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kiger
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Preserving Controllers

by kiger Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:18 pm

So if you have seen my controller collection pic here http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2887&start=10, you know I'm a controller freak when it comes to emulation. Well, here is a little piece about preserving controllers. Don't you hate how your SNES pads yellow over time? Well this is due to fire-retardant material which was added to the plastic. When the plastic heats up, or just over time due to interaction with the air, the pads yellow. There is also another issue with plastic... All plastic, over time, becomes more brittle. So if you want to use your controllers in 15 years, they might just break in your hands. So how do we prevent this? Well, the ideal situation is to keep them in a dark area and with little to no air.

So here is a log of my project, which isn't complete but should give some good tips.

Here are the controllers I want to preserve:
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Here is my pride and joy. Too bad I only have 1 of them. I bought it for 10 bucks from lik-sang when they were on sale. Impossible to find now. :(
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Get yourself some bubble wrap:
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Now wrap your controller in 1 layer of it:
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Snip off both edges of the extra:
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The final product looks like this:
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Then rinse and repeat:
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I went to walmart and picked up three of these containers for a buck each and they fit perfect!
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I can fit 5 in here without being too snug. And the reason for the bubble wrap hopefully appears obvious now. If these controllers sit next to each other for say 10 years, I really don't want the buttons being smashed. I don't know the long term effects, so the bubble wrap helps prevent that.
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Perfect fit. These cases are also tall enough so that you can fit the cables in without crushing the L/R buttons.
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You might be thinking by now, well so what? You packed these things up and...? Well, I sized the containers out to fit perfectly into a vacuum sealer bag. When I went to vacuum seal it though, the container was totally crushed which cannot be good for the controllers long term. I knew this could happen, which is why I selected "hard" containers, however I guess they weren't hard enough. So now I'm back at the drawing board looking for harder containers which will still fit the vacuum sealer bags. There are plenty of small containers out there, but I don't want 20 containers, one for each controller. I'll post more info when I find the perfect case.
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extrarice
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by extrarice Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:37 pm

Awesome HORI pad O_O *drool*
The thumbs-up pic at the end is a nice touch ;-)
nocturnalnerd
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by nocturnalnerd Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:11 pm

Just a little bit OCD with the controllers I see. Thats ok. I may have to start rescuing controllers to at yard sales.
mason
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by mason Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:54 pm

your crazeey
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wyatt
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by wyatt Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:44 am

Nice! What's that black one up top?

Also, although you said you don't wan't 20 individual containers for each controller, could you vaccum seal each one in it's own bag and then put it in a container with the rest? You would have to find a way to prevent the bag from pressing down on the face buttons, but then you could show them individually w/o having to break the vaccuum on so many at once.

Also what controllers are you still looking for and what besides that Hori were hard for you to get?
Let my legs shake me to sleep, and don't wake me when I sweat on my sheets.
kiger
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by kiger Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:37 pm

wyatt wrote:Nice! What's that black one up top?

Also, although you said you don't wan't 20 individual containers for each controller, could you vaccum seal each one in it's own bag and then put it in a container with the rest? You would have to find a way to prevent the bag from pressing down on the face buttons, but then you could show them individually w/o having to break the vaccuum on so many at once.

Also what controllers are you still looking for and what besides that Hori were hard for you to get?


I'll answer your last question first because it would get lost amongst all these pictures. Almost all my controllers took time to find; and most of them would be impossible now to get. About 6 months ago, I spent days looking on eBay for good deals on Saturn pads; which are impossible to find new unless you want to pay $40/ea. Then I came across this rare website, which doesn't sell much; but one of the things they sell happens to be NEW SATURN pads... and the best part? They sell them for $4.95 EACH. These suckers are mint, in the box, never used, still in the plastic with the warranty card. They were manufactured in 1998! I picked up 22 of them just because they are so cheap; it's not like I'll ever use that many, but for $4.95, I couldn't resist. Here is the site if you want to buy some: http://bestsku.com/productsDetail.asp?PID=1475

The super hori commander (seen above) is impossible to get now. They were selling for 10 bucks when lik-sang was still around; but once they sold out, there is no way to find a new one anywhere ever (unless you visit japan and get really lucky).

Another item, which is ultra rare now (but not 2yrs ago) is the Saturn USB pad. Sega re-released their Saturn pad with a USB connector on it. I picked up two of the white versions from play-asia.com. I believe this was also around the time Sega released the Saturn pad for the PS2.

The Super Famicom pads are also rare. It's essentially impossible to find them online if you live in the USA. But, I ran across a sole distributer that happens to sell various things, including refurbished SFC pads for $4bucks each (excluding shipping). I believe with shipping, I paid $60 for 8 of them! That's fricking cheaper than buying the USA style SNES pads off ebay. Also, I don't know if he cleaned them himself or not, but these suckers were in pristine condition. I also have the URL for that guy if anyone wants it; just drop me a PM. Also on his site, he sells other used pads dirt cheap; like black/white/gray PCE pads; new PCFX pads; etc.

The Hori pads are also pretty rare. I have two SFC Hori Pads (identical to the Nintendo SFC pad, but made by Hori) which you can't find today. As for the black Hori pad, it's the Hori Fighting Commander. The L/R buttons have been moved so that you essentially have a 6button pad, which is great for fighting games. I actually found that one used on eBay from some dude in the UK and got it shipped to me for under $20. Occasionally they will pop up, but they are rare.

As for stuff I would still like to get... hmm... the latest thing I bought, aside from two Sega PS2 Wireless Controllers (pictured below) is four Gameboy Micro units. They are being discontinued and were on sale at various stores for $30/each. Aside from that, there are only two other things I am interested in getting ahold of. Hori made a PS1 6-button pad. I saw some dude in Florida selling two of them for $6/each shipped new in their box. I was such an idiot for not snapping them up; oh well. The second item is an official Hori Real Arcade Pro carrying case (http://www.hori.jp/products/ps2/controller/pro_case_annai/index.html). I think they were a limited edition recently and no one in the USA or importers has them available. Very rare, and very hard to find. Oh, and one last thing I would like to do. This dude posted some schematics and instructions on converting SNES pads into wireless pads; I would LOVE to try this out. The only wireless SNES pads I have are the Messiah ones and they are awful. The buttons are very very mushy, to the point that it impedes gameplay; and they use a circular pad instead of a true d-pad which makes it impossible to perform certain moves in games.

Here are some pics of the hori fighting commander:
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Well, I'm not worried about breaking the vacuum; the containers in the pic were just not strong enough. If I have to go the 1 controller per container route, then so be it; but that is a last resort. I'll keep looking for a container which can hold a few at a time, is strong enough to withstand the vacuum pressure, and will also fit into a vacuum bag.

Also, check this out. I picked up two of these from a retailer in Hong Kong (they ship internationally to the USA where I am located). It was about $50/each after shipping, but man they are tight. They aren't made by Sega, but just licensed the Sega logo. The only complaint I have is that on only one of the controllers, UP on the d-pad requires more force then the other directions. I bet if I opened it up and cleaned it out though, it would work fine. They are very solidly built. The buttons are firm, though the R1/R2 L1/L2 could be a little tighter. The D-Pad is phenomenal; much better than the one on Logitech's wireless pad. And the best part?
The battery life... 1,000 hours (that is ONE THOUSAND HOURS) on two AA's.!!!!!!!!!!
I read that with rumble, it decreases to 350hours. Still, that's a lot better than logitech. These have been out of production for almost three years, so are very rare. This shop is probably the only place that has them. PM me if you want a link. They two colors available: Black, Blue. (I wish they had the white ones; those looked really tight).
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