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Swapping L1/2 - R1/2 On PS3 Controllers


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#1 RDC

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 12:05 PM

I'll just go on record now and say it, the way the Sony controllers are made are NOT hacker friendly at all, haven't been since the PS2 DualShock came out and it's even worse now and doesn't seem to be getting any better.

If ya want to swap anything from the left side of the controller over to the right side, say swap the Triggers L2 and R2, you have to jump thru so many hoops it's not really even worth it. The problem is with how the PS3 controllers are setup, they have 3 common lines...

COM 1 - Is for the L1, L2, and the D-pad directions

COM 2 - Is for the R1, R2, Circle, Square, Triangle and Cross

COM 3 - Is for L3, R3, Select and Start

PLUS some funky pull up Resistors that are built into the daughter board for the COM 1 and 2 lines.

What this means is if ya want to swap L2 and R2 you also have to swap it's COM line, and ya can't because of the way the daughter board is made on these things. There's no way to just cut a trace on it and jumper it to wherever ya want, the things are a thin film and the button contacts are all 10k except for the L2/R2 which are 7k. So ya either loose the analog feature of the button or tip toe around the minefield the thing is to retain it.

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So how do ya do it? The best way I've found so far is to add in another daughter board, real PITA but it works. This doesn't crap all over the analog feature of the buttons either, I've come up with other ideas/methods that do still swap them, but ruins that analog feature, and since that's not too kool in my book I went with adding in another daughter board to keep everything on the level.

That meant adding another connector as well, since ya can't solder at all onto the daughter board because of how it's made, ya can't even scrape down the coating to solder to it, even if ya could it would just melt in pretty much an instant, so you're left with having to work all around the daughter board since the button traces and contacts are 'locked' into place, ya can't do squat with that board at all.

NOTE: Something like this will be nigh impossible on the newest version of DS3 controller as they have done away with the connector, so there's no easy way at all to add in a second daughter board on that version of controller, with the exception of maybe some conductive glue and a lot of tedious wiring.

On this controller I needed to swap L1 and R1, then L2 and R2, so the first thing I needed to do was get access to those lines and their COM lines as well and soldering right to the connector was easier than hitting the TP spots as they're on the other side of the board anyway and it's preferable to keep as much as ya can on this side.

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Then on goes another connector for the second daughter board..

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..and then 'cross the streams' as it were so the top connector is wired in reverse of the bottom one.

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After that I plugged up both of the daughter boards for a test run. Note the one has the L1/2 and R1/2 removed because it's the 'main daughter board and since we're swapping them and ya don't want 2 sets of them connected at the same time, which would happen if they were left on there, so bye bye. The rest of the second daughter board is left intact because none of those duplicate buttons are getting connected to anything, so no need to mess with them.

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After that it was off to be plugged into the PS3 for some testing and naturally it didn't work. The buttons all acted like they were fully pressed, not kool at all. So I get to looking and can honestly come up with no real reason why this wasn't working like it should. Then I think about the ignorant pull up Resistors that are built into the daughter board, which shouldn't make a lick of difference with it setup the way it is as the ones on the primary daughter board are in place doing that job already, but I decide to send power up to the ones on the secondary daughter board and see what happened, so in go a couple more wires to take care of that..

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..then back together with both daughter boards for testing again..

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..and presto it worked, for whatever reason. L1 is now R1, L2 is now R2 and vice versa, plus they're still analog like they were before.

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Edited by RDC, 11 March 2012 - 12:28 AM.


#2 commandersafi

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 04:01 AM

Amazing work RDC....You are like the god of controllers laugh.gif

#3 billybobs

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:38 AM

wow..... nice work

#4 new2modzz

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 02:28 PM

RDC - a question here if i may as you seem to know pretty much everything there is to know about these controllers - i don't want to swap buttons but i'd like to create duplicate O and X buttons to be located on the backside of the PS3 controller. I suppose the questions are:

1. can you have duplicate buttons exist?
2. if not, is it possible to still move them?
3. I have the VX4.01 variant board in a DS3 controller - is it better to get hold of an older model board?

I appreciate any advice you can offer.

