Wiring an Edladdin Coleco PBC to a machine that accepts a Cthulhu


I’m just trying to help someone out who has a hard time explaining things the way we do. He said he is autistic in a different post. My son is the same way so you have to look at things a bit differently to explain things.


I wasn’t aware of his autism but was suspicious of it. My apologies, even so, at some point I think you’ll find it futile. We’ve tried to reason with him before over other threads and somehow the whole time it felt like whatever guidance you gave the guy he wasn’t having it, soon you’ll find this to be so. Godspeed.


I’ve been on those other post for a better part of 2 years now lol.


Yes I went to Edladdin.com and according to the pictures, it shows a Common 1 for the directions and the first button, and Common 2 or the other buttons. (not sure about the keys, but the keys are handled by an external direct plug keypad. And/or I can Y-split a 9 pin and access a few keys by having soldered in external button access on an actual Colecoviison Keypad.) I don’t know if common and ground are exaclty the same, or what the practical differences are, but I did sound the alarm that if you want an Edladdin PCB to work as a project box with the same joystick and use any other RJ45-based PCB in the same system, you have to do some gymnastics with the grounds.

Most people probably don’t need button swappability, but as a right sticker in a left stick world, I do. Most people would be fine by having 2 grounds, the 4 directions and the QK button on one ground, and the rest with the other ground, and then combine them after the DB25, before the Retro board.

Yes @wikidone0321, good catch. They think they’re telling me one thing, I think they’re telling me another thing. Same with me to them.

One strange advantage of my aurtism

When you look at things differently, you see different problems, and solutions, In 1986 I invented a card game when I was 12 called Triple Topper. The original version was just a 3D version of Crazy Eights. I saw some people beat me to market, and an game agent challenged me to ad something more. So I thoght about it, thought what makes my game unique, and it’s a totally different game that cannot be played with regular cards. Then I thought about regular cards and thought why they were so popular, and one big reason is some call it a Poker Deck others call it a Bridge Deck, others call it a Rummy deck, and so forth, Playing cards were a game system. A lot of different games that can be played with the same equipment. So if I thought can invent more games that use the same equipment, there’d be more reasons to pick it up. If you like it for one game, I made my sale, and if you like more than one game, it’s a bonus. I have over 20 different games printed on my website: tripletopper.com And I found a card game company who wanted to publish it, If I could come up with a collectable card game, so I modified another old childhood game I invented, turned it into a collectable card game, and I’ll get a contract soon for both that game and Triple Topper, and maybe a couple others. Most people would not see the path to what I created.

It doesn’t take an outside the box approach to design a new joystick, just to design a better one. :wink: The electro-mechanical technology of a digital button and joystick hasn’t changed much since the Atari 2600. You just have to incorporate codebusting techniques for intentionally complex coding schemes to lock out unlicensed third party controllers. Most of my unconventionalities deal with the side effects I found with video games.

By the way, it’s a false argument to say no one WOULD buy a right handed joystick JUST because there was no such thing as right handed off-the-shelf joystick after Street Fighter II on SNES and Genesis. Beeshu was making ambidextrous and right handed joysticks, and those models sold well, despite being unlicensed. They even earned TG16, Genesis, and most amazingly, NES licenses. (Though NES only budged when Beeshu was granted TG16 and Genesis licenses, originally claiming they were a cheap knockoff of the NES Advantage.)


The right handed stick isn’t what people are throwing down. There are custom shops that have right handed layouts for stick and hitboxes (a different type of layout that uses buttons instead of an actual stick for directions). Its the ambidextrous thing that is a bit much and how it would have to be implemented seems convoluted for someone who would buy it off the selves. It would have to be a custom item that would be better for made to order or via crowdfunding markets.

As for the RJ45 pcb (Im assuming youre talking about the MC Cthulhu), you would have that wired outside of your stick in a separate box (this is why its called a project box stick, because they are pcbs that are wired in a box a certain way that you can plug in ans unplug pcbs from boxes usually actual electrical project boxes). You just have all of your buttons and everything setup with your DB25 connectors so that you simply plug in your cable to your stick (which doesnt have a pcb inside), to a project box (with a pcb inside), to whatever system that pcb is for.

