General Troubleshooting & Repair Guide

The good people of SRK Tech Talk, The whole of the Fighting Game Community, other DIY and support sites and myself cannot and will not take responsibility how you carry out implement your own repairs and modifications. Ultimately the end users hold responsibility for how they impend their own repairs (mainly you). If at any time you feel the task is over your head, please ask for assistance or even for another modder/builder to take over repairs for you.
Welcome to SRK Tech Talk, here we are going to teach you the principals and fundamentals of troubleshooting. Troubleshooting is more of a mental process and less of following a check list or chart or diagram. In order to troubleshoot effectively you first must understand how stuff works or as we pros call it the theory of operation. Once you understand how game controllers work, the rest of the troubleshooting process will fall in line.
<b>Basic Electrical theory:</b><br>
To save time and space, I skip the actual basics and provide some external links.<br>
For those who understand electricity you can skip to the next section<br>
Exterior Links<br>
Basic Electricity for Kids<br><br><br>
High school level Electrical theory (math skills required)<br><br>
<b>Basic game controller theory of operation:</b><br>
Now that we understand basic electrical theory, we can get into the Theory of Operation on how game controllers work. This theory doesn’t change fort any system’s brand or type of controller. This applies to game pads and arcade sticks as well as it applies to Human interface devices.
All controllers are the same in their basic operation. That includes wired and wireless controllers, arcade sticks, game pads, dance pads, light guns and so on.<br>
There are two basic inputs, <b>DIGITAL</b> and <b>ANALOG</b>.<br><br>
<b>DIGITAL</b> operates on an on/off state, and only reports if a button is pressed or a joystick or directional pad (d-pad) is pushed.<br><br>
Example of Digital input devices.<br>
On/Off Switches, Arcade Push Buttons, gamepad buttons Joysticks, radial encoders, d-pad, keyboard keys
<b>ANALOG</b> reports signals differently, they constantly reporting back the usage or movement of said device (example: even if your analog thumb stick is in a neutral position). It is the strength of the signal that determines its status.
When you move an analog input the signal gets stronger or weaker depending on where or how you move your analog input.<br>
Example of Analog input devices<br>
Volume turn knobs (like on older TVs and Radios), analog thumb sticks, analog buttons, analog trigger/shoulder buttons, turn knobs (like on Pong or similar games), sensors, computer mouse trackball.<br>
Now not all Controllers report back there usage the same way<br>
Neo Geo controllers, Atari Controllers and a few others are built simply, and each button as a signal line that goes directly to the main system. The benefit you have ZERO input lag, the downside is every button and input has to have a signal line, if the controller is not common ground every digital input needs two wires, 3 or more for each analog input.<br>
Now many controllers have an encoder or signal processor or some other kind of circuit that processes the input into binary information your game system can use. Usually this encoder is mounted or soldered to a PCB or Printed Circuit board. These encoders can go from quite simple setups such as a NES game pad that uses a shift register for reporting back 8-bit values for each input pressed. To an encoder that is much more complex such as wireless Bluetooth. It be the Encoder job to turn all your inputs into meaningful signals that goes along your controller cable or wirelessly for wireless controllers.
Outside links <br><br>
For a particular PCB or controller I would direct you to that PCB’s thread and read there.<br>
<b>Okay your Stick do not work as it should, what will you do?</b> <br>
Step 1: First off calm down and approach the issue rationally. Being angry and flustered helps no one.<br>
Step 2: Identify the issue. What is wrong with your stick? Not responding, broken button, direction on the joystick not registering?<br>
