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DOUBLEDOWN Custom ColecoVision Controllers

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Just like PixelBoy - I'd like 2 such unpainted controllers (black controller with black ball knobs). Where do I sign up?

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Wargames and  2010 would be cool.  Both games are basically Colecovision exclusives.  Although the color variations might not bee to interesting.

 

Some other ideas might be Alcazar and Fortune Builder.

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Well we could go bananas and make 1 themed for every ColecoVision game ever made!  I really like the SpectaVideo Zaxxon idea, may start working on that.  

 

As of now no "official" sign up sheet, just trying to judge interest.  Definitely seems like people want the Pac/DK controllers reproduced, but like I said I'm not opposed, I'd just like to do something else first.  

 

Looking at my old pricing spreadsheet when I made these last, looks like the DK controllers (with custom-made dyes) were sold for $75.00 each or $145.00 for the pair (the pair also included a manual).  I updated the prices from my vendors on all items, (except the dye) and assuming the price of that hasn't skyrocketed a full themed pair might bump up to $155.00 to $165.00.  Plain black controllers with Ball Knob joystick (like picture above in post with silver ball) would probably end up in the $40 - $45 range.  Again just preliminary prices, nothing set in stone.  

 

With Zaxxon as an original ColecoVision launch title, I like the idea more and more, the more I think about it.  

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39 minutes ago, doubledown said:

Plain black controllers with Ball Knob joystick (like picture above in post with silver ball) would probably end up in the $40 - $45 range.  Again just preliminary prices, nothing set in stone.

Sounds acceptable to me.  :)

 

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I was off on my SV-103's, I only have 7.

 

QXWruS.jpg

 

Still, going to work on a Zaxxon design tonight.  Perhaps a limited edition Super Pack including these beauties (everything must go):

 

hNlX79.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

I think I've got the Zaxxon keypad Underlay design:

 

G7NRuW.jpg

 

The field is blue as the keypad buttons in Zaxxon are only used for the selection of players/skill level at the start of game, and the arcade cabinet's P1/P2 start buttons were blue.  I chose grey (silver simulate) for the numbers which are in a Zaxxon font, and I used the SEGA logo on a 45 degree angle like the ship flying in the game for the "*" key. As all 4 buttons (2 on joystick and 2 on base) in Zaxxon act as the same "fire" button, I'll dye them all red, like the fire buttons on the arcade cabinet.  I'll keep the joystick black like the arcade cabinet's counterpart, and I'm thinking about dying the top half of the joystick base silver like the CPO of the cabinet, and probably leave the lower half black.   

 

I got the marquee designed too:

 

jTELmj.jpg

 

 

Edited by doubledown
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I have a set of your Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man controllers, and they were things of beauty.  I would love to have a Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. pair as well.  Actually anything you produce I would have to take a serious look at, but DK feels like an essential since it was pretty much the original reason for the ColecoVision's existence.

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Well I heard back from the place where I've bought the custom colored dye previously.  They still offer the product, price has now almost doubled, there is a 1 time per color "color-match" fee of $150.00 (for anything other than their 12 stock colors), and they no longer will provide their product in aerosol cans as I've purchased before.  So in addition to the price increase of the dye, the extra time of loading and cleaning the spray gun, solvent cost, solvent disposal cost and the likes, looks like custom colors like I used before for the DK controller set will be substantially more costly and would probably require a larger pre-order base to help offset the higher costs.  I'm not saying it's not possible, just more involved/expensive now.  The other company's product I use still offer aerosols in white, black, 2 reds, 2 blues, a few beige/tan, a few grey/silver so if those colors work for some theme, those would be little to no problem.  

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Quick question: Are all your ball knobs the same color? Do you need to paint knobs in black?

 

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Knobs are available in both red or black, any other color has to be dyed.  Fortunately most cabinets used these 2 colors for easy matching.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, doubledown said:

Knobs are available in both red or black, any other color has to be dyed.  Fortunately most cabinets used these 2 colors for easy matching.

 

Kewl. So no matter what happens with the dye issue, I should be able to purchase the 4 controllers I want. :)

 

Edited by Pixelboy

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Correct, and my 2nd dye source does offer some standard colors in aerosol, so if I decide on a Mouse Trap controller (probably gonna happen) I would need a bright blue for the knob, which is available as a stock color.  

 

I always had the idea of doing a custom controller for Tapper, just need to figure out how to add a 2nd stick, or momentary lever switch, as the tap handle! 

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As I was thinking about a Tapper controller I was looking into tapered bat handles from where I get my ball knobs, and there are a couple models which could work.  Imagine a Wico bat handle, but obviously a helluva lot shorter, almost identical height to the top of the ball, on my ball knob modded controllers.  As a game themed / tie-in controller I would assume stick with a knob if the arcade cabinet had a knob, but for those thinking about simple black modded controllers, you may perfer a bat handle vs knob...just sayin'.  I'll probably order a couple today along with some other fiddly bits I need and play around with them this weekend.  And for those of you thinking, why not both...they of course don't make both styles in the same thread/pitch, but I may be able to work around that.  

