Wiring an Edladdin Coleco PBC to a machine that accepts a Cthulhu

I’m hoping this answer is simple. In theory I could live without it with an existing Colecovision Super Action Controllers, which were the most comfortable controllers at the time, especially when compared to the 5200’s mushy buttons and wonky misunderstood non-self-centering analog joystick, intellivision’s 16-way, 1-intensity joystick, which is probably better if you stick out your index finger and press like a button, and have 4-way games feels like controlling Mario with a light gun, plus those 2’s plus Colecovision standard’s requirement of a finger an thumb claw grip. The only thing that rivaled it was the 2600 controller, and that was not default ambidextrous and had only one button. (except Omega Race) SO if it would be easier, it might be better to get he Super action controlelrs fixed rather than do one of 2 stupider things.

The Problem with the Edladdin Coleco PC is that it has 2 separate, segragated grounds. If you don’t consider the Colecovision, probably everything else works with a single ground.

Now I’ve got a few choices, I can either, a) find a Colecovision Super Action Joystick restorer, (any one know of any?) b) buy a separate everything just for the Super Action Controller, just to deal with multiple grounds. or c) part way use my noodle based on what I know and pat way ask help in places I don’t.

c would be ideal, but is real complex. Otherwise, I’ll go for a. I wouldn’t do B because it’s way to expensive, and I need to solve a problem I present anyway, so I’m going ti do b, I miht as well do c.

The four directions and the first action button share one ground. The other 3 buttons and the keypad share the other. (I’m not sure about the ground on the roller, but Baseball, Football in America, and Football in England [aka Soccer] require it, therefore require a real Super Action controller. On everything else, the roller is superficial.)

Added to the problem is that in right-handed mode, a couple of the buttons are backwards Assuming ABCD with button right, stick left, most games map well to DCBA when right handed stick, left buttons. However, it only works in games where the main button is on the index finger, and progressively more minor buttons down the hand, and that’s when the right hand mapping mirrors the left index-to-index.

Front line has B be rotate gun left, and C rotate gun on the right. When the buttons are stacked vertically, you might make a mistake, but you’ll make worse mistakes when mapped DCBA when it’s DBCA that you need. B and C share the same ground, so minimal problems.

However, Tutankham is a 2 button game where the A is fire left and B is fire right (A+B = Genie Wish Bomb) The right hand mapping is DCBA where DCAB is preferred, (unless you want to think of your firing backwards.) And A and B are on different grounds. If the grounds are fixed on the joystick end, the rearranging A and B may do anything from having a deactivated joystick to frying something, but it definitely WON’T work.

I’ve got a couple questions about tech I don’t understand and would like the answer to. If my assmption are incorrect, tell me I assumed wrong and that won’t work. Remember, design twice, build once. I’d rather have them be shot down in the discussion phase than to sink money into it, have it not work, ad be left holding the bag.

I know a mono 3.5 mm cable cable carries at least 2 signals, Stereo headset carry 3, a left, right, and ground. New phone headphone standards contain 4 areas. I know a 3.5 mm would work, but I had shoddy performance by KY Enterprises where the 3.5 mm ports stopped working.

How many signals does an RCA cable carry? Does it carry both a main signal and a ground signal, in a inner/outer fashion? If the answer is no, we can stop here because I don’t want to invest in S-Video or 3.5 mm cables, just to accommodate one system.

I know you can pad hack a controller and have a digital stick be a remote actuator. That’s how the early days of the hobby went. But I know there ae 4 direcitons, 4 buttons, and 12 keys on the Coleco, but most games that are keypad intense, like BlackJack/Poker make no sense with a digital stick, because that’s all keypad, and most games that are keypad intense use at most 4 buttons, with Mouse Trap being the pre-Super Action solution to a 4-button controller. So At most, I’m going to need 8 buttons. The only game that’s a pain is 2001, requiring more than 5 keys, and the joystick and action buttons.