Step 2B: Is your stick NEW or OLD. If you have a new retail/ commercial stick this would be the time to take advantage of the manufacturer’s Warranty. If this is a Custom stick please contact your stick builder. Please note individual custom stick builders (usually) do not offer warranties and have no obligation to help, especially if you get angry with them. Please give stick builders a few days (approx 7 days) to contact you to sort the issue out.<br>
Step 3: This is if you are repairing the stick your self, once you identify the issue you need to go and trouble shoot the problem.<br><br>Step 4: Repair<br><br>Step 5: Recover. This includes reasembily and any finishing touches. If you working on a Computer you be uninstalling programs and apps you installed to make a fix (like mal-ware removal tools, cleaner apps ect).<br><br>
<br>Also All repairs can be broken down in 4 steps so, this applies to anything including PCs, Cars, Medicine, air craft ect…<br><br>1. Diagnose the device <br>2. Assets the problem<br>3. Repair<br>4. Recover<br><br><br><br>
Tools Needed:
<ul class=“bbcode_list”>
<li>Screw drivers Both Phillips and flat head, depending on the stick you need multiple sizes.</li>
<li>The correct bit to open the top and/or bottom panels of your stick, this might include hex keys or some security bit to loosen these screws.</li>
<li>Paper and Pencil, you<b> <i>will</i> </b>be taking notes</li>
<li>Multi-meter or continuity tester. Preferably a Multi-meter, although for some test a continuity tester works too.</li>
<li>Needle nose pliers</li>
<li>Wire cutters, Wire Strippers and Crimpers. These can be separate tools or a all-in-one tool</li>
<li>A Digital camera. To take images of your stick, use this prior to disassembly.</li>
<li>Soldering iron, solder and soldering accessories.</li>
<li>Electric tape (not masking tape, gift wrap tape or duct tape) or shrink wrap tubing.</li>
List of known malfunctions and possible causes.<br>
Non working Arcade stick
<ul class=“bbcode_list”>
<li>Is the stick plunged into your game system and the game system turned on?</li>
<li>Is your stick set to the correct player? Player 1, Player 2 and so on.</li>
<li>Is the stick the correct controller for that system? For Dual Mods is the stick set to the correct mode? This applies to Automatic, Button presses mode changes as well as DPDT switch Dual-Mods.</li>
<li>Are you using your Arcade Stick with a PC? What Chip set you have on your mother board? Are the Drivers Installed?</li>
<li>The controller cable is damage or disconnected (on most modern sticks this is a USB cable)</li>
<li>The Printed Circuit board is disconnected or damaged.</li>
Non working push buttons.
<ul class=“bbcode_list”>
<li>With the stick plugged into the CORRECT system and the system is on?</li>
<li>Is your stick set to the correct player? Player 1, Player 2 and so on.</li>
<li>is the wires to the push button/ push button micro switch are connected properly to the wiring and that wiring to the PCB?</li>
<li>Remove the push button, using the 2 exposed wire ends or quick disconnects, will the button signal respond when the 2 wire ends touch?</li>
<li>Does the button show Continuity when the button is pushed?</li>
<li>Comparing to a working push button do you see a High or Low change in the voltage on that button’s line?</li>
Non-Working Joystick.
<ul class=“bbcode_list”>
<li>With the stick plugged into the CORRECT system and the system is on?</li>
<li>Is your stick set to the correct player? Player 1, Player 2 and so on.</li>
<li>Is the stick selector set to “LS”, “DP” or “RS”, Set it to the correct setting, usually this is DP on consoles.<br></li>
<li>Is each of the four cardinal directions, Up, down , left and Right responds?</li>
<li>Do the four corner directions respond?</li>
<li>If you have a 4/8 way gate (usually square) is the gate set to 4 way or 8 way play.</li>
<li>Do you have a 2 way gate?</li>
<li>Is your wiring harness is plugged in correctly and in the correct orientation. its common for the stock wire harness for some sticks (specially the TE) to be installed upside down.</li>
<li>Does the Microswitches show continuity?</li>
<li>is the wires/ wire harness to the joystick/ joystick micro switches are connected properly</li>
<li>Is the wires/ wire harness is connected to the correct way? No backwards wire harnesses or wires connected to the wrong switch?</li>

