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Xbox S controller repair

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I first got an Xbox with the original large controllers. The controllers were fine, for a while. Soon the left trigger stopped functioning correctly... the plastic of the trigger breaks and leaves the trigger partially in, no good for PGR or PGR2 (the left trigger is the brake!)

I replaced the large controllers with the Microsoft S controller, a great controller, sturdy triggers... again with PGR2 a consistent fault occurred. The left analogue thumbstick loses its left/right centering ability. As some of you may know, I spend a lot of time on Xbox Live playing PGR2. I find that it takes around 3 months for the left thumbstick rubber to wear out and 6 months for the left thumbstick to lose it centering function.

The other day, I spent some time wandering around the shops in Southampton trying to find some replacement S controllers... no luck. In one shop I was told that Microsoft had discontinued the S controller. I ended up ordering a couple of S controller from a website, good price and quickly delivered.

One of my original S controllers got a broken wire in the lead and shorted, even after repairing it, the controller still didn't work... a donor for spares :)

Today (2nd May 2006) I bought a desolder pump and had a go at repairing a controller with a non-centering analogue stick. Optimistic at getting it right first time, I took pictures... I got it right and below is a step-step guide.

The victim controller for repair, worn out rubber and noncentering left thumbstick (I'd previously swapped the thumbsticks to get fresh rubber on the left one).

Step 1 - seven small cross head screws to remove. Leave the controller upsidedown and remove the case.

Step 2 - disconnect the motors and lift them out.

Step 3 - lift the board out of the casing and flip the board over. The left trigger needs to be removed to get at the solder connections for the left thumbstick. The solder connections for the trigger (in the red box) need to be desoldered and the whole trigger unit unclipped..

Step 4 - Flip the board over again, there's 14 solder connections to be desoldered to remove the analogue unit.


A different version of the board.


The analogue unit removed - both left and right analogue units are the same.

If you have a donor controller, use steps 1-4 above to remove the donor analogue unit. Replacing the unit is the reverse of the above (steps 4-1, soldering instead of desoldering!). Otherwise, follow the steps below to recover left/right centering.

Step 5 - Gently bend the tabs open on the underside of the analogue unit and remove the plastic base.



The culprit for non-centering, a worn piece of plastic (pictured above in the middle of the analogue unit)

Step 6 - Rotate the piece of plastic thru 90 degrees, replace the plastic base cover and gently bend the tabs back.
Follow steps 4-1, soldering instead of desoldering, to re-build the controller and have fun testing it :)