Cleaning and Caring of Control Panel Buttons and Leaf Springs

In Asteroids
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My Asteroids purchase didn’t come with buttons! They were gone. Thankfully, everything else on the control panel was there, including the leafs. A quick order of a new set of buttons from Arcade Adventures fixed that. However, these new buttons felt weak compared to my Asteroids Deluxe buttons, was it the springs in them or something else?

The buttons in Asteroids contain small, light weighted springs inside them, and push down on what is called a Leaf Spring to make a physical connection that provides the input. These leaf springs also provide nearly all of the resistance for the button. If the leaf springs are not correctly adjusted, there may be a gap between the bottom of the button and the leaf, which can affect gameplay and drive the player nuts over this lag on input. Plus, it affects how the button springs back up into position, and this can effect how quickly you can rapid-fire.

First step is to clean the plastic round part holding the leaf springs with a little bleach and water. Next, I took some sand paper and lightly scrape at the contact points between the two leafs to ensure a proper connection occurs. This doesn’t take too long, but the following procedure for adjusting the tension takes a bit of experimenting to get right.

The tension for the buttons comes from the bottom end of the tip resting on the larger leaf spring. You can bend the leaf down using something like a credit card or small, metal object, pressing down close to the plastic connection where it’s mounted.

Large leaf resting against the button of the button, providing resistance. Note the gap between the two leafs here is exaggerated in this photo.

The smaller leaf can be bent down the same way, try to get it as close together without making contact. If you get it too close where it’s touching, bending it back is pretty easy. The closer you can get these two together, the faster the response you’ll get when playing the game! Also notice in the photo below how the leafs are a different style than in the above photo. That’s how my game came to me!

The spacing here allows for  a quick contact, and better gaming!
The spacing here allows for a quick contact, and better gaming!