If I were going to have 11 buttons and 4 directions, and want them swappable with each other in this dual-ground system, then would a technologically smart move is to use a DB 37, and have the 15 inputs on a pin each and an individual corresponding ground for each input? (making 15 independent grounds) And then have them combine after the telephone operator switchboard, with the inputs and corresponding grounds going to individual directions and buttons on the Edladdin PCB, and the individual grounds being combined into their 2 separate classes, while at the same time for all other PCBs with a common ground, to link them up after the re-arrangement?

Orignially I was going to reserve certain pins for LS NSEW, and RS NSEW, I assume that you don’t need separate wiring for the DP, LS, and RS, because it’s part of the Toodles circuit. The only time I need a separate RCA cable for LS and RS for each direction is if I get a @gummowned analog digitization job, which he’s pretty reluctant to do, and that’s on the PCB end, not the joystick end. I also assume you can use a DB-9 Y adpater and use the keyboard on one device and the joystick and buttons on another. That’s how the 5200 Competition Pro works, and I have CV adapters for using Atari 2600 sticks on Colecovision. It kind of works as an “or switch” meaning either device an actuate it.

Do I understand things enough where I came up with a sound theory, or can you shoot something down? Better shoot it down now when it costs nothing to kill the idea, than later when It costs $100+ and still doesn’t work. And I’m not such a prefectionist if, this is the only problem system, and that money could be spent reconditioning Super Action Controllers instead and get similar results, then I don’t need a 100% universal stick, when 95% is good enough and the 5% is good as it was.

I am going to say this for your own benefit.
Dont do this, your project has too much going on.

You are going way, way to grandiose for a first project on a budget.

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I did make many caveats. IO said the universal stick works with everything except Colecovision. And I said it might just be easier to restore Super Action Controllers for 5 reasons:

  1. The original Super Action controllers are built to be ambidextrous.
  2. They don’t need button reconfigs, most of which are caused by flipping the joystick,
  3. The default super actions were comfortable anyway.
  4. Super Action Baseball, Football in America, and Football in England don’t work with an Edladdin, because there’s no roller.
  5. The dual grounds make it a pain to wire it for both the Colecovision, and all the rest, without extreme care,a nd knowledge I don’t have.

@Darksakul I’d rather design twice and build once, hence a lot of questions before I hire. I suspected with the button remapping, the fixed grounds on the main stick will be confused when there’s 2 grounds. I wanted to make sure the only way to have the remapper to work was to have one ground for each input. And I was questioning, even if my theory is right, if it was worth it in practice.

So anyone know any Colecovision Super Action Controller fixers I can ship 3 controllers to and have them restored? An Edladdin costs $30 if you include shipping. Plus at $2 a 2-way hookup an extra 15 hookups would cost $30 if I only needed one, but I need at least 2 or 3.

So if there is a Super Action Controller repairer, who with shipping there, back, and labor costs can deliver under $120, it would be worth it.

Building a stick is like learning to walk
You got to crawl before you walk. and you got to walk before you can run
What you want to do is run a decathlon and then do some gymnastics before you figure out crawling.

You need to scale back.
Make your hit box or southpaw stick that support a few consoles first. You want to design once, good. Consider the project box approach. Where your stick is just a box of switches, buttons and your lever with a connector leading to a project box that as your PCB inside of that.

If you are going 6 buttons I suggest wire up your stick for what’s colloquial known as Neo Geo Plus or Neo Geo +, have a DB15 wired up as if you are going to use it on a super gun or Neo Geo, and each project box PCB has a matching connector

If you want 8 buttons more more, consider a bigger connector like a DB25 and use a old printer cable to connect to your project box.
And you can add more systems as project boxes as needed. Start of with a MC Cthlhu and maybe something you play often that isnt old and obscure. And work from there.

First of all, I’m not building it myself, I’m hiring someone to build.

Second, I hope my first joystick will be the last joystick I ever buy and just buy “future-proof adapters” for new consoles. That’s why I’m trying to cover all bases in smart design, so future pieces are less expensive. That’s why I’m quick to juggle ideas, and because I’m on Social Security Disability and have limited funds, slow to spend money.

