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doubledown

DOUBLEDOWN Custom ColecoVision Controllers

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Broking hearts... Hope that you have enough interest to make a batch of Mouse Trap, Venture and Defender. I may be not finding my spare SV-103 but I have enough spare controllers to make it happen. Cheers

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May I present---the ColecoVision---Donkey Kong Edition---Super Arcade Controller!  

 

The joystick Coleco should have sold us 37 years ago to properly pair with their "Arcade Quality Video Game System."

 

Cti09v.jpg

 

I'll be back with more info later this evening.  I got a few things I gotta take care of, just wanted to get the buzz going.

 

 

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So this was the donor controller I originally ordered to use for a Defender controller:

 

ySTDvX.jpg

 

While I was waiting for it to come in and trying to figure out the artwork and layout, I determined it was going to be too small for a proper Defender controller.  Since I already bought and paid for it, I decided I needed to do something with it, and as it was the ColecoVision pack-in game, Donkey Kong seemed like the logical call.  

 

I initially selected this controller because it didn't already have a dozen extra button holes that I didn't need, it didn't have a bunch of turbo switches I would have to remove/hide, and the joystick and buttons are upward, and inboard enough to actually allow for plenty of wrist support when playing seated with it in your lap, or set on a table.  Additionally it has a steel panel for the top and the bottom panels, allowing for easier machining and mounting possibilities for all of the hardware.  The controller housing and the cord are are the only items reused, all of the other hardware is new.  Here's a list of the parts used and work done:

 

1) Entire controller disassembled and stripped down with the housing and panels cleaned.

 

2) Some areas of the middle plastic section had to be cut away/removed for installation of the new joystick, keypad cabling

 

3) New control panel overlay designed and styled after the original Donkey Kong CPO, altering it for the smaller size of the controller.  New CPO is printed on 80 lb. glossy photo paper, then two-sided 5 mil pouch heat laminated, trimmed to size then permanently applied to top steel plate

 

4) The installed joystick is a Seimitsu LS-32, black ball top microswitch joystick with a 3-way restrictor plate, currently setup as a 4-way joystick (as Donkey Kong should be).  The joystick shaft had to be slightly altered to allow it to clear the bottom plate due to the shallow mounting depth of the enclosure.  The restrictor plate can be repositioned additionally as a square 8-way, or a horizontal or vertical 2-way configuration for additional game compatibility.  

 

5) The installed pushbuttons are Ultimarc Gold Leaf arcade pushbuttons.  The buttons are concave tops, as they should be, and the "left" button is orange as the Donkey Kong "Jump" button.  I initially considered not adding the 2nd button as the Donkey Kong cabinet only has one button, but to make it more useable I took an artistic liberty and added it for additional game compatibility, and selected red so that it would somewhat camouflage itself into the CPO artwork.  So looking at the pic above the "Jump" button is where the B button was, but because of the rounded corner trapezoid identifying the button, I had to move the 2nd button (original C button) to the right so that it wouldn't overlap the artwork.  I used the CNC at work to make the modifications to the top plate

 

6) The start button on the controller (yellow in upper left corner) was dyed medium dark blue like the P1/P2 start buttons on the original arcade cabinet.  And since most ColecoVision games, Donkey Kong included, uses the keypad "*" button as a start new game with previous difficulty/player settings, I wired it as an additional * button.

 

7) The plastic housing was sanded, washed, alcohol wiped, then coated with 2 coats of primer, and 4 coats of basecoat in light blue.  

 

8 ) Installed an Eladdin Easy CV I/O board with keypad versus using an old controller PCB/Keypad.  I removed the Eladdin keypad overlay and made a new one like I use on my standard hand controller themed editions to match that area of the CPO again so that it would blend it and be less noticeable, while remaining the full functionality of a standard hand controller to allow it to be used with a maximum number of games.  

 

The only thing I have left to do is replace the plug end of the controller cable.  As this was a Saturn controller originally, the plug is obviously different so I had ordered some 9-pin ends and the necessary pieces which I got today, but forgot to order a crimper for the strain relief.  I should have that in on Monday.  

 

The controller came out really well, and while I haven't actually played any games with it yet, it feels very comfortable just testing the feel of it.  

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Not sure yet.  Now that's its all outfitted, I'll have to sit down and figure out what it will cost to reproduce.  I probably spent more time on the CPO artwork and and its layout, including the slight movement of the 2nd button over any other part, but now that it's all figured out it's not so time intensive.  The only "non-fixed" cost is the donor controller, but fortunately as Hori made them specifically for Virtua Fighter for the Saturn (omitting 5 of the 8 standard buttons), they're not super highly sought after, although they were only released in Japan.  I paid a little more for this one than I should have, but it was the only one listed on ebay in the US that I knew I could get in a speedy time to start working on it as soon as I could.  I've already got a couple other ideas for other versions that I want to make as well.  And now that I've ordered an ADAM Phoenix, I'll need to make one themed to match that as well.  I should have some better idea on pricing this weekend.  I'll have to work up an instruction manual for it as well.  

