Need advice fixing broken DSi shoulder buttons

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by Rocc0, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Rocc0
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    Rocc0 Member

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    Hi,
    apologies if this is the wrong section for this kind of requests.

    My Problem is that my DSi's L or R buttons randomly register 2 presses at once or none at all when I click them. I'd like to know if there is some way to make the buttons work 100% of the time. They used to not work at all, but i tried some "tricks" which seemed to help, but not completely fix them.

    So I already have tried to blew on the buttons with compressed air and this seemed to work for anywhere from couple hours to couple days. Then I cleaned the buttons with dipping them into water following instructions someone posted on this thread. That seemed to work much better, the buttons have been working for a full week now, but like i said, not perfectly.

    I'd like to know, is it likely that there is still some dust /dirt that is blocking the buttons form making full contact, or do you think wear could cause something like that (registering 2 presses at once) and there is nothing to do about it? What would you recommend me to try on them? In this video the guy uses "Isopropyl alcohol", but I've also seen couple people recommend some sort of "Contact Cleaner".

    TL;DR which one is more effective / safer for trying to clean DSi shoulder buttons, using Isopropyl alcohol or using contact cleaner? Or can you think of something better?
     
  2. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    Isopropyl is great and dries up fast.
    I would recommend to open it up and clean it thoroughly without leaving any residues behind.

    How did you dry away the water?
    If done wrong the water may corrode the contacts if not dried correctly.

    --EDIT--
    This is how it looks on the inside and how the actual contact looks like and how any left behind water can corrode the contacts.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you decide to open it up BE CAREFUL with the ribbon that connects the shoulder buttons to the mainboard, it's quite short and can be ripped apart if the back part of the casing is pulled apart too hard.

    --EDIT #2--
    If cleaning it again doesn't help then you have two more alternatives;

    #1 Desolder the old buttons and replace with new ones

    Or

    #2 Buy a new cable that comes with the trigger, volume buttons and SD-slot.
     
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  3. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    I have a DS Lite with a bad R button. :/
     
  4. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    Does the R button register at all or still klick?
     
  5. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Makes clicking noise, but does not register at all, no matter how hard it's pressed. My guess is corrosion between the contacts. It's not a big deal until I play Mario Kart, and then I can't power-slide or jump.
     
  6. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    Do you have a soldering iron?
    The switches aren't that difficult to remove.
    To make it more easier without the need of applying to much heat on the board, you could cut the two legs (with a wire cutter) that holds the switch and finish removing it with desoldering the three legs on the back.

    Unless you actually have corrosion between the contacts and are able to repair it by just cleaning it up-

    I can provide a picture of what i mean if there's interest.
     
  7. Rocc0
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    Rocc0 Member

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    Hi,
    thanks for the sound advice. I have opened the console once, so I know to be very careful with the ribbon cable and I'm pretty sure that there is no water left. :)

    I bought some isopropyl alcohol now. How do you suppose is the best way to proceed cleaning the contacts? Should I first just try to use a cotton swab, or should I dip the contacts into the alcohol like he does in the video (this video)?
     
  8. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    Doesn't really matter as long as you make sure it gets proper clean.
    If you do dip it, make sure to speed up the evaporation by smoothly blowing on it.

    If you got time, post a detailed picture to see if there's any visible corrosion.

    Good luck

    -EDIT-
    Also do clean the contact you plug to the MB, could be some dirt on it too.

    The most optimal solution would be to replace the button,

    Let's pretend that the pads inside the button assembly are corroded, dipping it in isop.. won't be reliable in the long run (according to me) since the corrosion on the pads won't be completely wiped away.
     
  9. Rocc0
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    Rocc0 Member

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    imgur link
    This is as detailed as it gets on my phone camera. Can you make out anything out of this picture? I don't spot anything odd.

    I cleaned the buttons and contacts with swabs and after testing in DSi's camera and music applications and couple games it seems that L button is no different, but R button seems to be working perfectly now.

    At this point it's not that big of a deal, because the L button does work (albeit not perfectly), so most games are fine, but playing something like DK - Jungle Climber is still very infuriating. :D

    I'm definitely going to try the "dipping method" later. The guy in the video I posted mentions having to do it multiple times. Again, thank you for all of your help and suggestions! :)

    Edit: Actually, if you don't mind, I'd like to ask, do you know why it happens that when you blow into the buttons with your mouth it seems to fix the buttons completely for a short period of time (like an hour maybe), so that even playing something like DK - Jungle Climber is no problem? I'm really curious as to why that works so well for a little while (but I don't want to be doing that, because I don't want to constantly create moisture inside the console).
     
  10. Shorkio

    Shorkio GBAtemp Regular

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    Your harddrive

    It "works" because the moisture from your breath sticks to clean areas of the parts inside the switch and conducts electricity better than rust and dirt. It's not good idea to do so, because you probably will corrode metal parts inside the switch. I suggest you to never do so.

    Easiest way is to either replace whole switch or do this. I used that guide to repair my DSi XL's dead left trigger (though I stole a new metal part from my broken DS Lite, bwahaha!). If those won't work, do what Ozito suggested and buy a new ribbon cable.
     
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  11. Ozito

    Ozito Not a new member anymore

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    Sorry Rocc0 didn't know that you had edited your post.
     
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  12. Ulieq

    Ulieq GBAtemp Fan

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    Just buy a new one on ebay.
     
  13. Hanafuda

    Hanafuda GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Best stuff to clean those microswitches, and any electrical contacts, is a spray can of contact cleaner from Radio Shack. Not cheap, but works wonders on dirty contacts. Don't get the one that says 'cleaner and lubricant' as this has a light oil mixed in that you don't need or want for most video game oriented uses.

    Attach the little red hose to the nozzle, and shoot it right into the switch. Work the switch a bunch (clicky-clicky), repeat cleaning, then test. I've been using this stuff on shoulder buttons since GBA days. Works great on game cart contacts and slots, SD cards, etc.


    [​IMG]