<blockquote class=“UserQuote”>
<div class=“QuoteAuthor”><a href="/profile/6512/jdm714">jdm714</a> wrote:</div>
<div class=“QuoteText”>Darksakul, when people say that their Directionals lag, it is usually because LS.<br>
When people say the Joystick one day just die, it is usually RS.</div>

Trouble shooting a USB joystick on a PC.
This covers Wired USB joysticks for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC
As well as wireless joysticks that use a USB dongle/ receiver.

Depending on your OS, you will need to install drivers for your stick to work.

On Windows XP, Vista and Win 7 PCs PS3 USB HID devices should work as Plug and Play
and Newer versions of Windows Supports Wired Xbox 360 controllers.

NOTE: there is a known issue concerning the PS3 versions Mad Catz TE arcade stick
working on a PC with non-intel chip sets. If your PS3 Mad Catz TE does not respond on your PC check your PC/ Motherboard documentation for what chipset you have installed.

NOTE: PS3 Sony Dual-Shock 3 and Six Axis controllers will need drivers installed before they will work on a PC.

Step 1: Assuming you installed your drivers (or not have the need to do so) plug your stick into a available USB port on your computer.
Step 2: Open your Game Controller Applet by ether going
Control Panel > Game Controllers > Your Game controller"s name
Devices and Printers > Game Controller > Your Game controller"s name

Step 3: Verify that the name given in the Game Controller panel is the correct name for your controller. This is especially importaint with Dual-mods.

Step 4: Test each and every button on your stick as well as all the directions of your joystick.

If you press a button a numbered button indicator lights up, it works, if it fails to light up then you know which button is not working, and you can go and trouble shoot that button.

Note: your Joystick should move the X, Y coordinates, Hat switch POV or both, this varies with different PCBs. Also you may find there 2 buttons on the control panel that no button activates, this is the L3 and R3 buttons on the PS3/ Xbox 360 controllers. This is normal.

Also on some PCB/ Controllers the Turbo button will not respond at all, this is also normal.
Slow buttons will spam the indicator doe your start button, this is how slow-mo works on most pads/sticks.

The following images are the Game Controller Applet on a Dual-Modded TE-S.

Yes this is the same image that is on my Kitty TE-S guide

USB and System cord repair/ Replacement

Fig 1: And example USB cable, cut , striped, peice of shrink tubing added and ready for installation.

First off to replace a USB cable, you need a replacement USB cable.
You do not need to have a “extra” or “spare” USB cable from a TE, HRAP (or what ever), you just need a USB cable with a type A male plug (see fig 2)

Fig 2: example of a type a Male USB plug.

The cable can be just about any legnth, but 6 to 15 feet is ideal.

1: Cut the un-used end of the USB cable off if you have not already, then Cut and strip the outer insulation.
2: Separate the wire shielding (bare wire) and any foil from what should be 4 smaller insulated wires. The wire colors are normally Red, White, Green and Black.
Trim off the wire shielding, foil, and any string that is there leaving only those 4 wires.
3: strip aprox 2mm of insulation from the four wires.
4: twist the wire ends, and solder the wires into place. Alternatively you can also use a European style wire ternimal to attach the USB cord.
5. At the end of the outer insulation of the USB cord, so its covering the outer insulation and the inner wires wrap this end with electric tape or shrink wrap tubing. (see Fig 1)

**USB Wire Color Guide **(some USB cords will not follow these colors)
Red: VCC
White: Data −
Green: Data +
Black: Gnd

You can also follow this video by nerrage

For System cord replacement for non-USB cords.

Step 1: Acquire a system cable, ether an extension cord or a cord from another controller (for the same system). At this time do not remove the original cable.

Step 2. Using a Multi meter, test to see what wires goes to what pins on the original cable. Write down your results, If necessary cut the cable after the suspected damage potion to access the wiring inside. If you want to solder directly to the PCB write the wire order at the PCB down as well.

Step 3: Cut and strip the “extra” end of your new cable, if this was an extension cable cut the extension port off (not the end that goes into the system). Map this cord as well for the correct wire colors to pins.

NOTE: Do not trust what others posted for system wire colors, every brand and model uses different colors for their controllers, even if said controllers are for the same system or even the same brand.

rtdzing’s System cable Pin outs

Another site with different video game system cable pin outs

Step 4: Connect the new cable, in the sequence you already tested for above. You can solder the new cable in place, use a terminal barrier, use some sort of quick disconnect like a a RJ-45 plug and coupler, 1 male and 1 female DB 9 or some other type of connector.

Push Button issues.

Push button failing to respond or not responding as it should?

You Need:
A Multi Meter
Correct tool(s) to open your stick (what ever hex key or screw driver bit you would need)
Flat head screw driver.
Needle nose pliers.
Wire Cutters
Wire strippers and Crimpers
Replacement Quick Disconnects, ether .110 sized for japanese parts or .187 for american style
Soldering Iron (needed for crown buttons or soldering directly to the micro switch)

Image is the underside of a Mad Catz TE stick, but this will apply to any stick.

