Here’s a quick and easy cosmetic mod that anyone can do!
I posted this photo of an Atari 7800 joystick on our Instagram this week. You may notice it’s a little different, and I had a few people comment asking about the controller.
Robert has a good eye. I wasn’t even thinking about it when I took the picture. I have a small stockpile of Atari 7800 joysticks, but the one I grabbed for the picture happened to be one of my original 2 joysticks from my Atari 7800 with the cereal in it that I talk about here.
I was never that happy with the stock 7800 joysticks. (was anyone?) I always sought ways to mod the controller or make it better. One of the earliest mods I made was when I was 12 years old: a cosmetic change to extend the aluminum “streak” from the handle all the way through the top of the controller.
I thought the Atari 7800 joystick looked and felt kind of cheap, as though something better had been designed and the guys in the accounting dept. took a look at it and said “Nope, nope, nope. Too expensive. Let’s save money by cutting costs here, here, and here.” The aluminum band on the console spans the full width of the 7800, shouldn’t the aluminum band on the joystick span the full length of the controller?
Below is an abbreviated version of the slideshow I posted on Instagram as a response to the questions I received about the controller. Obviously this is only a cosmetic mod and won’t improve joystick responsiveness (there are other things you can do!) but this is a quick and fun DIY mod that anyone can do. It looks good and has stood the test of time. If you’re into it and up to it, here’s how to do it:
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Atari 7800 Joystick (cleaned with alcohol)
Aluminum Tape (HVAC Duct Joint Foil Tape)