[Mod] Xbox 360 Controller - Button Mod

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Reddog9287

08 Apr 2012, 00:38

Hello everyone. This is a little mod I did, I just pulled my post from the off-topic section and pasted it here.
What I am doing is modding the buttons to give them a "tactile" and "clicky" feel. I went over how I soldered the buttons to the pads below.

These are regular tact switches from RadioShack that I decided to use for now. Next to Roosevelt (dime) for comparison.
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Here are the pads that are originally on the Xbox 360 controller.
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The switches fit like so.
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They are the same height! Perfect! (also see CAD drawing)
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With switch and "B" Button, perfect fit
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I soldered the buttons to the board by bending the pins underneath so that they had a nice level surface on the bottom, then I tinned the pins. Next I scratched the black conductive stuff off of the pads to reveal copper, and tinned that. Next it was only a matter of getting them to sit properly; I heated up the solder beneath them and it fused the pin to the pad. They actually are very sturdy and they won't fall off by simply pressing the button. I also added hot glue ;)
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All seated
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I had to sand the buttons, I just could not get the switches soldered on perfectly to line up with them!
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Little modification to pads
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Hanging out on my wall
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Finished product has a tactile, clicky feel when the button is depressed and looks just like a stock Xbox 360 controller. It makes pressing the button easier -> faster reaction in games. Tested out in Halo: Reach; works like a charm :mrgreen:
Also handbraking in Forza 3 has never felt so good!!

The Razer Onza tournament edition does something similar with its buttons but hey, this cost me $4.00 and twenty minutes! Can't beat that!

~Reddog9287

[SUPER EDIT] ABOUT SOLDERING SWITCHES AND SWITCH POLARITY: Read what Off said below!!!!
Last edited by Reddog9287 on 25 Apr 2012, 22:15, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Ascaii
The Beard

08 Apr 2012, 18:02

Very cool. Thanks for elaborating on how you made contact with the buttons.

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Reddog9287

08 Apr 2012, 20:58

No problem Ascaii

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JesuswasaZombie

11 Apr 2012, 00:57

Thanks for posting this, I'll get some pics up when I finish the mod, probably going to get some Krylon Fusion to paint the shell if I'm disassembling it anyway.

ripster

11 Apr 2012, 01:31

Nice pics! Does the Xbox360 have those two stage triggers like the PS3? I always wondered how those work.

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Reddog9287

11 Apr 2012, 02:30

Ripster - Thanks, iPhone camera pics ftw haha. The 360 controller has what are called "analog triggers". Source: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_Controller) They do much the same thing as the "analog sticks". What this means is that when the trigger is depressed, it has different stages to it, varied by intensity of the press, position of the trigger, etc. The buttons are only digital which means basically on/off and that's it. They are essentially momentary switches also. Good luck Death Ray!!

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off

11 Apr 2012, 10:52

Reddog9287 wrote:The 360 controller has what are called "analog triggers". Source: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_Controller) They do much the same thing as the "analog sticks". What this means is that when the trigger is depressed, it has different stages to it, varied by intensity of the press, position of the trigger, etc.
Different stages being 128 digits in the default config afair; and only varying by depth of press- not the amount of love put in.
Can't shake the thought of doing this to that abortian that is the x360 d-pad... Though I doubt it'll truely work.
I miss the snes d-pad, man.

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Reddog9287

12 Apr 2012, 13:46

Right This^ But it would so work! The D-Pad uses the EXACT same pads as the A, B, X, Y buttons! Go for it!

[EDIT] They look a bit different but same thing

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off

13 Apr 2012, 12:09

Yeah I know it would physically work, just not convinced it would actually work as a NICE d-pad... the distinct activation clicks might be really bothersome doing HCF etc ;)
Thoughts?
*also on your modded one, tested it more?

xbb

13 Apr 2012, 14:52

could you tell the model of the switches you used please?

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off

14 Apr 2012, 20:56

xbb wrote:could you tell the model of the switches you used please?
Seems to me to be the bog standard mom-switch?

