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Old 23 February 2016, 17:01   #1
turrican9
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Zipstick Joystick problems.

So I bought a Zipstick on ebay. Those black ones with the yellow fire buttons. I already have two of them and they are working just fine. However, the one I got from ebay is doing some wierd stuff. First thing I noticed was that the one I got from ebay had a red autofire switch and no suction cups. My two original ones have black autofire switch and suction cups.

My two original ones (with the black autofire switch) require you to hold the fire button after autofire switch is turned on to get autofire. The one from ebay (with the red autofire switch) have full autofire without the need to hold the fire button. It also seems to use +5v to the autofire circuit board while my original ones don't have +5v.

The problem is that in all games that has a special function tied to the spacebar on the keyboard does some wierd stuff with this Zipstick I bought from ebay. In Project-X all the upgrades that normally requires you to press spacebar on the keyboard is autoselected. And this is with autofire turned off. Making the game unplayable. In Turrican 1 and 2 it unleashes one power line (normally require spacebar) as soon as I start the game. Then it's fine. If I restart the level or unplug the joystick and then plug it in again it will do the same. In Hybris it will auto unleash all the power beams or whatever it's called there (that normally requires you to press spacebar). Similar to project-X, making the game unplayable. This joystick is not wired for two buttons and I have checked the plug and confirmed that nothing is wired to the fire button 2 pin. Both buttons are wired as fire button 1. I have tested this on all my Amigas and even verified with the floppy versions of the games. Ususally using whdload versions.

In games that does not have spacebar tied to any in-game functions everything is fine. On my Commodore 64 it works with no problems. Also in games that has spacebar tied to functions.

It looks like this is another revision of classic Zip stick that has more advanced autofire. It has a chip and requires the +5v which is soldered to the autofire circuitry. while my old ones does not require +5v. I have checked the wiring inside the joystick and everything seems fine. This is very strange.

I complained to the seller. It's too much hassle for me to send it back because shipping is expensive and it's only a joystick. The picture he used for the 1 I bought was actually the one with suction cups and the black autofire switch. Yet I got this one (Which I assume is a newer revision or something.

Anyone have any clue about this or seen this problem? Or any ideas how I can fix this, appart from unsoldering the wires from the autofire circuit board (which I tried and then everything was fine appart from no autofire of course). The autofire itself works and so does the rest of the stick, appart from what I described above and it only happens on my Amigas. I wanna keep the autofire.

Here is a picture of the one with the red autofire switch



And here are the two I already have (Which I think are the common ones)


Last edited by turrican9; 23 February 2016 at 18:07.
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Old 23 February 2016, 19:23   #2
Daedalus
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Hmmm... I have 3 Zipsticks here that I'm currently in the process of refurbishing. one of them does the autofire only when you press the fire button, one of them does constant autofire when you press the button. And one of them has a red switch and one has a black but I can't tell which is which until I reassemble them.

My first thought is that maybe your stick is modded to be a 2-button stick instead of both buttons doing the same thing. That could explain the 2nd function firing erratically. Otherwise, they're very simple devices so a few minutes with a multimeter and a bit of wire will let you map out every connection and see what's going on.

There are some joystick testing utilities on Aminet that can show you what might be going on. I'm working on writing one myself that also supports the CD32 pad and analogue joysticks, but any of them that support 2 buttons should be a help for you.

Incidentally, the third I got free with an Amiga years ago and didn't work so I left it in the attic until now. Just opened it for the first time and it's full of the cheapest microswitches I've ever seen!

Also incidentally, one of my working sticks has pink buttons and collar instead of yellow... Are these rare? I've never seen another one like it.
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Old 23 February 2016, 20:03   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Hmmm... I have 3 Zipsticks here that I'm currently in the process of refurbishing. one of them does the autofire only when you press the fire button, one of them does constant autofire when you press the button. And one of them has a red switch and one has a black but I can't tell which is which until I reassemble them.

My first thought is that maybe your stick is modded to be a 2-button stick instead of both buttons doing the same thing. That could explain the 2nd function firing erratically. Otherwise, they're very simple devices so a few minutes with a multimeter and a bit of wire will let you map out every connection and see what's going on.

