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DOUBLEDOWN Custom ColecoVision Controllers

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On 11/18/2019 at 5:05 PM, doubledown said:

If you want the right stick version, than you want this one:

 

Mouse Trap Edition - VVG Experience Controller

Rvu95o.png

 

This new, Mouse Trap Edition - VVG Joystick Controller is smaller, less expensive, and compatible with most ColecoVision games, versus the purpose-built limited game compatible Experience Controller.

If you don't mind me asking, where did you get the player one/two buttons from?  Been looking (half-assed, to be sure) for awhile but never knew what they were called.

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Yet another new controller...this one is also for Atari 2600/8-bit/7800 (sorry CV fans), but unveiling the Robotron: 2084 Edition - VVG Experience Controller:

 

A93iAe.png

 

And like the Mouse Trap Edition - VVG Experience Controller, of course the buttons light up:

 

KQT8eU.png

 

I don't what put Robotron into my brain recently, but something did so I started looking into it.  I knew there were decent ports of it for the 5200/8-Bit/7800 systems (but unfortunately not the ColecoVision), and as I have an XEGS hooked up, I figured I could make a proper controller for it.  I found several pictures of controllers "made" for Robotron: 2084 online, and they always feature a twin-stick control scheme.  But I didn't come across any, that I felt, really captured the aesthetics and ergonomics of the arcade cabinet, or made use of the proper hardware.   So after a bit more research I ordered a bunch of parts and started working on the artwork while I waited.  

 

So here it is, my take on the ultimate Robotron: 2084 controller, assuming you don't have room for the full-size arcade cabinet.  The artwork had to be scaled down from the full-sized arcade CPO to fit on the 20" housing, but what I didn't scale down was the separation/distance between the joysticks.  So while cosmetically they are further away from the center map graphic (and closer to the blue vertical striping), they do feature arcade-accurate spacing and are new reproduction WICO 4", 8-way leaf-switch, red ball-knob joysticks, and they are properly installed with the dust washers below the CPO.  On the original cabinet the P1/P2 start buttons were on the right side of the CPO within the blue vertical striping, but as this housing is a little smaller than the arcade, if I put them over there, my right hand would be resting on them during gameplay and I couldn't accept that.  So I moved the 2084 logo down a bit and squeezed them into the center of the panel.  Obviously these buttons aren't required in Robotron: 2084 when playing with 2 sticks, but as I liked the looks of the translucent blue illuminated pushbuttons and they help to complete the look, I wanted to include them.   They are wired as 7800 buttons...so this controller is compatible with all 1 button 2600/8-Bit/7800 games, and all 2 button 7800 games using the left stick and 1 or 2 of the buttons.  

 

I know the Atari consoles provide 5V @ 50mA at the controller ports, but since I had already figured out the battery pack & power switch when I built the Mouse Trap controller, I figured I'd just duplicate it.  Plus I can illuminate the buttons on display without having it hooked up to a console whenever I want.

 

Components used

(2) WICO 4", 8-way leaf-switch, red ball-knob joysticks

(2) IL convex translucent external leaf-switch pushbuttons

(2) 5V IL-lumination RGB LEDs (only the blue is wired)

 

Hope you like it!

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24 minutes ago, doubledown said:

Yet another new controller...this one is also for Atari 2600/8-bit/7800 (sorry CV fans), but unveiling the Robotron: 2084 Edition - VVG Experience Controller:

 

A93iAe.png

 

And like the Mouse Trap Edition - VVG Experience Controller, of course the buttons light up:

 

KQT8eU.png

 

I don't what put Robotron into my brain recently, but something did so I started looking into it.  I knew there were decent ports of it for the 5200/8-Bit/7800 systems (but unfortunately not the ColecoVision), and as I have an XEGS hooked up, I figured I could make a proper controller for it.  I found several pictures of controllers "made" for Robotron: 2084 online, and they always feature a twin-stick control scheme.  But I didn't come across any, that I felt, really captured the aesthetics and ergonomics of the arcade cabinet, or made use of the proper hardware.   So after a bit more research I ordered a bunch of parts and started working on the artwork while I waited.  

 

So here it is, my take on the ultimate Robotron: 2084 controller, assuming you don't have room for the full-size arcade cabinet.  The artwork had to be scaled down from the full-sized arcade CPO to fit on the 20" housing, but what I didn't scale down was the separation/distance between the joysticks.  So while cosmetically they are further away from the center map graphic (and closer to the blue vertical striping), they do feature arcade-accurate spacing and are new reproduction WICO 4", 8-way leaf-switch, red ball-knob joysticks, and they are properly installed with the dust washers below the CPO.  On the original cabinet the P1/P2 start buttons were on the right side of the CPO within the blue vertical striping, but as this housing is a little smaller than the arcade, if I put them over there, my right hand would be resting on them during gameplay and I couldn't accept that.  So I moved the 2084 logo down a bit and squeezed them into the center of the panel.  Obviously these buttons aren't required in Robotron: 2084 when playing with 2 sticks, but as I liked the looks of the translucent blue illuminated pushbuttons and they help to complete the look, I wanted to include them.   They are wired as 7800 buttons...so this controller is compatible with all 1 button 2600/8-Bit/7800 games, and all 2 button 7800 games using the left stick and 1 or 2 of the buttons.  

