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SpaceBooger
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I finally got an Atari 5200

by SpaceBooger Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:29 pm

I finally got an Atari 5200. I got a great deal: the console, four controllers, and 16 games all for $60.
The system is crazy dirty from sitting in an open box for years but works just fine and all of the controllers will need the contacts cleaned. None of the controllers work 100%, one worked well enough for me to play Joust and my kids wanted to play "Attack Flappy Birds". I am not worried about the buttons not all working since I read that these controllers need cleaning to keep the contacts working. The biggest issue I have with some of the joysticks is that they seem to stay in the same direction they were last pushed instead of snapping back into the middle.

I will clean the system and the contacts of the buttons soon, but any suggestions about the joysticks? Is it as simple as replacing the rubber boot around the stick?
Anyways, any suggestions help on getting these controllers working or even recommendations on games I should play first?
I'm excited to have a system I have never played before and my kids are pumped to help me get it going and play too!
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by marurun Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:07 pm

I do not own nor have much history with the 5200, but it’s pretty well-known in the Atari community that the 5200’s analog joysticks are not designed to recenter. You would have to mod them or get aftermarket controllers to find anything that recenters.
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:08 pm

SpaceBooger wrote:The biggest issue I have with some of the joysticks is that they seem to stay in the same direction they were last pushed instead of snapping back into the middle.


My man, the joysticks were purposefully designed like this. This is one reason why the console has such a shaky reputation. There are some great titles available on the 5200, but unless you get a third-party stick you will be fighting the controls, always.
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:16 pm

I love the 5200, but yeah, the controller is ASSSSS
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SpaceBooger
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by SpaceBooger Tue Aug 02, 2022 11:15 pm

marurun wrote:I do not own nor have much history with the 5200, but it’s pretty well-known in the Atari community that the 5200’s analog joysticks are not designed to recenter. You would have to mod them or get aftermarket controllers to find anything that recenters.

That explains why I could find a ton of articles, videos, etc about fixing the buttons but not the joysticks. I guess I'll just have to get used to them.
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by bmoc Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:23 am

Refurbished 5200 controllers are quite pricey. You might as well get a better custom made controller like these.

https://www.makermatrix.com/product/520 ... ller-left/
https://www.makermatrix.com/product/520 ... ler-right/
https://retrogameboyz.com/products/atar ... -left-read
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by Jagosaurus Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:36 am

I've heard the controller actually works well for a few fluid games like Missle Command.

But yeah... also hear anything needing precision controls can be very rough. Early analog controls, no snap back, & equipment aging poorly ... not a good mix :(

Sadly... can't use a Genesis controller like I do with the 7800 with the differing pin out. Are there cheaper 3rd party, new controller options? Those bmoc linked look sweet though... pricey.

The Atari 400 & 800 8 bit computers are very interesting to me. Wish they would've made the games cross compatible as the hardware is nearly the same. At least ports were easy...

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SpaceBooger
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by SpaceBooger Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:31 pm

Jagosaurus wrote:Sadly... can't use a Genesis controller like I do with the 7800 with the differing pin out. Are there cheaper 3rd party, new controller options? Those bmoc linked look sweet though... pricey.

I know. I would love one of those controllers, but I am not paying that much. I will have to refurbish the ones I have the best I can for now. I did see youtube videos of people using adapters for other controllers. A quick eBay search turned nothing up - I will try researching more later.
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by Golgo 14 Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:00 pm

I've never had a 5200, and I'm not looking to get one, but those cartridges look great. I've considered just getting some cartridges because the large labels look so nice. Like 8-track tapes, but for Atari :lol:
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Re: I finally got an Atari 5200

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:37 pm

Custom controllers are expensive - usually $100 to $200 - but it's TOTALLY worth it to pick one up. The 5200 really does have some AWESOME games since so many are dramatically enhanced versions of 2600 games. It's not accessible because of price and rarity, but if you have the choice, 5200 is definitely the way to play those cross-platform games.
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