Back to Table of Contents
PC ANALOG JOYSTICK TO 5200 ADAPTER
Yes, you can build an adapter Y-cable for the 5200 to allow the use
of a PC analog joystick. You plug the Atari 5200 controller into one
connecter to use its keypad. You plug a PC joystick into the other
connecter for movement and buttons. Great for Star Raiders and
Galaxian. OK for Super Breakout if you have a steady hand.
How to Connect a PC Joystick to an Atari 5200 System
This is an adapter for connecting a PC joystick to an Atari 5200.
It's a small cable with two 15 pin connectors on one end and
one 15 pin connector on the other. The single connector end plugs
into the A5200. One the other end, one connector is for a PC
joystick and the other is for an Atari 5200 controller. The keypad
and top row buttons are used on the 5200 controller as usual. The PC
joystick replaces the A5200 direction control and fire buttons.
Any PC compatible joystick will work, but some PC compatible
joystick are digital instead of analog. These seem mostly of the
joypad variety. You can still use digital joysticks, but some games
will not work. Super Breakout is the big one that is impossible to
play with a digital PC joystick (Well you can, but the paddle can
only be all the way left, all the way right, or in the middle).
Games like Pac-man and Defender play no different with a digital PC
joystick. However, I have noticed, that games like Galaxian and Star
Raiders play better with an analog joystick. For example the ship in
Galaxian has two speeds in each direction. Moving the stick a little
to the left will move the ship slowly to the left and moving the
stick all the way to the left will move the ship at a faster speed.
So these games are still playable with a digital joystick but won't
have the same feel as an analog joystick.
For the serious gamers, I would recommend an analog joystick
with trimmer controls. The trimmers allow optimum sensitivity
adjustment and as a bonus you can play Super Breakout with just the
trimmer control. There's one from Quickshot called the Warrior 5
that is only $10. If you have a joystick without trimmers like the
Thrustmaster, it still works, but it seems more sensitive in one
direction than another. This can be fixed by playing with different
Some of you may be wondering about calibration. I can't confirm
this, but from my observations, there is some auto calibration going
on. For example, I put in Galaxian, and press start. My ship starts
moving right even though I'm in the neutral position. However, If I
move all the way left and all the way right, the ship always stops
when I'm in neutral position. I have observed this behavior with my
adapter as well as the Atari 5200 controller.
I have also been asked about the Gravis PC Gamepad. I don't know
for sure, but I believe the Gravis PC Gamepad is digital. Feel
free to correct me if I am wrong. If it is, it comes under the same
restrictions discussed above.
If anybody is interested in making these adapters to sell, you have
my permission. All I ask is that somewhere you give me credit for
Now the Disclaimer. I am not responsible for:
1. Any damage done to your A5200
2. Any damage done to your PC Joystick.
3. Any errors in these instructions or schematic.
I'm not going to give step by step instructions. I'm going to
assume that the reader has some basic knowledge of electronics and
can figure out what to do with the schematics and info presented
here. I will, however, answer questions if asked.
Now that I covered my backside, here is how to do it:
2 15 pin Female Sub-miniature D connectors
2 15 pin Male Sub-miniature D connectors
2 .22uF Ceramic Capacitors
1 ~1 ft. 15 pin cable
| | | |
| 1 1 |_________________________| 1 1 |
| 5 | | 5 |
| 2 |_________________________| 2 |
| P | | P | A5200
| I 3 |_________________________| 3 I | Controller
A5200 | N | | N |
| 4 |_________________________| 4 | No connection
| F | | M | on pins 9-15
| E 5 |_________________________| 5 A |
| M | | L |
| A 6 |_________________________| 6 E |
| L | | |
| E 7 |_________________________| 7 C |
| | | O |
| C 8 |_________________________| 8 N |
| O | |________|
| N |
| | ________
| | | |
| 13|_________________________| 2 1 |
| | | 5 |
| 14|_________________________| 7 |
| | | P | PC
| 9 |_________________________| 1 I | Joystick
| | | N |
| 10|_____x___________________| 3 | No connection
| | | | F | on pins 5, 8-15
| 11|_____|_________x_________| 6 E |
| | | | | M |
| | _|_ _|_ | A |
| | ___ ___ | L |
| | | .22uF | .22uF | E |
| | | | | |
| 15|_____x_________x_________| 4 C |
| | | O |
| | Gnd | N |
1. Wire up one end of the cable to a 15 pin female connector. This
will be the connector that goes to the Atari 5200. Wire the
other two connectors to the other end of the cable.
2. The value of the capacitors is not critical. If the PC joystick
has a trimmer, a slightly smaller or larger value should work.
3. The type of capacitor is not important. If polarized caps are
used, connect the negative leads to the 15---4 wire.
4. Because the Atari 5200 joystick connector is so deep, using a
clam shell cover for this adapter connector makes it very loose.
I recommend heat shrink tubing or electrical tape on this end.
Back to Table of Contents