The Triple Topper game sounds interesting. Ill have to look it up when i have some free tome.


I took a look at the instructions for the CV pcb. It would be a major pain to implement this into your project box setup and would probably be better for a seperate stick in itself. Common 1 is used for the joysticks directions button 1, Common 2 is used for the other 3 buttons. Plus you need to add the Num pab as a permanent fixture which is connected to the pcb via a ribbon cable.

Project box sticks are kind of made to be “common ground” (one ground for every input). And would be almost impossible for non common ground pcbs to be put togther with common ground pcbs.


@wikidone0321 If I always know I wantQK as my first button, and te other 3 to be Mk, Hk, and 3K, and it was a “standard” joystick, it would be easy enough, just wire directkoins and QK to one ground, the others to the other ground, and then keep them separate in the Edladdin CV PCB after the db25 connector before the wiring, and for all the others, combine them all into one ground after the DB25 connector, before the hard wiring.

But I knew my design threw another 2 monkey wrenches. One is the fact that the QK button is different depending on right or left hand arrangements. The other is Tutankham cannot be fixed, because if QK is ground 1 and MK is ground 2, which left handed would be a logical left and right fire, but right handed would be backwards, becuase QK is left of MK left handed, but QK is right of MK when right handed.

I though the best solution is to make each individual input have a corresponding ground pin, until those are combined closer to the PCB, so if I set MK to be left fire (A) and QK to be right fire (B), now MK needs ground 1 and QK needs ground 2. If they get remapped wth a telephone operator switchboard, and assuming the appropriate ground is carried with the signal, and assuming RCAs can carry a signal and ground simultaneously, and sassuming they are still segregated until the combining at the PCB, then I came up with a cool solution,

It might be a little more labor intensive. Thankfully I have a constant and guaranteed, albeit meager income. It will eventually come.

The only thing it needs is a DB37. One pin can be reserved for voltage, and the rest have an input and corresponding ground mapped for 18 inputs.

And what’s more likely in the future, a fighting game with more than 18 inputs that have to accessed immediately, or Sony and Microsoft coming up with more convoluted wiring schemes like a separate ground for each input, and then coding those? The first option I’m going to need a new joystick anyway, but the second I can defend against.

And to think, if it weren’t for me, the issue wouldn’t have come up. Luckily I thought of an idea for a work around. I just need confirmation that all my assumptions are true. If they are, say neato, and feel free to borrow it if you’re ever planning on including Colecovision. If not, tell me how I’m wrong and it’s back to the drawing board. The best way you can help me is to either conform my theory or give me a reason I can understand why it’s shot down.


Like i said that Colecovision pcb would probably be better as its own seperate stick. All those wires would just end up very confusing. I think if you have a dedicated Colecovision stick and your project box stick it would be much easier on you in the long run. That pcb is just too much of a different beast to implement it into your project box stick in my honest opinion.


@wikidone0321 I’m not asking whether this is good design in general. I’m asking if it is good design IN MY CASE. I know I’m already an oddball for wanting right-handed sticks, and even more so for addressing a complain that has been irrelevant when “everyone” uses a left stick, but becomes an issue when you have to play both ways. So the trifecta would be adding a PCB which requires 2 separate grounds. I know my project is a beast, but if it’s pulled off, would open up more possibilities for more people.

Let’s look at it from the opposite perspective. Let’s look at it from the PCB’s perspective. There is one ground to it. From there it must be split into as many ground hookups as there are controls. So you can either Y-wire them at the joystick, the traditional way, but that would make it less versatile, or you can wire it up to 18 different ground pins in the local PCB area. Then the grounds are individually wired to all the corresponding buttons. That looks inefficient at first… If you’re only wiring single ground systems.

If you’re wiring the Colecovision PCB, one ground goes to the directions and A, and the other 3 buttons go to B. There are no other grounding to the non-active holes, aka the top row of buttons and the aux buttons.

