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Author Topic: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?  (Read 8270 times)

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spacies

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #40 on: November 19, 2007, 02:36:29 pm »
Went for some of these for now....

http://www.gremlinsolutions.co.uk/products/happjoycompred.htm

maxmix

Good luck with those.

I am going a different route.

Starting with these:



They have the round restrictor plate on the on the bottom.
I am going to remove the microswitches and machine up a holder to take some leaf switches.
Will post updates as I go.

Ahigh

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2007, 03:55:20 am »
Went for some of these for now....

http://www.gremlinsolutions.co.uk/products/happjoycompred.htm

maxmix

Good luck with those.

I am going a different route.

Starting with these:



They have the round restrictor plate on the on the bottom.
I am going to remove the microswitches and machine up a holder to take some leaf switches.
Will post updates as I go.

In the world of robotron joystick wars, I wouldn't bet on this one myself.  If it does work well, do let us know.

spacies

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2007, 04:25:45 pm »
I have ditched this idea already, lol.

I am going to use opticals with custom shafts.

BrentRadio

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #43 on: November 21, 2007, 01:21:38 am »
You can get new grommets for Robotron here

http://cgi.ebay.com/ROBOTRON-BLACK-WIDOW-WICO-Joystick-Grommet-Set-NEW_W0QQitemZ330189193305QQihZ014QQcategoryZ13718QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

If you have an original game or the wico sticks, get these, it will make them feel like new.

Brent

MaximRecoil

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2007, 03:25:25 am »
No offense  Ahigh, but I dont believe it.

 Theres no way anyone can play Robotron on med level indifinitely with
Competitions.  The square actuator would make that impossible.

 Its bad enough with supers...  but I might have given you the benefit
of the doubt with them cause of the round restriction.


 Must be a sponsor of Tornado Terry's or something...
 

 Btw - Competitions are known for 'spacer wear'.   Playing Robotron for any
length of time and those spacers must be History.   Look for lots of white
powder under the CP.   


Happ Competitions have a square actuator but they feel round if you roll the stick in a circle around its boundaries. A square actuator is not the same thing as a square or squarish restrictor. All the actuator does is trip the switches, it doesn't restrict/define the joystick's movement boundaries. The only reason it is a square actuator on a Competition is because they use microswitches without actuator levers, and a square actuator of the right size is the only way to trip two switches at once in the diagnols in a setup like that.

If you look at the part of a Happ Competition that actually does restrict/define the boundaries of the stick's movement, you'll see that it is a circle (the hole in the base that the shaft passes through, just beneath the actuator); hence the circular restriction and feel of the Competition.

I'm not surprised that Ahigh does well on Robotron with Competitions. They are a nice joystick with circular restriction, so I don't see the problem.

Xiaou2

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2007, 11:06:57 am »

 Well, Im starting to wonder if there was a revision to the Competitions.

 Ive got 2 sets of joysticks.   One is a known set of Comps.   
Both sets are exactly identical except for one small detail on the bottom plate.

 On the bottom plate of one set, are small plastic tabs sticking up, that sit next to the
micros.   They help to form a box shape... which aids in the restriction of the
actuators travel.

 And, when you roll the two sets in circles,  you can immediately tell which is
which...   as the ones with the additional tabs is noticeably square.   You
can feel the diagonal sticky spots.

 
 The newer comps seem to have gotten rid of the additional tabs,  and it
allows the actuator more travel, and the actuator can twist at an angle
as well... which helps to keep the pathway round.   

 
 However, even with that said,  they are FAR from the best joystick for
Robotron.   Being that they have a very slow activation - because
the degree needed to active is too great.    And going from extreme
left to right  (for example)  is a death sentence delay.

 Diagonals are still also slower to activate.  Again,  this due to the
extra distances needed to move the stick... and the micro's extra
activation distances as well.  (compared to leafs)


MaximRecoil

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2007, 01:51:09 pm »

 Well, Im starting to wonder if there was a revision to the Competitions.

 Ive got 2 sets of joysticks.   One is a known set of Comps.   
Both sets are exactly identical except for one small detail on the bottom plate.

 On the bottom plate of one set, are small plastic tabs sticking up, that sit next to the
micros.   They help to form a box shape... which aids in the restriction of the
actuators travel.