There are some joystick testing utilities on Aminet that can show you what might be going on. I'm working on writing one myself that also supports the CD32 pad and analogue joysticks, but any of them that support 2 buttons should be a help for you.

Incidentally, the third I got free with an Amiga years ago and didn't work so I left it in the attic until now. Just opened it for the first time and it's full of the cheapest microswitches I've ever seen!

Also incidentally, one of my working sticks has pink buttons and collar instead of yellow... Are these rare? I've never seen another one like it.
Thanks for the answer. No it is not wired for two buttons. They are wired together. I cannot find anything wrong with the wiring. The 2nd button connection in the Joystick plug is not in use (wire is not there) and I've seen the wires go between the buttons. And the strange symptoms only happen on Amiga with games that uses the spacebar for special effects. On the Commodore 64 everything is perfect.

Maybe you could try your Zip stick with the red autofire switch, with some of the games I mentioned and see if you get similar symptoms?

I think I've seen pictures of the one with pink button.

Last edited by turrican9; 23 February 2016 at 20:13.
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Old 23 February 2016, 20:28   #4
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Yep, I'll give it a go and let you know when I have them all back together.
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Old 23 February 2016, 20:31   #5
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I have one zip stick which is the same (red switch, no suction cups). The autofire operates as described above but I have not noticed any other strange behaviour in games. I am assuming these are far less common as I have only ever seen / got the one where as I have currently got about 10 (to many joysticks) of the more normal ones.
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Old 23 February 2016, 20:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastich View Post
I have one zip stick which is the same (red switch, no suction cups). The autofire operates as described above but I have not noticed any other strange behaviour in games. I am assuming these are far less common as I have only ever seen / got the one where as I have currently got about 10 (to many joysticks) of the more normal ones.
Have you tried it in any of the games I describe to see if you get the symptoms I describe?
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Old 28 February 2016, 22:39   #7
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Bump. Any test results from Daedalus or Bastich yet?
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Old 29 February 2016, 00:27   #8
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Hello Well, I haven't tested the games you were talking about yet, but I can tell you that both black switch Zipsticks have autofire that uses two transistors and only functions when the fire button is pressed. The stick with the red switch has full-time autofire and uses a 555 timer to generate the pulses, which means it also needs a +5V connection that other sticks don't. I'll hopefully get around to testing them with some games during the week. Were you using WHDLoad?
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Old 29 February 2016, 00:33   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Hello Well, I haven't tested the games you were talking about yet, but I can tell you that both black switch Zipsticks have autofire that uses two transistors and only functions when the fire button is pressed. The stick with the red switch has full-time autofire and uses a 555 timer to generate the pulses, which means it also needs a +5V connection that other sticks don't. I'll hopefully get around to testing them with some games during the week. Were you using WHDLoad?
Thanks for the answer. Yes, I have already verified the difference between the ones with black autofire switch and this one with red switch that uses +5v and timer.

Excellent if you could test some of the games I wrote about to see if you get the same symptoms. I was trying both whdload versions and floppy versions of the games mentioned. Both whdload and floppy versions had the same symptoms.
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Old 29 February 2016, 01:12   #10
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btw, what would happen if you short out the +5v and 0v inside the Joystick? I'm not sure if I did it but I was soldering and moving wires inside it when experimenting to see if I could get rid of the symptoms. I didn't even think that it had +5v because my other Zip sticks did not. In the end I put it back like it was and my Amigas are working just as they should.
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Old 29 February 2016, 09:57   #11
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On the A1200 anyway there's a protection resistor that means you probably won't hurt anything if it's just sort term - the maximum current that pass with a short is around 1 amp. Longer connection would probably burn out that resistor and might risk burning out a trace on the motherboard, which wouldn't affect normal joystick operation but will stop mice from working on that port.

I'll check the games when I get a chance. Not sure if I have floppies around for testing them from floppy but I'll check them in WHDLoad. I do think it's very strange however since I cannot think of any mechanism by which the joystick ports can affect the keyboard. The C64 shares some keyboard and joystick lines so it can happen there but there's nothing like that on the Amiga.
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Old 29 February 2016, 14:08   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
On the A1200 anyway there's a protection resistor that means you probably won't hurt anything if it's just sort term - the maximum current that pass with a short is around 1 amp. Longer connection would probably burn out that resistor and might risk burning out a trace on the motherboard, which wouldn't affect normal joystick operation but will stop mice from working on that port.

