Category Archives: TRON

TRON arcade game joystick research

  • 2014/01/28:¬†Updated information on 4-way restrictor for flight stick.
  • 2015/02/18: A note about the HAPP joystick, and restrictor plates being made for it.

A friend of mine is in the process of building a custom arcade controller for home use. Here is some of the research that may be of interest to others trying to replicate the 1982 TRON arcade game controls. (A flight stick with a trigger button, and a paddle spinner controller).

The TRON handle can be bought from Groovy Game Gear. They claim they are using the original molds and also used the original color key chip to match the color as close as possible to the originals that were made in 1982:

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=319

This handle is designed to replace the one for an original arcade stick, but folks have been modifying other types of joysticks to make it attach. No details on this, yet.

Next, there is a low-cost trigger stick from RetroCade.us. It is available in several places:

$20 – Paradise Arcade Shop in Hawaii:

http://www.paradisearcadeshop.com/imported-joysticks/299-import-flight-stick.html

They also sell it on Amazon.com, for $22, but shipping is cheaper there (currently $26.83 for the stick and shipping):

http://www.amazon.com/Arcade-flight-Joystick-joystick-buttons/dp/B00F1YQ5HW/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1388078024&sr=1-1&keywords=arcade+flight+stick

RetroCade.us also sells it direct through Holland Computers:

http://www.hollandcomputers.com/store/pc/Arcade-flight-yoke-stick-Joystick-eight-way-joystick-with-two-fire-buttons-and-firm-grip-p8069.htm

The stick is incorrectly described (on Amazon and at Holland) as a 4/8 way switchable stick. It is not. You need a restrictor plate to make it 4-way like the arcade TRON stick is. I have not located a restrictor plate for this joystick yet, but Paradise Arcade Shop says they may be able to custom make one.

Update: There is also a higher priced HAPP joystick commonly used for TRON:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=78233.0

That stick is also an 8-way, but my same friend who is building the custom arcade controller now has a 3-D printer and has designed a 4-way restrictor plate for this. He will be offering them for sale, so contact me if you are interested.

As for spinner controllers, there seems to be two candidates. One is sold by Groovy Game Gear. It is the Turbo Twist 2 and it runs about $70:

http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=268

Ultimarc also sells a spinner for the same price called the SpinTrak:

http://www.ultimarc.com/SpinTrak.html

No details on which one is better for this purpose.

More to come…