 And, when you roll the two sets in circles,  you can immediately tell which is
which...   as the ones with the additional tabs is noticeably square.   You
can feel the diagonal sticky spots.

 
 The newer comps seem to have gotten rid of the additional tabs,  and it
allows the actuator more travel, and the actuator can twist at an angle
as well... which helps to keep the pathway round.
   

My Competitions are fairly recent. I bought them new from Bob Roberts this past summer, and the restriction is definitely circular without a hint of squareness. Interesting about the ones with the tabs.

Quote
However, even with that said,  they are FAR from the best joystick for
Robotron.   Being that they have a very slow activation - because
the degree needed to active is too great.    And going from extreme
left to right  (for example)  is a death sentence delay.

 Diagonals are still also slower to activate.  Again,  this due to the
extra distances needed to move the stick... and the micro's extra
activation distances as well.  (compared to leafs)

I'll take your word for it. I'm not a Robotron player. I've never even played it on a real machine. But as far as square restriction goes, that at least is not a problem with current Happ Competitions.

Do you happen to know what type of joysticks came with Smash TV and/or Total Carnage? Those games are the same idea as Robotron.

 

vScourge

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2007, 01:52:35 pm »
I've restored a few Robotrons, and these are the most accurate replacement sticks I've found.  Leaf 8-ways, I highly recommend these in particular.  Aside from Robotron having slightly longer handles/shafts, they're spot-on.

http://www.centsibleamusements.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=415

I used to know a guy who milled the longer Robotron ball-top handles, but he no longer makes them.  I haven't looked hard for a new source.

- Adam

nostrebor

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2007, 04:15:36 pm »
The longer shafts that Ponyboy was selling a while back are the correct length for Wico replacements. They were not red, but I hear that they take dye well.

I play Robotron (poorly) on a set of NOS Wico 8-ways with the shorter shafts. They are true to the original, but the emulation is not, so the game is still incorrect. 1984 arcade has an original unit, but it does not have the correct sticks, and the difference in play is profound.

If you are going to choose sticks for this game, pick the most bullet-proof, indestructible sticks you can find, that have round restrictors. This game is absolute hell on joys at higher levels.

I'm a big fan of Gyruss and Time Pilot, and I would love to try a set of the above mentioned Monroe 8-ways with Robotron. They were the Cadillac of the 8-ways back in the day. A good stick played as smooth as silk. I've got a few extra Monroes laying about... I may need to do an experiment.  :angel:

MaximRecoil

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2007, 04:31:28 pm »
With all else being equal, shorter shafts would be quicker going from left to right, up to down, etc. If that sort of speed is important for Robotron, why does everyone want the taller shaft version of the Wico, aside from authenticity reasons?

Kremmit

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2007, 09:24:28 pm »
Do you happen to know what type of joysticks came with Smash TV and/or Total Carnage? Those games are the same idea as Robotron.

Same sticks, Wico 8-way leafswitch.

MaximRecoil

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2007, 10:38:02 pm »
Do you happen to know what type of joysticks came with Smash TV and/or Total Carnage? Those games are the same idea as Robotron.

Same sticks, Wico 8-way leafswitch.

On Total Carnage too? The Total Carnage machines I have seen were in those Midway cabinets similar to the ones used for Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam, and had bat-handled joysticks in them.

Kremmit

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2007, 11:12:44 pm »
Well, the only Total Carnage I ever saw had Wicos in it, but it may have been a SmashTV conversion, now that I think about it.  I know Smash shipped with Wicos for sure.

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #53 on: November 22, 2007, 09:53:40 am »
I didn't see any mention of Ultrastiks anywhere. I've got 2 in my cab set up specifically for Robotron and with these 2 bad boys, can roll the game no sweat. Movement is as smooth as butter. I got used to using the softer spring since the hard spring was a workout and haven't looked back. For a long drawn out game, the softer spring doesn't wear out your forearms at all. These stiks can also be programmed to move pretty much any way you want. This will allow you to dedicate fewer joysticks and play more games accurately.
This plan is so perfect, it's retarded. -- Peter Family Guy

Ahigh

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2007, 11:54:41 am »
Also, I wanted to add that I've tried Perfect 360's thinking that it would be more like original/leaf.  I found that the springs were too tight and there was too much resistance (arms got tired).  I even had different stiffness on two perfect 360's springs (both were too tight), which was interesting as well.  In general, I used to be in love with the idea of perfect 360's, and I used to hate all square actuators myself (mostly based on experiences with Imperial's, not Happ's).  But the serious play testing on robotron made me a true believer of happ comps for 8-way use.

