Who did not dreamed at the time of the Spectrum to have a joystick with two buttons to be able to launch the Operation Wolf or Ikari Warriors bombs without having to release a hand to strike the keyboard? With this easy and simple assembly we can finally turn our desires into reality in a very simple way and without modifying the game code.

What we are going to do during this article is to modify the connection of our joystick to the computer. The assembly has been done based on an arcade joystick like the Telemach, which are very comfortable to work for the free space that are inside.




What we are going to do is provide a second connector that will go to the free joystick port of our Spectrum, and that will be connected directly to the second button on the joystick.

Original connector provides each of the coordinates of the command with a key, for example 6/7/8/9/0. The second connector will be used to independently assign the second button to any of the signals that are available through the other port, that is, in the same joystick we can have the 5/6/7/8/9/0 keys assigned . We only have to load the game and use the "redefine keyboard" option to make our wishes come true, so easy ....


Inside a NES Telemach 200

The only thing to do is to isolate the button that we choose by cutting the two wires that are connected and solder two wires of the new cable that we are going to add in the same place. At the other end we will connect the new connector that will go to the second joystick port of the Spectrum. One of these wires is the signal of one of the joystick port coordinates and the other is the ground of the same port.

Double cable output


The ground is common to all joystick switches and is usually bridged from one to another. Ensure that the ground of the joystick and the ground of the second button are completely insulated or it will not work properly.

Connections scheme should be as follows:

SJS pinouts (+2/+2A/+3) Atari pinouts (Interface 2, RAM Turbo...)


Once built we place the two connectors of the remote control in each of the joystick ports of the Spectrum.
Now go to the Spectrum BASIC and press each of the Joystick coordinates. If you have used the connection scheme of an SJS joystick, the numbers 5/6/7/8/9/0 should appear. If it is of the Atari standard, the numbers 2/6/7/8/9/0 will appear.

Joystick connections on Spectrum +3

Now everything is ready. Obviously the only thing necessary in a game to use the joystick is a game with redefine keyboard option. Now we have a second button available on the remote to assign it to that extra key.

You can find a game that does not allow you to use the numeric keys to redefine the controls of the game, so the assembly is not valid. Fortunately, mostly works without problems.

A modiffied Telematch 200


It is possible to use two modified joysticks simultaneously, and be able to play doubles with two fire buttons for each player, but the requirements increase:

We must have two modified joysticks with the assembly explained, but one following the connection scheme of the SJS standard and the other with the Atari standard.

With kempston interface attached to the Spectrum we have a total of three joystick doors available and we need 4, so now we have to make an adapter to divide one of the doors into two parts. The necessary material is:
Adapter pinouts

The built adapter

Only remains to connect it as follows:

Both joysticks modified, connected and ready to be crushed

The adapter is responsible for collecting the signals from the second button of each joystick and assigning one of them to a different signal from the joystick port. If you move both joysticks through all their coordinates, the numbers 4/5/6/7/8/9/0 should appear on the screen. The kempston joystick will not mark anything.

Now we can load a game, for example Ikari Warriors. The player with SJS joystick will choose to redefine keyboard and the other player with Atari standard joystick will choose kempston and use the second button to redefine that special game key.

It is a bit more complex, but it is an option that is available if you want to use it, and it may be useful for you to take advantage of two buttons facility on two players games.

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