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RamrodHare

2600 joystick odd cable issue

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Ok, I don't need any help or anything. I just wanted to post about a weird issue I ran into today. I had a Joystick that wasn't working, so I decided to do some troubleshooting. The first thing I noticed when I took it apart, was that the wires were a different color than I expected. I wrote down the colors and where they went, then disconnected them so I could do some testing. I first checked the PCB with my multimeter. It checked out fine. So, I started checking the cable. I was able to determine that pins 2,3,4 and 6 were fine. I couldn't get anything on pins 1 and 8. I looked the cable over and could see no issues at all. There were no crimps, kinks, cuts or other visible damage. I did everything I could think of to try and get a reading on the non-working pins. After about 20 minutes I gave up and decided to cut the cable and test the wires and the cable (plug) end. I cut it about 5 inches from the connector and tested it. Everything worked. I then tested the rest of the cable and still no readings on 1 and 8. I threw away the cable, but kept the end, just in case I could find a use for it later on. I know the wires are thin, but I never expected to find two that were broken, without some type of damage on the outside of the cable. It just seemed odd to me. Anyway, that's all I wanted to say. :D

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That caused by tightly wrapping the cable, especially around the controller.

Any bend less than an about 2in in dia. putts a lot of stress on the cable.

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I'm always careful with my cables, but I have a feeling the previous owner of this joystick didn't care much about it. It had those really classy looking chew marks on the end of the boot. Since the cable was bad, I just parted it out. I'm always needing spare parts for the joysticks I keep "adopting". I have more than I could ever need already, but every time I run into some I can afford, I grab them. I need to stop buying and sell some. I'm running out of room. :P

 

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8 is common ground and it is needed for all switches to work in a joystick. 1 is for Up direction.

 

If you want to try and get the joystick working, a cheap 9 pin controller extension can work, just cut off the pin end, figure out which wires are which. 1 is for Up, 2 Down, 3 Left, 4 Right, 6 fire, and 8 common. Wires for 5, 7, and 9 aren't used in standard joystick.

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I've had a couple of joystick cables over the years that share the symptoms you described, that some wires were broken without external damage. Another one is that the DE9 connector might get worn and lose its connection, so you have to replace it or the whole cable anyway. That is why I keep a small box of mostly worthless joysticks with hopefully OK cables and connectors, so if I need to I can use one of them as a donor for a better quality joystick whose cable has gone bad.

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