One stick that I have purchased but not tried yet is the Suzo magnetic induction (Hall Effect) joystick.  Right off the bat, I notice the throw is very short and you can feel 8 distinctive notches.  Doesn't seem like it would be a good robo joystick, but don't really know.  I don't really feel motivated to try it out since I feel extremely comfortable with my happ comps with balltops from tornado terry.

I also have the original joysticks, and I ran those for a while.  The problem with originals is that the individual characterstics of the leafs require constant tweaking (I put on all new leafs when I first got the cabinet).  Also, when (not if) you slam the joystick, you can change those characterstics.  This throws off your motor memory of knowing where to move the stick to get contact at the precise time that you want.  So, in my opinion, happ comps are way better than original joysticks, even properly tuned, it won't last...

--
- Ahigh

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2007, 12:39:36 pm »
I didn't see any mention of Ultrastiks anywhere.

I mentioned them on the 3rd post.



Ahigh,

If you can get the "true" P360's they are great.
These are the ones that are add-ons for the Wico leaf-sticks, and just replace the leafswitches.
You still use the original rubber grommet on them.
I don't think they are nearly as nice since Happ bought the rights to them, and started using the spring-centered bases.

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2007, 07:00:20 pm »
Also, I wanted to add that I've tried Perfect 360's thinking that it would be more like original/leaf.  I found that the springs were too tight and there was too much resistance (arms got tired).

i replaced my happ P360 springs with springs cannibalized from happ supers (you can buy the supers for around $7 each, so i just bought them for the springs). they are now the perfect resistance for robotron. shorter shafts and the kowal mod also improved my robotron scores.

i tried the suzo hall effect sticks. with the hexagonal restriction, you can't make sweeping movements. even after sanding down the little bumps to make the restriction circular, i found them slow and sticky.
to see my "Frankenpanel" and design notes, click here.

Ahigh

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #57 on: November 23, 2007, 12:17:32 am »
Thanks for the 360 tips.  I got the parts, so maybe I'll try it (super/360 hybrid).  You think it'd be better than happ comps?  Anybody else want to guess before I try?

--
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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2007, 12:20:45 am »
Two pages of discussion and no one has mentioned that there were 2 flavors of Wico 8-way and Robotron uses the less common one. 

Besides having a longer shaft (4") it had a GREY plastic base. Now, I've been trying to figure out WHAT exactly is different between the grey 8-way and black 8-way. I've heard (through second hand source) that the robotron sticks supposedly have a strong spring in addition to the grommet (????)

Hopefully I'll figure this out one day....
NO MORE!!

jcoleman

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2007, 09:02:33 pm »
Hrm, the grey bases were generally 4-ways.  I can't see how the spring would make any difference as to stiffness since it just holds the actuator against the e-clip - moving the stick should, in general, not affect the compression of the spring.  The 4" shaft does make for a longer throw, but I think it was to offset the fact that the bases were mounted to the underside of the wooden panel.  Of course a longer handle means more leverage when moving the stick and therefore it's easier to move - surprisingly easier.

Coleman

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #60 on: November 25, 2007, 02:43:03 am »
... maybe I'll try it (super/360 hybrid).  You think it'd be better than happ comps? ...

i've never tried the comps, so i can't comment.
to see my "Frankenpanel" and design notes, click here.

RayB

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #61 on: November 25, 2007, 11:05:16 pm »
Hrm, the grey bases were generally 4-ways.  I can't see how the spring would make any difference as to stiffness since it just holds the actuator against the e-clip - moving the stick should, in general, not affect the compression of the spring.  The 4" shaft does make for a longer throw, but I think it was to offset the fact that the bases were mounted to the underside of the wooden panel.  Of course a longer handle means more leverage when moving the stick and therefore it's easier to move - surprisingly easier.
Coleman

While it's true that the 4-ways have a gray base, I swear the Robos use 8-ways with gray base. Maybe this is how Wico differentiated the 4" vs 3.5".
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RayB

