Apple2-to-PC Joystick Conversion: Part 2

Step-by-Step (2/5/97 version)
by Rubywand

To convert an Apple2 joystick for PC use
you will need a cable from an old PC
stick (or a 6-wire cable and 15-pin
female connector). You can find junk
PC sticks with good cables at flea
markets and lots of other places.
You will also need two 330k resistors.

1. First, open the Apple joystick
case and mark each wire going to
the cable. The best way is to use
small self-stick labels. Label each
wire by function (e.g. "+5", "X",
"GND", etc.).

You can use an Ohm meter to, for
example, verify that the wire you
think is Button 0 really goes to
pin 7 on the Apple 9-pin connector
(or pin 2 on the old 16-pin IC style
connector). Pinouts for both kinds
of A2 sticks are shown below:

Apple II Joystick
(9-pin male)

[2]---- +5V
[7]---- Button 0
[5]---- X-axis
[8]---- Y-axis
[1]---- Button 1
[3]---- Ground

Apple II Joystick
(16-pin IC-style plug)

[1]---- +5V
[2]---- Button 0
[6]---- X-axis
[10]--- Y-axis
[3]---- Button 1
[8]---- Ground

The +5V wire is easy to find. It will
go to each pot and to one side of
each Button switch.

The Apple2 Ground wire goes to the
'bottom' end of each fixed resistor.
You do not need to label it; because
it will be removed.

2. Once the wires are labeled, cut
each about 1 inch from the point it
goes into the cable. Remove the cable.
(Keep the cable; it may come in handy
for some later Apple2 project.)

Now, is the time to rewire the

3. Remove (snip or unsolder) the two
fixed resistors. If the Button 0 or
Button 1 lead becomes disconnected
from its switch during removal of a
resistor, reconnect the lead.

Check to see that, now, the Button 0
wire is the only one going to one
side of the Button 0 switch. The same
goes for the Button 1 wire.

Snip off or unsolder the +5 leads
going to the other side of each button
switch at the non-switch end. If a wire
runs from one switch to the other,
leave it alone. If not, connect a wire
from switch to switch. This is the
"common" side of the switches.

You want to end up with a single wire
going to the common side of the switches
and separate Button 0 and Button 1 wires
going to the other side:

____Button 0 wire
X B0 Switch
------- COMMON Wire
X B1 Switch
|____Button 1 wire

Label the COMMON wire as "GROUND"

4. The 330k resistors will help bring the
outputs of the Apple2 X and Y 150k Ohm
pots closer to the 0-100k range PC
prefers. Connect a 330k resistor
'across' each pot-- i.e. from the center
post to the post going to a +5 lead.

5. Label each of the leads coming from
the PC cable. If it is still connected
to a joystick, the following pic will
help identify each lead:

PC Joystick
(15-pin female connector)

[1]--------------- +5V
[2] -------------- Button 0
[3] -------------- X-axis
[6] -------------- Y-axis
[7] -------------- Button 1
[4] and [5] --- Ground

If the cable is still connected, snip the
the leads once they are all labeled. If
both Ground ([4] and [5]) leads are
present, twist them together and treat
like a single Ground lead.


You have six labeled wires in the
Apple2 joystick case: +5, GROUND, B0,
B1, X, and Y. The same six leads are
labeled on the PC cable. Splice each
Apple2 wire to the corresponding PC
cable wire. Use heat-shrinkable tubing
to cover each connection.

Seat the new cable in the joystick case,
arrange leads to avoid mounting posts,
etc., and close up the case. Viola!


If you have an Ohm meter here are some
checks you can do:

X (Horizontal) Check- check R between
cable pins 1 and 3. As you move stick
left to right R should go from 0 to about

Y (Vertical) Check- check R between
cable pins 1 and 6. As you move stick
up to down R should go from 0 to about

Button 0 Check- (Button 0 is the main,
"Fire" button.) cable pins 2 and 4 or 5.
It should be very high and go to 0 when
Button 0 is pressed.

Button 1 Check- check R between
cable pins 7 and 4 or 5. It should be
very high and go to 0 when Button 1
is pressed.


Plug in the stick and try it with a

Some games (such as Elite Plus)
will claim no joystick is
present if the stick is badly out
of adjustment. If this happens, try
the stick on a game which is less
picky and includes pre-play stick

Once adjusted, your 'new' stick should
work fine with all PC wares.


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