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DOUBLEDOWN Custom ColecoVision Controllers

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19 hours ago, Machine said:

Amazing stuff! Love your work!!!

 

Thanks...that's why I do it, and I really like controllers apparently!

 

So I got a little more machining time in today (on my day off mind you), and I thought some of you might be interested in the operation so I took a few pics...enjoy.

 

So here's our CNC mill at work.  In the world of CNC machines, its a baby, basically a hobbyist / personal sized machine (although the bare machine without the tool changer, flood coolant, and other options cost something in the neighborhood of $20,000 I believe):

 

akqLYt.png

 

Here's the custom fixture I made specifically to hold the Hammond enclosure tops for machining...which I made on this very mill.  Material holding/clamping can be one of the trickiest parts of machining, depending on its size and shape.  This fixture also allows me to run repeat operations without having to find the X / Y / Z zeros for each piece, when running multiple parts one after another:

 

MIkyRa.png

 

And here is the top of the enclosure clamped in place waiting to be machined:

 

OP3reK.png

 

Now the 2nd most important part, finding the X / Y / Z zero references for accuracy and repeatability, and so that your holes end up where you want them:

 

5DX2gq.png

 

This Haimer Zero Master uses a 4mm SST ball which you contact the edges/surfaces with, and run the material into it 1/2 of its diameter (2mm) to find the spindle's zero point, and is accurate to 1/100mm.  Here's getting the Z reference, which will allow the mill's software calculation to account for the tool length offsets, because tools come in different lengths, and to account for their wear:

 

ClZWxD.png

 

And here after a few minutes of computer-controlled, high speed cutting and drilling, 1 machined control panel:

 

D1PJqd.png

 

Then after a few additional off-mill operations and clean up, here is a completely machined enclosure (top and bottom), plus the steel braces (which will get painted to prevent rust) that I add internally for rigidity:

 

EZIQig.png

 

Its just that simple!

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On 6/4/2020 at 4:12 PM, doubledown said:

I think it could end up as somewhere between very cool...to over to moon amazing...depending on how much time and money I threw at it.  The biggest problem is, while I love the idea of a super cool War Games controller...I have never really spent much time playing the game, and I didn't play it as a kid so I don't have those fond childhood memories of it.  Then add on top of that the fact that I've got about 12 other controllers ahead of it right now.  I'm sure I'll do something with it at some point...I just don't know how "soon" I'll be able to get to it.  

A little late with this comment which isn’t really really related to your controller stuff but... I revisited Colecovision War Games not too long ago and it is absolutely one of the best CV games, it’s aged EXTREMELY well compared to many of its peers and stands out as a unique CV game as I don’t think there are ports of it to other Console systems (only computer ports).  If you have a chance, take an hour and give it a good play, maybe it will make you prioritize your controller list ;)

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31 minutes ago, Loafer said:

A little late with this comment which isn’t really really related to your controller stuff but... I revisited Colecovision War Games not too long ago and it is absolutely one of the best CV games, it’s aged EXTREMELY well compared to many of its peers and stands out as a unique CV game as I don’t think there are ports of it to other Console systems (only computer ports).  If you have a chance, take an hour and give it a good play, maybe it will make you prioritize your controller list ;)

He needs to finish the Spy Hunter one first because I want to see it 😛 

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1 hour ago, Loafer said:

A little late with this comment which isn’t really really related to your controller stuff but... I revisited Colecovision War Games not too long ago and it is absolutely one of the best CV games, it’s aged EXTREMELY well compared to many of its peers and stands out as a unique CV game as I don’t think there are ports of it to other Console systems (only computer ports).  If you have a chance, take an hour and give it a good play, maybe it will make you prioritize your controller list ;)

WarGames is a solid game.  I haven't played it a ton, partly I believe due to the heavy use of keypad buttons, vs a proper controller...which is obvously what sparked my idea for making a Experience Controller for this one.  It's in the queue...believe me.  

 

1 hour ago, zaphro72 said:

He needs to finish the Spy Hunter one first because I want to see it 😛 

Thanks for the reminder.  I had to run to Menards today to pick up some steel angle (I use for internal enclosure bracing), and I saw your post before I went, which reminded me to pick up the threaded rod that I need to built a support stand to be able to paint this enclosure.  So I picked that up, and after work, I'll figure out how to make a frame for this, and hopefully I'll get this painted and finished here in this upcoming week.  

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33 minutes ago, doubledown said:

Thanks for the reminder.  I had to run to Menards today to pick up some steel angle (I use for internal enclosure bracing), and I saw your post before I went, which reminded me to pick up the threaded rod that I need to built a support stand to be able to paint this enclosure.  So I picked that up, and after work, I'll figure out how to make a frame for this, and hopefully I'll get this painted and finished here in this upcoming week.  

