The Slik Stik joystick, often known as the “little brother” of the classic TAC-2, was created by Suncom as a part of its line of controllers for the C64 / Atari / Amiga etc line of computers and video games. As with other joysticks from this time, the Slik Stik may require some maintenance to work properly. I recently bought one of these on Swedish eBay. The joystick was in quite good condition, but failed to respond to pressing the stick in the “up” direction. When one or more directions or buttons fail to work, it is usually a sign of a broken cable. The solution is to replace the whole db9-cable that goes between the joystick (directions + button + GND) and the computer / video game. The trick to this job is to find a cable of good quality, and make sure to connect the wires right.
I found a seller on Swedish eBay providing good cables that also had the advantage of coming with cable connectors that fits the shell of the Slik Stik perfectly.
To find out which wires goes where, I used a needle and a multimeter to assess continuity between the joystick connector and the wires. Essentially, the relevant pin of e.g. the C64 joystick port are: 1 – up, 2 – down, 3 – left, 4 – right, 6 – button, and 8 – ground. Then I take notes which color of my cable correspond to which pin:
To disassemble the Slik Stik, remove the two screws on the bottom of the joystick.
Next, I cut the original cable where it exits the joystick, before the cable protector. This gives me some room to place some shrink tubes, and some margin error for failure. I add some shrink tube and some fresh solder on each wire. Then, I solder them together, and when happy with the results, I heat the shrink tube to protect the joint. As seen in the image below, the built in cable protector fits perfectly with the Slik Stik casing, which helps a lot!
A quick test with the joystick tester suggests everything works as intended, and the Slik Stik is now ready to be used with your favourite games once again!