Cleaning the Controller Buttons
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This guide will teach you how to clean and an make sure all the components of the L and R buttons are aligned correctly. This guide will be applicable to other buttons in the controller.
- Author: Jason Gittler
- Difficulty: Moderate
You will learn how to take apart the necessary parts of the controller, how to clean the inside, and how certain parts are supposed to aligned or inserted into other parts.
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Take your controller and flip it over so it's upside down. There are 9 screws on the outside of the bottom of the controller, you will need small phillips screwdriver, you need to unscrew to get inside. 2 of the screws are slightly smaller and are hidden in the rumble pack input slot.
Once the 9 exterior screws are removed, open up the controller and there will be 3 more even smaller screws. They are holding the joystick box in place and need to be removed for complete mobility of the circuit board.
Once all 12 screws are removed now we can move on to cleaning the L and R button's areas and making sure all the relevant components are aligned.
Before you clean the components it a makes it easier if you separate all the bits and pieces first.
To clean the plastic components of the buttons you can use any sort of soft cleaning material like a cotton swab or small cloth, but I find that Q-tips work the best.
Any sort of cleaning solution will help clean, even water will be an improvement, but I use rubbing alcohol. Make sure not to get your cleaning solution on any of the electrical parts of the controller.
Clean out the plastic button, the rectangular slot (earlier highlighted), and potentially the pole slot to the inside of the buttons will need to be cleaned out using a toothpick (pointed at to the right of the Q-tip).
Next take the rubber buttons pads and clean them in the same fashion. Be careful to let them dry before placing them back in place because the connect to the bumper circuits.
Nintendo 64 controller buttons work by being pressed and the plastic from exterior pushes against the rubber button pads, that push against the circuits. To make sure the button pad is perfectly inserted, you need to put the 2 rubber cylinders that are protruding into the corresponding circuit.
Once the rubber pads are correctly inserted you will need to re-screw the joystick box back with the 3 smaller screws.
Now you can insert the rubber pad and circuit into place. It is inserted into 2 plastic rectangular brackets, with the hump pointing up.
Before you put the controller all the way back together you need to correctly insert the plastic bumpers. The protruding pole on the bumpers goes into the slot to the insides of the circuits that you just inserted. Make sure the hallow cylinder in the bumper is aligned with the the circular part of the rubber pad shown in the preceding image.
Once the buttons are in place it's time to screw the back on. Screw the same 9 screws in as you did to take it apart, but make sure the cord is exiting the controller at the top.
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