Introduction

This time we take a look at a classic part of retro gaming; the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) Controller. Often said to be one of the best designs of Nintendo's controllers, we'll tear it down to see exactly what makes this tick.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Super Nintendo Entertainment System Controller, use our service manual.

It's your classic Super Nintendo controller.
  • It's your classic Super Nintendo controller.

  • Notably, it's a wired controller (same as most of the controllers of the era), and has a very simple layout.

  • The design is often called a "dogbone", due to the shape of the lower part.

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Nintendo, unlike the Control Deck counterpart, did not use custom screws in the controller, therefore it's very easy to open and clean.
  • Nintendo, unlike the Control Deck counterpart, did not use custom screws in the controller, therefore it's very easy to open and clean.

  • We remove the 5 Phillips screws on the back of the controller.

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Open... the... controller. Open... the... controller.
  • Open... the... controller.

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There are two metal rods that we have to take care of before removing the rest, otherwise they might get lost. We remove the two shoulder buttons. We remove the two shoulder buttons.
  • There are two metal rods that we have to take care of before removing the rest, otherwise they might get lost.

  • We remove the two shoulder buttons.

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Now we can get onto the board! We first remove the cable from the slack poles. After that, it's only a matter of lifting the board out. After that, it's only a matter of lifting the board out.
  • Now we can get onto the board! We first remove the cable from the slack poles.

  • After that, it's only a matter of lifting the board out.

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Onto the rubber pads that represent the buttons, we'll have to remove those too. Many of these older controllers might have delicate rubber pads, they should be handled carefully. Many of these older controllers might have delicate rubber pads, they should be handled carefully.
  • Onto the rubber pads that represent the buttons, we'll have to remove those too.

  • Many of these older controllers might have delicate rubber pads, they should be handled carefully.

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Inching closer, we get to the shoulder button's rubber pads. We can finally remove the remaining plastic buttons from the D-Pad and face button areas. We can finally remove the remaining plastic buttons from the D-Pad and face button areas.
  • Inching closer, we get to the shoulder button's rubber pads.

  • We can finally remove the remaining plastic buttons from the D-Pad and face button areas.

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The board itself has the controller cable attached, we can remove that too. We make sure to pull away from the connector, and not up! It might be a little difficult depending on how long it's been attached. We make sure to pull away from the connector, and not up! It might be a little difficult depending on how long it's been attached.
  • The board itself has the controller cable attached, we can remove that too.

  • We make sure to pull away from the connector, and not up! It might be a little difficult depending on how long it's been attached.

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The SNES Controller board features a number of pads as well as a chip. The chip on the board is a 12-bit shift register, used to multiplex all the button signals on the controller into a more budget-friendly connector. The chip on the board is a 12-bit shift register, used to multiplex all the button signals on the controller into a more budget-friendly connector.
  • The SNES Controller board features a number of pads as well as a chip.

  • The chip on the board is a 12-bit shift register, used to multiplex all the button signals on the controller into a more budget-friendly connector.

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Finally, we can see all the innards that make this little controller work.
  • Finally, we can see all the innards that make this little controller work.

  • Maybe we should play a few rounds of Super Mario World...

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Foxlet

Member since: 05/17/2010

541 Reputation

3 Guides authored

One Comment

What is the repair ability score ?

logan - Reply

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