TE Durability Inquiry: Left Out in the Rain


#1

So last night apparently I somehow invoked Murphy’s Law:

  1. I left my MCTE in the trunk of my car.
  2. I left the trunk of my car open.
  3. It rained like a bitch last night.

The only thing of any real value in the trunk was my Round 1 TE.

Cosmetically it actually looks perfectly okay, but I’m not sure, are the TE sticks meant to be water tight? If not, do you think it should be fine if I leave it alone to dry for a few days?


#2

I dont think they are designed to be water tight but it all depends how much water, if it was sitting in a pool of water or it rained all night then there is a good chance some got inside.

If you have previously modded/opened your stick id open it and check if theres any evidence of moisture inside, if it looks dry in there and you cant find any condensation etc then id plug it in and give it a go, if there is some water/moisture in there then id leave it open in a safe dry place for a couple of days before trying it.

If you dont want to open it yourself then find someone who can, because i personally wouldnt try plugging it in without knowing if it was dry.
If you dont want to open it for warranty reasons then maybe contact madcatz and see what they suggest?

Im no expert but ive sucessfully dried out quite a few electrical items in the past, if you are patient and dont plug the appliance in while its still got moisture in it then theres a good chance it will be fine.

Good luck hope its ok


#3

I’m guessing there was no box or case? If you suspect any water has sunk into the TE, don’t just let it dry naturally, and don’t plug it in until it is completely dry. The moisture will be the real killer here, and you should do any treatment as soon as possible.

Disassemble the joystick, separating the case, stick, buttons and various PCB. You’ll know for sure how much water got in, if any.
Treat the PCB the same way as an iPod. Let it dry as much as possible before plugging it in. You might want to try the rice trick (submerging it into a container of rice to draw out the moisture).

I’d take apart the joystick and buttons, and even pop open the microswitches if you feel comfortable. Treat the PCB on the joystick the same way as the main PCB.

Considering it was water, you might be able to save the whole thing.


#4

Like they said, definitely let it dry completely before trying to use it. I’ve heard that rice (plain white rice) works as a good moisture absorber. Google it and you might find some good ways to use it.

Pure distilled water generally doesn’t hurt electronics, but since it’s rainwater, it’ll be conductive (because of the particles) so turning it on wet could potentially be harmful.


#5

I took the panel off (but still wired, I’m not sure I want to do a complete dis-assembly like calm suggested), seems some water did get into the case and onto the main PCB.

Nothing looks warped or overly damaged aside from rust on the edges of the panel, so I left it next to my space heater set to very low.

I dunno about this white rice thing, I might give it a shot but it only looks like moisture right now and I feel weird about deliberately letting food products inside my stick.

I hope it’s not busted, I still have a functioning stick but fuck, it’s a Round 1, and my first real stick…damn…Well here goes nothing.


#6

Be a man and plug it in now.

Am I evil for wanting him to plug it in right away and see if his game explodes?

What I would do is disassemble it completely and wipe any moisture out with a towel. Put the PCBs in rice. Use a hair dryer on the crevices of the case. Let it dry for a few days. Can of air to clean everything and reassemble.

I’ve read a story of a guy who lost his gameboy color while snow sledding on a hill in his large back yard. He later found it laying on the ground in the summer, months later. He turned it on and not only did it work, it still had all of his Pokemon.


#7

There are old electronics where the cleaning instructions are to put it in a dishwasher. The USB only runs 5V, it’ll probably be fine even if he plugs it in wet. I’d be more concerned about the stick and buttons than the PCB.


#8

Well, I’ve got some silver lining for the worst case scenario.

The case is still intact, so I can use it for rebuilding/modding if it ends up FUBAR.


#9

Worst case scenario for the joystick and buttons is that the springs in your various switches start to oxidize and feel bad or get intermittent contact. Worst case for the PCB is that oxidation completely ruins a trace and you get intermittent or no activation on it.

Like calm said, disassemble anything you can. Dry what you can with clean towel, pack it in silica gel or rice and leave it for a day or two, reassemble and play. (I’d suggest hooking it up to a desktop PC first, preferably one you don’t care if you mess up, but all modern USB ports should be able to deal with any shorts. Mine have… Consoles might not be as forgiving because, you know, console companies don’t actually care about consumers and love to hide behind their non-warranties and non-repairable machines. (Yes, I know they can be repaired, but it tends to be more difficult and cost much more than it really should.))


#10

Gave it a few hours under my space heater with the panel off. Components no longer feel wet or even damp.

I’ll give it another few days before I test the stick again, though, just to be sure. Took it away from the space heater, just letting it sit open-panel right now.


#11

Were you able to save it?