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Controller discussion; N64 controller discussion - collecting/issues/help
Topic Started: Jul 23 2006, 12:29 AM (43,566 Views)
bluedogrulez
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l0whit07
Mar 1 2010, 06:29 AM
Completely different question: Could someone recommend a steering wheel for the 64? The 3 I know of are the Asciiwheel, Mad Catz wheel, and that V3 steering wheel. I was leaning towards the asciiwheel, simply because I don't have any use for pedals, and it looked kind of cool. I haven't heard very good things about wheels for games, but I want one anyway. Thanks again.
Hi, new here. Saw your inquiry about N64 racing wheels. I recent got an ASCII hyper steering wheel and really like it. Very stable; adjusts positions; no peddles (I think that is a plus). The wheel rebounds to center once turned and then released. And folds up nicely. From what I've seen, the ASCII was the official N64 wheel and is a quality product in that regard.

What I can't tell you is whether the buttons are re-assignable; I bought used w/o manual. For Cruisin USA for example, I'm pressing the L button below the wheel to accelerate. And in Star Wars Racer, the Vertical Switch (on the wheel) allows me to build up the boost WHILE turning (awesome), but to boost, you hit B(gas) then tap A (which is also brake), so unneccesarily difficult. But fine in all respects for South Park Rally.

There are 3 new ASCII's for sale on eBay now for $25 all in. . . .
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bluedogrulez
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l0whit07
Feb 17 2010, 07:26 PM
Does anyone know where you can get replacement joysticks for the official N64 controllers?
I purchased a very good replacement thumbstick from vpgames.com (via eBay). Not cheap, but if I have to be honest, a better purchase for my N64 gaming than my two-pronged superpad, and even my Hori Mini Pad.

I know alxbly has written extensively on this topic, but ultimately, has anyone found any controller that has a decent thumbstick to harvest and pop it into an OEM N64?
Edited by bluedogrulez, Mar 8 2010, 03:47 PM.
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bluedogrulez
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Hey thanks for the reply. I really appreciate your detailed writings on the 3d party controllers; you saved me a lot of time and money for what is pretty much wild goose chase. But maybe the Holy Grail of a fluid, metal, 100% compatible replacement stick is out there...I want to believe!!

I should clarify that the replacement stick I bought from VP games is a refurb. So it is not new, but it has held up for about 2 months of Star Wars Racer play, which beat the tar out of my other thumbstick (darn you, Bumpy's Breakers!)

I did see on the Mexican eBay someone claiming to sell "new" thumbsticks, but between my poor comprehension of Spanish and a dose of common sense, I did't bite...yet ; ).
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bluedogrulez
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l0whit07
Mar 8 2010, 04:08 PM
There used to be 5 of those new $25 ASCII wheels. I randomly bought that one because I liked the way it look. I couldn't find many people that had tried the wheels. So it is definitely reassuring to have someone recommend it. I should be receiving the wheel tomorrow (it's in neighboring city Cincinnati). I'll hopefully be able to provide some insight to ASCII wheel.
Hey that's great (and small world). BTW, I popped in Pole Position (Namco Museum) last night and played it for the first time with my ASCII wheel . . . not sure what took me so long, but pure arcade-style gaming bliss! Hope you enjoy yours as well!

(And if you get an answer on the assignability issue, please pass it along!)
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bluedogrulez
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I should mention that vpgames sent me a $3 coupon off my next purchase with my order of a single refurb. replacement stick. Promptly applied to to purchase a few more.

And here is the link to one of the Mexican eBay listings for "new" replacement thumbsticks (not sure if there are OEM, nor if seller ships to the USA): http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-43236909-joistick-analogo-para-tus-controles-n64-nuevo-checalo-_JM

Well, that's what I know . . . .
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bluedogrulez
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Outstanding observation! I was a bit confused myself by the black bottom half of the thumbstick housing (I've only seen two shades of gray . . . .
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bluedogrulez
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l0whit07
Mar 11 2010, 03:10 AM
@bluedogrulez: As far as reassigning the buttons, the manual says nothing of it. The buttons are all labeled A, B C, Z, etc just like on the official controller and these buttons do exactly the same thing as they would on a normal controller. It would have to be up to the game you are playing to change the control scheme. Although I don't personally see why you would ever need to. Most games use either A or Z to go, and A is right next to your thumb if you hold the steering wheel in the natural position. And Z is also on the top left side of the wheel and very accessible.
Thanks for the info; and my used wheel didn't come with suction cups. Thought the three hole on back were for storage hanging (weirmo!).

I'm no elite MK racer, but I favor the jump turn on sharper corners, which can be accomplished with the ASCII with no problem. Good point about the straighter Cruisin games though. Enjoy!
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bluedogrulez
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Super Smash Bros. Fan
Mar 13 2010, 09:10 AM
So once I get an Nintendo 64, would it be a good idea to get an Hori Mini Pad as well? Those don't wear out like the official controller and I believe it's affordable once I get the money.
I'd steer you away from the Hori minipad based on your situation for two reasons: 1) if you can find one, it will likely cost you far more than the N64 console you are so admirably saving for, and 2) there is something about the OEM controller that is likely to connect you back to the happy time in your life referred to in you signature quote (I am older and the OEM NES controller has this effect on me). Plenty of replacement sticks available online.
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bluedogrulez
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Alxbly had a terrific post on the Controller Reviews thread about the infamous plastic dust and wear that thumbsticks experience. Got me thinking again about the following.

