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ruthsarian

Track Ball Repair - Motion PCB

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I picked up a CX53 track ball that was non-functional. I opened it up and found one of the opto's had been removed by a previous owner. I replaced both optos as I had no movement in the direction supported by the existing opto on the PCB. I now have movement in both directions, but it seems like the track ball comes back to center after. My question is: is this normal?

 

To test the track ball I've used Kaboom! and also plugged it into my PC via a 5200-daptor and used the game controller setup in Windows to monitor the track ball movement.

 

I measured the voltages on test points 9 and 10 (vertical and horizontal pins connecting into the 5200) and they hover around 2.2v when the ball isn't moving, then change +/- .5v depending on what direction the ball is moving.

 

I've followed the troubleshooting guide in the Atari 5200 service manual and everything matches right up to the point where it talks about TP9 and TP10 presenting a "ramp waveform". I don't get that, I have a solid line at around 2.2 volts on both lines. The cap (C7) is asks to check if it's shorted is not. The resistor (R21) is asks to check if it's open is not. And it's the same for their equivalents on the vertical.

 

Which drops me into "replace game cable" in the troubleshooting guide. That is something I don't have and probably won't be easy to come by. I also have some doubts that the cable is bad... i suppose I could use a 5200 joystick cable and hack together something to test just the motion PCB. Maybe I'll do that this weekend. But does anyone have any insight or suggestions as to what might be the problem (or even if there is one? does the trackball only work on games that know to look for one?? which wouldn't surprise me as I'm a total noob when it comes to the track ball).

 

Thanks

 

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Kaboom doesn't support the Trak-Ball which is why it's acting up. Here's a list of games that do support the Trak-Ball:

  • Centipede
  • Galaxian
  • Missile Command
  • Pengo
  • Pole Position
  • RealSports Football
  • RealSports Soccer
  • RealSports Tennis
  • Space Invaders
  • Super Breakout
Edited by ApolloBoy
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I replaced both optos as I had no movement in the direction supported by the existing opto on the PCB. I now have movement in both directions, but it seems like the track ball comes back to center after.

 

I have to know where you got replacement optos? I have a near mint CX-53 I picked up several years ago but it has zero movement in any direction. I've confirmed it is the pcb with the optos on it as I swapped it with a NOS boxed one I have and it worked. So I'm hoping it is the optos that need replaced, but wasn't sure where to get replacements?

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I have to know where you got replacement optos? I have a near mint CX-53 I picked up several years ago but it has zero movement in any direction. I've confirmed it is the pcb with the optos on it as I swapped it with a NOS boxed one I have and it worked. So I'm hoping it is the optos that need replaced, but wasn't sure where to get replacements?

 

You've got a few options for replacement optos.

 

A lot of the trackballs uses in Atari arcade games use this very same opto (but not all!). You could pick up a used trackball from an arcade parts warehouse or off eBay and pick the optos off the board.

 

You could also get lucky and find someone selling them individually, but that seems to rarely happen.

 

You could also use modern replacement optos. I haven't done this, but my guess is you could pair two of these optos (or maybe two of these, or something similar) together to replace one Atari opto on the PCB. The Atari opto is basically two optos in a single package. So using two single optos should work.

 

I got lucky and found the same model optos used in the 5200 track ball. If I hadn't found those, I would have tried using the modern optos from the link above.

Edited by ruthsarian

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Kaboom doesn't support the Trak-Ball which is why it's acting up. Here's a list of games that do support the Trak-Ball:

  • Centipede
  • Galaxian
  • Missile Command
  • Pengo
  • Pole Position
  • RealSports Football
  • RealSports Soccer
  • RealSports Tennis
  • Space Invaders
  • Super Breakout

 

 

That's it! I put in Super Breakout and it works! Thanks!

 

The movement isn't too precise. I've ordered some replacement bearings and I'll see what I can do to clean the shafts.

 

I need to rig something up to keep the PCB in place. Two of the three pegs that hold the PCB in place and align it with the two encoding wheels have snapped off. If the PCB is even 1mm out of alignment the wheels rub against the optos. I was thinking I might try velcro or that velcro-like stuff used to hang pictures on the wall. Is there any way I could replace those pegs? Maybe if I can find some bit of plastic that's the right width I could use a super glue/baking soda mixture or plastic weld. Any suggestions?

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I've ordered some replacement bearings and I'll see what I can do to clean the shafts.

Your thread actually inspired me to break out my Trak-Ball and fix it for once, the bearings on mine were rusty and the shafts were dirty so I used Bar Keeper's Friend to get most of the rust off and then WD-40 to lube everything. It's still kinda stiff but it works fine now save for unresponsive fire buttons.
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WD40 isn't that good for moving parts your better of with a light machine oil like 3 in one WD40 tends to get gummy which can freeze things up 

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I have owned a CX53 since 1983 and she needs some serious work done to her, it's probably worth (and will cost me) more than taking the risk of getting another one and perhaps running into the same problems, the fire buttons and keypads do not work at all, and the trak-ball does not respond properly, who can I send her to in order to get her to work (almost) like new again, since there are no new PCBs or optos available??? You would think that maybe Best would've made some newer, improved replacement "plug-and-play" ones available knowing the keypads and fire buttons are prone to failure almost all the time since they are the same as the stock joysticks for all the systems, as they have those infamous carbon-contact keypad buttons like the 5200 sticks do, and ever-fail bubble-fire buttons like on the CX40 and CX24 sticks.

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