 

I know the Atari consoles provide 5V @ 50mA at the controller ports, but since I had already figured out the battery pack & power switch when I built the Mouse Trap controller, I figured I'd just duplicate it.  Plus I can illuminate the buttons on display without having it hooked up to a console whenever I want.

 

Components used

(2) WICO 4", 8-way leaf-switch, red ball-knob joysticks

(2) IL convex translucent external leaf-switch pushbuttons

(2) 5V IL-lumination RGB LEDs (only the blue is wired)

 

Hope you like it!

It may also work with all but a dozen ColecoVision games. Something to do with if some unnecessary diode from the original 7800 controller is missing, both buttons work, but not simultaneously.

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31 minutes ago, Swami said:

It may also work with all but a dozen ColecoVision games. Something to do with if some unnecessary diode from the original 7800 controller is missing, both buttons work, but not simultaneously.

Correct, and I believe if both are pressed simultaneously, button 2 (right button) wins out.  Makes sense, 2 is more than 1!

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Correction on the components used in the Robotron: 2084 controller, the buttons are in fact "concave" like the original arcade cabinet, not convex as I originally noted in the post above.  

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Mike what about a Asteroids controller that looks like the arcade for the game CollectorVision released years back. Or a 2600 compatible trackball housed in a custom creation for playing 2600 Asteroids hack.

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If its legit for Asteroids it has to be all buttons...but who will commission such a controller?  I wasn't aware of a CollectorVision Asteroids game (or clone) released, but I was also away for a while.  What's the name of this game?

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I believe he's talking about Meteor Swarm, which is one of the games on the "Electronic Adventures' Classics" cartridge released by CollectorVision a while ago.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pixelboy said:

I believe he's talking about Meteor Swarm, which is one of the games on the "Electronic Adventures' Classics" cartridge released by CollectorVision a while ago.

 

 

 

 

Yep...and speaking of making Phoenix for the Phoenix...but not quite...Birds of Orion. Asteroids is the best conversion.

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On 11/20/2019 at 5:38 AM, doubledown said:

Arcade Shop has had reproductions made up:

 

PushButton

 

Short Silver Volcano Bezel

 

Short Black Volcano Bezel

 

Tall Black Volcano Bezel

 

As a set (pushbuton & bezel) they are a little over $20 each plus shipping.

At those prices, no wonder so few people use them in their designs.  Thank you for that info, though!

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Meteor Swarm is a good looking game and I had no idea of its existence.  Is that rom openly available, or is it only available on the physical cartridge?

 

9 hours ago, LoTonah said:

At those prices, no wonder so few people use them in their designs.  Thank you for that info, though!

Keep in mind those parts were made to help people restore their $1000+ arcade cabinets, and before these available reproductions, you could easily spend double to triple that, if you could find the vintage ones.   

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6 hours ago, doubledown said:

Meteor Swarm is a good looking game and I had no idea of its existence.  Is that rom openly available, or is it only available on the physical cartridge?

 

Keep in mind those parts were made to help people restore their $1000+ arcade cabinets, and before these available reproductions, you could easily spend double to triple that, if you could find the vintage ones.   

Only available if you purchase the ROM vault for $75. Supposed to be a revised vault next year with about a dozen more roms and manuals, so may want to wait a couple months...although not sure if the ROM Vault will continue to be offered separate from the club next year...details can be very mysterious with homebrewers here.

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So a bit out of left field, and something a little unique...unveiling the Donkey Kong T.T. (Table Top) Edition - VVG Joystick Controller:

 

xzklRE.png

 

I took inspiration from the Coleco produced Donkey Kong - Table Top Arcade game:

 

6GURoy.jpg

 

So I wanted a dedicated 4-way Joystick Controller for myself, and as a fanboy...Donkey Kong seemed like the way to go, but I wanted to do something a bit different from my previous design.  I opted to only install the one JUMP button to properly match the styling of the Table Top unit, and its all that is really necessary as all of the 4-way games I play only use either 1 button or none.  So while it loses some universal compatibility, I built this one for me, the way I wanted it.  

 

In an attempt to cosmetically match the Table Top unit as much as possible I mixed and matched a few different colored parts.  

 

Seimitsu LS-40 4-way joystick, and I installed a light blue dust washer, white shaft cover, and a white Crown bat-knob to simulate the egg-shaped joystick from the Table Top unit

(1) Ultimarc GoldLeaf light blue pushbutton body, with white plunger

Custom Table Top matching CPO

Edladdin I/O PCB w/keypad w/custom overlay

Housing painted light blue

and I dyed the original Start button white, and it's wired as a duplicate * button

 

Hopefully its odd enough that nobody else likes it, and I won't be tempted to sell it!

