On February 28, 2018 Best Electronics started to work on another Atari replacement part that we finally ran out of the Atari stock OEM ones we got out of the local Sunnyvale Atari parts warehouses some 20+ years ago.
Like Best has done on all Atari products and Atari replacement parts we have made for the last 35+ years, Best does not simply clone an Atari replacement part (the easy way anybody could do), but we take our 37 year Atari knowledge base to Engineer Upgrades / Enhancements to the stock features of any Atari product or replacement OEM Atari part and we also fix known Atari problems on those Atari replacement parts that have always caused them to fail early.
This Atari CX40 cable project was run at the same time frame as the CX78 JoyPad upgrade project. The reason why Best wanted to run both Atari projects at the same, is both the Atari CX78 Upgraded / Enhanced cable and the New Best Upgraded / Enhanced replacement Atari CX40 replacement cable, both required brand new custom Injection molds. In an effort to save up front costs for two new cable molds ($,$$$ each) Best asked our manufacture to make a single new mold to make both different cable molded bodies and end of cable strain reliefs in a single new mold. In theory this sounds very easy to do, but fact it was almost more trouble than the effort Best spent trying to convince our Manufacture and there sub contractor cable maker to embrace this concept. They seems to fight this unusual all in one mold concept or simply did not understand it. After several weeks of back and forth they finally understood what we were proposing. They added an extra cost ($$$) to modify the in the works (all ready paid for) new CX78 cable mold to also produce the Best upgraded CX40 Joystick cable.
Like the CX78 JoyPad project, samples of the old Atari CX40 cables, complete CX40 Joysticks (to test the new Best CX40 cable on) and a complete Word doc with a complete Engineering description of the new Best Upgraded / Enhanced CX40 cable project was sent to our manufacture on February 28, 2018.
When our booked solid manufacture finally had the free production time to start the CX40 and CX78 cable projects, it was around early July 2018. Like the CX78 project a lot of information we sent our manufacture on the Joystick project seemed to disappear. So it was like starting the CX40 cable project from day one.
Early prints (10 to 15+ revised prints in total were sent to Best) received on the Best CX40 replacement cable, used the same square DB-9 connector body as on the CX78 cables.
Best has always known all of the problems on the stock made Atari OEM CX40 Joystick cables for over 34+ years. Here are just a few of them:
1st article Engineering samples, cut away sections, close
up view of Atari CX10 and CX40 DB molded connector
Left: Atari CX10 cable with flexible rubber DB-9 connector
nose covering with tin plated brass female
Right: New Best CX40 cable with Hard shell DB-9 connector
nose covering with Gold Plated female connectors
1. Early made Atari CX10 and CX40 cables, had a flexible rubber material DB-9 female connector end / nose. So if the CX40 cable female connector body flexed up and down and side to side in the DB-9 Male connector body during Atari game play. This would cause the split female metal connector pins to always splay / bell mouth open on the end of the female metal contact and not make proper contact with the mating male pin. Think a round pin pushed between the parallel tines of a stand table fork. Now take those parallel fork tines and spread them in to a V shape opening and the mating male connector pin will not proper contact with the bent / distorted / open fork blades.
2. There is no cable molded on flexible cable strain relief on the back end of the Atari CX40 DB-9 connector body. So the thin diameter Joystick cable jacket was molded directly onto / into the stiff DB-9 connector body. The CX40 thin outer cable jacket (and the internal wires with in it) would always flex up and down side to side against the very stiff end of the DB-9 connector and cause the 6 conductor / thin gauge wires to break during game play. See Atari Joystick DB-9 connector body picture half way down this page.
3. The short 4 foot length of the Atari CX40 cables, the CX40 Joysticks would have to used / played right next to the Atari game console.
Top: is an average OEM Atari CX40 cable
Middle: OEM Atari CX10 cable
Bottom: Bests New beefier CX40 upgraded cable
4. Over the 30+ year production run of the Atari CX40 cables, the outside diameter of the CX40 cable ranged from .170 to .177 inch diameter. The skinner the CX40 cable diameter, means the thinner gauge wires were used inside. The thinner the internal CX40 wires, which means the sooner the Atari CX40 cable would fail early with enough flexing / use.