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Reddog9287

16 Apr 2012, 01:26

XBB if you go to the "Off-Topic" section there is a thread about this with the switches I got. Any ones will work (that is just regular on/offs). I bought mine at RadioShack.

Off: I think "NICE" is far from what we have here, lol. These switches are just regular tact switches so they're not like MX Blues or anything! But the truth is that it is one hundred and ten times better than the standard rubber in the controller. I did test it a lot (few hours on Forza 3 and Halo), feels much better. I say go for the modded D-Pad and post pics!! I would do it if I had a few more of those switches.

xbb

16 Apr 2012, 01:53

thanks, didn't see the link :)

xbb

16 Apr 2012, 02:05

omron switches here: datasheet.

5mm height is fine? or do you suggest to try 4.3mm / 7mm?

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off

16 Apr 2012, 13:27

Reddog9287 wrote:Off: I think "NICE" is far from what we have here, lol. These switches are just regular tact switches so they're not like MX Blues or anything! But the truth is that it is one hundred and ten times better than the standard rubber in the controller. I did test it a lot (few hours on Forza 3 and Halo), feels much better. I say go for the modded D-Pad and post pics!! I would do it if I had a few more of those switches.
Oh I'm absolutely sure that these kill the standard ABXY buttons; but for a d-pad there's different things important, seems like it *might* work nicely, but I'm really not sure.. I might try it out on an old sidewinder I've still got somewhere (really bad, but around 20yrs old and fully functional).
And 'nice', well yeah, but I'd say nobody wants blues nor any kind of keyboard switch in a gamepad AT ALL; plus, anything is nice in comparison to the standard xbox d-pad. Even after a mod (extra layer between the rubber and the d-pad-'stick', from a pringles top) it's still made of pure shite, just a little bit less smelly.

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Reddog9287

17 Apr 2012, 22:40

XBB: I used 5mm switches I believe. 4.3 or 7 should not matter because you can always sand down the buttons.
off: I agree. lol. There must be some type of switch out there that is perfect for the D-Pad, but of course, if you used these momentary switches, then you'd have to cut the d-pad into four sections somehow creating four separate buttons.

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off

18 Apr 2012, 02:01

Reddog9287 wrote:D-Pad, but of course, if you used these momentary switches, then you'd have to cut the d-pad into four sections somehow creating four separate buttons.
Of that I'm not so sure. Dangit, you're tempting me to start cutting just to test.

andrewjoy

18 Apr 2012, 08:52

I am so tempted to see if this can be done with a PS3 pad

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off

18 Apr 2012, 11:39

Well it cAn, but seeing how the PS3 pad IS analogue (including the face buttons you are thinking of), you'll end up with something more akin to a PS1 controller- provided that electronically it works ofcourse: which means that the pad-buttons need to originally be of a type that has less electrical resistance the more the button is pressed, and fully conductive when pressed fully; which is quite likely.

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Reddog9287

19 Apr 2012, 04:35

Off, leave it to me I wouldn't want you hacking up your controller for no purpose! Of course it is a fun experience... I can post pics of the D-Pad and show how it works mechanically. What I meant by my post was that it would be a disgrace to have the one single D-Pad, and not that it is required per say to cut it. Four separate buttons would be so much nicer!

[EDIT] Also Off is correct, the buttons for PS3 are analog, simply using momentary switches would make them worse. Read earlier posts (Or maybe it's in the Off-Topic Section) about analog switches.

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off

19 Apr 2012, 11:05

Hmm.. you are very much correct; was thinking that to create a snes-styled pad you wouldn't need separate buttons (on the face at least), but now I remember, you would- a snes could be pressed left and right at the same time!
At least that's what my memory is telling me now.
Just checked with a PS1 contr, that has a tilting d-pad, like the x360 (but just plain better), so no left+right.
It will really be De-facing the xbox controller though.. Also, I am aware of how it works currently, and I thought just to replace the activation pads underneath the d-stick to buttons might feel 'off'. Aaaand, the cutting I meant was not straight to the x360, would definitely go for the sidewinder as a guinnea pig.

