Digital Joystick Adapter for Vectrex

This one was much easier than the 5200 adapter. In fact, it's got me rethinking the 5200 adapter (again).

Thanks go to #rgvc's resident tech wizard, Kevin Horton, for some preliminary guidance. It's not a terribly complicated device, but he saved me a bit of wear and tear on my own noodle.

Materials needed

Cutting up a Sega controller extension cable can give you both the connectors, and a lot more breathing room than you had with the coiled cord on the standard Vectrex controller. The Vectrex controller port is deeply recessed, and it's shaped so that the extension cable may not fit properly. I had to trim a bit of material off the lower corners cable's plug so it would fit. Works great!


The Vectrex controller port

9-pin male D-sub connector on the console.

  1. /Button 1
  2. /Button 2
  3. /Button 3
  4. /Button 4
  5. Horizontal potentiometer
  6. Vertical potentiometer
  7. +5VDC
  8. GND
  9. -5VDC

Digital controller plug

9-pin female D-sub connector on the joystick.

  1. /North
  2. /South
  3. /West
  4. /East
  5. +5V (Sega)
  6. /Button 1
  7. +5V (Atari)
  8. GND
  9. /Button 2

4052 (8-to-2 analog switch)


1X0 |1  \/  16| VCC

1X2 |2      15| 2X2

 1Y |3      14| 2X1

1X3 |4      13| 2Y

1X1 |5 4052 12| 2X0

/EN |6      11| 2X3

VEE |7      10| S0

GND |8_______9| S1


Connect the +5V and GND pins of the port and controller directly together.

Voltage Divider

This provides the proper voltages to the direction DAC's

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Horizontal Direction DAC

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Vertical Direction DAC

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What about the buttons?

The standard stick has provision for two buttons. The Vectrex has four. What do you do about this? So far I don't have much of an answer.

Jay Tilton