5. The 6 Molex slide on crimped on (wire ends) metal clips would always pull of the thin wire ends (inside the CX40 Joystick body) because they were not fully crimped onto the ends of the Joystick 6 wires. In some cases the Molex spring metal connectors were brittle and when pushed on the CX40 PCB board slots, the metal clip connector metal ends would break / snap off the Molex connector body or simply collapse flat on the Molex metal body
Bests Upgrades / Enhancements / Improvements over the original 35+ year old Atari CX40 OEM stock replacement cables
1. The original short Atari OEM 4 ft Atari CX40 Joystick cable has been extended to 7 feet on the Best upgraded CX40 cables.
2. The original Atari CX40 skinny (small thin gauge 6 internal wires) too flexible (one reason why the thin inner wires always cracked / fractured / fatigued during Atari game play) cable diameter has been upgraded (thicker gauge Internal wires) for a larger outer jacketed cable for better resistance from breaking / fatiguing / shearing of the internal Joystick 6 wires during normal to hard Joystick / game play. The Best Upgraded / Enhanced CX40 cable has a thicker diameter of .200 inch. See DB-9 connector bodies and wire diameters picture below.
3. The DB-9 connector body molded in Internal Best female metal contacts specifications have been upgraded for more insertions and extraction cycles with the mating Atari right angle CX40 Joystick DB-9 Male connector pins before failure. The stock Atari DB-9 female tin plated internal contacts have been upgraded to 6 Best DB-9 female contacts that have been Gold plated for better electrical contact with Atari DB-9 Joystick right angle male connector pins.
Left: New Best CX40 cable with larger diameter wire
and new flexible rear Strain relief
Middle: Atari CX10 cable
Right: Average Atari CX40 Cable
4. Since Best had to make a brand now mold to make the DB-9 Joystick connector body, Best upgraded / enhanced the back end of the DB-9 connector body with a new cable strain relief. See picture above.
5. The Best Electronics Name and Web site are now Silkscreened on the outside of the CX40 Joystick cable body length.
Left: 1st Article sample of the Best CX40 Gold Plated new version longer (more metal
contact surface w/ CX40 PCB fingers) metal slide on contacts with 26 AWG wires
Right: Stock Atari CX40 tin plated slide on contacts with 28 AWG wires
6. Our CX40 Joystick cable manufacture tried to locate the 35+ year old original Molex designed slide on metal chips used on the ends of the Joystick cable wires from days one (to slide onto the stock Atari and Best CX40 Gold internal CX40 PCB boards) with no luck. After searching for a couple of weeks, they did manage to locate 15% longer (more metal to metal contact surface) length new crimp on metal clips. Best had our cable manufacture Gold Plate these new Best CX40 cable metal clips for better electrical contact with the Best made Gold Plated CX40 Upgraded / Lifetime internal PCB boards. When you do install / slide the Best Gold Plated metal clips on to a stock Atari made CX40 PCB board or Best Upgraded / Lifetime Gold CX40 internal PCB boards, you will notice the extra force required to push / slide on the longer length stronger metal clips onto the CX40 internal PCB boards compared to the stock CX40 Metal clips onto a stock Atari CX40 internal PCB board. Which means the Best CX40 Gold Metal chips have a greater clamping force / better electrical contact with the CX40 PCB board traces and are less likely to slip off the CX40 internal PCB board during game play.