Before you begin, if you wired your own stick (your own mod or DIY project) double check all wiring. Make sure the button is connected correctly and there are no extra ground connections or shorts.

Step 1:
Remove the 2 disconnects connecting the button you suspect of not working. You might need to use a flat head screw driver or pliers to carefully full off each quick disconnect. Go slowly so you do not damage the wire or the tab the Disconnect is attached to. If your disconnects look like the ones here, remove the outer plastic cover first before pulling on the metal part if the disconnect.

Step 2: While the stick is plugged in to a system, preferably PC. (see trouble shooting with a PC)
With the freed disconnects, touch the 2 exposed metal ends together. See if your “button” responds or not. Take note of the results. This is what pretty much happens inside the micro switch of you push button.

Step 3: Using a Multimeter, set to ether diode test or resistance test mode to rest the continuity of a circuit. Place both test leads onto the exposed terminals of the button’s micro switch. Check to see if you have Continuity (conducts electricity). On Diode test the Multi meter will beep, on the resistance test you should see very low resistance. Take note of your results.

Now if the button fails the continuity test but the button signal works when you put the 2 wires together. You need to replace the button, or the button micro switch.

If the button works but not the wires continue (or nether works) to the next step.

Step 4: Test the continuity of the wires going to the push button. Make sure you place your test leads at both ends of this wire. Take notes of the results on both wires.

Some sticks will have what is called a daisy chain where one button side (ground) is all connected by a chain of wires with disconnects going at regular intervals around each button.
If this is the case test the daisy chain as well.

If you just have a broken disconnect, cut the old disconnect off, and crimp a new one in its place.

Now if a wire fails a continuity test, replace that wire, use size .110 on most Sanwa and Seimitsu buttons as well as many stock Hori and Mad Catz buttons, use size .187 disconnects on Happ and IL buttons as well as other buttons that use this kind of micro switch

The micro switch can be 2 or 3 tabs. Tabs are Normally Open or NO, Normally Closed or NC and COM (ground).

If you are using this sort of micro switch, make sure that the ground wire is on the COM tab and the signal is on the NO or Normally Open tab. Setting the signal line to NC will make the button activate when the push button is NOT being pushed.

If the wire is fine continue.

Step 5: Reconnect the wires to the button, set your test leads to the exposed metal on the disconnects*. *Set your Multi meter to Voltage test, in low voltage range, DC current.

Common ground controller boards operate on Logic High, or when the voltage on the signal is high the button is OFF (or Zero in machine code), a drop in this voltage means that the button is pressed, the voltage returns to ground and the board registers this as a ON (or a ONE in machine code)

Non-common ground boards might operate on a Logic low, or the reverse process of the above to detect the button is pressed. Low voltage is off, high is on (or zero and one).

Test to see if you see a change in voltage as you press the button. If you see no change it means A that part of the board is not working or B there is a disconnect somewhere between the terminal the button wires connect to and the on board encoder.

At this point you have a break somewhere in wiring other than what you just tested for or you could have the signs of a damaged Circuit board. Check for the actual contacts, if they are broken, you can solder wire directly to them. Check for unnecessarily or accidental grounds. If you have a cut trace on your board, this can be repair with some solder, this can be difficult for the un-experienced.

There are a few other tricks for specific boards and board mods.
To be added later.

Trouble with Joysticks

Reserve Space 4

Words of Wisdom

For your own DIY repairs/ projects. Do not be lazy and do not be cheap with your projects, you will pay for it later on. It is one thing to spend money on something to avoid extra work or do extra work to avoid spending extra money but you really should not cut back on both.

It is worth the time to do more now to save on time and effort later, this is a sign of good prior planing. As I said on my doing a build like a pro thread, take the extra time and money to use disconnects, terminals or some kind of disconnect so if you have to do a alteration or a repair, you can un-do your work with out cutting or de-soldering.

im looking to replace usb cable on hori ex2 turbo pad. it looks console end of cable has a converter for ps/2(???) to usb. if i splice open the controller end, will i still be able to use white black green usb color coding if is in ps/2 format? or does the usb replacement guide no longer apply?

