1. gallymimu

    OP gallymimu EE Expert
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    [TUTORIAL] [MOD] RCM mode with just a magnet (maghax). No visible changes to the Switch or Joycon!!! v1.7 2018-06-28

    Please post any improvements or clarifications you'd like to see. If this passes muster, Mods can move it to the tutorials forum if appropriate.
    v1.0
    - beta tutorial
    v1.1
    - added some more text, and links to joycon teardowns
    v1.2
    - added reed dimensions
    - added info about side affects and charging (there are no side effects)
    v1.3
    - added details on magnets
    v1.4
    - added more purchase options for magnetic reed switch
    v1.5
    - added link to https://gbatemp.net/threads/f-g-joycon-mod-magnethax-switch-edition.502459/ for credit to an older magnetic switch thread and instructions
    v1.6
    - added advise to disconnect battery before starting soldering.
    v1.7
    - added a user experience link at the bottom describing some more details.
    -----------------------------------
    This should be a pretty solid method for installing a MAGNETIC REED RELAY into your Right Joycon. the purpose is to have a cosmetically PERFECT Switch, with the ability to launch RCM with almost no effort. You just need to have a strong magnet to hold near the bottom right corner of the right joycon while you press power and volume + when booting. There are no known side affects of this method. i.e. you can still charge, use the joycon or switch normally. It's essentially stock when there is no magnet nearby and should last forever with no risk (after installation). I'd not send it in for warranty repair with the reed switch installed though :). This is a MUCH better option than a jig if you don't mind some soldering

    The tutorial requires MODEST disassembly and soldering skill.

    I'm not saying my approach and tutorial is any better than what other's have done (and posted). They certainly deserve credit. However, this is what I did and I think it's the best approach. I had previously posted a PSA about "why jigs are a bad idea" as I don't agree with them generally. So here is an explanation (for the reasonably skilled solderer) to do a magnetic reed switch the way I did it.

    Note that much of the tutorial text is IN the spoilers with the pictures. Don't miss it. It is always at the top above the picture. I elected to keep this pretty visual rather than text, but happy to add more if people want more detail.

    It is advisable to disconnect the joycon battery before starting to solder. I didn't disconnect the battery when I did the mod. So there isn't a picture of it.

    IMG_20180521_200510 tool list.jpg
    I didn't include info on how to open the case beyond showing the triwing screwdriver. There are better tutorials on opening the joycon VIDEO and TEXT
    The reed switch can be bought from digikey for about $0.50 each. Shipping via USPS first class mail runs about $3 for under 8oz. The reed switch is 1.8mm by 10mm (body of the switch). HERE is an option from Amazon that is bigger (2mm x 14mm)

    reeds only image.jpg
    Note, I used 6cm wires. I wish I had cut them to about 3cm. You will see later they were a little too long. Also, I didn't take a picture of it, but I generally use the soldering iron to melt off 1mm of the wire end for soldering. I don't usually use wire strippers on Kynar insulated solid 30AWG wire. Note this is also called "wire wrap wire" in many circles.

    IMG_20180521_201804 6cm wires.jpg
    This is one of the main items different from what most people have done. This approach takes less space and allows the wires to exit the reed switch from the same side toward the connector. BE CAREFUL!!! It's VERY easy to break the glass on the reed switch when bending the leads. I broke two, though they were not ruined, I didn't want them chipped. Use some tweezers or needle nose pliers to bend it about 1mm beyond the end of the glass.

    IMG_20180521_202311 bend.jpg
    IMG_20180521_202524 solder.jpg
    The goal here is to use enough heat shrink to cover the exposed leads and solder, but little enough that it doesn't interfere with placement. I went about 1/8" beyond the electrical connections on each end of the device.

    IMG_20180521_202608_resize.jpg
    Sorry I didn't get a better picture here!! It will give you the idea however.

    IMG_20180521_203056 shrinkage.jpg
    Be careful with the foam. It actually serves a purpose protecting the other side of the flex cable from abrasion against the soldered pins.

    IMG_20180521_201134 remove foam.jpg
    Here are pins 1 and 10 that you want to solder to. Be VERY careful. This is a tight soldering job and you don't want to mess up. You can still back out at this point if you aren't comfortable.

    IMG_20180521_201220 solder points.jpg
    IMG_20180521_203056 soldered.jpg
    I think this is the best place to put it. The Joycon is pretty tight once assembled but there is ample room above the PCB and wire routing location where I have stuck it here.