7. One problem Atari Engineering has always known about the CX10 / CX40 Joystick cables, is the 6 floating loose wires inside the Joystick bottom case, had a high chance of getting pinched between the top and bottom inside screw case studs / bosses during assembly of the joystick top and bottom cases. This could be as a single wire pinched / damaged / cut thru when the outside case screw was installed, to bunches of wires being damaged during reassembly. Old / experienced Atari CX40 rebuilders know to always visually inspect each each assembled joystick outside bottom case empty screw holes for exposed loose color wire(s) at the bottom of screw hole, before putting the screw into the bottom case screw hole and tighten it down. This was a major problem on the original CX10 bottom cases during assembly, because the internal PCB board sat almost flat onto the bottom case (why the CX10 case screws sit on the top surface of the Joystick bottom case). On the CX40, Atari Engineering raised up the internal PCB board by extending / raising up the 4 plastic case screw bosses / studs / supports (on the Joystick bottom case) the internal PCB board sits on (why on the CX40 joystick bottom case the screws drop down about 1/2 inch cavity / case boss into the bottom case). This created a cavity under the internal CX40 PCB board, but did not fully eliminate the wire pinching problem, but greatly decreased it. Atari Engineering answer to the CX10 / CX40 Joystick cable internal wire pinching problem, was to have the different outside companies that assembled / supplied Atari CX10 / CX40 complete Joysticks to Atari, to spin loose wires inside the CX40 top and bottom case half's into a round wire bundle. So when the CX10 / CX40 Joystick case half's were assembled together, if this tight wire bundle got caught between the screw internal screw internal plastic bosses, the top and bottom joystick cases would not fully close up and you would know there was internal wire routing problem inside the CX10 / CX40 Joystick before inserting the 4 bottom case screws. Best's final cure for this CX40 internal wire pinching problem was to ask our cable manufacture to extend the inner black cable wire jacket length (after the internal molded on strain relief) from the stock Atari 9 mm short length to 40 mm length. So now there is less loose CX40 wires floating around the bottom of the CX40 case. Where the Best CX40 cable internal wires do come out of the extended CX40 wire jacket length / end is very close to where they attach to the second generation Atari CX40 PCB design wire connection slide on tabs. This greatly lessens the chances of the loose / floating CX40 wires inside the CX40 bottom housing from getting pinched during assembly. But Best still recommends to all Atari CX40 rebuilders, that they still spin the remaining Best CX40 Upgraded cable shorter length loose wires into a round bundle before closing up the rebuilt / upgraded CX40 Joystick. Also do the last minute inspection of the 4 bottom CX40 bottom case screw holes for any CX40 wires that can be seen before inserting the CX40 case screws in the bottom case.
Early August 2018, Best our cable manufacture was getting very close on the new Best CX40 cable project, so Best had to send them a second prepayment ($,$$$) for another down payment on the new Best CX40 Joystick cable project.
On August 21, 2018, before receiving any 1st samples of the Best CX40 Joystick cables, our cable manufacture required Best to pay (third payment made) the balance ($,$$$) of costs for the new production run of the separate extruded 6 conductor spooled cable used to make the CX40 cable assemblies, Metal clips, Gold Plating of the metal clips and the shipping costs to send Best the completed CX40 Joystick cables when the complete Best CX40 cable production run was completed.
Around November 6, 2018 Best received the 1st article samples of the new Best CX40 Upgraded / Enhanced Joystick cables. Right off, Best noticed a few cosmetic molding problems and few specified Engineering requirements that had not meet our requirements.
Left: Atari CX40 Joystick with Bests CX40 Gold Internal PCB board,
Bests New CX40 Upgraded / Enhanced Super Joystick inner handle,
Bests Lifetime CX40 Silicon boot and Bests New Upgraded /
Enhanced / Beefier and longer CX40 cable.
Right: Atari CX10 1st Gen. Joystick upgraded with Bests
New Upgraded / Enhanced / Beefier Joystick cable.
Point of interest: On the original Atari CX10 Joystick, top of
the rubber boot has a Hex shape depression where a metal
Hex disk with an Atari Logo on it was to be installed / glued on.
The 1st articles Best CX40 Upgraded / Enhanced cables were installed in several stock Atari CX40 Joysticks, Best CX40 Gold upgraded Joysticks, 1st Gen. Atari CX10 Joysticks, Wico made Bat - Ball and Pistol Grip Joysticks, non Atari made CX40 style Joysticks and lots of 3rd party made non Atari products that required an Atari style 6 conductor Joystick cable.
All Best CX40 Upgraded / Enhanced cables installed, functioned and passed all of the Atari CX40 Joystick function tests very very well in all of the Joystick samples tested.