All your controllers are wicked but I am super excited to see how the Spy Hunter one turns out....which is kinda funny in a way because until last week I hadn't played Spy Hunter haha

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Well not Spy Hunter...yet...but unveiling my - Frogger Edition - VVG Enhanced Controller:

 

xHRdEO.png

 

So I came across this green MCA Australia joystick a little while back and thought man...that would be perfect for a Frogger controller...even though it's not technically arcade accurate (the arcade cabinets used a red ball-knob, skinny shaft Wico joystick).  But I liked it, and I got it for a "decent" price, so I started looking into the other components for this controller, and tried to determine exactly what I was going to do with it.  I decided to build this into a Frogger "themed" Enhanced controller with universal ColecoVision compatibility, versus a Frogger "only" Experience controller, which obviously wouldn't have a keypad, or buttons.  The details are as follows:

 

*Hammond Mfg, 14.00" x 8.25" aluminum enclosure (reinforced and weighted)

 

*MCA Australia green ball-knob, Cherry micro-switch joystick, w/ 8/4/2-way restrictor (currently set up as a 4-way...for obvious reasons)

 

*iL PSL-L concave blue push-buttons (2) (blue, matching the P1 & P2 start buttons from the original arcade cabinet), with Cherry micro-switches (wired as Left & Right ColecoVision buttons...not necessary for Frogger, but again for mass game compatibility)

 

*Samducksa/Crown 16mm green push-buttons (12) (wired as the ColecoVision keypad buttons)

 

*Custom CPO artwork copied from the original arcade cabinet

 

I really like the green joystick...those Australians knew what they were doing!  Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

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I really like how this one came out too.  The green Samducksa 16mm buttons I used for the keypad were a great find for this particular controller.  The joystick & keypad button "greens" don't match perfectly (2 different companies), but I think they're close enough.  To use this 14" enclosure I had to find keypad buttons smaller than the 24mm ones I've used previously, and I ran across these when I was placing the order for the blue iL push-buttons.  They have a nice feel, and unlike most buttons this size, have a very low-profile black plunger flange.  You probably can't tell from the picture, but the black square surrounding the keypad buttons (semi-simulating the keypad area of the ColecoVision hand controllers), does have legends identifying each button (it's a fairly small font, with green text), in case you've never used a telephone and don't know what the button layout is.  I think that the "vibrant" Frogger logo looks great too...and who wouldn't love that tire tread!  

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15 hours ago, doubledown said:

Well not Spy Hunter...yet...but unveiling my - Frogger Edition - VVG Enhanced Controller:

 

xHRdEO.png

 

So I came across this green MCA Australia joystick a little while back and thought man...that would be perfect for a Frogger controller...even though it's not technically arcade accurate (the arcade cabinets used a red ball-knob, skinny shaft Wico joystick).  But I liked it, and I got it for a "decent" price, so I started looking into the other components for this controller, and tried to determine exactly what I was going to do with it.  I decided to build this into a Frogger "themed" Enhanced controller with universal ColecoVision compatibility, versus a Frogger "only" Experience controller, which obviously wouldn't have a keypad, or buttons.  The details are as follows:

 

*Hammond Mfg, 14.00" x 8.25" aluminum enclosure (reinforced and weighted)

 

*MCA Australia green ball-knob, Cherry micro-switch joystick, w/ 8/4/2-way restrictor (currently set up as a 4-way...for obvious reasons)

 

*iL PSL-L concave blue push-buttons (2) (blue, matching the P1 & P2 start buttons from the original arcade cabinet), with Cherry micro-switches (wired as Left & Right ColecoVision buttons...not necessary for Frogger, but again for mass game compatibility)

 

*Samducksa/Crown 16mm green push-buttons (12) (wired as the ColecoVision keypad buttons)

 

*Custom CPO artwork copied from the original arcade cabinet

 

I really like the green joystick...those Australians knew what they were doing!  Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

I will accept this as I am a big Frogger fan.

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My initial plan for this controller was for full & complete ColecoVision & Genesis (3-button) compatibility.  Reason being...I love the ColecoVision...and from what I read, the port of Frogger for the Genesis was amazingly arcade-accurate.  Fun fact...Frogger was the last licensed game released for the Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo.  So I got a copy of the Genesis game, and while it looks, sounds, and plays arcade accurately...it has a few flaws I can't abide.  For starters there are no settings of any kind, and the only game-play option is 1 or 2 players, each staring with 5 lives...versus the arcade standard of 3.  Then there is no high-score saving...not even during a single game session.  So as soon as you finish your game, and start a new one (without powering off the console), there is no "high-score".  So decided against adding the Genesis compatibility (which saves about $40 in hardware, and more than an hour of extra wiring), and I'll use the extra parts I purchased at a later date, I'm sure.

 

**On a side note.  I ran across a set of "my" Pac-Man / Ms. Pac-Man Edition Hand Controllers on ebay.  They are mine in the sense that these are one of the sets that I made, but I am not the person selling them.  So I can't speak to the selling price, or their actual condition, but if someone was looking for a set of these, they can be found on ebay.  Again...not my listing...I don't know who's selling them...I just know there are always some people looking to get a set of these it seems like.  HERE  I noticed that the seller will only ship to the USA, so if you're out of the country and you want these, I can probably help with brokering the deal, (shipping to me, I'll ship to you...what-not).

