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gaming controllers general showcase, repairs, modification Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   aotsukisho 

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 04:31 PM

Seeing as how Super Smash Bros WiiU is coming out soon, and due to the fact that we recently started playing Melee again, I figured now would be a good time as ever to repair all our Gamecube controllers. Our sticks have been pretty worn out over the last ten years or so, and as it happens there are replacements available online. I picked up a bunch of thirdparty stick replacements on ebay, and now to see how they perform.

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Here is the first candidate for replacement, the pots themselves are still tight but the stick has been nearly worn off

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Crack open that controller

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Pop off the sticks, here is a quick comparison. Old on the left, and new on the right. The difference between the C-sticks are more noticeable, but that being said C-sticks don't usually need to be replaced

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Controller reassembled. The C-stick is obviously a bit off color, but the analog stick looks pretty close to the original.

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Second candidate was a purple controller whose analog stick had completely come off

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Reassembled with the replacements

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Third candidate was a turquoise one that we had earlier 'fixed' by swapping the two sticks around so the analog stick still had some grip on it

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Turquoise controller repaired

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Here's a closeup shot of the sticks we replaced, and the bag of seven pairs we still have left. Not bad for $16

We tested them and they function fine. The analog stick is slightly harder which may be a good thing as the surface won't wear as quickly as the OEM Nintendo ones. The C-stick you can't really tell the difference, so I would recommend just reusing the old one unless they're busted up (or moldy like some of ours). The biggest difference we noticed is that the new analog sticks don't 'click' when you hit the limiter, which might just be due to the fact that we haven't played with a new stick/controller in around ten years. All in all, well worth the money.

ps. this thread is for general game controller repair or modification, I'll post everything I do in here.
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#2 User is offline   aotsukisho 

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 01:51 PM

I've been getting a whole bunch of Xbox 360 rechargeable batteries for the wireless controllers, mostly due to the fact that they were 'dead' and not accepting charge anymore. Due to the unreliability of the Play & Charge kit charging these batteries, I figured I'd use an old broken wireless controller as a charging dock for the batteries. In order to do that, I had to rip out its guts.

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Here's the controller, with almost 10 years of authentic dust on it

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Here's the guts. I haven't been able to disassemble a whole bunch of controllers so I'm not intimately familiar with the revisions and such like I was with the original Xbox.

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Here's the piece I'm interested in, which is the four contacts that touch the battery pack. This guy tore down one of the battery packs, and the pinout is clearly seen on the photos he took.

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Pulling out the board

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I have cheap pcb leftover from old projects so I cut one to fit

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Bored out holes for the battery contact assembly

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Snapped it in and soldered (kind of messily, I might add)

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Coincidentally the two holes already on the board were almost the perfect width for the ones in the controller, all I had to do was widen them slightly and drill a new one for the one at the bottom. The other half of the shell closes over it, locking it in place.

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Soldering power lines to them. The red wire is actually wound between different holes on the pcb, since this cheap pcb doesn't use very good glue on the copper pads and in the past I've ripped them off the board with minimal effort. I soldered to both the pads and the wire, which adds physical strength to the joint.

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Reassembled and ready to go

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Looking at the back, it's slightly off-center but it still makes good contact

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Snapped a battery pack in

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...and now it's discharging perfectly with my newly fixed Turnigy Accucell6.

It's been working perfectly, and now I get to cycle my batteries and hopefully recondition them. I've never gone so far as to replace the actual batteries inside yet, but I suppose that's the next step once I finally get a pack that's beyond repair. Most of the 'broken' battery packs have anywhere from 1200-1400mAh left in them, which may not be the battery's full capacity (probably closer to 2200mAh) but it's definitely useable. I'm glad that this broken controller finally has a purpose.
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#3 User is offline   aotsukisho 

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 06:34 PM

As we all know, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U launched today. I had preordered the bundle which fortunately wasn't struck with the same shipping predicament as the adapters.

I took apart the controller that came with my bundle to inspect the internals and find out what they changed inside.

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Here's a shot of my main controller and the one that came in the bundle. Aside from the wear and tear particularly on the analog stick, they look identical.

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I cracked open the shells and here's a look on the inside. The back of my controller is clear because it's a Japanese one I imported several years ago. There's also been a revision of the trigger system, as now there's a screwdown guide on the rear shell.

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as gba_fan mentioned to me, they did remove the metal guide bar from the triggers. Apparently there's issues with it getting stuck, although all the moldings are still there so you can probably transplant one from an original controller.