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2007, 04:42:19 pm »
I just got ahold of a grey base Wico and I can't see the difference. Uses a grommet like any other Wico. Maybe this used to be a 4-way and it got worn down to look 8-way....   ???
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Kremmit

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #63 on: December 03, 2007, 07:47:13 pm »
I'm pretty sure I've seen gray used on 4's and 8's.  I don't think there's any real difference- just a batch of different color plastic that got pumped through the molds at one time or another.  I don't have any proof to back that up, but then again, if there actually was a difference, you'd think somebody would have discovered it by now.   :dunno

LeedsFan

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #64 on: November 13, 2011, 04:49:50 pm »
Apologies for the necro bump... but I want to ask this question.....

How many people have played Robotron using both the original Wico joysticks AND using Ulitimarc U360s?

Reason I ask is because I have used both and I have to say that I prefer the U360s. My Wicos were bought from USA and I refurbed them with new grommets. But they still feel a bit stiff (maybe they need breaking in). The U360s on the other hand (using round restrictors) are simply awesome for this game! Much more soft and precise to move around with in my opinion.

Reason I dredged this topic up is because I want to make a Robotron bartop and wanted to find out what people thought about the sticks. I agree that anything with octagonal or square gates is out of the question. And microswitch joysticks won't give the same "feel" or feedback anyway. But the U360s seem perfect.

There may be some originality sticklers out there that would insist on the Wicos. But have you played with U360s? If so what are your genuine thoughts? Only one person in this thread even mentions the U360s and even then doesn't say if he played Robotron with them.

mgb

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #65 on: November 13, 2011, 09:30:14 pm »
If you want the exact feel of an original, get Wico 8-ways.

You will definitely want something with round restrictors.
U-360's, P-360's, or Sanwas with round restrictors would be good substitutes.
Happ Supers would be good, but not as good as the above sticks.

After that, you get into square restricted sticks.
Most of those favor the diagonals, and don't rotate in a circle nicely like the originals did.
They will still play OK, but won't allow the fluid movement that circular restrictors will.

I agree.

I will say that the sanwa jlws with round gates, stiff springs and cherry switches from a super (less clicky) feel great.

I have also used Happ Comps for this and they are not bad either

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #66 on: November 17, 2011, 09:12:16 pm »
I didn't see any mention of Ultrastiks anywhere. I've got 2 in my cab set up specifically for Robotron and with these 2 bad boys, can roll the game no sweat. Movement is as smooth as butter. I got used to using the softer spring since the hard spring was a workout and haven't looked back. For a long drawn out game, the softer spring doesn't wear out your forearms at all. These stiks can also be programmed to move pretty much any way you want. This will allow you to dedicate fewer joysticks and play more games accurately.

I agree the U360's are a great alternative for Robotron. If you go the U360 route you probably won't regret it.

RandyT

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2011, 10:59:36 am »
Another good lower cost option is the Roundhouse with the SmoothJoy™ Switches option.  Round restriction and very quiet switches.

Honestly, though, a stick with a rubber grommet centering mechanism goes a long way in giving the best feel for Robotron.  Options for these are, unfortunately, a bit limited at the moment.

Mac Green

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2011, 11:04:36 am »
you want red ball tops? heres a great deal http://www.dealextreme.com/p/repair-parts-replacement-4-ways-red-ball-arcade-joystick-with-4-switch-37485   all items free shipping  ;D

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2011, 08:32:25 pm »
Another good lower cost option is the Roundhouse with the SmoothJoy™ Switches option.  Round restriction and very quiet switches.

Honestly, though, a stick with a rubber grommet centering mechanism goes a long way in giving the best feel for Robotron.  Options for these are, unfortunately, a bit limited at the moment.

Randy, how hard would it be to design/create a joystick using rubber grommets?
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2011, 08:59:00 pm »
Randy, how hard would it be to design/create a joystick using rubber grommets?

Working on it ;) 

D_Harris

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2011, 11:20:15 pm »
How many are actually selling sticks that are long enough to be called "Robotron joysticks"?

I guess for a metal control panel it would be easier to get the correct height, but if you are one of those who have one made of wood, your options are quite limited or non existent.

