Okay! I can admit I failed! How do I figure out what I did wrong?

Short version: I have a stick all wired up and it’s not working right–how do I troubleshoot?

HAHA failure


  1. get out that hotglue, it works marvelous.
  2. just unsolder those bumpers out.
  3. remove the pcb of the joystick itself. put the stick back together, use the metal tabs on the microswitches instead via quick disconects are solder the wire on directly(do this after you mount the joystick). Careful about the directions though
  4. I have no idea wtf you mean by butt connectors

Thanks for the reply, but it’s not much help without detail :frowning:

Are those pads already solder-ready? Just solder the wire there and hotglue into place?

If I unsolder the bumpers, will there be obvious spots to solder the wires to?

How do I figure out which microswitch corresponds to which Dpad direction? And do I just solder the wire directly to the metal tabs? I’m assuming the one labeled COM is the ground? (EDIT: Actually, it seems like I can trace each wire on the PCB to the microswitch it belongs to. It’ll probably be easier to use their wires…so how do I split the ground into 4?)

And butt connectors are basically a cylinder of plastic around a smaller hollow cylinder of metal. You stick a wire in either end, crimp both sides, and presto, it’s one wire! (Or so I understand, anyway)

It seems like it might be worth going to the hardware store tomorrow to look for some quick disconnects. The only problem was that the ones at Radio shack were 8 bucks for 8 sets :frowning:


  1. Most guides will tell you to heat it a bit, tin the wire, solder, add hotglue
  2. yes, just solder to where the bumper used to be (there should be two metal prong thingeys from the bumper). Just solder a wire each to where they used to be.
  3. derrrrrrrrr mount the stick and from the top move the joystick, hey one of the microswitches on the bottom clicked that must be the corresponding direction.
    3.5 i thought i said remove the pcb on the joystick. The pcb is made so that everything is already daisy chained, something which you do not want to happen because it’s not CG.
  4. If you want to use butt connectors, go knock yourself out, this is your mod, you do what you want.

…you ok bro?

A little electronics know how will help you out – you should probably read threads that have anything to do with modding sticks or constructing them PERIOD.

I also came here and asked a bunch of questions, but as soon as I got a single link (to an off site page) it started a chain reaction. Twinniss’ advice makes perfect sense to most of the people on this board, but you won’t understand it until you get a bit more studying down. Update the thread incase you need a bit more help.

Thanks for the advice–I’ve been reading a LOT of electronics and soldering threads and off-site pages, but this is my first actual hands-on experience, so a lot of stuff hasn’t clicked with me yet. Twinniss is telling me to ignore the PCB wires and just solder directly to the microswitches, correct? Not actually take the joystick PCB out, since it’s soldered to the microswitches already.

I’m about to go to the hardware store for a hot glue gun and some QDs, and then take another crack at this thing.

My biggest question hasn’t been answered, though–Am I going to need to scrape anything off the PCB before I try soldering to it again? They’re shiny and seem to be metal, although the solder doesn’t stick to it well. Do I need to expose something else underneath them?

edit: also, was that a “yes” on soldering the metal microswitch tabs labeled “COM” (common ground?) and “NC NO”? I can’t find a good image of a soldered-up joystick. The tabs that I’m talking about are the ones used to solder the switches to the PCB.

ma bad, forgot it was soldered on

i dont remember if you can just desolder and it’ll be good. Either that or your gonna need to cut traces

you shouldn’t need to scrape off anything. I usually have a hard time if i screw up the first time. Just get what you can to stick and hotglue

Dude, pretend you’re talking to a three-year-old. You want me to desolder the switches from the joystick PCB so I’ll have four loose microswitches? Can’t I just leave them on the PCB as a mount and just ignore the wires?

http://lizardlick.com/images/sanwa_mso2p.jpg - on that pic, do I solder wires to the two metal tabs sticking out the bottom and left of the switch?

Can I get some help please? I’m about to leave for work, unfortunately, but my nightmare begins again when I get home at midnight.

check your PM’s

I just sent you a PM, Domz, but in case anyone else is up playing with wires at 1:30 am, here’s the text of it, if anyone else wants to lend a hand. My biggest problem is figuring out where to solder wires to the microswitches on the joystick–can I get a quick response?

For the bumpers, you could do either and it will work. For the Dpad, if its common ground, you just need to find out which 4 are signal and wire those to the appropriate switches, then wire any of the grounds to the ground on the joystick.

I believe you can just remove the common ground from the stick and wire 2 grounds to the dpad. Look at the pic of your controller. 2 of the directions share a common ground so you only have to solder 4 signal lines and 2 ground lines (just daisy the other 2 together).

