Over the last 16+ years of selling Atari replacement parts and Rebuilding 10 of thousands of Atari 5200 CX52 hand controllers, Best Electronics is well aware of the problems that Atari 5200 owners have had with their CX52 hand controllers. The one part we Never got enough of when we bought out all of the Atari Spares department was the Atari CX52 Hand ControllerAuxiliary Function Keypad (Start, Pause and Reset Silicone pad) CO18128. About 5 months ago we were in a Panic mode at Best! We were down to our last couple of bags of CX52 Auxiliary keypads.
We spent several months trying to locate the Existing Atari tooling that was somewhere in Asia (about 10 - 15 years ago was the last time it was used). We had No luck trying to locate it. So we have to make a Hard Decision, drop this 5200 replacement part altogether or spend theThousands and Thousands of dollars to Make a new molds. Looking at our sales figures for this Atari replacement part for the last 5 years, and to the good Luck of all of the 5200 Owners world wide, we made the decision to go ahead and buy the new Mold Tooling.
Based on our 20+ years of selling Atari replacement parts, we first wanted to see if there was a way we could get in a Better replacement Auxiliary keypad than the ones Atari made 10+ years ago and using some of the State of the Art Manufacturing processes (that weren't available 10 years ago) maybe make aMajor Improvement/Upgrade to the existing design of the Atari CX52 Auxiliary Function Keypad. Well in both cases Best Electronics has succeeded!
Doing some research into the CX52 controller Auxiliary Keypad problems, we discovered some interesting facts:
1. The carbon Dots on Brand New CX52 Auxiliary Keypads had an average Point to Point conductive carbon dot Resistance of between 100 - 200 Ohms.
2. The older (with Time and Use) these conductive Dots on the Auxiliary Keypads got, the contact resistance would go Up. Our tests showed that old CX52 Auxiliary Keypads tested on Used Flex Circuits, with a resistance range over 1,000 to 2,000 Ohms (per conductive dot) would Stop to Work and Not function any more (Not start, pause or reset the 5200 machine)! This Non working condition was mainly caused by General years of use (the surface of the contact carbon dot Glazing over), wear, Human Skins cells and Oils Saturating the carbon conductive dots. Our extensive testing of Old/Used CX52 Auxiliary keypads showed, that resistance values ranged from a (Not start, pause or reset the 5200 machine)! This Non working condition was mainly caused by General years of use (the surface of the contact carbon dot Glazing over), wear, Human Skins cells and Oils Saturating the carbon conductive dots. Our extensive testing of Old/Used CX52 Auxiliary keypads showed, that resistance values ranged from a Low of about 500 Ohms to as High as 5.4+ K Ohms resistance and above.
3. The Size of the Carbon Dots that Atari used in the CX 52 Auxiliary Keypads has varied over the last 15 years! Some of the smallest dots they used were around 4.5 mm in diameter.
The First Improvement Best Electronics tried for and Succeeded with the New replacement tooling was Increasing of the Conductive dot size. We now have in stock Brand New CX52 Auxiliary function pads with Three 6mm Diameter black conductive dots or a 24 - 25% Increase in Conductive Contact Surface Area as compared to the first Auxiliary keypads Atari made! Which should roughly translate into a 24 to 25% Increase in life expectancy for this New Larger Carbon Conductive CX52 Auxiliary keypad.
The Major Upgrade/Improvement that is now in house, is a Brand New Best Electronics version of the CX52 Auxiliary Keypad using Gold Plated Metal Disks (Current State of the Art Technology). Right from the Get Go, these Gold Plated Metal Conductive Disks have a Contact Resistance of 0 Ohms! Our in house tests have shown even after 4,000+ Up/Down, On/ Off cycles (on all three conductive metal disks) that the conduct resistance stayed the same 0 Ohms. Our Manufacture has tested this New Version Auxiliary 5200 Key pad to over 100,000 cycles with No failures! One of the Major Advantages of the Gold Plated Molded in Metal Dots over the Carbon Dot equivalent contacts, is the Metal Disks are Self cleaning (or in worst case, can be cleaned very easily) when you use them with the current Rev. 9 Metal CX52 Flex Circuits! The Only Minor Draw back with these New designed 5200 Best Auxiliary Keypads with the Gold Plated Metal contacts are, they are NOT Recommended for use with the Older CX52 Flex Circuits with the silk-screened black Carbon traces (non metal traces).
The New Larger Improved 6mm Carbon dot Auxiliary keypads are the same price as the ones we have sold in the past, $3.50 each. CO18128
The Advanced/Upgraded Best CX52 Auxiliary Keypads with the 6mm Gold Conductive dots are priced at $5.00 each. CO18128-G
(Old 4.5 mm dot Aux. pad)
(New Larger 6 mm Carbon Dot Aux. pad)
(New Upgraded 6 mm Gold Dot Aux. pad)
Our tests show that the New Upgraded/Improved Gold Dot CX52 Auxiliary Keypads will be most likely the LAST Auxiliary Keypad you will have to buy for your CX52 Hand Controller!
An Interesting Side Line to the above Improved 5200 Auxiliary Keypad project! Best Electronics has plenty of the 3 dot (x 2, top/bottom) Conductive carbon dot CX52 Fire buttons in stock to last the next 5 - 8 years or so! But because of the Excellent Test results with the New Upgraded Gold Dot Auxiliary Keypads, we are Now Considering spending the Extra Tooling Money and doing the same type of Upgrade to the 5200 CX52 controller Fire buttons! If we get enough demand and preorders, we will proceed on this project. Your Comments/Preorders please!
Just think of it, rebuilding an Atari CX52 Controller with Gold plated Dots on the Auxiliary Keypad and Fire buttons. What else could go wrong? You might end up with an Atari CX52 controller that Never has to be rebuilt ever again!
Current listing to Best Rev. 10 Catalog, page 157:
5200 Hand Controller CX52 Reconditioned (Exchange, send in a CX52 core Joystick with NO physical Damage or missing parts required!) Joystick controller with all new Carbon dot Silicon pads. The price quoted for this Item(s) only, without US Shipping charges, (California Residents only, must include your Local California Sales Tax base on $21 per controller value). CX52-1 Sold Out
5200 Hand Controller CX52 Reconditioned (No Exchange (out right buy) CX52 Joystick controller with all new Carbon dot Silicon pads. The price quoted for this Item(s) only, without US Shipping charges, (California Residents only, must include your Local California Sales Tax base on $27 per controller value). CX52-1 Sold Out
Click here for more information on the Newest Upgraded / Reconditioned Atari CX52 Joysticks with the Best All Gold metal lifetime dot contacts.
Best Electronics is the Oldest and Most experienced Atari 5200 Joystick rebuilder in the World! Over the last 25+ years we have rebuilt 10 of Thousands of CX52 controllers back up to Atari Factory Specifications Using Atari Original Equipment Parts and Atari Factory Diagnostic equipment. It makes since to buy your 5200 rebuilt controllers from the Long term Atari Parts experts!
All Best Electronics Reconditioned CX52 controllers carry a Full 90 Day Warranty!
Back to Best Index page