EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

Electronics => Repair => Topic started by: MattP79 on March 29, 2018, 12:08:54 pm

Title: Pulled connector
Post by: MattP79 on March 29, 2018, 12:08:54 pm
I'm looking to repair this Xbox controller. As per a previous unit with the same fault the issue is with a board-board connector. Last time I could just solder the connector back into place and all was fine. This time the issue is a little more dramatic and the connector has pulled away from the PCB pulling the trades with it  :palm:

Dear collected wisdom: is this beyond repair?  Would I be able to fix the connector in place with epoxy and run solder / bodge wires to the nearest good trace / connected component?  Or should I cut my losses and sell the good parts?
Title: Re: Pulled connector
Post by: sokoloff on March 29, 2018, 12:45:52 pm
There's "beyond repair" and "beyond economic repair". This one is beyond my personal threshold for economic repair, but if this was a one-of-a-kind museum artifact, it could be repaired. Watch some of Louis Rossmann's videos; he's tackled far worse than this, but it's nowhere near the time/effort for a sub-$20 controller. (
Title: Re: Pulled connector
Post by: mariush on March 29, 2018, 01:13:52 pm
Yeah, you could cut tiny pads out of some copper or aluminum sheet and glue them down to the pcb.
You could very carefully scrape the insulation off the vias and tiny traces that went to the old pads and use very thin litz wire (hook wire) to create connections between the new glued pads and the vias/traces (or components on those traces, for example see last two pads on top right where J2 is written, those go to that ceramic capacitor, so you could solder the wires directly to the capacitor terminals).

Looks like there's no traces in the center of the chip so if there aren't traces on the back side of the circuit board you could also use a dremel to make very tiny holes in that area through which you could route very thin wires which would  connect the pads to traces or directly to other component terminals instead of using the small vias.

The big trick is LOTS of liquid flux and proper iron tip, you'll want a very narrow one, and a good soldering station. Or a hot air gun.
Title: Re: Pulled connector
Post by: CatalinaWOW on March 29, 2018, 01:55:24 pm
I also would probably pitch this, but if I had to repair it I would simply glue the connector down and bodge wire the connections.  Seven of them are fairly easy.  Only one runs back under the connector, but you don't need to duplicate the routing, just go around the end with an insulated wire to the connection.  The remainder are more tedious but not long runs, just difficult options for making the connection.

Since this is a game controller, and your history indicates a lot of stress gets applied to this connector I would put a lot of attention into that first step of gluing down the connector.
Title: Re: Pulled connector
Post by: Cyberdragon on March 29, 2018, 04:12:54 pm
If it's an original controller from the original Xbox, then it might be worth it. Otherwise, just get a new one.

Unless you're getting paid to fix it. >:D
Title: Re: Pulled connector
Post by: coromonadalix on March 29, 2018, 08:24:37 pm
even repaired and glued  it will be fragile, any stress on it will be harmful
Title: Re: Pulled connector
Post by: MattP79 on March 29, 2018, 10:17:48 pm
Thank you so much for replying.  I really appreciate it!  :) No doubt, my limited skills will be the limiting factor but at least my intended approach isn't way off base.

This controller is the Elite model and would sell reconditioned for between £65 and £80 on eBay - they're about £119 new.  I have an incentive to make it good.  If not the housing and daughter PCBs will be worth almost what I paid for it - but there would be no joy in that.  Buying and repairing controllers is my way of dealing with the mundanity of working in a warehouse. And probably the beginning of my midlife crisis....

I hadn't considered the stress across the connector - but two failing in near identical ways... Hmmm... Perhaps over zealous pushing on the sticks is flexing the boards. Design glitch? :?  Attached pic is the previous fault - the other side of the same connector.
Title: Re: Pulled connector
Post by: marty on March 31, 2018, 08:43:20 am
Even something that seems too expensive to fix can prove valuable in the future.

Learning and experience is pretty priceless.

But yes epoxy the cleaned board to the IC, run enamel coat wires to the connections. Would be the simplest way.  leave the wires a little loose will help with flex

Only you can decide if it's worth it or not.
Title: Re: Pulled connector
Post by: ijchan223 on April 02, 2018, 01:57:52 am
none of the traces appear to be damaged to me, you should be able to fix that easily. the hardest part is not melting the connector itself