    IMG_20180521_203156 reed installed 1.jpg
    IMG_20180521_203234 replace foam.jpg
    If it isn't obvious, the way you know you did it right are with the below two tests, with and without magnet, and what you should see on the screen. Speaking of Magnets: I'd consider using a 1/4" or larger rare earth or "neodymium magnet" They come in different grades N35 N42 N50 etc. The higher the number the stronger. Any of them should work. The dark brown or black "ceramic" magnets work but they are not as strong so you might consider a larger size (maybe 1/2"??). Ebay has tons of them, Harbor Freight has rare earth magnets and magnetic grabber tools. Buymagnets.com is also an option but shipping might kill it.
    IMG_20180521_203724_resize no magent.jpg
    IMG_20180521_203750_resize with magnet.jpg

    Here is a nice discussion of specific wire lengths and soldering technique as well as a way to use the kickstand to store the magnet [Post 84]
     

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    Last edited by gallymimu, Jun 29, 2018
  2. gallymimu

    OP gallymimu EE Expert
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    Reserved
     
  3. MrWhosHacking

    MrWhosHacking GBAtemp Regular
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    I really like that. Well done and I have one with a tiny flip switch and I can still charge it
     
  4. SodaSoba

    SodaSoba GBAtemp Regular
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    Decent, what size was the reed switch?
    any other places we can solder (pcb?)
    any risks of soldering where you did over doing the PCB?

    I think this is the wat forward for sure it's neater and less risk to those pins
     
  5. gallymimu

    OP gallymimu EE Expert
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    Good point, I should make a note that the switch is fully functional, joycon can be charged (as long as magnet is not nearby)

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    It's 1.8mm x 10mm (body of the reed switch). Other places, maybe, I didn't look and didn't want to further disassemble the joycon to examine the PCB. I suspect that there isn't a lot of other space beyond that pocket for the wires.

    I don't quite follow what you mean by "overdoing" but if you mean hurting the flex, or thermally damaging it. It isn't TOO risky. The flex is made of polyimide (kapton). It can handle a lot of heat. It is more delicate than normal PCBs and the first failure will be delamination of the copper from the polyimide. If you keep the iron on the pins too long you could have some issues, or damage the mating components. I'd avoid heating it for more than about 10 seconds at 700F
     
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  6. baretbh

    baretbh GBAtemp Regular
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    I think this is really creative and awesome way to get into rcm. My only concern and question is that overtime, will there be any negative side effects to the hardware? Thanks for posting this! Great idea!
     
  7. SodaSoba

    SodaSoba GBAtemp Regular
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    ah ok that was my only concern I've soldered loads of pcbs including smd soldering but I've never soldered that type of flex before, plent of flux will help i guess.
    Awesome mod tho
     
  8. gallymimu

    OP gallymimu EE Expert
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    I added a note about side effects. There is NO side effect or potential problems for the hardware. The only risks are.

    1). Damage when opening the joycon (clumsy)
    2). Soldering (overheating or melting plastic could certainly happen).

    Otherwise the mod should last forever. It is MUCH safer than a jig from the perspective of long term life after install.
     
  9. baretbh

    baretbh GBAtemp Regular
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    Very awesome! I wonder if people will start selling these on ebay, I think their will be a market for them especially for later firmware Switch owners.
     
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  10. gallymimu

    OP gallymimu EE Expert
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    You really shouldn't need flux. It isn't THAT tight and there is generous solder on the pins already. No clean flux won't hurt anything though, but it's a spot that would be hard to clean the flux up afterwards. I didn't use any flux in the mod. As I said the flex isn't TOO delicate, but it is definitely MORE delicate than most PCBs.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    certainly. You could easily sell a kit with shrink tube, reed switch, two pieces of wire and a triwing for for $5 or $10. Or you could just sell the reed switch, first class mail (in the US) for a couple bucks including shipping. I wouldn't want to do it though. I wouldn't make any money hahahaha.
     
  11. SodaSoba

    SodaSoba GBAtemp Regular
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    I'll be attempting this once my reed switch arrives thanks
     
  12. gallymimu

    OP gallymimu EE Expert
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    Awesome. Let me know if you need help, OR if you learn something that should go in the tutorial!
     
  13. Kubas_inko

    Kubas_inko "Something funny goes here."
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    Interesting how my joy-con works no matter if the pin 10 is grounded or not.
     
  14. subcon959

    subcon959 teh retro
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    Did you solder to same points? Is your joycon firmware the same? Those are the only 2 variables I can think of.
     
  15. baretbh

    baretbh GBAtemp Regular
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    Yea just the parts by themselves wouldn't sell well but put together as a product would be cool. Not sure how Nintendo would react though
     
  16. Kubas_inko

    Kubas_inko "Something funny goes here."
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    Yes, I have pin 9 and 10 soldered together.
    I have done a test to prove that it depends on joy-con fw, but it failed :D . I had mine joy-con on lowest fw possible (from 1.0.0 console) and it worked. Then I updated it on my 5.x switch and it is still detected (on both consoles).
     
  17. gallymimu

    OP gallymimu EE Expert
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    use pin 1 and 10, not 9 and 10. 9 is not a ground and it doesn't always work for people. Let us know if that fixes it.
     
  18. subcon959

    subcon959 teh retro
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    Hmm, it's very weird how this disconnected issue only happens to some people and not others.
     
  19. Kubas_inko

    Kubas_inko "Something funny goes here."
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    If that fixes what? My joy-con is fully working lol.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    I know. That's why I've done the test. I thought it is FW related...
     
  20. gallymimu

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    Sorry Kubas, I thought you were having problems, I misread.
     
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