When I plug a Sega Genesis controller into Port 1 on the console, the buttons work, but on the d-pad, the only direction I can control is left. When I try to go down, up, or right, nothing happens. I need to know how I can get controller 1 to go in all directions like controller 2.
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Control pad's are generally all or nothing devices, they either work or they're dead.
However with a console of this vintage there are a few things that can cause this kind of issue and therefor a couple things you can do to try and resolve it.
1: Clean the serial ports and plugs (the ports and plugs that connect the pads to the console) with an air duster. Air dusters are cans of compressed air with a long nozzle and are available from most computer, electronics and hardware stores. Clean both serial ports even if you're only using one.
2: if cleaning doesn't work try unplugging the power cable, removing the console's casing and touching a hot soldering iron to the base of each of the pins that connect the serial ports to the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) in tern to re-solder them without using any extra solder, if you find that you do need more solder be sparing.
You can see a pictorial guide to disassembling a Sega Genesis here www.takeitapart.net/archives/sega-genesis/ click the pictures to see a larger image.
Lastly if you know anyone else who's in to retro-gaming swap a control pad with them to see if your pad works on there Sega Genesis and there pad works on yours.
If you find the pad actually is dead it's not the end of the world, there are a few around on popular auction sites, retro gaming sites and specialist game stores pretty cheaply.
Its the controller ports inside of the system that controlls the controllers to function is broken or loose then and needs to be resoldered. I had a problem with my sega after i resoldered the 2nd controller port it worked again then.
The port might need to be cleaned out, thats a seriously old school console so if it hasnt been cleaned in a while thats probably your issue, especially if the controller works in the other ports. If you have any experience with cleaning out consoles, you could do it yourself, if not i wouldent recomend it, id say to take it to an expert for cleaning.
Unfortunately you would have to take apart the system are-solder in a new controller port. This is definitely not easy to do. Noone really does repairs on these units anymore, so it may be cheapest just to replace it with one from ebay.
honestly sounds like its the controller port either have to open it up and make sure everything is connect correctly around it or even blow some air into the ports to blow anything that might be blocking they come loose now and again over the years of use.
have you tryed it on the controller port 2 yet? if not try that and see if it works on that one.