Yes you gotta scrape away the pcb top. its black and when it comes off you should see copper underneath. its a bit daunting at first because you dont want to destroy your board. you can look on the back of the board to solder to as well. not sure if there’s a diagram of that particular one out there yet (for the backside contacts).

For soldering, the size you have is fine. Tin the pad after you scrape it, it should be shiny. Tin your wire. Then put a TINY bit of solder on your iron, put the wire on the pad and heat it up. Heat should transfer from the iron, to the wire, to the pad and all melt together. Remove iron and it should be shiny. If its DULL, then you have a cold solder joint that more than likely isnt connected. Verify all work with an Ohm Meter before you throw it together. Remember heat damages comonents fairly quickly so dont keep it on there for a long time. Also watch what you’re holding the tip next to, its fairly easy to burn something because you’re focusing on the pad so much and not the surroundings.

Easiest way to test your connections is to plug your controller into your pc, let windows get the drivers. Then go into control panel, game controllers, and double click. It will bring up the controller you have plugged in. Touch the 2 wires together that make the button and the light should come up on the screen indicating which button is being “pressed”. Best way to verify IMO.

The PCB I’m using is not common ground. Can someone please tell me WHERE to solder the wires to the microswitch?? Please? I keep asking: Do I just solder to the metal tabs on the bottom and lower right in this image? http://lizardlick.com/images/sanwa_mso2p.jpg
Is the one labeled COM the common ground??

It seems like the easiest way to do this, especially if no one ever answers me, is just to use the wires already attached. It seems like if I solder wires to the microswitches, I’ll have to “cut the traces” on the PCB? Does this just entail cutting some of the copper traces off the PCB so the microswitches don’t connect to the old wiring?


Hmm. Does this mean I can just string another wire between the grounds on Up+Left, Right+Down, X+B, and Y+A, according to that image?

just do this


look at like the 6th picture. Cut the traces, wire each line, dont worry about which part has common grounds

if you dont see copper, scrape. If you do, solder, break out the hotglue. Or buy the service from someone else.

I just got done soldering up this exact board a few days ago. I’m at work right now, but when I get home I can take pictures.

This board is a bitch to solder to, and as it was my first real time soldering anything I think I did quite well on it. Be careful when dealing with the contacts with the overlapping fingers. I found it easiest to get a bit of solder on the contact, then bring the wire in with more solder. As far as scratching off the coating, I just took a phillips head screw driver and scratched the film off, worked fine.

Yes, you solder from the microswitch tabs to the PC Board. If you want to check your switch, put an OHM METER with one lead on the tab and one lead on the other tab. It should have infinite resistance if its Normally Open. Push the switch, and you will get a small amount of resistance meaning the circuit is now closed.

Alternatively, you could buy a connector at radio shack and slip onto the tab.

As for your PC board. Its not common ground (meaning the board has ONE ground for ALL buttons), but some buttons do SHARE a ground.

Solder from the LEFT GROUND (in ORANGE) on the picture to the tab on your switch that goes LEFT Common. Then solder from the LEFT SIGNAL (IN ORANGE) to the other tab on the switch. Boom, your left is now hooked up.

Next solder a wire from the UP SIGNAL (ALSO IN ORANGE) to the tab on the switch that you want to go UP (BUT NOT THE COMMON TAB).

Now, because LEFT and UP share a GROUND, you can simply connect the COMMON (AKA GROUND) of your UP SWITCH to the COMMON (AKA GROUND) of your LEFT switch. Doing this makes it so you dont have to solder the extra point on the UP pad.

Repeat this process for any 2 buttons that share a ground, as in are labeled the SAME COLOR on the picture.

Does this help?

I found that the best way securely solder wires onto single layer pcbs (like the ps1 and some 3rd party ps2 pcbs) is to drill holes on the pad using a .8 mm drill bit, then inserting the wires and soldering it on…

Well, everything’s all soldered up and wired together, but it’s not quite working properly. I get weird button inputs in SF4, and my joystick isn’t working at all hardly.

I plugged it into my computer, and all the buttons light up properly for buttons 1-6, although the start button isn’t working according to that… The joystick is weird as hell, though. I don’t know how to read the input, but its constantly ducking in SF4, and when I hit up, it registers button 5 as being pressed on the computer. I can’t tell whether it’s giving left/right inputs properly, but I can only scroll to the right in the Dashboard, and characters don’t want to move in SF4. Oddly enough, I can jump if I hit up/left, but not if I just hit up or up/right.

The microswitches are soldered directly to the PCB, so I don’t think it’s a loose connection anywhere, unless its really not soldered on right somewhere. I don’t think a loose connection would register a constant down input, either :frowning:

How do I troubleshoot this? I really don’t know where to start, let alone how to search for this stuff.