Posted on June 23, 2012
Repairing an old joystick
As many are aware, I have a fondness for old Apple computers, especially Apple //c. Recently I found a low priced joystick that was manufactured specifically for the Apple //c, as being platinum beige instead of other models of Apple II.
These specific model of joystick have sold very high on eBay, up to $ 200, so I had lost hope of getting one. When I saw the opportunity, I decided to go for it and won it for $16. Not bad, but when I plugged it into the computer, I could see that the trigger buttons were not working.
I found myself in a dilemma, since there are spare parts for this equipment, so I proceeded to open it to try to repair it.
First to open, I see that is a simple system: Centrl handle the servos, and the two switches, which connect directly to the buttons with a small spring.
When testing the switches I see the problem is, it takes a lot and constant pressure to actuate the switch. This is sealed, is a plastic base with a button held with a metal frame “soldier” to four plastic.
Proceeded to slice three of these “rivets” to release the frame, remove the plastic circular button and also encounter a circular plate which makes contact is between two metal parts to the edges and a third metal circular area in the middle.
As expected, were very dirty, dusty and who knows what else. Clean everything thoroughly with a cloth and alcohol, leaving it clean.
I went to assemble, solder a few wires disconnected when opened, and tried again. The result was successful. I set up the joystick again and now not only works but is quite sensitive.