---edits re Microsoft Sidewinder gamepad d-pad switchmod:---
Just found that Sidewinder pad, and surprise: made my Mitsumi, at least the pcb is, and presumably this next trick as well. I've always found it's d-pad awkward to horribad, but that was before I met the xbox's. What they did, was get regular rubber domes, ofc smaller lower and stiffer, and put those in the diagonal corners of the pad (although the domes are bottoms up when compared to normal orientation); so what you do when using it is riding the top of the dome way before the buckling point.
Very little space to mod switches into, but probably will take a moment one of these days to do so anyway, to test if having the buckling point actively under your fingers on a d-pad will/could feel nice.
--
Alright, started on that sw anyway, the pad will need to be rotated for the switches to fit unless I start cutting; and after putting one switch down it seems like it might work.. Though it's a b* to make sure the switches rest at exactly the right spot and exactly horizontal (imbalance will be very noticeable in use), will update later.
--
After mocking about quite a bit with the switches, all 4 soldered on now (all with the idea to keep the original hard plastic pad on top of those), it seems that it might feel nice; when done properly. Thing is, getting them into exactly the right positions so the d-pad can comfortably and reliably click all of them is even more of a pain than I thought. Add to that, that to fit the switches the membrane and plastic ring (that normally keeps the membrane attached to the d-pad and keeps the d-pad from rotating on the spot(!)) are ditched, now allowing the d-pad to rotate and slide a few mm (enough to block the switches from activating as they are currently positioned), I'd not recommend anyone go down this road unless they have a sacrificial pad to learn on (as I do).
Last edited by off on 19 Apr 2012, 18:46, edited 3 times in total.

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off

19 Apr 2012, 13:14

:!: I just noticed something, your pic of the switches before soldering is misleading, it doesn't show how you actually have placed the buttons; if soldered down like this, 3/4 buttons will be always triggering (unless the other pins are not touching the copper, not even through pressure) so careful readers!
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So again, any orientation *can* work, provided you are aware what points to isolate and which to solder.
Otherwise, just solder all the pins in the orientation that's indicated in the text on the pic.

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Reddog9287

20 Apr 2012, 00:34

Off: :Quadruple Facepalm: I TOTALLY forgot to mention that. Sorry readers! Off is correct, the 2 pins that are directly across from each other will complete the circuit. See his pic! What I did was: I bent the pins beneath the switch and soldered them on that way (surprisingly easier than expected).

Plus, your project seems cool can we get some pics!! :D

**Scratch This**
[EDIT] :!: "Down" (A button) is placed incorrectly. The pins directly opposite from each other close the circuit. Only 2 out of the four pins need to be soldered for the circuit to be closed since the switch is SPST. I believe that they call that "One-way" in Britain. As I said above, I bent the two that I used underneath the switch, tinned them, tinned the copper (after scraping off the pads) and then soldered button to pad.

**This here is good**
[EDIT 2] What Off said below is correct I seem to have confused myself somehow :?: Thanks off!
Last edited by Reddog9287 on 25 Apr 2012, 22:22, edited 2 times in total.

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off

25 Apr 2012, 18:37

Reddog9287 wrote:Off: :Quadruple Facepalm: I TOTALLY forgot to mention that. Sorry readers! Off is correct, the 2 pins that are directly across from each other will complete the circuit. See his pic! What I did was: I bent the pins beneath the switch and soldered them on that way (surprisingly easier than expected).

