Monday, January 26, 2009

N64 Controller

The 2nd post! Thought I might go with the N64 controller. This controller is nortorious for getting broken, trashed control sticks. As such its still very easy to buy brand new control sticks which are very simple to replace.

As you can see there is 8 screws on the back. The good news is is that they are No1 Phillips so no fancy bits required. Make sure you use a No1 (Thats a small headed Phillips) and not a No2 (Regular size) as you will strip the screw heads.

Pop the back off and you can see the board. There are 3 screws holding the control stick in. The blue dot there is a 4th screw, leave this in, it just holds the control stick together.

Here is the front of the circuit board, not much to it really. The control stick is attached by 5 wires and a plug.

Here you can see the cable connecting the control stick. The blue part there is for the Z trigger. It just unclips off the control stick. Replacement is as easy as undo that plug (dont pull on the wires, use a tiny flathead screwdriver to pry it loose), and plug the new one in.

If you undo the screw in the control stick and the 2 clips it pops open. There are two small cog elements inside which are connected to transducers to turn the movements into electrical signals. It can get fairly dirty in here due to build up from the plastic rubbing away (thanks to Mario Party).

Anyway, thats it, remember, do it at your own risk, and dont blame me if it goes wrong.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inside the Gamecube Controllers

Here we go, how to open a GC controller, both wired and wireless. This is a fairly simple process and only requires a tri-wing screwdriver. If you dont have one, try eBay. You can usually pick one up for like $5AUD. 

Remeber, anything you do is at YOUR OWN RISK. Dont come crying to me if you break something. This is a GUIDE only.

The Wired Controller.

As you can see the wired controller has 6 triwing screws located on the back of it. Try not to strip the screws, its makes it really difficult to put it back together. Go easy, and use an equal pressure on the controller. They should turn fairly easily.

Once you lift the back off you are greeted with the main circuit board. The big black bit in the middle there is rumble feature. Although you cant notice it in this picture, the left hand control stick there (for the c-stick) is a serperate board connected by four wires and plug.

And here is the front of the circuit board. If your carefull when you remove the plastic case all the buttons will stay in there holes. Each button will only fit in one hole however and there are little tabs to make sure they are lined up correctly. The control sticks come off with a little force, when you put them back on they are keyed and will only go on in one way. If you have to severly force it you will break something. Just align your key and gently push it on.

This shows you the c-stick circuit board and connector. This makes it a really easy replacement. Unclip the connector and clip on the new one. The wavebird uses the same circuit board but its a 4wire ribbon cable soldered at either end. You can swap the circuit boards between wavebird and wired controllers by unsoldering the 4 connections on the smaller circuit board and leaving the wiring intact to the main.

Here you can clearly see the control stick mechanisms inside. The black piece with the rumble unclips from the circuit board and you can access the solder joints if you need to unsolder the mechanism. And there we go. Thats the inside workings of wired GameCube controller.

The Wireless "Wavebird"

Here is the wavebird. They are almost identical, the main difference is there is a big battery compartment on the back, and no rumble inside. So there is 8 screws on the back, again using a triwing.

Once you lift the top of you have a slighter larger circuit board. Again the c-stick is on its own circuit board.

This is the back of it. You can see the lack of rumble. This again can be unclipped. You can also see the lack of a plug for the c-stick circuit board. As I said earlier, the boards are the same, but you must unsolder the ribbon cable to swap the boards.

Here are the control stick mechanisms, as you can see they are the same. 

And there we go, inside the GC controllers. Remeber, anything you do you do at your own risk. Im not affiliated with Nintendo nor am I a repair man for them or anything. Have fun!