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Let me know, I should me getting my adam phoenix in the next couple of days some would love something sturdy that matches well with that particular model of the phoenix, though I wonder, would it make sense to have a 4 button version (minus spinner) so that it can also play well with most super action controller compatible games?  Hmmm, I guess there really isn't that many games supporting them to warrant the effort.

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A 4-button SAC version (minus spinner) is one of the 3 other ideas I've already got in mind.  Hori already did this:

 

yR2DRy.jpg

 

It was a variant of the HSS-09, called the HSS-12, made for Fighters Megamix as the R shoulder button was required for the escape maneuver.  I would still start with the HSS-09 and just add the 4th button hole as the HSS-12's are substantially more rare and expensive.  But like you said the list of 4 button required games is pretty slim, unless there are recent homebrews that I'm not familiar with that use them.  For me Front Line, and Spy Hunter with buttons (vs keypad) are the only 2 I can think of.  Problem is for Front Line, the Red button is rotate right, and the Purple button is rotate left, so installing the 4 buttons in standard order, Ye/Re/Pu/Bl from left to right flip/flops and mixes up which side the rotate buttons are and I don't think my brain can handle it.  That's why when I made my Super Action Control Pad from a Jaguar Pro controller, I used the shoulder buttons as duplicate Re/Pu buttons, oriented properly (left for left, and right for right) specifically for Front Line.  Regarding Spy Hunter I'm working on a whole other idea for that one. 

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I was finally able to finish the artwork layout today for the CPO for my Defender Edition - Arcade Experience Controller:

 

aITB1a.jpg

 

The artwork was all redrawn from the original as reference and modified to accommodate the controller being a bit smaller than the arcade cabinet, and the slightly different control scheme of the ColecoVision versus that of the arcade.  Barring some sort of calamity, I should have the main assembly done tomorrow.  

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Well there was of course a calamity with the laminating of the CPO today, but I was able to get it taken care of.  Here's the initial assembly of the:

 

** Defender Edition - Arcade Experience Controller **

 

itT4ND.jpg

 

I still need to select a cord grip and some feet, then actually wire it, but this is the first look.

 

So I wanted to build this as a purpose-built Defender controller to simulate the "arcade experience" of Defender as much as possible at home with your ColecoVision.

 

Arcade Cabinet - 2-Way Joystick, Up & Down to control ship movement Up and Down (red ball-top)

My Controller - 2-Way Joystick, Up & Down to control ship movement Up and Down (red ball-top)

 

Arcade Cabinet - 1 Player & 2 Players start buttons (red)

My Controller - 1 Player & 2 Players start buttons (red) - wired to keypad buttons 1 and 2 (the only skill/player selections available in the CV port)

 

Arcade Cabinet - Hyperspace button (white)

My Controller - Hyperspace button (white) - wired to keypad button 0 (as the CV port is programmed)

 

Arcade Cabinet - Smart Bomb button (green)

My Controller - Smart Bomb button (green) - wired to the right button (as the CV port is programmed)

 

Arcade Cabinet - Fire button (white)

My Controller - Fire button (white) - wired to the left button (as the CV port is programmed)

 

Now here is where the only difference is:

 

Arcade Cabinet  - had (1) Reverse button, and (1) Thrust button.  The Reverse button was below/right of the joystick, operated by your left thumb, and would reverse the direction your ship was facing.  Then you would use the Thrust button to propel ship in the direction you were facing.

 

My Controller - has (1) Thrust Left button, and (1) Thrust Right button.  As the CV port of Defender is programmed to have you use the joystick (pressing left or right to move your ship left or right), I had to take a liberty here, and I added a 2nd Thrust button (and deleted the Reverse button) .  So these thrust buttons are wired to the controller's directions Left and Right to work with how the game is programmed, and as close to the concept of the original arcade cabinet as possible.

 

Hopefully I'll get it finished up this week once I decide on the final few pieces, and I'll be able to give it a test.  

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I got the last of the necessary bits in today and got the Defender Arcade Experience Controller wired and finished up tonight (pay no attention to the mess on the workbench):

 

HyaS1e.jpg

 

I know it's not exactly the same control scheme as the arcade cabinet (reverse/thrust controls difference), but I will say it is amazing to play Defender with this versus a hand controller.  I recommend one to everybody; especially those who think they hate Defender, this will change your mind...and your life, I swear.  

