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Spectrum Stick

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Home / Hardware - Spectrum Stick

Sold by Spectrum Projects.

From The Rainbow's October 1982 review by Jim Reed:

If “feel" is your thing, like it is ours, then the new Spectrum Stick of all those on the market, is the one to reach for. The handle is big and, while it moves easily and smoothly in action, it’s “tighter" and more like the arcade joysticks than anything we've yet encountered. The fire button has a good strong spring, too.

The box is a big one, perhaps more than very small hands could handle without setting it on a table or other surface, but a treat for those of us who feel more in command with a good-sized (6x3) control box in our grip.

Too bad it isn’t a bit heavier. Our only complaint with the Spectrum Stick is that it is a bit lightweight in construction, although an accidental drop on a concrete floor caused not so much as a scratch.

A valuable added feature of the Spectrum Stick is a handy LED on/ off indicator. We’ve found that it's a useful reminder to turn off the computer when you're shutting down for the night. Too bad the 80C doesn't have one built in. While we like the size of the Spectrum Stick, its bulk could cause a minor problem in where to store it, but the top of the TV works well for us — and lets us use the “on/ off" LEDS, too. In case you are looking for some other storage area, the Spectrum Stick comes with an extra-long, nine-foot cable. And speaking of cable, we found that the cable is resistant to tangling.

[...] Personally, we like the “feel" and added features of the Spectrum Stick, the “firmest" movement we’ve found to date.

Creative Computing's February 1983 review by David H. Ahl was more ambivalent:

The joystick movement is considerably stiffer than the original, and is about the same as the stiffest of the nine Apple joysticks we tested in 1982. As we noted in that evaluation, stiffness is a subjective factor. Personally, I find the original equipment Color Computer joysticks much too loose; on the other hand, I find the Spectrum Stick a bit too stiff for my liking.

The pushbutton, too, requires much more pressure than the one on the original equipment joystick. This also is a subjective factor; some people like a stiffer button.

Subjective factors aside, both the joystick and pushbutton should have a considerably longer life than the Radio Shack unit since they are made of higher quality components. On the other hand, the Spectrum Stick costs $39.95, exactly twice the cost of a Radio Shack Color Computer joystick.