I have a PCB i’m trying to solder to that I ripped out of a clone (unofficial) ps3 controller. There is a mainboard, a large daughterboard that just acts as a panel for the buttons to press on, and two more either side for the shoulder buttons.
I’m having trouble deciding where to solder to and then actually doing it. I figured I should try soldering to the daughterboard because then if I make an irreversable mistake I can rip it off and try again on the mainboard. The contacts are also spread out (where the buttons press down) so in most cases there is little chance of bridging.
However I’m running into several problems.
While the dpad and action buttons have some sort of ‘bridge’ style contacts where grnd and +5 meet, the start/select and shoulder buttons on the other hand have contacts where the two sides make a grid, kind of like a hedge maze. It’s nigh impossible not to bridge the contacts on these–to get an isolated bit of metal would mean soldering to a 1x2mm or so area. I’ve found away around it for the shoulder buttons (I can solder the grnd to a remote bit of the R2 contact that won’t go near the +5v, and then solder to either side of where the pins come through). But with the start/select, it looks like I won’t have a choice but to solder at the pins. (ps. i’m not sure if i’m using correct terminology here).
The neatest-looking solution would be to solder at ‘where the pins come through’-- basically there is a ribbon connector that comes up from the mainboard and through the underneath of the daughterboard, and then there is what looks like solder holding it in on top. I say ‘looks like’ because it is impervious to either of my two soldering irons, and they melt other solder. So I guess it’s something else.
Said metal is also quite embossed from the board–I have a feeling if I tried to solder wire to these directly it would just run down the sides and easily bridge the adjacent contact.
I’m wondering if it’s possible to scrape away the green from the board and expose metal underneath and solder to that?
I’m using 22 awg wire, but it seems a bit too fat for this unwieldy work–though I can pull some of the copper strands away. Another problem is that it doesn’t sit completely flush with the board, partly because of the insulation raising it away, which doesn’t help with heat-transferance when soldering, and means more solder to fill in the gap underneath.
If it will help I’ll try and get some pics, though i’m having difficulty finding my camera…
Not even mentioned that given the daughterboards ‘hover’ there is no firm sufrace when soldering, and the wires move around–I try to affix them in place with tack or insulation tape but they still move. I’ve soldered two wires on successfully so far but they took 2 hrs apiece and i’m dissatisfied with the amount of solder required, and it won’t be even that easy for some of the others.
I ended up getting the solder hot enough to separate the daughterboards from the mainboard. However the pcb has since started malfunctioning; I wonder if it may be static discharge that has damaged the chip. The ‘up’ button shows in Windows that it keeps triggering at random with nothing wired up to it.