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Date Posted: 18:29:16 09/04/08 Thu
Author: Jimmy Biggler
Subject: Buttons Work, Joystick Doesn't

I picked up a Vectrex a few weeks ago at a thrift store for $15. I think they thought it was a crappy TV. Lucky me.

Anyway, I just started having problems with the joystick. It returns to center and nothing has broken off, but when I'm playing Mine Storm the ship won't rotate at all. The buttons still work, but the joystick doesn't work at all.

I don't know what the problem might be, but I'm hoping someone here does. Any and all advice you could give would be much appreciated. I'm handy with a soldering iron and not afraid to take things apart if it comes to that, but I'm hoping there's a simple solution.

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[> Re: Buttons Work, Joystick Doesn't....Fixed It!!! -- Jimmy Biggler, 17:46:48 09/06/08 Sat

I fixed my controller today and it wasn't that hard at all. First of all, you need to take the controller apart. There is an excellent article about how to do this on Spike's Big Vectrex Page. Here's the link: <a rel=nofollow target=_blank href="http://www.playvectrex.com/shoptalk/vecjoyrepair/vecjoyrepair_f.htm">http://www.playvectrex.com/shoptalk/vecjoyrepair/vecjoyrepair_f.htm</a>

Once I got the controller apart, it was pretty easy to see what was wrong with it. The joystick is attached to two self-centering potentiometers, one that controls the horizonatal movements and one that controls the vertical. The three wires that were connected to the horizontal pot had corroded and broken clean of the solder joints. I stripped the ends of the three wires and soldered them right back where they should go. The controller looks no worse for the wear and works just as good as new.

Taking the controller apart wasn't all that hard. If you're having problems with your controller, check the link above and go take a peek inside. Your problem might be easy to fix. In old electronics, solder joints can crack and wires can corrode, but that sort of thing is easy to fix. Now I'm going to go play some Mine Storm.

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