Repairing a jittery Taito NES Vaus Controller


I know this is a site for people who want to get an edge over standard joypads. For most fighting games that means a stick. But you can appreciate other controllers for other types of games.

Do you want to make a little extra money? Buy Atari 2600 paddles, Astrocade controllers, and NES Vaus controllers at a thrift store, where chances are they are either of unknown or broken condition. The biggest reason why most are donated is because of jitter. Luckily 90% of them are correctable.

First see if you controller is a candidate. If the character instantly pops between 2 points in a non continuous way, and has a stuttered move when quickly dialing a point, this is a candidate.

Another way you can tell a candidate without turning the dial is asking, can you hear a grind when you turn the dial? If you do, this is also a good candidate.

You just have to give it a 91% isopropylhol bath and a scrubbing. Just get isopropylhol in the innards of the potentiometer, (the 91% kind where the only ingredients are alcohol and water. Don’t get medicinal rubbing alcohol. That contains herbs and, even though it might take some of the sting out oif disinfecting a cut, will ruin the electronics.) and turn the dial back and forth all the way about 20 times each way. If there was a grinding noise that disappeared, then you probably fixed it. The beofre and after is very noticeable.

Now how do you get to the chamber? it depends on which model you have.

Atari 2600: Take out the back panel of the paddle, pour a little 91% isopropylhol in the center hole, then turn the knob about 10-20 times all the way each way WHLE UPSIDE DOWN. Do not invert it back to normal until done.

Astrocade: Take apart the case. This one is a little trickier becuase the trigger can fall off. Make sure you note how the trigger lays, so you can replicate it. Once it’s apart, pour some isopropylhol down the joystick shaft and as Chubby Checker and The Fat Boys say: “Come on, Baby. Let’s do the twist.” Reassemble

Taito NES Vaus Controller: The easiest of the 3. No tools needed. There is a lttle cap on the right side of the dial. Get your fingernail aournund the underside of the mushroom cap and pop open the cap. Then pour your alcohol in the hole, then tilt it so gravity sends it into the dial, and “Let’s twist again, like we did last summer.”

Also there is a screwdriver knob you can turn with a flathead screwdriver if you notice it has a non-full left to right range, meaning you notice a gap in your coverage.

I have fixed my personal paddles that way, and have upsold them 2 times on Ebay that way. Unfotunately too many people are wise to offer jittery paddles for $1 plus shipping on Ebay, so go to places where you can find non-working and unknown conditions of paddles that you can get cheap, like thrift stores and garage sales. That way you actually do something productive. Like you guys normally do when you build your own joysticks. Now you can First Aid a potentiometer paddle controller.

And tell those paddles, as Zeus from Altered Beast, aka Elmer Fudd, told the dead warriors you control, to “Wise Fwom Youw Gwave (ahahahahahahah!)”