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Author Topic: Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?  (Read 6114 times)

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1UP

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I've been looking at various ebay auctions, present and past, for "Atari Start Buttons".  There seem to be several varieties.  Some have slightly different microswitches, some have silver bezel "cones" and some have black.  Also, some cones seem to be thicker/ at a steeper angle than others.  Which ones were used on which games?  Which cones are considered "true" Missile Command buttons?

If anyone has access to any of the different bezels, and could list some dimensions, it would be much appreciated.  Photos would definitely be helpful.

Also, has anyone ever tried to make reproduction or DIY buttons?

Thanks

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paigeoliver

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2003, 10:45:43 pm »
I may be wrong here, but I believe Asteroids used the silver ones, and Missile Command used the black ones.

Almost every Atari title used the things, and I have seen all the different ones in most every title. My Kangaroo has black ones, my Assault had black, I played a Tempest the other day that had black.

I have heard two things about repros, first is that they would cost a fortune to do, and then I heard someone else claim they could do it for almost nothing.
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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2003, 12:18:20 am »
Actually I priced some similar illuminated push button switches through one of my suppliers today.  I was quoted about $15 per switch, though I haven't priced having the cones made up for them yet.  

I do plan on ordering some to experiment with, though production lead time on them is 10 weeks and it'll be a while before I have them.

One question I have is about the LED voltage, the switch I'm looking at can be made up using LEDs of either 2, 6, 12, or 24 volts. Which voltage would work best in an arcade/MAME cabinet?

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2003, 12:26:36 am »
Actually I priced some similar illuminated push button switches through one of my suppliers today.  I was quoted about $15 per switch, though I haven't priced having the cones made up for them yet.  

I do plan on ordering some to experiment with, though production lead time on them is 10 weeks and it'll be a while before I have them.

One question I have is about the LED voltage, the switch I'm looking at can be made up using LEDs of either 2, 6, 12, or 24 volts. Which voltage would work best in an arcade/MAME cabinet?

Go with 12 volts, as it is the only exact voltage available from a PC power supply. The 6 volt ones should work off the 5 volt line, but most electronics tend to put more of a draw on 5 volt then they do on 12 volts.
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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2003, 01:02:54 am »
That was my thinking, I figure there's 12 volts available both from computer and the newer switching arcade power supplies.

I used the 12 volt LED when I priced the switches, I'll place an order for some today.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2003, 01:40:49 am »
Yeah, these switches always cost too much.  For one thing, I think they're MilSpec, and also rated for high current.  (I happened to get 3 for $30 off ebay, so $10 a piece for NOS, with no cones...)  It seems to me that Happ could make something that LOOKED similar from the CP, but made completely from plastic and using their standard Cherry switches, for no more than what their illuminated PBs cost...  ::)

Pictures or measurments of the cones, anyone?  ???
« Last Edit: August 28, 2003, 01:41:17 am by 1UP »

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2003, 02:11:39 am »
Here are some pics I found off ebay that might help illustrate my questions:



These are listed as "Asteroids Style" start buttons.  Note the very steep angle of the bezels.



These were posted here on the forums.  The bezels are much more shallow.  The microswitches also look a little different.



Aluminum bezels off ebay.  (Anyone know if these would be similar to the more shallow black ones above?)

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2003, 02:40:14 am »
Here are some pics I found off ebay that might help illustrate my questions:



These were posted here on the forums.  The bezels are much more shallow.  The microswitches also look a little different.


Those look like the ones from Omega Race to me.  They take a different voltage than
the others also IIRC.
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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2003, 02:55:54 am »
The steep angle you can get in black or silver.  It is what asteroids and missle command used.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2003, 03:58:09 am »
Some dimensions on the tall cone. Also, according to what's printed on the switch I'm using as a reference, they're only rated for .1 amps at 125 VAC.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2003, 04:07:42 am »
Is 125 VAC AC Volts?  Yikes if that is true.  All I know if my volcanos are 3.3volts.  I'd like to put them on my cocktail in the future.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2003, 04:31:26 am »
Is 125 VAC AC Volts?  Yikes if that is true.  All I know if my volcanos are 3.3volts.  I'd like to put them on my cocktail in the future.