I know I’m the oddball

Unlike enough of the others, I’m not into the art of the arcade stick. I can appreciate the art, but the reason I came to Shoryuken was for results in digital games. If you visit 56ok.org/Ambidextrous , my joystick is plain white, and I tout a victim of my right handed stick that not only I beat everyone knew at the time, but everyone else beat a gamer in the 90s who was a famous gamer in the Mid 2000s. My beauty is in the mental work, not the pictoral artistry. Some people build for the artistry. Some build to custom fit their fingers. I am hiring a builder because no one makes what I want off the shelf. I know I’m the oddball coming in.

When @darksakul reviewed sticks, I’m surprised he never thought of the usefulness of the Street Fighter 15 as an easy-to-righthand off-the-shelf stick, with an arrangement that doesn’t betray right-stickers, which most sticks do with a “smile” when inverted, until I mentioned it. To which he said that doesn’t deserve any points because most people don’t look for that. I don’t know of any others like that off-the-shelf.

I was equally a weirdo in driver’s ed with a 4-wheel drive Jeep in the 90s. They said there were only 2 types of cars in terms of what wheels drive the car, I said 2 Wheel Drive and 4 Wheel Drive. The answer the teacher was looking for was Front Wheel Drive and Rear Wheel Drive, but admitted he never considered 4WD. So he had to do special research for me with 4WD.

Then again, I didn’t get stuck when driving in Cleveland winters. Now 4WD vehicles are the most popular, especially in snowy areas. Who’s laughing now?

Third I was planning on doing a project box where you hook a pad-hacked console via DB25 (or if I want to include Colecovision using an Edladdin PCB, and my theory is right, a DB37) and the Cthulhu itself will be hooked via project box method using an external adapter as one of quite a few PCBs attached. (others are Genesis 6 and 3 button, 3DO, Jaguar, and N64, and maybe NES)

As I said, most of it I understand enough in theory, but I don’t know what I’m doing in terms of practicality. The biggest oddball issue, which only comes into place when you have a system with more than one common or ground, like the Colecovision, might not need to be accommodated, because the Super Action controller was a good controller in its day. And if Colecovision is the only oddball one, why worry over one controller?

I know to have pad hacked a PC15 controller and put it through a Bohoki adapter for the 5200 for the buttons and stick in a digital manner.

Since I’m having a Genesis pad hacked anyway, Edladdin’s 7800 adapter and 7800fan’s INTV adapter use a Genesis, so might as well not re-invent the wheel if parts already exist.

As far as I know, the Master System, the 2600 Booster grip, and (I’ve read both pro and con on this one working) Astrocade work with direct line inputs, no decoder needed. But someone brought up the difference between a common and a ground. I don’t know enough about electronics to know if that’s an issue or not, but is enough to be gun shy about the Astrocade until i get more help.

Finally, I understand the difference between being hypothetically possible, and being practical. @Darksakul, am I theoretically right that the way to make a traditional, discrete input, custom arcade stick work with Colecovision in a system where any input can be any other input is to have 15 inputs and 15 grounds, one synched to each input? And am I practically right that, unless repairing real Colecovision Super Action controls costs $120 or significantly more, then trying to project box method with an Edladdin Coleocvision PCB being accommodated is impractical and not worth it?

And nothing, and No you don’t. You don’t understand. You got a half dozen threads all for asking about different aspects of the same project.
Just drop the whole Coleocvision thing, as a custom stick will cost you more than the Coleoco controller would anyways. You are trying to start way to grandiose, and a stick that DOES everything isn’t that great of a stick in the first place.

Then stop trying to fight every fricking person who offered help.

Also I speak from personal experience, the Atari 2600 controller and the Astrocade controller have very different pinouts. They aren’t the same at all. Also please don’t tag me or ask me about the pinout.
I no longer have the Astrocade controller in my possession nor will I do any research.

Good luck with that, also if you are hiring someone why even bother with all the topic posts.

Because Dark Sakul finds that Right handed sticks are stupid.


Why do I ask many questions?

  1. I want to do it right. better to design once and build twice

  2. I’m seeing if my ideas are correct or not from someone who knows better. I never seen them brought up, so I ask. I don’t say I have the whole answer, but combined with other knowledge it might be a big improvement.