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So 27 days after ordering it, and arriving just in the nick of time before the 4-day weekend, I finally received the enclosure I'm using for the Spy Hunter Edition - VVG Experience Controller:

 

WGSbF9.png

 

S0KvWi.png

 

It is a steel enclosure from Saginaw...its 20" wide (like my other Experience Controllers), at the peaks approximately 8" tall and 8" deep, and weighs about 11 lbs empty.  Depending on what surface you use as the back and/or the bottom, it can feature a 60 degree slope, or a 30 degree slope.  I plan to use it with the 60 degree slope as it sits in the above pictures.  If you laid it down as a 30 degree slope it would be like driving a bus, or using the Coleco Expansion Module #2...which I never cared for due to its angle although they made it like that to use in your lap.  

 

So now I can take some final measurements and check for clearances, then I'll be able to get the modifications done so that I can mount all of the components.  It will of course get painted black, but I'll do all the machining first, so that I don't have to worry about scratching the paint when I'm working with it.  Won't be much longer now!

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Unveiling...Ms. Pac-Man Edition - VVG Joystick Controller:

 

mEZYnY.png

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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On 11/23/2019 at 8:44 AM, Yurkie said:

Mike what about a Asteroids controller that looks like the arcade for the game CollectorVision released years back. Or a 2600 compatible trackball housed in a custom creation for playing 2600 Asteroids hack.

I meant to say CollectorVision Missile Command clone not asteroids. I Love Missile Command!

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All right its been a busy couple of weeks...so here's what new in my world:

 

Spy Hunter Edition - 2 Button/2 Port VVG Control Pad:

 

8KGkUX.png

 

Lxu368.png

 

So a member contacted me about making a control pad for playing Spy Hunter on the Atari 2600/8-Bit & C-64.  Those systems obviously suffer from only having 1 button joysticks, so to "get around this" you were instructed in the manual to plug a 2nd joystick into port 2, and use the now available 2nd fire button for deploying additional weapons (feel free to thank Coleco for the 4-button SACs now while you're thinking about it).  While some others have built something similar in concept with a WICO 2600 joystick by separating the 2 fire buttons, and running a 2nd cable out of the controller base, we wanted to do this with a 2 button control pad, and offer a better wiring solution.  So we opted for an SMS control pad and I made a custom single 6' cable which I wyed apart near the end to provide the 2 separate port connections.  From cursory research, I think there are 4 or 5 Atari 2600 games that need a 2nd fire button (without the additional joystick), so this allows Spy Hunter and those others to be played without the clumsy 2 joystick setup with their original cartridges vs. having to play a ROM hack which can allow for a Genesis controller.

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So also I decided to finish up adding the remaining artwork to my #2495 Display Edition - VVG Enhanced Controller:

 

sTNAgh.png

 

With that said, it has been decided that this "design" will be limited to only 2 examples (which are already spoken for) like I offered with the #2495 Display Edition - VVG Joystick Controllers:

 

evi4kQ.jpg

 

Then to complete the package, I decided to make 2 limited edition pairs of #2495 Display Edition - VVG Hand Controllers (which are also spoken for):

 

o10FwB.png

 

Congrats and thanks to their lucky new owners!

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And lastly/recently, I decided to take it upon myself to right the most egregious hardware error Sega ever made:

 

9W2c5P.png

 

The Sega Master System Control Stick was an absolute travesty of a controller.  It featured a semi-tractor trailer truck sized joystick knob, on a controller housing with buttons which were sized to be held in your hand.  As I wanted to get more into enjoying my SG-1000 and SMS, I figured I'd just make myself a proper joystick controller for these systems.  So introducing the:

 

Master System Edition - VVG Joystick Controller:

 

W7pTE8.png

 

 

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Man - I wish you had mentioned toying with the idea of the #2495 Display Edition - VVG Hand Controllers when I was talking about some smaller controllers.  I'd have bought those in a second!  I still need some good every day controllers that are smaller!

 

-J

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15 minutes ago, mingus said:

Man - I wish you had mentioned toying with the idea of the #2495 Display Edition - VVG Hand Controllers when I was talking about some smaller controllers.  I'd have bought those in a second!  I still need some good every day controllers that are smaller!

 

-J

Sorry, these hand controllers were discussed behind the scenes and spoken for before they were even built.  😁  Both buyers will have the, limited to 2, matching serial number sets, complete with (1) Joystick Controller, (1) Enhanced Controller, and (1) pair of 2 Hand Controllers.  I'm sure they'll pop up on ebay at some point!  😋

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Sorry, these hand controllers were discussed behind the scenes and spoken for before they were even built.    Both buyers will have the, limited to 2, matching serial number sets, complete with (1) Joystick Controller, (1) Enhanced Controller, and (1) pair of 2 Hand Controllers.  I'm sure they'll pop up on ebay at some point!  
Next time!

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Well with any luck there won't be any more Hand Controller...such a pain in the butt!  But I will admit with the joystick modifications and refurbishment, they do work fairly well.  

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