Madcatz retro stick problem

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Billkwando
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Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 07 Jun 2011, 08:04

I accidentally broke one of the tabs off for the bumper contacts, and it pulled up both of the little metal sqares that I think I need to wire to. I tried putting the wire through and attaching it to the square on the trigger side, but it doesn't seem to be making proper contact. I still have the tab (with plates and solder still firmly attached), but I don't think it would be possible to just slap it back on the with some solder or glue and have it work. Any suggestions?

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by MentholMoose » 07 Jun 2011, 12:47

Can you take a picture of the top and the bottom of the PCB? I believe there are additional solder points that may not have been damaged. There are a lot of pics in my thread here: Modded Dreamcast Twin Sticks for Xbox 360 - complete!!!
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 07 Jun 2011, 13:10

MentholMoose wrote:Can you take a picture of the top and the bottom of the PCB? I believe there are additional solder points that may not have been damaged. There are a lot of pics in my thread here: Modded Dreamcast Twin Sticks for Xbox 360 - complete!!!
I snapped pics and can put them up when I get home. :)

In the meantime, it's where the red arrows are pointing (all that broke off):

Image

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 07 Jun 2011, 19:00

Ok, here's the best pic I have:

Image

and here's the album:

https://picasaweb.google.com/Billkwando ... StickBuild#

I can snap more if needed.

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by MentholMoose » 08 Jun 2011, 18:18

There are actually solder points for that button on both the top and bottom of the PCB. So in other words you can use the corresponding tabs on the bottom side of the PCB.

I can't tell from your pics what exactly was damaged. If the points on the bottom are undamaged, use those instead. If the solder points on both the top and bottom of the PCB are gone, you still can solder to the top. Simply scrape off some of the green coating near the points to expose some metal to solder to.

One of them is ground (the one circled in cyan below), so you can just use another ground point. The one circled in red is the actual signal so you can expose some of the trace (in the pic below, it is the line going down from the solder point) and solder to it.
broken.jpg
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 08 Jun 2011, 18:26

I did try soldering to the point on the bottom side, but I may have done a bad job. If I'm not planning on using the triggers, but also not planning to add a resistor, is it safe to remove the trigger assemblies? That would give me more room to do a proper soldering job.

Also, what should I use to scrape the trace? I assume an xacto knife would be too sharp and risk cutting straight through it?

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by MentholMoose » 08 Jun 2011, 18:29

Here are the corresponding solder points on the bottom of the PCB. The red circle indicates the signal soldering point, the cyan indicates ground. Let me know if it's not clear.
bottom.jpg
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 08 Jun 2011, 20:28

I think you might've overlooked my last post. ;)

I appreciate the help!

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by MentholMoose » 09 Jun 2011, 00:04

Yeah, I didn't see it. The soldering point on the bottom for ground is clearly connected to ground so that one is fine to use. But, now that I think of it, the solder point for the signal connection on the bottom of the PCB is probably attached to (and depends on) the one of the top... so, if the one one the top is gone, the bottom one is probably dead, too.
Billkwando wrote:Also, what should I use to scrape the trace? I assume an xacto knife would be too sharp and risk cutting straight through it?
An X-ACTO is fine as long as you are GENTLE. Practice on ground somewhere (anywhere) to see how easy/hard it is to remove the green coating, then do it on the trace. You are using small wire so you don't have to expose very much. If you totally screw it up I will bust out the multi-meter and find an alternative solder point for you. :)
Billkwando wrote:If I'm not planning on using the triggers, but also not planning to add a resistor, is it safe to remove the trigger assemblies?
No you shouldn't do that. Without the resistor the button will be "stuck" on... if that button is not mapped to anything, it might not be a problem in game, but it might cause problems in menus. If you want to remove the triggers, buy resistors and attach them.
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 10 Jun 2011, 09:33

Welllllllll, I wanted to report back that your advice was flawless!

My technique, however, was not.

Note to burgeoning electronics enthusiasts:

The dark lines are not the traces. Those are the dividers between the traces!


LOL so yeah. I ended up scraping across the ground and button traces (luckily the dark part would NOT scrape off), and when I went to wire it up, I had a big blob of solder that was bridging the two, and thus the button was stuck ON all the time. (I have to say circuit boards make a lot more sense to me now)

I just desoldered it with some braid, and then resoldered carefully, making sure to keep all my solder on the button trace. Then it worked fine. :)

Thanks MM, you are teh best! I'll be sure to post back when my project is done.

Edit: One more question. What do you set the multimeter on to test continuity for controllers? I have no idea what I'm doing. Hahahahahahaha

This is the one I have:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... Id=4214667#

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by MentholMoose » 10 Jun 2011, 12:58

Billkwando wrote:Thanks MM, you are teh best! I'll be sure to post back when my project is done.
Great, I can't wait!!
Billkwando wrote:Edit: One more question. What do you set the multimeter on to test continuity for controllers? I have no idea what I'm doing. Hahahahahahaha

This is the one I have:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... Id=4214667#
I can't really see the settings in the picture, but for testing continuity you should use the resistance option (often it will be labeled "Ω", the symbol for ohms which is the unit of measurement for resistance). If resistance is close to 0 ohms, there is continuity.
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 10 Jun 2011, 13:48

MentholMoose wrote:I can't really see the settings in the picture, but for testing continuity you should use the resistance option (often it will be labeled "Ω", the symbol for ohms which is the unit of measurement for resistance). If resistance is close to 0 ohms, there is continuity.
Awesome, so in theory, I can touch the button contact and the ground contact, and they should be very resisty until I push the button? Is that the idea?