Thanks in advance (i've read a lot of your posts so i'm well aware your time is precious!) biggrin.gif

#5 new2modzz

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:16 PM

Came across the following post which seems to be what i'm after

http://forums.xbox-s...howtopic=722651

it seems like this is possible based on the information available and i note your response previously below

You'll have to prep a couple of Vias to solder the X and O wires to, then you'll use TP18 for the common connection for them.

if this is what i need to do then i'm a complete novice -

1. what is the prepping of a via?
2. i assume im prepping the relevant X and O trace on the MSU_VX4 diagram?
3. how do i incorporate TP18 into this?

like i say i'm a complete novice so apologies if these are basic questions and thanks for any input.

#6 RDC

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:27 AM

Yes you can have duplicate buttons. Any N.O. (Normally Open) momentary type of switch can be used. The most commonly used one is the 6 x 6 x 7mm Tact switch.

Prepping a Via means to scrape the masking off it, the green stuff, then tin it with solder so you can solder your wire to it. Read here for more info - http://forums.xbox-s...p;#entry3406983

You should use 30awg Kynar wire (wrapping wire) for soldering to such small spots, and even on the PS3 controller that wire seems a bit big.

TP18 is the common connection (COM2) for the X and O buttons. That would go to one side of your new buttons, then the other side of each of them would go to the X and O Vias that you prepped. So when you press your new X button, you're connecting the X and COM2 lines together, same thing for O.

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It's easier to do on an older version board, 3.5X or older, as it has TP spots for the X/O buttons, but unless you already have one of them on hand, finding one now would be more work than prepping the Vias on the VX4.

Edited by RDC, 11 March 2012 - 12:30 AM.


#7 new2modzz

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

I really appreciate your quick response, thanks. You are a credit to this forum.

Do the original buttons still work - i assume so as nothing has been changed to interfere?

Also, i'm really showing a lack of knowledge but i assume the TP18 wire is 1 wire that i run to the new O button and then expose a small piece to solder the new X button (in your diagram i'd expose a small section of wire at the black dot?) to OR do i run 2 separate wires?

Depending on where i locate my new buttons i'll probably end up removing the rumble motors as i'm not too bothered about vibration - it's not as easy as just removing the wires from the board, is it? Will i need to add something in it's place?

Thanks once again.

Edited by new2modzz, 11 March 2012 - 11:49 AM.


#8 RDC

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:40 PM

The original buttons will still function like they did before, if they don't then you've messed something up along the way.

You can run 1 wire from TP18 to one of the new buttons, then another one from that button to the other button, or 2 different wires from TP18, it's all the same electrically. The black dot just means those 2 lines connect.

For the Rumble motors, nothing else has to be done but remove them. You can either desolder the wires from the board, or just wiggle them back and forth until they break off.

Edited by RDC, 11 March 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#9 relaxxx

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:52 PM

I must say I hate these damn controllers and troubleshooting bad ones is a nightmare. Especially the way the crappy film connects. It's design lends itself to easy failure. I had 4 with corroded films that I replaced and only 1 out of 4 worked. L1&L2 for some reason fail even with new film. After the nightmare of finding a PC driver, seems without the film all buttons act as activated. I'm guessing they have common high and signals float high with no film? What a pain to get the film to sit on the rubber pad while placing the board... what a mess, what a POS!!!

#10 RDC

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:24 AM

The PS3 controllers aren't like any other controller, and they take awhile to get used to. If you don't have a PS3 for testing them then it's not really a great idea to be working on them either.

The brace that holds the Daughter board has posts/tabs that keep it all lined up until the board is put in place and screwed down, so I'm not sure where you're having difficulty there unless they've been broken off, and in that case nothing is going to line up properly.

I've never had any issues of the like with PS3 controllers, and have some Daughter boards that are years old here that still work after sitting around and 'corroding' at the connections. The new Daughter board connection isn't the most secure method that could have been used, but it also has no issues working properly when the controller isn't screwed with either.

The Daughter board has a built in Pull Up Resistors for the COM1 and COM2 lines, so with no Daughter board in place the controller will act up. This has been the Sony norm since the days of the PS2 controller, which only has 1 Resistor and COM line, but it's a similar setup.


