Atari CX40 Joystick Boots
Any Atari owner who as ever owned and used an Atari CX40 Joystick, has known the different problems they have had for the last 25+ years. They would internally fail early, because of the early generation internal Printed Circuit Boards. Best has cured that CX40 Joystick problem with its 2005 designed Gold CX40 lifetime PCB.
Another known problem is with the Atari CX40 Joystick rubber boots. With any kind of normal use, the rubber boots would easily pull up and off the inner white Joystick handle very easily right in the middle of normal game play. With time the Atari CX40 rubber boots rubber material would go from flexible feeling to a very stiff feel, as the plasticizers in the rubber material would slowly out gas out of the rubber boot over the years which is normal for any item made out of rubber. Also the as the outside temperature would drop, the harder the Atari CX40 rubber boot would feel. When this happened, the CX40 Joystick boots bottom ring would distort and pop out of the CX40 top case boot floating (up and down) locking boot ring and pull off the CX40 white inner handle very easily during game play. With age and enough use the Joystick bottom rubber boot rings would rip easily and would start to distort, show large gaps in the boot rings and end up in funny shapes on the CX40 Joystick (see picture below).
Over the years Best has been selling the CX40 replacement boots we got out of the local Sunnyvale Atari parts warehouses when we cleared them out years ago. But in the last 5+ years we have been having a hard time finding any more boxes of Atari CX40 rubber boots in our 2 large Atari warehouses. We would find a box of them sell them for a year or so and sell out of them. Then be out of stock for 4 to 6 months until we found some more. The periods of having them in stock and selling out of them were getting longer and longer. We could see the writing on the wall, we were going to finally sell out of them soon. The easy path would have been to just make a new CX40 rubber again. But with all new Atari Parts and Upgraded / Improved New State of the Art Atari products Best has made / produced for the last 32+ year in the Atari business, we made the decision to make a New Generation / Upgraded / Improved 2016 version of the old classic Atari CX40 Joystick boot and correct all of the known 30+ year problems with the old CX40 rubber boots. We knew that we would have to make another long term large capital Investment into a brand New 2016 CX40 Silicone Boot mold, which would take years of New CX40 Joystick boot sales to pay off the new mold cost only.
We went back to what Best considers some of the best Atari CX40 Joysticks rubber boots Atari Engineering designed and made. The early 1982 (early 2600 era) generation Atari CX40 rubber boots. Some of the reasons why we consider these as some of the best CX40 joystick boots Atari ever made:
1.The surface of the Atari CX40 1982 boot has a soft but firm, rubbery feel (almost molds to you hand) to it. Something you can grip for hours of play and not get hand cramps.
2. The surface of the 1982 CX40 rubber boot has a light textured surface on it, compared to some of the Atari CX40 Joystick boots made with a completely smooth surface. When you used this type of smooth CX40 boots and your hands started to sweat, you would have a hard time hanging onto slippery boot during normal game play.
3. The six hex edges around the length (top to bottom) of the CX40 boot have rounded edges compared to some of the versions of the Atari CX40 rubber boots that had sharp edges where you would grip the CX40 boot with your hand.
Best has always felt over the 20 to 25 years of making the CX40 Joystick boots, Atari got stuck in the standard manufacturing mode of making the New / Next group of CX40 Joystick boots cheaper and faster getting away from the original 1982 Atari 2600 Engineered design, that was well tested in Engineering prototype tests and preproduction 1st article Atari employee tested and approved CX40 Joystick boot feel.
Best does not have the original Atari Engineering Specís on the CX40 rubber boot. But based on the Atari Engineering specifications Best does have on the original Atari CX40 internalPCB dome contacts, which were rated for over 1,000,000 cycles before failure (Bests CX40 Gold PCB manufacture, tested the stock new CX40 PCB board and found the Atari stock dome contacts started to fail after only 150,000 test cycles) and the way Atari Engineering designed products back then, one can safely assume all of the other components including the CX40 rubber boots, used to make the Atari CX40 Joystick were also rated at 1,000,000 test cycles before failure. Ask any old Atari CX40 owner if they thought their CX40 boot made the 1,000,000 mark before they started to fail, distort, crack, tare or fall apart.
