The BBC Pro Joystick

The Kempston Competition Pro 5000 joystick was and still is regarded as one of the best joysticks of all time. Its sturdy construction gained it the reputation of being almost indesctructable and it became the gamers choice for a generation. The original Competition Pro joystick was designed for systems with Atari compatible joystick ports which the BBC Micro does not have. Instead, the BBC Micro has an analogue port capable of supporting two analogue joysticks. Eventually, Kempston Micro Electronics Ltd. released a BBC Micro compatible version of their Competition Pro 5000 joystick packaging it as the "BBC Pro Joystick" which plugs directly into the analogue port but delivers a digital joystick experience.

I bought this particular example from Just Micro on Carver Street in Sheffield and it has been my Beeb joystick of choice ever since!

The Kempston Competition Pro for BBC Micro

As you can see from the photo, the BBC Micro version of the Competition Pro was colour co-ordinated with the computer with a cream/beige body and a brown stick. The traditional red buttons remained. you can also see that the connector for the Competition Pro was a male 15-pin D-type connector rather than the Atari style 9-pin female D-type that was used on Atari, Commodore and other kit of the time. This was because the BBC Micro didn't have any game ports. Instead, it had a 4 channel Analogue to Digital converter allowing for up to 2 joysticks to be connected onto the same connector at once. The Competition Pro however could only be connected by itself.

Competition Pro detail shot showing the embossed work on the back of the body

The photo above shows the embossed detail on the back of the body clearly stating "COMPETITION-PRO™" with the word "JOYSTICK" underneath.

Beeb@30 event

This particular Competition Pro joystick was used at the Beeb@30 official BBC Micro birthday on the Retro Software gaming stand on the 25th March 2012 at ARM Holdings in Cambridge.

The Competition Pro joystick being used at the Beeb@30 event

Photo credit: Replay Events

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Just Micro, Sheffield

Just Micro, Carver Street, Sheffield

photo credit: unknown, copyright probably Newsfield

Just Micro was one of several computer and gaming shops in Sheffield in the 80's and early 90's and was a source of several pieces of my kit (mainly games).