Vectrex Controller Repair
by Rob Mitchell

Repairing an original Vectrex Controller seems like a scary task, but fear not, Rob Mitchell is here to guide you through it.


Tools Required

(1) small thin flathead screwdriver (for prying), (5) small philips screwdrivers, isopropyl alcohol, and a hairdryer.


1) First use a hairdryer on high setting to heat the top surface for 3-5 minutes. This melts the glue underneath the top overlay.
2) Using a thin flathead jewelers' screwdriver, gently pry up one corner of the top overlay and gently work it away. If done gently, the overlay will not be marred. The overlay does not need to be completely removed ... only far enough to expose the five screw holes: two on the left, two on the right and one at the top right. [See Picture]
3) With a small phillips screwdiver, remove all five screws. Then open the controller by removing the bottom.
4) One screw holds the circuit board in place. When removed, the 4 button contacts and rubber contact material can easily be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. [Note: Be careful not to rub the rubber contact material too vigorously.]
Four screws secure the gimbal joystick mechanism in place.


1) If a plastic lever is broken, then an original must be substituted. Some have attempted without success to repair by glueing. NOTE: Radio Shack sold small one button controllers for their Tandy TRS-80 computers that have some of the exact same joystick parts.
2) If the stick works but fails to spring back to center, then further disassembly is required to remove the broken spring. Another spring may be harvested from the spring loaded door of an Atari 2600 Combat cart. Trim to fit.
3) If the joystick gives jerky motion, then clean both potentiometers with a few drops of isopropyl alcohol into the opening and move the lever to clean.


1) Remove the screw that secures the circuit board in place. This gives access to the contact suface for the four buttons.
2) Use isopropyl alcohol to clean each surface as well as the button contact layer.
3) Wipe gently the rubber conact layer ... don't scrub or you could remove too much contact material! Clean the plastic buttons themselves as well as the holes into which they fit.
4) Reassembly is the reverse of above. When reseating the glued overlay, again use a hairdryer to heat the glue.

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA (May of 2000)


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