Yep, 125 volts AC. I'd imagine the majority of Cherry microswitches are rated similarly. From what I remember, the current will rise as the voltage drops, so these switches should handle a full amp at 12 volts, and 3 amps at 3 volts. Since the actual amperage load placed on them in a cabinet is down in the milliamp range, the electrical life of the contacts will approach as the mechanical life of the switch(something like 10 million cycles according to the graph at Cherry's site). This is why the things are still working after 15+ years of service.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2003, 04:51:15 am »
Oh whoops, you are talking about the switch, not the LED, doh, my bad.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2003, 05:36:37 am »
Heh, dunno what the LED voltage is, mine was being use as a start button in a converted cab and the LED wasn't wired up.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2003, 06:38:21 am »
Your light probably wasn't wired because the lighted ones light up when the game has credits in it, and are dark when it doesn't. At least that is what Tempest does.
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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2003, 12:06:51 pm »
As noted missle command used short black bezels for all five switches.
1 and 2 player start are lighted. The three fire buttons are black.
If you used the tall bezels for the fire buttons it would be uncomfortable to play.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2003, 12:44:35 pm »
As noted missle command used short black bezels for all five switches.
1 and 2 player start are lighted. The three fire buttons are black.
If you used the tall bezels for the fire buttons it would be uncomfortable to play.

Thanks, that helps.  Anyone got measurements on the short bezels?

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2003, 01:36:19 pm »
I don't have a short cone, but working off of the tall cone dimensions and the short cone pictures I think this should be pretty close.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2003, 01:51:05 pm »
Let me ask you guys a question...
Which of these styles would be in more demand here?
If you had an easy (& inexpensive) source, which type would you buy? The taller ones, or the shorter ones.

Also, would there be any interest in this type of button that could be easily mounted in a wood CP?

I've got some ideas brewing & I just want to know if there is any interest.
(No promises yet though).

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Tailgunner

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2003, 05:54:36 pm »
I'd like to know myself as I ordered $450 worth of illuminated pushbutton switches today to experiment with. ;)

I'm guessing tall cones would be more popular, as the majority of Atari cone switches used that style.

SirPoonga

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2003, 07:26:35 pm »

Also, would there be any interest in this type of button that could be easily mounted in a wood CP?


They can, if you have plexi or lexan :)  It's how I have my midway buttons on my shelf and how I plan on doing my volanos.   Having them on wood would be nice for people with other covering matierials.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2003, 10:00:51 pm »
The bezels on my missle command CP are 1" in diameter and about 1/4" high.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2003, 12:06:49 am »
I talked to an arcade restorer today.  He's got a few different kinds I can look at next week when I'm off.  He charges $15 for the switches and $5 for the bezels.  I'll probably get one of each style bezel and an illuminated switch to try taking molds from.  I want to see if it's possible to hack something together that looks like a cone button, mounts like a Happ button, and would work on both wood and metal panels.  If it works out, I'll make a mold of the finished piece and sell my original switches back to the restorer...

Ah, another excuse to go look at that glorious warehouse of arcade history!  Hopefully I'll be able to walk out without buying anything that'll get me divorced...  ;D

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2003, 09:45:20 am »
Like SirP, I mounted my sets of cones on the lexan.  Works really well, actually - just drill a huge hole for access to the bottom, and a small hole for the switch cylinder.  I attached a pic, maybe it will help. (the flash washed the color out of the pics, BTW)

Oh yeah - I do know if someone made replicants then they'd sell a ton on RGVAC.
edit - I meant reproductions, man it's early I need coffee...though replicants would probably sell too :)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2003, 09:48:17 am by Frostillicus »

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2003, 08:31:40 am »
Quote
If you had an easy (& inexpensive) source, which type would you buy? The taller ones, or the shorter ones.

Also, would there be any interest in this type of button that could be easily mounted in a wood CP?


I'd prefer the taller ones - these are the ones that I remember. Easy woodmounting would be nice - of course I could do the lexan-trick also, but I really'd prefer if they just fit like any other buttons I have.

And by all means, please forget about 12V-LED's. Just make them with the normal 2V-leds - there isn't a thing like a 12V-LED, they just've integrated a resistor somewhere to fit this voltage.

Most commonly you would drive them with your I-Pac to get flashing startbuttons, so you need +5V, or what I'd prefer, you get the LED's without the resistor (=2V) and can choose the resistor you need for yourself.

I'd hate to buy them if they need 12V!

By the way, I wonder if the silvercones would fit my black volcano buttons? Somehow I really like them!



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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2003, 11:16:49 am »
Quote
If you had an easy (& inexpensive) source, which type would you buy? The taller ones, or the shorter ones.

Also, would there be any interest in this type of button that could be easily mounted in a wood CP?

