Loose Dreamcast controller d-pad

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Coligion
noob
Posts: 3

Loose Dreamcast controller d-pad

Post#1 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:53 am

Did some quick searching online for repairs, but not much exists. I guess the Dreamcast controller is fairly sturdy :D...Anyway, I'm having some issues with my d-pad being very loose. It feels like a loose worn down N64 joystick: wobbly and not stiff at all. This controller is the one I typically use, so it has the most wear and tear, but all 3 of my other d-pads are quite stiff and rigid.

I've taken apart Dreamcast controllers before for cleaning, and it does not appear to have the same deficiency the N64 joystick has where the plastic just gets worn away. The Dreamcast has a small ball that allows the d-pad to pivot on. I've tried putting it back together many different ways (and applying grease for lubrication), but I can never get it as tight as my other controllers. Perhaps the ball or the plastic on the d-pad has in fact eroded away? Anyone have similar experiences?

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Gary_b
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Re: Loose Dreamcast controller d-pad

Post#2 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:38 am

i think that you are confusing the D-pad with the analog stick. the D-pad is the up, down, left and right directional pad. the analog stick is just as it sounds, its a joystick.

Coligion
noob
Posts: 3

Re: Loose Dreamcast controller d-pad

Post#3 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:09 am

Gary_b wrote:i think that you are confusing the D-pad with the analog stick. the D-pad is the up, down, left and right directional pad. the analog stick is just as it sounds, its a joystick.


No, I'm referring to the directional pad: the up, down, left, and right "plus sign." Not the joystick. I was merely using the N64 joystick as a reference to the symptoms that my pad is exhibiting.

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Macabre
Feet of Fury
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Re: Loose Dreamcast controller d-pad

Post#4 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:52 pm

Coligion wrote:The Dreamcast has a small ball that allows the d-pad to pivot on.

That is the d-pad. :lol:

As for the looseness, I would say that it might not have been put together correctly after the cleaning. Grease/lub is not necessary.

Was it loose before you took it apart?

These controllers are only slightly tricky, due to the two extra screws that hold the pcb (inner board) to the front of the controller by the plastic vmu-input holding carriage. Can you verify that this was put together correctly? That plastic carriage does have grooves that align and hold the pcb (the inner board) perfectly in place, and if it is not in the groves, it might be holding the board back enough to cause looseness.

Other than general assembly, you might want to check and see if the rubber pads that go between the actual d-pad plastic part and the pcb (the board), is aligned correctly as well. It does have encompassing ridges, and if it is not placed in correctly it again might push the board back just enough to cause that plastic bit to wiggle.

Lastly it might be that the screws / seams of the controller are not correctly touching. Just look along the two shell parts and see if there are any gaps, that you might be able to squeeze together ("pop" it together), or if the controller cord might be in a position where the plastic shell is not being allowed to connect properly. Even if you start screwing it together, the screw might feel tight, even if the plastic shell still has something stopping it from connecting.



If all else fails... These things are what, ~$4 new? Just get a new one. If you have a colored shell, then you can just switch the shell parts on to the new controller. I have a few fun examples I could share, but villagephotos seems to be unavailable at the moment.
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Coligion
noob
Posts: 3

Re: Loose Dreamcast controller d-pad

Post#5 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:13 pm

The d-pad was loose prior to me taking it apart; I wouldn't have bothered otherwise. However, after taking apart the loose d-pad controller, I decided to take apart a "good" d-pad and see if I could get it back together correctly. Sure enough, it returned to normal stiffness. I've tried a dozen times or so to reassemble the loose d-pad to no avail. I will keep tinkering with it, but it seems like something else is causing the looseness other than the reassembly of the parts.

One other thing I tried was swapping the loose d-pad onto a different controller to see if the same problem persisted. It did, in fact, exhibit the same looseness, so I am fairly convinced something is wrong with either the top, plastic d-pad, or the small ball it pivots on (wearing of plastic, etc).

I know buying another controller is an option, but if my current one could be fixed, I'd much rather do it that way.

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CD AGES
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Re: Loose Dreamcast controller d-pad

Post#6 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:43 pm

It's definately the wearing of plastic. It's inevitable really.
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madmax2069
drunken sailor
Posts: 163

Re: Loose Dreamcast controller d-pad

Post#7 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:08 am

Coligion wrote:The d-pad was loose prior to me taking it apart; I wouldn't have bothered otherwise. However, after taking apart the loose d-pad controller, I decided to take apart a "good" d-pad and see if I could get it back together correctly. Sure enough, it returned to normal stiffness. I've tried a dozen times or so to reassemble the loose d-pad to no avail. I will keep tinkering with it, but it seems like something else is causing the looseness other than the reassembly of the parts.

One other thing I tried was swapping the loose d-pad onto a different controller to see if the same problem persisted. It did, in fact, exhibit the same looseness, so I am fairly convinced something is wrong with either the top, plastic d-pad, or the small ball it pivots on (wearing of plastic, etc).

I know buying another controller is an option, but if my current one could be fixed, I'd much rather do it that way.


One thing you can do is buy some plastic epoxy (type in a dual tube syringe that you have to mix) and form a pivot ball (or close to one) on the bottom of the D pad if it was worn away (or build it back up). you do have to wait about a day or so for it to fully cure, once its fully cured you sand it till its all smooth and the correct size.

You do know that plastic epoxy is how you repair these plastic parts if they wear down or break without buying a replacement part, the epoxy is thick so it can build parts back up, it dries just as hard as the plastic your repairing. it works like a charm on my N64 thumb nub.

This is how i repair many plastic parts.

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