Atari 5200 CX-53 Trak-Ball Controller

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The 5200 trak-ball is a controller with great potential but tends to suffer from a few age-related issues.

Trak-ball Schematics

Service Kit

We've developed a service kit with the items shown below. View the Atari CX-53 Service Kit


There are 5 roller bearings in the 5200 Trak-Ball controller. With patience and a bearing race driver tool they can be changed fairly easily.

There are 2 roller shafts with optical encoder discs. Each shaft has two sealed bearings There is one idler shaft & bearing for angular support.

Bearing Replacement Howto

  1. Remove the screws holding the shell together
  2. Set the controller back on its base and remove the upper shell
  3. Remove the ball and set aside

Replacing the X/Y roller shaft bearings

  1. Remove one shaft at a time. The outer bearing can be removed by hand
  2. Carefully flex the black optical encoder disc and, using a fine, flat blade screwdriver, release the three locking tabs that keep the disc located on the shaft
  3. The opposite bearing can now be replaced
  4. Reinstall and center the encoder disc
  5. Replace shaft and spin-test to ensure the disc is centered within the optical detector on the trak-ball PCB. The disc should not make contact with the detector.

Replacing the support bearing

The support bearing is a little trickier as it rides on a short idle shaft that is press-fit in to the inner race. If you press the shaft in to the new bearing without supporting the inner race, damage to the bearing will result.

To do this properly you need a bearing pilot and/or receiver.

  1. Remove the bearing & shaft assembly from the lower shell
  2. Using a receiver sized to match the inner race, press the old shaft from the original bearing. Discard original bearing.
  3. Place the shaft into the a bearing receiver. Note the knurled surface that helped retain the original bearing. The new bearing must be centered on this surface.
  4. Using the pilot & receiver tools, press the bearing over the shaft by applying pressure directly to the inner race.
  5. Replace shaft assembly into shell