#11 relaxxx

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:46 PM

I've opened up around 25-30 bad DS3's now and I'd say about 90% have black spots or oxidation/discoloration on the contact film pads. Many have been damaged from drinks (sticky wet spots on the film) but not all. The conductive 'paint' on the film very sensitive to moisture/contamination. I've seen 3 different types of contact films or 'daughter boards?'. I can only seem to ever find one type available from china sources; the pressure one with 2 home pads and a hole in the center. I have some DS3's that need 3 contact pads for home. When I do order replacements, half of them do not work. When they don't work for some reason it is almost always L1 and L2 are stuck on?? I guess I need to find a different source.

http://www.dealextre...lm-56438?item=2

Edited by relaxxx, 27 July 2012 - 01:49 PM.


#12 RDC

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:12 AM

If you run across one that 'needs' the 3 contact pads for the Home button, just change the rubber contact pad in the shell out. They're all the same mechanically, and just that one version has the contact pad in the center and needs that 3 contact version of Daughter board, while the other pads use a dual contact layout, which will also work on the 3 contact version.

Just about anything spilled on a controller and gets in there will cause havoc, especially soda and the like. The longer it's left in there the more damage it will do also, and it doesn't take long to screw something royal. It's also next to impossible to see if it's worked it's way under an IC without removing them to look or just sonic cleaning the entire board to be sure.

Not all Daughter boards are identical as far as the Resistance values go either, and some right funky problems can crop up from that, though I'd imagine there being more than just issues with L1/2 if that were actually causing it. You might want to try a spacer under the foam piece there. Just some thin piece of plastic or laminated paper cut to the same size as the foam piece and installed in the brace before the foam piece is. That will put a little more pressure on all of the contacts when everything is back together.


#13 tommykins20

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:29 PM

QUOTE(RDC @ Mar 10 2012, 11:27 PM) View Post

Yes you can have duplicate buttons. Any N.O. (Normally Open) momentary type of switch can be used. The most commonly used one is the 6 x 6 x 7mm Tact switch.

Prepping a Via means to scrape the masking off it, the green stuff, then tin it with solder so you can solder your wire to it. Read here for more info - http://forums.xbox-s...p;#entry3406983

-snip-

It's easier to do on an older version board, 3.5X or older, as it has TP spots for the X/O buttons, but unless you already have one of them on hand, finding one now would be more work than prepping the Vias on the VX4.

Hi,
I'm interested in making a cheap scuf controller to duplicate the X and O buttons on my Dualshock 3 controller. I have a broken controller which I want to try fix and add scuf buttons to it. I've been looking around on this forum and I see that the X and O buttons are supposed to be soldered to the TP18 point. (I'm sort of new to modifying PS3 controllers, and even soldering but my father knows the ways) I just want to clear up and understand how the X and O buttons will be duplicated.. So if I connect the two new buttons to the TP18 soldering point, how will the device know which button is which. I'm sorry if this is a stupid question and the answer is just under my nose, I am just unable to find it. I just need to know how to wire it correctly. But anyway, I was looking and I think my controller has the MSU_VX3_008 board and I took a picture where the TP18 point is (the screwdriver is pointing to it) just to be sure with you guys.

http://i48.tinypic.com/ir5ac3.jpg


Edited by RDC, 08 March 2013 - 01:50 AM.


#14 RDC

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:53 AM

It is an MSU_VX3_008, you can see it right there on the board. wink.gif

TP18 is only the common connection for the X and O buttons. One side of each of your new X and O buttons will go to TP18. The other side of X and O will need to go to the X and O buttons spots respectively.

Those X and O spots are shown in the PS3 Controller Versions and TP Spots thread in this forum section.


#15 tommykins20

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 06:41 PM

QUOTE(RDC @ Mar 8 2013, 03:53 AM) View Post

It is an MSU_VX3_008, you can see it right there on the board. wink.gif

TP18 is only the common connection for the X and O buttons. One side of each of your new X and O buttons will go to TP18. The other side of X and O will need to go to the X and O buttons spots respectively.

Those X and O spots are shown in the PS3 Controller Versions and TP Spots thread in this forum section.


Thank you, you've cleared it up for me smile.gif
Also, I feel really stupid not seeing the MSU_VX3_008. Thank you for that too!
EDIT:
1) I noticed you edited my last post, removing the IMG tags. I understand, big image smile.gif Thanks!
2) I got all the information I need, thank you again!

Edited by tommykins20, 08 March 2013 - 06:53 PM.





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