The only problem is that modern games (and some retro games require more than 2 action buttons, and the NES controller only has 2). The NES D pad is the best D pad ever created. The action buttons are good, but not the best.

 

I make and MOD controllers for ColecoVision, Atari 2600/7800, Commodore 68/128/VIC-20, Vectrex, and for Sega Master System. I sell them on eBay, as a part time job. Right now I'm in the middle of moving across town, so I'm not selling anything for a week or two, but if anyone is interested, you should check out my stuff. It's not difficult to mod yourself, but if you have no soldering experience, and know nothing about basic electronics, you won't be able to do it on your own.

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/theretroa-team/m.html?item=301541021743&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

Edited by Hannacek

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I have seen your controllers on eBay and was thinking about getting one. Maybe I will once you have some more available. So you would recommend an Nes one over a Genesis?

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It should be back up at the end of this week, or sometime next week.

 

Personally I think the NES controller is the superior controller. In my opinion, the Genesis D pad is a little mushy, where as the NES D pad is much more solid. But, its really your preference, because they are both great.

 

When you start using an alternate controller, you realize how few Colecovision games require the keypad (after you start the game).

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IMHO the NES controller is the best controller ever created.

 

Seems like a bit of a controversial opinion. Even in its heyday the stock NES controller was avoided by those that were knowledgeable enough to find an alternative. I was NOT knowledgeable enough as a kid, so I just endured the pain of those blocky corners. What really got me was something about the height or positioning of the d-pad. I would grip that thing so hard, my hands hurt and cramped. At some point a NESMax made it into my rotation, but I usually just ended up pressing on the outer ring of that thing and the pain was even worse . . .

 

Try a 7800 controller with the Coleco.

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All of the NES alternative controllers were crap. Except for the NES advantage, which was good if you wanted a joystick.

The NES controller is perfect, which is why it is so iconic. Kids today think of it as an iphone case, for what ever thats worth. You can hold it with your hands while curving your fingers; you don't have to press your entire hand up against the square edges. When there are a lot of buttons like an xbox360 controller, the ergonomics are important. But, with only 2 action buttons, the NES controller doesn't suffer from lack of ergonomics. Why does no one ever complain about the 2600 controller being square?

 

The 7800 controller is horrible. Its difficult to grip, and the joystick just flops around. And the knob turns 360 degrees for no reason. Why have it do that if it doesn't do anything. It would have been awesome if it worked as a joystick, and a paddle controller for paddle games, but it doesn't do that. The 7800 controller is better than the 5200 controller, but that's not saying much.

Edited by Hannacek

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The 7800 joypad is a different story though. I've only tried it with a few games but it works perfectly (especially with Cosmic Avenger) and both buttons work independently.

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The NES controller is perfect, which is why it is so iconic. Kids today think of it as an iphone case, for what ever thats worth. You can hold it with your hands while curving your fingers; you don't have to press your entire hand up against the square edges. When there are a lot of buttons like an xbox360 controller, the ergonomics are important. But, with only 2 action buttons, the NES controller doesn't suffer from lack of ergonomics. Why does no one ever complain about the 2600 controller being square?

Agreed. I think I split my time about 50/50 playing the Colecovision with the original controller (which I don't hate at all) and with the NES controller (which I personally love.) I find any game that has clunky directional issues with the original controller, like Mouse Trap, is easily fixed by the D-Pad of the NES controller. But as it was stated, it's all personal preference.

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