Darren Harris
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My collection:Asteroids, Joust, Millipede, Ms. Pac-man, Pole Position, Robotron 2084, Star Trek, Star Wars, and 100+ PCBs. Trading/Selling:Arkanoid: R.O.D. Cocktail, Sanyo 20EZ, Hewlett Packard 16500A Logic Analysis System with Accessories. Wanted:Mach 3 joystick. Millipede Trackball. MVS 4-slot PCB. 100° or WG4600 monitor Tube.

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #72 on: January 01, 2018, 04:10:37 am »
BUMP!
Few years on....
Looking to build a controller primarily for Robotron.
Whats the current favorite for Robotron.
(With a longer shaft).


Was looking at below, could anyone advise if this set up would be ok thanks: -

sanwa JLF
4lb tension spring
Shaft Extender For Sanwa Joysticks
qanba round restrictor gate
kowal oversided actuator



1500points

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #73 on: January 01, 2018, 08:46:45 am »
there was a power discussion about that recently here somewhere.

the groovy game gear stick was suggested as high on the list.
or you could get some 8 way wico bases in good shape and get the repro 4 inch sticks from paradise arcade shop.

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #74 on: January 01, 2018, 12:49:28 pm »
there was a power discussion about that recently here somewhere.

the groovy game gear stick was suggested as high on the list.

They are pretty dang nice!
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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #75 on: January 02, 2018, 04:54:34 pm »
Holy topic revival Batman!  That said, timing is everything, no?

You're in luck...  I have 4 of these installed on my Total Carnage/Smash TV machine.  These are the wood versions.  I love them and it's one of my top games that people play when they come over to the arcade.

That said, I recently acquired a Multi-Williams cabinet and decided to look into upgrading the sticks and buttons.  They currently have microswitched joysticks on them and although they work OK, they are not ideal.  Also, the Multi-Williams (in a Stargate cab) has a metal control panel, so I'm curious to see the difference between the wood version that I already have.

However, to be sure they work great with Robotron (which is a little faster paced than Smash TV) I swapped out my Smash TV PCB with the JROK Robotron PCB.  My scores doubled, yes doubled.  I can't believe I've been playing Robotron on microswitches all this time.  I left the JROK board in there a good week and it cemented my decision of getting 2 more for the Multi-Williams.
I'm planning to shoot an episode soon on the install where I'll go through the features of the stick.  I can't wait to get these in!

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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #76 on: January 02, 2018, 08:39:42 pm »
What range were you scoring before it doubled? I actually have microswitch wico bases in my Multiwilliams because I have been holding out for perfect Wico leaf bases in matching condition to fall into my lap but then every time they do they end up in something else. I normally do about 400K with the micros as my best game of a session with an all time top of something like 700K.
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Re: Robotron Joysticks.... Best alternative ?
« Reply #77 on: January 03, 2018, 09:02:53 am »
What range were you scoring before it doubled? I actually have microswitch wico bases in my Multiwilliams because I have been holding out for perfect Wico leaf bases in matching condition to fall into my lap but then every time they do they end up in something else. I normally do about 400K with the micros as my best game of a session with an all time top of something like 700K.

If you break that down logically it means you are able to survive wave 12 tanks, but likely struggle with them.
and wave 15 brains is probably hit or miss if you get through it without bleeding any spare lives.

once wave 15 is working out well enough, the next hurdles are wave 17 tanks, wave 19 grunt mob probably causes some stress at the start.

After that wave 20 is hit or miss then people get stuck around wave 22-24 for awhile.   which sounds pretty close to where you current skill level is sitting.

between 24 and 32 waves is a sticking point for a good while, but once you can get to 32 regularly you'll be on your way to wave 40. 
That has a lot to do with learning to manage enemy priorities.  When mixed enemies are on screen, which is the biggest threat depending on what part of the wave you are on.  And that's where it turns into the chess match of offense and defense.  Where the game reaches a whole different level of skill strategy.

The best thing I'd recommend for someone in your skill range is to start a game with 20 lives. play to wave 7, leave 1 tank then learn to play dodge ball by not shooting back and learning to reflexively dodge the bouncing bullets.  after 20 bullets the tank will run out of bullets.  get good at that then try it with 2 tanks, etc.  the masters can manage over 5 tanks without shooting back at them.

After successfully learning to play dodge ball with 1 tank you'll find yourself more frequently getting past wave 17 and you'll be better equipped to handle wave 24-32

  
 

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