Conventional wisdom appears to be the a thumbstick can be refurbished throuh cleaning, tightening the spring, and using ceramic grease (try a local hobby shop); but ultimately, these do little to correct plastic wear. I see this with some refurbs that have significant idle movement (just try playing SW Racer with one of these..better yet, don't).

Query: is there a way to thicken the worn plastic parts to build back up what was lost?

An initial (untested) thought would be to apply a thin layer of fluid that dries hard (like nail polish). It would be hard to apply it evenly (re black guides) or to gauge the appropriate thickness. Maybe one of those hobby airbrushed might help in the regard. Anyway unless someone comes up with a metal thumbstick that can be transplanted to the OEM controller, I think this would be the best way to deal with thumbstick wear. Ah, two holy grails...

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bluedogrulez
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alxbly
Mar 17 2010, 06:47 PM
The other thing that I had thought of was the sort of protective spray that protects plastic car bumpers from stone chips. This kind of thing:

http://www.levineautoparts.com/semchipguara.html

I've not tried it though, so I don't know if it sprays finely enough to be a consideration. :(
Hey Alxbly and DG, thanks for the responses. The bumper spray is some out-of-the-box thinking, though at $20+ per can, wonder if grabbing a few refurbs is more cost effective. Guess it all depends on what games one plays . . . SWR is beating the tar out of my poor thumsticks!!
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bluedogrulez
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danny_galaga
Mar 16 2010, 11:43 PM
I saw a youtube 'how to' somewhere, where the guy was superglueing thin strips of paper to the worn out 'slides'. That would help somewhat, so long as the papers surface was coated, as superglue sets quite hard. There aren't any substances that i can think of that will last longer than that setup. Not a perfect scenario, but at least some of the slack will be taken out. Best results would be with the most worn out ones...

Thanks, I found the paper/superglue method: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8lmVdkHjVI
Looks way too complicated for me. Nearly all of my krazy glue projects end with the wrong things being stuck together!

I found another method, which may offend the purists, but looks promising (and easy):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkAv07lRdhM. This one involves thickening the actual analog stick ends with scotch tape in two places. Will probably give this a whirl on one of sticks with an annoying amount of play.
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bluedogrulez
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Just a followup on my recommendation of vpgames as a source of refurbs. My first order was super . . . great, tight stick and they sent me a $3 off coupon for next order. So order two was for two sticks (think I saved a buck by ordering two at once. In the order, one stick was tight, but one of the Z button prong's was broken. The other stick was a mess . . . loose and no range. Popped it open and it looked hadn't been cleaned--ton of plactic dust! Used the bottom of stick #2 so stick #1 now had good Z button prong. Sent the other one back (still wobbly sans dust) for exchange (refund was offered),

The exchange arrived; nice and tight, but darn it, one of the z-button prongs is broken! They did sent another $3 off coupon with the replacement. I'll work with it (probably ensure Z-button stays in place with funtack or some other home fix).

In the end, vpgames tried to make good; just wonder if the inventory is dwindling to the point where broken Z-button prongs are what's left . . . .
Edited by bluedogrulez, Apr 13 2010, 09:34 AM.
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bluedogrulez
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alxbly
Apr 13 2010, 11:15 AM
bluedogrulez
Apr 13 2010, 09:33 AM
The exchange arrived; nice and tight, but darn it, one of the z-button prongs is broken!
How are they packaging them? I imagine that these could break in the post quite easily unless they're well packaged.
The packing is not optimal, but not to blame. The last two packages were small unpadded envelops. The thumbsticks were loosely wrapped with bubblewrap (but wrap not taped around thumbstick). However, the missing prongs were not inside the envelope, so I deduced that they were broken prior to placement in envelope.

I am now wondering if those Hong Kong "high quality" N64 OEM clones (which I hear aren't so good), have the same thumbstick guts as the OEM to harvest . . . can you tell I want a perfect solution to this 15 year old problem ;) .
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bluedogrulez
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Hi Alxbly--

Yes, I really appreciate that review b/c it saved me some $$ and disappointment. But in it you say that you did not open the stick housing b/c it was glued together.

(Glued together . . . great . . . can't even harvest the bottom to fix my refurb with the cracked z-botton prong).

Given the breadth of your examination of the faux-OEM, and the disappointments you uncovered, I think it is unlikely that its thumbstick inners would be compatible with the OEM thumbstick . . . but aren't you dying to know?? C'mon, crack it open as a sign of our collective disdain for power sellers leading us to believe the OEM was back in production!! What do you say??


