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How to Modify an Atari 2600 Paddle Controller
for Use with the Vectrex

by Rob Mitchell

This article describes how to make a "pong" type controller for the Vectrex from a standard Atari 2600 paddle.

Principle: For this project I wired the atari potentiometer to work on the X axis for input to the Vectrex. What it does is split the +5v and -5v for interpretation by the DAC chip inside. Also I wired the paddle button to work as Vectrex button 4.

Parts List: Atari 2600 paddle controller, Sega Genesis extension cable, two 100k resistors

Procedure: After opening up a standard Atari 2600 paddle and scrapping the existing cable, solder the two 100k resistors on the first and third solder points of the potentiometer. To the Sega Genesis extension cable cut off the male plug end (the one with the pins) and strip back enough insulation to reveal the individual wires. You will need to expose wires for pins 4,5,7,8 & 9. Use an ohm meter to determine which wires are which. Also trim some plastic off the female end to fit into the Vectrex port.

Then from this new cable, solder pin 7 (+5v) wire to the far side of the left resistor, solder pin 9 (-5v) wire to the far side of the right resistor, and solder pin 5 wire to the center solder point on the potentiometer.

For the red button, solder pin 8 wire and pin 4 wire to its two points. I suggest making the button work as button 4 to preserve function with the Hyperchase game.

Reassemble and do some experimenting. I suggest making a paint mark on the paddle for "top dead center" so you will have a reference point to return to when playing Hyperchase.

What to do about the other buttons? You can wire extra buttons in a separate case and connect via a splitter or in series with this controller for other Hyperchase functions. I suggest making a special "LRTF" 4 button controller and putting a 9 pin female port to accommodate the Vectrex paddle controller for the Hyperchase game.

*The Vectrex games created by Ronan Habot, VECTRACE and VABOOM!,
  were made especially for use with these modified controllers!

Still need help? Want someone else to do the work? Contact Rob Mitchell!


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