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goldenpp72

Do Atari 5200 controllers not auto center?

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So, I decided to buy some of those gold plated kits to make the buttons work on my 5200 controllers, but I notice both of the controllers don't fully auto center, mostly in regards to the up position. Is this just something you accept playing atari 5200 games or are mine broken on some level? I ask because I put a decent bit of money ordering that kit without realizing this was a problem those won't alter, the kit hasn't been shipped yet, so I dunno if I should ask to cancel it or something.. Or if this can be helped.

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No, the 5200 joysticks do not auto-center. I'm a big fan of the Best Electronics upgrades/fixes for the 5200 joystick: the new buttons feel better than the originals, and are longer-lasting, too. I bought the first of my refurbished sticks about two years ago, and it's still going strong. I find that for most games, the lack of auto-centering is something I've gotten used to.

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Nope. They don't auto center. That's a known attribute of the controllers.

 

I suspect it was at least partly to keep costs down. If the controller auto centered, a "trim" mechanism would also have to exist so that physical center could be correlated properly to on-screen center.

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No, the 5200 joysticks do not auto-center. I'm a big fan of the Best Electronics upgrades/fixes for the 5200 joystick: the new buttons feel better than the originals, and are longer-lasting, too; I bought the first of my refurbished sticks about two years ago, and it's still going strong. I find that for most games, the lack of auto-centering is something I've gotten used to.

 

I really tried using the best website, but the person I talked to over email was like.. You have to send money orders, using terms i've never heard of, it made it seem so confusing to deal with from their end. Shame I might have missed the chance to make my sticks better, for real. Their website and such is just so hard to use that just the idea of trying was emotionally exhausting.

 

Still, I guess I can try to use them as they are, kind of annoying but I bet you can adjust for it somewhat.

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No kit or fix will make the controller auto center...the repair kits will give you RELIABLE controller regarding button, keypad and joystick presses.

 

Yes the Best Electronics website is very 70s looking but all the info is there and it really is not hard to navigate.

 

Bradley Koda is the sole proprietor of Best Electronics and the person you spoke to on the phone. He has always been friendly and helpful as most people on this board will agree. He answers his emails in 1 day.

 

He may have required money order payment because your order was a small amount. I have ordered many items and they were all top quality and shipped promptly.

 

Everyone on Ebay buys and resells his kits...they just charge you more!

Edited by Everett1954

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...Best Electronics website is very 70s looking...

I don't remember any websites in the 70s???

 

Maybe something with a Teletype. People DID mail in a punched card to order something from time to time, though...

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Some sticks had more rubber around the base of the stick, which does help in keeping the controller centered. But other than that, nope.

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Brad at Best Electronics requires a minimum order of something like $25 to pay with PayPal. I have a copy of his paper catalog. It's not that hard to dig through it and find other things you didn't know you needed if your order isn't already over $25.

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So, I decided to buy some of those gold plated kits to make the buttons work on my 5200 controllers, but I notice both of the controllers don't fully auto center, mostly in regards to the up position. Is this just something you accept playing atari 5200 games or are mine broken on some level? I ask because I put a decent bit of money ordering that kit without realizing this was a problem those won't alter, the kit hasn't been shipped yet, so I dunno if I should ask to cancel it or something.. Or if this can be helped.

 

I'm assuming you are the same goldenpp72 on the PCEFX forums. Not to sound like a jerk, but before you spend massive amounts of money on games and systems (i.e., $3600 on a Turbografx insta-collection), do you do ANY research on them first?

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I do yes, I was well aware of the controller button issue on the 5200, in fact I made a post on here probably something about a year ago in regards to it and asking for the best approach. My entire list of games to buy is based on spending hundreds of hours researching them meticulously, hence why I have such a specific list of things to find. I don't buy *everything*, I buy what looks good to me.

 

I'm not sure why people like to make silly accusations, as if not knowing that a joystick on an ancient system doesn't auto center out of the box is common knowledge yeah. Next up, you're a fool for not knowing game gears have capacitor issues or that Nes top loaders have jail bars on the image by default, duh?

