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Joystick Centering Bellows


As you know, Atari used a centering bellow in BattleZone,RedBaron and Food Fight to center the joystick. The factory bellows have a metal ring in the center and a metal ring on the outside, the rubber is formed with a hump in it that helps return the joystick to center and provide the tension that you feel when you move the stick. As the black factory rubber got older, it dried out, causing it to crack. If you look in your game that has bad bellows, you will most likely see something like the black bellow on the left. In this example, you will notice that the metal ring in the center has completely separated from the rest of the centering bellow, an extreme case. You might see allot of 'black dust' which is just dried rubber, this rubber can get into the switches on your battlezone stick and ruin them. Atari long ago stopped making these, and even today if you can find one, it may have started to dry out, and may begin to crack shortly after....
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