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Easier Backlit Controller Buttons


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#1 ahoatam

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:00 AM

Want your controller buttons to look like this?

user posted image

I'll show you how. Here's what you will need:

4-5 white leds, 3mm
Appropriate resistor for wiring your leds in parallel Check it out here
Solder, Soldering iron, flux
30 gauge wire. 2 colors works best
Wire strippers
Dremel
X-acto knife
Hot glue gun and ammo
Multimeter
Marker

Read this entire tut before you start so you know what to expect!

I take no responsibility for anything you might do that screws up your controller. No one held a gun to your head and made you do this mod.

user posted image
Open up your controller. Don't forget that 7th screw under the sticker!
When you get to your ABXY buttons, pull them out.
Use a 1/8" bit and dremel out the white part between the four posts. Don't go too deep or you will mess up the letter. Use an x-acto knife to clear out the crap the dremel left behind, and sharply blow into the button to blow the rest out.

Mark your leds so you can tell between the cathode (-) and the anode (+). I marked my cathodes with a black sharpie. You can do whatever you want, but keep it consistent and remember which one you marked.


user posted image
Check your leds for fit in the buttons. Bend the nodes in the directions they will lie. Make sure you will have room for the nodes and wires, and you can't just have them point in any direction. You can just bend them the way I did if you don't understand.

Note: I removed the plastic under the jewel for an extension of this mod, thus the need for a possibility of 5 leds. The lighting of my controller jewel is indirectly related to this button mod, so evidence of it is included in this tutorial. You can choose to do this too, or just do the buttons.


user posted image
Drill holes in the sides of the buttons where you will pass the nodes through. Do not put them too deep on the button. The farther away from the "end" of the button you put them, the more you will have to dremel away later, and the harder it will be to put the led into the button.


user posted image
Install the led into the buttons. It's tricky but you will figure it out. After installed, trim the nodes down until only 1/8" sticks out from the button. Make sure you can stick see your marks to tell the nodes apart.


user posted image
Use your cutting disk on the dremel to clear room for the nodes. Use an x-acto to clear away the crap again. Make sure the button moves smoothly or you'll regret it later when your needler doesn't fire on time.

Take two lengths of your 30 gauge wire, about 7" long. Strip the ends and tin them. Hot glue one end of each as shown, leaving the end exposed and being careful not to place it where the memory cart slot will sit. What you are doing is creating a terminal where the buttons will attach. Hot glue the wires down to get them out of the way.


user posted image
Attach lengths of wire to each of your buttons nodes. Once again, use two colors, keep it consistent, and remember which color stands for which node.

(Continued)

Edited by ahoatam, 17 October 2004 - 06:32 PM.


#2 ahoatam

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:01 AM

user posted image
Here I have run the wires for the green button. I like to do the wires farthest away from the terminals first (green/red). This makes it easier to tuck those wires away so they don't interfere with the other buttons. Notice that the red/white wires are tucked down low between the blue/yellow buttons.

It's important to trim the wires from the buttons so they aren't coiled and sticking out. Notice that they are short and neat. Leave just a little slack to allow for button movement, then solder to the "terminals"


user posted image
Now only the blue button remains. Finish it like the others. Use a multimeter to test continuity as you go to save a lot of pain later.


user posted image
Wire up your resistor to the 5V, the gold band should be on the led side.

Here you can see I've already wired up my 5th led to the ground and resistor in order to light my controller jewel. Once again, you can do this or not. Today we're here to talk about lighting controller buttons...


user posted image
Now start to put your controller back together. Go slow and double check so you don't forget anything.

When you're ready, solder your positive/anode wire to your resistor and the negative/cathode wire to your ground.


user posted image
Okay, time to stuff your wires... Its best to do this with the controller upside-down to keep the buttons from falling out. Make sure the wires aren't pinched and that nothing blocks the D-pad sensors.

It's not a bad idea to hold the two halves together and plug it in to test before you screw it back together.


user posted image
Now you rule!

Some notes:
-You can see the hot glue and wires through the translucent case. Some people might have a problem with this, so this might not be for clear controllers if this bothers you. I don't mind, but you might.

-I say all the leds should be white (or the same color) to keep all their specs the same. This is necessary for the parallel wiring to work. If one led had a lower resistance, all the electricity would flow through it and you would fry your leds one-by-one. The parallel wiring is what makes this specific version of this mod easier than the others. It's far easier to deal with one pair of wires to tuck away and one resistor than four pairs of wires and four resistors.

Hope this helps you out.

Special thanks to rondcrasher who created the original lit controller button tutorial that inspired this; and additional thanks to everyone at xbox-scene who contributes to the community.

-Ahoatam

#3 laxdrummer04

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:11 AM

NICE TUT... ive been planning on doing this forever... where did youu get your leds from?! MODS!!! PIN THIS NOW!!!

#4 laxdrummer04

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:11 AM

EDIT: damn double posts....

Edited by laxdrummer04, 16 October 2004 - 04:12 AM.


#5 xboxhaxorz

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:44 AM

simple tut, kind of. but when i already have 10 leds in my controller, putting these leds in, will it make it so hard to get it closed and to work properly.

#6 Xbox-Modder-1986

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:01 AM

Very nice. It really would not matter to have the wires where they are in a reg black controller. I think that you could run it along where the two halfs meet so that it is not so noticeable. Not saying that yours is.

#7 Garrett19

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:03 AM

Nice tut this will be one of my next mods now. Too bad my new truck is taking up all my time and i havn't really been able to do that much modding on my xbox. Good Tut.

#8 BobBrkersMyHero

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:16 AM

very nice tutorial...i tried this once and got through one button and decided that it sucked...lol it takes lots of patience! maybe some 30awg wire would help too

haha

#9 holyfrickster07

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:26 AM

ahoatam, i got a ? is that a dvd dongle on the top rigth of your front panel? and if it is can you give me a link about it or where i can make one like that or just the info on it please

#10 ahoatam

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:42 AM

Holy,

It's a dongle with the PCB removed and some other stuff added.

I talk a little about it here.

Hope it helps. PM me if you want to know anything that thread doesn't answer.

#11 holyfrickster07

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:44 AM

thanks

#12 Big_L

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 07:04 AM

hey that looks awsome, kick ass tut. I tried this once, but after putting the wires in, I noticed I was severely changing the feel of the buttons. I was wiring the leds a little differently, and I probably wasnt being patient enough, but i was just wondering if the way your tut does this affects the feel of the buttons at all.

thanks, and awsome work on your other controllers and xbox (I saw your other thread)....I'll probably re-attempt this mod tomorrow.

#13 speedcore

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 07:59 AM

nice tut but resistors don't have polarity wink.gif

#14 ahoatam

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:57 PM

Big L - no all my button feel the same. I just keep rechecking for smoothness with each step. Also, make sure the led sits below the posts to maintain the same sensitivity on the buttons.

If anything, painting the controllers has affected the buttons more. I have to take my wife's controller apart today and sand out the button chambers, it keeps sticking.

speedcore - didn't know about polarity... All I know is that I've put resistors in the other way, and got nothing. But thanks for the tip!

#15 Big_L

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 07:56 PM

thanks a lot ahoatam. I know exactly what you're talking about with the led being below the posts. damn good tutorial for a difficult mod.




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