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Identifying origins of a 5200 digital joystick

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Backstory: a couple of years ago, a forum member sent me a 2-port 5200 and some bits & pieces to go with it.  This was a presumed-dead machine, and I've been banging on it on and off since then.

 

That aside, one of the items that it came with was a digital joystick.  This was clearly built by a hobbyist (in the best sense of the term) - Sanwa-style fire buttons, Japanese cocktail lollipop joystick, and the Start / Pause / Reset buttons plus bezel from a 5200 controller.  All of this is tied together through a bunch of resistors and a pair of 4051 ICs, feeding out to a 15-pin connector cannibalised from a Thrustmaster Direct-Connect PC controller (if the 15-pin D-connector moulding is to be believed).

 

It actually works really well.  Tested it on Ms. Pac-Man, and had no complaints.  Very responsive and did what it should do.  Photos:

 

IMG_0313.thumb.jpg.4f64fa98cab4662c8a62bf8b30ec9452.jpg

 

IMG_0314.thumb.jpg.0281b7b96c8a19d62c01bc7168516616.jpg

 

IMG_0315.thumb.jpg.9088f5cd06f5578e4e76ec429888a7e1.jpg

 

IMG_0316.thumb.jpg.2bb02083feaad02356559ed71925ab1e.jpg

 

My question is this: I've been trying to track down a similar project or an article that describes building this controller, but with zero luck.  Does anyone recognise the build, and, if so, can you point me towards a point of origin for it?  It would be much appreciated if you could.

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I might not know the answer to that but nice find!!! I wish I knew of DIY 5200 digital controllers like that, I DO, however, happen to have a ton of different 5200 controllers including (for instance and to keep it short) a Redemption 5200 7800-version unit so I can use 7800 sticks with it and also a custom Retro Game Boyz 5200 deluxe stick I reviewed right here!!!

 

 

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3 hours ago, cleoo said:

I’d imagine the joystick came from the Newport Controls Prostick II like this one:

A definite possibility.  I know that I've had very similar joysticks on a couple of Japanese or Japanese-derived cocktail cabinets that I've had in the past, but no longer own them so can't do a direct comparison.

 

FWIW, I do realise that the, "Newport Controls - Bishop, CA" legend on the bottom of the stick negates the possibility of this specific one being Japanese.  It's just very similar.

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2 hours ago, 0078265317 said:

That woody box looks really nice. Have no idea how to recreate that.  

It's just a standard hobby box enclosure with woodgrain contact paper on top :D The bumps you can see around the base of the joystick are actually the ends of the bolts that hold the joystick assembly to the case.  It's an interesting build, to be sure.

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4dc2c30d264f351e76384b441279a509.jpg

I opened up the Newport Controls Prostick II and took a picture of the mechanism for you.

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6 hours ago, cleoo said:

I opened up the Newport Controls Prostick II and took a picture of the mechanism for you.

Very cool, and thank you!

 

There are some differences between the two (the baseplate in particular), but it's still very interesting to see the innards and compare.

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