And by all means, please forget about 12V-LED's. Just make them with the normal 2V-leds - there isn't a thing like a 12V-LED, they just've integrated a resistor somewhere to fit this voltage.

Most commonly you would drive them with your I-Pac to get flashing startbuttons, so you need +5V, or what I'd prefer, you get the LED's without the resistor (=2V) and can choose the resistor you need for yourself.

I'd hate to buy them if they need 12V!

Thanks for the input, this makes a lot of sense.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2003, 11:48:58 pm »
Sorry to drag this back to the top, but I acquired some Atari aluminum cone switches today and broke out the calipers to properly dimension one for posterity. :)

For the record, the tall cone I dimensioned above is a plastic cone. I'm  not sure whether this one qualifies as the short cone, or whether there's an even shorter cone Atari used.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2003, 10:49:03 am »
By the way - where the LED's lightened up at Missile command?



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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2003, 05:16:26 pm »
By the way - where the LED's lightened up at Missile command?

From everyone I've talked to, only the start buttons were illuminated.  The fire buttons had black tops and no LEDs.  I bought some of these black buttons recently, and there appears to be a set of holes in the bottom for the LED leads to poke out, but no LEDs were installed.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2003, 05:51:43 pm »
What a shame - it must look sweet if they would light up when pressed! :)
Well, maybe I should get three more Atari buttons and wire them up that way on my still to come trackball-panel?  :-*



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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2003, 11:23:54 am »
I know you can pick up the old ones on eBay for close to this price, but here is the closest thing that Happ carries:
http://www.happcontrols.com/joysticks/95430000.htm

Those are the thumb switches from the 8-way trigger stick.  The do have a steep slope cone on them (not sure of the diameter or slope of the cone) and come with the switch:

http://www.happcontrols.com/joysticks/95430000.htm

95-4400-00 for red, 95-4400-06 for black,
Cost is $10.70
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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2003, 03:59:36 pm »
Oh man, I wish I had seen this post before making my other post.   :-[

Here is a button with a similar bezel (but not tall enough).  It's from an aviation panel or something (airplane controls).  I wonder if these buttons are military and/or aviation related.

1UP, I noticed your picture is called "MCi-1".  Maybe it's just coincidence but there is a company MCI (Manufacturers Components Incorporated) that makes parts like these pushbuttons.  I didn't see anything in their catalog but they could have made them.  

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2003, 02:53:00 am »
Okay - it's not like that I haven't thought about reproduction, too! :)

I still haven't got an idea I like how to connect them proper with a volcano bezel, but here is the button I've lying around at home. The picture only shows the green one with LED and red without, but I've them in red lightable.

Somehow I'd need the bezel a bit widther to fit the standard pushbutton-hole. Now I've lightened leaf-buttons on my panel, but the light doesn't show out as clear as I hoped. Plus, I think it would be much easier for my friends to recognize the start buttons.

BTW, they go for $1.95 each



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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2003, 01:03:36 am »
I know you can pick up the old ones on eBay for close to this price, but here is the closest thing that Happ carries:
http://www.happcontrols.com/joysticks/95430000.htm

Those are the thumb switches from the 8-way trigger stick.  The do have a steep slope cone on them (not sure of the diameter or slope of the cone) and come with the switch:

http://www.happcontrols.com/joysticks/95430000.htm

95-4400-00 for red, 95-4400-06 for black,
Cost is $10.70


I have these on my Tron repro sticks.  They're nothing like atari buttons, and are not lightable.  They are microswitch, unlike most of the alternatives.  I have an idea for something that will be fairly simple that I can probably mold myself, that will look just like the atari buttons...  It would be a one piece design that uses a standard microswitch and would work on metal or wood panels with a single drilled hole, with or without lexan.

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Re:Differences between Missile Command and Asteroids volcano buttons?
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2003, 08:54:32 am »
I have these on my Tron repro sticks.  They're nothing like atari buttons, and are not lightable.  They are microswitch, unlike most of the alternatives.  I have an idea for something that will be fairly simple that I can probably mold myself, that will look just like the atari buttons...  It would be a one piece design that uses a standard microswitch and would work on metal or wood panels with a single drilled hole, with or without lexan.

Sorry, I didn't really say what I was comparing them too.  I have these buttons on a trigger stick too and they look alot like the picture in your post above

Quote
(These are listed as "Asteroids Style" start buttons.  Note the very steep angle of the bezels.)

Good luck on the mold, hopefully you'll figure out something that will work.  
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