The end is not PS/2.
It is Microsoft Proprietary.

But if you replace the USB, you do not even need the Breakway part anymore.

For some reason my Datel Arcade Pro Joystick is not working anymore. I modded the thing with sanwa parts and when I put it in the PS3 it worked at first but than a message pops up that says that the PS3 can’t handle the electricity or something like that and than the stick just stoped working. I put the cable in again and than it worked but suddenly stoped working again and this time permanently, any thoughts on what I should do(please help).

Provide photos of the internals
Maybe one of us can catch something you might have missed.

Also does the stick stop working when you adjust or bend the USB cable in a particular way?

Here’s some photos on the Internals and the outside just to be sure that something isn’t wrong
there either!!!

I can be a possibility that the PCB broke down when I put in and out the harness wiring to the buttons when it was inserted in the PS3 causing a SHORT CIRCUIT( or whatever you call it). And no the Stick does not stop working if you bend the USB cable in any kind of way.

Its more likely the USB cable, also the USB cable is the easiest thing to test for.

I strongly doubt its the push buttons. You just get a signal that what ever button is being pressed.

You might want to get a multi meter and test out the USB cable.

Also all you images appear broken.

Considering how many people ask the same basic troubleshooting questions, I’m surprised this thread isn’t stickied or something.

Anyhow, I felt the need to update your PC test screenshots, Darksakul. I added in the PS3/360 button/function that corresponds to whatever you see in the test settings in the Devices and Printers on a computer.

I have now fixed the picture issue, and i tried plugging the arcade stick into my PC and Xbox360 too but neither recognized it. No response or any sign off them knowing there was a USB cable plugged into them.BTW does any kind of USB cable from a 360 3rd party controller work as a replacement? Also my computer says: a usb device is malfunctioning and has exceeded the navports energy limit.(when I plug it in to a USB port)

Any USB cord works as long as it has the male type A plug.<br>It does not have to be from a Xbox 360 or PS3 controller.<br><br>If you have a multi-meter, check out each line in the USB cord for any breaks or cross circuits.<br><br>I didn’t notice before, but in one of your pictures your USB cable has a burned mark. I wonder if thats the point where the cable is actually damaged and some wires are broken or crossed.<br><br>

hi im a noob and i dont know if this is the right place to ask this but i ordered some  new sanwa buttons for my stick but one of them is really sticky is this common? thanks(:

<blockquote class=“Quote”>
<div class=“QuoteAuthor”><a href="/profile/84492/chubbzer">chubbzer</a> said:</div>
<div class=“QuoteText”>hi im a noob and i dont know if this is the right place to ask this but i ordered some  new sanwa buttons for my stick but one of them is really sticky is this common? thanks(:</div>

Probably not the right place to post this in the forums, but anyways.<br><br>Just gently take the button apart and give it a good cleaning. Mostly likely some random gunk is in between the actuator and case.  They’re usually held together by plastics tabs, and gently prying on these tabs with a small flathead screwdriver should give you access to the internals. 

I bought three sets of ultra touch(20g) zippy microswitches with harness for my JLF stick about two weeks ago. I got them yesterday and i tried to install them and everything was fine except when i tried to push on the corners. The microswitches didn’t reach far enough for them to activate the corners. I tested and compared the size of the original JLF microswithces and the Zippies. They were the same size so I didn’t really understand the problem. But than I saw that the Zippy has a longer travel for the microswitch to activate than the original JLF switches. This is the reason the corners aren’t being activated. So my question is: Are there any microswitches that have the same activating travel as the original JLF(Omron) microswitches and that is silent (with 20-75g)? If not than is there any tips on what I can do?

I just bought a HRAP V3 SA “like new” on ebay, and it works great, except the top Select button is nonfunctional (this I don’t mind so much, since there’s a Start/Select toggle for the Start button), and the slightest jostle causes the power to cut out momentarily. I haven’t opened the thing up to look at the USB connection, but the wire coming out of the box looks fine, and nothing seems to be loose or damaged externally. Has anyone else experienced connection issues with this model before? I can pop it open and take a picture if need be.