The plan for this weekend is to cut the holes in my case for my quickshot sticks, and to wire up the quickshot side of things. The 360 side is complete, and I even got Euro terminal blocks and labelled them with each button, plus put little flags on each of the 360 wires to tell me what button was what.

I also got Rit dye (black) to try and dye the quickshot grips and upper casings (since they have to show through the holes in the larger case, per their design) which I ran across by googling (found on some paintball forum, but since seen on youtube too).

With any luck, I should have functioning twin sticks by Monday!

Oh, I also approached Randy from http://www.groovygamegear.com since they manufacture their own parts and products, and asked him about manufacturing replacement twin stick grips/buttons in the original style. I haven't heard back yet, but it might help if you try hitting him up too. They have a contact form.

I'm correct in my assertion that the plastic parts are identical across the board between Saturn/DC/360/Arcade other than color, right?

Anyways, wish me luck!

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by MentholMoose » 10 Jun 2011, 14:07

Billkwando wrote:Awesome, so in theory, I can touch the button contact and the ground contact, and they should be very resisty until I push the button? Is that the idea?
Yeah.
Billkwando wrote:I'm correct in my assertion that the plastic parts are identical across the board between Saturn/DC/360/Arcade other than color, right?
The grips/levers and buttons on the Saturn, DC, Arcade VOOT and Arcade VO4 Twin Sticks are identical. I don't know about the TSEX, though.
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 27 Jun 2011, 06:00

Looks like I got another problem. The red 5v wire and the white data wire fell off from being moved around too much, and I haven't been able to get them back on there right. The controller (which is now 95% assembled) isn't getting any power:

Image
(the board was already a bit iof a mess, and I toasted that cap holding the oron too close whole soldering someplace else, but it still all worked. Also, the other usb wires were already brown like that)

Image

Image

Little worried I completely screwed the pooch on this one. Suggestions?

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by MentholMoose » 27 Jun 2011, 19:33

I had the same problem with one of my mods... some of these MadCatz controllers were assembled poorly. I would remove the red and maybe the white wires, clean it up very well, then redo it. You may need to remove part of the wire so you can work with a clean/undamaged section of wire. You can clean with some electrical contact cleaner or general electronics cleaner. Both of these should be available at any electronics store (e.g. Frys). Alternatively you could use rubbing alcohol.
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 27 Jun 2011, 19:52

MentholMoose wrote:I had the same problem with one of my mods... some of these MadCatz controllers were assembled poorly. I would remove the red and maybe the white wires, clean it up very well, then redo it. You may need to remove part of the wire so you can work with a clean/undamaged section of wire. You can clean with some electrical contact cleaner or general electronics cleaner. Both of these should be available at any electronics store (e.g. Frys). Alternatively you could use rubbing alcohol.
Awesome. If it happens again I'll definitely do that. I managed to tack it back on again like 10 minutes ago. Burned a finger but it's worth it. ;)

Image

Thanks man!

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Fredo » 28 Jun 2011, 01:22

Well, I think you should definitly use a glue gun, it will prevent your solderings to break, and it can be pretty useful to isolate and consolidate some pretty badly soldered points.
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 28 Jun 2011, 10:32

Fredo wrote:Well, I think you should definitly use a glue gun, it will prevent your solderings to break, and it can be pretty useful to isolate and consolidate some pretty badly soldered points.
I have one of those and had considered it! Should I use the high heat or the low heat setting, and how big of a gob should I put on there? You don't think the heat from the GG could cause the joint to come loose, do you?

This is my particular cannon-o-goo:
http://www.surebonder.com/products.asp? ... _prod_id=5

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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Fredo » 29 Jun 2011, 00:42

Well, as far as I'm concerned, i'm pretty generous with the glue, the more you put, the less probable it will break.

About the temperature, I think that as far as the glue melts, it is hot enough. So as far as the cold mode can melt down the glue (and if it couldn't, it would be pretty useless), I think it esnough. Just try.
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Re: Madcatz retro stick problem

Post by Billkwando » 29 Jun 2011, 00:59

Fredo wrote:Well, as far as I'm concerned, i'm pretty generous with the glue, the more you put, the less probable it will break.

About the temperature, I think that as far as the glue melts, it is hot enough. So as far as the cold mode can melt down the glue (and if it couldn't, it would be pretty useless), I think it esnough. Just try.
I ended up doing it on the hot setting, just to ensure good coverage between the wires. I really appreciate the suggestion. It'll relieve the anxiety I would've had, waiting for them to fall off again. I originally asked the heat question cos I was worried about it being hot enough to cause my solder joints to come loose, but they didn't ;)

The stick is actually finished. :) I updated my project thread about it if you're curious.

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