How do I stop sucking at hacking a pad?

I keep breaking the contact on the pad, trying to scrape the trace with a craft knife, and in doing so I permanently ground one of the connections. I’m using some 22 gauge wire from Radioshack and a 4716 Madcatz 360 controller. The trigger hack, surprisingly, is not the difficult part.

Stranded wire. Breaks a lot less than solid core. And I only know radio shack to sell solid core.

Radio shack sells stranded. It’s where I got all mine before I started buying in bulk.
Go lighter with your strokes. When you say craft knife do you mean xacto? It’s what I use and have no problems. Sounds like you’re scraping too hard/too long.

It may help to hot glue the wires down to another area on the PCB before soldering them, so that any tugging that occurs on the wire will tug mostly on the hot glue and not on your connection.

My first attempt I used some lamp wire that continuously broke off the controller with the slightest nudge. Next, I tried some speaker wire that was sturdy, but caused a short an nearly caused a fire. Now, I am using that 22 gauge (I checked, it is solid) and am not hating myself for incompetence.

And yes, I meant xacto knife.

Not mine. :crybaby: Mine has nothing good. :sad:

If I continue to use this solid wire, what measures can I take to prevent contact breaking? I have some electrical tape and I’ve also considered wiring it to a blank pcb. The black pcb would then be wired to the buttons, as well as providing a single ground to daisy-chain the buttons with.

That sucks. You can try online if you don’t mind waiting a few days.

Shnazz: Once you solder the wire in place, confirm it’s working and not shorted with anything else using a multimeter and then hot glue it down.

hot glue is your best friend in these situations (especially if your starting out).

reading is also a great solution, helps to learn how to solder

If you arn’t already, tint the board itself, or even better, get a ball of solder on the board. Then proceed with soldering the wire onto the board.