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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Amiga Before the Amiga: The Power Stick Precision Joystick

by intric8 Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:35 am

At the last SEA-CCC meetup, AmigaLove member mattsoft brought an unusual and curious looking joystick along with his gear. It was the tiny little Power Stick Precision Joystick, created a million years ago (1983/84) back before Amiga made computers and their logo looked like a neon sign found at a roller rink.
powerstick-ad.jpeg
Print advertisement for the Amiga Power Stick


Small peripherals like this one were an attempt to support the company financially while they tried to build their original Amiga computer prototype, aka Lorraine.

After I saw Matt’s Power Stick - the first time I’d seen one in person - I was intrigued. It wasn’t the best joystick I’d ever used but it was interesting and a unique experience, if a bit squeaky sounding.

It supported both lefties and righties and the tiny joystick seemed to encourage more precise movements with less effort. It did this because - at least for an adult’s hand - it required the use of one hand to hold it and “fire” and two fingertips or a thumb to maneuver, rather than an entire hand like most old-school joysticks. Heck, some folks could hold the entire thing and use it with a single hand. As such, it didn’t seem to generate very much muscle fatigue. It was lightyears better than an original Atari joystick, which is really what it was trying to replace.

A few days after the meet-up curiosity got the best of me and I started to hunt around. After a short search, I found a gentleman who had a pile of various joysticks - each in near-mint condition and at very cheap prices.

And lo-and-behold, one of the tiny pieces of his pile was a pristine Power Stick.

The Power Stick uses the old Atari plug, so it can actually be used with a ton of consoles and computers from the 1980s and early 90s. Part of what Amiga called the "Power System" it even has a separate number pad for use with ColecoVision and Intellivision consoles, which is kind of crazy - although those extra attachments appear to be extremely rare. They also made a tan/black colored version rather than black/red, which I’ve also never personally seen.

After about a week I got it in the mail. It really is mint. And it is weird. But god dang it, it has that groovy early-80s logo and it is pretty cool to use. So I’m proud to put it in my collection. It’s not going to replace my TAC-2, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.
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The joystick looks like it was designed to receive a larger stick extension as some sort of key insert, but it wasn't. It really was made to look this way.
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This joystick is small. Really small.
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The base of the Power Stick has a small convex bowl, which helps to hold it comfortably even with large hands.
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Gotta love that 80's styled Amiga logo.
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LambdaCalculus
New Jersey, USA

Re: Amiga Before the Amiga: The Power Stick Precision Joysti

by LambdaCalculus Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:52 am

That 80s style Amiga logo is so awesome that I would love to have that made as a custom neon sign! :D

Now, if you manage to get a Joyboard, you can also practice your Guru Meditation techniques with it!
Own: Amiga 500 (NTSC), Amiga 4000, Amiga 600 (PAL), Mac Mini G4 & iBook G4 (MorphOS), ThinkPad T40 (AROS), R.Pi3 (Amibian)
After: Amiga 1200

https://nostalgiaroadtrip.com
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A10001986

Re: Amiga Before the Amiga: The Power Stick Precision Joysti

by A10001986 Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:47 am

AFAIK that joystick was a diversion, an attempt to keep the competition believing Amiga wasn't about a computer...

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