  3. @darksakul I’ll save you some research time: This Page has information on building a 2600 -> Astrocade converter (or the reverse) If I can’t have the Discrete input to Astrocade tapped directly, I’ll do it indirectly by using the Genesis pad hack, or if that doesn’t work ,a direct discrete 2600 adapter and then attaching the Astrocasde adapter to that. Since these are all discrete inputs, these are just reroutings and don’t involve the Cthulhu, or any other computer “brains”, and should work.

  4. If you actually read all of what I said, I said:

And why bother with the topic posts? I’m trying to do some unusual things, and make a mass marketable design that could be modified for a modern stick market, and help other players who find left hand joysticks as equally as stupid as Darksakul thinks right handed are.

Me? E Honda is a character I prefer left handed due to the rapid punching, and the charge motions instead of dragon punch motions. Rapid punching with the left index finger is somewhat more tiring than right index.

please stop tagging me


No one going to read your lengthy posts, seriously I have and they say surprisingly very little other than your lack of grasp of the subject matter. You are reiterating ether falsehoods that people told you are wrong, exploring dead ends, or is utter nonsense.

I told you before, no one cares about your weird right handed layout.
Those who did ether DIY their own or hired someone else to do so without huge walls of text.
So you got a odd preference, good for you.

Doubtful, the arcade stick market is niche as it is, and a “right handed” stick is even more niche.

A good 90 to 95% of all players are right handed and they got no issues using their left hand for the joystick.

As for your Edladdin Coleocvision thing, your far better off making it, its own thing instead of part of a ALL-IN-ONE stick.


Don’t tag me again.

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Dude, I’m not trying to be rude, but the constant posts about basically the same thing is getting a bit “tiresome”. You’ve made almost everyone on here considered a high priority member pissed off at you. I gave you advice about just taking it a step at a time (you didn’t listen and frankly I dont appreciate when I tell you one thing on one post then you ask again about the same thing in a different post.) and that is your best route.

  1. Get the MC Cthulhu’s stuff up and running, it covers a lot of consoles, it “gets the ball rolling” on your MASSIVE project, and it gives you something to play with while you wait for the next step.
  2. STOP with the LONG posts. Trying to read everything is nuts and it gets to be too much and you could get the same message across being less lengthy in word count. You could of done your post like this:
    “I’m trying to add colecovision support to my stick, does anyone have any suggestions?”
    End first post.
  3. I know you are not trying to come off rude, but the way you explain things to people is “offputting” to say the least. You dont need to explain that the Super Action Controller is your preferred method of playing Colecovison especially compared to the 5200’s stick. Its unnecessary to right all that. Plus when you try to defend yourself you do it such a manor that it causes people to get even more upset because you just spew more stuff that doesnt pertain to what you asked.
  4. You have to choose one button layout and stick with it just starting out. Yes it sucks when you want to play everything on it, but just playing arcade style games should be priority then add different boards to suit your needs LATER, not all at once then you have 12 posts on something relatively similar that you had already been given advice about.
  5. You want a stick that literally is designed to your specs. Not anyone else’s. If someone else wanted a stick just like yours I’m sure you would’ve found them by now. Dont do it for a non existent community that wants an Ambidextrous stick. Do it for you. It’s not mass marketable because there is no market. The AGC (arcade gaming community) have basically have had their standards set for decades now. No arcade game you go to now has an Ambidextrous stick. No one has made a controller pcb for such a thing either. If there was a demand for it, it would’ve been made by now.
  6. You obviously dont know how the wiring goes on anything, so START SMALL.
  7. People will help you. Just try to be civilized. I know you probably feel you aren’t getting treated that way but you’ve made a bad reputation for yourself. This has been going on for about a year? It’s time to just take it down a notch and focus on one peice of the project at a time.
  8. I consider my post too lengthy
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@wikidone0321 thanks for calming down the storm.