The first upgradedecision Best made on the New Upgraded / Generation Atari CX40 Joystick replacement boot, was to get away on the 25+ year old Rubber boot old school material and all of its known problems / draw backs and go with a much Improved / Newer Silicon state of the art Injection molded material. The Silicon material is not subject to the out gassing of plasticizers that caused the CX40 rubber boots to get hard, distort and crack / tare and is not subject to degrading of the Silicon maternal for decades and decades of normal use. Our New Silicon Molder says New the Silicon Atari CX40 Joystick boot material is rated at over 3 Million test cycles of use (3X the original Atari Rubber boot specís).
The second upgradefeature was to narrow down the CX40 boot center hole so it would have a tighter grip (almost a suction type of grip fit) on the CX40 inner white handle when installed. Our Silicon molder also applied a different type of mold texturing on the CX40 inside center boot hole so it would grip onto the CX40 white plastic handle better and be harder to pull off the Atari CX40 white inner handle during Atari game play.
The third upgradeNew feature was to try to match the feel, function and texture of the original 1982 Atari rubber boot
Best had to sort thru 15 to 20 different Silicon Injection molding companies that contacted Best. Once we picked a final Silicon injection molding company, Best sent them about 5 to 6 different Atari OEM rubber CX40 Boot samples made in the last 25+ years and a complete test CX40 test Joystick.
The original 1st Article sampleAtari CX40 Silicon boots off the new mold that Best received had a couple of aspects that Best was not happy with. The one that concerned Best the most was the New Black Silicon boot material did attract a lot of dust (which is normal for most injection molded Silicon compounds). We asked the Silicon molder if they could find a fix for this problem. About a month latter the Silicon molder said they found a new more expensive black Silicon injection compound that had Anti Static properties to it. They said it would cut down the amount of dust the New Silicon Atari CX40 boots would attract, but would never totally eliminate the dust attraction of the Silicon material. So Best went with the more expensive anti static Silicon compound on the new Best CX40 Silicon upgrade boot. Another 1st article feature that Best did not like, was only the CX40 boot handle / grip area had the textured finish and the bottom rings of the CX40 boot had smooth shinny finish. We asked the Silicon molder to fully texture the complete outside of the boot surface, so it had a very even textured looking outside surface.
One of the final items we asked the silicon molder to do on the new mold was to add / engrave the Best CX40 Silicon boot part number, Best name and Best Web site address onto the bottom inside ring of the new Best Silicon CX40 boot.
Second article sample Silicon CX40 boots Best received
The New Best 2016 Silicon CX40 Super boot, has a light black color compared to the stock black Atari CX40 rubber boot. Bests blind fold tests, between the 1982 Atari OEM new rubber boots and the New 2016 Best Silicon boots, both had almost the same texture / feel. Most of the testers found it was hard to tell the differences between them in side by side (blind fold) Joystick feel and function tests.
The New CX40 Super Silicon boot, will not crack, tare, harden, out gas a rubber smell or distort from its original molded shape with years and years of everyday use or stored with no use at all for 5 to 10+ years. It will also be a lot harder (but not impossible) to pull the new Best CX40 silicon boot off the white inner Atari CX40 handle during normal CX40 Joystick use / play. Once the New Best CX40 Silicon Joystick boot is installed on any Atari OEM CX40 Joystick, will take you back to the 1982 original Atari Engineering design and Atari Marketing department feedback for the original Atari CX40 Joystick Boot design.
New 1983 Atari Rubber Best 2016 Final upgraded
CX40 Joystick boot CX40 Silicon Lifetime boot
(boot rings and bottom locking
lip are starting to distort)
Coupled with Bestís CX40 Lifetime CX40 Gold PCB board, will give you the Best of the Best and give you a very comfortable lifetime Atari CX40 Gold Joystick that you can use for hours and hours of great CX40 Joystick use.
The New 2016 Best CX40 SiliconLifetime Joystick boot. CO12109-S $6.50
New CX40 Gold Joystick upgraded with the Best 2016 CX40 Lifetime Silicon boot
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