Collectors Corner

Posted on Jun 4th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (Addicted)
Posted under Xbox 360, Hidden Gems, Controller, Xbox, 360

I recently stopped at Goodwill and came across a Halo Green Xbox 360 controller. I noticed it was weathered and the button presses felt like stepping in mud, a telltale sign that someone had spilled soda on it. The back had duct tape holding the battery pack in suggesting that the controller suffered from power issues. I moved the thumbsticks around and surprisingly they centered almost every time. I decided that this controller was worth saving and would be a great project.

I started off by setting aside a place to hold all of the screws and pieces of the controller. I used the following for this project:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • TEKTON 2830 kit (specifically T9)
  • Toothbrush

I started out by removing the duct tape and battery pack. It was clear that the batteries had leaked but luckily the damage was limited to the battery holder and there didn't appear to be any corrosion inside. Upon further inspection of the battery holder, I noticed that the plating was completely corroded and couldn't be saved.

Next, I started giving the controller a light Isopropyl Alcohol bath using the toothbrush to scrub. I made sure to get in the crevices as much as I could. I made sure to scrub a little harder around the triggers to get inside the small lettering. Finally I lightly scrubbed the thumbsticks as I moved them around making sure to get in the crevices and dislodge any dirt that would cause the sticks to get stuck. I let the controller dry for about 20 to 30 minutes before I started disassembly.

I pulled out the screwdriver and T9 bit. I pulled out the three torx screws on the left and the three torx screws on the right but the casing would come off. It was then that I noticed there was a seventh screw located behind the barcode sticker. After gently peeling up the stick I pulled out the last screw. I then gently pull down the analogue triggers at the top of the controller and pulled the back casing off.

The circuit board looked fine and didn't show and corrosion. I gave it a light bath with Isopropyl Alcohol and my toothbrush and left it to dry. I then popped the buttons, conductive membranes, and thumbsticks out the front shell and also gave them a bath with a toothbrush. I let them all dry for 20 to 30 minutes before I scrub the casing and buttons again. Once was enough for the conductive membranes. The d-pad is two plastic pieces so I made sure to take a picture of it before disassembly.

After making sure I had thoroughly cleaned everything I started to put the buttons back in to the front shell. The d-pad took a couple minutes to correctly align but everything went back together quickly after that. I put the controller's PCB back in to place and made sure the rumble motors were correctly seated. I then held down the analogue triggers and pressed the back casing in to place. The triggers will hold the back casing in place enough for testing. I borrowed a working battery pack from another controller, and after 30 minutes of playing DoDonPachi Resurrection I was satisfied that everything was working. I took the battery pack out added the screws back in and now have a working controller for $4.

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I love it when a good clean saves hardware.
Nice job! As a kid I took my NES and SNES consoles and controllers apart more times than I can count, but haven't tried much with current consoles. Nice to know some modern(ish) things are still easy. Took my PS3 phat apart and put it back together once when I tried to fix its yellow light of death, oof was it a pain.
Impressive save of this controller! I have a couple pads that I think probably need similar treatment, just because they have years of grime built up. Sounds like a good Saturday morning project...
I love doing the same thing with handheld systems. Comparatively little work to get them looking nearly new again.

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