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phlegmer

Resurrecting some Trackballs

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I have a couple trackball controllers that have different issues I would like to correct.

 

Controller #1

This one is in nice shape and ball rolls very nicely.  However, it does not sense the ball going down.  Up, Left, Right all work except down.  I took it apart, took off the metal rod with bearings and blew out the area where the little black flywheel goes into with no change.  Since it does sense one direction but not another on the same sensor, could there be a component that went out?

 

Controller #2

This one came to me quite dirty and controlwise does appear to work.  However, all the bearings are REALLY bad and crunchy.  I suspect if I could just replace those bearings, this would work just fine.  Anyone know where one can get some bearings that would fit this?

 

Thanks for the advice!

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I just did one of these,

 

You will need to clean all the metal parts, including the idler bearing with #0000 steel wool - you can then attempt to oil the bearings with something like 3-In-One oil / machine or gun oil.

 

In the first controller it sounds like you need an Optocoupler or maybe one of the ICs have gone bad - it’s odd it works in every direction except for down.

 

Console5 / Best Electronics sell rebuild parts for the CX-53 - at minimum you should expect to replace the bearings and be really careful with black encoder wheels at the end of the roller shafts, they are fragile.

Edited by Elysiom
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Sweet!  This looks like exactly what I would need for the crunchy one  https://console5.com/store/atari-5200-cx-53-trak-ball-service-kit-bearings-buttons-and-more.html

 

Now to figure out why there's no downward movement on the Y roller.

 

Thanks

 

PS:  I had another thought about these balls.  They sure look very similar to a pool cue ball.  Does anyone know if these track balls are about the same size as a pool ball?  Would be pretty cool if I could put a 1 ball in the player one port controller and the 2 ball in for player two.  :)

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What about the bubble contacts for the firing buttons and contacts that won't work with the buttons (start/pause/reset or numeric/*/# keys won't work either)???

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20 hours ago, BIGHMW said:

What about the bubble contacts for the firing buttons and contacts that won't work with the buttons (start/pause/reset or numeric/*/# keys won't work either)???

Seems like all those buttons are working.

I did pull the connection cables from the crunchy one to the other one with no change.  One thing I did observe is that 2 of the 3 pegs that the board sits in were broke.  So the board isn't really in there very firm.  (How the heck would those break?!)  It does have some play compared to crunchy.  The plastic pegs are there and hopefully super glue will hold once I figure out why down does not work.

 

So I see this on Best

Quote

CO20290 Atari CX53 Trackball Motherboard X / Y direction Optocoupler black module.  $5.00   Atari 5200 Tech tip:  Because of the very high failure rate (80% to 90%) of the Atari CX53 Trackball original motherboard Optocoupler modules used, it is recommend you always replace these in matched sets of 2.  The New Atari CX53 Optocoupler replacement modules we have in stock are a completely different Date Code / Lot number, in some cases a completely different manufacture of Optocoupler modules compared to the stock / original Atari CX53 ones used with a high failure rate.

Maybe it's just the Optocoupler that has gone bad?

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4 hours ago, phlegmer said:

Seems like all those buttons are working.

I did pull the connection cables from the crunchy one to the other one with no change.  One thing I did observe is that 2 of the 3 pegs that the board sits in were broke.  So the board isn't really in there very firm.  (How the heck would those break?!)  It does have some play compared to crunchy.  The plastic pegs are there and hopefully super glue will hold once I figure out why down does not work.

 

So I see this on Best

Maybe it's just the Optocoupler that has gone bad?

I was actually referring to what MY CX53 trak-ball was like, none of the action buttons on mine work, sorry I failed to mention that.

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Oh, gosh, this crazy device.  Atari should've branded it Pro-line Trackball Contraption instead of Pro-line Trackball Controller.  The optocoupler/optoisolator mechanism was outmoded even in 1982.  But, mechanically fascinating like the Wintergaten Marble Machine.

 

Why the optocoupler is so failure-prone is beyond me. . . it's an LED and some simple circuitry, maybe, and probably, it's the LED receiver.  Before doing anything, clean out the tracks in which the Cracker-Jacks "decoding" wheel resides. . .zzz.

 

-Y axis non-functionality might be a logic chip issue. . . and this is annoying because there are 5 chips on the Trackball PCB associated with this:  LM339, 4013, 4538, 4011, & 4030; ascertaining which one will require running traces, in which case the 5200 Field Service Manual might be helpful.  Because, the +Y/-Y optoisolator is cheap and relatively easy to replace, I'd start with that; if no dice, start doing traces.

 

My unfathomably precise psychic powers indicate to me that at least one of your trackball units probably has fire-buttons that aren't very responsive; they work, they just aren't very cooperative, and you keep getting gobbled up by that pesky centipede.  The Service Manual suggests replacing the PCB, which is absurd.  There're some dome-switches which are taped down beneath the fire buttons; even before these switches crack, they become malformed or inelastic.  Replacing these is fidgety, in the sense that they must be placed somewhat off-center of the circular connection, else it will continually auto-fire (concordant contact between the outer circular connection and the inner "trigger" connection).  You can also find these dome switches at Console5; Luke is also incredibly helpful.  I also like Console5's Wiki manuals.

 

 

 

Edited by patroclus99

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Just wanted to followup that I got my Y axis working again.  I got a repair kit from Best and first replaced the opto's.  No change.  I then changed all the IC's that came with the kit.  BAM  All is working again.

 

Thanks!

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