To answer your points: (Others: if you’re not interested, don’t read and don’t complain)

  1. The Cthulhu is may main board and will be connected via Discrete Pin DB25 (or if I want the Coleco) DB37, by “project box” method. Others will be connected the same way.
  2. I have lots to say that’s unique. I’m probably known as the “dexterous evangelist” on the site. The man who asked me not to tag him probably never considered the SF15 stick the perfect off-the-shelf stick for right stick players until I came in. And if it wasn’t for unotrthodox “pad friendly” mappings on Tototek PS2 adpaters, I’d probably be happy with that SF15 stick, hence a few month break. And only I brought up a fault with Beeshu NES/tG16/SMS joysticks, where a “button flip” would have been handy on those 2-button systems for Side Arms and Pac-Land. No one would have thought of that until I brought it up.
  3. I’m trying to put some personality in my posts. Plus I have WAY MORE TIME than money. If the opposite were true, I’d throw money at this and get a separate stick for Coleco. But since I only got so much free spending money, I want to think ahead and not paint myself into a corner that will be more costly to correct or augment. I’ve been burned to many times by not saying something and a bad experience with an otherwise good joystick. I’ll take the fall for the quick connects mistake around SF4’s release.
  4. If you visit my link above, you’ll see that I’m thinking fairly deep, making it flip-hotrizontally symmetrical, and using 2 different connectors for default left- and right- hand. And since most games, when right handed benefit from index-to-index mapping, that’s the default right mapping.
  5. Yes know I’m unique. I’m one of the few who insist on a right handed stick, but if people were given an off-the-shelf choice, if the stick were console-licensed, how many more would pick it? Right handed exclusively is suicide, plus if you do separate right- and left- models, if the market balance between left and right isn’t researched right, you’ll have a shortage of one and a surplus of the other. Ambidextrous will sell to both sides. I would want left handed for E Honda due to rapid punching. It’s like getting 2 joysticks in one. The retro stuff is for exclusively me, and the joystick design is primarily for me, but a side effect is a marketable ambidextrous design others can pick up. Others could improve on it.
  6. You’re right, I don’t understand a lot of things about wiring, but if I know that you can use 2x 2F-1M RCA splitter/combiners, one double female RCA connector, and a single RCA M-M cable to build your own Guncon 2 T-Cable for PS2, (I tested it, it works) maybe I know more than others think.
  7. See number 3 on why I’m asking so many questions.
  8. That was long, and I read it. And I once wrote in High School I was a bibliophobe for having trouble reading long books without me misunderstanding the story and overlooking important details, so I can relate. I wouldn’t ask other readers to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. :slight_smile:

@wikidone0321 Back to the original point. I’ll be brief.

If your design is reliant on being able to redefine buttons with a more user friendly servicing, like unplugging and replugging RCA males into RCA female holes, and one console has 2 unique commons (or grounds, not sure if there’s a difference) like a Colecovision, then a fixed dual ground won’t work. tYou have to carry an individual ground signal corresponding with each input (4 directions, 11 buttons) so the grounds can be combined closer to the Toodles, the Edladdin, or other Project Boxed PCBs, either in 2 categories on CV, or all together elsewhere?

So for 15 inputs and 15 grounds, I need 30 pins at least.

As for practicality, it depends on wiring prices. If it is cheap enough, it would be worth it for the extra wiring. if it’s too expensive, it’s better just to get my Super Actions refurbished and just ignore the Coleco, especially if that’s the only system in the past that has that issue.

I take it that the PCB in mind here is non common ground? If it common ground all you need is to daisy chain one ground connection on your button or stick to the next button or stick.

True, but if there are 2 grounds, and your joystick system is designed so that any input can be any function, then each input has a separate ground.

This does 2 things in the Colecovision, you wire together the grounds that belong together, so that the first button and the 4 directions are one ground a and joined together, but segregated from everything else on ground b, in which THOSE are joined together. The joining together would be in specific PCB Project Box, so that the corresponding a grounds and b grounds are appropriately joined yet segregated. All you have to do is designate each direction and button to RCA females and DB37 pins in terms of a Street Fighter Stick. QK, MK, HK, and 3K equals A, B, C, and D

The secret is the RCA holes defined as N, S, E, W, and A all at the PCB level go to ground A and B, C, D, and all keys are on ground B. If I were to swap A and B, and there is a practical example, righthanding Tutankham, you go from B in to A out and A in to B out. B is now pinned to A, so is B’s ground is now pinned to A’s ground, ground A. And vice versa. All without disasembling the PCB or doing anything other than moving around RCA Cables.

