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Dripfree

Do all Vectrex controllers have this slop?

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So ever since I got my Vectrex the joystick has been loose vertically... By this I mean you can pinch it and lift it up and down a small amount. I am not referring to the problem you would get from broken springs on the pots, it has always centered itself just fine. I had always assumed there was a broken spring that was meant to put upward pressure on the stick in there. It still worked just fine so I just left well enough alone. Recently I had to do a diferent repair so I thought while I had it open I would fix that too. To my surprise there was no evidence of anything like what I described ever existing. It just seems like it has its little ball and socket joint, and that joint was designed to have some vertical slop. At any rate putting it back together like that was not good enough for me so I got a spring and fabricated what I expected it always was supposed to have in the first place. Its much better then it ever was now and I love it. So was it perfectly normal the way it was before or am I missing something.

Edited by Dripfree

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Not sure if it's normal or not (I'd assume not) but mine has some vertical play in it also, it's a well used controller for sure but it still works. When it breaks, I'll freshen it up and try to get those types of things a little tighter.

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You know I was under the same assumption as you until I opened it up. I was hoping to hear some others weigh in, especially someone who owned the Vextrex new. There was certainly nothing missing or broken on mine. Also no evidence of excessive wear that would cause this much movement. I may be wrong but I think it was always like this. Anyway no matter the reason I didn't like it. Here is my solution if anyone is interested.

 

Not a great picture. I don't have a macro mode on my camera but what it is is one of those cap nuts with a hole drilled trough it allowing the shaft to pass through into the cradles that move the pots. There is a washer that sits just below the ball for the ball and socket joint, with a small spring in between. The spring puts a slight upward pressure on the stick forcing it to sit in the up position. You can still press the stick down but it always returns to the up position. I was worried about the extra wear this may put on the cradles. That is why I chose the cap nut for its smooth top. I put a chamfer on the hole I drilled to remove any burr. I then polished the edge of the hole with a stone and then a leather strop to make the surface as smooth as possible. Finaly I coated all contact surfaces with a little tacky grease to realy minimize wear and make the motion silky smooth. It's quite nice if I do say so, but I'm still curious what a normal new stick would have been like.

post-33349-0-50605900-1467948336_thumb.jpg

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I have two Vectrex controllers: one all original and in really good shape, and another that had to have some repair work done. One the second one, the stick was actually missing, leaving just the little screw sticking out. I replaced it with the stick from an extra TRS-80 Color joystick (perfect fit, BTW, since both controllers use the same pots/gimble mechanisms...it actually might not be a bad idea to do this mod anyway since the extra length of the TRS-80 stick gives you some additional leverage on it, except then you can't really store the controller in the console anymore).

On my all-original controller, I've noticing the same thing you are describing--that the stick feels slightly loose in the enclosure, but it works just fine, with no evidence to suggest anything was broken or mishandled. On my CoCotrex Frankenstick, there's none of that, or at least not enough that you'd notice.

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