If it were not designed to be switchable, just wire the grounds for the individual pins of the 4 directions and ground A to the 4 directions’ and button A’s ground. Then do the same for B, C, and D in regards to ground B.

But if they were variable, meaning if I make A MK and B QK the “A” path and its ground get traced to the MK and the MK Ground, I have essentially moved the A button and its ground to MK and MK’s ground. Likewise I move B to the QK and the QK ground.

So does it really matter whether you “split the ground” at the very end inside the joystick vs at the beginning where you wire Ground A and Ground B to the corresponding pins at the beginning? It becomes discrete from the system’s perspective from the joystick project Box PCB afterwords, so as long as its discrete, then it shouldn’t matter as long as the corresponding ground is carried with it.

I admit, for most people who never would consider a Colecovision, this is a stupid process, but for someone like me, who wants to save money recycling as many of the joystick arts as possible, and Colecovision is one of their systems they’re considering, would this make sense? Is this the easiest solution for a variable-button, dual-ground system? Right now I’m not concerned whether the extra cost in this unique wiring is cheaper or more expensive than buying a whole new joystick for the Colecovision. I’ll make that decision when my guy, Stan, prices the job.

Also am I correct about the RCA Cables? Can an RCA cable carry both a signal from the joystick as well as its corresponding ground? And would this be a way to make them easily switchable, yet dummy-proof about which ground corresponds with which wire?

Remember, I don’t want to carry a whole bunch of different joysticks to a competition where literally any
game for any system could be played. One stick plus extra small parts would be perfect.

Remember my first concern is to see if it makes electronic sense. If it does, then we’ll worry about clearing the cost hurdle. Trust me, thinking about it now should save me money over making it the traditional way and then either tearing apart the stick just to rebuild it, or building a joystick just for the Colecovision. This is exactly the reason why I do a lot of blah blah blah before I act. If I save money thinking about it in advance of the job, this can save money down the road. If I made it the traduitonal way, adding Colecovision AT THAT POINT would paint me in a corner.

The main reason I want an all-in-one joystick

By the way, that’s how my best friend found video game fame in the mid 2000s: multi-game, and multi-console tournaments. He was always in the top 10 of 100 participants of Iron man of Gaming, he won Life to the Power of X, and he was a player in WCG Ultimate Gamer Season 1. He may not be the best at one particular game, but throw in 3 or 4 more and he’ll whip they butt. In our group of 8 friends tournament in the 90s, in about 20 different games, he never got worse than third, everyone else had at least one game they bombed out in. His greatest gaming strength is he has no obvious weakness.

This would have come in handy if I had this joystick when we did this local friends tournament. In the early 90s.


The RCA cable would have to be a single signal, because like i said they would have the ground and signal marry and cause the inputs to register without button press.

The Colecovision doesn’t make sense financially to add it into this stick. Plus the num pad would not be modular, it would have to be permanently affixed to the stick and the pcb would have to be connected to the num pad at all times to get it to work as intended.

I have an idea on your ambidextrous stick. Do you like your street fighter ps2 stick layout of buttons? (the straight in a row and no angle to them a.k.a. American Style Layout).

If you want you could do a single ground for every connection you can. You would have to figure a connector setup (or two) to get desired needs. In the long run it would be almost cheaper to design a couple ambidextrous sticks (like one with different layouts that have different amounts of buttons). Just a thought.


So what you’re saying is the RCA cable are incapable of carrying 2 separate signals; the main signal and the ground, and keep them segregated yet corresponding. I thought it used an “inner-outer” dual signal carriage, like the main signal on the inside and the ground on the outside. But maybe I’m wrong, that’s why I asked.

There is a difference between marrying the and melding.

Are the signal and the ground married, meaning they are 2 separate signals but travel together, like 2 people in the car? It’s unsafe to change the driver and passenger while in motion, and they can be re-separated, but they both go where they want to go, they just travel together until the connection re-separates them.

Or are they melded like when Spock does a Mind Meld, where Spock can both convey information out and probe information in, and neither Spock not his partner can un-know what they know?

