Author Topic: Shoulder buttons don't work  (Read 291 times)

fiver (OP)

Shoulder buttons don't work
« on: July 16, 2017, 10:14:21 am »
I recently was having issues with a sticky button, and silicon grease wasn't helping at all. I decided to get a replacement button pad, since that seemed to be the most likely problem. After installing the new pad, the good news is that the button is no longer sticking. The bad news is now the shoulder buttons don't work!

Right after I turn it on, it cycles through the top icons (as if I were holding down the Left button), and then it stops somewhere. Pressing on the Left and Right buttons does nothing. Now, I did take it apart and made sure that the connectors were seated securely and all. Unfortunately, it looks like I did break one of the red cables off, but that wouldn't explain why both buttons are broken, right?

So, my next question is: If I can't fix the shoulder buttons, should I get a replacement Zero? Now, I really, really miss my Zero, and I would like nothing better than to be able to play on it again... However, I don't want to buy a replacement for $150 and then have the buttons start sticking in 6 or 8 months like this one did.

Has the quality control gotten appreciably better in the last year or two?

Senor Quack

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Re: Shoulder buttons don't work
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 07:12:01 pm »
Not sure about the 2nd question, but I would resolder the broken wire, and use some isopropyl alcohol to clean the button contact pad and PCB pad underneath of any grease. Don't leave any dust or fibers between them afterwards, dust it out after cleaning!  Sounds like maybe the pad is getting pinched or the loose wire is shorting out somewhere and the button is registering as constantly-pressed. That'd make the menu act funny.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 07:22:19 pm by Senor Quack »

Xaijiqq

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  • Posts: 394
Re: Shoulder buttons don't work
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 09:43:00 pm »
So, my next question is: If I can't fix the shoulder buttons, should I get a replacement Zero? Now, I really, really miss my Zero, and I would like nothing better than to be able to play on it again... However, I don't want to buy a replacement for $150 and then have the buttons start sticking in 6 or 8 months like this one did.

Has the quality control gotten appreciably better in the last year or two?
i don't think the quality control has ever improved.  to be on the safe side i'd wait at least 6 months after this new batch and see what the user feedback is like

and this isn't aimed at you specifically but to all future gcw owners with sticky buttons: do not use silicon grease

Senor Quack

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Re: Shoulder buttons don't work
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 10:43:40 pm »
and this isn't aimed at you specifically but to all future gcw owners with sticky buttons: do not use silicon grease

I used it on my sticky A button when I first got the unit, it helped while the roughness on button edge worked itself in. I also used it on my DPAD, I was just careful to use a very small amount.

fiver (OP)

Re: Shoulder buttons don't work
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 11:35:21 pm »
i don't think the quality control has ever improved.  to be on the safe side i'd wait at least 6 months after this new batch and see what the user feedback is like

So...6 months from now?

Quote
and this isn't aimed at you specifically but to all future gcw owners with sticky buttons: do not use silicon grease

I have two questions:

1. Why?

2. What's a good alternative?

com64

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Re: Shoulder buttons don't work
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 12:49:36 am »
To be honest, applying silicone grease isn't a bad idea (you don't even need to open it up, just apply with a toothpick), but you should look into getting 3d-printed buttons since that's a more permanent solution.

Anyway, the shoulder button wires are really cheap and tend to fatigue break off very easily, especially with the poor soldering job and crappy solder.

What I usually do:
Quote
  • Desolder old wires
  • Remove old solder and wire strands with desoldering pump or braid
  • Cut and strip new solid core wire (stranded could be used)
  • Tin new wires and solder pads
  • Clean button contacts with alcohol
  • Solder new wires to button PCBs
  • Replace silicone button pad
  • Solder new wires to main PCB

If you don't have any experience with this, I'd recommend either finding someone to do the repairs, or you could send it over to me to fix.

Xaijiqq

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  • Posts: 394
Re: Shoulder buttons don't work
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 11:24:24 pm »
and this isn't aimed at you specifically but to all future gcw owners with sticky buttons: do not use silicon grease

I used it on my sticky A button when I first got the unit, it helped while the roughness on button edge worked itself in. I also used it on my DPAD, I was just careful to use a very small amount.
i can see how it would help creaking noises on the dpad.  how bad was your A button would it stay down for any amount of time?  the grease won't fix anything if the inner part of the button gets stuck, at least in my situation, it made things worse

i don't think the quality control has ever improved.  to be on the safe side i'd wait at least 6 months after this new batch and see what the user feedback is like

So...6 months from now?
that sounds about right  :)

Quote
and this isn't aimed at you specifically but to all future gcw owners with sticky buttons: do not use silicon grease

I have two questions:

1. Why?

2. What's a good alternative?
1. it's only temporary at best and imo a waste of time

2. unfortunetly the only alternative i recommend opening the gcw and doing a button mod/replacement and/or replacing the button membrane with an original game boy's.  more importantly there should be something placed underneath the buttons to heighten and give proper button resistance.  you could use some sort of paper or substitute just make sure its at least 3 to 3.04 millimeters in thickness.  what i did was glue a faceted acrylic jewel (from an arts and crafts store) under each button