Plus, your project seems cool can we get some pics!! :D

[EDIT] :!: "Down" (A button) is placed incorrectly. The pins directly opposite from each other close the circuit. Only 2 out of the four pins need to be soldered for the circuit to be closed since the switch is SPST. I believe that they call that "One-way" in Britain. As I said above, I bent the two that I used underneath the switch, tinned them, tinned the copper (after scraping off the pads) and then soldered button to pad.
:o :o :o :o :o
:!: Stop confusing the (potential) readers man*, my pic is correct in pointing out that the 'A' button is the only one oriented correctly...
I just rechecked with the single button I haven't soldered in that the pins that are on the same side, facing the same way, having the same orientation if you will, are the ones that will connect to eachother when the button is pressed; the ones opposite eachother, the ones that, when folded under the button will touch one another, are already internally connected through a short. :!:
Now where's that quintuple facepalm. :roll:

on that note, you might want to update the OP with the correct info re switch orientation


AAAAAAANyway, what I came back to this thread for, was to crap it full of pics :lol: on your request! :evilgeek:
Pics, smilies, and horribly made up text*. :mrgreen:

*I'm confusing them enough as it is.

So I potentially sacrificed that old controller of mine. A Sidewinder.
A what? A 1996 Microsoft Sidewinder*. Have actually got another kicking about somehwere.
*funny how the one on wikipedia is knackered, the cord-strain-relief has split

Both should still function but haven't been tested in at least two years, before that I actually had one in use to control my pc with, music, videos, browsing, file organisation, gaming; and all at the same time ofcourse. Different story.

So, I went in on that old boy and soldered four of those same simple MOM/SPST-switches to the four pads that normally make up the D-pad. Ghetto style.

Funky details:
  • _That D-pad uses rubber domes, up side down, attached to the pad not the pcb, to, provide counterforce; nothing to do with actuation, it's just for centering the pad and providing mushyness.
  • _It's made by Mitsubishi. Would not be surprised to find out all those old half-way decent Microsoft peripherals were not even theirs to begin with.
  • _The buttons all have tabs to ensure there is only one way they can fit in only one hole; they must've really thought about how to ensure that even cheap labour kids could put one together flawlessly.
There's more to say, as always, but there's already too much text I take it.
If there's any burning questions, ask; someday you might see a response.
And no, I haven't tested the controller, so it might still be fubar; I went in to judge the feel, and that does seem very decent, although, it can't really be fair judgement on that part. You'll see why.

To actually game with it will take a while, for I'll have to dig up a soundcard from somewhere around here, should still have one with a gameport, and then get that shi to work with Win7 (ppjoy or something) since they ditched support/drivers for gameports afaik. *edit: fyi: no go on win7x64. win7x32 there is an option for.

[PICS][FINALLY]
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Last edited by off on 10 May 2012, 13:13, edited 1 time in total.

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off

25 Apr 2012, 18:59

[pics][moar]
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off

25 Apr 2012, 19:06

[and that's it]
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Reddog9287

25 Apr 2012, 22:21

Oooo! Looks pretty, seems kind of awkward though, new D-Pad looks tall. Anyway over here I have a boring video about the controller which I modified:

http://vimeo.com/40983524

Enjoy!

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off

25 Apr 2012, 22:30

Well it is bloody tall, hence the sideshot to show that off. ;)
But for the little while I've tested it feel-wise, it definitely works clickily, and does not feel awkward!
I really should've extended that wall of text to include wtf I did to end up with what it became, and how I did so, but thought it was enough threadcrap for one session. Basically, original pad wouldn't fit without cutting it up.

But 'pretty' was not what I expected to hear, at all; thanks.


Though now you are making me feel kinda sorry for dumping this in your mod thread, it felt so related (especially with the horrid 360 d-pad) and so out of place on deskthority that I figured this was a nice place to collect controllermods in.

On your vid, nicely done; shame about the gameplay though :P Maybe you could do another vid where you just showcase the results of the mod a bit more, it was kind of hard to hear the switches (esp since they weren't used that much), then again, such mods are better experienced first-hand than seen on camera.

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Reddog9287

25 Apr 2012, 23:41

Quite okay that you posted it here! I like the look of the (oven?) knob. New buttons or not, I still terrible at Halo HAHA. Yeah I should have recorded the "clicky" noise of the buttons

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phetto
Elite

02 Jul 2012, 08:49

Nice mod!

But do you mean that Razer Onza already have tactile buttons? I didnt notice, I threw mine to hell.

Maybe I can get a new one and give it another shot.

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