If the ground and the signal are melded, then maybe a smarter strategy is to use 3.5 mm 3 section cables (stereo plus ground), and use 2 L and R sections to carry the signal and the ground. They never mix and should remain married yet separate. My concept works, I just wasn’t sure if it would work with RCAs.

I just had a bad experience with 3.5mm cables in the past. When I heard a lot of handicap controllers, and even the Xbox One Adaptive Controller use it, the state of the art and science has advanced since I bought my stick from KY Enterprises in 1992-1994. If that’s the only way to get this to work, I’ll be open to them.

As for the cord, if I can get a lengthened ribbon cord, maybe I can place it as an attached slab that acts as a backing that sits next to the joystick. Most keypad stuff I do not need quick access to, it’s just for selecting stuff. All you have is peel and stick keypad. SO lengthening the ribbon cord should help. I assume it’s a standard part.


The 3.5 mm jack should do better than the rca. They have 2 section cables of that too. The only thing is you are just marrying them to one connection to seperate them later, but you are using this as a switch for button orientation so I understand the concept.

Yes you could probably do it as a secondary slab. Just have to find the right type of ribbon cable.

As for your stick builder. Is he on this forum? Has he showed you his work? Is he capable of doing something like this for you? Its just strange to me he would be so open as to help with this stick with no issues. I just dont want to see anyone getting ripped off. The reason I’m helping you as much as I can is because I get how you think a little bit being around autism, that and I love relaying information which helps people grow. Just looking out for you dude.

Also you didn’t answer my question about the layout with the Street Fighter PS2 stick. Do you like that layout of buttons?



FWIW a RCA cable has 2 signals. The pin is the active signal and the shield surrounding the pin is just that, a shield, which requires ground. You can obviously carry a ground signal from this since in normal usage, the shield has to be grounded.


@wikidone0321 answering your questions.

If you visit my right handed stick page you’ll see a model that was used for about 3 months in the Xbox 360 Era. I have bought from him before.

I wanted to make a couple of changes. First I either misconveyed, or he misunderstood, or a combinaiotn of both, that I wanted some sort of system to remove and reattach older console pad hacks. This was during the height of Street Fighter 4 and they didn’t have Toodles Cthulhus yet. I tried rearranging it from left hand to right hand, and the tags fell off. And quick connects, though they are quick, are not called “often disconnects and reconnects” for a reason. A couple QC caps fell off, then te lables fell of on the naked 360 PCB and I knew enough not to mess with it with unlabeled quick connects, at the risk of shorting something out if I get the ground or something else wrong. Luckily I was able to sell my Pre-wired discrete 360 pad for $5 plus shipping.

He insisted I get an optical stick. He said it lets you program how likely the cardinals vs the diagonals are. I noticed in Virtua Fighter 5, I had a tough time hitting down forward plus kick for a special low kick. Then I tried a friend’s sanwa that was in the tournament edition of street fighter 4. The funny thing is when left handed (ie the normal way) I was able to pull off Rose’s Soul Throws, which is a dragon punch Motion. So I thought if these sticks can help me pull off dragon punches left handed, imagine what it would do right handed.

If I remember right, they came with Square gates, which is good for going diagonal when you want and going cardinal when you want. Travel time may not be as fast as an octagon, but executing specials at will with no misfiring was the secret to my success described in my 56ok website. Compared to the optical stick which was set on such a small diagonal, I had a hard time finding it, and I didn’t know how to program it, but the circular gate made it hard to play by feel. Plus I had installed an easy 4/8 way switch, so those Coleco and 5200 games where diafgonals kill you will not be a problem.

The Street FIghter 15 stick was good enough for a while. If the Tototek devices weren’t so unintuitive with the button layouts for a stick, I probably would have bought those, since they were recommended. The problem was I had to find PS2-> other machine adapters, which I found for the Wii Classic, Xbox prime, Xbox 360, Xbox One, GameCube, and Dreamcast With VMU.