 

Not trying to be snappy, but I tire of people deciding to call me out as if they know me at all, I likely know more about this stuff than most people considering I buy on over 40 platforms, but some things are lost in the process. There are people who are vastly more knowledgeable about certain things of course, and I reach out to them for help. Collecting is a mass amount of learning, and a lot of times we learn things the hard way. All I was trying to do, was ensure that this is a problem these sticks would have even if they were brand new out of the box, and not caused by a broken/damaged component that could be repaired, crazy right?

 

I have somewhat of a fetish for 5200 for a lot of odd reasons, part of it is the difficulty of access though. I guess it will feel special to have one that fully works, and i'd like to get as close to that as possible :P

Edited by goldenpp72

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I'm not sure why people like to make silly accusations, as if not knowing that a joystick on an ancient system doesn't auto center out of the box is common knowledge yeah.

If you're talking about my post then you have interpreted me incorrectly, though understandably. I meant that it's a long-standing, proven attribute of all of the stock 5200 controllers as opposed to "in my experience" or "on my particular controllers", not "you are an idiot for not knowing this". No offense intended.

 

It would have been better if I had said it's a widely disliked attribute of the controller or something like that.

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So, I decided to buy some of those gold plated kits to make the buttons work on my 5200 controllers, but I notice both of the controllers don't fully auto center, mostly in regards to the up position. Is this just something you accept playing atari 5200 games or are mine broken on some level? I ask because I put a decent bit of money ordering that kit without realizing this was a problem those won't alter, the kit hasn't been shipped yet, so I dunno if I should ask to cancel it or something.. Or if this can be helped.

I make a digital joystick for 5200 that auto centers. PM me if interested.

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No I was talking to glazball there, not you :P I had an incident on another forum with a bunch of people deciding to basically assume whatever they pleased based on the fact I... Buy stuff, yeah. Apparently, if you spend a lot on a lot of things, it means you have no idea what you just bought, which makes perfect sense.

 

Totally unrelated to this topic, and this community though. Everyone here has been really nice and helpful, no worries there.

 

Edit: I will shoot you a message to inquire, definitely curious!

Edited by goldenpp72

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Wico made a self-centering 5200 joystick that works pretty well. Sadly, it's somewhat rare and requires a separate Y-cable to connect to a standard 5200 controller for use of the keypad and function buttons. That Y-cable came with the joystick, but was often lost over the years, so many Ebay listings don't include it.

 

They also made a separate keypad unit that makes the Y-cable and standard 5200 controller unnecessary. Unfortunately, it's even rarer than the the joystick.

 

The Wico provided the only self-centering solution for the 5200 for years that was analog, and thus compatible with all the 5200 library. Digital sticks won't work with a handful of games, such as Missile Command and Centipede.

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Oh, yeah. I forgot I picked up one of those Wico sticks a while back. I don't have the Y cable or keypad, but can make those. One of these days I'll probably test that stick...

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I have a wico and I don't like it as much. Not the best. Not sure why. Maybe I have a bad one. My compettition pro is messed up also. It has to be those because my masterplay clone works fine. Love using my playststion controller with pacman. The thumbsticks are awesome in analog.

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No I was talking to glazball there, not you :P I had an incident on another forum with a bunch of people deciding to basically assume whatever they pleased based on the fact I... Buy stuff, yeah. Apparently, if you spend a lot on a lot of things, it means you have no idea what you just bought, which makes perfect sense.

 

Totally unrelated to this topic, and this community though. Everyone here has been really nice and helpful, no worries there.You'

 

You're right, the people here are wonderful. And helpful. However, you could have literally taken 2 seconds to find that information ON THIS VERY SITE had you even bothered to look.

http://atariage.com/5200/archives/hardware.html

 

I usually hold my tongue but if you're just going to "buy stuff, yeah" for "40 platforms" then you need to expect to get some grief when you spend indiscriminately on games you know nothing about, nor even plan to play. Hell I just looked at the Atari 5200 entry on Wikipedia, and it mentions the non-centering joystick in the 2nd paragraph. That's one of the most basic bits of trivia about the 5200 which shows me that you haven't read ANYTHING about the 5200.