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There's more reinforcing ribs on the inside underneath the D-pad and the C-stick, but I'm not sure how necessary that is since we haven't broken a controller in that area to my knowledge.

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The top half of the controller is almost untouched, although the rubber mat for the ABXY buttons is a slightly darker grey.

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Here's all of the buttons and mats taken out. The moldings and coloration of the buttons are all identical.

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Here's the top of the controller pcbs, there's been some revisions but the majority of it is similar. I also replaced my analog stick with one of the ones I ordered from ebay.

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Here's my controller reassembled, and as far as I know of it's the only clear-backed Smash edition that exists. The buttons/mats and C-stick are from the original controller.

Other comparisons between the two?

  • C-stick is noticeably stiffer in the Smash edition
  • Trigger springs in the original are slightly heavier
  • There's a slight external molding change, the Smash edition still says "GAMECUBE" but does not have the Gamecube logo
  • Both controllers have the same model number DOL-003

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#4 User is offline   aotsukisho 

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 05:35 PM

With the Xbox One controllers getting official Microsoft support for Windows, I figured I'd get one to replace the 360 controllers I've been using. I like how the Xbone controllers feel, but I wasn't sure about getting an official Microsoft one since their wireless function is all but useless when used on a PC. PowerA came out with their Spectra wired controller, which seemed to be everything I was looking for.

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Here's the Spectra next to an XB360 controller. I don't have an official Xbone controller to compare it to unfortunately

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Here's a look at the rear, you can see the Spectra's LED control buttons where the battery pack would've been

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I plugged both of them into my PC. The Spectra vibrates when it's successfully recognized, and has a neutral white LED power indicator. The XB360 controller hasn't been used in awhile, so the battery pack is charging.

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Here's a shot of the two of them when their LEDs are on. The Spectra has multiple options for either color changing or static lighting, and the wings can be set separately from the center area. There are four levels of brightness control, and surprisingly the plastic they used for the sticks is translucent and lets a lot of the light through. It's very cool, although I do wish that they did the same with the ABXY and the D-pad.

I absolutely love the snap of the Dpad compared to the mushy 360 one, it makes playing games that rely on it so much easier (Super Meat Boy, Rogue Legacy, emulators, etc.) and the sticks are very grippy. I'm not sure if any of my games support the rumble or impulse motors, but it's nice to know that they're there in case I do use it on an Xbone. Anything with X-input will recognize the controller and I've tested it with Titanfall, CoD:AW, Geometry Wars, and the games mentioned earlier.

I highly recommend this controller to anyone who needs a great PC controller and isn't satisfied with the first party offerings. Do note that this does not have an expansion port (and says so right on the box and all store descriptions) so the online review ratings may be slightly skewed by idiots who didn't read before they bought it.

edit: I took a video of the LED mode 2, in case anyone wanted to see flashy colors

https://www.youtube....h?v=bR4826OA5oo

Also, here's the page where you can find the PC drivers: http://support.xbox....c-compatibility
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#5 User is offline   aotsukisho 

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 04:51 PM

So, I picked up an Xbox One Elite controller...

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Here it is inside the box

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It comes in this nice headphones-like clamshell case

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Looking at the back, where the paddles were pre-installed

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front look, swapping sticks out

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Inside the battery tray. I laughed at the 'hello from Seattle'.

I've been testing it out on my PC with Assetto Corsa and Geometry Wars. I'm liking it so far, hopefully I'll get up some more photos of it soon.
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#6 User is offline   aotsukisho 

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Posted 14 July 2016 - 04:53 PM

Not sure where else to put this...but I use this thing called a Titan (?) for quick testing with game console repairs and such, it's basically a small folding tv with space for a system, video inputs, and power supplies for sixth gen systems built into it.

Recently, the somewhat-redundant power button wasn't 'clicking' properly (think retractable pen) and wouldn't stay on unless the button was held in. Seeing as it was most likely a cheap switch that had failed, I cracked it open to bypass it.

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Here's the bottom, there's quite a few screws including ones under the feet and center sticker

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Cracking it open and looking what's inside. There's quite a few more wires and PCB's than I thought there would need to be, I figured it would be a single-input multi-output power supply but there we go...

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Another photo with the rear doors 'closed' (the retention mechanism is broken), also notice the power switch on the bottom left

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Soldered the other wire to the same terminal, bypassing the switch. This switch directly manipulates full 120vac, over worryingly thin wires. Looks like I'll keep using the actual power supplies for my consoles....

On the positive side (heehee) the equipment works without having to press the power button. I'll keep using it until it dies, but seeing as it only has analog inputs its usefulness for modern consoles is limited.
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