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1 hour ago, doubledown said:

**On a side note.  I ran across a set of "my" Pac-Man / Ms. Pac-Man Edition Hand Controllers on ebay.  They are mine in the sense that these are one of the sets that I made, but I am not the person selling them.  So I can't speak to the selling price, or their actual condition, but if someone was looking for a set of these, they can be found on ebay.  Again...not my listing...I don't know who's selling them...I just know there are always some people looking to get a set of these it seems like.  HERE  I noticed that the seller will only ship to the USA, so if you're out of the country and you want these, I can probably help with brokering the deal, (shipping to me, I'll ship to you...what-not).

I thought about those, but the price is a bit high for me...I'm assuming the seller is a member here?  He/She also had a second Battle of Hoth for sale that I wanted, but it went fast and i'm a bit burned out by paying that much for aftermarket Homebrews.  I'll find one for a reasonable price one day... 

 

But back to the controllers, they are in great shape!  I bought a pair of the DK variant, aftermarket, from a member here.  I paid around the same price they were originally and i've got to say, they are like new controllers.  Maybe it's the longer stick and balltop, maybe it's your refurbuishing, but I don't even recall CV controllers feeling like this when new!  (I never owned one "new," but I played my uncle's in the 80s and he kept his stuff pristine!)  Worth the investment if you like them and like the original controller layout!

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Its definitely the shaft extension and ball knob...assuming everything else is working properly.  It makes a huge difference versus the short, factory shaft, and disc knob.  And now of course enter the barrage of posts from people who "love" everything about their stock ColecoVision controllers, in their factory configuration!  😄  (probably the same people who love their factory 5200 controllers 😄 )

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7 hours ago, doubledown said:

 And now of course enter the barrage of posts from people who "love" everything about their stock ColecoVision controllers, in their factory configuration!  😄  (probably the same people who love their factory 5200 controllers 😄 )

Look - Part of what makes the ColecoVision the ColecoVision are those controllers.  I get it.  It's part of why I like the modified hand controllers so much...it's nostalgia.  But let's be honest...it's a weird design at best.  If you grew up with it, you probably love it.  I am nostalgic for it because of playing it at my Uncle's house as a kid.  But I feel like it's the people who grew up with the N64 and love that controller.  It's just damn weird!

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For those interested...I'm painting the Spy Hunter enclosure today...get syked!!!  Hopefully it will be unveiled soon.  

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Hi, Is there any way to buy a DoubleDown standard CV controller set - like DK, Pac Man, Venture, etc? Heck, I even have extra controllers that I could supply, if need be. I may have asked about this before, but I don't remember.

 

While the arcade controllers and whatnot are extremely cool, I doubt I would get one, since I have an awesome CV Arcade Controller made by Grips03, which has got me covered, as far as those types of controllers go, but no DoubleDown standard CV controller in the collection, yet. If anyone has one or set that they'd part with, please let me know. :) Thanks!

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I'm not currently "taking" orders for any controllers...least of all Hand Controllers, at the moment.  I have more than a dozen new controller projects that I'm working on currently.  Once I've got those out of my system, I'll look into accepting orders for any controllers that can be made available. 

 

FYI, the Donkey Kong / Donkey Kong Jr. and Pac-Man / Ms. Pac-Man sets were limited to a 1 time sale with X numbers sold, and no more will be made.  So if you're looking for those versions specifically, you will have to get them from the open market.

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Gotcha. 👌 Yeah, I missed the boat last year, when the hand controllers started coming back out. Oh well, maybe one of these days, I'll luck out. 🤞 Keep up the great work!

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2 hours ago, Mr. John ColecoVision said:

Are any of these amazing controllers available for sale, besides the x2 sweet Asteroids controllers I put my name down for with Team Pixel Boy?

Not right at the moment.  I'm currently in a "new build" phase, creating new and more fabulous versions & editions.  Once I get finished up with these new ones....I'll post/offer a pre-order period for any of the controllers that can be made available, and then build them in one large batch.  I was planning on doing this earlier this year, but I got hung up with some other stuff...and then Covid-19...and now I'm making all of the ones that I thought of / designed, during my 3 month "work-from-home" quarantine period.  

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12 minutes ago, doubledown said:

Not right at the moment.  I'm currently in a "new build" phase, creating new and more fabulous versions & editions.  Once I get finished up with these new ones....I'll post/offer a pre-order period for any of the controllers that can be made available, and then build them in one large batch.  I was planning on doing this earlier this year, but I got hung up with some other stuff...and then Covid-19...and now I'm making all of the ones that I thought of / designed, during my 3 month "work-from-home" quarantine period.  

Good to know, thanks for the info!

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1 hour ago, Mr. John ColecoVision said:

Good to know, thanks for the info!

No problem...I'm trying to get all of the new ones out before the pre-order so that people can have the choice then, versus ordering 1 (which is available now), then I come out with something new later, and they wish they had that one instead.  Not to say that I'll ever stop making new designs...but just kind of my thought at this point.  

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