Amiga Joysticks

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Created 2008
Creator Tiago
Based On n/a


Amiga Joysticks and how they work

The Amiga uses a standard joystick connection known as the Atari 9-pin Joystick connector. The first commercial system to use this standard of Joystick was the Atari 2600 video games console in the late 70's. It became so popular that most of the 8-bit and 16-bit computers and consoles released in the 80's adopted this simple Joystick system, and so it became a standard joystick interface across many different makes of system throughout the decade.

With many different makes of computer and console using the same joysticks it meant the user had a large range of controllers to choose from, and the majority of joysticks produced at the time worked with the Amiga. The exception are joysticks using this port, but made for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, which used a different pinout configuration in the connector.

The Amiga Joystick design

  • 9-pin connector

Pinouts are as follows:

1 - Forward
2 - Back
3 - Left
4 - Right
5 - not connected
6 - Fire
7 - +5V
8 - Ground
9 - not connected
  • Five switches inside

The switches used within a joystick can come in different forms depending of manufacturer, but their function is always to activate the direction up,down,left,right or fire. The switches work as two pairs so that you cannot use both (up and down) or (left and right) at the same time. This is not controlled by circuits, it's only hardware, if you move the stick forwards(up) it will press the up switch, and the down switch will be unavailable until you return to a center position.

  • Cables

usually 6 color cables:

1 color for ground
1 color for each of the 4 possible directions
1 color for fire button
  • 9 Pin schematics
   X  Right 
   |  |  Left 
   |  |  |  Back 
   |  |  |  |  Up 
   |  |  |  |  |                 
\  o5 o4 o3 o2 o1  /             
 \  o9 o8 o7 o6   /                
    |  |  |  |                   
    |  |  |  Fire      
    |  |  +5V            
    |  Ground 

  • How it works?

The concept is simple: each switch is connected to the Ground cable that goes to pin 8 and each of them is also connected to the respective pin

1 - Forward
2 - Back
3 - Left
4 - Right
6 - Fire

By standard each switch is in position open or not enable, then if you press it, it will make contact beetween the pin color 1,2,3,4 or 6 and the ground pin 8 going to close or enable and computer is informed about the instruction. If you press two at the same time, example up and right, both will "make contact" with ground and computer will know the diagonal movement.

Joystick makes and models

There were many different joysticks produced by many companies during the Amiga's lifetime. Here is a list of the most popular makes and models.

  • Beeshu Inc
  • Ultimate Superstick Joystick
  • Cheetah
  • Cheetah Alien 3 Character Stick
  • Cheetah Annihilator
  • Cheetah Batman Character Stick
  • Cheetah Terminator Character Stick
  • Cheetah 125+
  • Power Play
  • Competition Pro
  • Competition Pro Extra
  • Delta
  • Delta 2000
  • Euromax
  • Euromax Ace
  • Zip Stik
  • Flashfire
  • Flashfire
  • Spectravideo
  • Archer Shot (Tandy branded Quickshot 2+)
  • Quickshot 1
  • Quickshot 2
  • Quickshot 2+
  • Quickshot V
  • Quickshot
  • Quickshot Professional Tabletop
  • Quickshot Sphere
  • Suncom
  • Suncom Slik Stik
  • Wild Thinks Interactive
  • Jupiter Advanced Joystick

Joystick Gallery

(Images to follow)


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