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Atari ProLine Joystick Upgrade from Best Electronics: Review…


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Recently, I was putting through its paces a ProLine Joystick with the Best Electronics gold joystick upgrade in it, designed by Bradley Koda. When I started using it, the difference between that and a standard joystick in performance was like night and day. Compared to a stock ProLine joystick from Atari without the upgrade, well, let’s just say the upgraded joystick blew it away. It handled much better and is more well-rounded.


I can explain. Remember the review I did on “Ikari Warriors” for the 7800? Well, I used the upgraded joystick. That was the reason why I achieved my personal best score ever recorded in that game. I also use a European Atari 7800 joypad. Now, on “Ikari Warriors,” the joypad plays quite sluggishly as opposed to the upgraded joystick. The movement on the joystick after upgrades is much smoother. There is definitely less hassle.


But, the joystick can handle too smoothly on other games. I was playing “Taz” with it once, and I achieved a lower score and could not get over a certain point in the game. I do admit, however, that I need to play “Taz” more. I guess I need more practice with that upgraded controller. Overall, as some would say, this controller is the bee’s knees.


Here’s how it works. Normally, the innards of your joystick are made with four cheap metal button-like leads (I think that the metal is tin) that connect to wires that can sense the movement of the joystick itself. Every time the joystick connects to a lead, that registers as a movement on screen. I am sure that you all know that already, but here’s the kicker. Mr. Koda found a way to make gold leads for the joysticks.


The result? The joystick can respond faster and better than before with gold in it. I am guessing that it is the metallurgical properties of the gold. Gold is a great conductor of electricity, if memory serves me best. So, what better type of metal to complete a circuit in something like this than gold? I personally would love to have a controller like this in my collection. I like it, despite the con that I stated in this review.


It may be expensive to upgrade your current joysticks with this technology. After all, gold is expensive. We all know that. But, if money is no object for you, then you might want to consider it. It is well worth it. I also have a picture of the upgraded joystick in the review. Thanks for letting me share and I will return with other things to talk about.




NOTE: This is the upgraded joystick in question.

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