View Full Version : Atari 5200 controller repair frequency?

01-06-2003, 11:45 AM
Recently I picked up a 5200. I also got several standard controllers, none of which worked 100%. When I first got the controllers, I took them all apart and cleaned the corrosion off the traces with an eraser. This restored them all to functionality. A month later, though, I found that I had to open some of them up again and repeat the procedure.

Is there anything I can do or should avoid doing so I won't have to take apart my 5200 controllers on a monthly basis? In particular, I was wondering:

1. Do I need to be super careful about avoiding touching the exposed traces with my fingers? Ditto for the carbon discs?

2. Should I be doing something to clean off the carbon discs that close the contacts as well?

3. Is that "gold dot" kit I see on ebay really much better than the stock buttons? I see that the gold only applies to the start/pause/reset buttons, but that the fire buttons have three smaller carbon discs rather than the one larger disc in the stock fire buttons. An ebay example: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1250&item=1949935472

4. Is the revision 9 flex circuit (or any revision of the flex circuit) much less prone to forming a corrosion layer on the traces?

I've read the 5200 faq at atarihq.com, so I understand that these controllers will require periodic maintenance over their lifetime, but I'm just wondering how I can minimize the frequency.

02-27-2003, 06:08 PM

Oh, yeah. And who's tried gluing bits of aluminum foil to the carbon discs? What kind of glue is recommended for doing that?

03-02-2003, 09:35 PM
Forget all the crap with cleaning stock 5200 flex circuits. As you've already stated, you'll notice it's a revolving door of periodic cleanings. I went thru what your experiencing now many many years ago.

Buy some Rev9 Flex Circuits and replace your old circuits with those. You will never need to do another thing with your 5200 controllers. I had my 2 stock controllers rebuilt with the Rev 9 circuits about 6 years ago, and let me tell you I play the bejesus out of my 5200, and I have not had a single problem with any buttons on either controller ever since the rebuild.

So, my advice is to pay the $25 per circuit, or whatever the going rate is these days, and save yourself alot of hassle and time, and repair those 5200 sticks of yours for good. The Gold dot pad is probably a good idea too, but I'm not familiar with that and I don't think my sticks had that upgrade.

EDIT* That rebuild kit in the ebay link you provided is Exactly what you want.