The Street Fighter 15 has the obvious design feature I’m surprised Capcom didn’t capitalize on. The rectangular arrangement is easy for right handing, but it does leave a cloverleaf in the middle when you manually switch the joystick. Unfortunately those direction wires and grounds are stuck in there. I since I don’t have the special quick connect tools, and when I tried it before when flipping punches and kicks, I broke a button, I’ll wire a local repairman to loosen the wires all the extentions and replug back in for $10, their estimate fee. I figured if electricity travels through wire at 1/100 the speed of light in a vacuum, then that 3000 km/s which is 3000 m/ms or 3 meters per microsecond. Which means 3 meters (around 10 feet) of cord only add a 1 microsecond delay, which is literally only measurable in light gun video games on CRT TVs. In joystick time, that less that 1/1000 of a frame which is essentially zero for practical purposes.

I can deal with an American style layout, if it’s a 6 button game, but an 8 button game needs a 2 layer Neo geo layout, with the index below below a row of 3 buttons. I thought this would be a good mass market design. It has both 6 rectangular buttons and the index drop down. It’s also easy to ambidexterize. Just add a ninth button. The secret to that working is a wider stance than most joystick cabinets allow. But this is home, not an arcade… take all the space you want.

And I think ambidexerity would be a key mass market feature. Just as Movie Theaters and Home Movie markets are different, where big speakers make sense when hundreds of people watch at once, but a Turtle Beach Surround Headphone make more sense as a theater of one, and where Polarized 3D with their cheap cardboard glasses, and communal speakers are more sanitary and frugal than personal headphones and Shutter 3D, but Shutter 3D and Surround Headphones are better at home, Arcades are standardized to appeal to mass market, and space is a premium, so there are no easy two-way setups for the limited widths arcades allow,

Plus I heard Jamma was formed by arcade owners, so they all agreed to use left sticks to maximize money out of the gamer, but that was before competitive games were in like Street Fighter where it was player vs player instead of one or 2 players against the CPU. The industry just matured enough that they never re-evaluated it. And it’s the arcade owners, and not the gamers, that are the DIRECT customers of the game makers. But the reason why ambi sticks might work at home is because the PLAYER is the DIRECT customer of the game companies.

Beeshu thought so, and advertised their sticks as legal non-cheating performance enhancements. It was endorsed by professional gamers in the 80s. I think, Billy Mitchell, as a member of the United States National Video Game Team, was big on it. Even left handed, the NES Beeshu Ultimate was better than the NES advantage.

@wikidone0321 I was wondering, now that you saw @PAS.Timothy ’s coments where the shielding can hold the ground signal, and be a cheaper-to-find-cables-for and easier-to-plug-in souliton compared to the 3.5 mm.

As for workmanship, I’m trying to design it to be low maintenance. I had trouble with KY Enterprises 3.5 MM design. Every design choice made it as dummy-proof, versatile, and easy as possible. I’m asking many questions before I have it built because I want this joystick to last the rest of my life. And I want it to be an easy transition to future systems. So far his workmanship is good, but he learned to let me design and he’s the hired solder jockey.

So may I have a final answer? If one signal is the ground, can the signal and ground be married without melding them with an RCA cable or not?


I just got an idea

What if we make the too panel modular?
Cut the panel in half, make the two halfs equal sized. Use snaps or magnets to secure the panels. One obviously your joystick, the other your push buttons. Use some kind of disconnect for the joy stick, maybe use 3.5 trs connecors for the buttons, as that would over the easy buttin reassignment requirements. Use color wire or color shrink wrap for identification


Did I hear modular panel stick? :smiley:



I remember that masterpiece.


That looks similar to my 1993 design for the Sega Genesis and SNES. But there were 2 problems, both were because it was a KY Enterprises stick.First, their punches and kicks were every far apart, because they had a long box, and second the contour also left left handed contoured, PLus the connections fell apart so bad that I couldn’t repair it. (one could repair it, I just couldn’t.)

That model you showed is for someone who wants different button arrangement like Mortal Kombat, etc. I don’t need it, but ingenious.

I noticed the curved arrangement wasn’t flippable for the left fingers.


Is there a write up on this? O.o


Not really, unfortunately. There was a lengthy post that described it in detail in the “Check out my new stick!” thread, but Photobucket has since killed all the pictures to it.