I'll check the games when I get a chance. Not sure if I have floppies around for testing them from floppy but I'll check them in WHDLoad. I do think it's very strange however since I cannot think of any mechanism by which the joystick ports can affect the keyboard. The C64 shares some keyboard and joystick lines so it can happen there but there's nothing like that on the Amiga.
I still have the +5v on port 2, both on my Amiga 500 and 1200. So If I shorted something then it's still working fine.

yeah, I would appreciate if you could test it. yes, it's very strange
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Old 15 November 2016, 18:12   #13
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Here is my story. I have two Zipsticks, the purple one is fine, and has old internals and a working autofire.

The yellow button model here came with a broke auto switch, and by that I mean, the rocker switch was hanging off and bent over when I bought it from ebay Penfold.

The joystick works with normal fire but no autofire. In the snapshot below, I discovered that the middle pin on the rocker switch was slightly bent, as you can see in this image:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4E...ew?usp=sharing

I put pressure on those three flat pins today and it seemed to help the issue, with the auto making three bursts, then a slight pause, then three more bursts in succession. With a little more force I got the auto working faster and more regular. I got angry messing with the switch, and broke off the rocker. Inside I discovered only one slider of metal, and one spring - where there should be a pair of these to make the contact. I swapped the one slider I have over to the other side of the switch head, and put it back together. Now the joystick is permanently on autofire, and I cant switch it off!

So it looks like it takes a pair of these to fix my joystick, and as I dont want to get a third stick to fix my current one, I guess I'll have to rip this thing apart soon and go back to the permanent fire only on it, and just have a broken autofire (I can emulate it in UAE).
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Old 15 November 2016, 21:49   #14
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Many of the zipsticks I've seen have had the switch broken. Seems the piece of pertinax PCB that is the base of the switch goes bad over time, I've had one where it was broken in two neatly down the middle.

You can try to find a replacement switch and solder that in, or just live without autofire. Autofire is for cheaters anyway, I never use it in the sticks that have it. ;-)
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Old 15 November 2016, 22:33   #15
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That style of autofire works by actually bypassing the autofire circuit to cancel it, rather than turning it on. So if the switch is broken or not making proper contact, it'll be permanently on autofire. Of the two sides of the switch, only one is used so it's possible it only had one slider to begin with. If it only has one slider and you've swapped it over, that would explain the permanent autofire.

For a replacement, this one matches the specification, although it doesn't state the height of the actuator so there's a chance it might be too short to reach out to the corner of the joystick body.
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Old 15 November 2016, 23:37   #16
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@turrican9

Sorry, I thought I replied to this all those months ago... I tried all three of my Zipsticks, including the one with the red switch and 555 timer circuit, and none of them gave the symptoms you described in Turrican 2.
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Old 16 November 2016, 02:14   #17
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ok another update. I found the other slider rattling around inside my joystick, so all that was missing was the second spring to push the second slider up. I tried various things to try to force the second slider up but everything I tried didnt work. Eventually after a thousand swear words, I just put the slider in without the spring, and turned the switch over so the working slider is on the bottom and the other slider is at the top. I put it back together and now the permanent fire works again, and the auto is 90% constant, so that will have to do for today.

Thanks for the advice about the rocker switch, I may have to buy one as a last resort but its working for now
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Old 16 November 2016, 15:26   #18
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I have never had a joystick cause phantom key presses and I have had / fixed a huge amount of joysticks. The problem you are getting is very strange.
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Old 02 January 2018, 23:23   #19
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autofire slide switch replacement

Looking on ebay for replacement slide switch .... there are different specs on these things. Can someone verify that this is a 2 position ( on/on)or ( on/off) switch ? .. mine is a 6 pin which appears to be using only one side ( 3 pins) ... and of course must have the extended ( high) actuator throw ... am I on the right track here ? ......... thanks, sparky ..
 
 


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