And if what I heard is correct, that RCA cables can send 2 signals, a main signal and a ground, then if each RCA female represents one input and its corresponding ground, it would take sick twisted minds who want to intentionally mess up my system to de-marry an input and its ground, do the same to another, and switch partners. The average consumer, who wants it to last, has a dummy-proof way of wiring corresponding inputs and grounds and avoid divorcing them.

And the second thing is if there’s only one ground, they could be joined at the Cthllhu and other Project Box PCB level, all wired together, segregated from the inputs. It may take a little more labor for each PCB, I’ll have to ask how much multi-y-ing costs.

The last cool thing is if it has 18 inputs or less, no combination of non-common grounds will ruin it with a DE37, even 18 unique grounds. So if someone like Sony or Microsoft wants to make an ungodly standard with multiple grounds in the future, my stick will not be obsoleted.

The cthulhu despite being common ground has multiple ground points to choose from.
Plus you can always put two wires into one terminal

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The only thing I can think off being a problem with the rca having 2 signals pushed into one is that the signals would be constantly activated. Like if you put your signal and your ground together it will constantly show a button press. If you go with the rca plugs (which is an interesting idea) I’d go one for signal and one for ground or I think you’ll have more issues. Also as Darksakul said some pcbs (like the MC Cthulhu) just have multiple grounds just for ease of access. You may want to ask the manufacturer of the PCB to see if it’s common ground (most likely is because it makes manufacturing the pcb much easier I would believe).

My main question is can the ground be the second signal (and probably HAS TO BE)? Do these audio and video cables have both a signal and ground naturally married yet segregated in the cable?

If so, then either the RCA cable carrying an individual ground for that signal would work, or there is something else I’m not either not thinking of or don’t know about which wouldn’t make it work.

My main issue is that most PCBs have one common ground, and there is this one oddball, the Colecovision, which has a 2 ground system. My theory is if any input can be any function, and there are at least 2 grounds, then hardwiring certain buttons to ground a and others to ground b wouldn’t would work with a flexible input system. For a flexible input system, each signal needs a corresponding ground and a pin for the signal and that signal’s ground. Once the button remappings happen, then the grounds are combined at the PCB, into a common ground on most stuff, and into its 2 separate grounds in the Edladdin CV PCB.

I can’t believe how well fed you’re keeping this troll.

All this effort is for naught, guaranteed, this guy isn’t going to do anything.

@electricgrave I am acting. These are not trollish words.

The reason why it may seem trollish is because I do a lot of blah blah blah. The main reason why I talk a lot is because I don’t know enough and want to bounce iideas off some people, and I want to do it right the first time. If I’m going to sink hundreds of dollars in this, I want as much use as possible. I bet you no one on Shoryuken before me was considering a Joystick that works with both a Cthulhu and an Edladdin Coleco retro PCB. I brought up new issues that are perfectly cromulent, especially from the right handed perspective.

Recently I purchased a Cthulhu and many RJ45 adapters for said PCB. I’m doing this over time. Next month I’m send my joystick to Stanley Escolano of Salinas California, the guy who built my joystick around the Street Fighter IV time. He either misunderstood my directions or I mis-conveyed them, or a combination of both. And I learned of a design flaw then that I’m trying to correct. I’ll send him my already made joystick (by him) and the Cthulhu and the other “project box” PCBs. I’ll pay around $100 a month for 2-4 months to get these things over time.

And I’m on Social Security Disability with minimum income, so I have to save up a lot to pay money to get my joystick fixed. So I can’t afford throwing around money, and with no job, I have more time to explain more thoroughly what I’m thinking.

Plus if I had used a singe ground system, which is good for most consoles, it would have been worthless for a Colecovision. I don’t want to paint myself into a corner.

By the way, the topic, which I chose, isn’t a Liar. I used the terms Edladdin and Colecovision. If you didn’t want to discuss Colecovision on multi console fight sticks, don’t come here.

Have you ask the developer of the CV pcb if its common ground yet? As for rca thing I’m not positive. Never messed with them.