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Notes on repairing 2 ps3 dualshock controllers

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throbscottle

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Today I finished my second dualshock repair, and I thought I'd share some notes in the hope they will be useful to others.

First thing to note, if you attempt to repair one of these, disconnect the motors as the wires break after very little handling.

The first controller (my own) was completely dead, the second one had buttons which as my grandson put it, had gone crazy.

The controllers in both cases suffered from corrosion to pcb tracks, via's and component contacts. In the first case this was bad enough to warrant replacing a resistor which had lost its end cap, and repairing a track. In the second case no real harm had been done. The components are very very tiny, and the resistor value had to be found by successive approximation since they are not marked. I actually used a very tiny leaded resistor (still relatively huge) to replace it after confirming there was space in the enclosure. In this case it affected power control and battery charging and was seen to deteriorate over a period of weeks. The connecting track was corroded completely through - only discovered after continuity checking and scraping with a knife - the copper was black through to the board. I patched this up with a single strand from a flexible wire threaded through the via which was also affected.

I took the board out of the second controller and gave it a good scrub under the tap since it was a bit grubby and there was visible corrosion, however it wasn't affected as badly by moisture and nothing was corroded through, although a decoupling capactior had lost part of its end cap. Seeing the controller in action led me to suspect a dry joint, so after cleaning all the button contacts and board/button matrix contacts with no improvement, I unsoldered the joystick controllers, put a bit of foil (as heat shield) over the battery connector, flooded each side of the board with liquid flux and re-flowed it with a heat gun. I had to rest it on a bit of wood for one side so that there was no pressure on the projecting accelerometer pcb.

Then things got weird. The controller buttons' flexible matrix has silvered contacts which are held against rubberised contacts on the pcb, and depend on precise alignment and slight pressure from part of the plastic frame to hold them together. It's actually so well made it's hard to see how it can fail. However, apparently it is possible to lose contact pressure, which is what had happened. This was easily fixed with a bit of foam sticky pad with it's backing left on inserted into the part that creates pressure. Tra-la, happy grandson. Now I have to try to repair his *other* controller...
 
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