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My Alan 1 Atari Star Wars Flight Yoke Adventures Without An Original Atari Star Wars Cabinet

I recently bought a yoke here, and I've been doing a basic build history while preparing for the yoke. It arrived today, and I saw the link to this forum in the delivery email. I'm too late for unboxings, but those have been done already. I've got something different going on. Here are my updates up to the point of installing my new yoke into my setup today. The USB adapter is on backorder, so gameplay impressions will be a little ways off.

The big thing with me is that I don't have an original Atari Star Wars cabinet or any other parts of the arcade machine. I just really loved the game at Carousel Arcade in Seaside, New Jersey when I was growing up. Over the years, I tried playing it on Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3 for the Gamecube and MAME, but the game has never been right without the original yoke. After going to Seaside a few weeks ago (always kind of disappointing since Carousel Arcade got wrecked in Hurricane Sandy in 2012/burned down in the big boardwalk fire 2013) and hearing about the upcoming Arcade1up Atari Star Wars release, I decided to go Googling around about getting something going for my PC and MAME. I then found out about Alan 1, and the rest is history.

Update 1

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 001

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 002

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 003

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 004

Thank goodness for bonuses and birthday excuses. I bought an Alan 1 Atari Star Wars reproduction flight yoke. I don't have an Atari Star Wars arcade cabinet, though. That leaves me with no way to mount the thing. I'm building a mount in preparation for receiving the yoke.

I used a cover from a large electronic control box. It's actually a very heavy duty cover despite it being rather thin. I used some tools and a marker to mark everything before cutting. I also found a template online. It was by Breaker on the Arcade Controls forum for the older RAM Controls reproduction yoke.

Cutting and drilling the holes was an adventure. I decided to go with 5/16 holes for the added clearance to help with my freehand cuts. I only had 5/16 masonry drill bits, but I was able to use a metal drill bit for 1/4 holes. Then I took the masonry bit and probably ruined the bit and the drill because the bit kept on coming loose, but after loads of drilling I was able to make 5/16 holes. I used a Dremel Saw-Max for the big box hole. I originally tried using a multi-purpose blade that jutted a bit to the left because I liked how I could see where I was cutting better, but I tripped the circuit breaker, probably because the metal cover was too tough for the blade. I switched over to a standard style metal cutting blade, and it was almost like a hot knife through butter. I did end up cutting too far in a couple spots, but I think it'll be okay.

I finally used a standard Dremel to smooth out the jagged metal left in the cuts. Everything's a lot smoother now. I hope this will be good enough to receive the yoke.

Up next will be a base of sorts to plop this yoke mount onto. I'm still figuring out the details for it.

Update 2

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 005

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 006

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 007

I got my version 1 temporary mount for my incoming Alan 1 Atari Star Wars yoke done. Dad had some extra wood lying around, so he let me do what I needed to do with it. I just had to cut it down to size and get some wood screws, nuts, bolts, and washers from the hardware store to get it all put together. I didn't get any in-progress photos this time, but you can see all of the tools that I used. I'm glad I got those C-clamps from the yard sale next door years ago.

I can already see that this whole setup is too high for the snack tray and TV under normal circumstances. I've got to sit up super straight on the edge of the couch to see all the way over it. Still, it's version 1. I can lower everything in the future.

In case everyone's wondering why I'm going through all this trouble, have a look at what this guy does to use his Alan 1 Atari Star Wars yoke with his laptop. The video should start at the correct time:

Also, if you noticed that I didn't cut out the little semicircles from the big box hole in the bracket that showed in the template, I did that on purpose. I'm wondering if those are necessary only for the older RAM Controls reproduction yoke from about 10 years ago. I found this aftermarket Atari Star Wars cabinet replacement control panel online: You can see that there are no semicircles in its big box hole. You can also see that the size of the hole has to be different from mine if the four corner holes are indeed of the same placement as mine. So, I could be going into seriously uncharted territory here. I might be doing some serious grinding with my dremel to open up the big box in the future. Well, as long as the four corner holes are okay, I won't mind too much. Those four holes are the bread and butter of the unit.

Update 3

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 008

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 009

Atari Star Wars Alan 1 Project - 010

My Alan 1 Atari Star Wars yoke arrived today. It's really cool! And it's really heavy 😀 But it's great!

So... Remember the semicircles from the template that I didn't cut out? It turns out that I needed to cut them out ^_^ So I cut them out with my Dremel and really wore down lots of my accessories for it to get these semicircles cut. Everything else was just fine. I didn't even need to cut the box hole higher and lower. If you're going to do this for yourself and use the template, it works! Just make sure you cut out the semicircles.

My version 1 bracket actually looks like it's going to work pretty well. I think if it was a bit lower and if the whole unit sat on a little angle going back, it would work even better. I may at least put some books under the legs of the snack tray to give me that angle. Without it, I'd really have to bend my wrists far back to aim all the way upwards while I can feel that I'd have more motion available to my wrists in the other direction.

I'm eagerly awaiting the USB adapter!

Sorry about the messed up links. It appears I can't edit the post, but you can copy the most important parts and follow the links yourself. (Or if your browser supports right clicking and opening in a new tab or whatever.)

EDIT: Okay, I can actually tab through to the submit button and activate it with my enter button even though clicking on it with my mouse won't work. Anyway, the links are working and are better than ever! I wasn't even expecting to get pics showing in the way that I formatted the photo links.

Update 4

I've been away from my Atari Star Wars yoke project for a little while since family was visiting. Then I caught a cold. Never a dull moment, right? I actually neglected to post these videos here before I went AWOL, but here they are. It was actually supposed to be one video, but it got split into two parts.

There are some things about those videos that I got wrong. The big thing is that if you're going to use it through Steam, make your deadzone a square. I may elect to no longer have the yoke operate through Steam, though. I believe Steam messes with the 0/0 position even more than I thought back when I was making the video. It's actually kind of weird how Steam treats it. At least, this is with the This Old Game adapter, but it doesn't happen if I launch MAME independent of Steam, so it's isn't the adapter's fault.

I'll try to make a proper follow-up soon. I even have the Alan 1 USB adapter now, and it seems even better than the This Old Game one from what little time I was able to have with it.

Hi Gamma Ray. I saw you created what looked like a mounting template for your Alan 1 yoke. Where did you get it?  Can you upload a copy of it. As I am building a pedestal to mount the yoke.  Are the mounting bolts removable?


many thanks

Quote from Propdept on July 26, 2020, 4:03 pm

Hi Gamma Ray. I saw you created what looked like a mounting template for your Alan 1 yoke. Where did you get it?  Can you upload a copy of it. As I am building a pedestal to mount the yoke.  Are the mounting bolts removable?


many thanks

Hey, I got the mounting template from this website: Just search for the attachment on the page. The word template is in the name. You don't need to be a member of the forum to download it.

I just looked at the unit, and it doesn't look like the bolts as you put it are removable. They're some kind of threaded stud it looks like. It does come with nuts that obviously can be removed, though. If your pedestal is going to have holes that are like mine, then you'll totally be able to get everything mounted with the studs and the nuts.

My own pedestal project sadly stalled at the point of my last post last year. I do play with it from time to time, though, and I have a blast whenever I do. My girlfriend enjoyed it, too. Hopefully I'll continue with the project one day.