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You're right, the people here are wonderful. And helpful. However, you could have literally taken 2 seconds to find that information ON THIS VERY SITE had you even bothered to look.

http://atariage.com/5200/archives/hardware.html

 

I usually hold my tongue but if you're just going to "buy stuff, yeah" for "40 platforms" then you need to expect to get some grief when you spend indiscriminately on games you know nothing about, nor even plan to play. Hell I just looked at the Atari 5200 entry on Wikipedia, and it mentions the non-centering joystick in the 2nd paragraph. That's one of the most basic bits of trivia about the 5200 which shows me that you haven't read ANYTHING about the 5200.

 

You really think that 95 percent of the people on the planet would want to 'give some grief' because someone else spends money on video games they might not know every detail about? Do you even listen to yourself? This is like saying I bought an Xbox 360 and didn't know about the RROD, and calling someone out for that. Or not knowing a game has a game breaking glitch in it, I mean, obviously you bought it, so you should know everything about it right? What about when you buy a car that has a defect that causes the brakes to fail? Must be a fool right?

 

When you collect to the extent I do, it's difficult to know every little detail about something. I knew well that the 5200 controllers had problems (I recall my first exposure to it being the AVGN video many years back), however, I just assumed the controllers were problematic in general, but didn't know the extent of it. More importantly, it would seem I made no errors in my purchase, the controllers I have, have the same issues everyone elses did (or do), and the problems it does have, are problems that are just there by default. It really seems your only problem is that apparently the knowledge could be sought elsewhere, so why bother making any topic here unless the information is in fact known by no one but the users here? This is a community after all, one that typically seems really willing to help.

 

I'm thankful to have an easy resource to ask a question but, also get a lot of additional information. You go on Wiki and yeah, you might find out the controllers never self centered, but you may not know about the multitude of options, fixes, mods, etc that the community IS savvy too, and that's something I find really great about this site. Almost anytime i've asked a question, the community answers the question, offers solutions, information and advice. In fact, by using this site i've already been given access to things like Flashback adapters for legitimate hardware, adapters to use the genesis pad fully on the 7800 (multiple buttons), various RGB/Svideo modifications, and the gold plated mods to be done on 5200 controllers.

 

I'm not sure why you take a personal issue with my method, if the community at large wishes for newer users to not make new topics to seek that information, that's fine, but honestly you're the only person i've seen take any issue, and it seems to stem from some animosity on PCenginefx, rather than any transgression here.

Edited by goldenpp72
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I actually kind of like the first party controllers (with the Best refurb kit of course) better than the Wico sticks. I thought I could be more precise with the first party controllers.

Edited by robbievgb

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Nope. They don't auto center. That's a known attribute of the controllers.

 

I suspect it was at least partly to keep costs down. If the controller auto centered, a "trim" mechanism would also have to exist so that physical center could be correlated properly to on-screen center.

 

I have owned my 4 port 5200 since buying brand new back in the day. I remember some computer joysticks back then did not self center notably on the Apple II+; a design for a light handed touch. I own two PC CH Joysticks as well three Wico Sticks that have a mechanical lock out and lock in of the centering springs. Most games benefit from centering, but some games actually play better without the centering feature. Robotron/Space Dungeon with the Twinstick holder and Gorf with its outrageously match stick potentiometers to screen placement!

 

A good comparison is try the 7800 joystick compared to the 5200. Both give hand cramps due to the poor design, but the 5200 has a much lighter touch for the joystick movement. If only that stiff rubber was changed to the CH design and reliable fire buttons installed!

 

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Do they work with all 5200 games?

No.

 

Digital controllers work with most games. But not all games. For example Gorf is analog only. Some games like Centipede have two speeds slow and fast with analog controller, but with digital controller there is only one speed. Most games play better with digital controller, such as Moon Patrol, Ms. Pac-Man, Defender, Archon, MULE, Digdug, Frogger, Mario Bros, Miner 2049, Wizard of War, Xevious, etc.

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I figured i'd ask here, I actually finished installing the kits today, and from what I can see all looks good, and the buttons do feel great indeed. The only thing I was confused about by the instructions, it mentions using Missile Command to ensure the crosshair starts center, but that is never the case for me, but the controller seems to work fine otherwise. Does anyone have a more dumbed down version of what the concern is there?

 

Like I said the games I tried seem to work good, I played missile command, Ms. Pac-Man, Mario and Dig Dug with no issues aside adjusting for the auto center thing.

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