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Allen Schweitzer

Refurbish a driving controller?

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Can anybody tell me if it's possible to refurbish a driving controller, and what I need to do to make that happen?  I opened one up today that I got recently because it has jitter, and I assumed it had a pot like a paddle controller.  When I opened it up, I saw this, and I'm not sure what to do with it.

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Driving controllers use rotary encoders instead of potentiometers. So instead of creating varying electrical resistances around the dial with a pot, the rotary encoder has a little part like a fan in there and a light detector.  The light is blocked and unblocked as the fan rotates as you turn the knob, which the 2600 notes.  The faster the 2600 sees those rotations, the faster it turns the car onscreen. 

 

Trak-Balls work the same way, but with 2 rotary encoders; one for each axis of movement.

 

As for the replacement part, have you tried Best Electronics?

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Driving controllers on atari vcs are not optical, the use a gray encoders.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_code

 

That's the nicer encoder to have (doesn't feel as "ropey" as the more common pcb stack encoders). Comes apart real easy for cleaning with lightly prying the corner tabs. You can also reduce the friction by bending down the unused sweeps (see attached pic). After cleaning a spritz of deoxit on the pcb for lubrication is recomended.

 

 

good day.

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5 hours ago, chopperthedog said:

Driving controllers on atari vcs are not optical, the use a gray encoders.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_code

 

That's the nicer encoder to have (doesn't feel as "ropey" as the more common pcb stack encoders). Comes apart real easy for cleaning with lightly prying the corner tabs. You can also reduce the friction by bending down the unused sweeps (see attached pic). After cleaning a spritz of deoxit on the pcb for lubrication is recomended.

 

 

good day.

 

 

Oh wow, TIL!   Thanks chopperthedog.

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