The one feed back comment we got from most of the Atari CX40 Joystick testers / heavy rebuilders of the Atari CX40 Joystick, is they all loved the new generation of the replacement Best Gold plated Molex type wire clips. They said it required more force (a tighter grip) to install the Gold plated slide on wire clips. Also the new metal slide on Gold plated clips are longer in length (more gripping / electrical contact surface area compared to the stock original Atari Molex clip length.
One of the main issues Best found on the 1st Article Best CX40 cables, was the gauge of the wires used. Best specified on our product specifications that our cable manufacture to go to thicker gauge internal wires to prevent the fracturing / breaking internal wire problem on the stock made Atari CX40 cables. They said the went from the sample stock Atari CX40 cable gauge wires we sent them, stock CX40 28 AWG wire gauge up to a thicker 26 AWG wire. Bestís opinion / visual inspection of the thicker 26 AWG gauge wires they used looked slightly thinner / skinner wire diameters then the stock made CX40 gauge wires.
A 1st Article receiving report was sent back to our manufacture on 11-26-18 with corrective actions required.
So from the end of November 2018 to mid December 2018, Best went back and forth with our manufacture to trying to work out the problems we identified in our 1st Article receiving report we sent them.
Final approved Best CX40 Upgraded / Beefier CX40 replacement Joystick cable.
Left: Stock AtariOEM CX40 4 ft Joystick cable with thin 28 gauge wires, tin plated
Molex slide on contacts and thin diameter outer Joystick wire jacket. Right: Best's
Upgraded / Enhanced 7 foot CX40, with thicker 24 gauge wires, thicker outer Joystick
cable diameter, new rear strain relief on the DB-9 connector body, extended cable
jacket inside the CX40 bottom case, 6 Gold Plated Molex type spring slide on
One of the compromises Best made with our manufacture, to keep the project going on time / track, was we would pay for the difference in cost to go to the thicker 24 AWG wire in the Best CX40 cable.
The funds for this extra cost was sent to our Manufacture on 12-18-18.
On April 10, 2019 Best received the upgraded / corrected final samples of the Best CX40 cables. The new sample CX40 7 foot cables now had the Best part number and Web site address silk screened a long the length. The internal cable jacket length was extended inside the CX40 case per our final Engineering change to the Best CX40 Joystick cable design. But we did notice two minor new sample CX40 cable problems, which could be easily corrected during the full production run. So on April 11, 2019 Best E-Mailed our manufacture and released the Best CX40 upgraded cable to their production line.
On May 16, 2019 Best got in an E-Mail in from our manufacture. They said their cable manufacture was delayed by a month on supplying the new Best CX78 and CX40 upgraded cables to them. So they hope to ship the 1st shipment (of many) of the Best CX78 JoyPad upgrade kits and Bests new generation upgraded Atari CX40 cables to Best in a week or so.
On June 17, 2019 Best Received the 1st shipment of the Best CX40 Upgraded / Enhanced CX40 Joystick cables. One of the interesting points, we found on the final Incoming inspection of the new Best CX40 upgrade cables, is our cable vendor found an even better version of the Gold plated slide on Molex type clips. The Atari CX40 cable original Molex clips were a triangular shape clip with the top of the triangle cut off. The open end / top of the open triangular Molex clip was the part that was slide onto the CX40 PCB circuit fingers. Occasionally on old Atari CX40 cables, the Molex metal clips would collapse (the V sides of metal clip would flatten out or snap off) during installation or reinstallation of the CX40 wires onto the CX40 PCB fingers. The new upgraded Best CX40 Gold plated clip is a metal reinforced rectangular shaped slide on contact which are less likely to open / spread apart during installation on the the CX40 PCB fingers. The Best 1st article CX40 Molex Gold plated wire chips had about a 15% longer (more metal to metal contact surface) length new crimp on metal clips. The New stronger reinforced rectangular shaped Gold plated metal chips have around 30% longer / greater metal to metal contact surface area compared to the Atari CX40 original tin plated CX40 cable Molex chips.
The Best New 2019 Upgraded / Enhanced 7 foot Atari CX40 replacement Joystick cable CA014058-B $12.95
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