Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Repair: Atari 2600 Trak-Ball

I spent a few minutes tonight rebuilding my Atari 2600 Trak-Balls. I've had a pair of them since back in the heyday of the Atari 2600 Jr. and they've both been in need of a rebuild for quite some time. While there were no true Trak-Ball compatible games on the Atari 2600, there's a switch that allows the Trak-Ball to simulate joystick input. This allows the Trak-Ball to function like a standard joystick and works great for games like Centipede and Millipede. Of course years ago Freeway was the Trak-Ball game of choice, as it made for a great controller to regulate movement of your chicken across the freeway.

I gave them both the usual internal cleaning and lubricated all the bearings. The diagonal bearing on each needs to be replaced eventually due to rust build up on the outside but they all spin freely. With the amount of abuse these controllers got from me as a kid it's amazing that they have held up so well. A true testament to their quality.

Also, I'm going to start writing here more often with little this and thats which don't seem to fit into the rest of the site. I suppose using this blog as an extension of my site is better than just letting it sit.

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