Edited by bluedogrulez, Apr 16 2010, 12:58 PM.
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bluedogrulez
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danny_galaga
Apr 16 2010, 07:23 PM
I think a few of us here have pulled apart an aftermarket controller in the hopes that we could pilfer the thumbstick to put in an original controller :D

Here's the relevant link to quadrature encoders for those curious about how they work:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_encoder#Incremental_rotary_encoder
Thanks, i WILL take you word for it. i have tried to read a few posts about the different signals and let's just say that electrical engineering is NOT my calling!!

Thanks again for all the chatter on this subject. Made someday we'll find the perfect answer to the age old question of joystick replacement!!
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bluedogrulez
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Mk II
Mar 1 2011, 12:20 PM
yes, clear/blue controllers are quite common here in Holland too. More common than any of the funtastic colours at any rate. That's because for a long time, the "standard" N64 Super Mario 64 Pack included a clear/blue console and matching controller.
That is pretty interesting . . . I am in the US (where it was never released) and searched for about a month on eBay and its international sites for a clear/blue controller. Eventually bought one in France, which, after shipping, cost less than my matching Hori from Japan (see below), but far more than my other controllers (none are true limited editions).

Posted Image

My observation has been that in the US, the clear/blue controller is as rare as a Mario Kart controller, far less available than the limited edition Donkey Kong Banana controller, and far less available than the gold, extreme green and jungle green controllers.

Edited by bluedogrulez, Mar 2 2011, 10:41 AM.
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bluedogrulez
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Very interesting . . . that extreme grape and clear(?) looks pretty sweet.
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bluedogrulez
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That copper one is sensational . . . wonder how many of these are actually kicking around the second hand market
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Grizzmeister
Jun 2 2011, 03:11 PM
Was there ever an official pink N64 controller? I'm asking because I saw one in this video.

That same youtuber (?) has several different versions of the shindou commercial posted. In the other versions, the controller is clearly red. So the question remains as to whether there was actually a pink controller in the ad. Cool if there was . . .

He also posted one or two videos on the "makings of" that commercial. Inexplicably, the focus of those behind the scenes vids is on the model/actress rather than the "pink" controller.
Edited by bluedogrulez, Jun 13 2011, 02:47 PM.
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bluedogrulez
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The top on those gamecube-style 3d party replacement thumbsticks is plastic. Unfortunate, but otherwise the quality of the stick is very good.

I've glued a gel capz on my Sin & Punishment themed controller and it is an excellent combination.

There are two other thread in this forum on these gc-style sticks; check those out for more info.
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bluedogrulez
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@finngamer: If there was a jawdropping emoticon, I would post about five of them. Wow, blockbuster deal. Great to see two legends help each other out.
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bluedogrulez
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@CoachLuke: I'm with you on the Hello Mac. With the recent emergence of many of these "rare" controllers, I am actively wondering about how many there may actually be.

Query: What would have been the minimum order placed by Hello Mac in order for Nintendo to have been able to manufacture them at a cost that made financial sense to the parties involved?

I have no idea of course, but I'm guessing far more than your 1000 millenniums, and your unspecified (but tiny) amount of E3s. Of course, as ddr2nite will be quick to point out, having them in boxed condition is although together another rarity level . . .

@Grizz: Nice work there! An OEM with a better than new stick . . . now that IS rare :yeah:
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bluedogrulez
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@ddr2nite: Thanks for the extremely informative post. I suspected that was the case, but it is sad to see one of Japan's more reliable (re)-sellers become so opportunistic.

I think CoachLuke is right about Hudson Joycards unlocking special levels in the Japanese version of Bomberman 64, but I think it may have been any joycard. I seem to recall a promo featuring Bomberman and a black joycard . . .

...seems I recalled correctly:

Posted Image
Edited by bluedogrulez, Jun 6 2013, 08:59 AM.
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bluedogrulez
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Nuno
Jun 13 2013, 07:13 AM
Could be something simple to solve. Do you have any knowledge about electronics or have ever opened a controller?
Sounds like a rare dead one. If one opened the controller (very easy to do with a small Phillips head screwdriver--Radio Shack "precision" screw drivers work great), you'd want to check the connection between the board and the cord wires. If the connection is broken, should be an easy solder job. Otherwise, I would think that the board chip . . . I did this once to an NES board that I think I overheated while soldering. Maybe the controller was submerged??? not sure what else would cause these trusty devices to croak otherwise.
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bluedogrulez
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That is sweet! What kind of boxes are those?
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bluedogrulez
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@CoachLuke: Thanks! I thought they might be from Michaels. Saw them there, but did not have your vision! :D

@all: Michaels is a retail chain craft store we have in the States. They are large stores that carrying an dizzying amount of inventory and offerings.
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bluedogrulez
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Is the bottom clear white? If so, sun faded jusco. Definitely sun faded next to a window perhaps in the land of the rising sun.
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bluedogrulez
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@frostgaze: On all official N64 controllers, the plug color matches the controller color. So that plug should tell you what color it was at "birth", but I cannot tell from your picture if the plug color is smoke or atomic purple.

Sunfading is considered a flaw in terms of collecting, but are far as gaming, they are fully functional and unique. If the stick is good, play it!

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bluedogrulez
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It's also SEVERELY sun damaged. Look at the cord plug verses the shell. Wow.
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