are several reasons for placing aside your original Vectrex analog controller and
substituting a modification controller in its place ...
1. The Vectrex
Controller is subject to wear...Several parts inside may break over time rendering your
A. One is the
self-centering spring of which there are two inside the rheostat joystick...If this is
broken, the joystick will still work but not bounce back into the center position in
either the up/down or left/right directions...This can be repaired by finding and removing
a similar spring out of an Atari 2600 Combat cart and modifying and bending to work in
place of the original.
B. Another is the
plastic lever of which there are two inside the joystick. These are subject to breakage
and replacements are impossible to find unless you harvest intact ones from another
C. The rheostats
of the analog joystick get dirty over time...resulting in jerky motion. These can be
cleaned with alcohol.
D. The four
buttons get dirty over time...
E. The coiled cord
can get stretched out over time...
F. The thing is
difficult to open and repair...The black overlay must be pealed back, or small holes
punched in it to access the five screws underneath by which the case is opened...Either
way the overlay is marred...Some attest to using a small knife by which to access the
screws in such a way as to show no evidence of opening...
G. The three
Vectrex controllers that I have show evidence of other ways people have tried to
open...chiseling! This does not work and resulted in one controller being given to me in
many fragmented pieces!! All because the plastic joystick lever broke! And two consoles
that I now have were mistreated and left in a barn all because the controllers broke!
2. Most Vectrex
games do not take advantage of the analog capability of the Vectrex Controller.
A. Most Vectrex
games are programmed to give an all-or-nothing joystick response during gameplay...This
means that you have to push the analog joystick knob so far to get a response...a digital
response to your action...
3. The games which
do use the variable capability of the original analog controller are few in number.
A. Analog means
that you push the stick a little bit, the Vectrex console responds a little bit. You push
alot and the console responds alot. Currently there are only three games that use this
capability: Version 2 of Star Hawk, Hyperchase and Moon Lander. The former two are dogs,
the third is brilliant!
4. Many conversion
circuits have been published by which to adapt a digital stick to work with the Vectrex...
A. Digital means
push the joypad botton and the game responds.
B. The Sega
Genesis 1650 pad has four buttons and can be modified internally to work with the Vectrex.
This controller works well and you will see higher scores in Minestorm right away! Note:
Do not try to convert a 1650 made in China...Impossible!
C. Jay Tilton's
Digital-to-Analog adapter circuit will permit you to plug your favorite Atari stick into
the Vectrex...more difficult to make than the Genesis conversion...
D. Either of the
above requires electronics soldering...So if you have not done it before, get a friend to
help you...or in one guy's case, he got his girlfriend to do it! Both are found on here on
Spike's Big Page.
5. There are
conversion circuits that permit the use of IBM and Radio Shack Color Computer analog
sticks to work with the Vectrex...but I don't care...
Line...Preserve your working Vectrex Controller for Clay Cowgill's brilliant game, Moon
Lander, and the other two dog games. For the others use a digital stick conversion to
enjoy the rest!
And if any other
analog games show up, decide for yourself if they are worth wearing out your original
Vectrex controller over.
Rob Mitchell 23-OCT-99