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8 minutes ago, Pixelboy said:

Pictures! Pictures! We need pictures!  :)

 

Just placed an order for a 2 black and 2 red ball knobs, 1 each of the 2 different tapered handles that might work, 2 threads/pitches of screws (in case I can't make 1 work for both), spacers of my previously used height and a couple slightly longer/taller (1 tapered handle is slightly shorter than ball is tall), and grommets used for cable entry gland. I can probably have something mocked up this weekend, if nothing else at least side by side pics of knobs/handles themselves.  Also its supposed to be 95+ degrees here this weekend, so might make for a good couple of days to work down in the basement.  

 

On a side note, I would like to express my appreciation to all of you for the excitement in "my work".  I know I was back here a couple years ago about maybe coming back and doing some stuff, but that was right around the time I was buying my current house.  My absence prior to that, 9 years ago or so now, was when I bought my first house.  With a great house comes great responsibility, and a helluva lot of work as I am a glutton for punishment and work.  As a treat for some of you (maybe, or perhaps an annoyance), I was going through pics on my phone the other day and found these:

 

This is approximately 1/3 of my new 50'x30' basement when I bought the house.  This is what a "finished basement" looked like in the mid-to-late 60's:

 

XE5dEB.jpg

 

After it was gutted, floor epoxied, walls painted, cleaned misc. cables/wires/conduit/plumbing from ceiling then painted, and partial lights installed:

 

mST32b.jpg

 

This was the base and back wall to the workbench, and being prepped for workbench surface.  Also the rest of the LED bulbs came in and installed:

 

J4GYkc.jpg

 

And here is the finished product, a labor of love, a helluva lot of wood, and 40 dedicated amps of power with more outlets than a stick can be shaken at:

 

31zpu4.jpg

 

For those wondering, it's 26' long and 42" deep, height is for a lowish stool, as well as standing.  Note the boxes underneath,  to the right of the first recessed support leg, (which is 6' from left edge) from that leg thru the 20' to its right, all video games, I'm looking to get rid of.  Some more in other boxes on other shelves not pictured, but gives you an idea of what I'm working with.  Anyways, again thanks, and a little peek into my life.  By the way, did all the work myself!

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14 minutes ago, doubledown said:

After it was gutted, floor epoxied, walls painted, cleaned misc. cables/wires/conduit/plumbing from ceiling then painted, and partial lights installed:

 

mST32b.jpg

 

 

I look at that particular picture and all I see are rows of arcade cabinets. Am I the only one who thinks this way?  :P 

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17 hours ago, doubledown said:

I think I've got the Zaxxon keypad Underlay design:

 

G7NRuW.jpg

 

The field is blue as the keypad buttons in Zaxxon are only used for the selection of players/skill level at the start of game, and the arcade cabinet's P1/P2 start buttons were blue.  I chose grey (silver simulate) for the numbers which are in a Zaxxon font, and I used the SEGA logo on a 45 degree angle like the ship flying in the game for the "*" key. As all 4 buttons (2 on joystick and 2 on base) in Zaxxon act as the same "fire" button, I'll dye them all red, like the fire buttons on the arcade cabinet.  I'll keep the joystick black like the arcade cabinet's counterpart, and I'm thinking about dying the top half of the joystick base silver like the CPO of the cabinet, and probably leave the lower half black.   

 

I got the marquee designed too:

 

jTELmj.jpg

 

 

It is too bad we don't have "the" Tron game on ColecoVision to take advantage of this controller (I think the Edladdin ones could work as well). A Tron themed model with this controller would be cool. Although, Sub-Roc or Buck Rogers would also be great. I think I've heard mixed reviews of this controller, though, so maybe it is more of a shelf item. I ended up buying a NOS one this week, though, to see how it compares to CV controllers in general. I never bought a Wico one either due to what I've heard. Maybe if it is meh, I can try to find ways to make it work better like Brad does at Best electronics with Atari controllers and keyboards.

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28 minutes ago, Pixelboy said:

I look at that particular picture and all I see are rows of arcade cabinets. Am I the only one who thinks this way?  :P 

It would have been the perfect basement for an arcade, but too much storage was required for all my crap, as well as a proper work space. Besides I only have one arcade cab, Sega's Turbo, it wasn't at the house yet when this pic was taken, but its there now, located at far end of bench to the right of that pic's frame. 

 

17 minutes ago, Swami said:

It is too bad we don't have "the" Tron game on ColecoVision to take advantage of this controller (I think the Edladdin ones could work as well). A Tron themed model with this controller would be cool. Although, Sub-Roc or Buck Rogers would also be great. I think I've heard mixed reviews of this controller, though, so maybe it is more of a shelf item. I ended up buying a NOS one this week, though, to see how it compares to CV controllers in general. I never bought a Wico one either due to what I've heard. Maybe if it is meh, I can try to find ways to make it work better like Brad does at Best electronics with Atari controllers and keyboards.