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Great stuff! I know I'm late to the party, but in terms of the hand controller q that you posed at the onset of the thread, CollectorVision did a helluva job on Mario Bros. and a set of Mario (red) and Luigi (Green) could be interesting!

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7 hours ago, sixersfan105 said:

Great stuff! I know I'm late to the party, but in terms of the hand controller q that you posed at the onset of the thread, CollectorVision did a helluva job on Mario Bros. and a set of Mario (red) and Luigi (Green) could be interesting!

Yurkie already made a set of Mario Bros. controllers some years back.  I wouldn't remake that theme.

 

I'm still thinking of a few other hand controller ideas right now, as well as the 2 other pistol grip games (Gorf and Buck Rogers) for the SV-103 controllers. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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Unveiling:

 

Donkey Kong (Radar Scope "conversion") Edition - Hand Controller:

 

CVILtO.jpg

 

For those that don't know the history of Nintendo & Radar Scope & Donkey Kong, short of it is, Nintendo was "stuck" with a load of Radar Scope cabinets as the game lost its popularity quickly.  So the red Radar Scope games were converted to Donkey Kong games, but the cabinet wasn't repainted blue, they remained red.  So this is my take on the Radar Scope to Donkey Kong conversion cabinets.  

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I've started a post in Buying/Selling to sell the one (1) each of the newest CoecoVision hand controllers and SpectraVideo SV-103 controllers I've made:

 

**HERE**

 

Additionally here is the status regarding the possibility of any more of any of the ten controllers I've made recently being produced after these:

 

Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom - SV-103

Yes possible, standard dye colors, but would need donor controllers

 

Carnival - Coleco hand controller

Yes possible, standard dye colors and I have spare controllers

 

Defender - Coleco hand controller

No not easily, I decanted the yellow and light blue dyes I had, mixed and sprayed to make the green for the right Smart Bomb button.  The yellow dye is no longer made and would need to be a custom order.

 

Donkey Kong (Radar Scope Conversion) - Coleco hand controller

No not easily, the orange for the buttons was from extra parts I made in 2009.  A custom order dye would need to be made.

 

Gorf - SV-103

No not easily, the light blue for the upper housing half was from 2009.  A custom order dye would need to be made, and donor controllers would need to be found.

 

Mouse Trap

No not easily, the light blue dye for the ball knob was from 2009.  A custom order dye would need to be made.

 

Pac-Man Plus

No not easily, the yellow dye for the housing is no longer standard.  A custom order dye would need to be made.

 

Popeye

No not easily, the light blue housing was from extra parts I made in 2009.  A custom order dye would need to be made.

 

Venture

Yes possible, standard dye colors and I have spare controllers

 

Zaxxon

Yes possible, standard dye colors, but would need donor controllers

 

So that's all the info for now.  If you're interested in any of the six controllers I am currently taking offers for (link above, and post in buying/selling):

 

Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom

Carnival

Donkey Kong (Radar Scope Conversion)

Gorf

Pac-Man Plus

Popeye

 

understand that there may never be any more made of Donkey Kong (RS), Gorf, Pac-Man Plus, and Popeye.

 

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Unveiling:

 

The murdered out, ColecoVision Black Edition - Super Arcade Controller:

 

oieukp.jpg

 

rH6lbw.jpg

 

94ZIyh.jpg

 

So similar to my Donkey Kong - Super Arcade Controller.  

 

This one Features:

 

* Seimitsu Joystick, (black ball-top and shaft) capable of being configured as an 8-way, 4-way, or 2-way horizontal or vertical joystick by adjusting the internal sub-gate.  Currently it's set up as a 8-way like the ColecoVision hand controller, allowing for maximum game compatibility.

 

* Sanwa OBSFS "Silent" pushbuttons, gray to match the gray buttons on the ColecoVision hand controllers.

 

* Eladdin CV Easy I/O Board w/ Keypad.

 

* Controller base left factory black to match the ColecoVision console/controllers.

 

* Blacked out CPO.

 

* Custom keypad overlay inspired by the ColecoVision hand controller's keypad.

 

* The controller's original "Start" button dyed silver, and wired as a 2nd * key, to restart game after game ends. 

 

* Custom front label inspired by the ColecoVision console's front face label.

 

I had a thought...if I could get the artwork/logo files from CollectorVision for the Phoenix, I could make a similar, Phoenix edition!

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48 minutes ago, doubledown said:

Thank you sir.

 

Seems like a photo-op that needed to happen:

 

7OmU8u.jpg

 

 

Very nice! What would be the likelihood of a right handed four button version with trackball and spinner? You could team up with pboland, the cyclone spinner provider.

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