 

I've always thought that, I love Tron and Tron Legacy and would love a LED lighted translucent pistol grip ColecoVision controller, assuming there was an accompanying game.  The SpectraVideo controllers are actually pretty good, I used one almost exclusively until I built my Super Action Control Pad something like 10-12 years ago.  Yes an original authentic Atari Jaguar Pro pad was molested for this project.  I re-purposed the shoulder buttons as duplicate red/purple buttons as I love Front Line, and those work for the Right (red) and Left (purple) aiming arm rotation.  Probably my favorite controller for the ColecoVision ever:

 

cvsuperactioncontrolpadjz7.jpg

 

I still have this one, only ever made this one, and will probably be looking to sell it soon. It's currently sitting on my workbench.  I found 2 more unmolested original new Jag Pro controllers the other night that I bought to make more of these, just never got around to it.  1 has the box (in ok shape), the other is loose.

 

I will say that in my opinion, the Wico ColecoVision controllers are pretty much hot garbage, mostly because of the side buttons, for games that require 2 buttons. The stick itself isn't bad, just way to long.  

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25 minutes ago, doubledown said:

It would have been the perfect basement for an arcade, but too much storage was required for all my crap, as well as a proper work space. Besides I only have one arcade cab, Sega's Turbo, it wasn't at the house yet when this pic was taken, but its there now, located at far end of bench to the right of that pic's frame. 

 

 

I've always thought that, I love Tron and Tron Legacy and would love a LED lighted translucent pistol grip ColecoVision controller, assuming there was an accompanying game.  The SpectraVideo controllers are actually pretty good, I used one almost exclusively until I built my Super Action Control Pad something like 10-12 years ago.  Yes an original authentic Atari Jaguar Pro pad was molested for this project.  I re-purposed the shoulder buttons as duplicate red/purple buttons as I love Front Line, and those work for the Right (red) and Left (purple) aiming arm rotation.  Probably my favorite controller for the ColecoVision ever:

 

cvsuperactioncontrolpadjz7.jpg

 

I still have this one, only ever made this one, and will probably be looking to sell it soon. It's currently sitting on my workbench.  I found 2 more unmolested original new Jag Pro controllers the other night that I bought to make more of these, just never got around to it.  1 has the box (in ok shape), the other is loose.

 

I will say that in my opinion, the Wico ColecoVision controllers are pretty much hot garbage, mostly because of the side buttons, for games that require 2 buttons. The stick itself isn't bad, just way to long.  

I have a Jag controller modded for Colecovision I bought off of Atariguy1021. It's generally great, but for games with fire left/fire right, like Tutankenham, the Fire1/Fire2 are reversed because it was, apparently, a great pain to have Fire one to the left of Fire 2 (I tried pushing the left button for for right and vice versa, but mentally impossible). I forget if it has the two extra SAC buttons, but I think so. Ultimately, I use the modded NTT data controller mostly becuase the buttons are in the same order as the original controler on that one. Something like these would probably work for Tron, as well. I would love to find someone who could fix that button order for me.

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Yeah for Tutankham the left button of a standard hand controller would fire left, which should map to yellow button of stock SAC, right to right, which is red of SAC.  Mine would have the correct orientation.  I modded an NES NTT data controller too, but can't find the picture right now.  

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22 hours ago, doubledown said:

I was off on my SV-103's, I only have 7.

 

QXWruS.jpg

 

Still, going to work on a Zaxxon design tonight.  Perhaps a limited edition Super Pack including these beauties (everything must go):

 

hNlX79.jpg

 

I named my youngest son Zaxxon, probably need this super pack haha.

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14 minutes ago, zaphro72 said:

I named my youngest son Zaxxon, probably need this super pack haha.

Seriously...if so that's awesome!  And yes, this IS the super pack your looking for.

 

FYI I just found (and ordered 1 off ebay) a possible amazing controller for a Tapper custom controller.  No its not a ColecoVision controller, its from the MD/SFC era.  

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If you do Zaxxon, a Zaxxon + GORF set using those controllers would be pretty cool.  I would buy that.

 

Troy

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Posted (edited)

Zaxxon is definitely happening, dying the buttons and top half of controller base as we type, 2nd coat on, 3rd coat to be applied in about 15 minutes.  Additionally I'm working on a manual right now too:

 

r4lfjk.jpg

 

Fortunately I have an original SV-103 manual as a template.

Edited by doubledown
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Well I got the dye done last night for the Zaxxon prototype controller, I also got the manual finished, minus the picture of said controller.  I need to get it assembled, and take a pic for the inside of the manual (like the original) and will post that here tonight or tomorrow, whenever I get it done.  

 

Additionally I got my fiddly bits in today.  Here's a pic of the shorter/(slightly) smaller "stick handle" knob for a standard controller mod, next to the ball knobs I've used previously for size comparison:

 

1s08yf.jpg

 

Either one can be taller or shorter depending on the length of anodized aluminum spacer (and screw depending on how much height is changed) used below the knob.  The 1/2" length one underneath the ball knob is the length I used on all of the Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Junior controllers I made previously.  I checked a bunch of different heights back then (shorter and longer in 1/8" increments) and it felt the best to me.  The ball directly on top of the original shaft, replacing the original round knob, felt way to short and I had to raise it up a bit for the ergonomics.  

 

I'll get them mocked up on an actual standard hand controller tonight/tomorrow and let you know how they feel and I'll post some pics when I have them.  

 

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